Making my Own Shooting Rest

Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by dabeechman, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. dabeechman

    dabeechman

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    So after thinking long and hard about this, I have decided that I am going to design a shooting rest for myself with aspirations of offering it to the community once it is operating to my high level of standards.

    I wanted to get your feedback on what you'd like to see in a rest, maybe where some of the other rests fall short, or where you'd like to see further enhancements made over some of the current offerings.

    There are probably 100 questions I could come up with, but I'll rattle off a few just to get the ball rolling...

    1) How critical is weight for you? Is heavier better? Note, I am not talking about stability, just simply weight.
    2) How critical is portability?
    3) Would you prefer a rest that is easily broken down at the bench, or are you perfectly fine carrying it around in its assembled state?
    4) How important is a beautiful finish? Are you babying your rests, or are you throwing them around in your car?
    5) What is the #1 feature you look for in a rest?
    6) What is the #1 complaint that you have in a rest?

    This will not be a budget build. I own a production CNC machine shop, and I plan on spending significant time and expense on making the best rest that I can possibly dream up. So, don't be shy on your suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. R.Morehouse

    R.Morehouse Gold $$ Contributor

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    Adjustable width top. A lot of custom stocks of varied widths out here. .....Best of luck. The more the merrier with quality made in the USA equipment....:cool:
     
  3. dogdude

    dogdude Egan O'Brien Gold $$ Contributor

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    I will give my opinion, long and short range shooter:
    #1 20-25 lbs
    #2 Very, must fit in a standard carry box, 20''x 15''x 10'' or close.
    #3 assembled state, no time to brake down @ bench
    #4 finish..bling is nice, but not really important, nobody throws there rest around.
    #5 windage..coaxial or not..very important.
    #6 no flexible ammo holder, some have some don't
    If you made a combination of a SEB,Sinclair, Hart, you would probably own the market.
    I own three unlimited, Bear, Pappas(rimfire), Ryan Miller,...Sinclair Competition, Hart with 3'', 5'' 6'' tops with aluminum base plate, SEB MAX, and Randolph for rimfire.
    Price..keep in mind ALL us shooters are CHEAP.
    Best of luck to you dabeechman, hope your product beats the rest
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017 at 1:27 PM
  4. VaRandy

    VaRandy Silver $$ Contributor

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    Are you talking tactical, 600 yard, or benchrest. One cannot serve all needs.
     
  5. 264WM70

    264WM70 Silver $$ Contributor

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    For non-coaxial rests, make the center post as large of a diameter as possible. A threaded 2.5" or greater center post would be excellent. I am speaking for long range benchrest. Not sure if this is desirable for other disciplines.

    Joe
     
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  6. scubohuntr

    scubohuntr

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    I'm not a BR competitor, but I do sometimes use a front rest at the range. The number one thing that burns me about rests is trying to store and transport them. They just don't stack. What I'd do if I had the time and equipment to try it is make a rectangular (because triangles don't stack nicely) aluminum or Lexan carry case that clips or screws into the legs- either 1/4-20 threaded blind holes or buttons to match up with a cam buckle arrangement, and braces to keep it from moving. The rest doesn't go into the box, it wears the box. Carry handle on top that retracts flush. Strong enough to sit on. If the carry case offered something useful and clever, like a spotting scope mount or a tablet stand, many bonus points.

    I really like the spoked elevation wheel on Sinclair's lightweight rest- it looks much better than the cast ones everyone else uses. It doesn't work any better, but I like it. Maybe selectable (on/off) click adjustments (I know there's no way to calibrate it, given the variables, but it would make it a bit repeatable for an individual shooter. Besides, shooters love counting clicks).

    Just as a way-out-there idea, how about machining a picatinny-type rail on top of each of the legs, and offering a bunch of optional accessories (all with ball and socket angle adjustments) like cartridge holders, timers, smart phone/tablet holders for data collection, and a tool holder (for Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and whatnot), that would go on the rails? All the stuff that normally slides around on the bench. A stubby vertical rail on the end of each foot could mate with slots in the carry case, too, rather than screws or buckles. Tactical guys love rails.

    As far as finish, it doesn't need to have a glossy fancy finish; a good clean Cerakote in a couple of attractive, relatively non-reflective colors (maybe bronze and British Racing Green) would be plenty.

    As I said, this may not work for actual competitors but it would certainly make me think hard about buying a new rest.
     
  7. dabeechman

    dabeechman

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    Thanks VaRandy, I will admit that I am not fluent on all the disciplines. Can you explain the difference in rests for 600vBR for me? I may later come out with a tactical version, but not at the moment.
     
  8. dabeechman

    dabeechman

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    Thank you so much for all your comments. There is some very good stuff in here which I had not thought about. I really like the idea of adding accessory holders on a hinged or ball joint to allow you access to your devices to keep them off the bench.

    How big of an ammo holder would you want to see?

    I have aspirations to do both (a coax as well as a non-coax). I'll start with the coax, because quite frankly I want one, and that is typically how I decide what I am going to make (by what I want, ha).
     
  9. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    My advice is to look hard at the sinclair competition rest and improve that basic design. Joysticks are fine for holding off and stocks that dont track, you can shoot faster with a straight stock in a knob type rest. I wont even consider a rest with the windage knob up front on the side. You need the knobs next to each other. No systems with back lash either like a belt or cable. The simpler the better, and thats why it is so hard to beat the Sinclair. Many records are set with that rest. I like the farly and seb rests too for f-class. I think it would be hard to get into that market and compete with Seb's mini...
     
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  10. VaRandy

    VaRandy Silver $$ Contributor

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    the 600 benchrest is a specialized very wide bipod that is temporarily attached to the weapon for the shooting but it is too large to remain with it for handling. Sure there are pictures on the internet.
     
  11. gunsandgunsmithing

    gunsandgunsmithing The best tuners and wind flags on the market Gold $$ Contributor

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    At least in short range score shooting, a co-ax is very near a requirement, although, there are some that do without. I just seldom see them do well, particularly when you have to "run". I personally, would hate to have to shoot with anything else for score. SEB seems to set the standard for co-ax rests, but Farley and even the Shadetree rests are very functional. Both have their drawbacks.

    IMHO, the key to liking or disliking a co-ax is proper tension adjustment.

    For group, many of the top shooters also use a co-ax but I don't see it as being "bigly" advantageous..particularly with a sighter cam on a traditional rest. The key here is easy repeatability and stability, IMHO.

    Navigating a score target presents issues in terms of speed and repeatability. If you can somehow make the top absolutely not bind on the gun as you navigate the target, while maintaining consistent forearm pressure, you'd have something, assuming the rest of it is comparable to a Farley or SEB. Some rests/bags are better here than others but none are perfect, IMO.

    I've built a few and been involved in designing some for others. IMO, those were better than a Farley but not quite up to a SEB..but we're splitting hairs, as both are very good.

    I have plans drawn up for a new design myself, after having done this before, but am interested in what you come up with. Keep us posted as I am in the market, soon.
     
  12. Tstroop

    Tstroop Silver $$ Contributor

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    We want controls that a midget and a short arm fat man can reach while sitting behind a long range rifle.

    Randolf is a great rest but hard to reach controls if your a short arm fat man or a midget.
    I shoot a Farley and disagree with the can't shoot as fast comment. All in what your used too.
     
  13. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    With a straight stock the adjustments are so small if needed at all that I found it hard to not overshoot them with my Farley.
     
  14. Tstroop

    Tstroop Silver $$ Contributor

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    Maybe if I started shooting a Sinclair style rest and got used to it I would feel the same, But I don't feel the strong Re-learning curve would benefit. When the stock tracks straight there shouldn't be any adjustment necessary!
     
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  15. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sorry, not a BR competitor here (I use an improved old orange Outers front rest o_O) but where can I read details about "coaxial windage" feature?
    -
     
  16. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    Weight is the first second and third thing on the top ten issues of concern. When you consider everything we transport when shooting, minimizing additional weight is paramount.
     
  17. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Weight trumps stability and rigidity? I have a very lightweight cast aluminum (or magnesium?) Outers front rest. Why am I not shooting better? Maybe I should get a plastic Caldwell?
    -
     
  18. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    You got me, rigidity is all important, without stability you've got nothing. That being said, if it weighs a ton it's useless to me. I would want a bench that I could fold up and carry with one hand. I've got a bad back, we all have priorities.
     
  19. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    You need a Sherpa porter.

    Seriously, I hear you, brother. I get a new twinge every day.
    -
     
  20. gunsandgunsmithing

    gunsandgunsmithing The best tuners and wind flags on the market Gold $$ Contributor

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    Maybe in some disciplines but not most. I'd have no problem using a 30-40lb rest if it does what I want it to...or even heavier. Weight is far from everything but it is important. I do not want my rest to budge. I'll get help loading and unloading if I have to. ;)
     
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