Updated: August 04, 2020

Even the best marksmen will have challenges with stability at times. This is especially true with people as they get older, where the body is not as strong, thus causing them to miss shots.

You should not lose your ability to enjoy your time out hunting, on the range, or in other places because of your inability to hold a stable position. Instead you should seek to use a tool that will help you to hold your position, making sure you hit the target every single time.

This is where the use of a shooting rest can come in handy. It allows you to get a stable position to ensure that your shot is accurate every single time you set up for a shot. These shooting rests can be the perfect option for anyone who has missed a shot because their hands got tired, they could not keep their rifle stable, or the weather or wind influenced their ability to hold completely still.

How to Make the Right Choice?

It is clear that a shooting rest can be the perfect solution for any person who spends a significant amount of time out on the range or in the field. However, choosing the right shooting rest for you can be based upon several factors. This includes:

  • Portability. Where you intend to use the rest is important. If this is something you are going to take to a stationary location where you intend to sit for hours before shooting at your target, then portability is less important. However, if you see yourself moving around or using it in a variety of situations, then your ability to take it with you without it weighing down on you is important.
  • Space. How much space is needed to set it up is also important. You may have a limited area in which to set up your shooting rest. Space is also important when considering how much room it takes in your bag. If you are a person who takes food, drinks, and ammunition, carrying a bulky rest may not work for you.
  • Stability. This is obviously one of the most important factors. It is likely that your primary reason for purchasing a shooting rest is to provide you with greater stability. Choosing one that offers you this is essential, especially when shooting at longer distances.
  • Adjustability. This does not only include your ability to make fine or coarse adjustments. Some enable you to be much more flexible about moving the weapon in a wider area. Some only offer you vertical or horizontal adjustments. Choose something that gives you the flexibility you desire.
  • Reduced Recoil. When you have a weapon that comes with a lot of recoil, having a shooting rest that absorbs a good portion of that recoil can be a valuable tool in your arsenal. A good shooting rest will not only provide stabilization but will then some or all of that recoil.
  • Use. Where you intend to use the shooting rest is important as well. This is why we have provided you with shooting rest options for 10 different situations of where you might be likely to use your product.

Top 10 Shooting Rests on the Market Right Now!

#1 Caldwell the Rock BR Rifle Shooting Rest – Best Shooting Rest for Sighting In

Best Shooting Rest for Sighting In One thing you are going to notice in this review is that there are a number of Caldwell shooting rests that we recommend. That is because they produce some of the very best products on the market, and this is one of the very best.

This is a 13 pound shooting rest that has a diameter of 14 inches and provides two-stage elevation. This gives you unbelievable accuracy, helping you to adjust for windage, plus create adjustments for find elevation independently of the remaining mechanisms in the shooting rest.

Two locking bolts help to hold your firearm in place, which rests in a padded seat that provides maximum stability. There are seven other mechanisms on the shooting rest that allow you to adjust for height, direction, and conditions. You will get maximum precision positioning with this rest, which is why it has become such a popular choice.

What you will like is that it is not complicated to use either. It provides you with great versatility, but the ease-of-use is something you are really going to like. In addition, this product comes with an empty bag that allows you to put sand, dirt, or silica inside the bag to help stabilize the rest.

What you will truly like about this product is that everything has been taken into account to assist you in having a shooting rest that will help to stabilize your firearm. You will make much more accurate shots, and will enjoy how durably made it is as well.

#2 Caldwell Lead Sled FCX Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest – Best Rifle Shooting Rest

Best Rifle Shooting Rest Review If you are looking for a sturdy shooting rest basically from head to toe, then this is the option for you. This product is designed to give you the best possible precision, both horizontally and vertically, and to give you maximum stability as you can lock both the butt of the weapon and the stock to give maximum precision.

This Caldwell product comes with a joystick that allows you to make both fine and coarse adjustments so that you can secure the weapon in place and have it positioned exactly where you need it. A bar comes from the main part of the product that enables you to lock the butt of the weapon in place, and a padded, seated rest holds the center portion of your firearm secure.

Not only does this give you maximum stability, ensuring that weather conditions and other factors do not influence your shots, but it provides for a great level of comfort as well, enabling you to be able to hold your position longer. This is an ergonomically designed product, which will be easy for you to use and to assemble.

A shooting bag is included, helping you to secure the shooting rest in position. This can be filled with sand or dirt, and is easily emptied. It is clear that the company understood how to make an outstanding product when they put this one together, and you will love how easy it is for you to assemble and take apart. It is perfect for any marksman who needs maximum precision from a shooting rest.

#3 Caldwell Matrix Rifle Pistol Handgun Shooting Rest – Best Pistol Shooting Rest

Best Pistol Shooting Rest Review This is another fantastic product created by Caldwell, which is built of a durable construction to give you years of use while ensuring that you get great stability. The newly designed u-channel frame can be adjusted in length to give you the ability to set the horizontal and vertical adjustments you desire for perfect shots each and every time.

One of the things that most like about the design of this shooting rest is that it uses a two piece frame which is open in the center. This allows you to get the perfect clearance for your firearm, while also ensuring that you’re getting maximum stability.

The front base comes with a removable lid that adds additional clearance for you. The rear support is made with a rubber coating, not only helping to secure the weapon in place but also protecting it from getting damaged.

This is a great Caldwell product that is perfectly designed for use with both long rifles and handguns. Because of how well it is constructed, you can count on it being a reliable rest for you for years to come. In fact, many love that the over molded front and rear cradles ensure that you get greater protection for both the shooting rest and for your firearms.

This is easy to set up, and comes with adjustment knobs that are easy to manipulate for both fine and coarse adjustment. At just 2.2 pounds and 7.1 inches in its longest proportion, the product is easy to take with you wherever you go.

#4 Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 Rifle Shooting Rest – Best Lead Sled Shooting Rest

Best Lead Sled Shooting Rest Review This Caldwell product has been called one of the easiest to use because it is designed to reduce the recoil by as much as 95%. This allows those who use much more powerful rifles to get great stability and accuracy with each and every shot.

Because of the way that the shooting rest is designed, it is able to hold a variety of different weight types, including such things as sandbags, lead shot bags, even 25 pound weights that would be used with barbells. This allows you to be able to create greater stability as it can hold up to 100 pounds without an issue.

The elevation ram has been redesigned from the previous model to will eliminate any of the wobble or play that customers had voiced their concerns about. This allows you to remain on target while still being able to adjust the sites up to 2.5 inches.

The rubber feet are non-marring and help to secure the rest in place. The rear feet are adjustable, allowing you to configure the product to get the proper angle. Plus, you will love that the dual frame alignment gives you up to 22 inches in adjustment, making it so that almost any size to gun would easily fit.

The product is 30 inches long and is 12 inches wide, weighing about 24 pounds. This makes it portable enough to be able to take with you wherever you go. Truly a fantastic product that could fit the needs of almost any marksman or hunter. Plus, it is made of a durable design so you know it will last.

#5 CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Shooting Rest – Best Adjustable Shooting Rest

Best Adjustable Shooting Rest Review This CTK product is designed to be used with both rifles and pistols. In fact, it may be the most versatile shooting rest that you will find. It comes with an optional gun vice attachment which is easily attached and ready to use within a few seconds.

Included as part of the product is a three-point leveling system as well as thumb locks that help to create a solid platform for you to be able to shoot each and every time.The rear shooting pad adjust to accommodate all different types of firearms, whether it is a rifle or a pistol.

The Y rest in the front allows you to vertically adjust the site quickly and easily so you do not miss your target. Both are covered with a Marine carpet that is built of a high quality material that is built to last.

The design is also made to make adjustments quick and easy. The sliding mechanism on the center T-bar makes it easy to move the back rest forward for use with handguns or to slide back quickly for use with longer rifles. Plus, the frame is built of a heavy duty steel, ensuring that it is built to last.

The length is 25 inches with a width at the top of 18 inches. Plus it only way 7.75 pounds, making it fairly easy to take with you wherever you go. It would easily fit in most standard sized backpacks.

#6 Vanguard Porta Aim Gun Rest – Best Portable Shooting Rest

Best Portable Shooting Rest Review If your primary focus for shooting rest is for the barrel of the rifle then this could be the perfect option for you. This lightweight product, weighing only 1.7 pounds, allows you to take it anywhere, as you can fold the tripod legs, stuff in your bag or backpack, and had on your way.

While the compact design makes it perfect for portability, the truth is that this design also gives it great stability. By opening up the legs, you are able to easily position it, place your weapon in the seated rest area, strap in with the Velcro strap that is provided, and you are ready to go. It is really that easy.

Plus, making adjustments is a snap. You have the capability of easily being able to swivel 360°, and there is a single-handed center column adjustment ring that makes it easy for you to be able to adjust the height anywhere from 8.8 inches all the way up to 12.6 inches. You can also make fine adjustment to get a more accurate shot.

The stand is made of a high quality aluminum which makes it durable and rugged. Also, because of the minimal design there is far less that can go wrong, meaning that this is a device that will likely be with you for a decade or more. It is truly a great choice for someone who once simplicity but also one’s high performance, especially a person who values portability.

#7 Caldwell Tack Driver Shooting Rest – Best Shooting Rest Bag

Best Shooting Rest Bag Review Some are not looking for anything more than a simple product that allows them to be able to provide some additional stability while firing their weapon. This is where this Caldwell product could be the perfect option for you.

To many, this looks like nothing more than a simple sandbag. However, this is perfectly designed to allow you to cradle your firearm in the rest area of the product, helping to create the perfect stabilization while you are firing your weapon.

It’s simple design makes it easy to use, and you can save yourself a little bit of money by purchasing the bag unfilled and then filling it with whatever suits you, including sand, dirt, even lead shot. You can even use birdseed, a product that costs virtually nothing to purchase. This will also save you a lot of money on shipping costs.

Because you are able to fill it with your own filling material, it gives you the flexibility to create a bag that makes your firing a whole lot more accurate. For example, you could put heavier sand in the rear bags while putting lighter in the front bags, which will give you greater stability. It’s really a unique way to be able to handle the needed task.

This is a fantastic product to take with you anywhere you go. This is especially true considering that if you are going to be an area that has a lot of loose dirt, you could simply carry your shooting rest empty, fill it in your location, then empty it back out when you are ready to leave. It is as simple as it gets, yet gives you all of the functionality you need to provide you with that additional stability.

#8 Caldwell Lead Sled Solo Shooting Rest – Best Shooting Rest for the Money

Best Shooting Rest for the Money While you may be looking for simplicity, you also want to product that provides you would durability. This is where this Caldwell option could be the perfect choice for you, as it is built from a heavy duty steel, but is so simple in its design that it makes it as easy as it could get to use.

The product weighs just 14 pounds, making it easy for you to take with you anywhere. However, it has a weight tray that enables you to put up to 25 pounds of additional weight to keep the shooting rest stable. It is the perfect size for lead shot, something that most hunters already have.

The front legs to the rest are adjustable and you are able to also adjust the front seating. This area is protected by of rubberized material ensuring that your rifle or other long gun is not damaged while seated. It also provides an additional shock absorbency to increase accuracy.

The adjustable knobs make it easy for you to set the level you desire in a matter of seconds without ever having to move your weapon. They are also placed in a location that makes it easy to make adjustments without obstructing the ability to hold your weapon in place.

This product is specifically designed to hold just about any rifle. Because of its design and weight it is easy to take with you wherever you go, and you will find that it is easy to set up and get started. A very small learning curve makes it easy for you to use this straight out of the box.

Comparison Chart

Shooting RestProsCons
#1 Caldwell the Rock BR Rifle Shooting Rest
  • Allows you to make a number of fine adjustments, which are superior to most other products
  • Built to provide you with maximum stability
  • Help secure your firearm in place to help improve accuracy
  • Built with durable materials that should make it last for decades
  • Adjustments hold even after firing 40 rounds or more
  • A much better product in comparison to similar options, and comes at a cheaper price than them
  • The product is not well machined, which is a disappointment
  • This is a large product to carry with you, making it unusable for some
#2 Caldwell Lead Sled FCX Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest
  • Allows for fast and precise crosshair alignment to make setting up shots quick and easy
  • Easily fits most models of rifle and shotgun
  • Is built with a heavy duty construction that ensures you get maximum durability
  • Easily adjusts for both windage and elevation with a simple use of the joystick
  • Gives you maximum precision and stability
  • Built for both left and right handed shooters
  • At 22 pounds, may be a bit too heavy to carry for some who are heading into the wilderness
  • A lot more costly than other options
  • The joystick is a little temperamental, and take some getting used to so that you get maximum benefit
#3 Caldwell Matrix Rifle Pistol Handgun Shooting Rest
  • Allows you to use this product with almost any type of firearm.
  • The newly designed elevation system makes it easy to control and stabilize your weapon with just one hand.
  • The front and elevation system comes with its own built-in construction giving you greater power to adjust to fit your needs.
  • The entire length of the rest is adjustable to fit the user.
  • Not made for such weapons as an AR-15 or similar style weapon.
  • The front rest is too hard.
  • The position of the adjustments set screw is where your hand would go if you use the pistol rest. Fairly inconvenient
#4 Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 Rifle Shooting Rest
  • Made of a heavy duty steel that gives it a durable design
  • Adjustable so you can use with almost any style of rifle or shotgun
  • The windage and elevation adjustments are easy to control to get the level you desire
  • It comes with a weight bag but allows you to use dumbbells to help secure the rest
  • Great design makes it easy to use
  • The weight bag that is provided is made of a poor quality material
  • You will likely need to bring additional weights with you to get better stability
  • Because of a design flaw the ram does not move freely
#5 CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Shooting Rest
  • Allows you to switch from rifle to handgun in a matter of seconds
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Built with a heavy duty steel that is coated both inside and out to protect the product
  • Both arrests work extremely well
  • Provides a great deal of stability
  • Can be hard to adjust precisely
  • The vice makes firearms a lot more stable in the rest, but this is an optional piece that has to be purchased separately
  • Because of its design is a little awkward to take with you
#6 Vanguard Porta Aim Gun Rest
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Easy to make adjustments and gives you 360° swivel
  • Durable product that is made of a solid aluminum
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • The overhead strap is virtually useless
  • The soft topside bag is not very well constructed, allowing plastic to escape
  • The pre-installed bolt is too long and will tear open the bag
#7 Caldwell Tack Driver Shooting Rest
  • Self tightening grips help to reduce the effects of recoil
  • The external material to the case ensures that no harm will occur to your rifle
  • This product can be used with any type of long rifle or shotgun
  • You can choose to have it filled before shipping or to purchase it empty
  • Built of a heavy duty material that protects your firearm and gives you a product that will last
  • Perfect for any weather condition
  • Some report that the product was not sown properly, limiting its functionality
  • There is really no reason to purchase this already filled, as there are much better products to use than what they provide
#8 Caldwell Lead Sled Solo Shooting Rest
  • Perfect choice for those who use an AR-15 or similar style weapon
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Lightweight so it is portable and easy to set up an almost any location
  • Built with a heavy duty steel for durability
  • Does not allow you to drift either left or right without actually moving the rest
  • Requires you to do some installation of the mounting before you can use it
  • It is advertised as coming with washers but they do not come with the product

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the more common questions related to the use and purchase of a shooting rest.

Why Use a Shooting Rest?

The primary reason why a person would use a shooting rest is to provide greater stability. No matter how long you have been firing a weapon, you will probably find that over time your ability to stabilize your rifle or handgun can diminish. This is especially true if you have already been out for long hours. Having a stabilizing force to assist you in being more accurate can be an essential tool in your arsenal.

What is Benchrest Shooting?

Benchrest shooting is a sport where the rifle is stabilized using a type of shooting rest and competitors fire at paper targets. This is a type of competition that has existed since after the Civil War, and has become quite popular because of the intense competition between those who participate.

What Shooting Rests are Best for Beginners?

There is really not one that is better for beginners than others. What is important is that you are comfortable with using the shooting rest and that it offers the beginner the ability to easily use the product. Something that is difficult to use will not be used, which makes it a waste of money.

What are the Leading Brands of Shooting Rest?

While there are great products from a number of brands, no one can argue with the fact that Caldwell is the leader in this particular industry. It says a lot that six of the top 10 options we presented in this review came from this brand.

What Should I Use to Fill Rifle Rest Bags?

That really depends upon the kind of shooting rest that you purchased. Most hunters and marksmen simply fill a bag with lead shot, as this becomes the perfect choice. However, you could fill it with sand, dirt, even with birdseed. Whatever provides you with the proper weight necessary to keep your stand in place is all that matters.

What Shooting Positions Work With a Rifle Rest?

That depends upon the rest that you are purchasing. A table rest allows you to sit at the table while positioning your firearm. Some are built to either position on the ground or on a stable object like a wall retrieve branch. Then there are others that enable you to sit or even stand while firing your weapon.

How Do Rifle Rests Differ from Handgun Rests?

As you have seen in this review, there are some shooting rest that actually provide you with both handgun and rifle positioning. The primary difference between these types of positions is that the handgun rest needs to have the rear seating so that it is close enough to the front seating for the length of a handgun.

Are Rifle Rests Difficult to Assemble?

Some are extremely easy, and can almost be used straight out of the box. However, there are some that require a lot more time for you to be able to use the product. This is an important factor to consider when purchasing your product. Make sure you review the description of the shooting rest before you purchase it so you know whether you have to do a lot of work before it is ready to use.

Are Shooting Rests Only for Long Barrel Guns?

Not at all. We saw options in this review that were used for handguns. It all depends on if you are able to adjust the shooting rest so that smaller sized weapons are able to be used. Also, if you purchase a product that only has a front seating then almost any type of weapon can be used with it.

What are the Differences Between a Gun Vise and a Shooting Rest?

There is a huge difference between these two things. The gun vise is used to hold your gun in place while you are doing maintenance or cleaning. The shooting rest is what you use to stabilize your weapon while you are shooting it.

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault has been blogging for more than three decades. He is one of the former lead writer of Tribunnews.com. He wrote thousand of reviews on various tools & gears. He is fond of travelling, adventures and discovering new things. You can reach him at twitter @pedneault

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