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Show Me Your Bench Rests

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MontanaAardvark

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#1
Let me start out saying I really don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but it seems close.

I'm looking to build a nice front end rest for bench rest shooting. I have one of these low-end Caldwell Front Rests, and making a new one seems like a nice shop project. I can't use one with a rear rest built in.

The problem is I don't really know what makes a good one. I thought a good place to start would be to see some good ones.

Yeah, I did an image web search but that leads back to the question of what's good. Just because it looks cool doesn't mean it works well.

Has anybody made one or know where to find plans?


Bob
 

Hozzie

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#2
Check Randolph machine and SEB Neo's. Farley is another joystick rest maker. The first two are really top of the class for each type. Farley is very good as well.

The Sinclair competition rest is very good and worth looking at. A few different ideas.
 

MontanaAardvark

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#3
Check Randolph machine and SEB Neo's. Farley is another joystick rest maker. The first two are really top of the class for each type. Farley is very good as well.

The Sinclair competition rest is very good and worth looking at. A few different ideas.
Thanks! I had seen the Randolph Machine and Seb Neo while doing my image search. I had not seen the Farley Coaxial rests.

My main issue with the one I have is that movement isn't easy. Too slow to swing between target ranges and backlash. Because I'm kind of used to backlash, I always approach the final height from the same direction - below it and cranking up to the target. That often means overshooting and trying again.

It also has no side-to-side ajdustment. I think just rebuilding this design with a finer pitch vertical screw and another for side-to-side adjustment would be an improvement. I think it would need to be made of stainless, since I live in an area with very salty air. Powder coating may be good enough, and I've done a bunch of that.



Bob
 

USMCDOC

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#4
I own both a SEB NEO and a D.R. Greenlaw front rest, the Greenlaw fits on a Caldwell base.
 

USMCDOC

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#5
Here is the pics of the Greenlaw rest.

20170722_220631.jpg 20170722_220640.jpg

I made the stock stop for it, i didn't care for the smaller one that comes with it, it kept coming loose and it was also longer than i liked as well.
 

Tozguy

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#6
I would first determine how much vertical and horizontal movement you need for the type of shooting you plan to do.

A joystick rest is almost imperative for score shooting because of how much movement is required.

I use a Shade Tree Engineering (Butch Lambert) joystick top on a Caldwell Rock BR base (1'' post, one of the older good ones) for score shooting.
http://shadetreeea.com/products.htm
I originally used a top with screw type windage and elevation adjustment but I found it slow having to move my hand from one knob to the other. A joystick top in my case is the ticket.

IMG_1683.JPG

Also, determine which bag you will be using in the top beforehand as they are not all of the same dimensions.

There are all kinds of homemade rests in use and they all work although I would avoid any cable operated mechanisms. I would go with a concept that best suits what you and your equipment are capable of, and draw up your own plans. Then we could comment on them :)
 
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USMCDOC

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#7
Did you do any of those improvements for the Rock BR rest like you have, that were discussed over on RFCentral?
I would first determine how much vertical and horizontal movement you need for the type of shooting you plan to do.

A joystick rest is almost imperative for score shooting because of how much movement is required.

I use a Shade Tree Engineering (Butch Lambert) joystick top on a Caldwell Rock BR base (1'' post, one of the older good ones) for score shooting.
http://shadetreeea.com/products.htm
I originally used a top with screw type windage and elevation adjustment but I found it slow having to move my hand from one knob to the other. A joystick top in my case is the ticket.

View attachment 238197

Also, determine which bag you will be using in the top beforehand as they are not all of the same dimensions.

There are all kinds of homemade rests in use and they all work although I would avoid any cable operated mechanisms. I would go with a concept that best suits what you and your equipment are capable of, and draw up your own plans. Then we could comment on them :)
 

MontanaAardvark

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#8
I would first determine how much vertical and horizontal movement you need for the type of shooting you plan to do.

A joystick rest is almost imperative for score shooting because of how much movement is required.

I use a Shade Tree Engineering (Butch Lambert) joystick top on a Caldwell Rock BR base (1'' post, one of the older good ones) for score shooting.
http://shadetreeea.com/products.htm
I originally used a top with screw type windage and elevation adjustment but I found it slow having to move my hand from one knob to the other. A joystick top in my case is the ticket.

View attachment 238197

Also, determine which bag you will be using in the top beforehand as they are not all of the same dimensions.

There are all kinds of homemade rests in use and they all work although I would avoid any cable operated mechanisms. I would go with a concept that best suits what you and your equipment are capable of, and draw up your own plans. Then we could comment on them :)
Interesting. I've never thought the initial setup was annoying, because it's one time before a string of firing. My club has ranges available at 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 and 600 yards. In any case, I usually practice at one or two, and the elevation change is done once. The club's long range seems to only mention Class F shooting; either open or service rifle. One distance, nothing that holds the rifle is allowed, just something under the fore end and a bag or something under the stock.

Is rapid changing between distances so that you have to change vertical position of the rest a type of competition? I would like smoother adjustments, but speed isn't a priority.

Do those joystick rests lock so that once you're at the right height, they won't move?


Bob
 

Tozguy

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#9
Did you do any of those improvements for the Rock BR rest like you have, that were discussed over on RFCentral?
I made a lot of changes to the Rock BR before buying the joystick top but they were of my own brew.
However, I would like to see the ones you are referring to if you have a link. Thanks.
 
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Tozguy

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#10
Interesting. I've never thought the initial setup was annoying, because it's one time before a string of firing. My club has ranges available at 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 and 600 yards. In any case, I usually practice at one or two, and the elevation change is done once. The club's long range seems to only mention Class F shooting; either open or service rifle. One distance, nothing that holds the rifle is allowed, just something under the fore end and a bag or something under the stock.

Is rapid changing between distances so that you have to change vertical position of the rest a type of competition? I would like smoother adjustments, but speed isn't a priority.

Do those joystick rests lock so that once you're at the right height, they won't move?


Bob
You mentioned bench rest in your original post which is not like F class where you move to different distances and lie on the ground. In bench rest score shooting, once you are set up on the table, you have to shoot at six bulls on one target so there is lots of moving around on the target. Because there is a time limit, I prefer to be able to reach all six bulls using only the joystick. The benches don't move. For different distances its the target that is moved to the new distance. Usually, a whole day is reserved for one distance. Again, not like F class at all.

The range of movement is especially important for BR50 rimfire targets because they are shot at 50 yards and there are 25 different bulls to shoot at on the same target.

Joysticks don't lock because they are pre-tensionned with friction, counter weights or springs, to hold the weight of the rifle without sagging. The centre post is adjustable with a mariner wheel but once it is adjusted to the height required, it is locked. From there, the joystick moves the top bag within a smaller range of horizontal and vertical movement.

Example of a 100 yard bench rest score target:

IMG_1662.JPG
 
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MontanaAardvark

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#11
You mentioned bench rest in your original post which is not like F class where you move to different distances and lie on the ground. In bench rest score shooting, once you are set up on the table, you have to shoot at six bulls on one target so there is lots of moving around on the target. Because there is a time limit, I prefer to be able to reach all six bulls using only the joystick. The benches don't move. For different distances its the target that is moved to the new distance. Usually, a whole day is reserved for one distance. Again, not like F class at all.

The range of movement is especially important for BR50 rimfire targets because they are shot at 50 yards and there are 25 different bulls to shoot at on the same target.

Joysticks don't lock because they are pre-tensionned with friction, counter weights or springs, to hold the weight of the rifle without sagging. The centre post is adjustable with a mariner wheel but once it is adjusted to the height required, it is locked. From there, the joystick moves the top bag within a smaller range of horizontal and vertical movement.

Example of a 100 yard bench rest score target:

View attachment 238219
I'm sorry - I was really not clear in my answer. I am interested in a front rest for bench rest shooting.

The range I'm using is a bench rest only range - it has the 25, 100 and 200 yard targets. The other range, the 300/600 yard range, appears to be class F only, but I'm not sure. I have never used that range.

Single elongated holes at 200 yards are my immediate goal. So far, I get the occasional two shots that overlap at 100 yards, but not consistently.
 

Silverbullet

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#12
Hi I have family in Melbourne , now let's get some help on the shots . One tip I always use even hunting when able. Line your shot up slow your breathing down to the point you can feel everything stopping. Eventually with practise you can slow your heart rate . When your ready for the shot exhale till you stop breathing for the split second you squeeze the trigger. I guarantee when you learn to stop everything but your eye on the target and the slow squeeze of the trigger.then you inhale get the blood pumping to get set for the next shot. The more you don't move the better the shot placement.
Took me years to develop control of the involuntary muscles , but the top shooters do it .
 

USMCDOC

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#13
Interesting. I've never thought the initial setup was annoying, because it's one time before a string of firing. My club has ranges available at 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 and 600 yards. In any case, I usually practice at one or two, and the elevation change is done once. The club's long range seems to only mention Class F shooting; either open or service rifle. One distance, nothing that holds the rifle is allowed, just something under the fore end and a bag or something under the stock.

Is rapid changing between distances so that you have to change vertical position of the rest a type of competition? I would like smoother adjustments, but speed isn't a priority.

Do those joystick rests lock so that once you're at the right height, they won't move?


Bob
Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club?

the 6oo yard range your talking about is used for "sling shooters" and F-Class.. F-Open are the ones that use this style of rest. F/TR (Target Rifle) use a Bipod. The most popular front rest for F-Open is the SEB NEO
20170724_045027.jpg
i myself am a former "sling" shooter. Did it for 14 years. Tried my hand at F/TR and now i am dabbling with some Benchrest, mainly ARA 22lr. But i want to build a 30BR maybe.. But for now, all i have is my 223, but i may back the barrel up and convert it to a 22BR for Score.. i am interested in UBR at the moment.
 

MontanaAardvark

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#14
Hi I have family in Melbourne , now let's get some help on the shots . One tip I always use even hunting when able. Line your shot up slow your breathing down to the point you can feel everything stopping. Eventually with practise you can slow your heart rate . When your ready for the shot exhale till you stop breathing for the split second you squeeze the trigger. I guarantee when you learn to stop everything but your eye on the target and the slow squeeze of the trigger.then you inhale get the blood pumping to get set for the next shot. The more you don't move the better the shot placement.
Took me years to develop control of the involuntary muscles , but the top shooters do it .
This is my ritual. I'm working on slowing heart rate, and it seems like first comes feeling it.

Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club?

the 6oo yard range your talking about is used for "sling shooters" and F-Class.. F-Open are the ones that use this style of rest. F/TR (Target Rifle) use a Bipod. The most popular front rest for F-Open is the SEB NEO
View attachment 238269
i myself am a former "sling" shooter. Did it for 14 years. Tried my hand at F/TR and now i am dabbling with some Benchrest, mainly ARA 22lr. But i want to build a 30BR maybe.. But for now, all i have is my 223, but i may back the barrel up and convert it to a 22BR for Score.. i am interested in UBR at the moment.
That's my club. I joined seven years ago. I started shooting when I was 14, but lost it as I got older (it also got harder to drive off the end the road and go walking with your gun). My favorite thing to do as a teen was to plink at junk - like we'd pick up 20ga shotgun shells and shoot at them from 10 or 20 yards away. I still have that rifle. Remember the Remington Nylon 66?

Picked it up again about 10 years ago. Working from my Caldwell rest, I've always been able to get a 30 round AR magazine into about 4" circle at 200 yards. I just upgraded my rifles. Got a Ruger Precision in 6.5 Creedmoor. I'm learning what it can do and what I can do with it.

I don't want to copy a design anyone is selling, but I'd like to make something like that SEB NEO.
 

USMCDOC

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#16
I know what you mean, i had thoughts of it too! You know Gary Eliseo sort of did so..


&

This is my ritual. I'm working on slowing heart rate, and it seems like first comes feeling it.

I don't want to copy a design anyone is selling, but I'd like to make something like that SEB NEO.
 

Tozguy

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#18
USMCDOC, thanks for the links to RFCentral, much appreciate your help.
I have addressed the same issues on the Rock BR and then some. Having a lathe certainly came in handy for some of the work.
Interesting how many different approaches there are to 'fixin' those issues. It leaves me wondering why Caldwell did not put more thought into their designs.
 

USMCDOC

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#20
USMCDOC, thanks for the links to RFCentral, much appreciate your help.
I have addressed the same issues on the Rock BR and then some. Having a lathe certainly came in handy for some of the work.
Interesting how many different approaches there are to 'fixin' those issues. It leaves me wondering why Caldwell did not put more thought into their designs.
Your most welcome, glad to have passed the info on to you!
 
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