The Caldwell Lead Sled Plus
By Nathan Rauzon, Chuck Hawks and Randy Wakeman
The original Caldwell Lead Sled took the shooting rest market by storm by eliminating up to 95% of the recoil produced by a long gun. The Lead Sled Plus (2009 MSRP $159.99) that is the subject of this review is the next generation of Lead Sled and incorporates a couple of improvements. The original Lead Sled (also $159.99) remains in the line, as does the heavy duty Lead Sled DFT ($249.99) and the Lead Sled Solo ($99.99). We hope to review the latter in the near future, along with a couple of Caldwell's new weight carrying bags. Both the original Lead Sled and the Lead Sled DFT have previously been reviewed on Guns and Shooting Online and you can find those articles on the Outdoor Accessories index page.
Incorporated in the design of the Lead Sled Plus is an adjustable Universal Weight Tray that accommodates a variety of weight types, not just bags of lead shot. These include 25 pound bar bell weights, sand bags and bags of shot. Maximum tray capacity is two 25 pound bar bell plates (see photo above) or four 25 pound bags of lead shot. The Lead Sled Plus also has an improved elevation shaft at the front of the Sled designed to eliminate wobble and play. Here are the Lead Sled Plus advertised features and specifications:
The Lead Sled Plus comes complete with everything you need, including a filled front (forend) rest bag and even the tools required for assembly. Just assemble (very easy), add weight and start shooting. It is an excellent rest for long guns, including the most powerful magnum rifles.
The recoil attenuation of a Lead Sled must be experienced to be believed. We typically use two 25 pound bags of shot for weight on our Lead Sleds when testing centerfire rifles. This makes shooting powerful rifles and slug shotguns a pleasure, rather than a chore.
Like all Lead Sleds, you must hold your rifle against the rest in a consistent manner to achieve the best accuracy. Varying the tension you put into the Lead Sled will change the point of bullet impact. Use the adjustments provided to achieve precise aim. Do not "bear down" on the Lead Sled to center the crosshairs exactly on the target, as this will affect the point of impact and increase your group size. We prefer to set the adjustable rear foot at approximately the correct height and then make our final elevation adjustments using the front elevation ram. Simply slide the rear of the Lead Sled Plus on the shooting bench to adjust windage.
A Lead Sled is a "must have" product for shooters (like those of us on the Guns and Shooting Online staff) who spend considerable time at the rifle range. You can purchase yours at fine stores nationwide or online at the Caldwell web site: www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/caldwell
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