of Caldwell Shooting Supplies and Battenfeld Technologies.
every shooter on the planet, hunters, plinkers and competitive, are
aware that Caldwell makes a variety of shooting rests for every need
and situation. As such, it was difficult to see how they could come
up with yet another one to fill an “open niche”.
Well, they did
with the HYDROSLED Shooting Rest. The retention strap on the front
eliminates muzzle jump in the rest. Filling the reservoir effectively
increases the rifle's weight, thereby reducing the felt recoil.
to its cost, the HYDROSLED will not be for everyone, given its MSRP
of $329. That is beyond the budget of the average weekend shooter or
fall hunter. The HYDROSLED is designed for shooters that are using
big bore guns that have enough recoil to damage the nervous system if
you shoot too many rounds at a single outing. With a filled
reservoir, the felt recoil is projected to be reduced by 95%. The
figures below illustrate the estimated reduction in felt recoil with
a fully loaded hydrosled reservoir.
Cartridge Rifle Weight
Recoil Energy Felt Recoil with HYDROSLED
7mm Rem Ultra Mag
gr bullet @ 3200 fps 8.5 lbs 29.4 ft pounds 1.47 ft. pounds
180 gr bullet @ 3240 fps 9.0 lbs 31.6 ft pounds 1.58
30-378 Weatherby Mag
180 gr bullet @ 3412 fps
9.0 lbs 39.4 ft pounds 1.97 ft. pounds
338 Winchester Mag
gr bullet @ 3000 fps 8.5 lbs 33.3 ft pounds 1.67 ft. pounds
400 gr bullet @ 2400 fps 10 lbs 58.1 ft. pounds 2.91 ft.
458 Winchester Mag
500 gr bullet @ 2090 fps 10 lbs
56.8 ft. pounds 2.84 ft. pounds
The projected results of felt
recoil when using the HYDROSLED are pretty impressive. Being a
skeptic, we estimate that with the SLED filled to half capacity, the
recoil is comparable to that of a 243 Winchester, in the range of 8
10 ft. pounds, very acceptable.
The advantages of the
HYDROSLED are that the need for heavy bags is eliminated as the
reservoir accommodates all the weight necessary to reduce recoil.
Additionally, the rack and pinion elevation ram permits precise
adjustments, along with fine windage adjustment knobs. And, just in
case that you wish to use the HYDROSLED with other firearms, it is
compatible with nearly all rifles and shotguns. That includes lever
action rifles and AR platform rifles with detachable magazines.
only disadvantage we found was that the elevation adjustments were
not adequate for ranges beyond 100 yards. To accommodate longer
ranges we had to prop up the front of the HYDROSLED with a 2”
of wood. After that, it worked just fine.
This Caldwell unit
is an amazing piece of equipment. While it is not for everyone, if
you get one, you will like it because it delivers as described.