Caldwell Magnum DeadShot FieldPod
The Caldwell Magnum DeadShot FieldPod tripod rest is the first true field magnum hunting rest on the market. It is, without a doubt, the best constructed and sturdy field shooting rest that we have seen. However, this comes with a price.
It is heavy, weighing in at a mighty 13 pounds. A backpack hunter or stalker would probably not want the extra weight and most deer and big game hunters who feel the need for a tripod rest are more likely to settle for one of the lighter, more easily carried, Bog-Pod TriPod Rests.
Although the FieldPod collapses to 30" and comes equipped with a carrying strap, if you are heading up a mountain with an eight pound rifle on one shoulder and the thirteen pound FieldPod on the other, you are not going very far before you are off balance and winded. Likewise, still hunting through deep woods or brush country would not be fun with this monster on your back.
Given the advantage of its superb construction and disadvantages of its weight and size, what is the practical application for this shooting rest? If you are a flatlander or prairie hunter that can set up close to your vehicle, it will ensure that you have the best chance of making a long range shot. It should be fine for most varmint hunters, for example.
This tripod can be expanded from a sitting position (with the hunter on the ground) to a slightly higher sitting position (with the hunter in a chair), or extended to slightly over 60 inches for a standing shot. The tubular aluminum, double frame construction of the legs coupled with the wide base spread produces a very stable rest, which is essential.
The expandable lower legs lock into place with cam levers for stability, which we much prefer to twist tightened legs. Speaking of the legs, Caldwell includes spiked foot inserts for use on just about any terrain you might encounter. As an extra added feature, they installed a bubble level in the aluminum hub for leveling. The shooting rest rotates a full 360 degrees and tilts almost 45 degrees up or down, which allows for rapid and precise target acquisition.
Features and Specifications
The limiting factor to any field tripod, even one as massive as the Caldwell Magnum DeadShot FieldPod, is that while it steadily supports the rifle, the hunter who has to shoulder the rifle to shoot it is not supported by the FieldPod and he or she potentially introduces all sorts of movement and tremors into an otherwise steady system. Another drawback to any tripod rest is that when pointing the rifle up, down, or traversing laterally the shooter must move to stay behind the butt. This generally makes shooting from a chair or other fixed position impractical and the hunter's movement may alert animals to his or her presence.
The Magnum FieldPod is not for everyone. If your hunts match the criteria mentioned in the beginning of this article, you might find this rest useful. However, at $250, it is probably too expensive for most folks.
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