Best Lead Sled Shooting Rests For Sale

What is a Lead Sled?

For shooters that still do not know the Lead Sled and its purposes, it is a type of shooting rest that has been engineered to hold the rifle and assist in the recoil energy decreasing. According to the Caldwell, it can achieve an incredible 95% reduction of recoil energy. Therefore, it is currently the best tool to remove an important variable: the human error. To sum up in a very rough way, it is a rest rifle that lessens the recoil generated by the shot.

The shooting sports are usually associated with painful recoil that are the results of the working mechanism of a firearm where a large amount of energy is generated and ends up having to go somewhere, which in this case is our shoulder. Powerful caliber firearms logically produce more recoil energy, which will cause the shooter to have reactions like flinching or trigger jerking, which are reactions in anticipation of the shock that will hit your body. Flinching or jerking the trigger, in anticipation of recoil is a very common negative factor in a shooter’s accuracy.

How does Lead Sled work?

To understand how Lead Sled works you need to include some basic math. Recoil can be described as the equal and opposite reaction to the momentum of an ammunition cartridge projectile (bullet) and gunpowder charge upon firing of the cartridge. This momentum is imparted to the firearm, causing it to travel from the opposite direction of the fired bullet. The resulting energy, or recoil energy, of the firearm can be calculated using the following equation derived from the Law of Conservation of Momentum:


* If you want to calculate in a simpler way, just use this recoil energy calculator.


As can be seen in the above equation, by increasing the “Firearm Weight” variable we will automatically be decreasing the “Recoil Energy”. This can easily be seen in larger calibers, where guns are always heavier than those of lower caliber.

The Lead Sled reduces recoil by adding weight to the shooting rest. The gun rest is a rigid structure. Thus, when firing is carried out, the firearm and the shooting rest end up becoming a single weight. Mathematically, the weight of the lead sled can be added to the firearm weight to yield the total “Firearm Weight” as used in the Recoil Energy equation above. As you can see, total Firearm Weight is inversely proportional to recoil energy, so, adding more weight to the lead sled will reduce the recoil energy. Current Lead Sled models can accept up to 100 lbs of extra weight (bags of lead shot) to increase overall weight. Although, lead shot is the best choice of weight due to its portability, uniformity, and availability.


What differs the Lead Sled from a traditional Rifle Rest?

The recoil reduction is the differential point of the Lead Sled for the other shooting rests, which even holding the firearm does not reduce the recoil in an expressive way. A traditional gun rest just holds and stabilizes the firearm, but does not restrain it. The recoil-reducting gun rest uses various methods to dissipate or absorb the recoil energy. Usually these equipments consist of a base, which has a movable carriage, with the gun resting on and fully affixed to the carriage. To allow linear motion, the carriage is moveably attached to the base.

Can I use it with my Shooting Bench?

Sure. During the accuracy tests of a firearm, the shooter commonly shoots the gun positioned in a shooting rest, which must be fixed firmly on a shooting bench. The shooter then fires the shot the way he feels better. This type of arrangement eliminates the human variants caused by the impossibility of the body to sustain the firearm in a perfect way, avoiding reflexes, tremors, etc. However, firing from a bench has the disadvantage of subjecting the shooter to more “effective recoil”.


The recoil energy does not increase when you shoot from the shooting bench, but more recoil energy will be transferred to your body if you are sitting. The standing position allows the whole body of the shooter to flex and partially absorb the recoil energy. In the sitting position only the torso can flex and absorb the recoil. Because of this phenomenon, when firing with a stronger caliber of a bench we end up feeling an unpleasant sensation, better known as “kicks like a mule”.

What are the most renowned brands of Lead Sleds?

The best-known brands among shooters when we talk about Lead Sled are Caldwell and Primos. Caldwell is the owner of the patent that has registered the weight adding shooting rest. They have a number of different models, ranging from the simplest, such as the Lead Sled Solo to the more advanced ones like the Caldwell Lead Sled DFT, which uses a technology called Dual Frame or the Caldwell FCX, which is known for the excellent mobility and amplitude of the firing angle. The Caldwell Lead Sled collection are probably the best option on the market these days.


Caldwell Lead Sled Models



Caldwell Lead Sled Solo
caldwell-solo-rifle-shooting-rest-e1467602596530_mini-1The Caldwell Lead Sled Solo, the most basic model in the category. But make no mistake, it’s a shooting rest built in high quality.

It is super simple and it does its job even with extended magazine and lever action rifles. It has a fast, precise elevation system that pivots the entire gun. The shooting rest control knob is in the center and can be reached either with the left or right hand. The Solo platform consists of three extremely stable legs with leveling knobs on the previous legs; A amazing 1-piece molded rubber cradle, and a rubberized front rest (“V” shaped) with elevation adjusting knobs. In addition, it includes a Velcro tie-down strap. An excellent Lead Sled that weighs only 14 pounds.

Of all the recoil reducing shooting rests, the Lead Sled Solo is definitely the one with the most affordable price. It is ideal for AR platforms, providing plenty of clearance for extended magazines and lever throws. It works best with rifles that produce around 20 foot pounds or less of rearward thrust. That means basically rifles from .30-06 on down, depending on gun weight. What it is not suitable for slug guns, patterning shotgun turkey loads or the hardest-kicking magnums. If these are your needs, it’s best to consider models like Lead Sled Plus that can be combined with up to 100 pounds of lead shot.

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Caldwell Lead Sled Plus Recoil Reducing Shooting Rest
Caldwell Lead Sled Plus Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest

This is the oldest of all the Caldwell’s Lead Sleds, the Plus. Like the DFT or the FCX, the original Lead Sled is ideal for those looking for recoil reduction and comes with a fully adjustable slide that accommodates virtually all rifles and shotguns.

According to Caldwell, this model as well as the Lead Sled DFT is perfect for magnum rifles and slug guns, as its recoil mechanism is extremely efficient. In addition, its tray allows a wide variety of objects to be used to aid in the reduction of recoil. You can use lead shot bags, sand bags, weightlifting plates or even dumbbells, which will help keep the sled fixed on your shooting bench. Moreover, this model has rubber feet in the front and rear, with the back foot being adjustable, which greatly increase the surface tension, thus reflecting in a better recoil reduction performance.

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Caldwell Lead Sled DFT

Perfect for rifle zeroing and shotgun patterning, the Cadwell Lead Sled DFT has probably the best value for money in the market of gun sleds. All this is due to the fact that in addition to the weight itself, it allows the addition of 100 pounds (four bags of lead shot), which makes it perfect for heavy guns.

Another advantage of the DFT is that it allows you to use rifles on the AR platform. Unlike other models, it allows the magazine to fit between the tubes. If you shoot assault rifles, the DFT is perfect for you.

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Caldwell Lead Sled FCX Fire Control
Caldwell Lead Sled_FCX

The latest Caldwell Lead Sled is the FCX. The FCXs Fire Control system allows the shooter to make fine windage and evelation adjustments to align rifle sights with the target using a joystick. At 100 yards, the control arm allows up to five feet of movement in any direction.

In addition, the FCX is easily adjustable for length to accommodate practically any shotgun or rifle. Another upgrade was the inclusion of a rubberized butt plate for the rifle at the back of the rest that looks way more durable than the other models, which use leather pads. The dual main beams of the FCX arc downward from the rear support to the main chassis to provide space for operating lever action rifles without removing them from the rest.

The FCX comes with a Cordura bag that has the exact shape to fit on the tray. This bag can be used with up to 50 pounds of lead shot. However, I do not suggest that you use the full capacity, since it is not very sturdy and can end up breaking. But this can easily be solved with another bag or using a little less weight.

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Famous brand in the world of shooting sticks, Primos also invests in other types of shooting rests, possessing a very successful model of lead sled. Although it does not have the patent for the product, its gun rest works in exactly the same way as the Caldwell Lead Sled, having as its main feature the possibility of adding weight as well as the Caldwell models. Undoubtedly an excellent option for those looking for a quality equipment, but with a lower price.

Primos Logo STL CMYK

Primos Hunting Lead Sled Models



Primos Group Therapy Bench Anchor Adjustable Shooting Rest

primo-shooting-restIf you are looking to fire “heavy recoil guns” like shotguns and rifles, it is best to get a lead sled that has a holder for the rear stock. You may notice that the best sleds on the market will have the butt guard, because without it the recoil goes straight to your upper body. With the Primos Group Therapy Bench Anchor Shooting Rest is no different, it has a butt guard to help reduce the amount of recoil energy generated by the gun being fired.

There are two things I really like about this equipment. The first is the fact that it is completely constructed of steel, that is, it has a strong and durable construction. Like all Caldwell Lead Sleds, the Primos Therapy has a weight tray. However, it divides into two trays, one on each side, which brings more stability to the shooting rest. The second thing I like the most is that the feet are studded, which help keep the entire setup grounded while firing. These two things combined make it an excellent Lead Sled by itself. However, I recommend adding a little weight to it if you’re going to use more powerful guns.

If you intend to use rifles like the AR15, you may need to use smaller magazines.

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