Shooting

The 10 Best Shooting Rests of 2021

Best Shooting Rests

Photo: Vanguard

If you’re a professional or casual target shooter, you can benefit from shooting rests, which are designed to enhance your firearm’s stability during sighting and firing.

For both competitive and novice shooters, shooting rests can make the difference between firing successful shots, or botching them entirely. 

They hold firearms in place while helping to improve aim, steadiness, and comfort. All that’s left is pulling the trigger. Some rests also reduce recoil by a significant margin.

Check out our shooting rests review to learn more about these accessories as you choose one that suits your shooting demands and styles.

10 Best Shooting Rests – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Caldwell DeadShot Combo

1. Caldwell DeadShot Combo (Best Overall)

  • Reliable & filled dual bags
  • Versatile multi-surface bags
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Convenient quick-connect system
Hiram SandBag

2. Hiram SandBag ( Best Inexpensive)

  • Affordable & value-packed
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Protects rifle finishes & surfaces
  • Compact & portable
Caldwell 336677

3. Caldwell 336677 (Best Heavy-Duty)

  • Flexible height adjustments
  • Rear recoil-reducing cradle
  • Versatile & ambidextrous
  • Rubber feet for no-skid support
Vanguard Porta-Aim

4. Vanguard Porta-Aim (Best for Benchrest Shooting)

  • Firm 3-stand bench support
  • Quick height adjustments
  • 360-degree bag swivel capacity
  • Compact while fully retracted
Caldwell 548664

5. Caldwell 548664 (Most Versatile)

  • Versatile rifle/shotgun/pistol rest
  • Supports ambidextrous use
  • Rugged & durable build
  • Easy & fast adjustments
Caldwell 1084745

6. Caldwell 1084745 (Best All-Weather)

  • All-weather construction
  • Comfortable ambidextrous seat
  • Perimeter ammunition rail
  • Convenient carrying handles
MTM K-Zone KSR-30

7. MTM K-Zone KSR-30 (Best for Pistols)

  • Optimized for pistol support
  • Versatile rifle support
  • Precision-dialed level adjustment
  • Non-marring rubber pads
Twod Rest Bags

8. Twod Rest Bags (Compact & Portable)

  • Portable & lightweight at 0.31 lbs.
  • Effective rifle finish protection
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Quick-connect shoulder straps
Guide Gear Bench Rest

9. Guide Gear Bench Rest (Highly Durable)

  • Durable steel construction
  • High-stability rifle support
  • Front & rear adjustable cradles
  • Reliable marring prevention
MTM Predator PSR-30

10. MTM Predator PSR-30 (With Superior Stability)

  • 4 stability-boosting rubber feet
  • Dual handgun & rifle support
  • Non-marring rubber grips
  • Precision-dialed level adjustment

PRODUCT

1. Caldwell DeadShot Combo

(Best Overall)

Caldwell DeadShot Combo
  • Reliable & filled dual bags
  • Versatile multi-surface bags
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Convenient quick-connect system

2. Hiram SandBag

(Best Inexpensive)

Hiram SandBag
  • Affordable & value-packed
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Protects rifle finishes & surfaces
  • Compact & portable

3. Caldwell 336677

(Best Heavy-Duty)

Caldwell 336677
  • Flexible height adjustments
  • Rear recoil-reducing cradle
  • Versatile & ambidextrous
  • Rubber feet for no-skid support

4. Vanguard Porta-Aim

(Best for Benchrest Shooting)

Vanguard Porta-Aim
  • Firm 3-stand bench support
  • Quick height adjustments
  • 360-degree bag swivel capacity
  • Compact while fully retracted

5. Caldwell 548664

(Most Versatile)

Caldwell 548664
  • Versatile rifle/shotgun/pistol rest
  • Supports ambidextrous use
  • Rugged & durable build
  • Easy & fast adjustments

6. Caldwell 1084745

(Best All-Weather)

Caldwell 1084745
  • All-weather construction
  • Comfortable ambidextrous seat
  • Perimeter ammunition rail
  • Convenient carrying handles

7. MTM K-Zone KSR-30

(Best for Pistols)

MTM K-Zone KSR-30
  • Optimized for pistol support
  • Versatile rifle support
  • Precision-dialed level adjustment
  • Non-marring rubber pads

8. Twod Rest Bags

(Compact & Portable)

Twod Rest Bags
  • Portable & lightweight at 0.31 lbs.
  • Effective rifle finish protection
  • Durable water-resistant build
  • Quick-connect shoulder straps

9. Guide Gear Bench Rest

(Highly Durable)

Guide Gear Bench Rest
  • Durable steel construction
  • High-stability rifle support
  • Front & rear adjustable cradles
  • Reliable marring prevention

10. MTM Predator PSR-30

(With Superior Stability)

MTM Predator PSR-30
  • 4 stability-boosting rubber feet
  • Dual handgun & rifle support
  • Non-marring rubber grips
  • Precision-dialed level adjustment

1. Best Overall Shooting Rests: Caldwell DeadShot Combo

Caldwell DeadShot Combo

Photo: Caldwell

  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 7.5 in. (front), 5 x 5 x 4.5 in. (rear)

Surface versatility, ease of use, durability, and portability convenience make the Caldwell DeadShot Combo our best overall shooting rests.

The combo set offers 2 high-quality bags for use on both front and rear rifle support. To facilitate easy and immediate use, these bags come filled with corn cob, which is reliable stability and recoil reduction.

These bags are highly versatile and will work on virtually all surfaces. They also support easy adjustment to any position, whenever required.

And you count on the bags’ durability thanks to their 600 Denier polyester construction, which is also water-resistant to support demanding outdoor applications.

Both bags implement a quick-connect system that secures them together to boost portability and organization.

You may notice the rear bag height of Caldwell DeadShot Combo is on the lower side, especially compared to that of the front bag.

Pros:

  • 2 high-quality filled bags
  • Works on many surfaces
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to transport

Cons:

  • Rear bag height could be bigger

2. Best Inexpensive Shooting Rest: Hiram SandBag

Hiram SandBag

Photo: Hiram

  • Material: Cloth
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 9 x 4.5 x 7.5 in. (front), 5 x 3.9 x 5.9 in. (rear)

Hiram SandBag shooting rest manages to bundle durability, compactness, and portability in a pocket-friendly price that is accessible to most budget buyers.

For less than $10, you get 2 high-quality rifle support bags (front and rear), which are made of durable 6000D water-resistant oxford cloth. It will remain strong even after years of regular use.

Both bags are made using non-marring material, to prevent any harm to your rifle’s finish. You can rest your rifle on them without worrying about damage.

Each of these bags has quick-connect should carrying straps, which simplify transportation while maximizing comfort as you embark on different outdoor shooting experiences.

Then there’s the quick-connect system that ensures the bags are constantly secured together, for both convenience and improved organization.

The Hiram SandBag shooting rest, however, comes unfilled. You will need to source the filling materials separately.

Pros:

  • Budget price
  • Durable construction
  • Reliable rifle protection
  • Easy to organize and transport

Cons:

  • The rest bags come unfilled

3. Best Heavy-Duty Shooting Rest: Caldwell 336677

Caldwell 336677

Photo: Caldwell

  • Material: Metal, Rubber
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 30 x 12 in.

The premium construction and features, superior recoil reduction, and enhanced stability of the Caldwell 336677 make it the best heavy-duty shooting rest on the market.

It is designed to maximize accuracy with front windage height adjustment that supports an elevation of up to 2.5 in. The finger-tip rear elevation is also supported to maximize flexibility.

The ambidextrous rest comes fitted with a high-performance rear cradle that reduces rifle recoil by up to 95%. A battled weight tray boost shot stability with its 100-lb weight load capacity.

Also, the front cradle is adjustable to accept rifles and shotguns of varying lengths. Multiple no-skip rubber feet ensure that the rifle rests firmly on flat surfaces, such as benches.

The heavy-duty Caldwell 336677 and its superior performance come at a high cost that won’t appeal much to budget buyers. Also, at 24 lbs., it is very heavy and not easily portable.

Pros:

  • Front and rear height adjustments
  • Excellent recoil reduction
  • Sliding front cradle for length adjustments
  • Rubber feet for skid prevention

Cons:

  • Expensive for the budget buyer
  • Heavy at 20 lbs.

4. Best Rifle Rest for Benchrest Shooting: Vanguard Porta-Aim

Vanguard Porta-Aim

Photo: Vanguard

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 5.71 x 12.6 in.

Vanguard Porta-Aim’s unique tripod design makes it the best rifle rest for benchrest shooting and enhanced rifle stability. 

Alongside the three bench-optimized support legs is a center column, which offers a single-hand adjustment ring you can operate easily as your other hand controls the rifle.

The support bag offers anti-vibration capabilities while its 360-degree swivel capacity supports operational flexibility, especially when you need to make quick target adjustments.

When the support columns are fully retracted, the entire unit becomes very compact. You can slot it in small backpack spaces and move around with it quite easily. Also, setting up the unit takes a few seconds.

Perhaps some users may find the absence of a rear rifle rest in the Vanguard Porta-Aim shooting rest a slight inconvenience.

Pros:

  • Optimized for bench rifle support
  • Easy height adjustment
  • Flexible anti-vibration bag
  • Compact and easy to transport

Cons:

  • No rear gun rests

5. Most Versatile Shooting Rest: Caldwell 548664

Caldwell 548664

Photo: Caldwell

  • Material: Metal, Neoprene
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 26 x 10 x 3 in.

Caldwell 548664 is a highly versatile shooting rest, and a favorite for many rifle owners because of its compatibility with rifles, shotguns, and pistols. It is also an ambidextrous rest for operational flexibility.

The shooting rest maximizes versatility through its 3-section assembly, which allows for connection and disconnection, providing the flexibility to support pistols, long rifles, and shotguns.

If you shoot comfortably with both hands, you’ll be pleased with the shooting rest’s ambidextrous support. And regardless of your dominant shooting side, accuracy is guaranteed by the vertical adjustability on the front cradle.

It boasts of a rugged constriction, which makes the entire unit virtually resistant to the elements. Also, the non-marring material in the front and the rear cradle is soft, to protect your rifles from scratching or tarnishing.

Then there’re the adjustment knobs that are positioned conveniently to simplify operation and maximize convenience.

The Caldwell 548664 is, without a doubt, a versatile shooting rest, but the absence of water-resistance may come as a disappointment to outdoor shooting enthusiasts.

Pros:

  • Compatible rifles, shotguns, and pistols
  • Offers ambidextrous support
  • Rugged durable construction
  • Simplified adjustments

Cons:

  • No water resistance

6. Best All-Weather Shooting Rest: Caldwell 1084745

Caldwell 1084745

Photo: Caldwell

  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 34 x 23 x 17 in.

The all-weather construction of Caldwell 1084745 makes a great shooting rest for outdoor and range shooting. Its benchtop is fully weatherproof and should thrive even in harsh conditions.

It is a unique shooting rest because of its table-and-seat design. Alongside the ambidextrous table that works great for left or right-handed shooters, there’s also an ambidextrous seat that pivots around the table to provide maximum shooting comfort.

There’s a unique tabletop perimeter rail, which is designed to keep ammo from rolling off the benchtop. Push-activated buttons simplify the folding process.

And for ease of carrying, the unit comes with molded handles that offer a firm grip while simplifying storage, as well.

Caldwell 1084745 doesn’t come cheap. It is a premium shooting rest that may not be a great fit for budget buyers. Also, at 30 lbs., it’s heavy for prolonged carrying in the hand.

Pros:

  • All-weather construction
  • Ambidextrous support
  • Comfort enhancing seat
  • Convenient ammunition management

Cons:

  • Not pocket-friendly
  • Weighty at 30 lbs.

7. Best Shooting Rest for Pistols: MTM K-Zone KSR-30

MTM K-Zone KSR-30

Photo: MTM

  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 16.54 x 8.07 x 14.37 in.

The high adjustability of MTM K-Zone KSR-30 makes it a great shooting rest for pistol handguns.

It comes with a unique handgun pad, which you can adjust to accommodate different pistols sizes. Removing the handgun pad entirely allows the shooting test to support rifle firearms as well.

Precision shooting is another area where this rest excels. It’s fitted with a precision-dialed screw pedestal, which adjusts the forearm level to achieve refined positioning.

Both the front and rear shooting pads are constructed using non-marring rubber, which protects your pistol and rifle finishes from scratching and any other contact damage.

Being a plastic shooting rest, the MTM K-Zone KSR-30 is not suitable for heavy-duty applications or use with high-recoil firearms.

Pros:

  • Optimized for pistol resting
  • Adjustable for rifles support
  • Precision-enhancing pedestal
  • Non-marring material constriction

Cons:

  • Not ideal for intensive shooting

8. Compact & Portable Shooting Rest: Twod Rest Bags

Twod Rest Bags

Photo: Twod

  • Material: Polyester, Leather, Cloth
  • Weight: 0.31 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10 x 8.5 x 6 in.

The lightweight and compact nature of Twod Rest Bags make it a highly portable shooting rest that is convenient to carry.

The entire set is compact and lightweight at 0.31 lbs. only. Moving around with it on your shooting adventures should not be an issue. Both bags also have quick-connect shoulder straps for ease of transportation.

The durability of this rest bag set is guaranteed by its premium water-resistant 600 Denier polyester main material. Not only are the bags great for outdoor use, but they will remain sturdy even after years of use.

Your rifle materials and finishes are also protected by the bags’ oxford cloth and soft leather materials, which are non-marring. They prevent the rifle from developing unwanted marks or scratches.

The Twod Rest Bags do, however, come unfilled, and you will need to purchase the filling material separately.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Enhanced bag organization
  • Durable water-resistant materials
  • Protects rifle finishes from scratches

Cons:

  • Bags come unfilled

9. Highly Durable Shooting Rest: Guide Gear Bench Rest

Guide Gear Bench Rest

Photo: Guide Gear

  • Material: Powder-Coated Steel
  • Weight: 5.18 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 4.5 x 8.25 in.

Gear Bench Rest a highly stable and durable shooting rest. The entire bench rest features strong steel construction, which has a powder-coat finish.

This powder-coated steel construction also guarantees the durability of this rest. It will provide you with years of reliable service.

This is the same material used on the 3 legs that provide exceptional support and stability for your guns.

Both the rear yoke and the front cradle are adjustable, boosting the rest’s ability to hold virtually any firearm.

Soft rubber has been added to the front supports, for the prevention of rifle marring. Also, the non-slip feet of this rest boost stability especially during intensive firing.

Without support for length adjustments, the Guide Gear Bench Rest struggles in holding long rifles.

Pros:

  • Strong steel construction
  • Enhanced rifle stability
  • Adjustable rifle cradles
  • Prevent rifle damage

Cons:

  • Inflexible for long rifle support

10. Rifle Shooting Rest with Superior Stability: MTM Predator PSR-30

MTM Predator PSR-30

Photo: MTM

  • Material: Polypropylene, Rubber
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 21 x 19 x 6 in.

The rubber feet of the MTM Predator PSR-30 shooting rest makes it highly stable for reliable rifle and handgun support.

This rest comes with 4 rubber feet, which provide even and slip-free support, especially on shooting benches. The enhanced stability and solid hold of this shooting rest also boost your firearm’s shooting accuracy.

A unique 2-piece design allows this shooting rest to hold both rifles and handguns reliably well, while minimizing its overall weight to just 3.5 lbs., for ease of portability.

Both of the shooting pads on this shooting rests have been fitted with non-marring rubber, which not only protects your firearms from damage but also boosts gripping capacity for different gun stocks and barrels.

Finally, a precision-dialed screw pedestal allows for forearm level adjustments to achieve precise firearm positioning.

The lightweight build of the MTM Predator PSR-30 does, however, lower the shooting rest’s recoil absorption capacity, making it unsuitable for powerful rifles.

Pros:

  • Stability-enhancing rubber feet
  • Versatile handgun and rifle support
  • Enhanced firearm grip capacity
  • Precision-boosting height adjustments

Cons:

  • Poor recoil absorption

How to Buy the Best Shooting Rests

How to Buy the Best Shooting Rests

Photo: Caldwell

1. Types of Shooting Rest

Lead Sled Shooting Rests: Optimized for high recoil reduction, by as high as 95%, though energy absorbing, which is made possible by weights added to the “sled”.

Shooters who use high-caliber rifles could benefit from lead sled rests because it reduces injuries and strain.

On the downside, these rests tend to be heavy because of their elaborate constructions.

Bench Shooting Rests: More-refined rests designed to support competitive shooting firearms. They are very comfortable, which makes them ideal for shooting rest beginners.

Bench rests are, however, chunky because they incorporate many components within them. They are not the easiest to carry.

Shooting Pods: These types of rests assume the form of either tripods or bipods. A tripod has 3 legs that offer self-supporting capabilities, while bipods have 2.

Bipods are the most popular and work great in areas with space limitations, such as target and sport shooting.

They, however, struggle in recoil reduction because they are not optimized for such.

2. Compatibility

It’s wise to confirm whether your choice of shooting rest is compatible with the firearm(s) you own. Currently, the market offers shooting rests that are compatible with rifles and pistols or both.

Since most rests support some level of length and height adjustability, such offer near-universal firearm compatibility.

That said, you can check shooting rests for some features that may hint at their compatibility. For instance, a wide front cradle will support wide-barrel rifles.

A versatile shooting rest such as Caldwell 548664 is compatible with rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

3. Functionality

Depending on the kind of shooting you do and firearms you use, it’s important to consider whether you need a front or back rifle rest, or a unit that combines both functionalities.

A lot of the heavy-duty shooting rests in the market offer both front and rear firearm support. And this enhanced functionality contributes to performance enhancement such as increased accuracy and recoil reduction.

Professional shooters may benefit from dual rests because they support large and powerful firearms reliably well.

4. Recoil Reduction

Besides offering a platform to support your firearms, shooting rests can also offer some degree of recoil reduction, especially if they are heavy-duty models.

Rear rifle cradles may implement rubber paddings or cushioning bags to absorb the recoil generated by powerful weaponry.

It’s worth mentioning that some light-duty rests, such as those made of cloth, polyester, or leather, are not very reliable in recoil reduction, even those they are light and portable.

5. Adjustment

Some adjustments you need to consider when choosing a shooting rests include height and length. Height adjustment is important for the achievement of the ideal firearm elevation.

A rest that supports height adjustments allows you to set the most comfortable elevation for your firearms.

Length adjustment is mostly offered by rests that support both pistols and different-sized rifles. Because some rests accommodate different sizes of firearms, length adjustment is an essential feature for these.

6. Ease of Transportation

The ease of transporting your rifle rest depends on its weight and size. Heavy rests may support powerful rifles and boost stability, but they are inherently hard to transport because of weight-related limitations.

Lightweight shooting rests, typically up to 3 lbs. in weight, are easy to transport. From our review, the 0.31-lbs Twod Rest Bags is the most portable.

Note, however, that although lightweight shooting rests are easy to carry around, they are not the most ideal for heavy-duty applications and weapons that generate high recoil.

Conclusion

Our shooting rests review shows the value these firearm accessories can add to both enthusiasts and competitive shooters.

If you want the best of them all, choose Caldwell DeadShot Combo. It is a versatile set that offers both front and rear rifle support. Also, the rest is water-resistant and durable.

If you’re on a tight budget, Hiram SandBag is a reliable and durable shooting rest that’s also very pocket-friendly.

And if you use powerful high-caliber rifles for intensive shooting, then the heavy-duty Caldwell 336677 shooting rest is a wise choice especially given its excellent recoil reduction capacity.

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