Best Rest

AR Mag Clearance Plus Precise Adjustments

Caldwell’s Precision Turret Shooting Rest solves the 30-round AR magazine problem.

Rejoice AR shooters! After years of making-do with a jumble of makeshift rests for an AR fed from a 30-round magazine, I found nirvana while walking the aisles at the SHOT Show. It’s Caldwell Shooting Supplies’ “Precision Turret Shooting Rest.”

Remember strange sounding names like Wheeler Engineering Gunsmithing Supplies, Tipton Gun Cleaning Supplies, Battenfeld Technologies, Frankfort Arsenal Reloading Tools and, of course, Caldwell Shooting Supplies? They were brands that grew out of the fertile mind of Larry Potterfield — founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. Well, guess where they ended up?

All those brands plus other familiar brands like Crimson Trace, Thompson/Center, Gemtech Suppressors and BOG-POD are now members of the American Outdoor Brands Corp., formerly known as the Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
Frankly, I love to sniff out neat, and often overlooked, shooting stuff at the Shot Show. Visiting the booth that housed all the new products under all those crazy brand names was a revelation I will share with you in coming months.

I’ve struggled to find an ideal shooting rest for the AR. Tried them all, including high rabbit ears and bull bags. None was particularly comfortable and stable, and the long 30-round magazine was always hard to keep from touching the benchtop. The Precision Turret Shooting Rest changes all this.

The new rest arrives partially disassembled, but with the single Allen wrench included in the kit, assembly takes only 5 minutes. It is beautifully built — real first-class construction. It’s heavy for its size, tipping 10 lbs. on my Sunbeam scale, lending stability to the whole platform.

The rest is designed as a stable tripod. The forward leg telescopes in and out and locks for elevation adjustments. Finer elevation adjustments are made via a wheel controlling the angle of the pistol grip rest perched between the two rear legs. Yes, a pistol grip rest designed specifically for the AR but accommodating conventional pistol grips as well!
Possibly the most interesting feature of the rest is the forend clamp. I was a little skeptical at first. Clamp the forend in place? We’ve been conditioned to ensuring the forend is a loose, sliding fit in the front bag, so I shot comparative groups with an AR and a conventional sporter stocked rifle, both clamped in place and free to move on standard bags. The result? No difference in average group sizes. Frankly, I was surprised.

The front turret rest — riding on ball bearings — is free to traverse from side to side and forward and back. It can be locked in place or left loose. When shooting, I left it loose so the rifle rocked forward and backward. When the forend of an AR is gently clamped in place and the pistol grip is resting on its shelf, a 30-round magazine will not touch the ground or benchtop.

I love this new Caldwell rest. The MSRP is $129.99. The website will even locate the nearest dealer for you.

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