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So how do a variety of long guns fit the Rifleman's Rest? Let's
take a look.
Here is a typical bolt action rifle. This one happens to be a
chambered in .223 Rem. This conventional stock rifle might be the more
common style you'll find in a rest. It fit perfectly at the front and rear
bags. A minute decrease in elevation is easily done by simply sliding the
rifle slightly forward. The stock will ride upwards in the rear bag
causing the barrel to drop a bit. Of course, major changes are done with
the front adjustable legs.
Even with a Daniel Defense Omega 7.0 rail on my M&P 15, there is no problem with the fit of the front bag to the rail. When put on the rest, the M&P 15 snuggled right down into position. I will mention that an AR using a 20 round magazine worked just fine. When I moved up to the 30 round magazine, it was a no-go situation since the taller magazine prevented the rifle from fitting properly in the rest. For me, that is not an issue since even 20 rounds is overkill for working up a load or sighting in an optic.
Obviously, the front bag can't perfectly fit every style of
rifle forearm out there....just like pantyhose, once size won't fit all.
It makes sense that different sizes be available, and they are. Protector
Model has 3 widths in the style used on the Rifleman's Rest. I checked
with Mike and his rest comes with the #1 (smallest) size. The HS Precision
stock on my Savage 10
FCP has a very wide forearm....wide enough to say that it is pretty
much flat across the bottom. I might pick up a #2 front bag for when I
shoot the Savage. Mike told me not to worry much about the fit, as along
as part of the forearm is in the bag and it is stable, it will work. I'm
not worried since the front bags aren't even $20.
Here is a FNH FNAR 7.62x51, with a 20 round magazine, sitting in the rest. I know for a fact that this works as intended as I put a few rounds down range using this rifle in the rest. Any long gun with a pistol grip will limit the movement of the rifle in the rest but as I said, I had no problems putting the FNAR on target and obtaining a rock steady reticle.
One thing to take note of....this is not the kind of rest that you want if you are recoil sensitive or worried about shooting a big caliber rifle. This rest does not reduce or absorb recoil. It was never intended to do so. In my opinion, if you can't handle the recoil of the rifle, don't shoot it....or better yet, sell it to someone who can. I did this years ago on a SOB magnum that I got for a great price....and I've no regrets of ridding myself of it.
Mike told me that a person could break their stock on these big heavy rests that hold 25 or 50 pounds of weight to absorb the recoil. He explained to me that the stock was never designed to take all that impact by itself....it was designed to be against your shoulder that would roll and move with the big recoil. I clipped this out of a forum I was reading just yesterday....."I got a store credit for the lead sled I bought. I took it back after it caused my 1979 700 stock to crack and knocked the scope loose on my 7mm-8. The salesman THEN told me they had a few other returns for the same reason. I also found this to have affected other folks that reported this on another forum." It was obvious that Mike was quite correct in that some rests can and will do damage to your rifle. Thanks but no thanks....I'll pass on that!
Mike did mention that he has used his rest when shooting prone. In fact, he stated that this rest and a shooting mat makes a pretty good setup for varmint hunting. I had never considered this but if you are varmint hunting in fairly close proximity to your vehicle where you don't have to worry about carrying extra gear a long distance, it just might be worth a try.
Well, that about wraps up this review of the Rifleman's Rest. I know that when my range buddy sees mine, he'll want to give it a try. He has a Remington 700 that needs some load development and this is what this rest is all about. I'll let him try it with a dozen rounds....then hand him the extra business card with Mike's contact info. After that, he'll have to get his own. <grin> I'll report back as to how it is working after I get some more range time on it.