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Thread: Lead sled

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy


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    Lead sled

    I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so here goes. Even fairly light slug loads deliver enough recoil to be uncomfortable. I have been considering a Caldwell Lead Sled and wanted to hear from Cast Boolits shooters. Anybody have one and like/dislike? Or, has anyone made something similar? Let me know.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Omega's Avatar
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    I have one, thoroughly enjoy using it when I'm working up ladders. I use two bags full of lead shot which absorbs practically all the recoil, though steel weights can also be used.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy


    foesgth's Avatar
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    I have a similar product from another company. I use old window weights for ballast. It makes testing much less painful. Some of these stout loads shot from the bench will rattle your fillings!
    "There jist ain't many folk who live a peaceful, carefree life.
    Along with all the good times there'll be lotsa grief and strife.

    But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix
    With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a question on their use and zero. I have experienced numerous times, a rifle that moved zero, some times A Lot, when hand held(hunting) vs shot from a bench. A 45-70 handi was the most notable, anyway. Do users of the lead sled see this shift of zero when shooting without the sled? Do you just use for “repeatability” testing and the zero for hunting without it?? Really just curious.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I haven't noticed a difference between the zeros. You have to make sure you don't unnaturally hold down the muzzle when you fire, let it rise as if you were shooting off a bag or off-hand.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  6. #6
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    I have done a bunch of testing with a Lead Sled. For stouter loads you really do need one to properly evaluate groups, as they take the brutal recoil out of the picture.

    However when doing the final sighting in of the gun you need to shoot it off a simple rest and let the Recoil do it's thing. Otherwise you get a different zero.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Not quite what you are looking for and not a lead sled but...

    I was getting beat up pretty badly by slug loads a couple of years ago and decided enough was enough! I decided the biggest issue for me sitting at the bench shooting 12 ga. slug loads off sand bags was that I was leaning into the gun way to much so absorbing way more recoil than I wanted. My solution was to make bench top cross sticks with a base so it sits on top of the shooting bench and I can sit straight up. The difference in felt recoil is amazing! I have no problem shooting quite a number of slugs now without getting beat up.

    The cross sticks were really easy to built and provide a good solid but adjustable rest along with eliminating the pounding from recoil.

    Even if you go the lead sled this is still a nice addition and would work with rifles and handguns as well.

    Just a thought.

    Longbow

  8. #8
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    My Caldwell lead sled absorbs most of the recoil but makes holding and shooting the gun a little awkward.

    My 06 was beating me up pretty badly so I bought https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    great investment, comfortable and they make th4e stock just a little longer.

    If I wat to get another lead sled I would get one with a leather strap around the but of the gun, this handles the recoil and makes holding/sighting the gum much easier/more natural.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the responses, Seems, like many other things “it depends”. I avoid the recoil of heavy loads, 1 I generally dont own stuff that kicks my brains out. And 2 I shoot things like that 6 lb 45-70 at a very high test so I am standing. I am not worried about the ultimate perfect accuracy load, just that it has the required accuracy, and more important the precision needed”zero”. Not as stable as a sitting bench, but I am an old 3 position shooter. Like the high rest described above, it really helps with recoil.

    Origin of my question is a work buddy always uses his lead sled, has also had trouble with missing deer. Wondering if there might be a correlation.
    Last edited by rking22; 02-02-2020 at 11:53 AM.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  10. #10
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    I have had one, and it's #1 "plus" to me is that when my older son moved out, many years back, he left his weight bench and weights -- instead of shot, I stack weight-lifting weights on mine, which makes it soooo much easier and more portable for me -- both to load and unload pickup bed with weights, as well as set up at range. The real "cons" for me are but two: The first is it is not the best in REPEATABILITY of holding for firing. E.g, to ladder-test or ascertain "zero" of a load. And, the second is that it will move on bench.
    To "solve" these problems I contacted Wally Brownlee in Watertown, South Dakota, and purchased his Target Shooting Rifle Rest 1000 -- https://www.targetshooting.com/produ...lp-rifle-rest/ -- which is, and has been, imho "awesome" re both consistent holding and not moving on bench.Click image for larger version. 

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    geo

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I, too, have one and use it to great effect when doing ladder tests and zeroing scopes / sights. I've enclosed a #25 bag of shot in a heavy a handy carry bag w/ handles which makes the whole pack out to the range very easy. Addressing the device does pose some issues and wasn't comfortable until I lowered the range stool radically and approached it from more the side than the rear. Once nestled into it, it became very easy to use. Saves my rotten shoulder and eliminates the human (almost) variables when analyzing ammo. Love it for what it does.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I used one that a buddy has. It is a bit of a pain to use if you need the bags of shot as it is barely portable. But it does reduce recoil significantly.

    My only heavy recoiling rifle is a .300 Win Mag but I added a muzzle brake so I do not need the Lead Sled. If I shot more of the heavy stuff, I would get one.

    Cannot comment on issue of zero shifting.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I don’t care for the Lead Sled . I realize there’s a place for them , just not for me . I find them very uncomfortable to use . My normal setup is a front machine rest and a bunny bag in the back . Over the course of a year I’ll shoot a bunch of stuff stouter than a 12 gauge 3” slug load . For me trying to deal with the back of the lead sled against my shoulder makes the thing very unusefull to me , but to each his own . When I worked up loads for a friends 505 Gibbs I started out putting a bag of shot between my shoulder and the butt of the gun , but to me that’s also uncomfortable and rather quickly got rid of the bag of shot . For me atleast it seems to work okay if I sight in out the bags same as anything else just with the heavier hitters I take a bit longer in between shots .
    Go Manny Pacquiao !!!

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  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    I know my zero from any sort of rest doesn't match my offhand zero. I'll agree with the above comments that a lead sled, or any rest is good for high-volume shooting to evaluate loads, but I do my final sight adjustments without one. A limb-saver slip-on pad and a little weight in the stock really takes the bite out of slugs, so the full blown Caldwell setup may not even be necessary for your purposes...just a front sandbag and a good pad may work just fine.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy gumbo333's Avatar
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    For practice with hard kickers if you don't like shooting off crossed sticks, it isn't hard to rig up a simple stand up shooting rest using a sawhorse, a few old 2 x 4's and a piece of old rug/ carpet. The hard kick isn't near so bad standing up. You will likely be standing when shooting a slug gun hunting. But 1 shot sitting in a blind isn't that bad if a deer is in your sights.
    Never trade luck for skill.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Noticed this was in the Shotgun section and wanted to add:

    I would not be too concerned about POI change if there even is one. We are talking Minute of Baseball groups at 50 yards with a shotgun anyway.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Agreed, I just took the opportunity to run down a squirrel I had been wondering about
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    tree rat with a 45-70 ? ok I just run over with the truck
    Zero is not the gun or the sled its the user

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I had a lead sled, and sold it. The biggest problem with it, is that it was very difficult to get behind it, and in a proper shooting position. There was always the bulk, and the tray keeping me from good posture. It was too tall for a bench, too short to stand. It did soak up recoil, but it also shifted the POI too much to trust it for a zero. Instead I use a standard rifle rest, or sandbags, depending on what I feel like using. For recoil, nothing has come close to absorbing the pain like the Caldwell magnum recoil pad that you wear over your shoulder. Not even the lead sled with a bag of shot on it was as good. You could likely load up the lead sled with multiple bags of shot, and strap the gun in, but that doesn't sound very good to me.

    The one and only drawback to the recoil pad is that it adds length, over 1" in my case. This can cause you to have to move farther forward than normal to see through the scope. I find it's not bad off a bench, as you are naturally closer to the scope than in field shooting positions anyway.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Not quite what you are looking for and not a lead sled but...

    I was getting beat up pretty badly by slug loads a couple of years ago and decided enough was enough! I decided the biggest issue for me sitting at the bench shooting 12 ga. slug loads off sand bags was that I was leaning into the gun way to much so absorbing way more recoil than I wanted. My solution was to make bench top cross sticks with a base so it sits on top of the shooting bench and I can sit straight up. The difference in felt recoil is amazing! I have no problem shooting quite a number of slugs now without getting beat up.

    The cross sticks were really easy to built and provide a good solid but adjustable rest along with eliminating the pounding from recoil.

    Even if you go the lead sled this is still a nice addition and would work with rifles and handguns as well.

    Just a thought.

    Longbow
    Tripod shooting sticks work great standing up. I use them for magnum rifles and shotguns.
    Most people would sooner die than think, in fact, they do so. -B. Russell

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check