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  #1  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:56 AM
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Leadsled Vs Sandbags


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I am a recent convert to re-loading and increased time at the range led me to purchase a Leadsled device primarily to reduce the recoil wear and tear on me. My problem is that my group sizes when using the Sled are appreciably larger than off the bags.

I have tried various combinations of tension, grip, and pressure on the Sled foreend support but have seen no improvement in the reduction of group sizes with the Sled.

The reduction of recoil impact is real but interpreting the size of the resulting groups is a continuing problem. Do I just assume that group sizes with the Sled are always relative to each other or are there any suggested techniques anyone can offer to improve the situation?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:04 AM
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just a suppose on my part but ive thought it might be true,,for a while....
could the sled possibly inhibit the funtion of the gun as it don t let your guns give a tad.... i once rigged a vice with soft grip ,,to sight guns ,,work onum an such...i quit as it seemed to me the action took an awful whipping from the explosion,,when an 06 etc was fired...
i come strait off sandbags now only...im not saying this is right but
just my way of trying to be less rough on my gun....
never thought it might affect accuracy on some guns...
but i did nearly give a nef in 243 away one time at the range....
an previously accurate gun was all over the place...i credited shooting it to hot with being the problem...but might have been that vise messing accuracy up...never know now i guess...i know that old boy was glad to get it an didn t bicker..good luck brother... slim
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:54 PM
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I've never been real fond of the concept of anything that prevents a rifle from doing what it wants to do.

I've never been behind a "Lead Sled" or a "Bob Sled" ever!

Sand bags(or similar) are wonderful tools IME. Takes most of my "wobble" away.

Same rifle/load will shoot to same POA when I shoot off-hand. Groups get bigger though because of ME.

I don't participate in shooting sports. Hunt and shoot for pleasure and relaxsation only here.

Cheezywan
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:06 PM
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I have a lead sled and it actually helped my groups as I'm am not the steadiest person in the world, as far as holding it i just grip the firearm as i would off a bag or whatever and the sled itself will actually slide backwards from the recoil especially on something like a slug gun. I like mine, but you know some people like fords and some people like Chevrolet.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:46 PM
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Everyone has an opinion....so here's mine!

Lead sleds, when used to reduce most or all recoil to the shoulder, are a scope repair house dream, or nightmare, depending on the warranty on the scope! If you load up the sled with sandbags, lead shot bags, etc, to where the rifle is allowed to recoil very little, you are putting a lot of stress on your equipment; your stock and scope/mounts. What is happening is the time of recoil is reduced, thereby raising the resultant forces on the equipment. I believe a lot of scopes are destroyed this way. Your shoulder/body recoils with the rifle. You load up a lead sled, and it doesn't allow much recoil.

This is certainly very caliber/cartridge-dependent on the amount of recoil produced and the affect, of course. I wouldn't have much concern in locking down a 243 Win in a lead sled, vs a 338 Win Mag, where I would be concerned about the stock and the scope.

With respect to accuracy, I do think that std sandbag rests are more repeatable for shot placement as they allow the rifle to recoil naturally without very restrictive hold points at the butt and forearm that can result in moments that can throw shots off. Unless you are really good at repeating the hold point from previous shots. Again, very caliber/cartridge-dependent. If you have a heavy kicker that you have to reposition the lead-sled after every shot, probably not going to get repeatable results.
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2009, 05:19 AM
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I get good groups using my Lead Sled, but I never put any extra weight in it. I am afraid that it would damage my stocks and scopes if I loaded it up with bags of shot. The sled itself is heavy enough to dampen recoil without adding weight to it.

You don't specify whether you are using added weight, but if you are, you might want to try using the sled alone. Mine is a nice steady rest, and it does move enough in recoil to avoid damaging anything if it doesn't have any added weight. I am able to get sub MOA groups using it with a variety of rifles.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2009, 09:03 AM
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I know archery, that's was my thing. Back then there was the use of shooting machines to shoot the bow. However, a sight is sighted in to the user's way of holding the bow, so you'll never get the same results as a shooting machine.

Seemingly very similar, if you attach your gun to a leadsled, the recoil will be completely different. The gun will react differently to each method used; ie, with or without a leadsled. You are sighting in your scope to match the gun and if you manipulate the reaction of the gun by "sleding" it down, then you are asking for two different affects to react the same and they won't.

I once was all over the place on the target and didn't realize I was placing my barrel on the rest instead of the forearm. There was a HUGE difference in bullet impact and it took me a while to figure that one out.

Marksman
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2009, 11:57 AM
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Gentlemen:

I should add that I use the sled with 2 different 30-06 and a 7mm-08. None of my reloads are anywhere near maximum and I would estimate that mormal recoil with all three rifles would be termed "medium". I usually load the Sled with two standard sandbags/maybe 8-10 pounds dead weight so the sled does recoil a bit on each shot as I usually have to re-position the sled after each shot.

The concept that a rifle recoil chartacteristics would vary from sand bags only to Sled makes sense to me. I think the conclusion I have reached is to use the Sled for inital load developoment and work up but use bags only for final sight-in purposes.

Regards

Brad
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2009, 01:52 PM
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I had a lead sled slide my scope in it's rings on the .325 WSM. The gun cant give, so something has to take the force. If you can't take the recoil from the bench, you shouldnt be shooting it.
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2009, 01:58 PM
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Use sandbags!!!!
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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I'm sure you have all seen the ad on TV where the guy puts an egg between his shoulder and the butt of the magnum rifle, with the result of the egg not breaking.
That recoil has got to go somewhere, and it puts undo stress on the rifle and scope, not to mention the bedding of the rifle.
I use bags and shoot lighter calibers.
Some wooden stocks are made from softer wood than others, and some are bedded better than others. I would think that would make up a lot of difference in you shooting your rifles and getting difference results from the sled and the bags.
Good Luck
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Last edited by tpv; 08-22-2009 at 04:42 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2009, 03:02 AM
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Ive never tried one but it looks like the sled would put you in a slightly different shooting position. Might effect your groups. Tried the standard vice holding the rifle. Got shotgun patterns. For guns with a lot of recoil I use a high sandbag position. Make it high enough so that your back is straight and not leaning forward. That way your back can move with the recoil. I had a 375 H&H years ago and found that the neeling position over sandbags worked well to reduce recoil. The guys who regulate big bore double guns use a standing rest.
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:41 AM
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I use a regular rifle cradle that supports the forearm on a sandbag and the buttstock fits into a "V" with a leather strap to keep the stock from sliding back. There is still quite a bit of recoil even though the rest does help some. Plus, the rest will slide rearward from the recoil - my shoulder takes the rest. The forearm is free to do what it needs to do. I get good accuracy from this rest and I don;t suspect there is much wear-and-tear on my rifle and scope because of it.
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  #14  
Old 08-23-2009, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beartracker View Post
Use sandbags!!!!

Yep.

There are rests that have rubber grip surfaces to reduce recoil but will not damage the gun. Some heavy recoiling rifles will just beat stocks and scopes anyway, regardless. My .350 Rem Mag moved the scope in the rings and cracked the stock directly behind the receiver. Ruger replaced the stock under warranty and I got the scope tightened down so it didn't slide anymore, but its a good thing it didn't happen while hunting.
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2009, 01:45 PM
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I've used sandbags to support the rifle on a bench. But that doesn't help my shoulder much. I tried for a time to put a bag of shot between the butt of the gun and my shoulder, but was concerned about wear-and-tear on the scope, screws, etc., so decided to just use a good thick towel folded and used as an additional recoil-pad when shooting hard-kicking rifles from the bench. It's not perfect, but helps a lot and still allows the rifle to move under recoil.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:23 PM
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I know a guy that wears a life jacket for the padding to help with recoil. I've never tried it he swears by it I just prefer to wear mine when i'm going down the lake.
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  #17  
Old 08-26-2009, 06:53 PM
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I'm don't see how a lead sled should be bad on a scope. The stock, bedding etc. sure, but not the scope.

The recoil is from the cartridge, which rests against the bolt, which is locked into the receiver, which is bedded to the stock. Any of those could see damage but (as I see it) the scope is just along for the ride, so the less the scope moves, the better it would be for it. (That is, using a lead sled would be better for your scope.)

I don't have any experience in this so maybe one of you guys could tell me: what am I missing?
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrandenigma View Post
I'm don't see how a lead sled should be bad on a scope. The stock, bedding etc. sure, but not the scope.

The recoil is from the cartridge, which rests against the bolt, which is locked into the receiver, which is bedded to the stock. Any of those could see damage but (as I see it) the scope is just along for the ride, so the less the scope moves, the better it would be for it. (That is, using a lead sled would be better for your scope.)

I don't have any experience in this so maybe one of you guys could tell me: what am I missing?

Ok, lets say you were standing on top of a log, and then a truck slammed into it. What is going to happen ? The log is going to try and move out from under you. You won't move the same as it does. Same with the scope. As the gun jars backwards, the scope goes forward. The lead sled stops the rifle from giving backwards, so then that energy has to go somewhere. I noticed my groups were moving, and I couldnt figure out why until I tried adjusting the power down on the scope. It had slid the scope so far forward it had jammed the power adjustment ring. Take it from me, a lead sled, can hurt a scope. That same day, it broke a Simmons that was on a 30-30.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2009, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper13 View Post
I know a guy that wears a life jacket for the padding to help with recoil. I've never tried it he swears by it I just prefer to wear mine when i'm going down the lake.
When shooting stout loads off the bench (checking for accuracy) with my guide gun 45-70 I'll use a doubled up sweatshirt. Takes the sting out of it. Otherwise it's my thin single tshirt. Ouch.

From there it's standing and sitting position only. Nothing beats practice through simulation of shooting situations (weather and wind included).
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  #20  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:40 AM
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limb savers are not that high... even got one on my 20 gage an 30 30..
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