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Dirty Harry
02-10-2009, 09:12 PM
I'm new to benchrest and getting ready to enter my first match here in Phoenix. I have most of the necessary gear but still need a few more items. The front rest, as you know, is quite a pricey piece of equipment and getting a good one that will last is very important.

I have been looking at the Fire control rest by Caldwell. It seems a little inexpensive at $300 but it looks like a good rest. I especially like the single arm control of both elevation and azimuth. Has anyone got any experience with this rest?

Please recommend any other rests you guys think are the best. Even the $800 ones. OY!

Butch Lambert
02-10-2009, 09:18 PM
Don't buy it!
Butch

Bro.D
02-10-2009, 09:46 PM
this is one of those items that the rule is true, "Buy once, cry once." Not that you have to buy the most expensive one out there but go ahead and take the plunge and buy a quality unit. There are several that will serve you well, look at some match reports that list front rests and you will see a few trends. From the 2006 Nationals equipment list Farley, Hart, Bald Eagle, Sinclair, Loh, were all mentioned with the Farley leading the pack.
Since Phoenix will be your first match see if there isn't one you can borrow. If you let the need be known, I'm almost positive someone will have a good one you can borrow. Also, have some money in hand as it is likely you will find one in Phoenix that will fit your needs, or should I say wants.
Bro.D

Dirty Harry
02-10-2009, 10:55 PM
Okay thanks. I have done some poking around and it doesn't look like the Caldwell is a good choice.

Fine, Farley and Fudd seem to be the benchers rest of choice. How do I get one? Googled both and got nada.

Earl Horgeshime
02-10-2009, 11:06 PM
check you mail

CHRIS.T
02-11-2009, 03:35 AM
Or what about a shade tree joystick top mated with a decent base,I have used one/own one fitted to a Caldwell Rock BR base and it is as good as anything I have used(after thought,this may not mean that much),but I can assure you that the Shade Tree top is quality and wont break the bank.


Regards Chris

Dick Grosbier
02-11-2009, 04:33 AM
Excellent starting out rest is the Cowan rest made by the students of Joe Cowan at the Altoona Technical School. It Is very inexpensive (around $250 delivered to your door) and funds a very worthwhile program.

Joe can be reached at jcowan1@aasdcat.com

http://grosbier.com/cowan.jpg

JerrySharrett
02-11-2009, 04:36 AM
As to the Shade Tree tops, Joel Kendrick has sold a bunch of them to his buddies in the 600/1000 yard game. I can't use a toggle since I have a bad flinch. The top of the line non-toggle is the Loh (JJ Industries on the main page of this forum).

Redrock
02-11-2009, 08:20 AM
but you cant' get one till next season maybe, I use a caldwell rock with a better bag and sinclair speed screw...screw is on order.

Newcomer
02-11-2009, 08:50 AM
I bought a Farley from Bruno's last November. I was expecting about a 4 - 6 mo. wait but I received it in two weeks. They keep a standing order with Farley. :)

macflyboy
02-11-2009, 08:57 AM
I really like my John Lo JJ industries. Solid and fast. Hard to beat > cry once!
A work of art.:eek:

MAC

macflyboy
02-11-2009, 09:00 AM
Sorry John forgot the H John Loh.

goodgrouper
02-11-2009, 11:49 AM
i really like my john lo jj industries. Solid and fast. Hard to beat > cry once!
A work of art.:eek:

Mac

+1!:d

goodgrouper
02-11-2009, 11:52 AM
this is one of those items that the rule is true, "Buy once, cry once." Not that you have to buy the most expensive one out there but go ahead and take the plunge and buy a quality unit. There are several that will serve you well, look at some match reports that list front rests and you will see a few trends. From the 2006 Nationals equipment list Farley, Hart, Bald Eagle, Sinclair, Loh, were all mentioned with the Farley leading the pack.


This is so true. Even if you buy a $800 rest, it's still peanuts compared to all the money you'll waste buying bullets, powder, primers, barrels and machine work trying to troubleshoot a cheap, faulty rest. Believe me. Buy a good rest with no slop or wiggle and live happily ever after.

Dirty Harry
02-11-2009, 12:02 PM
This is so true. Even if you buy a $800 rest, it's still peanuts compared to all the money you'll waste buying bullets, powder, primers, barrels and machine work trying to troubleshoot a cheap, faulty rest. Believe me. Buy a good rest with no slop or wiggle and live happily ever after.

Thanks to all for the great responses. I know the feeling of buying cheap and paying for it later. I am definitely leaning towards the Farley coaxial II. I tried one briefly some months ago and I can still remember how smooth it performed. Lester Bruno has one on the shelf as we speak and I will probably be paying him a visit this afternoon. I live about 2 miles from his shop. That is proving to be a very costly advantage. :confused:

Thanks

seasterl
02-11-2009, 12:14 PM
:d

seasterl
02-11-2009, 12:15 PM
I live about 2 miles from his shop. That is proving to be a very costly advantage. :confused:

Thanks

"Advantage" is an understatement! Now you spilled the beans! Think of the hundreds of guys in this sport that don't have someone of his caliber (no pun intended) for help that is close-by. You don't even need this forum with that kind of help! (well, you could still enjoy the friendships and posts, though!)

CubCouper
02-11-2009, 12:27 PM
Just because I didn't see it mentioned...

The SEB CoAxial rests http://www.sebcoax.com/ are fast catching the Farley's. I've had both, no complaints on either, but am currently shooting off a SEB. Availability has been pretty good on them.

Rod B

Dirty Harry
02-11-2009, 01:45 PM
Just because I didn't see it mentioned...

The SEB CoAxial rests http://www.sebcoax.com/ are fast catching the Farley's. I've had both, no complaints on either, but am currently shooting off a SEB. Availability has been pretty good on them.

Rod B

Yes, I did look at that and it does appear to be a great rest. Even so, the Farley still seems to be the boss hog and I much prefer sending my hard earned greenbacks to OKY city, USA than to Jawa Timur, Indonesia. I didn't inquire as to shipping cost but it has to be quite expensive. Farleymfg has said they can have one on my doorstep in 10 days, top bag included. I may go with them as I will incur sales tax buying it locally.

Dirty Harry
02-11-2009, 01:48 PM
"Advantage" is an understatement! Now you spilled the beans! Think of the hundreds of guys in this sport that don't have someone of his caliber (no pun intended) for help that is close-by. You don't even need this forum with that kind of help! (well, you could still enjoy the friendships and posts, though!)

Indeed, Lester is top notch and he's helped me allot. Benchrest folks are all a bunch of great people and I am looking forward to forming some new friendships.

tiny68
02-11-2009, 02:14 PM
Certainly the Farley's seem to be the latest and greatest. But as a starter in BR (which I am also) I want to invest slowly in equipment. I just don't have the funds to drop $800 on a rest. I can buy a Hart base with Bruno's windage top to start with (ordered) for $225. Then I will get a co-axial top from Butch and I will have something very close, if not equivalent, to the all in one Farley. Farley also offers a top. I can also get other tops and switch using same base with a minimum investment for other shooting. Not all of my guns have a 3" forearm (just 1). As suggested by several, nothing beats going to a match and looking and asking questions. I took my Cadwell's BR front rest to my first match because it was a significant improvement over my $30 rest. Being an isolated shooter I just had no idea of the real BR equipment. But know I realize how much slop is in it and it is clear time to upgrade.

Luck in your choice, tiny

Dirty Harry
02-12-2009, 08:45 AM
As to the Shade Tree tops, Joel Kendrick has sold a bunch of them to his buddies in the 600/1000 yard game. I can't use a toggle since I have a bad flinch. The top of the line non-toggle is the Loh (JJ Industries on the main page of this forum).

Well I have it narrowed down pretty much to the JJ or the Farley coaxial II. I have heard great reports on both and I have even tried the Farley once. Amazing piece of engineering. Still have a question though. What is a "toggle" as opposed to a "non-toggle"?

Dirty Harry
02-12-2009, 08:51 AM
:d

What does ":d" mean?

TBonz
02-12-2009, 01:49 PM
I did the same as Tiny except with a Sinclair windage top and bought the set used. When I could afford it, I went with one of Butch's Shade Tree tops and haven't looked back...actually bought 2 of Butch's tops and a second Hart base so my boys would have a decent rest to use too...

Good luck!

Tom

goodgrouper
02-12-2009, 03:34 PM
ANother thing to consider:

If you have or ever plan to shoot big guns (by that I mean HEAVY) off the rest, you will not get the best results with a coaxial rest like a Farley or Seb. For that type of shooting, the regular pedestal rests like the JJ or Bald Eagle can't be be beat.

When I owned a coaxial, I tried shooting a few of my big guns off it using the free recoil method and even with the tension screws set at their maximum, it would not hold the rifles up under recoil without slipping a couple thousandths. The lightest big gun I tried to shoot weighed 19 pounds and it slipped enough under the slight recoil to make the gun completely miss a 1000 yard target board. And yes, I was holding the handle still.

I put the same gun on the JJ rest, and the bullets go where they should. I can even set a big 52 pound rifle on the JJ and it doesn't even whince.

ARTC
02-12-2009, 04:04 PM
First I don"t who Dirty Harry is, but if you ask me next time I'm shooting at Ben Avery I'll let you shoot off a Jon Loh. I"m there just about every weekend. I have 2 Jon Loh rests. I may have one for sale at the cactus. I my opinion I think the Jon Loh and the Farley are the two best front rests made. Just depends on which one you get used to.

Art Clegg

JerrySharrett
02-12-2009, 05:00 PM
Well I have it narrowed down pretty much to the JJ or the Farley coaxial II. I have heard great reports on both and I have even tried the Farley once. Amazing piece of engineering. Still have a question though. What is a "toggle" as opposed to a "non-toggle"?
Toggle vs non-toggle. The toggle will get you back on target faster than what we call knob twiddling. I used a toggle for about 3 targets and found out that if you hold on to the handle and flinch groups get really big. That is when I went to the Jon Loh. The twiddle knobs are closer together on the Jon Loh than many of the traditional windage top types.

What does ":d" mean?? It is the character for one of the smilies that doesn't have a space adjacent to it. :D was produced by me typing a colon and a capital D. Now if I type the same thing but put a colon and a small d :d it looks like :d .

abintx
02-12-2009, 07:00 PM
ANother thing to consider:

If you have or ever plan to shoot big guns (by that I mean HEAVY) off the rest, you will not get the best results with a coaxial rest like a Farley or Seb. For that type of shooting, the regular pedestal rests like the JJ or Bald Eagle can't be be beat.

When I owned a coaxial, I tried shooting a few of my big guns off it using the free recoil method and even with the tension screws set at their maximum, it would not hold the rifles up under recoil without slipping a couple thousandths. The lightest big gun I tried to shoot weighed 19 pounds and it slipped enough under the slight recoil to make the gun completely miss a 1000 yard target board. And yes, I was holding the handle still.

I put the same gun on the JJ rest, and the bullets go where they should. I can even set a big 52 pound rifle on the JJ and it doesn't even whince.

Read Dick Wright's new article "The Fist Of God, Revisited Twelve Years Later ..." in the February issue of Precision Shooting. It starts on page 81. He talks about two (40+ pound and a 60+ pound) guns that Seb Lambang made special coaxial rests for (page 87). :cool:

Dirty Harry
02-12-2009, 10:32 PM
First I don"t who Dirty Harry is, but if you ask me next time I'm shooting at Ben Avery I'll let you shoot off a Jon Loh. I"m there just about every weekend. I have 2 Jon Loh rests. I may have one for sale at the cactus. I my opinion I think the Jon Loh and the Farley are the two best front rests made. Just depends on which one you get used to.

Art Clegg

Hi Art, I'm pretty sure I know you. I'm the new guy out there with all the stupid questions. I was at the last match but only observed. I parked right next to your trailer and talked to both you and Max.

That is assuming of course that you're the same "Art".

I will be out there practicing all three days prior to the Cactus. BTW, I'm also on the hunt for some good flags.


Richard

Dick Grosbier
02-13-2009, 07:19 AM
I live about 2 miles from his shop. That is proving to be a very costly advantage. :confused:

Thanks

Living two miles from Lester is not an advantage , If you are serious about BR it will keep you penniless he carries so many good things.

Dirty Harry
02-13-2009, 07:31 AM
Living two miles from Lester is not an advantage , If you are serious about BR it will keep you penniless he carries so many good things.

Indeed. I believe I said, "COSTLY advantage". :rolleyes:

BlaserGun
03-01-2009, 12:52 AM
this is one of those items that the rule is true, "Buy once, cry once." Not that you have to buy the most expensive one out there but go ahead and take the plunge and buy a quality unit. There are several that will serve you well, look at some match reports that list front rests and you will see a few trends. From the 2006 Nationals equipment list Farley, Hart, Bald Eagle, Sinclair, Loh, were all mentioned with the Farley leading the pack.
Since Phoenix will be your first match see if there isn't one you can borrow. If you let the need be known, I'm almost positive someone will have a good one you can borrow. Also, have some money in hand as it is likely you will find one in Phoenix that will fit your needs, or should I say wants.
Bro.D

Is it the accuracy from the rest or...?
Are some home made sandbags better than the fire control?
What I need is a good rest when Iím building up hunting loads and would like to eliminate my own errors when test shooting :)

Regards Bjarne

jo191145
03-01-2009, 05:33 AM
Blaser

Some homemade sand bags just might be better than the Caldwell fire control for your use. I currently use a Caldwell BR rest and even shot two BR matches with it. I've seen reports of the fire control breaking down right out of the box. They use plastic where there should be steel.
The Caldwell fire control is a cheap knockoff of a precision instrument.

These fine gentlemen are discussing the top of the line BENCHREST rests and tops.
My Caldwell br is like driving a John Deere with flat tires compared to these Lamborghinis of the Bench Rest world. Its plenty good for a hunting rifle but much better rests can be had for a touch more money.

For a hunting rifle you need not buy a Farly. Spend what your happy spending and be happy with it. Just keep it simple.
Now if you want to shoot BR then the buy once cry once method is best.

BlaserGun
03-01-2009, 09:24 AM
Blaser

Some homemade sand bags just might be better than the Caldwell fire control for your use. I currently use a Caldwell BR rest and even shot two BR matches with it. I've seen reports of the fire control breaking down right out of the box. They use plastic where there should be steel.
The Caldwell fire control is a cheap knockoff of a precision instrument.

These fine gentlemen are discussing the top of the line BENCHREST rests and tops.
My Caldwell br is like driving a John Deere with flat tires compared to these Lamborghinis of the Bench Rest world. Its plenty good for a hunting rifle but much better rests can be had for a touch more money.

For a hunting rifle you need not buy a Farly. Spend what your happy spending and be happy with it. Just keep it simple.
Now if you want to shoot BR then the buy once cry once method is best.
Have you tried shooting from the fire control or is it just your opinion about it?

jo191145
03-01-2009, 12:32 PM
Blaser

That is entirely my opinion without ever firing a shot off one.

Its based on info I read on a few different forums and my own personal expierience with a Caldwell BR rest. I also briefly entertained the idea of trying one.

A few enterprising folks who bought the fire control went through the trouble of fitting an aftermarket BR top on them. It seems the FC will not accept most normal 3'' bags so it needs to modified.
After all that trouble I noticed them for sale in the classifieds just weeks after completing the mods. That to me speaks loudly.
Others have broken plastic adjustment parts soon after buying.

My standard BR handles like a tractor compared to a quality rest. If Caldwell cannot build a standard rest without tons of slop theres no reason for me to believe they could copy a much more sophisticated coaxial rest that requires much more attention to detail. All for just a few dollars more than my model?
Nope, no reason to believe.

I'll get it right this time JMO

ozfclass
04-13-2009, 01:50 AM
...I use a caldwell rock with a better bag and sinclair speed screw...screw is on order.

Redrock,

Did the Sinclair speed screw fit the Caldwell? (Sinclair website has a warning that it will only fit Bald Eagle, Hart and Sinclair).

Alan

Redrock
04-13-2009, 05:57 AM
Yep fits good with not modification, I like the addition of the screw works good.
This is for the Rock BR
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=348661
I have changed the bag and tweaked a couple of things, works good for me.


http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/10814/Shooting-Rest-Accessories
says in the last sentence 3/8x16 threads and thats what is on the Rock BR.

Talon1959
04-13-2009, 02:06 PM
I just shoot for my own pleasure. I started with the Rock BR cuz I saw a few at the range and it was in my price range. The windage adjustment on the Rock was crap. After someone let me shoot off a better made front rest, I got on the waiting list for the Cowan. Man, what a difference!

All I can say is do what these gentlemen are suggesting and cry once. Save a little longer and get a quality rest like the Cowan, Sinclair, etc.

DSM
04-13-2009, 03:12 PM
I had a Caldwell fire control modified to fit a 3" bag. It worked OK, but the joystick movement was not smooth or precise and defeated the purpose of the intended use. I maybe used it twice before selling it. I have a Hart type base with a Shadetree top...night and day difference! The extra $$$ in a precision rest is well worth it.

virg
04-13-2009, 04:20 PM
Don't buy it!
Butch

I purchased this Caldwell rest late last year and with the addition of the Sinclair $12 dual sided Cordura bag I'm very satisfied with it. It replaced the Cowan rest I was using...but I like the joystick action of this rest a lot better (faster target acquisition for Hunter benchrest). I don't profess that this rest is equal to the SEB and Farley rests...but it's performance is good enough for me; smooth and with a little tweaking, very precise. All in all, for the price it's hard to beat. By-the-way, I'm not selling my Cowan...just in case.;)

Virg