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JGFLHunter 11-15-2019 08:43 AM

Caldwell Led Sled
If you want to zero in a new rifle or scope, just spend the $100. I can't seem to understand why anybody would not want this product. I use it all the time at the range and recommended it to just about everybody while I'm there.
I see people trying to zero in their rifle or scope, with sandbags, pieces of wood for rests, etc. These people blow through 20 rounds like nothing, get mad because they don't understand why shot after shot goes no where near the last. Barrels get smoking hot because you're rushing and cruising through ammo. Obviously there are many factors buuuut you get what I'm preaching.
All I'm trying to say is the Led Sled will eliminate these errors. I've used it with a 300 Weatherby and didn't feel a thing in regards to recoil. I can zero in a new scope in 5 shots or less with this product. Just spend the money or you can keep buying your ammo and be frustrated.
I am not a sponsor or anything like that. I am completely sold on this product. I usually get 2-3 people too think about buying it while at the range. It's a perfect gift for any shooter.
Hopefully this will persuade a few people but hopefully more chime in and agree with me.

Bocajnala 11-15-2019 09:38 AM



Nomercy448 11-15-2019 07:48 PM

Originally Posted by Bocajnala (Post 4364766)


Yup... but canít say itís not absolutely deserving of everything which is thrown at it.

Nomercy448 11-15-2019 07:57 PM

Iíll cast my vote here to kick off the counterpoint side of this discussion:

Caldwell Lead Sleds are an absolute waste of money which do nothing to develop marksmanship.

Caldwell Lead Sleds are an absurd crutch which falsely make firearms owners believe they can cheat their way into marksmanship.

Caldwell Lead Sleds are commonly misused by unwitting firearms owners to damage their firearms and optics, by use of too much or too little weight, respectively.

If a firearms owner takes 20 shots to zero their rifle, a Lead Sled wonít help them, and it will be exceptionally unfortunate if they DO establish a (false) zero on a Lead Sled, giving them underserved confidence to take their firearm afield. Personally, I zero in 5 rounds, one at 50, one at 100, then a 3 shot group to confirm, using nothing but a bipod and a rear squeeze bag. Iíve been to a dozen or so Rifle Marksmanship courses in the last 20 years, and have taught dozens of students myself in my own NRA Basics of Rifle Shooting, Long Range Rifle, and Precision AR courses in that time as well - I have NEVER heard a single professional instructor, EVER, offer a positive endorsement of items like the Lead Sled.

Erno86 11-16-2019 05:36 AM

I'll still stick with my pedestal rest...thank-you.

The last two scope eye injury mishaps I witnessed on our outdoor range occurred from a lead sled. One of them was a pretty girl who did not sit down on the seat for the rifle bench...but instead, she crouched over the lead sled on the gun bench when she cracked off a shot.

Coastal Mountaineer 11-16-2019 07:30 AM

I guess the jury is out on whether newer and well built rifles and scopes suffer because of Lead Sleds. Definitely something to follow and pay attention to. However, I'm not overly concerned at this point and will continue to use one as I have for the last 7 seasons, Remington CDL 30-06, synthetic stock, and Leopold VX 2 3-9x40mm scope.

For me, I think Lead Sleds are great for the initial zero and then checking zero prior to season. Saves time, money, and aggravation. That's all I use it for. Then I practice as if I'm in my tree stand or blind, simulating as best I can the same clothing, shooting position, etc..

Bocajnala 11-16-2019 09:46 AM

I'm not as against them as no mercy. Because not everybody needs to "do it right"

​​​ There are lots of people out there who are hunters, not shooters. And lots of people fill their freezer every year doing things that aren't correct when it comes to shooting. And that's their goal: fill the freezer.

There is historically plenty of reports of broken stocks and scopes that are attributed to sleds. And that's something to consider. Also, it's really not hard to develop good shooting form and to shoot acceptably well with a couple of bags.

But they sell allot, and allot of people use them.


Erno86 11-16-2019 10:29 AM

The main plus for lead that it helps a shooter to keep him from developing a flinch when he sights-in a big bore rifle --- But frankly --- I still would not trust using it with my "safe queen" custom --- western style wood stocked Belgium FN Mauser, in 338 Winchester Magnum (my biggest bore rifle that I own).

Nomercy448 11-16-2019 11:08 AM

Originally Posted by Bocajnala (Post 4364831)
But they sell allot, and allot of people use them.

A lot of people use heroin too. :hit:

Bocajnala 11-16-2019 12:07 PM

Originally Posted by Nomercy448 (Post 4364837)

A lot of people use heroin too. :hit:

Yes, but that's because it's a "good" product and accomplishes a goal. It wouldn't sell otherwise.

It's not "right" just like the sled isn't correct.

But it wouldn't sell if it wasn't accomplishing something for people.


Mr. Slim 11-16-2019 03:09 PM

to each his own. ive used sand bags for 50 years and never had a problem. ive seen guys use them sighting rifles at the range and still seen them flinch because of the noise. as someone else said there was one who didnt sit at the bench and still couldnt sight the gun in. ive sighted in rifles from 243 all the way to 300 mag off sandbags. it also lets you get used to the recoil.

JGFLHunter 11-16-2019 04:28 PM

Fair points to all. My main point is just the zero aspect. I only use it to zero new items. I also use it before season just to ensure zero is still viable.

You should always practice with your setup so you are confident and comfortable.

Yes, everybody is different when it comes to zeroing.

I just think this product is made for this reason and not for constant shooting. That's what bags or pods are for.

hunters_life 11-16-2019 05:06 PM

I'll just throw in that my dad made several new stocks to replace stocks that were damaged from the use of a lead sled. Not his own of course but friends and friends of friends that had no clue of simple physics. Stocks are designed with the shoulder absorbing the recoil. Scopes are as well. How the company making lead sleds hasn't been sued out of existence is remarkable to me since anyone with even a slight working knowledge of the physics of recoil and impact resistance would know that these lead slad products will eventually cause damage to a firearm or scope.

Big Uncle 11-17-2019 05:48 AM

I guess I would use a lead sled if I was an injured, an invalid, or was simply afraid of my rifle or shotgun's recoil. Otherwise I think it is a crutch and would have enough drawbacks to prevent me from using one. I believe that it changes the natural movement and vibration that are created when shoulder fired so that it would be quite possible to obtain false results.

It just might have a good use for velocity testing of ammunition. It would probably be the only way that a small person like my wife could fire some of my heavy recoiling rifles, if she ever had that desire.

To each their own. My choice (under normal conditions) is to say "No" to lead sleds.

EShoreMD 11-17-2019 06:31 AM

I have both the sled and bags. I dont use the sled anymore. I feel as I have improved as a shooter there isnt a reason for it. When I first started shooting I had a jerky finger and I flinched A LOT! I think the sled helped me with those issues to an extent.

Now I breath better, squeeze the trigger and the majority of the time I dont even blink. I feel in total control.

IMO The sled was just a crutch. Once I matured as a shooter there was just no need for it.

But if youre someone who feels it helps you sight in then by all means do what you feel works best for you.

Wingbone 11-18-2019 01:27 AM

Originally Posted by JGFLHunter (Post 4364759)
These people blow through 20 rounds like nothing,

There is no down-side to shooting your rifle. A lot of hunters don't shoot enough. Shooting well is an ephemeral skill. The only way to maintain it is to practice. They probably won't have a lead sled with them while they're hunting.

JGFLHunter 11-19-2019 03:56 PM

Originally Posted by Wingbone (Post 4364904)
There is no down-side to shooting your rifle. A lot of hunters don't shoot enough. Shooting well is an ephemeral skill. The only way to maintain it is to practice. They probably won't have a lead sled with them while they're hunting.

Most likely not, but there are pretty high quality gun rests that hunters do use.

Nomercy448 11-20-2019 05:31 AM

Gun rests arenít shooting fixtures. The Lead Sled is a shooting fixture, not a rest.

Cub Slayer 11-20-2019 10:22 AM

I don't own a lead sled but have considered it. How do they damage the guns?

I sight using sandbags, but when it isn't going well, I sometimes wonder whether the walking hole pattern is me or the rifle/ammo set up. A lead sled would help eliminate this guesswork.

Nomercy448 11-20-2019 10:34 AM

Originally Posted by Cub Slayer (Post 4365033)
I don't own a lead sled but have considered it. How do they damage the guns?

If loaded with too much weight, the Lead Sled wonít move with the rifle enough, so the stock takes more force than it should, breaking the stock, or at best, battering the bedding. If loaded with too little weight, the sled lets the rifle move too much, accelerating too quickly, imparting too much force upon the scope and/or base screws.

Nomercy448 11-20-2019 10:39 AM

I built a firing fixture many moons ago during an ammunition development contract which allowed firearms to be remote fired for safety. The foundation was a Lead Sled.

I also built a similar fixture some years ago for firing compound bows remotely without shooter influence.

Would anyone suggest I could sight in my compound bow by firing it in the bow fixture, then ethically take it afield to hunt deer?

So why then are folks so obtuse to accept, even recommend, a hunter use a Lead Sled to zero their rifle and take it afield, equally under practiced, and insufficiently prepared?

Cub Slayer 11-20-2019 12:27 PM

There are, last time I looked, several variants of the Lead Sled, even from Caldwell. If I wanted one, I wouldn't even know which one to buy. My house is rapidly approaching "peak crap", where further additions need to be justified (guns excluded). My hesitation is that it won't get enough use to justify cost or space-in-home.

Oldtimr 11-21-2019 01:22 PM

I want my rifle on my shoulder when it goes bang, that is where it will be when I am shooting at game, I have no confidence that the bullet will react the same way to recoil on a lead sled as when it is on my shoulder.

CalHunter 11-22-2019 08:15 AM

I've never used a lead sled but have used a sand bag. This is an interesting topic.

Erno86 11-22-2019 09:10 AM

A shooter at our range (You can tell I'm there by the signature sound of my muzzle report, when I shoot semi auto rapid fire:fighting0007:) --- Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore --- uses a pair of 25 pound hand barbells too weight down his lead sled on the gun bench.

JW 11-22-2019 06:36 PM

I use a Lead Sled to get me to zero.
From there I go to a sand bags to really finish with 3 shot groups.
i found that when initial sighting in it saves me time and ammo.
i take my shot with the use of the sled. i then zero my crosshsirs on my target hit point or point of impact. Then rezero the scope to the Bull center as i look thru the scope adjusting for windage and elevation.
Works for me.


JGFLHunter 11-25-2019 03:54 PM

Yep. I use it for zero only or making sure it's good from season to season. I do not use any weights when I use the device.

elkman30 11-26-2019 10:42 PM

I've never used one and hadn't heard about it cracking stocks. That right there is enough for me to just say no, don't need it.

dhasemann 11-27-2019 09:14 AM

I bought a lead sled to help develop my reloads. My thought was that it would take me out as a factor in testing my reloads. Turns out I shoot just as well without it as with it. So based on my experience, its useful to reduce shoulder fatigue from recoil but it will not make you a more accurate shooter IMO. It also broke my butt plate on my rifle when the padding in back deteriorated without me noticing.

Would I buy one again? No.

flyinlowe 01-16-2020 12:42 PM

I had an old timer tell me once that obviously the gun reacts differently when held down by a sled or other device then it does in your shoulder. Yes you could get a gun clamped down where it will not move and zero it in but whe pen you hold it, it kicks, the barrel moves, it's not going to be the same. Trick is to keep your hold etc. the same so the recoil has the same effect each time. That might not be right but it makes sense to me. I've always used sand bag or something to help with steady but want the gun to be in my shoulder and free to move however it's going to move once I pull the trigger.

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