At Battenfeld I saw a jaw-dropping
demonstration. A .416 magnum was positioned on the rest, then a wine glass was placed
between the Lead Sled butt rest and the shooters shoulder. You guessed it
firing the usually hard-kicking magnum didnt even crack the glass. As if this
wasnt proof enough of the Lead Sleds effectiveness, the test was repeated
only this time a fresh (not boiled, I checked!) egg replaced the wine glass. Again
the rifle was fired, and the egg survived unscathed.
I should have ordered a Lead Sled on the spot,
but I was apparently brain-dead at the time. I got busy with hunting trips and too many
things at home, and the demonstration slipped my mind. Later, when I was sighting-in and
test firing a .458 Winchester Magnum, I recalled the demonstration. A quick call to the
folks at Battenfeld produced a Lead Sled in short order.
With a single 25-pound bag of shot in its
tray, the Lead Sled is supposed to be 80 percent effective in lessening recoil to your
shoulder. Adding a second bag of shot makes kick even less apparent. With two shot bags in
place, recoil is said to be reduced by some 90 percent. Whats more, the harder the
gun recoils, the more effective the Lead Sled is claimed to be.
If anything, those claims are understated.
Ive shot 3 1/2-inch magnum 12-gauge slug guns and a .458 Winchester Magnum launching
510-grain factory loads from the Lead Sled at length without flinching. This
is hands-down the most effective anti-recoil device Ive ever used.
In addition to saving my tender shoulder
untold punishment when firing lightweight rifles in big-bore chamberings, the Lead Sled
allows me to shoot tighter groups with softer-kicking firearms. Recoil is cumulative when
you spend an afternoon testing various loads. This eventually affects accuracy, even with
powder-puff cartridges like the .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester or 7mm-08. Using the
Lead Sled effectively eliminates flinching period!
The Lead Sled isnt perfect. The 25-pound
bags of shot (youll need two for maximum effectiveness) added to the sleds
bare-bones heft makes for a bulky package too heavy to lug very far from the
truck. You also need a front sandbag to rest your rifle forend on, along with a sturdy
bench to support the unit. Those minor drawbacks aside, the Lead Sled is one heckuva
shooting accessory. If youre allergic to recoil but like magnum rifles, the Lead
Sled is the best answer Im aware of. Too bad its not light and portable enough
to carry afield.
The Caldwell Lead Sled lists for $139. If your
local gun store doesnt have one in stock, the Lead Sled can be ordered from
Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., Dept. R, 5885 West Van Horn Tavern Road, Columbia MO 65203;
telephone toll-free: 1-877-509-9160; or online at: www.battenfeldtechnologies.com