Target Shooting, Inc. Handgun Shooting Rest

 

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Randy Kent

March 4th, 2009

 

 

 

I am often asked how I can shoot good, tight groups from a rifle with such consistency. Sometimes, I get some groups that even amaze me. Todayís rifles are more accurate than ever. Ammunition is also better. Rifle scopes are better today than they have ever been. Even the cheap scopes have much better optical quality than many of the expensive scopes of a few decades ago. Many shooters write to me asking about accuracy. They buy a great rifle, a great scope, and top quality ammunition, and wonder why they canít shoot good groups from a rolled-up jacket laid over the hood of their pickup. Back to the original question of how I can shoot so well: the answer is, that I canít. I am an average shooter, with no special God-given talent to hold still while I yank on a trigger. When I am testing a rifle for accuracy, the goal is not to see how well Jeff Quinn can shoot. You would be disappointed. The goal is to see how well the rifle/scope/ammo combination will perform. To do this, I have to have a solid rest that will hold the rifle as still as possible, and let the rifle move consistently under recoil the same way, every time. For that task I have relied upon the rifle rests from Target Shooting, Inc. of Watertown, South Dakota for many years. I first met Wally Brownlee, the owner of Target Shooting, at a SHOT Show about ten years ago. Talking with him at his display booth, he explained to me that his shooting rest was the best on the market, and was convincing enough that I laid down the cash to bring one home with me. That was the best money that I had ever spent on a shooting rest. I had owned many others, but they all had a little play in the movement, and would let the rifle wiggle around a bit as I pressed the trigger. A little movement is all it takes to ruin a good group. Since that first Model 500 that I bought from Wally, I have also got the Model 1000 and his sandbag rest. Wally has had a very good handgun rest on the market for a while, but has recently done something that made a good shooting rest even better, by adding a rear portion upon which to rest your arm. This has made a world of difference in shooting comfort, which translates into a more steady hold on the revolver or pistol. This handgun rest replaces the front and rear sections of the rifle rest. Up front, there is an adjustable V-trough upon which the handgunís barrel or frame is rested. Below that is a shelf. Some rest the gunís butt upon the padded shelf, but I prefer to hold the grip, and rest my hand upon that shelf. The rear section of the rifle rest is removed, and the rear shelf inserted into that position. Both the front and rear shelves are heavily padded, and are adjustable for height. I prefer to have the two shelves level in height, or the rear shelf slightly lower than the front, depending upon the particular handgun being fired. The rest can be pivoted to suit either right or left-handed shooters, and is equally at home in the field as it is at the bench. Wally is a prairie dog shooter, and has developed all of his shooting rests to be useful in the field. He builds them for shooters, and the handgun rest is no exception. All of his products, from his portable benches, to this new handgun rest, were built from knowledge that he has gained in the field.

In use, the handgun rest is very easy to set up and adjust. There is a wide latitude of adjustment to suit any handgun and any shooter. For a lot of my handgun testing, I use a Ransom Master machine rest. However, this machine locks the handgun rigidly into its vise, and inserts are just not available for every handgun made. Also, while the Ransom works well at the range, it is not adaptable for field use. The Target Shooting rest is as easy to use afield as it is at the bench, which makes it a very versatile and handy rest, while still allowing rock-steady performance. It is a piece of equipment that will help any shooter to test the potential accuracy of his handguns and ammunition, and also enhance the practical accuracy of the weapon in the hunting field. I like it.

You can order any of the Target Shooting rests online at www.targetshooting.com or call toll free 1-800-611-2164.

Jeff Quinn

 

To convert from rifle to handgun use, simply remove the rifle-rest components and insert the handgun-rest components.

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

Target Shooting, Inc.'s handgun rest can be easily used by lefties like Jeff (top), or by right-handed shooters like cousin Randy Kent.

 

 

Both front rest (top) and rear shelf (bottom) are fully height-adjustable.

 

 

Rubber-covered, padded front V-rest.

 

 

Height adjustment wheels.