By: Mary and Dr. Jim Clary
aldwell undoubtedly makes more front rests than any other company in the country. They have a rest for every application. As such, it can sometimes get a bit confusing as to which one best suits our needs. With that in mind, we will attempt to make things a bit simpler. We will not be discussing those economy Caldwell rests (Stinger and Matrix) that are ideal for carrying in the back of your truck to check your rifles before or during a hunt. They are invaluable and priced right. Instead, we will be looking at some of the more standard rests designed for range use.
The Caldwell DFT2 Lead Sled is ideal for shooting magnum rifles at long or short ranges. With its heavy duty steel frame and large metal pan at the front, it can accommodate 100 pounds of sand/shot bags to assist in reducing the impact/recoil when shooting. And, it has very precise adjustments for windage and elevation. However, the price of about $260 is a bit too much for some budgets.
DFT2 Lead Sled Illustration courtesy of Caldwell Shooting Supplies
The Caldwell Fire Control front rest is ideal for long range competition shootings due to it fine adjustments and ability to make said adjustments without moving off target. However, once again the average shooter may believe that the price tag of $290 is a budget buster, even though it is a superb rest.
Then we come to the Rock BR, which has everything that a shooter might want with respect to stability and windage/elevation adjustments. This unit was designed specifically with benchrest shooters in mind and it delivers. However, once again, the price point of $240 is a bit high for the weekend shooter.
Rock BR Illustration courtesy of Caldwell Shooting Supplies
The Rock BR has all of the features that one might require to easily and properly zero in our guns on the range; however, as indicated above, it was a bit pricey for some folks. Enter the new Deluxe Rock.
This unit is an economy version of the Rock BR. But, do not get the idea that it is a cheap “knock-off” simply designed to generate sales. It has all of the features of the Rock BR except windage adjustment, which is where the money-savings came from. For our hunting rifles or just plain casual shooting, most of us can do without a windage adjustment on the rest. That said, the Deluxe Rock has a vertical adjustment range of 4.5” to 7.25”. More than adequate. The filled medium varmint front bag conforms to the forend of the gun. And, for those who want a foreend stop, they included one on the Deluxe Rock, which can be moved out of the way if you prefer.
The elevation is controlled via a star-shaped wheel which is smooth and easy to use. And, of course, it comes with the “standard” Caldwell positive leveling feet.
The one feature that stands out, above all other rests, is the built-in carrying handle (it is part of the design of the base). It makes carrying the rest to and from your vehicle a one-hand operation. That isn't found on any other front rest that we have ever seen. Although the rest comes unassembled, Caldwell includes the necessary hex wrench and it takes only about 10 minutes to assemble.
All in all, the Deluxe Rock is a superb rest and priced right with a 2019 MSRP of $84.99.
Additional specs of the Deluxe Rock are:
5.5 pound weight dispersed over a wide triangular base
7.8” diameter steel center post – it provides a smooth and quick elevation adjustments
Forend cradle will accept all aftermarket Caldwell Universal front bags
Extra “ram lock key” in case the factory installed one gets lost