Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

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kythunter
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Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by kythunter » February 8th, 2019, 3:42 pm

Hey guys,
Does anyone use a lead sled for sighting in your turkey gun or testing new loads especially using a red dot?
I've used the Primos group therapy rest the past few years but the piece that holds the butt stock broke so it's done.
Going to use a Vortex Venom this year for the first time and read reviews where the lead sled has damaged scopes/rings.
Me and some buddies always get together before season and pattern our turkey guns. They all shoot my TSS hand loads and we've been using the primos.
I want something to reduce recoil. I'm going with a 20ga this year but my buddies all shoot 12ga 3.5".
Are sandbags or shooter bags a better option versus a sled? Read where sleds are safe if you don't use too much weight. Ideally 150% of your guns weight so around 10lbs.
Wanting some advise before I buy anything.
Thanks...Rob

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CamoMan4025
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by CamoMan4025 » February 8th, 2019, 4:55 pm

I bought a Lead Sled DFT after I got into this turkey huntin' stuff. Many years ago I got an Rem 870 12 gauge 3.5" SM and started shooting Nitros 3.5". After I sighted it in (red dot) maybe for a year I thought, WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING SHOOTING THIS THING ON JUST SANDBAGS. That thing kicked like two mules in heat! I happen to be in a local gun shop one day and looked down on the floor and saw the Sled. I don't remember what I paid for it, but at the time it was way cheaper than I had seen it anywhere. It was probably mis-marked. Being the good citizen I am, I grabbed it, paid and was GONE!
I put a sandbag on the rails now when I shoot any gun. The bags probably weigh 15-20 lbs. I use it to sight all my guns in, shotguns, black powder and rifles. It really was the best purchase I have made. There is NO recoil, but the sled does move backwards about 3-5" per shot. It can be a pain to adjust, but all in all it reduces recoil to basically nothing. I have heard if you put too much weight on them and the gun takes all the shock then you can crack the stock, etc. I have never had that problem. I guess since it slides back a tad, that helps. If it didn't move at all, I'd be concerned.
The other thing is it sits high on the bench. You will need to sit on something to get your butt up higher.
I have loaned it to guys who have young kids and since it takes the recoil away, there's no flinching and they become confident. We all know if they shoot at an animal they won't feel the kick anyway.
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Fl strutter
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Fl strutter » February 8th, 2019, 5:06 pm

If sightong in on a sled will the gun still shoot to the same poa in a hunting situation on your knee using a red dot?

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by BumbleFoot » February 8th, 2019, 6:40 pm

I pattern my shotguns with red dots on a Caldwell Lead Sled using 2 full bags of lead as ballast. Won’t do it any other way. Together, those bags must weigh at least 50 lbs. Never had a problem of any kind doing so.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Fl strutter » February 8th, 2019, 7:39 pm

So yall strap the front part to keep barr strapped down also?

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Hognutz » February 8th, 2019, 8:09 pm

I use a lead sled and never used weights. Never had to?? I put my shoulder against the butt stock stop and let her fly. Never had an issue and I’ve used it a bunch. Centerfire rifles to 10ga. turkey loads! No difference, zero problems!
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Spuriosity » February 9th, 2019, 7:46 am

I use mine all the time for rifles and shotguns. I don't use any weight (the sled itself weighs 15 lbs), so it does slide some on the bench and have never had a problem. For whatever reason, my guns pattern very slightly better (tighter) when shot off the shoulder vs the sled. I always shoot at least once off the shoulder sitting against a tree just like I would while turkey hunting to make sure the POI is the same off the shoulder vs the sled. But then, I am not shooting 3.5" elephant guns either. :D

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Jamey » February 9th, 2019, 8:11 am

I split a pool noodle in half and put that behind the butt to simulate the "give" that my shoulder would have, and put a 25lb bag of shot on the sled. Poi and poa stay the same as shoulder shots...no scope damage in the many years I've been doing this.
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by gblrsrst » February 9th, 2019, 9:41 am

I have a Brother in law who knows a Convenience Store Clerk who's Uncle says his Lead Sled ruinet his Scope! In otherwords the Lead Sled WORKS if used as directed! :violent1:


Never had a Problem with mine! Just bought a Lead sled Solo for $65 at Runnings to use in a Youth Day Raffle! GREAT DEAL I got!
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by HunterGKS » February 9th, 2019, 3:08 pm

I have been using a lead sled for at least 10+ years with no issues caused to any scope, rifle, or shotgun.

Depending what I am shooting, I use either no weight, 1 25# bag of shot, or 2 bags. My is the original
model with a single tube which will not allow me to use it with my AR. I had to make a piece that fit
into the butt holder to raise the rifle high enough to allow the grip to clear the bar & the use of a 20
round mag. I also used a towel to eliminate the left-right movement. The new sleds do have a double
tube which will accept long grips & large mags.
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kythunter
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by kythunter » February 10th, 2019, 1:33 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like no issues if you use them right. Probably gonna order a leadsled DFT2 and 15lb lead shot bag for weight.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by deerhunt1988 » February 10th, 2019, 2:22 pm

Have used one numerous times over the past decade, no issues at all.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by CamoMan4025 » February 10th, 2019, 4:47 pm

Not that it's any of my business, but you can just make a bag of sand or whatever instead of buying a bag of shot. I have even used a couple 10lb weights from a weight room.
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kythunter
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by kythunter » February 10th, 2019, 5:35 pm

CamoMan4025 wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 4:47 pm
Not that it's any of my business, but you can just make a bag of sand or whatever instead of buying a bag of shot. I have even used a couple 10lb weights from a weight room.
Yeah several options for weight e.g. sand bags, weights, lead shot etc..lead shot bags are supposed to absorb recoil better than sand.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Hognutz » February 10th, 2019, 11:10 pm

I'm thinkin' a 15# BAG OF tss would be the real ticket for holding that sled down.
I'd go with #9's...
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by xarcher » February 11th, 2019, 3:20 am

With respect to center fire rifles, I’ve never been nearly as consistent with a lead sled as I have been on sand bags. I just can’t find a way to keep the lead sled solid steady

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Spuriosity » February 11th, 2019, 8:48 am

xarcher wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 3:20 am
With respect to center fire rifles, I’ve never been nearly as consistent with a lead sled as I have been on sand bags. I just can’t find a way to keep the lead sled solid steady
I've found the key to that is to fold up a hand towel and place it around the rear of the butt of the gun so that the gun is jammed in and cannot wiggle. That will stabilize the gun. Shot a .61" and a .53" group that way a couple of days ago with my Tikka 7-08 and handloads.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by BumbleFoot » February 11th, 2019, 11:17 am

Hognutz wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:10 pm
I'm thinkin' a 15# BAG OF tss would be the real ticket for holding that sled down.
I'd go with #9's...
:thumbright: That’ll work if you’re out of osmium.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by longwalker » February 11th, 2019, 12:37 pm

I have used two rather extensively and have not had either hold up in one way or another. The bag started leaking on the first one and the one that I am currently using has issues with the screw adjustment.

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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by SpurHntr » February 12th, 2019, 11:05 am

Have used one now for at least 15 years, maybe more.
Highly recommended.

I've not noticed any difference in POI going from my sled to my shoulder, but I do not strap anything down on the rest nor do I ever put much effort during aiming on target fighting the rest itself...meaning, I set the rest up properly so the X hairs are dang near dead on before I "shoulder" it on the bench.

I NEVER add weight to it.*
And I cannot imagine why anyone would.
Its gotta be 10 lbs on its own anyway. Never even thought I've felt recoil on the bench, and we've shot some big stuff over the years, including a ridiculous amount of hevishot and TSS in unnecessary payloads.

*Quickest analogy as to why great caution should be used when weighing down lead sleds: Put butt of gun against a brick wall, pull trigger. Something's gotta give. Usually it's the optics.
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by Hognutz » February 12th, 2019, 11:20 am

BumbleFoot wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 11:17 am
Hognutz wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:10 pm
I'm thinkin' a 15# BAG OF tss would be the real ticket for holding that sled down.
I'd go with #9's...
:thumbright: That’ll work if you’re out of osmium.

:LMAO:
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by ICDEDTURKES » February 12th, 2019, 11:31 am

I have a buddy that puts probably 30lbs of sand. I shoot the original I just slide a 10 lb weight in the tray.

Personally never noticed a POI difference

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kythunter
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by kythunter » February 12th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Follow up question.
The newer Caldwell lead sleds have a skeletonized front rest versus the bag on the older models. I've read that the new front rests are narrow (Lead sled 3 and DFT2) and some shotguns forends don't fit in them well. Anyone with the newer front rest have this happen? Is it an issue?
You can still buy the older models trying to decide which one is best for turkey guns.

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SpurHntr
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by SpurHntr » February 12th, 2019, 5:23 pm

I have an early model DFT2. Have yet to find a long gun that doesn't fit it well. Looking at the newer version I can see your concern as the front rest wings seem higher and the cavity narrower than mine.
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kythunter
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Re: Caldwell Lead Sled concerns?

Post by kythunter » February 13th, 2019, 8:45 am

SpurHntr wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 5:23 pm
I have an early model DFT2. Have yet to find a long gun that doesn't fit it well. Looking at the newer version I can see your concern as the front rest wings seem higher and the cavity narrower than mine.
:thumbup: 10-4

If anyone has the newer model let me know how you like it.

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