Review: Ridgeline Steady Shooting Rest


Do you often throw a pillow or sleeping bag on the bonnet, let loose a few shots at a tree or rock at some unknown distance and then go off hunting, thinking she’ll be right?

Well, it could be right, but it could be much better. Instead of wobbling the crosshairs on target and pulling the trigger as the sights hover past your aiming point, how about holding rock steady and squeezing the shot off when everything is absolutely perfect?

Ridgeline Steady Shooting Rest gun rest
The Ridgeline Steady Shooting Rest provides a stable and supportive platform for your rifle that also reduces the effect of recoil

Why waste your time and expensive ammunition when there is a better option? Ridgeline has come up with the Steady Rest.

Based on a proven design, it features an anodised frame with adjustable weight bed that has rubber pads for bigger and heavier weight plates. 

The fore-end rest can be adjusted for height with one hand and then locked in place with a hand-turned screw. 

The butt rest has a scalloped bottom to help keep your rifle upright and not canted off on a slight angle. 

The rear pad includes a super-soft gel pad on both sides of the frame, one for your rifle and the other for your shoulder. 

The rest includes three rubber feet, the rear one being adjustable for elevation.

During testing, I used four rifles in different calibres to evaluate the rest’s performance and functions — a Tikka T3 .223, Sako 75 .308, Tikka T3 Lite 300 Win Mag and a Sauer 9.3×62. 

The 6.2kg rest certainly tames felt recoil, especially with extra weight added to the weight tray. Ridgeline claims it’ll reduce recoil by up to 95 percent.

The rear rest, which includes the soft rubber insert. effectively adds 25-30mm to your rifle’s length of pull, meaning you have to stretch your neck forward a bit to get a clear sight picture. 

The fore-end rest seemed a little sloppy during adjustment, but once the locking bolt was tightened there was no movement and the rifle held steady. 

The rear foot tended to move the rest side to side as it is non swivelling, but I used this to my advantage as the forearm rest has no windage adjustment. 

With a fixed overall frame length, the rest is like a one-size-fits-all offering. 

After each shot, I found everything needed to be readjusted, which could be painful for some, but it did allow the barrel to cool a little bit between shots.

The shot groups landed in basically the same place as they had using my control rest, and group sizes were the same in three of the rifles, although my .308 didn’t seem to like being in the rest.

I think this rest would be a handy for general sighting in, to tame recoil in a heavy recoiling rifle that you’re not fully comfortable with, or even to introduce kids into the bigger calibres without them getting knocked about or developing the dreaded flinch.

It is  solid and well made, and retails for $300. You can buy it in many gun shops or online.

 

 

 


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Reid Hjorth

Reid Hjorth has been contributing to Sporting Shooter for more than a decade and is an avid hunter.

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