SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shooting rest

Review: SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp

SmartRest’s combination of tripod and gun clamp is a light, portable setup you can take into the field to add stability and range to your hunting and pest control. 

That makes it the kind of equipment you’d take when you’re moving from place to place without a vehicle, or perhaps on a bike or quad, because it’s easy to lug around with you.

SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shooting rest
The Smartrest Tripod and Gun Clamp is a light setup weighing just over 2kg, so it’s quite portable

That suits me well in my usual style of hunting, in which I tend to walk a fair way into places where the 4WD won’t go, set up for half an hour or so with a good vantage, then move on further to repeat the process. 

I’m often whistling foxes when I’m doing that but it’s just as good for wild dogs and even deer and pigs when you know they’ll be moving around on certain feeding grounds. It’s a pretty good tactic along my river, too. 

Depending on the ground, I’ll set up either standing or sitting with the rifle clamped onto the tripod ready for action. This means I can watch carefully with the binoculars and not have to make many movements to have the firearm trained on a target when it comes. 

The SmartRest tripod is a ball-head design allowing a good range of movement. Knobs to lock the movement in all planes can be tightened when you’re on target to provide a steadier shot or left a little loose so you can pivot and elevate as much as you might need to. 

SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shootign rest
Fitted with a ball head, the tripod not only provides stability but allows a wide range of movement, too

With its aluminium legs extended, the tripod holds your rifle almost 1.5m above the ground and there’s another 24cm available if you raise the centre post. That’s plenty for virtually everyone. 

At its lowest, the tripod is good for everything except lying prone. 

The legs adjust in sections using twist-to-lock clamps, and you can also splay them widely if the situation calls for it. It’s all pretty quick.

SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shooting rest
Twist-to-lock clamps provide quick adjustment of tripod leg length

The body of the gun clamp is aluminium with firm rubber padding inside to protect your rifle’s stock and finish. It tightens around the rifle via a threaded rod that’s spring-loaded to ensure it opens as you unscrew it. The clamping plate is kept square by two guide pins.

The clamp will grip a stock as thin as about 50mm and as wide as approximately 75mm, which covers the vast majority of rifles — certainly the ones you’d potentially use on a tripod.  

The complete kit weighs less than 2.1kg.

SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shooting rest
The aluminium gun clamp is solidly built, secure and has rubber padding to protect your stock

I found it very effective to use. Its lighter build means it’s not an ultra-stable platform so you can’t be completely slack about your shooting technique, but I never recorded a miss except for the one time I rushed a shot while off balance and leaning awkwardly into the tripod. 

But that was me being slack.

In testing the tripod on steel targets, I could reliably pull off 300m shots into a 30cm gong while standing, to the point where I’d rate myself good for such a shot against a stationary deer. 

Sitting behind the tripod, the results improved further. 

SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp shootign rest
Tripod legs can be splayed wider when required for a better footing

The SmartRest tripod and clamp were at their most useful and efficient when I took the heavy-barrelled rifle out at night with a thermal attachment. That’s a lot of weight to hang onto but when I was settled into a shooting area the tripod did all that weight-bearing for me, with the rifle only about two seconds away from being into my shoulder when an animal came into range. 

Come knock-off time I could pack the tripod and clamp into my pack, shoulder the hefty rifle and walk the 20 minutes or so back to the car, no worries. 

The SmartRest Tripod and Gun Clamp has all the necessary features in a lightweight package, making it an ideal option for a mobile shooter looking for a great field rest. It’s well made, especially the dependable gun clamp, and works just as it should.

The retail price (in early 2023) is $435, which appears about right for the quality and functionality. Find out more at the SmartRest website or visit your local firearms dealer.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.