January 10th, 2017

New SEB Mini Joystick Tripod Rest Reviewed

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley
SEB Mini Photo by Dan Bramley.

SEB Rests, producers of the SEB NEO rest and innovative JoyPod bipod, have released an all-new, portable tripod-base Co-Axial rest, the SEB Mini. This is a very impressive bit of engineering by Sebastian Lambang. Weighing about 12 pounds, the SEB Mini is easy to transport yet stable and versatile in the field. A joystick lever-arm allows the shooter to move the front head (with sandbag) in any direction with a smooth continuous motion. The Mini delivers about 30 MOA vertical travel by 45 MOA horizontal travel with the same smooth, fluid feel as the NEO rest.

The Mini is now in full production and testers in the USA and UK have returned very positive test results. The Mini combines the smooth controls of a full-size Co-Axial front rest, yet is much easier to transport. Based on reports from testers Dan Bramley and Vince Bottomley, we predict the Mini will become extremely popular with F-Open competitors as well as all shooters currently using pedestal-style front rests for recreational shooting or load testing. Price for the complete unit (with front bag) is $675.00 shipped in the lower 48 states.

Inventor Seb Lambang told us his design goals in creating the Mini, which was named after “Mini” his pet Chihuahua: “The Mini rest is designed to be simple, compact, and light. It has has equal smoothness and MOA travel as the larger NEO rest.”

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

The new SEB Mini is a joystick (coaxial) rest with a height-adjustable single center column fitted on a base with three foldable legs. The top can be rotated 360 degrees and locked securely by the two adjustable locking levers. The lowest setting is about 6.25″, the highest is just over 10″. The SEB Mini can be used for F-Class shooting, bench rest shooting, varmint shooting, or load development. The joystick handle is compatible with the SEB NEOs and MAX co-axial rests. The Mini ships complete with a one-piece front sandbag in the buyer’s choice of width.

Key Features:
12-lb carry weight
Large Footprint, yet very portable
Legs adjust with individual thumbwheels
Mariner Wheel offers 40mm of Vertical Adjustment
Measures 5″ x 7″ x 16.25″ when folded
Lowest height approx 6.25″, highest 10″ or more
Head can be rotated independent of base assembly (to assist alignment)
Head unit can be purchased separately and fitted to different tripod base.

SEB Mini REVIEW by Dan Bramley:

Sebastian Lambang, the creator of the ever-popular SEB NEO and SEB MAX co-axial front rest, was kind enough to send me a SEB Mini for review. The point of this review is to give a shooter’s perspective. I will just say that the adjustments and movements are plenty sufficient to shoot in F-Class in High Power and rimfire.

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

Positives: The SEB Mini has all of the fine craftsmanship of the NEO. The fit and finish is excellent. This thing is SOLID! When the screws are all locked down it does not budge. The engineering is excellent and well thought-out. It comes in at 12.0 lbs with sand in bag and ready to shoot. To me this weight appears to be optimal, light enough to travel with but heavy enough to be stable.

Shootability: For me shooting off the SEB Mini was no different than shooting off the SEB NEO. The fluid motion of the coaxial top and stability were consistant with the NEO. Set-up was quick and the ability to set it down in reasonably close alignment and release the clamps on the Acme screw to allow perfect rest alignment was a nice feature. Course adjustment was quick with the large mariner wheel and the joystick has the same size collet as the NEO for those who may have made custom joysticks.

I shot my rimfire off of it at first, on concrete, and it didn’t move at all. No surprise there. So I figured I would shoot my biggest rifle off of it in an attempt to punish this little “Mini”.

Conclusion: This thing is just awesome! It folds up quite compact and would likely fit in a bag, instead of a pelican case, for travel. I have often thought of shooting my open rifle off of a JoyPod when traveling by air but that requires a rail etc. for mounting. I would not hesitate to shoot off this Mini in competition.

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

Vince Bottomley Tests the New Seb Mini

Our friend Vince Bottomley acquired a Seb Mini and had a chance to test it out in competition at the Diggle Range in the UK. Vince was very impressed with the Mini, which he says is very solid and smooth running, yet easy to set up. Vince used his new Mini to win a match, proving the unit is “competition-ready”: “When you do a range test like this, it’s always great if you can post a decent result and I’m pleased to be able to report that I won Open Class….”

Vince liked the smooth operation and broad windage/elevation adjustment range offered by the Mini:

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley“The joystick offers plenty of movement at 600 yards so staying on target throughout the shoot was no problem and, more importantly, I could swing onto my competitors’ targets as a final wind-check. Each of the three legs has its own ‘angle’ adjustment — enabling you to obtain a steady, level set-up on the most uneven of firing-points. The center pedestal can be raised and lowered using a mariner wheel and of course, there is the familiar joystick adjustment.”

Vince said it was easy to level the Mini and align the head with his rear bag: “Drop it on the point, then level the bubble using the leg-adjuster thumb-screws (photo right). Because the screws are at the pivot point they move the legs very quickly — as opposed to screwing the feet to level a NEO. Wind up the mariner wheel to get on target, nip up the locking levers and the rest is perfectly aligned, thanks to the swiveling head.”

READ FULL SEB Mini Review in Target Shooter Magazine

Vince also liked the fact that the Mini is significantly lighter than a SEB NEO rest, but still stable because it has a wide footprint. See the comparison photo below.

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

Vince tells us that the Mini is truly easy to transport: “I’ve fixed a strap to my Mini so, by slinging it over my shoulder, I can carry rifle, mat and back-bag with ease — so that’s a big ‘plus’ right off.”

Conclusion: “The SEB Mini lived up to expectations and ticked all the boxes –lighter to carry, easy to set up, plenty of adjustment, very stable. Thank you Seb… You have a winner here!” — Vince Bottomley

Product Information from SEB Rests:
The complete SEB Mini includes Head unit, foldable legs, fore-end stop, aluminum bag bracket (with bubble level), joystick, leveling screws, and front bag. The base features three foldable legs, each of which can be adjusted/tilted for elevation via a thumb screw. We recommend setting the base/legs in the highest position initially, then lowering each leg via the thumb screws.

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

The Mini is offered in three (3) configurations. The complete Mini with base, foldable legs, and carry case is $800.00, including shipping to the lower 48 States. For considerable less there are two legless options. Option 1 is the Mini without the foldable legs. This could work for customers who may wish to fit the top to a solid base plate. Option 2 includes just the head unit with center post, mariner wheel and needle thrust bearing. Option 2 could suit customers who already have a Bald Eagle or Caldwell base with 1″ diameter center hole/post. However some machining may be required. Call Ernie Bishop at 307-257-7431 for current option prices and availability.

Net weight approx. 5.5 kilograms (12 lbs)
Top can be rotated 360° and locked securely in any position
Measures 5″ x 7″ x 16.25″ when folded
Joystick is compatible with SEB NEO, MAX and JoyPod
Lowest height approx 6.25″, highest 10″ or more
Foldable legs can be individually adjusted up/down with thumb screws
Extra wide footprint, leveling screws are about 17 inches apart
Ambidextrous, and can be used either “Up for Up” or “Up for Down”
Made from 6061 and 7075 aircraft grade aluminum
Head has removable fore-end stop
Standard fold-able base for traveling with tiltable legs
Comes with standard one-piece 3″-wide front bag 3″ wide (Optional bags*: 2-1/4″, wide sporter (for 1.5″-2″ stock), narrow sporter (for 1″-1.5″ stock)

For more information, visit SEBRests.com. The USA dealer is Ernie Bishop:

Ernie Bishop
Gillete, WY 82716
ernieemily@yahoo.com
307-257-7431

Permalink News 2 Comments »
May 22nd, 2015

Buell’s Baby: First-Ever Counter-Balanced JoyStick Bipod

Bipod F-Class F-TR Sebastian Lambang PodPad Joystick Joypod

Here’s something you’ve never seen before, a joy-stick (coaxial) bipod with a front counter-weight. This one-of-a-kind “JoyPod” was produced by Seb Lambang for our friend Darrell Buell. With a very porky ultra-long-range rifle to support, Darrell needed a JoyPod that wouldn’t sink under a heavy load.

Seb explains: “This is the world’s first Joypod equipped w/ an adjustable counterweight, to balance his 75-lb gun. I did some experiments and put some weights ranging up to 60+ lbs on the top, and I found that the joystick action works like a regular one….it’s smooth, light, and precise. In addition, the counterweight can be bent down to not interfere with the bottom of the barrel. I would guess Darrell would only need one ‘ring’ for his 75-lb gun. He can move the ring back and forth to find the best balance. Once the gun is on the bipod, it would only take a few minutes to tune or find the balance. The counterweight is secured into the front center shaft by a thumb screw, and there is a tightly fitted pivotal joint on the counterweight to allow angle adjustment.”

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
December 9th, 2014

Champ ‘Feels the Joy’ — Shoots 200-9X at 1K with Joy-Pod

James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-classThis past weekend, reigning F-TR National Champion James Crofts shot a match using the latest generation of the SEB Joy-stick Bipod, aka “Joy-Pod”. Apparently, James didn’t have any problems adjusting to the coaxial Joy-Pod. James definitely “felt the joy”, shooting a 200-9X score, his first-ever perfect 200 at 1000 yards in F-TR.

James reports: “I used the SEB Joy-Pod, it was amazingly stable. The Joy-Pod works amazing.” James is a “releaser” not a holder. When shooting with the Joy-Pod, he releases the joy-stick handle right as he fires: “I let go when breaking the shot”. Some other guys maintain light contact, allowing the joy-stick shaft to float back between/over their fingers during recoil. But it looks like James has a method that works.

SEB Joy-Pod Fitted on Savage-Actioned PR&T F-TR Rig
Here’s the rig James was shooting. Yes it has a Savage action, complete with AccuTrigger. James proves you don’t have to have a $1200.00+ custom action to shoot 10s and Xs at long range. The rifle was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool. James wanted to thank Keith Trap (Forum member KT) for helping James do all of the testing on this rifle. James tells us: “I have decided this year I want to work more on myself as an individual shooter and not spend as much time [working with] my ammo and my rifles.”

CLICK PHOTO to See Full-screen image with more detail:
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes that’s a Savage action in this rig!
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Note the grippy suede base-pad under the Edgewood rear bag, which features low-friction ear material.
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

USA F-TR National Champion James Crofts.
James Crofts FTR F-class joy-pod joystick F-TR SEB
Photo by Kent Reeve.

Permalink Competition, New Product 7 Comments »
November 9th, 2014

IBS Gear Spotlight: Home-Built Co-Axial (Joystick) Front Rest

Do-It-Yourself Joystick Rest — Jeff’s Labor of Love
Quite a few competitors chamber their own barrels, and a few construct their own stocks. But Jeff Godfrey takes the prize for do-it-yourself audacity — he built his own co-axial front rest from scratch. Sam Hall provides this report:

“Jeff, one of Piedmont Gun Club’s regulars, is a talented fabricator. He made one of the smoothest joystick rests that I have ever laid my hands on. Jeff’s home-built coaxial rest rivals the Farley and Seb Max. It will also handle a wide fore-end Heavy Gun. Constructing virtually every part of this rest from scratch, Jeff made his own co-axial to save money. You have to admire his ingenuity and his dedication. Jeff says it took him over 100 hours to make. He said there would be no way he could make another one for profit!”

IBS Benchrest Piedmont Rutherfordton 600 yards Sam Hall

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
April 29th, 2013

Heavy Artillery — Remarkable 7mm WSM with Joystick Rear Rest

Readers said they enjoyed our write-up of an innovative, offset-stocked Heavy Gun that set three multi-match Aggregate IBS records last year. If you’re a fan of “Heavy Artillery” here’s an impressive rifle from Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ that we spotlighted last year. If you missed it the first time — check out this engineering Tour De Force, complete with a custom-built, joy-stick REAR rest. We’re mightily impressed by the cutting-edge design and superb metal-work displayed by this “home-built special”. ‘Straightpipes’ certainly proved that American “know-how” and creativity is still alive….

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this new rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action
Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
April 11th, 2013

“Texas T” — Radical, All-Metal F-TR Rifle from Richard King

Report by Richard King (King’s Armory, Texas; ‘Kings X’ on our Forum)
With all the talk from Vince Bottomley in the April issue of Target Shooter about aluminum stocks, I thought you might like to see my latest project. This is my personal gun, built the way I wanted it. I know it’s radical and some may not care for it. But it works.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

This is pretty much an all-aluminum rifle. The action is a Kelbly F-Class with a Shilen stainless steel competition trigger. The scope is a 1″-tube Leupold 36X with a Tucker Conversion set in Jewell spherical bearing rings. The .223 barrel is Pac-Nor 3-groove, 1:6.5″-twist mounted in a “V”-type barrel block. The bipod has vertical adjustment only via a dovetail slide activated by a stick handle. It works like a joy-stick, but for vertical only. I adjust for windage by moving the rear sandbag.

The 30″ barrel is 1.250″ in diameter. With the barrel block forward, the vibrations should be at a low frequency. Instead of one long rod whipping, I now have two short rods (barrel haves) being dampened. This is my fourth barrel block gun. They work, but so does a good pillar-bedded action. I just do stuff a little different.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

The vertical “keel” down the bottom of the stock stops the “spring” of a flat-bar stock. There is little, if any, noticeable flex before or during recoil. The long length of the stock, the fat barrel, and the forward-mounted barrel block work together to keep the gun from rising off the ground. BUT, remember this is a .223 Rem rifle. A .308 Win version might act very differently. I may try a .308-barreled action soon, just to see what happens. But I will stick with the .223 Rem as my choice for match shooting.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifleThe offset scope idea came from a benchrest “rail” gun. In truth, the whole concept came from a rail gun — just adapted to being shot off a bipod. Sure it isn’t directly over the bore. It is about 1.5″ over to the left. So if you want the scope to be zeroed on the center of the target, you have to adjust for the offset. At 100 yards that is 1.5 MOA. But at 300 it is only 0.5 MOA, at 600 only a ¼-MOA, and at 1000 about 1 click on my scope.

What the offset DOES do for me is eliminate any cheek pressure. My cheek never touches the stock. Since this is only a .223 Rem, I don’t put and shoulder pressure behind it. And I don’t have a pistol grip to hang on to, but I do put my thumb behind the trigger guard and “pinch” the two-ounce trigger.

The offset scope placement could interfere with loading a dual-port action from the left. That’s not a problem for me as I set my spotting scope up on the left side very close to the rifle. I have plenty of time to reload from the right side while the target is in the pits being scored.

Again — this is my rifle. It is designed for my style of shooting. It is not meant to be a universal “fit all” for the general public. However, I will say the design is adaptable. I can easily convert the system to run in F-Open Class. I would drop a big-bore barreled action into the “V” block, slide on a heavier pre-zeroed scope and rings, add plates on the sides up front to bring the width to 3”, and maybe a recoil pad. It might be interesting to offset the wings up from to counter torque of the big bullets. But I would also have to offset the rear bag rider to get the gun to recoil straight back.

How the Gun Performs
I have had “T” to the range only twice for load development. It groups like my present barrel-blocked 223 F-TR gun. But it’s much easier to shoot and it only moves about 3/4” — straight back. I tried to build am omni-directional joy-stick bipod but I could not get all the side-to-side wiggle out of it. So I have set it up so it only moves up and down (horizontal movement is locked-out). As it works now, the joystick on the bipod lets me set elevation on the target quickly (with up/down adjustment). Then, to adjust for windage, I slide my rear bag side-to-side as needed. Once set, I just tickle the trigger and smile.

Gun Handling — Shoot It Like a Bench-Gun
I basically shoot the gun with no cheek or body contact. I don’t grip it, other than maybe a pinch on the trigger guard. The scope was offset to the left to help the shooter move off the gun and avoid the possibility of head/cheek contact with the stock.

Listen to Richard King Explain How He Shoots his ‘Texas-T’ Rifle:

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/RichKingTalks.mp3″ Title=”Richard King Talks”]

CLICK PHOTOS to See Big Size

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 13 Comments »
November 13th, 2012

Upgrade for Caldwell Fire Control Joystick Front Rest

Available for under $180.00 including front bag, the Caldwell Fire Control front rest is a remarkable value. It makes the co-axial, joystick design more affordable than ever. We used the Fire Control front rest when testing our Ultimate Varminter 20 Practical AR. Once we removed some sand from the tri-lobe front bag, the rest worked quite well.

Get a Fire Control Rest for Just $179.40
Amazon.com
currently sells the Fire Control rest (item 956104) for $179.40. That’s a really spectacular deal for guys on a tight budget, looking to try out a joystick-style front rest. With the conversion described in this article, you can put together a system that works pretty darn well, and is more than adequate for many applications, including prairie-dog hunting (from a bench).

While most Fire Control owners are happy with the product, many have wanted to replace the tri-lobe front bag with a more conventional front bag from Protektor or Edgewood. This isn’t as easy as it looks because the width of the Fire Control top is too narrow for most standard 3″-wide front bags. On a “special order” basis, Protektor has crafted some narrower leather front bags that fit pretty well, but some shooters have decided to “upgrade” the entire front assembly.

Forum member Doug M. (aka DrJeckyl), has come up with an elegant solution that allows a Sinclair Int’l Benchrest Rest Top to be fitted to the Fire Control Rest. Doug notes: “The Caldwell Fire Control is a nice rest for the money, but it comes up short in the rest top department. The Sinclair RT-3 [or its replacement, the Gen II B/R top] fits perfect with minor modifications.” Shown below are the main components:

fire control rest conversion

To adapt the Sinclair RT-3 or Gen II B/R top, Doug merely had to drill a couple holes in the RT-3 baseplate, and adapt a spacer to get the height correct: “The Caldwell factory top has a raised mounting portion so a 1/8″ piece of stock will be needed as a spacer to the flat-bottom RT-3. The spacer needs to be cut to the same length as the movable portion on the rest. And you should plan the mounting accordingly so the left thumbscrew clears the vertical height column at full left position (there is a cutaway in the rest under the thumbscrew that allows for easy access to the screw).” We have labeled the photo with dimensions, but Doug cautions you should measure your own original plate to insure the drill locations are correct for your unit.

fire control rest conversion

Below you’ll see the completed installation, with the RT-3 installed on the Fire Control rest. Doug says it works very well. For more information on this Fire Control rest top conversion, with Doug’s measurments for the hole-spacing and his specs on the fasteners, go to the original thread in our Shooter’s Forum. NOTE: Sinclair no longer sells the RT-3 top, but Sinclair’s $69.95 Gen II B/R top can be converted just as easily. LINK to Fire Control Rest Top Conversion Forum Thread.

fire control rest conversion

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 19th, 2012

World’s First Joystick-Controlled Bipod — NEW from SEB Coaxial

Sebastian Lambang SEB coaxialSebastian (Seb) Lambang of SEB Coaxial, a brilliant designer and fabricator, has created an ingenious joystick bipod. The first coaxial bipod we’ve ever seen, Seb’s new bipod is a superb example of creative design and smart engineering. This unit gives F-TR and other bipod shooters precise, one-handed control of both windage and elevation. Seb’s innovative joystick bipod is yet one more example of the innovative, advanced engineering we’ve come to expect from his company. We think this guy could be building Formula 1 cars if he set his mind to it. We are fortunate that Seb loves shooting, so he applies his talent to designing and building great new products for the shooting sports.

Seb tells us: “I just finished a prototype joystick bipod, i.e. a bipod with joystick (coaxial) elevation and windage control. This patent-pending bipod is my newest project/invention. As far as I know, there is no one that makes this type of bipod… so it’s probably the only one in the world.” We already know some shooters who want to order Seb’s joystick bipod, but Seb cautions: “It’s not for sale yet. It’s still in prototype step. There is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.”

Sebastian Lambang SEB coaxial

Seb will test and refine the design in the next couple of months before production starts. But Seb is quite satisfied with the design so far: “The rigidity, ease and comfort of use, and compactness, are already OK in my opinion.” Folks in Europe will be able to see the design very soon. The first real-world test of Seb’s new joystick bipod will be at the European F-Class Championship, slated for November 2-3 in the UK. Seb notes: “I won’t be shooting F-TR in the match, but I will ask some fellow F-TR shooters at the Bisley range to test it, and provide feedback.” Seb invites Daily Bulletin readers to look at the photos and provide comments or suggestions on design enhancements.

Technical Description
Sebastian Lambang SEB coaxialAt the lowest setting with the adjustable legs, the SEB bipod is approximately 6″ tall. At the highest setting, the unit is about 9″ tall. To smooth upward movement of the rifle, Seb designed the coaxial head with “built-in uplift”. The joystick itself is about 10″ long, with a collet-type head. When folded, the new SEB Bipod is relatively compact, about 9″ long x 5″ wide x 2″ thick. Most parts are made from aircraft grade 7000 series aluminum. The current weight of the prototype is 26 ounces (740 grams). Seb is working on reducing weight for the production models.

Joystick Function and Adjustment Range
As with SEB Coaxial front rests, the joystick function is user-selectable. The joystick handle can operate either ‘up for up’ or ‘up for down’, simply by reversing the unit and the joystick. The bipod’s effective windage and elevation range* is approximately 38 MOA horizontal (windage) and 16 MOA vertical (elevation). Seb explains: “That’s not as much as my other rests, but for F-Class use it should be adequate. The finer the adjustment, the better on the target and the smoother the joystick operation. It’s like using a scope with 1/8 MOA adjustment rather than 1/4 MOA.”


*True vertical travel is about 32 MOA but in the field the rifle stock will limit how far you can lift the joysticK. Note also that the adjustment range varies with your set-up geometry. The shorter the distance between the rear bag and the bipod, the greater the travel in MOA. This means that if you extend the distance between rear bag and bipod, you will lose some MOA travel.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 11 Comments »
June 26th, 2012

Coaxial Rear Rest on Heavy Gun Benchrest Rig by ‘Straightpipes’

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this new rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action
Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 8th, 2012

Tote Your SEB NEO Rest in Fitted Pelican Storm IM2450 Case

Seb Lambang NEO Coaxial restForum member Ed L. (aka itchyTF) owns one of the beautifully-crafted SEB NEO front joystick rests. These units are in short supply — creator Seb Lambang can’t keep up with demand. Anyone lucky enough to own a SEB NEO would naturally would want to keep it in perfect condition, and Ed is no exception. Ed put together a system to cradle and protect his SEB NEO during transport and storage. Ed tells us: “I decided to give my NEO its own home. I only wanted to remove the leg before storage so I decided on an empty Pelican Storm IM2450 case and added my own foam. This IM2450 case is a little wider than it needs to be, but I couldn’t find anything closer and still fit the other dimensions. The blue and white foam is more rigid than the typical gray foam. The Allen wrenches are placed in the rear piece of white foam.”

Ed found the Pelican Storm IM2450 case on the internet for $103 with free shipping. This same case is sold as the Hardigg IM2450 Storm Case. All-up weight, with the SEB NEO rest in the case, is 32 pounds. CLICK Thumbnails below to view larger images.

SEB NEO rest transport pelican box

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 27th, 2012

Hyskore’s New “Bench Beast” Linked Front/Rear Rifle Rest

Editor’s NOTE: Though the product has some shortcomings, we wanted to show you guys the Hyskore Bench Beast Coaxial Competition Rest because it has some interesting engineering features (such as the scissors-jack primary elevator). The front bag holder won’t accept very wide fore-ends, and the high sides of the rear rest compromise your ability to get in close to the gun and work the rear controls while aiming. Still, there are few integrated front/rear rests on the market, so we thought you’d want to see this new offering from Hyskore.

At SHOT Show 2012, Hyskore unveiled an combined front/rear mechanical rest system appropriately named the Bench Beast. The front rest has a coaxial-type control activated by a long, angled joystick. Hyskore claims the joystick control provides 110 MOA adjustment for both windage and elevation.

For gross elevation changes, this contraption uses a scissors-jack type lift in the front that is definitely industrial in origin. In fact, the Bench Beast looks like something made in a Latvian tractor factory. But this may be useful for someone who wants a linked front and rear mechanical rest that can support a very heavy rifle (50 lbs. or more). It looks like the max width in the front is limited to 3″ so this would not work with a super-wide stock without modification. Too bad. Moreover, the front bag supplied with the Bench Beast is designed for narrow, hunter-style fore-ends. Even to run a 3″-wide gun, you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket bag. While Hyskore calls this a “competition rest”, the Bench Beast is not really set up for competition rifles.

About $500.00 for Combined Front and Rear Rests
The front and rear units can be purchased separately. Exact pricing is not yet set, but the front section should cost about $300, with the rear priced about $200.00. People should note, however, that, if you have full windage and elevation adjustment in the rear, you really only need gross height control in the front (to get on target). With a good rear rest, all the fine windage and elevation adjustment can be done from the rear, and, because of the geometry, a little bit goes a long way. It would be interesting to combine the Bench Beast’s rear unit with a simple (non-joystick) front pedestal rest.

Design Concerns
We’re intrigued with the Bench Beast’s rear unit, since there are few mass-produced, mechanical rear rests on the market. However, we have some concerns about the footprint, height, and overall size of the rear unit (SEE video 1:00-1:10). Ideally, a rear mechanical rest should allow the shooter to tuck in comfortably beside the gun. The Bench Beast has fat control knobs and tall support shafts placed far out from the centerline, on the extreme edges of the rear base.

While the wide rear base provides a solid platform, the outboard support columns and control knobs, we believe, make it difficult for the shooter to position his upper body close to the gun.

The main rear rest control knobs are also not conveniently placed. Look at the video carefully. Better rear rests have the controls further forward and closer to the centerline where they can be easily reached by the shooter’s non-trigger-pulling hand, in a comfortable shooting position. That way a right-handed shooter can easily use his left hand to work the controls while viewing the target through the scope, and holding the rifle grip with his right hand. We like the idea of an affordable rear mechanical rest, but we think the rear section of the Bench Beast would benefit from a major redesign.

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
March 5th, 2010

NEW Prototype SEB NEO Rest Unveiled

We recently received a prototype version of the new NEO rest from SebCoax.com. Designer Sebastian Lambang’s new rest is an engineering tour de force. Your editor can say, straight up, that this is the best joystick rest I’ve ever used. It is butter smooth in horizontal travel. The NEO does not suffer from the jerky, or jumpy vertical movement of some other joystick rests. With a 17-lb gun on the rest, yes there is more resistance in the vertical plane than in the horizontal, but you can still move the crosshairs up smoothly in one motion. You don’t have to “over-shoot” and then come back down on your aiming point. If you’ve used other coaxial rests, you know that the upward movement can be jerky if the resistance is set so that the joystick does not droop when you let go. Not so with the NEO. Seb Lambang has fitted the NEO rest with expensive, new German-made internal bearings. These new teflon liner bearings, plus two additional internal leaf springs for weight support, make all the difference.

YouTube Preview Image

The upward movement is MUCH smoother than before. In this Editor’s opinion, the NEO is smoother (with less jumpiness) than the Farley. It is also easier to set joystick tension on the NEO rest that on the previous (Gen 1) SEB rest. Before you had to fiddle with hex-head bolts. On the NEO rest, SEB has provided two, large diameter knobs. It is easy to set the tension so the joystick doesn’t fall on release, but travel is still smooth and positive in all planes.

Make no mistake, joystick movement on this rest is smooth and fluid, even in straight upwards motion with a 17-pound rifle. No more of the jumpiness or stacking found on lesser designs. SEB has got a winner here. Just as a top-fuel dragster lives or dies on quarter-mile speed, a coaxial rest is judged, foremost, on its ability to move quickly and precisely to point of aim in ONE MOVEMENT. Here the NEO rest shines. It may be the smoothest-functioning coaxial rest ever produced. And it also has the unique feature of adjustable front bag width (see videos). That’s great if you shoot both wide benchrest rigs and narrow-forearm rifles. Also, when disassembled, the NEO rest packs up very compactly — a big plus when traveling. If you didn’t like joystick rests before, the SEB NEO may make you a believer.

Triple-Sandbag Configuration and Vibration Damping
How about shooting performance? The rest is rock-solid, with no wobbly movement, so no mechanical flaws should prevent match-winning performance. However, the NEO rest has three separate, fairly thin bags. This configuration has been used with success in rimfire benchrest. Some European centerfire rests use a similar tri-bag arrangement. However, we are concerned that the smaller, separate bags could behave differently than a conventional front bag. There may be differences in vibration damping and how the bag responds under recoil. We have NOT done enough testing to judge how the NEO’s tri-bag system performs compared to a conventional one-piece sandbag. But it’s something to consider.

NEO Rest Offers More JoyStick Travel
The SEB NEO rest has a very wide range of travel. Running the joystick to max travel, we placed shots 43 MOA apart vertically and 48 MOA apart horizontally. That’s four FEET of horizontal travel at 100 yards using JUST the joystick! If you need more than 43 MOA of vertical travel, the whole coaxial carriage moves up and down on two large columns, delivering a bag height range from about 5″ to 10″ above the bench top. That’s a HUGE amount of travel. The gross height is adjusted with two large knobs, one on either side of the carriage. This movement is very smooth — as if the carriage is on ball bearings.

The geometry of the NEO Rest is somewhat unique. Although the NEO can be positioned in either direction (i.e. it is reversible), it is designed to have the long, narrow foot out front, on the target side. This opens up the entire area behind the rest, so there is no interference with the joystick’s movement. “But what about my vertical speedscrew?” you may be saying. Well, with the SEB NEO’s 43 MOA of vertical travel, you really don’t need a vertical adjustment screw on the shooter’s side of the rest when aiming your rifle. There ARE two adjustment screws on the left and right rear sides, but these are intended to level the rest only.

YouTube Preview Image

Overall, we were very impressed with the quality, range of adjustment, and versatility of the NEO rest. It has more than enough joystick travel to shoot an ARA rimfire target with 25 bulls. It has enough gross vertical adjustment for 1000-yard F-Class use, even if the target is way up on a hill or down in a valley. And, the rest is relatively easy to transport, with a fairly small footprint and a convenient carry handle built into the “back” side of the rest.

NEO Rest Specifications

- Reversible base configuration: Rest can work with joystick tension adjustments in front, or in rear, per user preference. If you want the single long foot on the “driver’s side”, that is also possible.
– Size assembled: Approx. 13″ wide x 14″ long, 8.6″ tall.
– MOA adjustment (joystick travel): At least 40 MOA (vertical) x 44 MOA (horizontal).
– Net weight: approx 9.3 kgs (20.5 lbs), with standard aluminum base and filled bags.
– Bag Width Range: 200 mm (approx 7.874″) between posts CTC. This allows a max forearm width of about 4″ (four inches).
– Height Range (from bottom of base to top of horizontal bag): Approx. 5″ (lowest) to 10″ (highest).
– Sand Bag Thickness: Approx. 3/4″ for the “horizontal’ bag, approx. 1/2″ for the side chambers.
– Construction: All metal throughout. Base is cast aluminum. Rack gear posts and pinion are stainless steel (SUS 420J). Coaxial body, rest top, forearm stopper are made from aircraft grade alumunium.
– Price: Not yet set, but probably $675.00 to $750.00 US.

NEO Rest vs. SEB Standard Rest
Seb told us: “The NEO rest is NOT designed to replace the regular SEB rest. It’s only for people that need faster elevation adjustment, and a rest that can be set to a lower level overall or a higher lever overall. On the production NEO rests, the ‘body’ of the coaxial unit will be polished, just like the current (Gen 1) rest. The current (Gen 1) rest will remain in production, so don’t worry if you prefer that design. I haven’t established the final price of the NEO rest yet, but I think it will be about $675.00 to $750.00. Yes, it will be somewhat more expensive because of the extended travel capability and increased cost of materials.”

Further Enhancements for Production Model?
The NEO we received is a prototype model and SEB tells us that he may add or modify some features in the final production version. What changes would we like? First, we think a front rest in the $700+ price range should have a built-in level. Obviously you can buy a bubble level and stick it on, but Seb should include one. Second, we’d like to see some variations on the side sand chambers. They tend to plump up in the middle. For stocks with side flats, such as the McMillan Edge, the thickest part of the side bags is a bit too high. Also the side tension knobs push the bags inwards well above the contact point with the stock. We also would like to have more forearm stop travel. As made, the front forearm stop has a good range of adjustment. But an optional, longer extension for the stop would better suit rifles that balance/shoot best with the rest placed well back on the forearm.

Included Cord Helps Rest Alignment
Included with the NEO rest is a nylon cord with metal ends. Just pop one end of the cord in a hole in the middle of the forearm stop and draw the cord back in line with the target, running the cord through the ears of your rear sandbag. This allows you to center and align the rear bag optimally. The cord is a thoughtful accessory provided by SEB.

Review Disclosure: SebCoax.com provided the Seb NEO rest for testing and evaluation. The rest’s manufacturer is not currently advertising with AccurateShooter.com.

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