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September 1st, 2019

New Front Bags for SEB NEO and MINI Rests — Input Wanted

F-Class SEB coaxial coax NEO front rest leather F-Class F-TR shooting bag benchrest

Our friend Sebastian “SEB” Lambang, creator of the great SEB Coaxial Rests, Joystick Bipods (“JoyPods”), and SEB MINI Coaxial tripod rests, is working on a new front bag design. He has released photos of his new, prototype front bag system for the top-of-the-line NEO Rest.

F-Class SEB coaxial coax NEO front rest leather F-Class F-TR shooting bag benchrest

Seb notes: “We are experimenting with a new bag for our SEB NEO rest, particularly for F-Open Class with the heavy 22-lb rifles. This new bag is sewn down the middle, slick enough for the purpose, and made from a much tougher material. The bottom/horizontal bag has two separate compartments on the left and right sides to prevent sand migration. For the production version I think I will use black instead of silver.”

F-Class SEB coaxial coax NEO front rest leather F-Class F-TR shooting bag benchrest

Do you like the new design? Do you have any suggestions on how it could be enhanced? Seb is looking to get shooters’ feedback on this new bag design. You can post comments on Seb’s Facebook page.

New F-Class and Benchrest Front Bags for SEB MINI
Seb will also be offering a new similar bag for his excellent (and very popular) SEB MINI tripod front rest. There will be a sewn-in-middle F-Class version (see right below), as well as a flat-top, conventional bag for registered benchrest matches. Due to differences in the equipment rules, Seb notes: “The sewn-in-middle front bag can be used for F-CLASS matches. However, be sure to not use the F-CLASS bag (sewn down in the middle) for official Benchrest matches.”

F-Class SEB coaxial coax NEO front rest leather F-Class F-TR shooting bag benchrest

COMMENT: The advantage to the Stitched-in-Middle front bag design is that the bag will never develop a hump in the middle that can cause your stock to rock a little (or sit at a slight tilt). If you are not shooting in restricted competition, Seb’s new bag design could prove beneficial — providing a more optimal front support. We don’t have the dimensions of Seb’s center-sewn front bags, but we suspect a version might fit other brands of front rests, such as Sinclair or Bald Eagle (Grizzly).

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
March 30th, 2019

New Protektor Model Aluminum Front Rest — Made in USA

Protektor Protector read sand bag front aluminum rest bag benchrest windage top

You probably know the name Protektor Model for quality front and rear bags. The Protektor DR rear bag is extremely stable, making it the choice of many top Benchrest and F-Class shooters. But guess what — Protektor makes more than leather products now.

Protektor recently introduced a slingshot-style aluminum front rest, and it looks impressive. It is offered with standard top for $195.00. The deluxe version with Windage-adjustable top costs $295.00. Both versions have an adjustable fore-end stop and nice big Mariners Wheel for elevation control. The deluxe windage-top version, shown below, also comes with a bubble level.

Protektor Protector read sand bag front aluminum rest bag benchrest windage top

The Windage-adjustable version is shown above (as well as in top photo). The left-right Windage is controlled with a simple knob that spins a shaft on the left side of the top. Height adjusts from 4-7/8″ to 7″ via the nicely-crafted Mariners Wheel. NOTE: The black triangular base is a third-part item, NOT part of the rest. Also the $295.00 price does NOT include front bag, which is sold separately. A deluxe Protektor square-ear front bag for 3″ forearms costs $43.00.

Basic Protektor Aluminum Rest is $195.00
Shown below is the basic Protektor rest, a good value at just $195.00 (rest only — no bag). This includes a machined aluminum top, large Mariners Wheel, and adjustable feet. This has a 7.75″ x 14″ footprint and weighs 5.65 lbs without sand-bag. That makes it pretty easy to carry around — a plus for varminters. The rest top fits standard-sized Protektor bags, which, as filled, take the total weight to about seven pounds.

Protektor Protector read sand bag front aluminum rest bag benchrest windage top

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November 2nd, 2018

TECH TIP: Use a Block to Maintain Front Bag Shape

John Loh Front Rest JJ Industries

front rest bag blockHere’s a simple solution for lumpy front sandbags. Cut a small block the width of your fore-end and place that in the front bag between matches. You can tap it down firmly with a rubber mallet. This will keep the front bag nice and square, without bunching up in the center. That will help your rifle track straight and true. Rick Beginski uses wood (see photo), while our friend John Southwick uses a small block of metal. The metal block might work a little better, but the wood version is easier to make with simple tools. John Loh of JJ Industries offers a slick Delrin block with a built-in bubble level. Loh’s block helps ensure that the actual top surface of your front bag is level, as distinct from the front rest assembly.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 17th, 2017

Budget Co-Axial Rest — The $200 Caldwell (Plus Upgrade)

fire control rest conversion

Available for under $200.00 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 $197.99
Precision Reloading is running a sale this week on Caldwell products. Now through May 23rd you can get the Caldwell Fire Control Front Rest for just $197.99. That’s a great deal for guys on a tight budget who want a modern 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).

fire control rest conversion

Upgrading Fire Control Front Rest with Sinclair Top

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

The completed installation, with the RT-3 installed on the Fire Control rest is shown at the top of this article. Doug says it works very well. To learn more about this 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 $75.99 Gen II B/R top can be converted just as easily. LINK to Fire Control Rest Top Conversion Forum Thread.

fire control rest conversion

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