Lead Sleds

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Double D, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I see in the book "Shooting The British Double Rifle" that the author refers to using a lead sled. I recall seeing in more than one place that they should not be used for fear of breaking stocks. I also believe that Caldwell may even say they don't recommend use over .416. Does anyone out there have any experience with them? I am going to try and regulate my .500 a little closer and lets face it a lead sled would make it a more enjoyable process.
     
  2. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    I've no experience with them, but I've seen a model at Cabela's which has hydraulic dampening to it, the Hyskore Dangerous Game. The description says it is good up to .416, not sure how it would handle your .500.
     
  3. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    I have a lead sled and have been using it while testing accuracy of hand loads in my .416 Rigby. Somewhere along the line, I'd heard (or read) about the risk of cracking the stock of a big bore.

    Instead of using 2 or 3 bags of shot (50-75 lbs) in the tray of the sled, I've been using only one. The sled will skid backward 1-2 inches with each shot, but with the reduced weight, there is some "give" in the system. So far, no issues.

    The physics of this are pretty straight forward. The more weight on the sled, the more it is like a solid, immovable object.

    You'll have to decide what you want to risk with your own rifle. You might want to consider starting with no shot bags on the sled. It's pretty heavy on its own.

    - browningbbr
     
  4. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..I have heard that about stock cracking! If that is the case I don't see much good for them. I have seen a lot of people using them at the gun range for mild stuff 308,270, 20 guage shot guns etc. I tried it a couple shots with a 12 guage & wasn't impressed to much. You need to feel the gun to learn good shooting skills. You have to know what the recoil is like also to be able to make the shot at the magic time! These same people talk about the recoil these guns have & they sight in with the lead sled & are gone. I think they are afraid of the recoil so much that they are 90 % sure of a miss on that big buck as they are convinced the gun kicks so bad!
    ...If you can't use them for the big stuff for working loads with out worrying about cracking a stock then I don't think they are of much good use for the shooter. Browning has a good idea to try there it sounds practical!!
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat AH Member

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    I have shot several hundred rounds with mine in a 375 H&H. Havent had any problem yet.
    Have also shot my 7 mm STW for years in it no problem !
     
  6. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Double D,

    At times I use a Lead Sled to test loads for my 470. In the eyes of some Double Rifle shooters that method is sacrilegious.

    I do not put any weight on the sled since it weighs about 15-20 pounds. I place my hand under the fore end. There are those who claim that resting the fore end on the rest can change the point of impact. Keep the bottom corner of the stock about an 1” from resting on the bottom of the rest. This will allow for some downward movement. Jamming it in the corner is can break the stock. It needs to be able to move some.

    The concern of breaking a double in a Lead Sled is real. That is no 375 you are shooting and the recoil needs to go somewhere.

    I am considering building a standing rest for testing loads in my heavy hitters, guess I am getting soft in my old age.

    Now off to the range
     
  7. mhlmvl

    mhlmvl New Member

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    Why?

    Lets see, Double D, you read Graeme Wright's "Loading the British Double Rifle" and are asking about the use of the Lead Sled and whether the use of that device is dangerous to the stock of your rifle. That's an interesting question by you. In my issue, 3rd Edition of the book which I bought from Ian Skennerton, the issue of the use of the Lead Sled and the question of stock splitting is thoroughloy covered by Wright. Further, there is no way to read Wright's book without getting the feeling this guy has "been there, done that".
    So, the question is, do you disbelieve Wright's conclusions or are you looking for people on this forum who have greater knowledge on the subject than Wright? I'm interested to know because if Wright's book is unreliable, I need to know. His conclusion on the Lead Sled seemed pretty conclusive to me.
     
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat AH Member

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    The lead sled to me is a sight in only tool. All I know is that you get a lot more muzzel
    jump when you shoot. Living where I live in good weather like spring and summer I may sight in or test a new load in 5 guns every other day. I might be a wimp but I cant take that much of a beating. My latest 375 I shot over 200 rounds in three days to get the load I wanted. With out it Im not sure what I would do. As far as bigger cal I couldnt tell ya . But I also only use 2 bags of lead on it so every time you shot it slides back an inch or so.
     
  9. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    Re: WHY

    Its prity simple. I did read the book. And the author seems to have it together. But because I have heard conflicting reports I thought I would see what others have experienced. I have read lots of books by experts on lots of things. But it doesn't hurt to get more opinions based on the experiences of others. I don't want to break the stock on my double based on something I read in one book. If you want to follow what you read in the book without question that is up to you.
     
  10. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I have a lead sled and I use it - I am see no shame in it. It is what it is, a reliable repeatable platform for measure the accuracy and precision of a rifle (yes, they are different things).

    They work great for working up precise loads and the gun to shoot accuratly. Also great for testing the drop of a bullet from 1 yardage to the next (50 to 100 to 200 and so on). I have used it on the following .222, .243, .270, .270 WSM, 300 Win Mag., 375 H&H (Bolt Action) and .458 Lott (Bolt Action), and many of my ytadotopnal black power gund (yes, I see the obvisous irony.

    One bag of lead and there is alot of movement. It pushes tjat .458 Lott around no problem at all. I think yje .300 Win Mag is worse because of the "jump factor" with a bullet existing over 1,000 fps faster.

    Never broke a stock. I would use it on a double if I could afford the double.

    Once the gun is accurtly shooting a precise load the only reason for the lead sled is the periodic check on the optics and accuracy to the point of aim - whcih in my .458 & 375 is 50m.

    I have not read Mr. Wright's book - maybe I should have, I guess I shout not be shooting the .458 on a sled. I belive experts who have been there and done that have alot to learn. But they each became an expert by doing it - not read it in a book. It's always a good place to start but trial and error make experts.
     
  11. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    It is interesting that anybody would question why someone would ask for real life experience to confirm or deny something read in a book. The answers to 99% of this type of question are in a book or multiple books with different answers. Wright knows more about doubles than I will ever learn, but that does not make him or any other writer infallible. As for myself I am not an expert at anything, I just play one on the internet.

    Some posters have no problem with the lead sled; I believe it can cause problems. I read yesterday a person broke two rifles in a lead sled (458 Lott and 458 Win). I choose not to use one, (except as I outlined) others do choose to use it differently. This is why we have a free exchange of ideas.

    Now the important question: "Wildcat" what load did you settle on after firing 200 rounds testing a 375? I have respect for you guys with that much patience.
     
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat AH Member

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    Mike Im a load nut. No expert but love to mess with loads. I live in a remote place here in Idaho and have my own private acerage and have a concrete bench with built over cover on it. so I can walk out my back door and shoot 5 or 6 rounds walk back in and make up another load and start over. I like to put 3 or 4 on paper,3 thru the chrono. All in half a grain diff powder and maybe 3 to 4 types of powder. When it comes to guns I want the most out of everyone of them that I own. For some reason I think its just plain fun. Wife says Im nuts ! This 375 is in a remington xcr( not a double rifle but was told any gun is damaged in a sled )I worked up loads for 4 bullet weights that are dead nuts on ! The best is a 300 gr Barnes tripple shock, loaded with 72 gr of RL 15. At a hundred yards you cant tell you shot 3 rounds unless you look close.They are all touching.
    But as things go I shot an elk with that load at around the 300 yard mark this year and bullet performance was poor at best. So all my work was just for "FUN"
    Enjoy
     
  13. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl New Member

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    My 2 cents on the Lead Sled. I have fired my 458 WM on it, and my Rem 700 in .338 Ultra Mag. It does take the sting out of a heavy recoil when sighting in, and I use no other weights. No broken stocks, but I am not thriller with the design of the bags on it either. I replace the front with a leather Owl ear, and would like to figure out something with the rear support. Big rifles have recoil pads, and when I snuggle in for a shot, the rubber compress, as the bottom tip is the only thing supporting the butt stock which moves my sight off target. I have heard of stocks breaking, but never heard what make, model of rifle was used, was it bolted to the bench, or loaded with 50 lbs. of lead. Probably happen to one person with a skinny old style Mauser stock, and grew from that.
     
  14. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    …………………………Lead sled and double rifles

    Gentlemen there are two very good reasons not to use the lead sled when shooting a side-by-side double rifle! As far as Graeme Wright rights credibility being in question, I would bet that there isn’t a man alive today that has done 1/10th the research on double rifles as Mr. Wright. What he tells you can take to the bank, PERIOD!

    First reason is that a double rifle depends on the recoil arch to regulate, and must be absolutely allowed to recoil as if held in the hands, with the body of the shooter controlling the recoil. This is because a side-by-side double rifle doesn’t recoil the same as a single barreled rifle. Each barrel recoils up, back, and away from the other barrel. For this reason the S/S double rifle must never touch anything other than the shooters hands, shoulder, and face to regulate properly.

    This is because of a phenomenon called “barrel time” which is the time the bullet is traveling down the bore between ignition, and exiting the muzzle. Each barrel is not pointed to the same place as the sights are before firing.

    . If you remove the barrels from a S/S double rifle and lock them by the lumps in a padded vice with the sights aligned on a six o’clock hold on an aiming point on the target at the distance engraved on the rear sight, then place an empty case with no primer in each chamber, and look through the primer holes in each case, what you will see is the RIGHT barrel will be pointing at a place on the target, that is LEFT, and LOW of the point of aim on the sights. The left barrel will be exactly the opposite that of the right barrel by the same amount. This is because when the rifle is fired with a load that will shoot to the regulation of the rifle, the right barrel must rise and move to the move to the right to be pointing a the POA of the sights when the bullet exits the muzzle, and vice versa for the left barrel. The Lead Sled doesn’t allow the rifle to do this properly, and because of the sidewise and up recoil arch, throws a strain on the wrist section of the double rifle, which is the weakest place on the stock.

    A similar devise can be made to limit the felt recoil without damages to your double rifle, or interfering with the recoil arch. Take a canvas bag with a long shoulder strap, and put the lead bags inside the bag place the bag on the bench, with the strap between your shoulder and the butt stock of the double rifle, and move back till the strap is taunt. When you fire the rifle as you would when shooting off hand the weight in the bag will reduce the felt recoil by the shooter. This doesn’t interfere with the recoil arch allowing the rifle to regulate properly. It is OK to rest you forehand on a sand bag but hold on to the barrels and wood forward of the fore-end iron and wood, and do not rest the butt of the double.
     

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