The Hog Saddle

The coolest product I saw this year at Shot Show was one that I almost did not see.  Its easy to miss things at Shot Show simply because of how many products are being shown, but this product, The Hog Saddle by Shadow Tech LLC caught my eye.  As I walked down the line at an invite only shooting event held the day before Shot Show formally opened, it was easy to miss this product, especially given the prototype Barrett M240 (we wrote about it here as the MG240LW) going through belt after belt of 7.62mm a few feet away, but there, off to my right stood a tripod with a GAPrecision rifle atop it.  I actually did walk past, but did a double take and stepped back to examine just how this GAP rifle was positioned.  What I saw was a product that was elegant in its simplicity, rugged and  effective.  It was a most beautifully machined vise designed to hold a rifle and called the Hog Saddle.  The Hog Saddle is the kind of product that you see and instantly realize the usefulness and application.  Its the kind of product that makes you slap your forehead and say “I should have thought of this”.  Its the kind of product that you realize meets a need you never knew you had or if you did realize you did have the need, this product instantly makes your life simpler and better.

 

The Hog Saddle is in essence, a 16 oz. CNC machined vise for your rifle with an industry standard mount that sits atop a commercial camera  tripod.  The singular purpose of The Hog Saddle is to provide a stable, solid, universal thread attachment for your rifle on a modular lightweight, adjustable and adaptable mount (tripod).  It is crafted out of a single block of aluminum, hard anodized to provide a base for camouflage and is resistant to corrosion.  The vise itself been machined to provide a contact patch of urethane pads to protect your rifle, reduce recoil and muzzle rise and preserve accuracy.

 

Flexibility is important and why the Hog Saddle has neoprene bonded into the CNC machined surface.  Obviously, not all rifles have the same dimensions, so the Hog Saddle can adapt to different style rifles and still securely hold them in place.  Here is an AR style rifle with a modular rail mounted securely in the Hog Saddle.  Other rifles that are currently being used in the field with the Hog Saddle are AR designs including M16, M4, Mk-12 and .308 designs like the SR-25.  M14 rifles, M110, Remington 700 designs including the M24 and M40 series as well as Accuracy International and McMillan TAC-50s.

 

The story of how the Hog Saddle came to be is the classic American success story.  Products like this are the epitome of how small business gets started by meeting a very specific need through the design and construction of the most optimized quality product for the market.  The Hog Saddle was designed by Joshua Stabler, a Marine Scout Sniper and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who saw the need for a product that could easily and rapidly mount a rifle on a flexible platform to enable precision shooting while reducing fatigue.  Joshua like all scout snipers was trained to adapt or fabricate tools to meet the needs of the mission.  Among snipers in the Corps and in the Army at least, Manfrotto tripods (commonly used for photography) are a common tool of the trade to provide a compact and convenient shooting support.  Snipers have been running around with them for some time because they are relatively affordable, rugged and can take the recoil pounding from magnum caliber rounds, not to mention the abuse delivered in combat zones.  After running around in the desert with fabricated rifle mounts created with 4″ PVC pipe with Isomat foam (pulled out of their sleeping mats) and glued together with ShooGoo, duct tape or JB Weld, Joshua saw the need for a more robust and reliable solution that would lock the rifle into a stable position.  Because the rifle would precariously balance on top of this fabricated mount, falls are not uncommon potentially damaging optics or the accuracy of your platform.  As Joshua puts it “Every sniper can tell you a personal story or two when they dumped their rifle off of a tripod”.

 

So, Joshua came back home and designed the Hog Saddle for his own use.  As the classic story goes, his colleagues saw his solution and said “Hey, can you build me one?” and the company was born with the product being made in San Clemente, California.

Currently, the Hog Saddle is one of the hottest items in the sniper community and is being fielded by sniper platoons in the Marine Corps including MARSOC teams and Force Recon as well as with SEAL teams, Army special forces, German special forces (Kommando Spezialkräfte) and Italian special forces.  It is also being used in the USMC Scout Sniper basic school and instructors course, the USMC High Angle Mountain Sniper Course and the USMC Special Operations Training Group.

The Hog Saddle is the single greatest idea I’ve seen in long range precision shooting in years.  Its obviously the perfect accessory for those that earn their living behind a rifle, but it should be noted that its also an amazing addition for those that game hunt.  I’ve hunted with shooting sticks and bipods and they have their place.  But like anyone who has spent any time with a rifle will tell you, only a small number of shots are made shooting from the most stable prone position and shooting sticks are not self supporting when seated or standing.  On top of that, magnum caliber rifles with heavy contour barrels are just that… Heavy.  Shooting from a seated, braced position or a standing position can adversely affect the accuracy of your shot.  The most responsible way to hunt is to make a precision shot that humanely takes down your game and reduces damage to the meat.  The Hog Saddle facilitates accurate shot placement and I’ll be ordering another to go with my personal GAPrecision .300wm.  You can get your own Hog Saddle in standard and Mil-Spec models here.

Image credit:  Bryan William Jones




Advertisement

  • I had the opportunity to play around with it at the shoot. It is a very clever idea and works really well.

  • noob

    i wonder how long before somebody makes a rifle forend with a bushed and tapped universal thread camera tripod hole in it.

    or a similarly equipped stock for the m14 or remington 700

    less things to lose

    • Not a bad idea!

      • Chris B

        Like my 1970’s Parker Hale M82 sniper it has the inset bottom of stock- handstop (threaded) rail. All i did was use a smaller threaded nut on the ( manfrotto )camera plate. Been there done that. What is old is now new.

    • Neat product!
      I’ve actually been playing with that concept, just adding a threaded bushing on a couple rifles for a while.

      G.

    • Sian

      I hope you’ve patented that, dude.

  • Theodoric

    Reminds me of that swivelled gun in The Man with the Golden Gun. That onedidn’t use a vice, though. This is some really smart piece of design.

  • charles222

    That is really clever! I like it.

    The bit about actual camera tripods being rugged enough to handle rifle recoil (if I didn’t misread the article :p ) is pretty cool, too.

  • John Doe

    That is an absurdly clever idea.

    And how I wish I had a Sako. What a beautiful rifle.

    • David

      Looks more like an Accuracy International, not a Sako

      • John Doe

        I didn’t catch the thumbhole stock. That’s a color I just generally associate with Sako’s rifles. My mistake.

        They’re both fantastic rifles though.

      • David

        I can see that mistake, looks similar to the TRG from the grip forward (First pic)

        I’ve never fired either, I’d like to though

    • Hey John Doe, that rifle is a GAPrecision made rifle (a Rem 700 action) in an Accuracy International Chassis System. I have an almost identical rifle, only in green and its an amazing tool.

  • Lance

    Looks nice for shooting while standing do they make a bench model??

    • Sian

      It uses an industry standard tripod mount. So you can use it with pretty much any optical tripod, including the countertop variety.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Israeli snipers have been using something similar to this for years:

    http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/3210/s2rd3.jpg

  • Jesse James

    Larue Tactical came out with a similar product two years ago. It uses a small plate that attaches to a picatinny rail. It only works with a Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Ball Head. http://www.laruetactical.com/larue-tactical-picatinny-rail-adapter

    • JMD

      That’s not the same thing at all. The one from Larue is a rail-mounted device. This new one clamps onto any rifle, even ones that don’t have rails underneath.

  • Erik

    Very cool. Costs about 3x what I would be willing to pay, but for those that NEED them looks like a great option.

  • schizuki

    Pedantry alert – it’s “vise”, not “vice.”

    As in, “If the Vice Squad bags you, your wife will have your balls in a vise.”

    • Doh! Well… that is embarrassing. You’d think that I might have caught that. Fixed and many thanks.

    • Burst

      The less said about the “vise squad” the better, then.

  • Mike Knox

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen something like that in the film ‘Phone Booth’..

  • Sanjuancb

    Fun idea but for $375 it is simply out of reach for most shooters. You could construct a similarly functional device for a fraction of the price.

    • The Standard model is $275 and the Mil-Spec model is $309.

      Keep in mind that the Hog Saddle wasn’t designed for the average shooter.
      It was made to make life easier for Scout Snipers, survive the abusive environment of a war-zone, and to put bullets in bad people.
      Many civilian customers appreciate the ruggedness and over-engineered aspect of the Hog Saddle.

      Machining aluminum and stainless steel isn’t cheap, especially in the USA. I opted not to cut corners and employ an overseas slave labor mill or Communist to manufacture my product.
      I’m proud of the fact that the Hog Saddle puts Americans to work and provides the best crafted rifle rest money can buy to support the mission of our elite war fighters.

      • Sanjuancb

        Sorry for the typo. I appreciate the work that goes in to these and their intended application. How about a less over-engineered version for the average shooter? Have you considered how handy they would be for prairie dog shooters? People spotting and stalking out west? Sheep hunters? Make a more economical model and I’ll buy one myself!

      • Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be coming out with another product or two that will be more wallet friendly. I totally agree that a more economic model would appeal better to the hunting market.

  • Tim

    There’s another similar clamp/vise out there called “Triclawps” that appears lighter and has two quick release type levers. Google it and check it out.

  • Jim

    For us Joe Average types, not being of the HSLD variety, the same thing could perhaps be done in glass-fiber-reinforced-plastic, possibly with an internal, stainless chassis, and a bit of external, “waffle” type ribbing for rigidity. If produced in volume, this would be a cheaper trick, and likely would do for the average varminteer, big game hunter or all around shooting enthusiast.

    It’d be about the same weight, but might have slightly thicker sections to achieve the same rigidity.

    But, with volume production, it would be far cheaper. I’d gladly pay $149.95 retail for such, and if it could come in at $99.95, you’d have ’em in every Cabela’s, Bass-Pro and slews of individual gun stores, coast to coast.

    Concurrently, if the maker could source a quality fluid-head mount, and a suitable, but cheaper alternative to the Manfrotto, why, he’d sell a ton of those, too.

    Want to really sell a metric assload of ’em to the Fudd market? Make a clamp to go under the fluid-head, that secures into the window of a box-type deer blind.

    Texas sales alone would make you a milionare.

    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX