Caldwell Lead Sled and Lead Sled DFT Review

In this episode of TFBTV, James tries out the Caldwell Lead Sled Plus and Lead Sled DFT, which were sent to him for evaluation from Caldwell. James shoots on both frames with the M4, M16, and the AK47. Check this episode of TFBTV to get his thoughts on Caldwell’s sleds.

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Transcript ….

– Hey guys, James again for TFB TV.

We’ve got a nice crisp, cool 80 degree October day here in Louisiana, so I’m capitalizing on that.

Doing some dad chores around the house, and you wouldn’t believe this but I called Caldwell to ask if I could have a Lead Sled, and you know I told them I’d do a little video, plug them because I’ve had a lot of you guys asking for a little bit more detailed accuracy tests in some of the reviews, figured I’d give it a shot.

And when I contacted Caldwell they were super cool about it, and they were like hey man we’ll send you two.

And here we’ve got the lead sled plus.

Instructions, tool kit.

(squeaking) Hey Krink.

The Lead Sled comes to you partially assembled, it will require only a few minutes using the two provided hex keys and stamp wrench to fully assemble your rest.

Thank you for the vote of confidence Caldwell but you guys don’t know how dumb I am.

This is gonna take a while.

Alright they refer to this as the frame.

Says assemble the front weight tray to the frame.

Sadly, not a lot of pictures in the manual.

Just a schematic, makes it a little bit tougher for me.

(paper crinkling) Well that actually really wasn’t that hard.

I’ve got this thing assembled, it’s pretty well made as you’d expect.

I mean everybody knows Caldwell’s kinda synonymous with the Lead Sled.

And even though they bribed me, you guys just saw it was really easy to put together.

I’m sitting here watching the game, maybe check the manual a couple of times.

Now there weren’t as many pictures as I would have liked.

However it was straightforward, I didn’t even really need to look at the manual and as I said I am really really dumb and bad with my hands.

So for you guys it might take even less time.

Let’s get this other one.

Alright now this other box is substantially larger and heavier.

The Lead Sled DFT, Dual Frame Technology.

Wow this thing looks really sophisticated.

Oh man, this is gonna be tough.

Alright now this manual’s got more pictures, step by step.

God, put the weight tray on backwards.

Anyways this one the DFT was a little bit trickier, but all in all not really not that difficult to assemble either.

Took a little bit longer than the much simpler Lead Sled plus.

I’ll give them both a shot at the range.

(gunshots) Alright I’ve got the Lead Sled Plus set up for this M4.

Now you guys can see, if you’re pistol grip shooters, you might be in a little bit of trouble.

Especially if you’re shooting prone.

Gosh or especially if you’re shooting seated, and you’re above the ground.

As you can see, my M4 right now is pointed kind of in an upward arc, and that’s because the pistol grip on this M4 goes right into the main support rod here on the Lead Sled Plus.

You can make the front of the gun go up and down with this little wheel here, really nice very smooth action but at a certain point if you’re shooting a gun with a pistol grip, it’s gonna hit the support pole.

So in order to avoid that, I’ve gotta raise it up a little.

So to get things level what are you gonna wanna do? Well you’re gonna want to elevate the back end.

I suppose one way to do that is to maybe stack things in the little pouch here for the stock.

Another way is this foot in the back.

But right there that’s about as far as it goes.

And I think that might put us on target.

So I gotta say guys, this Lead Sled DFT is pretty badass.

I didn’t really understand just out of the box what it did over the Lead Sled Plus, but when you’re dialing this thing in, it’s like dialing in a medieval siege machine or something like that.

You’ve got a crank here, that brings the front end from left to right.

Then you’ve got a massive wheel right here that you can see lifts it up and down.

So when you have your eyes on the reticle in the scope, you can just make these minute adjustments to get your shot on target.

It’s pretty impressive, very very fine increments.

(gunshot) Next up we’ve got the AK in the Lead Sled, and this is gonna be a little bit awkward and not just because of my shorts this time.

This AK, the Banana mag you can see runs into the dual tubes on the bottom.

So I’ve got this thing propped up, I’ve even got some wolf a box of wolf back here propping up the rear of the Lead Sled just so we can get this thing on plane.

So it’s gonna be a little weird but I’m pretty sure the results are going to be good.

(gunshot) Hey thanks again to Caldwell for sending me these Lead Sleds, I’ll tell you this my final thoughts on them.

I really think that getting the Dual Frame Lead Sled is worth it.

The ability to move the fore-end of the Lead Sled back and forth, the fine tuning adjustment and really having the two tubes so you can have a magazine slip between them instead of riding on top of them, or your pistol grip for example, it makes a huge difference.

So for me, you know at first I was thinking that the Lead Sled Plus would be sufficient for just about anybody, it’s well made it’s simple however today I pretty much only used the Dual Frame Lead Sled.

Anyways if you’re thinking about using a Lead Sled, I can highly recommend them.

They are great, especially for long days at the range, you’re putting no stress on your shoulders at all, no recoil and you can really get to the nitty gritty of the accuracy that your gun can produce.

You can squeeze every last MOA outta your rifle in the Lead Sled.

So I appreciate it, thank you Caldwell, thank you again to our sponsors Ventura Munitions and Proxibid.

I will see you guys next week.

(“Stars and Stripes Forever”)





James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
• Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
► Twitter: @jjreeves
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► YouTube.com/c/JamesReeves


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  • These devices just never felt like shooting to me. They are to shooting like auto pilot is to aviation.

    • ModelT

      For me, they are good for accurate sighting in and not much else.

      • Keiichi

        What about handload development? (assuming you handload…)

        • ModelT

          No, I do not handload at this moment in my life. Perhaps when i’m old and have time I will.

      • DanGoodShot

        I use mine to dial in a new scope, accuracy test a new rifle/build. But I use it a lot more frequently when working up a new load. I do quite a bit of reloading, so, it does see some real use. Peeps here in the comments seem to think its ment to be used all the time. Not at all. Just like any other tool. It has its purpose and place.

    • Ragged Hole

      What??? They are for sighting in and load development while eliminating as many variables as well as helping shooters with limited mobility or disabilities.

      If you are doing all your shooting off of it, you are probably not challenging or growing much as a shooter though.

      • I do my load development and sight in off of a rest bag. I never felt the need to get a lead sled. If it takes a lead sled to see the smaller group size than it is a level of accuracy not necessary for my skill level. As I am loading and shooting to see how I shoot, not doing a science experiment where I need to eliminate variables.

        As a person with limited mobility I don’t see how a lead sled will help. I do see how it would help people with disabilities, but a good friend of mine uses a wheel chair mounted shooting rest. Which allows him to move around with the rifle.

        • Ragged Hole

          Accuracy is in and of itself a mathematical calculation and load development is a scientific experiment. If you see no use for controlled variables and more precision, I can’t really help you. However, the more dialed in and controlled your rifle is during both endeavors the less deviation you will experience in the field, whether that be competition, hunting, or self-defense.

          • Not all of us load to levels of precision beyond our ability to shoot.

            If I can’t notice a smaller group size with me behind the gun, than I feel it is just a waste of time to go into a machine rest or a ransom rest.

            I see people all the time that spend hours running out OAL variances, and powder drops to bring their ammo to a level of precision that they can’t even shoot to. People who would be better off ignoring all that BS to just load and practice with the ammo.

          • Ragged Hole

            ??

    • PersonCommenting

      They are great for sighting in, testing hand loads and a couple other applications. I will say I dont get the guys who shoot on rests like this all the time at the range though. The only time I use a rest like this would be to sight in irons and a new scope and the occasional hand loads. If I have a sighted in rifle Im not going to waste my rounds on my monthly range trips on this cause those trips are for testing me.

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    In before Iski gets all excited over James’ shorts

    • iksnilol

      Son of a —

  • M-Dasher

    lead sleds…..because learning to shoot prone properly is apparently too hard.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Exactly. Any time I see one of these I know the shooter is absolutely wasting their time. Nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” like a lead sled does.

      • Ragged Hole

        For the most part, yes I agree. I see a ton of guys at the range who live on their rests and still can shoot for crapt… 90% of my shooting is 3P but I enjoy using my CTK P3 Rest & Vice to dial my rifles in and test new loads.

    • Independent George

      It’s a good way to separate out shooter tendencies from the rifle.

      If I have a tendency to shoot right, and I end up zeroing my sights based on that tendency, I won’t ever correct my mechanics because I’ll just assume I’m dead on the entire time.

      If I zero on the lead sled, then find I’m shooting right when I’m not on the lead sled, then I know it’s me and not the rifle. I’ll stop and try to fix my mechanics instead of adjusting my sights.

  • Ragged Hole

    I didn’t like the Lead Sled DTF and I thought there was way to much wobble. I returned it and got a CTK P3 Shooting Rest with the bench vise attachment.

    I filled the limbs with lead shot and it is unbelievably solid.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That’s the best part, even if you do have a use for one of these in the RARE occasion a rest is better than a good shooter and a bag, there are much better products.

      • Ragged Hole

        I agree, it is rare that I use mine, I shoot 3 position offhand mostly. I do use it to get dialed in though and find it invaluable.

  • 360_AD

    You might want to fix that spelling error in the video title (preview still frame). Little details like that tend to matter in manufacturers’ desire to submit items for review/marketing.

  • >ZOMG it’s not a test of mechanical accuracy without a lead sled!
    >ZOMG why are you cheating with a lead sled?

    • James Reeves

      Oh my god ^^^ this

      • PersonCommenting

        Fill me in on the joke? Ive heard the cheating one before but If I dont have a lead slead I am not going to be able to get the tightest of groups if I am sighting in with irons simply cause I cant get a hard focus on my sights. My eyes are so poor that I cant shoot tight groups without one and a spotting scope. At one hundred yards.

        • Joseph Goins

          It’s a spoof on the two things people generally say about accuracy tests. Either way, James pisses off somebody because he used or didn’t use a lead sled.

  • iksnilol

    [Obligatory oogling of James Reeves]

    Like, dayumn, you started with shorts… not bad.

  • Hoplopfheil

    James, I don’t think your shorts are quite short enough.

  • noob
  • jon spencer

    Should have used firearms that this was designed for, hard recoiling.

    • DrewN

      Right? That’s what this is for, hunters who only shoot a few sighters and a couple in the field every season or folks who don’t want to suck up 10 rounds of 45/70 through a lever action just to check sight alignment. I keep one in the truck when going to the range, but I’ve probably only used it 2 or 3 times in 10 years. I’ve let plenty of other folks use it though, and they seem to find it helpful.

      • AlDeLarge

        That’s exactly what I was thinking about one of these for. The iron sights are zeroed well for the light/cowboy loads, but I’m not looking forward to sighting the scope in for the hot 45-70 loads. It’s a see through scope mount so I can use either, and I see no reason to have them sighted the same.

  • Gary Kirk

    Trying our best to look like a 70s high school wrestling coach are we??

  • Beomoose

    Hey, finally a proper use of Wolf
    (I kid, I kid)

  • Independent George

    Even TFB has been taken over by cat videos…