TFB Review: Caldwell Precision Turret Shooting Rest

Daniel Y
by Daniel Y
TFB Review: Caldwell Precision Turret Shooting Rest

Caldwell produces a wide range of shooting gear. From targets to rests to chronographs, they are a brand found in most sporting goods stores. One of their key product areas is shooting rests and sandbags. They also make the Precision Turret Rest, which is a hybrid between a machine gun tripod and a clamp-type rest typically used on tall tripods. I bought one to see how it works and thought that would be worth sharing with you all.

Caldwell @ TFB:

Disclosures are critical in any review. Caldwell previously supplied some steel targets for use in my reviews, and they have held up well. I bought this product through an industry purchase program. Caldwell has no idea that I’m doing this review, and I do not have any personal relationship with them.


I recently found myself looking for a shooting rest to use in my reviews. Accuracy testing is a nice thing to include in reviews of long guns. However, it can take a lot of time and ammo to gather informative data. A good, solid rest system is one way to speed up that process. It also helps reduce the amount of ammunition wasted when human factors are involved. Rests also speed up the process of zeroing optics, which is a large part of doing gun reviews.

One of the most traditional systems is sandbags. When used properly on the front and rear, they can provide great results. But those are generally heavy and they can take a while to set up. Another method is a font rest, combined with a rear bag. This too works well but often requires a large, level table to work well. It can also be unwieldy to move between even closely spaced targets.

Enter the Caldwell Precision Turret Rest. The best way to describe it is as a miniature machine gun tripod designed to work with standard rifles. It’s small and light enough to haul to the firing line, but still robust enough to get the job done. The clamping mechanism on top uses adjustable jaws to hold the rifle, and adjustable tilt and pan allow the rifle to point right where it needs to be.


Don’t worry about this product showing up damaged from shipping. It ships disassembled and nestled in a styrofoam box insert that keeps everything where it should be. While it is a safe design for shipment, it does make a mess from little styrofoam pieces breaking off and sticking to the rest. Plan to unbox this one in your garage.

There is some minor assembly required before the Precision Turret is usable. This mostly consists of attaching the legs and grip rest to the tripod and securing the top clamp to the tripod base with four beefy Allen screws. Caldwell includes a robust Allen wrench of the appropriate size. Just be aware that there is some grease or oil coating the tilt mechanism, so don’t do this part on any surface that needs to stay clean. This is a five to ten minute job.


The Precision Turret Rest works much like a machine gun tripod. It has similar controls as well but without the same type of traverse and elevation settings. There are three knobs. The largest one controls the clamping jaws. The smallest, located on the bottom of the unit, locks the pivot mechanism in place when tightened. That leaves the medium-sized knob, which locks the tilt mechanism in place.

One unique feature is the pistol grip shelf that extends from the long tripod legs. It can adjust up or down with an internal knob. Traditional rifle stocks do not need that rest but it can be an additional point of support for guns with pistol grips.

Note the three main adjustment knobs, as well as the knob inside the pistol grip rest.

On The Range

I have used the Precision Turret with a variety of guns. Of course, the average AR-15 fits like this unit was designed to hold one (because it was). I also used it with the Foxtrot Mike-102 rifle, which still worked but was a little more difficult thanks to the AK mags and cocking handle location. The rest worked well with the PTR-91 with an AC Unity handguard (review forthcoming) and with my Winchester 70 Vietnam sniper with Hi-Lux USMC 8x Gen II scope. I also used it with the 20″ Springfield Hellion, which worked fine as long as I used short magazines, and with the Steyr Scout Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.

The Precision Turret works on the hood of a vehicle, too.

A difficult test for this rest was working with my competition service rifle, which weighs about 15 pounds (thanks to the lead weights in the stock and handguard). I am pleased to report that it was no problem at all. The Precision Turret held it stable for zeroing and ammo testing. It also worked great to actually boresight a scope with the upper and BCG removed. I looked through the barrel and centered the target, then moved my eye up to the scope and dialed it until it was also lined up on the target. That got me close enough to start the actual zeroing process.

It can be used for true boresighting on firearms that allow you to see through the barrel.

One thing I like about the Precision Turret Rest is its portability. It isn’t terribly light or small, but it is easily attached to the outside of a backpack or range bag. I would not take this hiking or on a backcountry hunt, but it is easy enough to haul from your car to the firing line. Unlike a machine gun tripod, the Precision Turret doesn’t require an assistant gunner to carry it.

On one of my range trips the weather started out beautiful before taking a turn for the worse. The wind picked up to 15 miles per hour, with gusts over 40. I was testing some reloads and having the Caldwell rest acting as a third hand to hold things in place saved me.

Another range day where it proved its worth was in preparing Part II of my Steyr Scout review. Assisted by a team of my friends, we ran through a course of fire with various optics to see how they compared. That required multiple optics changes and zeroing for each. The Precision Turret was a massive help in that process and saved a lot of time and ammunition.

What I Would Change

Overall, the Precision Turret Rest is great. But that does not mean it is perfect. In addition to the length adjustment of the short leg, angle adjustment would be very helpful. This would facilitate use on narrower surfaces and make it easier to compensate for targets above or below the level of the table. The length of the unit requires a decently large bench to use it effectively. A typical concrete shooting table at a range will be more than adequate. However, it does not fit on many indoor range benches. They are too narrow to support all three legs, and turning the Precision Turret sideways doesn’t work because it falls over under recoil or tips over instead of holding the rifle. More leg adjustments would address these issues.

The rubber foot on the forward leg did slip off at one point. I found it on my basement floor and promptly super glued it back on. It has been fine for several months of use after that “repair” but it is something to watch for.

Some additional adjustment range in the grip rest would also be helpful. And, if Caldwell really wanted to make this thing luxurious, some small bubble levels would be nice (even though the gun may not be clamped level relative to the rest).


I am very happy with the Precision Turret Shooting Rest. It is exactly what I needed for my use case. I have saved a ton of ammo and time with it. It is probably not worth the money for someone who would use it infrequently, but if you are a frequent shooter who likes to change optics or ammunition types around it would not take long for it to pay for itself. I also appreciate that it speeds up the parts of shooting that are tedious so that I can use more of my shooting time for the things I enjoy doing.

The list price on Caldwell’s website is $180, but they can be found for $140 at retailers. That is about two boxes of decent .300 Win Mag ammo or about 100 rounds of 5.56 Black Hills Mk262. Save yourself some ammo and a lot of headaches and go pick one up if you think you will use it. I am glad that I did.

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Daniel Y
Daniel Y

AKA @fromtheguncounter on Instagram. Gun nerd, reloader, attorney, and mediocre hunter. Daniel can still be found on occasion behind the counter at a local gun store. When he is not shooting, he enjoys hiking, camping, and rappelling around Utah.

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2 of 3 comments
  • William William on Oct 11, 2023

    Very useful tool. If I had the money, I'd consider buying one.
    They could add in a Arca rail holder in the future as a accessory you could purchase. Factory bubble levels is definitely a good idea.

  • Rollin L Rollin L on Oct 20, 2023

    Hmm. Looks like a modern, compact version of the old M2 Tripod for the .30 cal Browning machine guns. That's cute!