Steel Shooting Rest

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This rifle rest is more or less a copy of what I found online. It's not any better than something you could purchase (probably much worse actually) but since purchasing a welder last year I find myself looking for ways to use it.

Steel Frame

The main frame is made of 0.75" rectangular steel tube with 0.125" wall thickness. It was galvanized surplus steel, so need to be careful not breathing in welding fumes. The frame parts where drilled for the 3-point elevation adjustors with the drill press. After drilling the holes, the frame was welded together and 1/2" nuts were welded to the base of the frame under each hole for the 3-point elevation adjustors. Welding the nuts was less work than tapping the holes, especially since I don't own a 1/2" tapper. The main elevation adjustment base was made from the same 0.75" steel tube and a 1/2" shaft coupler. The shaft coupler allows a tight fit of the threaded rod so that it does not wobble much, even when not locked in place.


The fore-rest was made from 2" wide, 0.125" thick steel bar stock. Three pieces of 3" length were cut and welded together at a 30 degree angle to create the fore-rest saddle. The saddle was drilled for clearance to accept No. 8 machine screws. Two 1/2" washers were welded to a 1/2" nut to make the thread rod to saddle connection. After welding, the washers were drilled and tapped for No. 8-32 machine screw. I could have just welded everything together, but by taking the effort to drill and tap will make future changes/upgrades to the saddle easier. A length of 1/2" threaded rod was then threaded into the base of the saddle.

Elevation Adjustment

A 6" length of 0.25" diameter steel rod was welded to another nut to create the elevation adjustment handle/mechanism. Once the handle was threaded on to the 1/2" thread rod in the base of the saddle, the entire assembly was slipped into the 1/2" shaft coupler on the main frame. A turn of the elevation handle raises or lowers the saddle without rotating the saddle. Some silicone lubricant makes the adjustment very smooth.

Shoulder Rest

The shoulder rest for the rifle was made from 2" wide, 0.125" thick steel bar stock. It is approximately 4" in height, 2" deep and 2" wide. The steel stock was welded together and then ground down so the welds no longer show. The shoulder rest is again mounted to the frame with No. 8-32 machine screws to aid in disassembly. The dimensions of the shoulder rest are such that my rifle fits quite snugly inside. The back on the shoulder rest was included to prevent the rifle from sliding backwards and possibly shearing off the sling screws (this seems to be a compliant about commercial rifle rests).

Final Touches

I painted everything with spray-paint; didn't turn out that well. I chose green for most of it. Mainly because I have several cans of green spray-paint left over from a table-tennis project that never got started. It also didn't help that it was like 0F in the garage when I was painting. The fore-rest has a bag on it (rice filled sock) to keep from scratching the rifle and to stabilize its position. I put the mate to the rice sock on the rife stock before it goes in the shoulder rest on the rifle rest. This also prevents scratching of the stock and is a quite snug fit. And there's the finished rest.

Here is the pdf file of the initial design. This may or may not be what I actually built depending on what I had for scrap/parts.

Created: 02/24/10 Last updated: 02/24/10
Copyright 2010, Greg Miller