Rifle & Gun Rest

The most reliable hunting-rifle action ever made is the Model 98 Mauser.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Charles Daly Field Grade Mauser
The most reliable hunting-rifle action ever made is the Model 98 Mauser. Around for 106 years now, it has few equals and no betters. Unfortunately, it was designed in an era when machinists worked cheap, and the mechanism is costly to produce. Therefore, any Mauser-action sporter is going to cost you a bundle, right? Not necessarily. Charles Daly, known primarily for its shotguns, is importing barreled Mauser actions from Serbia, where people with lots of consonants in their names turn out 98s at a price so low that I can scarcely believe it. The Daly Field Grade Mauser comes in most popular standard and magnum calibers, in blue-steel or all-stainless versions, with a sleek polymer stock and a 22-inch barrel (24 for the magnums). It is not a perfect rifle; the finish is something less than flawless. But as a working gun that you can use hard, it is damn near perfect, and the one I have is extremely accurate to boot. Most important, it's an astounding bargain. _$490¿¿¿$580; 800-325-9486; www.charlesdaly.com _

Caldwell Lead Sled
Deer slugs and turkey loads don't have Phil Bourjaily to kick around anymore. Ever since I started using the Caldwell Lead Sled at the range, sighting in magnum shotguns doesn't hurt in the least. The sled's padded rear rest fits against your shoulder and cups the butt of the gun. Under recoil, the gun has to push against the 17-pound frame and however many bags of lead shot you've added to the tray. This is one recoil-reducing gadget that really works. The Caldwell techies have measured recoil reductions up to 80 and 90 percent with hard-kicking shotguns and .458s with 50 pounds of shot added to the sled. My shoulder isn't calibrated to make precise measurements, but I'd say that's about the amount of relief I feel. _$120; 877-509-9160; www.battenfeldtechnologies.com _