As a gear reviewer, I receive a pretty wide variety of kit to work with.  Even if I’m working with a product I’m not an expert in the use thereof, it’s my job to show the strengths and weaknesses of a product as it stands alone.  That means if I’m accuracy testing a rifle or some match ammo, I need to remove as many variables as possible so a product doesn’t have poor performance wrongfully attributed to it.  Assuming all the components of a shooting platform are functioning correctly, the biggest X-factor is usually the shooter.  Even the best shooters are going to have a hard time competing for stability against a good rifle rest.  After getting a chance to try out the Caldwell Stinger during a rifle co-review with Graham Baates of GBGuns, I had to get one of my own to work with more extensively.

So here’s what the Stinger is, and isn’t.  The Stinger isn’t a gun vice, which totally locks down your rifle.  It is a rest which provides an incredibly stable platform to shoot from.

Assembling the steel tube frame, two rubber points of contact and the two elevation assemblies took about 10 minutes.  Instructions were clear and to the point.  All three “feet” on the Stinger are rubber coated.  Assembled, the Stinger weights in around 11 lbs.

Caldwell Stinger
Front saddle

The Stinger uses a twist knob up front for fast elevation changes.  The small monopod in the rear has a much finer thread, allowing for more smaller adjustments.  The rifle can rotate a little bit clockwise or counterclockwise, or slide front to rear a little, but isn’t slippery enough to be doing so on it’s own.  In all aspects, the rifle is held totally stable, while still being free to move should you desire it.  By stable, I mean an order of magnitude less movement than using a front and rear bag.

Caldwell Stinger
Rear monopod

A nice bonus: the Stinger has a large void beneath the rifle, so 30 round magazines aren’t a problem.

Caldwell Stinger
30 round mag? No problem

Check the video near the top of the article and watch how incredibly stable the platform is, while still allowing me to adjust the rifle itself independently of the rest, as well as maneuvering the rest itself.

Immediately I can see the benefit here for a number of different shooting applications.

  • For reloaders who need to get solid load data
  • For accuracy testing a rifle or new ammunition (me)
  • For chrono testing ammo velocity downrange (without endangering your chrono!)
  • For shooters with medical issues who refuse to let go of their love for the pew pew

Bottom line, if you’re accuracy testing a rifle system and not using something like the Stinger, you’re not testing the system.  You’re testing the system’s accuracy minus your own variables.  The Stinger is not a replacement for shooting skills, but it is a powerful enhancement, useful in a number of situations.  The Caldwell Stinger has an MSRP of $124, but a street price as low as $91.99.  A major addition to your range gear, whether you shoot from a table or from the ground.  Check it out!

-Rex Nanorum