The Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest Sometimes We Just Need Rest

It seems that I have been bench resting a lot of rifles lately to zero in scopes and such.  While I have a Caldwell Lead Sled, it is not the most transportable bench rest in the world. I do have a Vanguard Porta-Aim that I use primarily for resting a pistol, but I needed an inexpensive rifle rest that was well-made and as portable as possible.  I turned, again, to Caldwell for a solution.

My shooting companion (and friend) has the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest. He has been kind enough to me in the past to lend the rest to me for some of my long-gun zeroing-in sessions.  And while I appreciate his gestures, there is nothing like having a rest of your own, because there are sometimes when he and I are both shooting long guns.

After a search of other possible gun rests on the internet, I decided that the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest would be suitable for my needs.  Besides, I am trying to have some friendly competition with my friend and have needed something to help the odds of my outshooting him every now and then.


Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest

This sturdy steel rest is constructed of strong square tubing for a lifetime of use. The rife or shotgun is cradled in a nylon web at the rear while the forend rests on a Caldwell Front Rest Bag. Easily adjustable for windage and elevation, this design offers a rock solid base for precision shooting.

Technical Information

Material: Rest is all steel, rear pad is nylon and rest bag is nylon and leather


  • Full windage and elevation adjustment
  • Medium front rest bag included, filled
  • Micro adjustment for fine corrections
  • Rubber feet for stability

Warranty: 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects


Some assembly required.

The unit arrived in a nice box with more than adequate packing.  My unit arrives in three major components; the main frame, the front frame assembly, and a filled “medium varmint bag.”

The front frame assembly was quickly attached to the main frame.  There is a carriage bolt, “Windage Knob” and polymer washer that is used to attach the front frame assembly to the main frame.  Simply remove the “Windage knob, insert the carriage bolt through the mounting hole in the front of the main frame while ensuring that the polymer washer is sandwiched in between the front frame assembly and the main frame. Tighten down the Windage Knob to secure the two frames together.

The filled medium varmint bag attaches to the front rest using the provided hook and loop fasteners.

The rear support is a bolt with a plastic cap.  The bolt was installed securely on the unit that I received and there is no indication that it can be adjusted.

The cradle (the place that you rest your butt – of the rifle) has a removable nylon assembly that protects the butt of the rifle from damage. The nylon assembly is nicely stitched and serves as a resting place when the long gun is not being fired.  Caldwell does note in the instructions that come with the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest that to prevent damage to the gunstock, ensure that the pistol grip does not come into contact with the rear support forks.  I might add that this means without the protective sleeve in place.  With that said, the prongs of the rear rest are covered in black rubber to provide a cushion between the prongs and the stock of the long-gun.  Unlike the Lead Sled, the rear cradle does not interfere (or prevent) the effects of recoil; it is simply a resting point for when you are not shooting.

While the product description states, “Full windage and elevation adjustment” I ma not sure what Caldwell’s definition of “full” is.  Each leg of the Front Frame Assembly allows up to 3-inches of total height (elevation) adjustment by turning the adjustment knobs to the desired height. With each side being independent of the other, the unit can be leveled on an uneven surface. Plastic feet on the adjustment screws are adequate for indoor range duty, but I am not sure how well they would hold up in a harsher environment.

Unlike that shown in the product image, vertical adjustment knobs are actually knobs that provide a substantial hand hold.  The vertical adjustment bolts are pretty stiff to turn, but that is a good thing.  You do not need to worry about loosing your height adjustment. You can also make quick elevation changes by simply moving the stock forward or backward (taking advantage of the shape of your gun stock).

To make a horizontal (windage) adjustment simply loosen the windage knob, rotate the front assembly until you are in line with the target, and re-tighten the Windage Knob.  While this is nice and all, I simply change my shooting position or reposition the entire rest to my liking.

The filled “medium varmint bag” does a good job of supporting the front stock of the firearm. There is an adequate cradle in which to place the front of the stock.

The total length of the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest is 23.5-inches while the total width is 12-inches.  The Front Frame Assembly can either be removed or re-positioned for storage or for carrying.  Personally, and because I don’t need the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest for every shooting session, just disassemble it and use the original box to store and carry it. Some assembly is necessary at the shooting location, but somehow I think that can be handled.  This is a unit that you could throw in the back seat or store in the trunk of your vehicle and not worry about it.  Although it is of steel construction, it is well coated and very light in weight.


The Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest is quick to set up and get into my desired shooting position.  My local gun club and range has a maximum of 25-yards in which to shoot. I adjusted the rest for my usual target at 25-yards distant, but can make quick and minor adjustments if needed.

If you have an MSR or AK-variant with a 30-round magazine, or a Ruger 10/22 with the 25-round BX magazine, this is not the rifle rest for you.  With ten-round (and fifteen round) magazines; however, there is plenty of clearance.  I normally use low-capacity magazines for bench-resting, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does.  If I “need” to shoot higher capacity magazines from a rest, I look for alternate solutions (bipod or my highly-portable Vanguard Porta-Aim). The Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest really lends itself to hunting rifles, shotguns, target rifles, and carbines with low magazine counts.


The Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest works well for my purposes. It provides a good shooting rest without taking the “feel” out of shooting a long-gun.  It is inexpensive, portable, well-constructed, and provides me a fair chance at beating my shooting companion at some friendly “precision” competition, to enjoy some leisurely plinking, or to zero a long-gun/scope combination.


The best price that I have found (at the time of this writing) for the Caldwell Zero Max Shooting Rest is shown below:


About Taurian

Taurian is a U.S. Army veteran and former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Taurian also has over fifty years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.