During a 2018 Safari to South Africa my professional hunter, Arnold Claassen, introduced me to a novel (at least for me) field rest. I have described elsewhere (African Hunting Gazette, Australian Hunter magazine) the successful outcome of a hunt for a tiny Bush Duiker.
I am looking at this full-mount of this pygmy antelope as I type these lines. He was successfully harvested with a single shot from 107 yards.
This isn’t an extreme distance, but the photo above illustrates the size of this diminutive trophy.
I could not have harvested, except by chance, this tiny male using the tripod rest I had carried all the way from the US; without the availability of Arnold’s ‘Bush Sticks’ produced by 4 Stable Sticks®, I would not have even attempted the shot.
Each of the Stable Sticks products provides a rest for both the forend and butt of the rifle. This design leads to an incredibly secure support. The articles mentioned above, along with a recent post on Craig Boddington’s Facebook Notes reflect range trials of three of the models produced by 4 Stable Sticks.
I have since also worked with their ‘Ultimate Leather’ version. The performance of all of these various models – as measured by accuracy using numerous rifles – has been consistently excellent.
This chart illustrates one of the data sets I collected from comparisons of the 4 Stable Sticks products with other types of rests (in this case, bench and tripod).
As you can see, the Mountain Stick (used when kneeling or sitting) and the Bush Stick (used when standing) clearly outperformed the tripod. It may seem somewhat surprising that I obtained roughly equivalent accuracy with the 4 Stable Sticks rests as from the bench. But I never secure my rifles into a solid rest on the bench.
Instead, I rest the forearm on sandbags, and the butt is cradled on my arm. Shots fired from this rest will also be affected by breathing, pulse and caffeine-induced tremors, etc.
The take-away from my 2018 Safari, and all of my range analyses, is that the 4 Stable Sticks products are superlative rests for hunting. Whether needed for sitting, kneeling, or standing, there is a model that will work.
I’m heading back to Africa in 2020 and I will be taking the Mountain Stick model in my rifle case. That model collapses down for sitting and kneeling, but quickly extends for a standing rest. I already know it will provide a solid rest under any circumstance.
Of course, the only problem with such a secure rest is that missed shots will all be due to shooter error.
Mike Arnold writes about firearms and hunting at his blog Mike Arnold, Outdoor Writer.