Gun vises are used primarily for two things – to clean your gun, and to sight in your gun. Gun vises have come a long way since the days when a wooden stand was used. Nowadays, gun vises are a fancy contraption, decked out with all kinds of sliding mechanisms and clamps.
Some gun vises are capable of not only holding rifles, but shotguns, handguns, and ARs as well. They are also capable of orienting your gun in many directions – perfect for cleaning break barrel guns such as shotguns.
If you haven’t seen some of the gun vises that are on the market today, then this article will show you the latest and greatest gun vises. You’ll soon find out that these aren’t your grandpa’s gun vise, and there are many advantages to using a modern gun vise.
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List of the Best Gun Vises
To find the best gun vises, we looked at a bunch of different gun vises. All gun vises are different, and what they are best at varies as well. Depending on your needs, there is likely a gun vise that will suit them perfectly.
Here’s the list:
Tipton Best Gun Vise - Most Versatile Gun Vise
The Tipton Best Gun Vise is probably the most versatile gun vise out there. It is capable of holding pretty much any firearm. The Best Gun Vise is capable of adjusting to be able to hold break-open shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and even pistols.
At the heart of the Tipton Best Gun Vise is an aluminum channel that allows you to move the three gun holding components as close or far away from each other as you like. Every component of this gun vise is able to slide or rotate:
- The front support is height adjustable.
- The center support slides along the aluminum rail, and can be rotated to allow for different receiver, rifle, or pistol styles.
- The rear base support features two adjustable offset clamps. These clamps are height-adjustable and clamp down on the buttstock of the rifle that you are working on.
The Tipton Best Gun Vise is able to accommodate any project you will be working on, whether you are cleaning, boresighting, or doing a full teardown. However, you should not shoot a gun from this gun vise, that is not what it is designed for.
Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 - Best Gun Vise for Sighting In
The Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 is made for sighting your rifle or shotgun in. It reduces recoil while shooting and holds your gun in place tightly. The front rest cradles your gun’s stock and allows you to adjust the elevation with your fingertip. Better yet, there is precise windage control for fine-tuning your scope in at the range.
The Lead Sled’s front support is able to slide back and forth 18 inches to fit rifles and shotguns of all sizes. The baffle tray underneath the Lead Sled allows you to add up to 100 pounds of lead shot for holding your firearm steady while shooting.
One thing that I love about using the Lead Sled is that its dual frame design disperses more recoil than other gun vises. This means that there is less kickback, and shooting the gun doesn’t fatigue me out as quickly. If you are looking for the best possible sighting in experience, then the Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 is your guy.
Hyskore Cleaning & Sighting Vise - Best Gun Vise for Scope Mounting
The Hyskore Cleaning & Sighting Vise is used to optically align your gun’s point of impact with your aim. It has 3 holding components that slide along the dual rod base of the vise. It even doubles as a cleaning vise.
One unique feature of the Hyskore Cleaning & Sighting Vise is that it includes a 4-point leveling system, so you will be able to mount your scope on uneven surfaces. The vise even includes a level, so you can ensure that your gun rests flat. The vise also includes a plastic tray that sits on the base of the vise to provide storage for gun parts and gun cleaning accessories.
The welded steel construction of this vise makes it one of the strongest vises that we reviewed. The powder coat finish ensures that the vise will last a long time, even in dirty conditions.
If you want to know how to use the Hyskore Vise to sight in your gun, then watch the video below:
CTK Precision P3
The CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Gun Vise consists of a simple setup that allows for lots of customizability. The rear vise on the CTK P3 can slide back and forward to accommodate both pistols and rifles. The front forearm rest can telescope up and down, allowing you to dial in your elevation when sighting in a gun.
The CTK Precision P3 is designed for you to be able to shoot your gun when it is clamped in. It is the perfect vise to take to the range – especially since it slides together into a compact form, unlike some other gun vises.
Also available is the optional CTK Precision Shooting Rest Attachment that you can add to the CTK P3. The shooting rest attachment attaches to the end of the gun vise and gives the functionality of windage adjustment from the rear of your firearm.
Tipton Gun Butler - Best Value for Cleaning
The Tipton Gun Butler is a no-frills gun holder. It breaks down nicely and includes a carrying handle for easy transportation. It also has ample storage in the base for all of your gun cleaning accessories and gun parts.
If you have no designated spot to clean their guns at, this gun holder is great for setting up on the kitchen table. The bottom tray has small cup holders to keep your bottles of oil and solvent. There are even special slots for you to keep your bore brushes inside so they don’t get smashed up by anything else.
I have seen a lot of guys at the range with these since they are so light, compact, and easy to transport. They also have an added benefit of being an excellent place to keep your gun while you aren’t shooting it. If you are a weekend warrior that needs a simple solution for a gun holder, then the Tipton Gun Butler is probably your best choice.
What Makes a Good Gun Vise?
For how far gun vises have come, they are still fundamentally the same thing that they have been for years – a place to hold your gun. Even though most gun vises today have all kinds of features, the main purpose of a gun vise is to keep your gun sturdy while working on or sighting it in.
Let’s take a look at some of the different features of gun vises and how they impact the quality of a good gun vise:
Having a solid frame gives a gun vise a great foundation to start on. Without a solid frame, the rest of the parts of the gun vise would simply not perform their duties.
If you are going to be shooting from your gun vise, then a solid frame is even more critical. Some gun vises incorporate a dual frame design that helps to restrict kickback when shooting. But keep in mind that not all gun vises are designed to be shot from – If you are going to be shooting from a gun vise, make sure that it is designed to be used in that way.
Strong Clamping Mechanism
Having a solid clamping mechanism is what sets a gun vise apart from being a simple gun holder. Even if you are just going to be cleaning your gun, a clamping mechanism really helps hold your gun in place while you remove residue and rust.
A good clamping mechanism should be both easy to clamp, and easy to unclamp. Most clamping mechanisms use knobs to tighten, so make sure that the knobs are solid and easy to adjust. Metal clamping mechanisms are preferred because they can take a beating and will last a long time. Plastic ones are okay too, but be sure to keep an eye on their construction.
What sets apart some of the pricier gun vises is maneuverability. Only the best gun vises allow you to manipulate each gun holding component for maximum accessibility. This means that your cleaning session will be much easier since you can hold your gun in just the position that you need.
Having storage doesn’t really affect the main purpose of a gun vise. But it is a nice feature to have. Some gun vises include small storage areas, so you can use it to hold your gun parts and gun cleaners while cleaning your gun. I tend to get very disorganized when cleaning my guns so having a storage bin really helps to keep me on track. I don’t want to lose a small pin or screw, especially when it keeps my gun together.