I began with an existing gun rest I picked up a while ago called the "Caldwell 7 shooting rest" - while very basic and inexpensive it does it's job well. Recently I received a spotting scope for my birthday from one of my kiddo’s and after taking it out to the local gun range I found myself with too much “gear” on top of the shooting table. I had the spotting scope w/tripod, a gun rest (when used), ammo, magazines & clips, other rifles etc. etc. So I needed to consolidate where possible!
I looked around online for a shooting rest with spotting scope attachment and wasn’t able to find anything for what I had in mind. So I created my own and thought I’d share this very simple idea and project with all of you. The overall cost of this 'able (for me) was the $30 I spent for the "Caldwell 7 shooting rest" as I had all of the other parts laying around.
- Metal drill bits
- Electrical tape
- Plumbers tape
- (1) Stock material for the “accessory arm”
- (I used aluminum rib from a pickup truck bed cover)
- (1) Tripod from Spotting Scope
- (or any other tripod/mount that matches the Spotting Scope)
- (3) Nuts that match the threaded rod you’re using
- (3) Crush-washers
- (3) Flat-washers
Step 1: Cut Accessory Arm & Spotting Scope Mounting Rod to Length
I had an old pickup truck bed cover I'm not using anymore and wasn't able to sell, so I took one of the "support ribs" and cut it to length to match what the Caldwell shooting rest had on it's primary leg. After cutting the truck rib I ground it smooth then wrapped it with some good 'ol electricians tape to cover up the edges and "cap" the ends as the truck rib was hollow.
I also used some left over 7/16" threaded rod and cut a piece about 7" long.
Step 2: Drill 2 Holes in the Accessory Arm
After cutting the truck rib and threaded rod to desired length I drilled a hole at each end of the accessory arm (truck rib).
The shortest arm of the Caldwell shooting rest has a rounded type bolt on it that I removed, then slipped the black rod through one hole of the accessory arm and replaced the existing rounded bolt to secure in place.
At the furthest end; that would have the spotting scope mounted; I taped off the end piece with electrical tape, slipped my newly cut 7" piece of threaded rod through and secured it in place with a crush-washer, regular flat washer and a bolt - on the top, and on the bottom.
Step 3: Add the Base From the Spotting Scope to the Rod
After securing the threaded rod in place I dissembled the tripod that came with my spotting scope to remove the three small legs. This left me with the primary "body" of the tripod that has all of the adjustments for elevation, left-right and etc.
The 7/16" threaded rod I used was about 1/8" smaller in diameter than the interior of the tripod base. To overcome this I used some white plumbers tape and wrapped the threaded rod several times to give me the thickness I needed.
Afterward I took the tripod base and set it on top of the rod, and rotated it as if it had threads. I chose this method so it would not be permanently attached yet remain very solid without any excess movement.
Step 4: Add Spotting Scope - Enjoy!
Add the Spotting Scope and you're all done! I put a sticker on part of the accessory arm just to cover up where I had a large scratch on it.
The benefit of adding the scope mount the way I did is that it's not permanent and can be easily disassembled if desired. Additionally, since there weren't any modifications made to the original gun rest it can be reverted back to the original form as well. Even though the tripod mount is not permanent, the attachment is very solid and will not come off easily nor lose it's locked-in adjustment made with the lever.