My review of the Pig Saddle shooting rest has just been published in the latest copy of the SSAA Australian Shooter magazine. There are many other interesting articles in the SSAA magazine as well. Buy a copy at your newsagent or, better yet, join the SSAA to enjoy the many benefits of membership, support your sport and get your magazine delivered monthly.
It was regular correspondent, Sonny in Wyoming who sent me some photos and description of his coyote hunting. For ridge hunting he was using a sturdy tripod with his custom long range rifle securely attached to that. Further enquiry revealed it was attached by a device called a Pig Saddle. My US mate is my vintage and has tried a lot of gear over the decades. When he told me that the Pig Saddle was the best set up he had so far used I decided to track one down and try it myself.
The Pig Saddle is an adjustable clamp to hold the stock of a rifle. The base of the Pig Saddle is threaded to accept a standard photographic tripod mounting screw. There are two mounting options, 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threads.
Attaching the saddle to a friction ball head, that is normally used to hold camera gear, the rifle can by clamped at about the balance point. Apart from providing a really solid rest for shots at stationary game the Pig Saddle, when mounted to an appropriate tripod head, also enables very smooth tracking of running game. With the rifle nicely balanced the friction ball is adjusted to just hold the rifle unsupported, leaving it easy to swing through the range of movement needed to sight in on your moving target.
The preferred posture to use, for greater shooting stability, is that of reverse kneeling. Actually, it applies to both sitting and kneeling positions. It is as simple as supporting the elbow of your trigger arm on that side’s knee. That it is counter intuitive to most shooters, but is a superior technique for making the most of the long range capability inherent in a Pig Saddle and tripod set up.
The Pig Saddle is manufactured from steel and painted. It weighs in at 635 grams. The chequered pads that grip the rifle stock are of UV resistant urethane. A recent upgrade to the design was the incorporation of CNC machined aluminium knob, anodized in green to match the body of the Pig Saddle. The Pig Saddle retails in Australia for $240.
A lighter, but more expensive version, manufactured entirely from anodised aluminium, called the Hog Saddle, is also available. For more information on these and other shooting accessories visit Huntsman Firearms web site, www.huntsmanfirearms.com.au or call in to their Townsville store. Huntsman Firearms have just sent me some more interesting gear to play with and review. More on that in the coming weeks.