In a Rush? Here’s Our Number 1 Choice!
Quality in both construction design, very precise adjustment options, the ability to accommodate most lengths of gun and strong, metal construction make this model our choice, and it’s a great price too – but be aware, it’s not a shooting vise!
We have provided a brief buying guide for you (below the reviews) – what to look for when choosing a gun vise and so on – and we will end with a conclusion, and if possible, a recommendation from those we have chosen!
So, let’s get cracking – here are our choices for the best gun vises on the market right now.
Best Gun Vise: Our 5 Recommendations
The first model we want to talk about is this one, the Tipton Ultra, a heavy-duty gun vise that ticks all the boxes. Now, before we go on, remember that these items are not designed to be pretty. They are practical, precision devices engineered to a high degree, and designed for accuracy and purpose.
This one looks decidedly strange, but don’t let that put you off as it does what it’s meant to do, and according to a great number of buyers, it does it very well.
The overall structure is made from steel tubes, with glass-filled nylon for the actual clamp faces so it will not mark your guns. The ball and socket operation is designed for ease of use and smoothness, as well as to give you just the right level of tension to hold your gun in place.
Front and rear clamps are both height and length adjustable, so you should have no problem getting the right setting for your guns, and the four feet are also independently adjustable for accuracy, and are designed with non-slip fittings.
The rail-mounted modules make for a clever touch when you need to adjust, and each moves smoothly, plus the attached accessory trays are a neat addition that will be welcomed by many users.
The overall unit measures 32”x11”x10.5”, so is quite compact and will fit nicely on a workbench. Designed for cleaning your guns and attaching and setting scopes, and not for shooting when in situ, this gun vice comes highly recommended by many buyers, although a few complain about the fragility of the plastic parts, and some say it won’t hold up a heavy rifle.
We say check it out and the decision is yours.
Need some more info? See the video below.
The name should be enough to tell you that, as with the above, this is not a shooting vise, so is not designed for testing the accuracy of your gun when in the vise. This is important, as there are obvious dangers when shooting a gun attached to one of these.
This one is a more ‘industrial’ looking design and could even be called minimalist. It is another that sits on a rail system for adjusting length-wise, and is made from welded tubular steel for strength.
This vise comes with a plastic utility tray so you have somewhere to keep your tools neat and to hand, and also has adjustable independent footrests, with a clever operation that allows them to be adjusted from above. It is primarily intended for cleaning purposes – where it does the job very well and holds just about any length of gun firmly in place – and setting and adjusting sights.
This one is designed to align the accuracy of your gun to a 3-shot group, and has an accurate alignment system with precision adjustments. It is compact, too, at just 25x12x10” when in its standard set up.
Customer satisfaction is generally very good with this vise – many say it is great value for money at less than $100, and that it is sturdy – yet there are some who come up with the usual complaints about the plastic parts not being up to scratch. It’s a decent gun vise at the price is our opinion, but remember it is not a shooting vise!
Now this most certainly is a shooting vise, and it’s from Caldwell, one of the best-known names in the gun vise world. This could even be called a classic design, and will be familiar to a generation of shotgun owners.
It’s an altogether different device to those above – and will also cost somewhat more at more than $200 – but it is primarily designed for a different purpose. A metal dual-frame construction allows for 18 inches of length-wise adjustment, so you will have no trouble fitting any gun on this.
No-skid rubber feet keep the vise in place, while the fully adjustable front rest offers as much as 2.5inches of height adjustment, so accuracy is not going to be a problem.
The rear cradle is also adjustable and is designed to reduce recoil, while a specially added tray can hold as much as 100lb of lead shot for added stability. Precision adjustment dials are sited so you do not need to remove the gun from the cradle when setting the accuracy.
Materials that come in contact with the gun are all specially selected to be non-marring, and it is very sturdy in construction. Described as a ‘precision shooting platform’, we think it over the top perhaps to buy this for cleaning and fitting sights, as it is a more full-on device.
Customers are almost universal in their praise for the Caldwell DFT 2, although there are some who point out quality control issues, and suggest there could be design changes for the next generation. If you want a shooting vise, this may well be it.
OpticsPlanet have done a great review on this gun vise below.
Whereas the above item represents the upper end of the gun vise market, being a sophisticated device designed for shooting in situ, the Hoppe’s Gun Vise featured here is at the other end of the scale.
It’s a very simple, effective and affordable gun vise -or, to be more accurate, it should perhaps be referred to as a gun cleaning stand, for that is its primary purpose. Make a note – this is most certainly NOT a shooting vise, and will not function one, so move on if that’s what you’re looking for!
Hoppe’s is a brand that has been in the industry for a long time, and its ‘9’ range – of which this is a part – is respected as a budget yet decent quality selection of gun care tools and accessories.
This model we found for between $50 and $80, so shop around. It is made from strong polymer – rather than steel – and features non-marring materials on the simple side clamps, one at the front and one at the rear. It has a compartment for accessories, and not much else, but that’s not a bad thing.
This is designed – as we said – with cleaning in mind, but could also be used for mounting sights. It does not have precision adjustments and it is not designed for accurate sighting, and as it is plastic, it is not going to be the most accurate vise either.
Customers like it as a grip – something to keep the gun in place when it’s being cleaned – but it is limited in not having any length or height adjustment functions.
It’s up to you, but we reckon there are others on this list for not much more money that perform more functions.
The final gun vise on our list caused us a bit of confusion. It is titled in a number of places as ‘Ultimate Shooting Vise’ yet for it to become a shooting vise – that is to make it able to be used to shoot your guns when in place – you need to purchase an expensive optional additional stand to go with it.
So, what we have here is a cleaning and maintenance vise, and one that is actually very clever when we look at it in that context.
It has three adjustable feet on a ‘t-shaped’ heavy duty steel frame, with the rear clamp being fully adjustable along the frame for length. It should handle most sizes of rifle or shotgun, and the clamp faces are – as we would expect – made from non-marring material.
The front rest is adjustable for height, although we should say there is not a lot of precision involved, and it can also be adjusted to hold a pistol.
It’s basic, but usable for cleaning and sight fitting, but were not sure about adjusting for accuracy given the lack of precision adjusters.
So, as a gun rest for cleaning and maintenance it’s great – and many customers give it very high scores – but there are some that say it is hard to get the adjustment right when using as a bore-sight, which we speculated upon above. Perhaps one for the shortlist, but perhaps not – it’s up to you!
Another great review on the CTK P3 gun vise below!
There you have our pick of six great gun vises, each with its own merits, but is there one that you like? Or, are you still unsure what to look for? Let’s see if we can help by looking at the most important features of a gun vise.
Gun maintenance is the most important aspect of owning and using a firearm of any kind. A poorly maintained gun is a danger – not just to the user but to others in the vicinity – so any items you can invest in that will help you keep your gun in top working order will be a bonus. A gun vise is certainly one of these, so let’s consider the factors that differentiate a good vise from one that may not be so attractive.
The Gun Vise
There is one item of kit that you need for your guns, one that you might not have thought of but will make your life a lot easier. We’re talking about the gun vise, and below we will be giving you the details of some of the best on the market. Why do you need a gun vise, and what can you do with it?
Put simply, a gun vise is a stand for your gun, but a touch more sophisticated than a simple stand! It’s designed specifically for guns – some are for certain types of gun, others for all types of gun – and it keeps your gun in an upright, locked position where you can perform a number of functions.
Some gun vises are designed to hold your gun in place when it is being cleaned. The advantage of this is that you have two hands available, the gun stays perfectly still, and you can be sure you will clean it as thoroughly as is possible. Other types of gun vise can hold the gun in position and you can shoot it from the vise. This allows you to zero your gun, to make sure it is shooting straight, and also to set your sights accurately.
We have looked at the market in detail to find the best gun vises and give you the details that you need to know. First, we will go through each of our choices and tell you as much about it as possible – what it can be used for, what it’s made of and so forth – and with each with give you some pros and cons of the particular model.
What To Look For
Is it a Shooting Vise
The more common question should be ‘do you need a shooting vise’? Only one of the above can be used for shooting – one other has an optional part you can purchase to make it so – so if you are looking for such a vise, that’s your choice. The thing is, do you need one? You will really only use a shooting vise if you want to zero your guns, and it may be best to get a gunsmith to do this for you. If you are going to use your vise for keeping a gun steady while cleaning or fitting a sight, each of the above will do the job, so why pay the extra for a shooting vise if you’re not going to use it?
If you’re going to use your vise to set sights and bore-sights, you need to make sure it has precise adjustment functions. Not all the above have, so make sure you check carefully before you buy.
A metal gun vise is always going to be stronger and heavier than a plastic one, and one that comes with a tray or compartment for ballast even more so. This is something you need to look for with care when choosing your gun vise.
Types of Gun
What type and size of gun will the gun vise take? Most have length adjustment that means they will take any length of rifle or shotgun, but not all can be adjusted to take a handgun, so it’s worth checking this out very careful if you have handguns too.
We would add cost in here as a feature, but a good gun vise should be chosen on quality rather than price, so our suggestion is to set a budget, and find the best you can within that budget. So, of the above six, which would we recommend? Lets see if we can wrap things up.
As we have already said, if you want to use your gun vise for zeroing your guns, you have a choice of one that is specifically designed for the purpose – the Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 – and there is no doubt it is a quality product from a great maker, and one of the finest items of its type on the market.
If you want a vise for the usual purpose of cleaning and fitting and setting sights, we like the Hyskore Cleaning and Sighting Vise which is a neat design, is well-made and features excellent precision adjustments, and all at a sensible price in a compact package. As always, the choice is yours, and we hope we’ve helped you find a gun vise that does the job you need, and helps you keep your guns clean and well-maintained at all times.