What we are reviewing here is a product that certainly is not mandatory, but it is something that is unique and might just be handy to have on hand. Eberlestock is a big name in the serious ruck sack business and they have made a great name for themselves for their military style rucks, mountaineering back packs and even their rucks with rifle scabbards built in that are popular for hunting. They are a company that knows what their specialty is and tries to build best and most innovative products in that field.
Their Pack Mountable Shooting Rest is a small specialty device that takes a concept that is taught in sniper school and expands on it. Back “in the day” when I went through sniper school they taught us how to build a rifle shooting rest onto the lower portion of our ruck frames used with our large “ALICE” packs. Today, the poor bloody infantry are issued much better equipment than we had then, but that is beyond the scope of this review! The logic behind us learning to build a shooting platform on our rucks was because we tend to always have our rucks with us and they make a great shooting platform and we did all of our shooting throughout the entire sniper school from our ruck rests. Here is a picture of a crude one and how it worked (with some bright green tape).
Eberlestock took this same concept about seven steps forward and made a rifle rest that mounts on any 3-Wide MOLLE setup on any piece of equipment. MOLLE (pronounced like the name Molly) stands for MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and is the strips of nylon that you see on military equipment today that has all kinds of different things attached to it. As you can see in the picture above, we didn’t have MOLLE equipment back then. The Eberlestock ruck rest has built in clips to mount to any equipment with this MOLLE setup.
The clips are a durable plastic and like any other MOLLE attachment, it can take some manhandling and fiddling to get installed and attached as needed. But it can be installed just about anywhere and once there, we had no issues with it staying in place. The construction of the rest itself is made from 1000 denier Cordura and the one we have here for review was in the Military Green color but there are many other colors available as well.
We mounted it to a small Blackhawk “Patrol Sack” size ruck as it is a small pack that we use often for short duration patrols. We use it to carry a sniper veil, LRF, extra ammo, water and survival gear including a military poncho and first aid kit. There are three rows of MOLLE on the back of it which provided a good mounting location for the Ruck Rest, so we used it for our initial testing.
The question could easily be asked, “why would you need this instead of just using your bipod?” That is a valid question. With a setup like the one we were testing it is probably a wash. But if you had a large ruck with a MOLLE setup on top, then the ruck makes an outstanding sitting position rest for the rifle. This little patrol bag we were using with the rest mounted on it does provide a bit more height than a standard bipod and it is a bit easier and quicker to setup and allows for some flexibility in use and deployment. This little ruck can be used for easy ammo supply near the shooter as well as some additional concealment.
The rifle sits nicely in the prepared U channel of the rest and at first it looked a little thin for some of the wide forearm stocked rifles in use by snipers. But after testing multiple rifles from our collection with different stocks and forearm shapes, we can verify that the flexibility of the material is plenty for accommodating all types of rifles. The length is a bit long but provides a nice stable area to shoot from with enough movement to easily traverse the rifle a wide amount. No, it is not as stable as sandbags or even a solid rifle bipod, but a lot of that can be manipulated by what is in your ruck sack as well. If you have a bunch of tall and fluffy stuff, it will not be as stable, but if it were filled with heavier dense items it is much more solid.
The quality of the rest itself is good and with some heavy stitching to go with the heavyweight material used in construction, it should hold up. It is also lightweight, coming in at only 3 ounces, or .25 of a pound. Everything seemed to check out well, but we wanted to test it in shooting conditions so we headed out to the range with our little patrol pack and ruck rifle rest mounted on back. The rifle we decided to test fire with was a custom Howa chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor with no brake.
Of course, with the rifle sitting taller and without a lot of heavy dense items in our little pack, it was a bit more wobbly than a bipod, but that is no fault of the rest itself. We did fire some groups from the pack to see how it would do and while it was a bit more difficult to hold steady, we were still able to maintain acceptable accuracy for long range shooting keeping it sub MOA. We were propped a bit higher which can expose you to the enemy more than normal, and especially when compared to the old school setup we mentioned at the top of the page. But this setup can still be very useful in a variety of situations.
Leaving the bipod mounted was no problem and the rest was still useful with it attached. We operated the rifle in the rest, off the ruck, with bipod folded up, without problems and this would give the flexibility of using the bipod when it works best and then have the Ruck Rest available as well for additional flexibility. At 3 ounces, its probably not too bad to just keep it attached to your ruck. As we mentioned, it certainly is not a part of “must have” kit, but it certainly could be a “nice have” piece. Especially if it were mounted to the top of a taller ruck that could be utilized from the sitting position. Then the ruck could be dropped and the rifle plopped on top for rapid engagements from a semi-stable platform. At only $30, it offers cheap flexibility. The quality and design are good and while not necessary equipment, we still approve of it and see no reason why it couldn’t be used in the line of duty. So we give it the SC Endorsed tag.
Sniper Central 2019