If you go to a professional gunsmith and ask advice on how to clean your guns properly, you will surely find out that you need a good gun vise for this task. Keeping your gun clean and storing it properly will extend its lifetime, and it will lower its maintenance costs. But did you know you can also use a gun vise to zero your guns? In the following article, we review the top-6 gun vises available on the market today, and we explain which are their best and worst features. Read our comprehensive buying guide and you’ll find out what to look for in a gun vise. From the materials used in their construction to the different types and features each gun vise has, everything matters and is important in one way or another, so you will be able to make a decision on which is the best gun vise for your needs.
Are you new to gun vises? No problem, we offer you detailed explanations on how each detail will influence the vise as a whole. Further, in the article, we answer five of the most popular questions about gun vises circulating on the internet. You will find out how to choose the right kind of gun vise for your firearm, even if you didn’t use one before. We explain how to learn to assemble and install your gun vise even of it was delivered without instructions, and how to use a vise to zero in your rifle. Now that you’ve thought about buying a gun vise, you should also buy the rest of the things necessary to carry on with the cleaning and maintenance of your guns. Why waste your time and money going to a gunsmith, when you can use the vise and a cleaning kit by yourself?
Tipton Best Gun Vise
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P3 Ultimate Gun Vise
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Tipton Gun Vise / First Generation
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MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest
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MTM Gun Vise
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Tetra ProVise Professional Gun Care Vise
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Best Gun Vise Reviews
1. Tipton Best Gun Vise
This is a highly versatile gun vise, and you will be able to use it for every kind of firearm in your possession. The gun vise can be adapted to hold pistols, bolt action rifles, pump-action shotguns, break-open shotguns, and modern sporting rifles. Every part and component of the gun vise are able to adjust and accommodate all kinds of firearms for every project you have in mind, be it cleaning, boresighting, or simply doing some maintenance work for your gun. The central aluminum channel allows you to move all the individual components as close or far from each other as you would like. You can always make sure the components are in the ideal position by simply sliding them over where you want. The rear base has two offset clamps you can adjust as you would like to ensure a tight grip on your rifle’s buttstock. You can adjust both the height and the horizontal position of the clamps, so you will be able to secure all your firearms with them. The gun vise is made out of tough, high-quality materials, and you can use solvents for cleaning it without making any damage to them.
- Great For Handguns – While most of the gun vises available on the market today are adjustable and can be used for handguns as well, this one is really great for them. The rear clamp support can be turned by 180 degrees to hold the pistol and the side clamps will hold it in place while you work on it.
- Excellent Instructions – This gun vise comes with complete and thorough installing and using instructions. If you’re new to gun vises, or you don’t exactly know how to adjust this one for your firearm, the instructions will clarify everything.
- Plastic – Some people might consider this plastic gun vise as not very sturdy.
2. P3 Ultimate Gun Vise
This gun vise is a maintenance accessory that every shooter should have in his/her garage or workshop. Not only can you use the vise for gun maintenance, but you’ll be able to use it for cleaning your gun and boresighting as well. The vise was specially designed to accommodate both handguns and rifles, so you will be able to use it with great results for all the firearms in your possession. This shooting vise is very adjustable, so you will be able to securely lock all your firearms in place. If you get the shooting rest attachment, you will be able to shoot all your rifles and shotguns when they’re locked in place, making sure they’re perfectly zeroed without battering your shoulder uselessly. The vise comes with a three-point leveling system and you will be able to make sure the firearms stay in place using the thumb locks, ensuring their stability. The rear vise adjusts horizontally and you will be able to fit any firearms, rifles, pistols, or shotguns in it without any problems. The front Y rest is able to adjust vertically widely, so it will fit all sorts of firearms. Both the Y rest and the rear one are covered in PVC foam for increased durability.
- Well-Constructed – The gun vise is not made out of cheap plastic, but it’s made out of hard steel tubing. The long leg levers will allow you to use the vise even in uneven terrain, and thick rubber covers the front support, so it will withstand scratches.
- Good Customer Service – Like with all mass-manufactured products, sometimes small faults can be present during the manufacturing or shipping. However, if this happens with this model, you will benefit from great customer service.
- Poor Instructions – This gun vise comes with poor instructions, so you might have difficulties assembling it.
3. Tipton Gun Vise / First Generation
This is one of the cheapest gun vises available on the market today. The lightweight but sturdy gun vise is highly adjustable and you will be able to use it for gun maintenance, cleaning, or boresighting purposes. The vise is made out of a solvent-resistant rigid polymer that will withstand years of hard use. The gun vise can be adapted to hold most modern rifles and shotguns available on the market. The rubberized cradle and locking jaws will secure your gun in the vise without scratching it or harming it in any way, even when they grip it tightly. The quick-release cam can be used for easy access whenever you need it. The adjustable pivot arm will fit any stock of rifles and shotguns, so you will be able to fit any model you wish to it. The vise design has multiple flat bottom compartments for bottles and cans. The round bottom compartments can be used for storing screws or other small parts you need for your maintenance or cleaning process. The vise’s bottom has small supper gripping feet covered in rubber for increased stability. Even if you have to make some tough adjustments, the vise will still stay steady on your workbench.
- Easy Installing – This vise is very easy to assemble and install. Most people will be able to assemble and install it even if they don’t read the installation instructions.
- Good Quality – Even if this gun vise is made out of plastic, and not aluminum or other sturdier materials, the quality of the vise is good. This model is rugged and stable, despite its appearance.
- Asymmetrical Clamping Action – The butt of the rifle will be pushed off the center of the vise when you clamp it down because of the uneven clamps. You will have to improvise and put some padding on one side of the stock if you want to keep it centered.
4. MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest
This is one of the best selling gun vises available on the market today. This small but versatile gun vise can be adjusted to fit handguns and rifles both. The low-slung center design will allow you to fit almost every rifle and pistol in it without any kind of problems or difficulties. This vise can be used with great results for cleaning, doing maintenance work, or even sighting your pistol or rifle. The gun vise has a wide footprint, and its four-foot stance will help with stabilizing your firearm while you work on it, or while you sight it properly. The rubber covered feet will allow the vise to stay in place even on smooth, slippery surfaces. The vertical adjustment screw will allow it to hold every firearm tightly and secure, and the thick rubber padding will ensure that the shooting pads will not scratch or damage your gun. The vise weighs only four pounds, so you will need to stabilize it if you’re going to use it for sighting your rifles. You can either use sandbags for increased stability, or you can use lead for the same purpose, with better results at limiting the recoil.
- Easy Installing – This vise is so easy to assemble and install, even second graders could do it without reading the instructions. All the parts fit together nicely and all the finishes are high-quality.
- Durable Construction – The gun vise might be made out of plastic, but the manufacturer has built it to last. Even though it’s lightweight, the plastic has a good rugged feel, and once you fill the frame with lead shot or sand the vise feels more durable than other models made out of metal.
- Raising Mechanism Can Be Improved – This gun vise’s raising and lowering mechanism could be improved
5. MTM Gun Vise
This MTM gun vise is suitable for all gunsmithing needs one may have. It is suitable both for rifles and for shotguns. You can either bolt this down a counter, or you leave it free-standing. You can be sure that it won’t move around while operating as it has four skid-resistant feet made of rubber. A definite advantage of this product is that it has 14 compartments in which you can organize all your cleaning supplies. There is also a tray with several other compartments designed for smaller objects, which you may lose.
The materials it is made of– chemical and solvent resistant polypropylene plastic – ensure the durability of this vise. Don’t worry that your guns’ finish may get damaged – this won’t happen because all parts of the vise that are supposed to touch the firearm are rubberized.
- Assembling this unit is easy and takes around 10 minutes.
- You can easily adjust your firearm to the vise by a single clampdown.
- If you want to use this vise for pistols, it won’t be able to clamp with enough pressure on the gun to hold it tight. This product is primarily used for long guns.
6. Tetra ProVise Professional Gun Care Vise
This Tetra professional vise is used both for cleaning and for installation of a rifle scope. Compared to other similar items, this one is among the sturdiest ones. All the parts that get in contact with the rifle are non-marring and rubberized. This ensures that they won’t scratch the finish of your firearm. In addition to this, the vise’s feet are also made of rubber so that the device won’t move while you are installing a scope or cleaning your gun.
You can also use this vise for bore sighting if you make sure that you align the rings well to the base. However, you may need to secure the front rest with either rags or other fillers in such a case.
You need to pay special attention when you assemble the unit. If this is the first time you do this, you may not get the correct cam rotation along the prime circle.
- The finish of your rifle won’t get scratched thanks to the rubberized parts of this vise.
- This vise has deserved to be called ‘professional’ as it is one of the most durable products of its kind.
- If you clean a right-handed bolt, you will have to reach over the top for the cleaning material.
How To Choose The Best Gun Vise?
Finding the right gun vise is not that difficult if you know what to look for. The following guide will show you which features you should look for if you want to find the best gun vise for your firearms.
The materials used for the vise’s construction is important because different materials have different advantages and disadvantages.
- Plastic – Plastic has the major advantage of being cheap. Plastic vises are usually cheaper than metal ones, and they can be just as versatile and efficient as the metal ones.
Some people say that the major disadvantage of using a plastic vise is that they tend to be lighter than metal ones, but that can be easily overcome by using some lead or sand for increased stability. An advantage of using a plastic vise is that they are usually very adaptable, and you will be able to use the same one for all your weapons, handguns, shotguns, and rifles alike.
A disadvantage of using plastic is that some manufacturers use only a thin layer of material for the vise’s construction, so you will have to be careful when you use it because it won’t be as durable as metal ones. Thin plastic can break easily, so you won’t be able to apply a lot of force when you work at your gun.
- Metal – Metal is more expensive than plastic, so it’s only natural for the vises made out of metal to be more expensive than plastic ones.
The main advantage of using a metal constructed vise is that it will be more durable and tougher than plastic. Metal is also better at distributing the vibrations produced by the recoil over its surface, so it will be the better choice if you want to use the vise for sighting your gun.
A disadvantage of using metal is the higher price. Most shooters only use a gun vise when they are cleaning their weapons, and they don’t do this very often. If you’re not a gunsmith, spending a lot on a gun vise might not be the best thing for you.
Versatility is a very important factor you should consider when you’re buying a gun vise, especially if you own more types of guns. The best gun vises can handle more types of weapons, so you will be able to use one for every gun in your possession, instead of using more.
- Rifles And Shotguns – Most gun vises can be used for both rifles and shotguns. They have adjustable parts so they can fit the buttstock of rifles or shotguns alike.
These types of vises can be constructed out of plastic or metal, and the advantage of using them is that they don’t have a lot of moving parts, making them more durable than other models. They are very reliable, and you can use them for cleaning, boresighting, or maintenance.
- Rifles, Shotguns, And Handguns – These vises can be used for virtually every weapon in your possession. They can be made out of plastic or metal, and you can use them for maintenance work, repairs, or cleaning.
The main advantage of owning this kind of vise is that you will be able to use it for all your guns, and you won’t have to buy different ones for different types of guns.
A slight disadvantage of using this kind of vises is that they have a lot of moving and adjustable components, and that can lead to many problems and a higher breaking probability.
Some vises are good for certain tasks, while others will help you at different ones.
- Fixed Vises – Most manufacturers design their vises to be fixed. This allows you to clamp the gun tightly and keep them steady for a long time. When they’re fixed, you can proceed with cleaning them or doing maintenance work without having to worry about them moving.
Most of these vises will keep the gun steady on your workbench even if you apply a lot of pressure or force. They usually have rubber covered legs for increased stability, but some can also be screwed into the workbench.
- Rotating Vises – Not a lot of manufacturers produce this design, but it definitely has its advantages.
The main advantage of using a rotating vise is that you will be able to approach the gun from different angles which would not be accessible in a fixed vise. This will allow you to do precise adjustments and maintenance procedures which would normally take a lot of time and elbow grease in just a few moments.
A slight disadvantage is that this kind of vises use more moving parts than fixed models, so they might not be as durable. Another disadvantage is that you won’t be able to apply a lot of force or pressure once the gun is rotated without risking to cause permanent damage to the vise.
The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions
Many people, especially those who haven’t use a gun vise before, have a lot of questions about them. In the following section, we answer the most popular questions about them.
1. Can I Use This Vise To Clean My Rifle?
No matter how they’re advertised, all gun vises can be used for cleaning your guns. It can be considered part and parcel of your cleaning kits and tools. Gun vises facilitate applying oil and lubricant while cleaning guns. This is the main reason people buy gun vises in the first place, so that is why all manufacturers specially design their products with this purpose in mind. However, here are some things you should keep in mind.
- Some gun vises are only compatible with certain types of guns, like rifles or shotguns, so if you want to use them to clean your handgun, you won’t be able to. Make sure you read the product instructions, or the other customer reviews to make sure the vise is compatible with your gun.
- If your gun is custom made, or if you have certain accessories mounted on it, it might not fit the gun vise-like it should. The simple way to solve this situation is to check the other customer’s reviews or take the accessories off before you use the vise.
2. My Gun Vise Didn’t Come With Installation Instructions. What Should I Do?
You can still assemble and install your gun vise, even though it didn’t come with proper installation instructions. The first thing you should do is to check out the manufacturer’s website because there’s a possibility you’ll find the instructions there. If you don’t, make sure you look for the instructions on Youtube. Sometimes people who had the same problem will upload an explanatory video to help other people.
3. What Is This Gun Vise Made Of?
There is no universal answer to this question. Different gun vise models are made out of different materials, metal or plastic. This should be specified in the product description. If you can’t find the information in the product’s description, check out the customer’s reviews and questions. Chances are, you’ll be able to find the answer there. If you still can’t find out which materials were used for the vise’s construction, you can always contact the manufacturer’s customer service. They should be able to provide accurate information regarding this aspect.
4. How Can I Adapt The Vise For My Handgun?
If your gun vise was delivered with poor instructions, it may be tricky to assemble and install it properly, let alone to make changes and adaptations to fit different kinds of weapons. However, there are several solutions to this problem.
- The first thing you should do is check for the solution online. Some gun enthusiasts websites can provide valuable information on how to use different guns and gun accessories. If you don’t find the solution there, make sure you check on Youtube, as well. There are many tutorials and explanatory videos online, and you might be fortunate enough to find the right tutorial there.
- Another solution to your problem is contacting customer support. Even though they didn’t ship the instructions manual with the gun vise, they should be able to provide sufficient information to clarify this matter for you.
5. How Do I Use A Gun Vise To Zero My Rifle?
Using a gun vise is a great and precise way of zeroing in your rifle. The first thing you have to do is to make sure your rifle is clamped down right on the vise’s centerline.
After you made sure the rifle is centered, place it facing a target. You will have to take proper aim, so keep in mind to use the vise’s windage and elevation knobs to adjust the rifle’s position. When you consider that the rifle is aiming straight where you want, fire around. See where the bullet hit, and make the necessary adjustments to the sights without moving or altering the vise.
Best Gun Vise Comparison Chart
|Caldwell Lead Sled DFT||$$$$||30.2 x 14.4 x 5.5 inches||24 pounds||Steel||Dual frame design|
|P3 Ultimate Gun Vise||$$$||25”x18"||Less than 10 pounds||Heavy-duty steel construction||Designed to accommodate both rifles and pistols|
|Tipton Best Gun Vise||$$||33 x 8.2 x 5.6 inches||Around 10 pounds||A central aluminum channel and high-quality, solvent-resistant material||Highly adjustable design for maximum versatility|
|Tipton Gun Vise / First Generation||$||9 x 34 x 11 inches||1.6 ounces||Tough, solvent-resistant polymers||Rubberized cradle and jaws to protect and grip your gun|
|Lyman Revolution Gun Vise||$$||19.8 x 9.8 x 9 inches||9.5 pounds||Molded plastic||Rotates Design|
|MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest||$||7 x 8 x 6 inches||4 pounds||Plastic||Low-slung center design|
Not only does the vise help you with cleaning and preparing your guns for storage, but you can also use it for various maintenance tasks, for mounting or taking off different gun accessories, for repairs, or for zeroing on sights or scopes. Gun vises are not very complex, and once you get the hang of using them, you will be able to use them for different purposes, each important in its own way. Probably the most important task you can accomplish with a gun vise is cleaning the bore of your rifle or shotgun, especially after hunting season when you put them in storage. Storing your guns filled with soot and debris from extensive hunting may lead to damage to your bore, sometimes only temporary damage, but other times permanent one.
As you can see, cleaning your guns before putting them in storage is very important, and a gun vise will help you by shortening the cleaning process. Finding the best gun vise for your needs is very important because some vises can perform certain tasks well, while others can’t. If you have more types of rifles, shotguns, and handguns, the best option would be to buy yourself a versatile gun vise, so you can adapt it every time you need to clean a different firearm. A good gun vise will also help you with sighting your firearms, whether you use iron sights, reflex sights, or scopes. In fact, you will be able to zero in all your guns faster using a gun vise, and sometimes the zero will actually be more precise. When you use a gun vise, you make sure that the gun is always in the same exact position, so all you need to do is make small adjustments to the sights or the scope and find the true zero.
Remember! Being tactically well-geared is an important and crucial factor for every passionate and experienced shooter. So, we can help find out what are the top-rated gears & accessories by visiting tacticals.org.