Review: Caldwell’s DeadShot ChairPod
Dr. John Woods 11.05.14
Every so often a product comes along that makes one wonder what took them so long. Caldwell Shooting Supplies, part of the Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. group out of Columbia, Missouri, makes some great products for shooters, gunsmiths, gun enthusiasts, and hunters. You have to shop their web site sometime to see all the products they have available. You will quickly recognize some of the top brand names in the shooting accessory industry.
Their latest product is called the DeadShot ChairPod. You can already see by the attached photo that this setup is a seat and shooting support all combined in one product. What cannot be seen in the photo is the thinking that went into creating such a shooting accessory as the ChairPod. One has to experience it through the process of assembling it out of the box to fully appreciate its features and design.
As with all Caldwell products I have used in the past, they come well packaged in one shipping/sales floor display box. How they do that alone is a marvel. Once you start pulling out all the pieces, parts, and the main components to lay them out on the floor, one begins to get a sense of how it all works together.
Basically this is a fold out chair like ones used in ground blinds. The back folds down over the four legs and there is a backpack strap system installed for toting the whole rig to the field for use in a ground blind or on the shooting range. It could easily be used behind an improvised homemade ground blind as well.
The four legs each have a spread out foot that resists sinking into soft dirt or mud. However, if you use this ChairPod in a really wet environment inside a ground blind with no hard floor, I highly recommend putting down a piece of plywood to help support the seat. This could help keep the shooter or hunter’s feet drier and warmer up out of the muck as well.
Attached to the front of the chair is a bracket that holds the Swing-Arm Post that supports the entire Shooting Rail Assembly with the front and rear gun holding support forks. There are way too many adjustment features on the ChairPod to explain, but know that when sitting in the seat with your rifle or crossbow in the support forks you can fully adjust the swing arm height, change the shooting rail length to handle any kind of rifle, and change fork height. Also, everything locks down tight via screw knob adjustments or extension locks like those on camera tripods.
On top of those multiple adjustment points, the seat is fully rotational 360 degrees. The seat is a comfortable fabric mesh that allows for air flow and some soft flexibility. I believe it would be easy to sit in this ChairPod seat for an extended period of time without fatigue setting in. The seat width is ample for us larger guys with bigger hips.
When the hunt is over, the whole rig can be disassembled and folded up for carry using the backpack straps attached on the back of the seat. The Swing-Arm Post slides out of the bracket under the chair and the “tube” fits into two rubber bar holders attached to the side of the seat frame. Then the shooting rail side sits down into two rubberized cradles fitted into the end of the chair seat frame bars. The whole process is more difficult and time consuming to describe in writing than it is to do in real practice.
Other features of the ChairPod include the spacing between the twin Shooting Rails, which is open. This allows for the easy use of an AR type rifle, permitting an extended magazine to fit down in between these two rails. Though the ChairPod looks to be most compatible with a long gun rifle or even a shotgun, the unit will also easily adapt to using and shooting a crossbow as well. The soft rubberized front and rear holding forks hold any weapon securely.
Naturally, the whole functional purpose of the Caldwell ChairPod is to provide benchrest accuracy from a portable shooting platform that can be used anywhere at any time. The 360 swivel chair feature and the fully adjustable gun rest system allows for the maximum range of movements for the shooter and hunter. The whole of the adjustments permits the precise alignment across the entire range of possible shooting angles, up, down, or swinging right or left of the seated user.
The Shooting Rail set up keeps the rifle or crossbow in the ready position at all times. This lets the shooter-hunter also be hands free to use binoculars or a rangefinder or to take a drink or use a camera without disturbing the weapon in the fork cradles. The rifle or crossbow can be adjusted perfectly to the shooting position desired by the ChairPod user. The shooting rail slides in or out to handle even a 26-inch rifle barrel or a carbine length long gun.
The frame, seat, and leg components are all metal with a durable powder coating in a neutral tan color. The Shooting Rail and fork parts are aluminum for lightweight construction. Most of the adjustment parts are tough ABS type synthetics. The entire package weighs 22 pounds and will support a user up to 300 pounds. In layman’s terms this Caldwell DeadShot ChairPod is not cheap junk.
With deer hunting season coming up in a couple weeks, I fully intend to put this ChairPod into full practical use in a pop up ground blind I already have ready to use near a planted wildlife food plot.
Setting the seat back into the blind will give me maximum flexibility of a full range of left to right shooting positions with the height perfectly adjusted to my seat comfort and shooting angle. What I look forward to is the stability this chair unit is going to provide in helping me to make precise shots at any possible range a deer might offer me.
If this Caldwell DeadShot ChairPod sounds like something you can use, then I highly recommend you acquire one from your local dealer as soon as possible. I think you will be highly pleased with the quality and the adjustable flexibility this portable benchrest platform will provide.