Ransom Rest

by
posted on April 20, 2012
2012420104947-ransomrest_m.jpg

The late Chuck Ransom was a very accomplished man. At various times, he was a U.S. Marine, firefighter, machine shop foreman, gunsmith, competitive shooter and inventor. At all times, he was a decent man and one of my best friends. I remember him for a lot of good times, but the world remembers him for a remarkable device called the Ransom Rest, a mechanical device that permits a scientifically oriented shooter to evaluate a pistol and/or the ammunition it is firing. The rest consists of a cast-steel base that the shooter attaches to a solid bench or pedestal and a movable rocker arm that is held in close contact to the base by a powerful spring. A handgun can be placed in the forward end of the rocker arm and held there in rubber-faced “inserts” made to the exact shape of the gun's butt. Built in this fashion, there was no possibility of marring the firearm.

A shooter positions behind the rest, mounted solidly on an inert bench or table. Shaped to give the shooter complete access to the gun's controls and fitted with a remote controlled trigger, the rest's rocker arm and mounted pistol recoil upward when fired. The shooter manually returns it to the down position. The important characteristic of the rest is simply that it always returns to exactly the same position, so that every shot in a series is aimed at exactly the same spot. All human effort in the aiming and firing process is removed and the resulting on-target group is representative of what the gun and ammo combination will do under the best circumstances.

The only limitation of the Ransom Rest is that you need a wide array of inserts to evaluate the various guns that come along. For a shooter, particularly a handloading one, the Ransom Rest provides the ability to maintain quality control over large batches of a given load. It's also handy in developing a new load or selecting a commercial load. Several 10 shot groups with a commercial or handmade load through the same gun will pretty much show what your gun will do. If you have a gun of known accuracy, careful use of the Ransom Rest can show you what each of many loads are capable of. Conversely, you can find out which of several similar pistols will shoot best with any given load. It is literally a handgun lie detector.

Chuck Ransom never intended the Ransom Test to compete with handgunners, but there are several who insisted on trying to do just that. It is possible for a very good marksman to produce an occasional group that is better than the Ransom Rest's. But—in any meaningful multi-group comparison—the Ransom Rest will win. That's because Mr. Ransom's contraption never gets tired, has infinite patience and can keep shooting accurately from dawn to dusk. I know that because I have done it. The device delivers the last shot out of a group of 10, a thousand or even ten thousand, exactly like the first. Paired up with one of Dr. Oehler's magic boxes, the Ransom Rest lets you find out a great deal about your gun and its ammunition.

Latest

DRD Tactical MFP 21
DRD Tactical MFP 21

New For 2022: DRD Tactical MFP-21

New for 2022, DRD Tactical releases the MFP-21, a large-format pistol chambered in either 5.56 mm NATO or .300 Blackout.

Rifleman Review: SIG Sauer P210

Watch this American Rifleman Television segment of "Rifleman Review" from 2020 to learn more about the SIG Sauer P210.

The Smith & Wesson SD VE Line

Introduced in 2012, the Smith & Wesson SD VE line of handguns are a popular budget-friendly option in the striker-fired, polymer-framed handgun market.

New For 2020: Shadow Systems CR920 Subcompact

New For 2022, Shadow Systems releases the CR920, a subcompact 9 mm pistol with ergonomics and a magazine capacity not far off from a full-size handgun.

New For 2022: Uberti 1873 Cattleman In 9mm Luger

Uberti's 1873 Cattleman single-action revolver is now available as one of three Single Action Army clones available in the popular 9mm Luger cartridge.

Preview: Clamtainer Ammo Buddy Rifleman Value Bundle

Clamtainer has simple organizational products that help make life more efficient. Whether you have a gun room that requires an update or are looking to eradicate mice from the ammunition closet, Clamtainer has a solution, and its Rifleman Value Bundle is one such answer.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.