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I know that in (some?) competitions sandbags are allowed and sleds are not, but I'm a little fuzzy on when/why you'd use one over the other in a non-competition situation.
 

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A sled when the weapon kicks like a mule and you're recoil sensitive.
I think sleds can help reduce the human factor some too.
I use my sled when sighting in slug guns. My brother uses it for magnum rifles, which I don't shoot anymore, they bother my sinuses and a bad shoulder.
 

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If you just want to check the accuracy potential of the rifle or ammunition, weigh down a sled and strap the rifle to it.

If you want to zero the sights or a scope, hold the forend and lay your hand on a sandbag.
 

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The rifle cradle in sleds still move around a little bit, people think they don't because there's support in the back but it is thin steel. I actually get better results off a sandbag myself. I agree with KurtC about weighing it down, and the others also about using it for very large magnum caliber rifles, those can be brutal on your shoulder/neck.
m14brian
 
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