This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where things blow up. It is hard to make a gun vise sexy. But everyone needs one, especially hunters and anyone who shoots long guns. A good bench-top vise makes every maintenance task easier, from cleaning to putting on scopes.
The SmartReloader SR5000 Modular Gun Vise is an excellent place to start.
SmartReloader’s Modular Gun Vise can be set up in a number of ways. The modularity comes in the end trays that can be placed at either end of the vise, or at two positions on each side. The ends fit in place very well. The design specifications are tight enough that I had to seat them with a mallet. But they are easy enough to move from position to position.
The Modular Gun Vise’s vises are well padded rubber jaws. There is a barrel end and a stock end, and both are sized accordingly. Each set of jaws screws in place from the bottom side, adding a little extra strength to the design.
The distance between the two sets of jaws is adjustable by moving one end or the other into various positions along the center of the base, and the jaws open wide enough to accommodate a wide variety of long guns. Short AR carbines fit, as do longer long guns. It even works with pistols.
The Modular Gun Vise’s receptacles and bit holders are useful in two ways. They provide convenient access to loose tools and bits, and and a framework for structure. Though it is made of plastic, the vise is exceptionally strong. And the plastic is impervious to most oils and cleaning agents, which makes it ideal for cleaning and general lubrication.
If it gets too messy, or if you’re switching between cleaning and actual maintenance, or scope instillation (where you want the vise completely clean and grease free, it can be dismantled and easily washed.
The SR5000 is solid enough that it can handle the hammer work necessary for punching out pins or removing parts, and the surface of the plastic and rubber won’t scratch the finish on polished wood or blued steel. It is not strong enough to handle much serious torque.
The SR5000 is deceptively simple. The vise works like a vise should, and the trays provide different ways to organized all of the extra stuff. And that’s why they should be standard equipment for any serious shooter. Organization is key.
The Modular Gun Vise allows you to set aside some bench space and claim some territory for regular work. But it is light enough that it can go with you to the range, where you might need to fine-tune adjustments. Best of both worlds.
The Gun Vise with two modular ends has an MSRP of $94.95, but it sells for as little as $50. Even though the vise is plastic, the level of detail and engineering is very precise. If you don’t have a bench set up yet for working on your guns, it is high time to get to work.