Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions. If you have a concern not listed below, please contact us.
How quickly do they ship?
We ship stock Shooting Stick orders the next business day. If you want them personalized, add 7 business days to get the connector engraved.
Do I really need to buy a set of my own...why not just use what the PH has?
Absolutely, it is important you get comfortable with them before you leave home. The same reason you bring over you own rifle is the same reason why you should bring over your own set of sticks…..so you can practice with them in advance to gain proficiency.
Jim Carmichel featured our products in a write-up he did for Outdoor Life. Jim is the Gun Editor of that publication and a veteran of over 40 African Safaris. He is also a nationally ranked bench rest shooter. When we met with him, he said after a comfortable pair of boots, a straight shooting rifle and high quality optics came a good set of shooting sticks. You have spent thousands on the hunt, thousands on airfare, thousands on equipment and then when the moment of truth comes you are going to shoot off of a set of sticks cut from green wood (springy), cut very long so it fits the tallest hunter (not good for the average person) that has no padding to protect you stock.
Larry Chesney, the Managing Editor of Sporting Classics Magazine lost his gun and African Wood Creations shooting sticks for the first part of his safari. This is what he had to say about that experience, “I learned the hard way that all shooting sticks are not created equal. My African Sporting Creations sticks were indispensible!”
What size should I order?
We provide size information based on your height. If you are between sizes or plan to take steep uphill shots (need them longer to avoid scope eye) we recommend the next larger size as you can always work with a set that is a little too long. If they are too short, in addition to the risk of “scope eye” the “V” at the top that supports the fore end will be too close together and since it will not be wider than your fore end, the far leg has a tendency to kick out during recoil.
What are the most rigid models you offer?
All of the models offered are very rigid and keep in mind that you do not have to press your rifle down into them to improve accuracy. They are simply a rest for your rifle and another point of contact. If you exert a lot of downward pressure, your muscles will fatigue and your groups will actually get larger.
What kind of groups can I expect?
It is not uncommon to achieve groups similar to what you would get at a bench. There are a couple of reasons for this. First is that shooting big bores from a bench is punishing as your body takes the full impact of the shot. After a few shots even the most recoil tolerant of us start to take a beating and groups grow. When you use our very strong and rigid sticks, you can roll with the shot and thus felt recoil is reduced considerably. Terry Wieland mentions this very issue when he tested the new Ruger .375 that weighs in at less than 8 pounds. He used a set of our sticks during his evaluation to increase his shooting comfort.
The other reason why the groups are so small is that we use Hickory and select exotic woods that offer unmatched rigidity. In addition, we kiln dry our woods down to about half the moisture content of what they use to increase the rigidity (and reduce the weight) even further.
How do I set them up and what grip works best?
The first question is easy. You simply grasp the two color coded legsand post the other one out front in the direction you want to shoot. In terms of how to grip them, we asked three of the PH’s who use them that question and they all gave us different answers. Some said grasp the sticks and the rifle together. Some said leave the sticks alone and just grasp the rifle and one said lay your hand in the “V” and put the rifle on top of that. All agreed that you should not rest the barrel in the “V” as resting the fore-end allows for a steadier shot. Personally I like to grasp the rifle and the sticks simultaneously (as shown in the instructions that are included with each set) so you can adjust them easier and hold onto both the rifle and sticks.
How long are they when taken apart?
All of our models unscrew and can fit in a full-length rifle case. Larges range from 36-38” and XL range from 38-40” long. If you are traveling with a take-down case or want to put them in a duffel bag, then our large or XL SuperCompacts will fit in either with an ID length of at least 28”
How do these exotic woods differ from domestic hardwoods?
Most of them are harder and heavier as Oak. This requires special construction techniques, extra heavy duty equipment and more frequent sharpening of the planer/saw blades. However, the end result is worth the extra effort. The hardness of these species enables them to take a finish much better than softer, domestic hardwoods. This allows the true character of these beautiful woods to come to the surface. Our designs are very traditional as the focal point of the piece is the beautiful color, graining and unique characteristics of each of the various exotic woods featured.
In terms of cost all of our exotic woods are much more expensive than premium domestic hardwoods. Our best selling exotic wood costs five times as much as Select Oak. Our raw material cost is the largest expense we have.
How much do they weigh?
Domestic wood, large-sized sticks weigh approximately 2.5 pounds. Exotic wood sticks weigh a half-pound more due to their greater density, but this is still less than most premium Aluminum tripods. Super Compacts Hickory domestics weigh approximately 3 pounds (Featherweights weigh 1/2 pound less) due to the extra set of connectors which increase their versatility and allow them to unscrew to a shorter length.
Why do all your sticks have a point on the bottom versus rubber tips?
Most of the hunting done in Africa is done during the dry season and posting the legs into the ground prevents them from splaying out under recoil. Rubber tips are great if you want to practice in your home or off cement at the range (and we provide three that slip on over our tips for that very purpose) but they do not give you purchase in the field. Quoting Don Heath again, “Most of the areas where I hunt the ground is rock hard and they need some kind of “non-slip” base on them. Sharpening the sticks slightly works fine.”
Why do they cost more than other sticks on the market?
The best always costs more. We do not want to sell thousands of them each year, we just want to sell the most rigid, quiet and beautiful ones on the market to those that appreciate quality.
We use the finest components available and every set requires over 150 steps before they are completed. I make every set, primarily by hand, right in our wood shop in Ohio. We do not import or assemble Chinese parts here, we actually do it all from start to finish. Our connectors alone (forgetting about labor and the other components utilized) cost us more than the selling price of many of the other shooting sticks available today. Five years ago, we set out to make the very best Shooting Sticks on the market and we have never let the amount of labor or cost of any component conflict with that objective.
When you start utilizing exotic versus domestic woods it adds another very significant cost to the product and it is the second most expensive component of our product. Our exotic woods cost 10 times (Jatoba) to 20 times (other exotics) as much as Hickory. Many of them also contain cross-directional grain that means we throw away or break two out of every three pieces we turn. Couple this with the fact that they are also much more difficult to work with because of their extreme hardness and you have a final cost per piece that can exceed 50 times the cost of Hickory. Having said all that, we enjoy working with the various exotic woods because the finished product is so stunning.
I think that Thomas McInntyre, the Shooting Editor of Field and Stream sums up our commitment to quality best in the note we got from him after he received his, “My wife may not hunt but she recognizes quality craftsmanship. When I showed her your product her immediate comment was that you can always tell when someone cares about the product he makes. I learned long ago not to argue with my wife.”
What if they need repair or I want to return them?
Simply send them back and we will either repair them, send you a new set, or refund your money if you are not absolutely satisfied with them. If you need parts you have lost or worn out, simply order them here on our web site.