There are times you need to steady your rifle as much as possible. Ultradyne offers a unique alternative to a traditional rest with the UD Launch Pad!
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About the Ultradyne UD Launch Pad
Ultradyne has developed and produced a system of devices intended to hold a rifle steady, and contribute to precision by reducing the recoil felt by the shooter. These devices include the UD Launch Pad, UD Carbon Tripod, Orbit Ballhead, UD7 Chassis and the various accessories for each!
The UD Launch Pad simulates a benchrest while greatly reducing recoil. It can be used as both a shooting rest and a work platform and can be weighted down with sandbags, free weights, or shot. It’s easily transportable and user configurable!
From Ultradyne USA:
The Ultradyne Launch Pad is designed to reduce recoil and maintain the natural interface between the rifle and shooter. It features a 3/8-16 thread at the top of a 7/8-inch solid steel vertical adjustment bolt that is compatible with most ballheads and gun vises. The Launch Pad is especially effective in combination with the Ultradyne Orbit Ballhead with Dynalock at the range and with the Grasp Gun Vise at the bench.
This system offers the ability to add lead shot, sandbags, or even gym weights (with the optional adapter) to the front plate. Transferring recoil of a firearm to a weighted Launch Pad by using a locking interface like UD Dynalock or Picatinny affords the user a natural shooting position with the shoulder against the buttstock and a wide range of motion for aiming.
After shooting, the Launch Pad can be easily transported to a workbench for cleaning or gunsmithing work. It can hold the firearm via Arca, Picatinny, or in a gun vise, allowing for easy manipulation and access for servicing.
- Weight: 10 lbs.
- Length: 18.5”
- Width: 8.0”
- Height: 4.75”
- Threads: 3/8” – 16.0”
- Vertical Adjustment: 3.0”
- Adjustable Feet: 2
- Finish: Cerakote® Nitride Hardcoat Anodize
What’s in the Box
The Ultradyne Launch Pad arrived well padded inside a sturdy cardboard box. There’s not a lot to take apart, just the packaging and the Launch Pad base. We also received the Grasp gun vise and the Free Weight adapter. We already had the Ultradyne Orbit ball head.
The Launch Pad can be configured to suit your requirements. The unit itself is simple to assemble, requiring just an Allen key.
Order the accessories you need to make it work well for you. For instance, our Grasp Gun Vise was set up with the ARCA rail to mate up with our existing Orbit ball head. If you don’t use ARCA, the Grasp Gun Vise can be ordered with the same threads as the Orbit ball head so that it simply screws onto the Launch Pad for a single piece instead of two.
For this article, we weighed the UD Launch Pad down with four small sandbags and used it as a rest for shooting several bolt actions and an AR-15.
The Launch Pad later became a work platform when I cleaned the barrel of the AR-15 and 6.5 Creedmoor in the Ultradyne UD7 chassis.
The real key to making the Ultradyne Launch Pad work is to weigh down the platform. We used sandbags, but shot bags, or even Olympic weights can be used. The Launch Pad itself is roughly 10 pounds. Adding another 20 – 50 pounds makes it heavy enough that it will remain immobile during recoil.
We noted an advantage that the Launch Pad has over other weighted stands. Some stands have an immobile plate that the rifle stock rests against that has been known to break rifle stocks, particularly wood stocks on powerful hunting rifles. The Launch Pad is either attached to the rifle via the ARCA and UD Dynalock system or it can grip the rifle stock with the Grasp Gun Vise.
Neither of those is likely to break the rifle stock. I would not trust my wood stocked rifles in some weighted rests, but I would happily shoot them from the UD Launch Pad.
Switching gears, the .223 AR-15 was a delight to shoot from the Launch Pad. It’s set up with an ARCA rail that fits the Ultradyne ARCA ball head perfectly.
I was grinning after the first shot! A .223/5.56 AR-15 doesn’t have much recoil anyway, and the heavy Launch Pad soaked it up so there was literally no recoil to my shoulder.
We also used the Dynalock system with the Ultradyne Carbon Tripod and Ballhead, an excellent setup for precision shots from a hunting rifle. The Dynalock system locks the rifle securely to the Launch Pad via the ball head. I was shooting sub MOA groups at 100 yards with this rifle, using Berger factory ammunition. I am sure it can do better. It was very easy and comfortable to shoot from the Ultradyne Launch Pad.
A tougher test of the Ultradyne Launch Pad came when Gavin tried the 7mm PRC Bergara B-14 Squared Crest. This is a rather lightweight yet powerful hunting rifle that generates a fair bit of recoil — which is of course suitably tamed by the included omni-directional muzzle brake.
Still, it produced more power, blast and recoil than any of the other rifles we used from the Launch Pad. This rifle was not equipped with an ARCA rail, so we used the Ultradyne Grasp Gun Vise to clamp the rifle to the Launch Pad. Shooting it was easy, with the Ultradyne Launch Pad soaking up most of the recoil. Gavin was shooting some max-level hunting ammunition I’d loaded with the 175 grain Hornady ELD-X.
The final rifle we tested was a custom 6mm ARC Gavin built on a BAT action using a Foundation Centurion stock. This was my first time using this particular rifle and I had to admit that it is one impressive-looking rifle that also shoots well. One thing that stood out was how easy it was to pick up and move the Ultradyne Launch Pad anywhere we needed it. We set it up with just the ARCA-equipped Orbit ball head and added the Grasp Gun Vise as necessary.
This is all part of Ultradyne’s system and uses the same ball head as their Carbon tripod. It’s easy to configure it to meet your requirements, easy to assemble and easy to use. As seen in the video, it goes together quickly, needing only an Allen key.
The key to reducing recoil is to add weight forward of the ball head attachment point. Sandbags or shot bags fit nicely on the tray. Alternatively, weight plates can be used. More weight means more recoil reduction.
For me, I would use this primarily for load workup, particularly with powerful rifles that produce a lot of recoil. I’m thinking particularly of my .375 H&H or my .45-70 lever action rifle with heavy loads.
This product is well made, has a unique design and performs as advertised. This could substitute for a conventional benchrest, bipod, or other rifle rest devices. It’s well worth considering and I think it will be used quite a bit in the future at our mid-mountain and ridgetop ranges.
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