I’ve been deep into hunting for so long that it takes me a while to recount the time when I didn’t have a gun by my side.
I tagged along with my dad and his friends for hunting trips since I was a kid. As much as my dad loved hunting, his language became vivid and colorful every time he sat down to clean his tool.
Now when I look back, I don’t blame him. Cleaning your rifle or bow without anything to keep it stationary was a surefire way to waste the weekend. I had to deal with the same shenanigans before gun vises came to my rescue.
A lot of gun owners put off getting a vise. They think it’s not worth the dime. Let me drop some old-timer knowledge here- you don’t know what you’re missing out on. I’ve never had an easier time managing all my weaponry.
So, it’s time I tell you what years of gun-handling has taught me. I’ve been bombed by people asking me which one is the best gun vise for maintenance. So, I’m going to answer this question once and for all. Just saddle up as I take you into the world of gun maintenance.
- 1 Why Get a Gun Vise?
- 2 Top-Rated Gun Vise for Maintenance
- 3 Here’s My Tips on How to Get the Best Gun Cleaning Tables
- 4 One Last Shot Before I pack
Why Get a Gun Vise?
There’s a debate about whether or not getting a gun vise is a waste. Some would agree that vises are redundant, while others would be outraged at this statement.
I’m not to side with any parties here. Instead, I’ll be in the middle-ground. I’ll highlight the “What” and “Why,” and you take the wheel and decide if you want a gun vise or not.
Firstly, it’s not like I had a gun vise growing up. Even my dad didn’t have one to back him up. So, you can go about your life without getting a vise. It’s not impossible to maintain your gun with a simple coffee table. I’ve done it plenty of times myself.
However, I always had to be on my toes during a cleaning session. A moment’s relapse could spell the end of my rifle’s life. I remember losing my Mossberg Patriot Rifle to a bad coffee table jerk. I call it the coffee-table-travesty.
Luckily, the Mossberg Patriot is a budget-rifle, so I didn’t lose too much sleep over it. What bothered me was the thought of losing my premium rifle and crossbow. I couldn’t let that happen, and that’s when a gun vise steps in to save the day.
If you’re a DIY like me, and your love for your guns is true, get a gun vise. Putting a few extra bucks for maintenance shouldn’t be a big deal. So, having a gun vise may save your rifle from an untimely demise.
Also, it’s easier to clean and mount-scopes with a gun vise. I remember my father trapped in his mancave; it took him so long to clean his rifle. So, a vise can help you cut down hours of work.
There’s an argument about taking one’s gun directly to a professional for maintenance. I think it’s a legitimate course of action. However, the costs can pile up before you even see it. Why spend money overtime when getting a gun vise is a one-time investment?
Also, I prefer cleaning guns on my own because I get to know them better. A gun-to-man quality time is the highlight of my weekend. Thus, these are the reasons for getting a gun vise. Gun vises aren’t explicitly for gun-nuts. Even the casual hunter can reap the benefits.
I think it should decorate the arsenal of every concerned rifle owner.
Top-Rated Gun Vise for Maintenance
I’ve had the opportunity to test and experiment with several gun vises. Not all of them lived up to the standards I set. From the many vises I’ve had a run with, I chose to highlight only 5. All the vises on this list are strong contenders for being the top dog, and I’ll show you why.
1. Tipton Ultra Gun Vise
When I set out to get my first vise, I didn’t know what would tickle my fancy. After looking into the marketplace with the little idea that I had, I decided to go for the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise. Although it was the first product I’ve ever used, I’ll say it’s a top-rated vise for a good reason.
The gun vise is literally the flexibility-fanatic’s dream come true. When I got this stand, I wasn’t even aware of half the things this baby could pull off. I just used the basic functions at first but over time I discovered all the treats it had to offer.
For starters, the grips used to hold the firearm together were made of rubber. It allowed me to rough-handle my guns, as there was no risk of exterior scratch from rubber.
Also, I could adjust the grips with the easy-to-use ball and socket locking mechanism. One simple spin would loosen the hold, and another would tighten.
There were two removable trays on both sides, as well. The trays functioned as a mini-storage box for all the accessories I require during the cleaning process. I kept dry cloth, screwdrivers, magnets, and sometimes even my cellphone. It’s good to have everything at arm’s length.
Initially, I thought it wouldn’t hold my handguns. I have a traditional Blackhawk and a Super Blackhawk. They’re pretty small in size, but I was able to move the gun-holders through the frame and adjust accordingly. So, it’s not just for rifles. I even put my bow down on it without any hiccups.
There are four feet, two on each side, holding the vise together. This is where things get interesting. I could lock the feet down with a simple twirl, and work on adjusting my rifle’s scope. This feature helped me align the strings of my crossbow as well.
I’ve been asked whether a person can hammer down on their gun with the feet bolted. Although the polymer body-construction is durable, I don’t think it would hold up. The frames are metal, but the grips and other structures may fall apart under intense pressure.
There’s also a lot of complaints flying around about its structure. It’s flexible and user-friendly for sure. However, this vise needs gentle treatment. People often forget the fact that it’s not a metal vise after all.
Also, I got a sturdy hammer-stop to check the rifle’s trigger functions. Usually, pulling the trigger often without ammunition leads to a decreased trigger-sensitivity. The hammer-stop feature is a plus because I kept checking the sensitivity without compromising my rifle’s safety.
As a cherry on top, I got a 1-year warranty. I didn’t need to cash it in, but it was good to have for a pinch. However, the price it comes in isn’t comforting. It’s over $100, and that’s a bit steep. But the good news is I got it for $90, and you could too. The cost fluctuates, so I’d wait for a while before pulling the reel with this vise.
|What makes this a game-changer||Things that need improvement|
|This vise is customizable to the tee. All the parts can be broken down and re-adjusted according to the needs of each individual.||The plastic structure is susceptible to damage. One must tread carefully when using the vise.|
|The rubberized grips can hold rifles, handguns, shotguns, even bows. The grip is tight yet gentle enough to not scratch the weapon’s surface.||The ball-and-socket knobs might fail without maintenance.|
|It’s not just for cleaning. You can mount a scope thanks to the vise’s leveling feet.|
|The portable/removable trays make accessory management convenient and simple.|
|There’s a built-in hammer-stop in the middle to check trigger sensitivity of a weapon.|
2. Tipton Best Gun Vise : Overall Best Pick
Before you go into a fit because the second vise on the list is also from Tipton, let me clarify. I received brilliant service from Tipton. I had the pleasure of using it for 5 years or so.
So, once the structure died on me, I decided to show some brand loyalty. Trust me; I’m nothing but glad because the loyalty led me to the Tipton Best Gun Vise, and it was glorious.
I’ve already said Tipton’s Ultra Gun Vise is a flexible-fanatic’s dream materialized into reality. However, the new and improved Best Gun Vise (it’s in the name) takes flexibility to a whole new level. For starters, all the three different sections of this vise are adjustable, making it suitable for a plethora of gun-types.
Let me tell you about the front-part. There are two knobs at the front. The one on the bottom lets me adjust/move the front-part freely over the base. The other knob is for vertical motion, as I could adjust the height by moving the holder. If I needed to level my rifle or tilt it for inspection, I could easily do it.
The big game-changer in this gun vise is the L-shaped middle-section. Firstly, it’s removable. However, what’s important is that the middle section has two different settings. All I had to do for scope-mounting is to simply put the short-end up.
Most people struggle when dealing with break-open rifles. However, the middle-section of Tipton had me covered. When I put the long-end up after breaking my rifle, the rubberized mid-section would keep the rifle stationary. I was free to inspect, clean, and tinker to my heart’s content.
The rear-end of this gun vise is the bulkiest of the three parts. That’s understandable because securing the rifle’s buttstock is a priority. I was able to place my rifle’s buttstock over the rubberized holder. Also, the clamps on each side added an extra oomph of security.
Loyal users of the Ultra Gun Vise (like me) didn’t like the exclusion of removable accessory tray and hammer-stop. There is ample space in the middle to keep accessories. However, when it was removable, I could keep the cleaning tools separately.
I got down to business with my Winchester 70, my baby Blackhawks, and my prized-possession the Excalibur Assassin 400TD. So, it’s safe to say that this vise can support all the different gun types. Some of my friends asked me whether it comes with a mag well block. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
I understand the predicament of AR-15 users for not having a native mag well block. The workaround for me was to spend the extra $20 to get the Delta Mag Block.
Surprisingly, the Tipton Best Gun Vise is cheaper than its predecessor. Also, there’s a 1-year warranty to boot. I’ve used this gun vise for years, and I’d say it deserves to be called the best gun vise for maintenance hands-down.
|What makes this a game-changer||Things that need improvement|
|The flexibility I got was bonkers. You could make all the adjustments you need in a jiffy.||There’s no mag well block. Also, Tipton decided to remove the hammer-stop. So, you can’t test the trigger sensitivity now.|
|The entire vise is tool-less. So, there’s no hassle of screw-driving your way through different customizations.||The metal base was also replaced with a plastic base. While the polymer is the brute of the plastic-race, it’s still plastic.|
|Whether it’s handguns, shotguns, rifles, or bows, you name it; this gun vise can clamp it.|
|The grips are rubberized. There’s no chance of scratching the glossy exterior of a gun’s buttstock or muzzle.|
|The L-shaped is a massive quality of life improvement. It can hold break-open weapons together for a full clean-up.|
3. CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise
While I enjoyed my run with the Tipton duo, I wanted to move up in the world. None of the Tipton’s I’ve used were built as a gun rest for shooting practice.
So, I started exploring and stumbled upon the CTK PRECISION P3. It gave me the best of both worlds- a gun vise for maintenance with a gun rest for target practice to boot.
What sets the CTK P3 apart from the rest of its competition is the full-body steel construction. No plastic parts on this train. So, the durability game is stronger than ever with this gun vise. Finally, I didn’t have to put my baby gloves on every time I wanted to get some maintenance done.
There are three adjustable feet in this vise- one in the front and two in the back. They’ve got a sturdy rubber covering. So, the covering helped with the traction.
Although my bolt-action Winchester has little recoil, I’ve used AR’s that kick like a truck. This vise can hold some bad-boy recoil thanks to the rubberized feet.
The front-part is V-shaped, and you have to put the gun in the middle of it. There’s close-foam padding coupled with a military sheet. So, I wasn’t afraid of losing the pristine finish of my rifle.
The rear-part has similar padding and sheets. However, this vise didn’t give me a clamp to hold the buttstock. I just had to put the buttstock over a flat base without anything to hold it together tightly.
It doesn’t affect the vise’s performance as a gun rest. The simple workaround to this issue was to give my rifle’s muzzle some horizontal elevation, and the close-foam padding would take the hit.
However, not having a clamp at the back-end does put this vise’s cleaning competence under question. I was able to hammer down my AR and bolt-action when I first bought it. The hold of the back-end started to give out after a year’s use. It didn’t make cleaning impossible, just made it a bit inconvenient.
My friends asked me whether I could go bonkers with the magazine size. Fortunately, the gun rest was able to handle a mag size of 30-rounds, albeit it needed a few tweaks here and there. The distance between the vise-top and the base-plate isn’t 30-round-mag friendly.
So, I needed some horizontal angling and was good to go.
Also, it works with traditional muzzleloaders and break-open weapons. Not only that, but I was also on full-swing with my handguns and crossbow. I think the vise is flexible enough to accommodate most gun types out there.
Customizations are aplenty as well. I could get just the perfect height or angular assistance I needed. There’s a scale in front that helped me note down a couple optimal measurements for my rifle’s.
However, there’s no space for putting accessories, and the back-end having no clamp to hold the buttstock together is an issue. Besides, I had to pay big bucks for this item. I am not disappointed per se, I just think the manufacturer could do better.
|What makes it a game-changer||Things that need improvement|
|The entire gun vise is made of steel. So, you have heavy-duty gun maintenance on the menu with this item.||There’s no clamp at the back to hold the buttstock firmly.|
|It’s a multi-functional vise. You can use it as a gun rest for target practice/hunting or as a maintenance vise.||No accessory slots to help you out during a cleaning session.|
|Sturdy and rubberized leg coverings can handle considerable recoil.|
|The muzzle and buttstock resting places have close-foam padding and metal sheets. The metal sheets protect the rifle’s natural finish.|
|The gun vise can accommodate a wide variety of guns. For instance, shotguns, rifles, AR, handguns, bows, everything is on the plate.|
4. Hyskore Cleaning & Sighting Vise
The CTK Precision proved to be a stellar all-around vise, and I was happy. However, fate wasn’t on my side, as I lost my CTK to theft. I took the hit, but my savings were not ready for it.
Thus, I had to cut some corners and resorted to budget vises. I bought the Hyskore Cleaning and Sighting Vise, and to my surprise, I had a good run with this product.
I got this gun vise for half of what I had spent earlier for the CTK. I thought the cost cut would kill the performance. However, that wasn’t the case. Even for half the price, the Hyskore had a part-steel construction. Only the knobs and feet were plastic, so the parts that mattered were steel.
I was able to do some heavy-duty gunsmithing. It felt liberating to not walk on eggshells around the gun vise. I could break open my AR and work with it without the fear of losing my vise because of excessive force.
The design seemed a bit out-of-place at first. But after a few rounds of use, I got the hang of it. There’s a V-shaped muzzle-rest in the front, a mid-section, and a back-end. All these sections are movable, so I could adjust it anyway I fancied.
Unlike the CTK, I was able to clamp the buttstock of my gun’s this time around. You may think it’s a minor change, but during a tedious maintenance session, minor tweaks mean the world. The grips on the back were rubberized. My Winchester 70 has a nice wooden finish, and there were no scratches to it.
I felt intrigued by the Hyskore’s strap in the middle section. If I’m being honest, it caught me by surprise because I’ve never seen a strap attached to a gun vise before. Don’t get me wrong; the strap is a quality addition and locks my rifle in place.
This vise isn’t suitable for target practice. The material is sturdy, but it doesn’t hold up to the recoil. I could use it for sighting and adjusting my crosshair before practice. The manufacturer recommends doing 3 shots, but I’d say you could get a couple shots extra if your gun doesn’t have a nasty kickback.
A lot of users had trouble with the sighting feature of this vise. I think it’s the users who are at fault here. I followed the instructions to the letter and adjusted the vise accordingly. You can be off by a few inches, but anything more and the back-end is going to take some serious beating.
It’s an absolute beauty when it comes to scope-mounting: the attached-strap, and the leveling butter up the process. There’s a removable accessory box to boot. I could house the screwdrivers, nuts, and other little stuff. However, it has no place to keep a cleaning rod, so I had to store it separately.
Overall, Hyskore is a well-rounded gun vise and worth the money. The part-plastic construction makes the vise a little vulnerable, but it isn’t a dealbreaker.
|What makes it a game-changer||Things that need improvement|
|The gun vise is all for budget-hunters. It deviates from the usual $100-or-above price point, making it a cost-effective alternative.||The part-plastic construction weighs the gun vise down. Despite the sturdiness, there remains a risk of damage.|
|The parts that matter have a steel construction. It can take heavy-duty gunsmithing without any hiccups.||The rubberized level feet don’t hold up well against powerful recoils. I’d not recommend sighting AR’s that have an over-average kickback.|
|There’s a powerful clamp on the back-end. The grips are rubberized to ensure no damage to a gun’s buttstock.|
|It’s a multi-tasking gun vise. One could enjoy the occasional sighting alongside the maintenance humdrum.|
|This gun vise has a removable accessory slot to house the easy-to-lose utensils.|
5. MTM GV-30 Gun Vise : My Top Pick For Budget
Once I hopped onto the budget-train with the Hyskore, I couldn’t get down without trying another vise out. MTM was the talk of the town among a lot of hunt-buddies. I thought I’d give it a shot and see whether it could hold up to the hype.
I’d start off by saying that the hype around this gun vise is there for a good reason. Firstly, the price point is even lower than most budget products out there.
I must admit, I was afraid of the vise’s quality. I couldn’t imagine such an inexpensive vise would amount to anything substantial. However, after using it for more than a year, I’d say it a bang for the buck.
There were 14 compartments to hold all my cleaning tools. It had separate sections for screws, brushes, cloths, etc. So, all the accessories I usually need during a maintenance session were right next to me. Most vises give you a handful of accessory slots. However, the whopping 14 compartments are off the charts.
In the mid-section, there’s a removable tray, once I opened it, there were more usable storage compartments. The removable tray itself can hold utensils as well.
Also, it has a nifty holder on the side where I could house my cleaning rod. The CPK P3 had a similar feature. However, most vises ignore designing an additional parking place for cleaning rods. You may think it’s not a big deal, but having all the essentials at your arm’s length makes maintenance a breeze.
The clamps on this gun vise were able to hold my rifle’s buttstock pretty nicely. Its grips on the back-end are not rubberized. However, the plastic, thanks to its non-marring property, didn’t damage the buttstock.
Still, you can’t have over-the-top expectations from this gun vise. All the functions it offers are pretty basic. It’s strictly limited to cleaning and maintenance: no sight-in, no target practice as a gun rest, none of the other shenanigans. I don’t hold this over the gun vise because of the price point.
Also, scope-mounting can be a bit tricky. There are no leveling feet, so getting the gun at an accurate vertical position is difficult. I had to add some extra padding to get my rifle on a proper vertical stance. So, I’d say it’s manageable but will work you up a sweat.
People have asked me whether I can clean, mount, and maintain my AR-15 with this gun vise. I know the plastic-construction, and price point says otherwise, but I was easily able to do it. I worked with my AR-15 for hours without any snags whatsoever.
I think MTM GV-30 pushes the boundary with its price-to-performance ratio. I know it has a lot of setbacks, but I got what I needed from this vise- gun maintenance! So, for a stellar ROI, I’d put my money on the GV-30. I’d even go as far as to declare this product the best gun vise for maintenance.
|What makes it a game-changer||Things that need improvement|
|This gun vise takes cost-effectiveness to another level. It does what it’s supposed to do at a meager price point.||The plastic construction makes this vise susceptible to damage. Not optimal for heavy-duty gunsmithing.|
|The accessory compartments are aplenty on this vise. There’s a total of 14 compartments to hold a plethora of cleaning equipment.||No adjustable feet make scope-mounting difficult. One has to improvise to get it done.|
|The clamp at the back-end provides a firm grip for cleaning and maintenance. The non-marring properties ensure no damage to the gun’s buttstock.|
|This gun vise can accommodate rifles, AR’s, shotguns, handguns up to 30 inches.|
|There is a separate holder for cleaning rods as well. Most gun vises don’t have this feature. You can keep the rod handy for maintenance.|
Here’s My Tips on How to Get the Best Gun Cleaning Tables
Over the years, I’ve come across a lot of gun vises. Some of them blew my mind, while others gave me nightmares. From what I’ve learned, there are certain universal features present in all the top-tier gun vises. If you’re looking to grab the best gun cleaning station, you should be on the lookout for the features I’m going to talk about next.
Flexibility Comes First
I’m the kind of person who always wants to get the last drop of use from my purchases. I think a lot of customers would sing the same song. When it comes to a gun vise, the only way to wring the use out is to focus on flexibility.
There are lot of flexible vises on the market that accommodates all sorts of weaponry. Flexible vises have adjustable front, middle, and back-section. You can customize all the sections accordingly to match the length of the gun you have.
Besides, leveling feet can give you more leeway for scope-mounting. Getting your rifles or AR into an accurate vertical stance is tricky, to say the least. Most gun enthusiasts have a hard time balancing their vise parts. However, if you get an item with leveling feet, the effort is slashed into half. So, to me, flexibility comes first.
Don’t Sleep on the Material
You’ll find two types of gun vises going around. Either it would have a plastic-build or a metal-build. It’s no rocket science that metal beats plastic in the durability department. So, getting a full-metal gun vise would serve you for years to come.
However, there are top-tier plastic products, and I can’t put them off the equation. For instance, Tipton vises feature a polymer plastic-construction. Now, the polymer is the brute of the plastic family. So, it has the oomph to hold its ground against a predicament.
Plastic is still plastic at the end of the day, and there’s no way around it. Metal-build vises have the edge over their plastic counterparts. But the plastic gun vises have the high ground when it comes to flexibility. Metal being a rigid material restricts manufacturers from making it as flexible as a polymer.
So, you must choose your poison here. Durability or flexibility- the choice is yours.
Multi-Tasking Ability Makes Everything Better
When someone is searching for a vise, all they think about is getting the best cleaning table. Well, I’d say you don’t have to settle for a one-dimensional vise. I’ve seen some vises doing what they do and more. So, if you’re looking to shoot two birds with one bullet, keep an eye out for multi-tasking vises.
For instance, the CPK P3 works both as a gun rest and vise. I was able to maintain my AR and improve my accuracy while I was at it. This vise had enough juice to handle powerful recoil. So, I could take it out for hunting if I wanted some precision assistant.
Don’t mistake a multi-tasking vise for being the jack of all trades but master of none. People think that dedicated alternatives somehow outdo the multi-tasking variants because they’re (you know) dedicated. Let me tell you, that’s not the case. The CPK P3 is excellent for gun maintenance as well.
So, while searching for the perfect vise, don’t forget to put multi-tasking on the checklist.
Accessory Slots for Easy Cleaning
Not all vises offer accessory slots to help users out. I’ve heard a headload of a rant from people on this matter. Some argue that accessory slots are redundant, and you should have your own storage spaces. Others, myself included, believe that gun vises should have some built-in slots for convenience.
The MTM GV-30 has 14 storage compartments to house all the cleaning goodies you need. It may seem like a stretch, but it’s a gamechanger for a professional gunsmith. Not only does it benefit a professional, but even DIY’s also find it handy to have all the little items packed within the vise. Having everything together in one place makes the maintenance work hassle-free.
Gun clean-up and maintenance can be a tedious and snore-inducing job. The prospect of doing a merry-go-round for the tools you need will only add to your suffering. Therefore, the built-in accessory slots will help you maintain the work-flow during a clean-up session.
Everyone wants their money to make some noise. Only the foolhardy invests into an item without looking into all the nooks and crannies. So, the best practice is to assess the quality of a gun vise based on its price point.
Gun vises come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve used both premium vises and budget vises, so I know what they bring to the table. Let’s take Tipton Best Gun Vise as an example. It’s a premium vise and offers a ton of flexibility. Adjustments are aplenty when this vise is by your side.
However, the MTM GV-30 is no slouch even though it’s a budget vise. If you’re happy with a simple maintenance routine, then this vise has your back. However, your need to ground your expectations with budget items. You can’t just purchase one and rant about the lack of features.
Try to understand what you want from a gun vise and adjust your budget accordingly. There’s no need to go overboard and snag the most expensive item on the market if you’re not going to exploit it fully. Do some soul searching, and see if the vise is good to go for the desired task, grab it.
Warranty is Always Welcome
No matter how premium a vise you get, things can go south in a moment’s notice. It’s nice to have the manufacturer’s blessing over your head, albeit for a short while. Some vises dish out a sweet warranty of 1-year. I’d recommend hunting for a warranty because you can never be too careful.
You should also take into account that budget vises don’t offer any warranty. The risk is yours to take when you’re cutting hefty monetary corners. For example, I was always on my toes with the MTM GV-30.
It’s alright, don’t beat yourself up about the warranty. Gun vises can last for a long time with proper maintenance. However, if you’re looking to put your best foot forward, warranty is the way to go.
One Last Shot Before I pack
People are protective of their guns, and I get it. As an avid hunter myself, I treat my gun collection as Indiana Jones’s treasure. I understand that you want the best for your gun. Therefore, having the best gun vise for maintenance becomes a make or break decision.
The gun vises I’ve put up on this list are the front runners in the industry. You are free to venture out for more research. Trust me; you’ll wind up with the same gun vises because I’m speaking from experience.
As a parting gift, I’ll let you know which gun vises are my favorite from the list. If you’ve got the cash to spare, I’d recommend nothing over the Tipton Best Gun Vise. It brings a lot of nifty features to the table, and you’re in safe hands with this purchase.
I’d direct the budget hunters toward the MTM GV-30. It’s dirt cheap if you compare it to other gun vises, but offers all the essential features one looks for in a vise.
Before you go, it’s you who gets to choose. What you want from a gun vise, and the price you’re willing to pay is the driving factors of the purchase-equation. Get your math done right, and you’ll have no regrets, ciao!