I’ve been really impressed with the buzz around the Hamilton Slipstand – a product that I expect we will all be seeing a lot more of around our shooting grounds. I asked one of our forum members, William Hewland to review his recent acquisition and tell ShootClay what he thinks about the new gunslip/stand hybrid:
When clay shooting, I like my mind to be uncluttered. I want all the peripheral stuff that can cause distractions to be dealt with. I like hearing protection that is comfortable, having just the right clothing for the day, knowing that the collar on my coat won’t interfere with the gun stock and even knowing that my shirt will permit enough movement when my arms are raised; it all means lack of distraction – and a few more clays hit.
One thing that has always niggled me is how best to look after my gun while waiting to shoot. Even if there is a gun rack near the stand it is often full, or dirty, or in a place where clay shatter can rain down. So I usually hold on to my gun in the slip, perhaps looking for a tree against which to lean it and yes, it has fallen over when I have done this..
Once my gun is unsleeved, I have to deposit the slip somewhere. In the mud? Usually I fold it and place it on my bag, hoping it doesn’t fall off. It’s all a slightly clumsy distraction from the job in hand.
So, I had been considering one of those shooting stands that fix to a standard slip, but never quite fell in love with what I saw, feeling that it looked a bit geeky? I just never warmed to the idea fully and have heard some mixed reviews. I was therefore very intrigued when I saw the Hamilton Slip Stand advertisement and immediately decided to unburden my wife in the `what to get him for Xmas` department.
As soon as I saw it, I felt that the Hamilton was ‘the proper job’. It just speaks quality and seems very good value, with its solid structure and metal strap clips etc. I find that fellow shooters walk up and look at it. At first I feared a possible snigger, but they just seem impressed. Rightly so. In use, the first time I extracted it from the back of the car I found what a good device it is. I placed it on the floor (the feet pop out instantly) and realised that I would not have to precariously lean it against my car while I got the rest of my stuff out. The feet auto-return when you pick it up and walk off.
It is very light to carry, given what it is, weighing about the same as a leather slip. Critically, while on the shooting ground it is a personal covered gun stand. Easy to erect, convenient, tidy and clean. Extraction from the slip is very easy; although I (and also a friend who has one) don’t do the full unzip thing that the video demonstrates. We just open the very end, slide the gun half out, break it and fully extract.
I used it at a horribly muddy shoot and watched filthy slips around me all day. The Hamilton remains very clean, with just a quick hose-off of the base and two rest feet at home if you are a clean-freak.
The video below explain the technicalities. Suffice to say that I am three shoots in with mine and would now feel very lost without it.
For full details of the Hamilton Slipstand – visit their website for information and stockists.