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Don Fischer's picture
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A portable shooting bench

I though I would start a new thred for this as this bench could use some modifications to be more protable and I'm open to suggestion.

The top is rail car decking but in the past I've made bench's by laminating two pieces of 3/4" plywood. A bad thing about using 2x planks is that at some point the edges start to curl on you. I have used this bench like this for about 8 or 10 years now and the only problem with the table (the top), is that things tend to roll around on it. One of these days, if Hammerette ever reminds me on line Laugh , I'm going to glue a piece of outdoor carpet on it then trim around it. I concidered paint but two problem's I don't care for: 1) dark paint absorbs heat and the top could get fairly hot in the sun and 2) white paint will glare when the sun hit's it. And it might also direct heat upwards creating more mirage than need be.

Next shot is from the front:

Looking from the front, you'll think you see some paint, wrong! That is my own patented camo patern! Thumbs up

The legs are made from 2x2's I ripped out of other boards. The cross brace is simply a 1x4 and the brace running back to the seat , 2x4, is end screwed thru it with another 1x4 on top and screwed down to the cross brace. The two slanted up braces were put to give side to side stability, which is lacking in my other table with pipe legs. The brace across the top is a 1x4 face piece on a 2x2 brace between the legs that supports the table. The table is screwed to the 2x2. The long flat 2x4 running from the table back to the ground is actually 2 2x4's, one flat and one on top on edge. It's purpose is the third leg, support the back of the table AND a place to put on a seat. I have a friend that weight's well over 300# that has used this bench and it never budged at all.

A back view:

You notice the white triangle piece under the table. That is made from a piece of 3/4" plywood with a flat 1x4 in front of it. The plywood supports the table and screws to the 1x4 which is in turn screwed under the table. This drops down to the 2x4's coming back and down from the table front as a brace for the back of the table. There is a block on either side of the long brace to insure the triangle brace does not slide backward. Back a bit farther you see the seat. It is cut from 3/4" plywood, it's braces matching the angle the long brace follow's. Then there is a hole drilled thru the seat braces and the long on edge 2x4's to accomidate a cut off 40 penny spike which holds the seat in place. There is another hole down lower where the distence from the seat to the table was adjusted for my dearly departed wife.

Next is another view of the table in hopes you can see the part's better. Notice the black spot in front of the seat. That is the hole for my dearly departed. The spike is removed, the seat moved up and spike re-inserted.

Next is nothing more than the front rifle rest. Nothing more than a 4x6 with sandbags on it. You could just as easy just put an adjustable rest there. The sand bags I made from old jean leg's filled with sand. The next ones I make will have zip lock bags inside to hold the sand and keep it dry all the time. This table was made from scrap, even the 2x2's were ripped from other two by's, what makes you think I'd spring for a proper rest??? Thumbs up

On another bench I would not only add the outdoor carpet but would also make the table a bit longer and wider. My cronograph set's next to the rifle rest ok but would just like a bit more room.

The whole thing weight's under 50#, probally under 40#, never weighted it. To load it in the pickup I simply stand in front and tip it back and carry it over my head.

There you go, any suggestions?

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A portable shooting bench

Nice bench.
One suggestion. I would make it in two parts with the stool and bench separate. More comfort for shooting position and less likely to disturb the bench and bounce the rifle.

Don Fischer's picture
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A portable shooting bench

fuzzybear,

When I first started using this bench, that seat on the brace did bother me. I've grown used to it. It doesn't set you up quite right but it does add weight to the table, my weight. When I sit on it, I put all my weight down on the seat and that weight is transfered thru the third leg and pulls down on the front and rear support for the table. In effect, the bench goes from a 40 or 50 pound bench to a 40 or 50 pound bench plus the weight of the shooter. Big advantage for a guy my size, I'm about 250 pounds. That means I have a table that's portable in the neighborhood of 300#.

I did see another bench one time that had a better setup for the seat but it put all the weight at the back of the bench and wasn't very protable to boot. Give me an idea here, I'll try it.

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A portable shooting bench

I've never given much thought to a LR shooting bench. It would have to be very stable. Probably have some weight to it. Which would call for more than one piece for portability. I shoot south paw so it would be set up for left and wrong handed shooters. Oops, I mean right handed shooters without rearranging it. I'll give it some thought.

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A portable shooting bench

i got the same bench made of 1"hollow square tubing. i have it on hinges and its works great. its got the ply wood top and plywood seat and folds down to about 4x4. built it for about $65 6 yrs ago. theres no need of an expensive bench boys you just dont need it.

Don Fischer's picture
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A portable shooting bench

Could you post a picture of it?

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A portable shooting bench

soory don my scanner crashed awhile back and i never replaced it as of yet sad

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A portable shooting bench

If I was going to attempt some LR shooting I would want a bench that had zero movement under any conditions and the ability to be leveled on the terrain.
I wouldn't mind taking a bit of time setting it up. As long as I knew it was stable.

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A portable shooting bench

I like the looks and portability of this setup. Typically though I don't like seats that are stationary, since I like to adjust and will even stand if I can't sit comfortably. At the shooting range I will usually choose to use the tall benches to stand vs the ones you sit at. Is standing not a good idea with LR shooting?

Fuzzybear, so are you saying that a seat attached to the bench is not a good idea due to potential slight movement?

Seems to me a bench with 3-4 sturdy legs is the way to go with a separate stool or seat.

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A portable shooting bench

If I was to own a portable LR shooting bench. I would want to be able to set it up so there was zero movement and a stool that was separate from the bench. Thus, allowing for me to set in the most comfortable position under any conditions.
A 1000 yds is a long, long way. Stabilitity in the gear would be essential. Ideally you should be able to set the rifle to the position you desire and it will never move from that sight.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
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A portable shooting bench

How about this. Take the third leg off and put it and another like it down each side. Then take out the white rear brace and make it go all the way across. Then a bench across them to sit on so that I could still add my weight to it. The weight of the bench is important and if it's to heavy, it's not portable anymore. The shooters weight would still be added that way and the bench stays heavy. It's like putting a screw eye under the table and, in my case, hanging 250 lbs of rocks under the table.

What do you guys think? I'd try it tonight but it's about 20 degrees out!

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