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Dream portable shooting bench

 
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  #1  
Old 12-27-2010, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Weatherford, OK
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Dream portable shooting bench

I have been fabbing whatever I needed for about the last 30 years or so. I am about to set up an assembly project to build half a dozen portable shooting benches. I am planning tripods with adjustable legs for leveling, a round post main frame, swiveling seats with adjustment for height and swivelling tops with a cut out. The frame will be steel and the top 5/4 or 1.5 inches of plywood and laminate. My main uses will be for our setups for fun longer range shooting(200-1000yard) at our farms. We will set them and targets up for the day and then remove them at the end of the day or weekend. We will also use them for prairie dog hunting. I am making them for a friend and family. We will use hunting rifles as well as target rifles. The point of this querry is, what size of top do you prefer and if you could change anything on yours what would you do differently?
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2010, 06:28 PM
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Location: Thunder Basin, WY
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Re: Dream portable shooting bench

I've got the BR Pivot. The top is attached to the vertical post in the center, as are most portable benches I've seen. However, the problem with this is; when you lean or support any of your body on the bench top, the top moves up or down depending on how hard you're leaning into it. I can adjust the front rifle rest with no contact, but when I snuggle down into the gun, it all needs re-done again.

I am sure that I don't shoot as good off a "rocking" bench as I would a solid steel and concrete one.

I am thinking of attaching some telescoping legs (kinda like outriggers if you will) to the underside of the laminate wood top. This would eliminate alot of the movement when resting the upper body against the bench top I think.
I am thinking one at the front, one at the outside on the right, and one at the rear.

Just don't know where to find any lightweight telescoping legs that would support my upper body weight without movement/leaning. They'd have to be light enough that a person could still carry the benchtop, but sturdy enough to be worth doing.

Last edited by SBruce; 12-27-2010 at 06:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2010, 09:35 AM
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Location: Weatherford, OK
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Re: Dream portable shooting bench

That is exactly the info we need. I want to try to head any of those issues off from the beginning. How about this, a second ring on the post that would have a brace come down from each corner and then attach to the ring? You could then press up on the ring and put pressure up to each corner or attachment on the bottom of the bench top and then lock your ring in place creating constant pressure up onto the corners of your bench. They could be light and pinned so you could still let it collapse in transport. Now that would only stiffen flexing in the top. If the flexing is from the ground up through the entire support assembly, then I am going with a little heavier material than most commercial models and hoping that will stiffen everything there. I am also going to put leveling adjustments in that will be sturdy as well. Weight will ultimately be an issue but that is where we may have to come up with a dolly for the whole bench and gear.

Thanks for the input. Also how do you like the overall height of your bench? Pretty well all of us ar from 5' 10" to 6' 2". My son in law and nephews are 190 pounders and we go up to 245 for me, and maybe a little more for another friend. Do you have any input on how you would shape the notch at the back and would you let the bench extend further forward for more front rest room?
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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Re: Dream portable shooting bench

Quote:
Originally Posted by devins View Post

If the flexing is from the ground up through the entire support assembly, then I am going with a little heavier material than most commercial models and hoping that will stiffen everything there. I am also going to put leveling adjustments in that will be sturdy as well.

I am not sure where exactly mine flexes, guess I need someone to watch as I shoot to tell me if it's coming from the base or from the top. It does have leveling adjustments, they are at the base.

I think a separate chair would be more stable too. My chair is attached to the vertical post just above the base. But the benefit is that it's adjustable side-side and up-down.

Thanks for the input. Also how do you like the overall height of your bench? Pretty well all of us ar from 5' 10" to 6' 2". My son in law and nephews are 190 pounders and we go up to 245 for me, and maybe a little more for another friend. Do you have any input on how you would shape the notch at the back and would you let the bench extend further forward for more front rest room?

Overall height is ok, but for me, the seat needs to be at the lowest point or I don't have enough room at the front of the bench. Actually, I would rather lean forward into the bench then sideways against it, but the top is a little short (post to front) for this. So yes, I would allow more front rest room.

Some of the best groups I've ever shot (sub 1/4 moa) were actually shot from the hood of a pickup truck on a sandbag platform (4 or 5 bags on front, 1 or 2 on the rear). I leaned forward against the vehicle and into the gun from the rear, rather than from the side this way. Problem with the newer vehicles however is that the hoods slope more and it's hard to keep the rifle from canting in recoil due to the bags being angled down on one side.

The notch in mine could be more rounded, as it is, it's nearly a 90. But that doesn't really bother me much.
See above.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2010, 05:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Weatherford, OK
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Re: Dream portable shooting bench

Thanks agian. Everything you are telling me is helping me to refine the design. I will hope to get some pictures of the process when I start assembly and let you see what we come up with.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2010, 05:39 PM
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Re: Dream portable shooting bench

Hey sounds good!
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Weatherford, OK
Posts: 77
Re: Dream portable shooting bench

Well I put together the first prototype and it functioned very well. I have pictures but am unable to get them to upload. I followed the directions and I still get the red x and in the editors view the address is there for the URL. I will keep trying. But so far I am pleased with the design and we shot yesterday afternoon in a high wind, 30 mph plus,and could get pretty steady. I will want to clean up on the design a little and finish paint and this one is ready to copy. I will attempt pictures again later when I have some time.
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