Introducing the New and Improved Legacy Portable Shooting Bench
By Wade Loudamy
This is Wade Loudamy, founder of Legacy Shooting Products. I am a long time competitor and precision enthusiast. I grew up reloading, hunting and shooting and began competing in BPCR silhouette in the mid 90’s. I have now come full circle, back to precision bolt guns, and long range precision shooting is my passion. My love for LR precision shooting led me to fill a need among shooters for a bench that is both portable AND stable. Those two attributes don’t always go hand-in-hand when searching for a portable bench, but our Legacy benches have achieved that, and include many other design features LR hunters/shooters can appreciate. Since we began offering Legacy benches online in 2016, we have also added left handed models and an ambidextrous bench that has proven quite popular.
We are introducing another enhancement to our quality portable shooting benches that will surely be appreciated by long range precision shooting enthusiasts. Legacy benches have been available since early 2016 and Andy Backus of Long Range Hunting did a thorough field review last year. Now we have further enhanced this great product with newly designed CNC-machined leg sockets. This article will review this newly enhanced design that makes this portable shooting bench even more stable and easier to set. Andy’s previous review highlighted the field use and main attributes of the bench, while this article will cover the unique features of the bench and specifically the new leg/socket design that sets the Legacy bench apart from anything else on the market. Please visit our website at LegacyShootingProducts.com.
Background & Purpose
Many shooters find prone shooting easy and the preferred field position for great stability. In the field, a hunter must learn and achieve proficiency in prone and other modified positions to make a clean shot at potentially long ranges on a game animal he pursues. Training in prone should be mastered first and then other shooting strategies can be added for shooting game in a variety of scenarios. This type training is offered by some great outfitters and training companies on this site. These shooting strategies are invaluable to the LR hunter or the PRS competitor. But there are many reasons why LR enthusiast may want or need a quality bench, and that is where Legacy Shooting Products has filled a niche.
Few of us shooting long range have access to an 800 or 1,200-yard range. There are few ranges across the states that offer that kind of distance, so many shooters set up on private or public property to shoot at targets placed “way out yonder.” This is a great way to develop loads, practice shooting in the wind and being able to confirm elevation settings. Reading the wind and knowing its effect on the bullet path requires diligence, patience, and many hours of load development and testing.
No ethical hunter would take a shot on game without having practiced extensively, shooting at distances he anticipates taking a game animal. He must know the true effects of the wind and conditions not only on a ballistics program, but he must shoot at those distances to confirm those values and his ability to precisely place a bullet into the vitals of the game animal he pursues. This requires extended shooting sessions and lots of rounds down-range to determine the best load and how it performs at distance.
Enter for your chance to win a Legacy Portable Shooting Bench - Click HERE for details.-Len Backus-
Often the terrain is very uneven or the vegetation has grown high, which makes the prone shooting position ineffective. If you can’t see your target, you obviously can’t hit it, so a solid, portable bench is a great tool for shooting in such scenarios. Also, there are many who simply can’t shoot long strings of fire in the prone position due to neck or back problems.
Shooting from various positions in the field while pursuing a game animal is limited to one shot (hopefully) but competing or working up loads involves lots of shooting often for several hours at a time. These stresses to the neck and back are not tolerated by many shooters. As the designer and maker of Legacy Shooting Products, I am also a Physical Therapist, specializing in neck and back conditions. My background in orthopedic therapy and knowledge of muscle and skeletal pathology contribute to the innovative design of the Legacy benches.
Some of the competitors I shoot with would suffer with neck or back issues after extended periods of prone shooting. They needed a quality portable bench, but those commercially available were either too flimsy, or simply were too heavy. There were some home-built units seen on the firing line, but many of those also had similar shortcomings. Furthermore, not everyone who shoots this sport has the resources or desire to spend a weekend or two in his garage building a bench that may or may not satisfies his needs once completed.
We set out to produce a bench that was sturdy enough for LR precision shooting, but also was compact, of moderate weight, and would transport in a pickup bed without protruding hardware. These attributes were not available on any of the commercial products available. The goals of the design were to produce a high quality, portable shooting bench that would be affordable to most committed riflemen. My products were not intended to appeal the box-store casual shooter, but to those with a similar love for the sport and dedication to the accuracy and precision desired by my fellow competitors and friends.
During development, our Legacy Benches were being produced on a small scale to help local shooters, and the design continued to evolve with CNC threaded aluminum legs and many other desirable features. We listened to the needs/desires of the shooters and enhanced the design over three years. Although mass production was not the initial goal, the demand for these quality benches eventually led to my obtaining a patent (pending) and obtaining the resources to produce a substantial quantity of benches.
To date, these benches have been shipped to nearly every contiguous US state and to Alaska. One of the US president’s sons purchased three benches in the early stages of commercial sales. We have continued to make enhancements, and the latest improvement is the last anticipated upgrade. While the previous design was excellent, this new enhancement makes the entire package even better.
The Legacy benches pack a lot of features into a very manageable size shooting system. First, the bench-top is CNC machined from several layers of cabinet grade plywood which are laminated together in a proprietary method to ensure complete adhesion. This waterproof bond is more secure than the individual plies of the cabinet plywood. The layers combined provide a very thick top, measuring 2-1/2”. At first glance, it looks quite heavy and bulky, but when one lifts the bench, the actual weight is quite surprising.
The entire bench, with legs, weighs 38 pounds, but seems much lighter than when lifting the assembled bench. This light weight is achieved by strategically placed voids in the middle layers of the bench. This provides a truss-like arrangement inside the bottom and top layers to keep the strength of a solid design while reducing the weight to a comfortable level.
The bottom of the bench also hosts a cut-out for integral leg storage. Once the legs are removed, they lay in the hollowed-out center portion of the bench and a sliding door secures them in place. The door locks with a plastic cap that twists, a simple but effective arrangement to prevent the door from inadvertently sliding out during handling.
The top is finished with a proprietary catalyst finish to seal all wood surfaces, inside and out. This finish is quite durable and resists scratches from typical use. This is not an exterior finish, as these benches are made for portability, being stored indoors when not in use. With this said, the author has inadvertently left his bench outside to be rained on without any noticeable adverse effect.
We also apply a durable black urethane finish on the front surface of every bench that remains slightly pliable and “rubbery.” This provides a platform for the front rest and prevents shifting during use. Many shooters use a front rest with points and this finish is thick enough to allow using the points without scarring the surface. For those using rubber pads under the front rest, or using a bipod, this surface has just enough texture to prevent unwanted movement during shooting.
Remember the goals of the design? It must store and transport easily. This means it must occupy little space in the truck, with no protruding hardware, and be easy to load, carry and set up. To accomplish this, Legacy benches house the leg sockets within the thickness of the bench top. There are four “sockets” in the bottom of the bench that each receive a threaded leg. By keeping this hardware enclosed within the thickness of the benchtop, there is no protruding hardware to scratch the bed of one’s truck. The bench lays flat, and other items such as gun cases can be stacked on top as needed. This is a welcome feature of these benches and is unique among commercially-produces shooting benches. This, combined with the integral leg-storage compartment makes the entire unit compact and very portable. Even the carry handle is milled into the bottom of the unit so that one-hand carry is easy. When carried in this manner, the unit balances nearly perfectly.
Adjustable Aluminum Legs
The Legacy’s adjustable leg design is another feature not found on any other portable shooting bench, and presents a unique method for adjusting the length of the legs. Each adjustable leg is precision reamed to accommodate a smaller inner tube that telescopes in and out, locking into evenly spaced holes. This is accomplished with a snap button that clicks into any of the 15 holes, and allows adjustment so that all four legs to sit firmly on any terrain.
There are three holes per inch, arranged in a spiral manner to allow quick and easy adjustment in the field by rotating the inner tube to align with and snap into the closest hole. This arrangement allows the shooter to achieve a level shooting surface, or to adjust for uphill or downhill shooting conditions. Andy Backus described the advantage of this feature in his field article last year when shooting uphill at distant targets.
The four leg bench provides more stability than a similarly designed three leg bench, and the adjustments are close enough to level the bench in just about any soil, or even in rocky terrain. And if the shooter is not of average stature, five inches of adjustability can accommodate nearly any physique. Each leg is capped on the bottom with a plastic insert. This is important feature that ensures the legs don’t sink into soft soil during use.
Enhanced socket design
The previous design was effective, but the new thread/socket design has been refined to further enhance this already-great portable bench. The steel sockets and the 6061 aluminum legs are produced on CNC lathes to exact tolerances, and make setup quick and easy. The outside diameter of each leg is turned to a specific diameter that fits snugly into the socket, with only ½” of threads at the end.
The socket is smooth-bored for its length, except the bottom ½” which engages the threads of the leg. This allows the user to insert and slide the leg into the socket about 1-1/2” before the threads engage, then, with only 5-6 turns, there is a very positive stop as the threads fully engage. This allows one to tighten the legs snugly and there is no chance for cross-threading.
The precision fit between the leg and the socket is only .005” for a superb lock-up. By comparison, few factory rifles have that close of a tolerance in their chambers. This new design is very easy to use and makes setup fast and easy, providing a super-stable shooting platform for just about any field terrain.
Legacy Shooting Products offers left-hand, right-hand and ambidextrous benches. Prices start at $399.00 with free shipping within the contiguous US states. Each bench is offered with either four adjustable legs for the most versatile set-up, or with two adjustable and two fixed-length legs. The second arrangement is sufficient for most shooting scenarios and allows the shooter to save $40. Please visit our website at LegacyShootingProducts.com.
Wade Loudamy is a life-long shooter and the innovator of the Legacy Benches. He has been competing since the mid 90’s in various rife sports, starting with black powder cartridge silhouette and in the last few years has come full-circle, back to precision bolt guns, shooting 200-1000 yard matches. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University, a Masters of Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University and has other post-graduate credentials relating to his Physical Therapy Practice. He resides in Waco, TX with his wife and three teenage boys who are involved in their local church and preparing to attend college. He is supervisor of a Sports and Rehabilitation facility in Waco, Texas.