Legacy Portable Shooting Bench Review
By Andy Backus, Field Editor of Long Range Hunting Online Magazine
A fairly large UPS package arrived at our store a couple weeks ago and I immediately knew it was the Legacy Portable Shooting Bench I was excited to try out. The benches sell for $389 and include free shipping. It sure was nice to have the package delivered right to my door.
I immediately laid the package on the floor and opened it up. As I slid the bench out, my first impression was that the varnished wood sure had a rich and handsome feel. I laid the bench top on the floor and stepped back to get a good look at it. “Wow, this thing is beautiful”, I thought.
Wade Loudamy is the owner of Legacy Shooting Products and he had offered to send us a bench to try out and then offer as a prize in one of our LRH Give Away Contests. He even offered to customize the bench with our new LRH “Shooter” graphic which we recently debuted on some new T-shirts. The combination of the rich wood of the bench top with the black and gray shooter graphic, plus the black non-skid textured surface at the front of the bench is striking.
I flipped the bench top over to get a look at the storage compartment built into the underside. Then I slid a wooden panel toward the back of the bench using the finger hole cutout. It slid open very easily and smoothly exposing the four legs which lay snugly inside their hidden storage compartment. At this point I had to smile. I have been a pretty serious carpenter for most of my life (formerly professionally) and have built a fair amount of furniture. I am a big fan of fine craftsmanship. This Legacy bench is definitely an example of fine craftsmanship.
I pulled the four legs out of their compartment and slid the door shut. My bench came with two non-adjustable legs for the rear of the bench and two adjustable legs for the front. This is the standard configuration, but I noticed on Legacy's website that for an extra $40 they will include adjustable legs for the rear as well. The legs are 1 1/2” diameter aluminum and have a plastic insert in the ends that rest on the ground. The upper ends are threaded and they screw into threaded inserts recessed into the bottom of the bench top.
As I began to thread the first leg into its insert, I noticed that I had to get the angle of the leg just right to match the angle of the insert. The inserts are not simply installed square into the wood. They are slightly angled out. Once I got the angle right, the first leg easily screwed into place. A collar on the threaded leg screws down tight to the insert and provides a strong stopping point where the leg is locked tight. The other three legs screwed in quickly and easily.
I stood the bench upright and immediately felt that it was extremely stable and rigid. There was absolutely no wiggle to it at all. It seems to be just the right trade off of being heavy enough to be very stable while not being so heavy that it is a pain to haul it around. I later weighed the bench on our shipping scale and found that the four legs together weigh about 9 pounds and the bench top weighs about 28 pounds for a total of 37 pounds. The top is 46” long by 28” wide by 2 1/2” thick, and the narrow part toward the rear is 16” wide.
The bench does not include a seat so the next order of business was to figure out what I would use as a stool. I had an inexpensive 24” tall wooden four-legged stool in the store and I tried it first. I grabbed one of my rifles, an Atlas bipod and a rear shooting bag and set them up on the bench. I sat down on the stool and immediately knew that it was a bit too tall. I could lean down and make it work, but I would definitely prefer something a little shorter.
I did not have any other stools handy and this one was really cheap so I decided that I would cut a few inches off the legs until I found the right height. My first cut took a few inches off the bottom of the legs and when I tried it, it was perfect. The height ended up being about 21 inches. I imagine that different height people might prefer different height stools, but this was great for me.
I spent some time behind my rifle in the store and found that the dimensions of the bench top worked very well for me to get down solid and comfortable and there was plenty of room left for additional equipment. The non-skid surface at the front of the bench worked really well with my Atlas bipod's rubber feet. When I loaded the bipod, there was no slip at all. The surface is described on Legacy's website as a urethane non-skid, textured surface. It looks like it must be sprayed on similar to spraying drywall texture. It is a hard surface and not rubbery. It looks like it will be extremely durable and does not seem to scratch easily. I imagine the texture would be especially helpful on a rainy day.
Now it was time to load the bench into my Nissan X-Terra SUV to take it out for some field use. The legs unscrewed easily and were quickly loaded into their storage compartment. A recessed handle built into the underside of the bench top made carrying the bench out to my vehicle very comfortable and easy. The bench fit just right in the back of my SUV laying down flat and meant that I could pile the rest of my gear on top of it for the 40 minute drive to my shooting location.
A few days later I had a chance to get out to my favorite shooting spot. I planned to check my 100 yard zero on my Long Range Rifles LLC in 7mm Dakota, and also to confirm my muzzle velocity, and then to shoot some steel.
I pulled up to the spot where I wanted to set up and pulled everything out of the rear of my vehicle. I was parked on a grassy tractor road next to a farm field. After screwing the legs in I stood the bench upright. The ground was fairly flat, but the bench was not stable where it stood so I moved it around a few time trying to see if I could get it stable without adjusting the length of the front legs. I was able to get it completely stable without adjusting the legs.
Next I looked for a less flat area to test the adjustable legs. The leg adjustments are really well thought out. There are a series of holes drilled in a spiral allowing for very small changes in the leg length. The holes are very precisely placed and there is a spring-loaded tab that pops up into a given hole at the length you choose. Changing the height is very easy and once set, there is absolutely no slop in the legs. There was enough adjustment in each front leg to handle a decent amount of unevenness, but since the back legs were not adjustable, I had to move the bench around quite a bit to get everything sitting solidly.
With the solid back legs I think the user may need to do a little digging with the toe of their boot from time to time to get the rear legs both resting solidly. If I were going to order a bench for myself, I would spend the extra $40 for the adjustable rear legs since I would foresee myself using it on uneven ground fairly often.