Shooting Benches,Portable) -- Your Opinions WANTED

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by Moderator, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Moderator

    Moderator Administrator

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    Folks,

    I'm doing a product summary for portable,or at least semi-portable) shooting benches such as the Coyote Jakes, Stukey etc.

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    I want to include buyer/user comments in this article. If you have used a commercial shooting bench, or built your own, please tell me what you like,or dislike) and WHY.

    I'm interested also in general decision-making comments, such as:

    - weight vs. portability
    - 3 legs vs. 4 legs
    - wood top vs. synthetic
    - rotating vs. non-rotating

    SHARE your WISDOM with other readers!

    Thanks, Paul McM, Webmaster

    :comp:
     
  2. RJinTexas

    RJinTexas

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    Coyote Jack's Shooting Bench and Shooting Buddy Rest,with windage adjustment) both have server me well over the last six prairie dog seasons. It light and portable, be sure and purchase the storage/carry bags. IMHO they set up and break down faster then most other systems, believe me this makes for a big difference when needing to frequently relocate and over the period of a five day shoot.

    Regards
    RJ
     
  3. Moderator

    Moderator Administrator

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    Donovan--

    Thanks for report. That's exactly the kind of feedback I need. What is weight of the Big Shooter, and what are dimensions of the top? Can't find those on website.
     
  4. fdshuster

    fdshuster

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    Paul: One of my recent 'projects' was building my own portable shooting bench. I used the 'Black & Decker Workmate' for the base, top is 3/4' high quality laminate, not plywood) 36' front to rear, 20' wide, with a 16' wide narrowing for the shooter, right handed. Underside has a hardwood ridge board that fits and tightens into the 'Workmate' vice/top. Sitting stool is not attached. Easily fits in my car trunk, Honda Accord). Very solid. Serves 'double duty' when involved in shop woodworking projects. Total cost was approx. $30. Will be happy to send e-mail with attached digital pics showing all details, if interested. fdshuster@hotmail.com:)
     
  5. Zale

    Zale

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    Paul, I also have a Big Shooter bench which I use when shooting prairie dogs. It is the only rotating bench I have had experience with. I think it is a high quality bench with a good design.

    The only problem I have with mine is I don't think it rotates as smoothly as I would like. I think this results from the main bushing being made from schedule 40 plastic. I think if the bushing were made from Nylatron material, it would be a whole lot better. I have talked to the owners about this; however, I believe they are wanting to keep the cost down. I replaced the thrust washer on mine with Nylatron and it helped. Sometime, I should make a main bushing from Nylatron and give it a try.

    The only other problem I have is when moving from one set-up to another. I usually have to pull the main mast off the base for the move and this exposes the greased main bearing and the greased pole. This allows dirt to enter the greased area and requires a complete clean up and re-greasing.

    To put in another plug for a sponser, I also use a co-axial rest top from Butch Lambert, Shadetree Engineering. While I would like to see him come out with his rim-fire top with more movement, having a rotating bench and a joy stick top is like cheating.

    Zale
     
  6. brad6ppc

    brad6ppc

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    I have one of the early BIG SHOOTER benches and have found nothing that compares.This bench was well thought out with input from experienced shooters.I shoot off of it,it serves as a sturdy work bench and even a comfortable reading bench.If you buy one you won't be disappointed.
     
  7. ALO

    ALO

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    Jan 8, 2005
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    One of the easiest and cheapest ways to go in making a shooting bench si go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get a 4 x 4 x 3/4 inch sheet of plywood. Get a set of folding locking table legs. Take the plywood home and cut out a 20' x 20' inch area at one of the ends of the sheet of 4 x 4 plywood and sand and round off the corners. Attach the folding table legs to the bottom fo the 4 x 4 sheet and you are good to go. It is easily transpotable, doesn't weight a lot and is about the right height for your keester when you use a cooler or a rolling portable mechanic's tool crib. If the adjustment is still a little low, go to your kkitch and steal your wife's kitchen chair pads. This will not only add more comfort to your shooting, but remember to advise your wife that it is for a good cause!! Use a large cooler so you can keep that much needed icce water and soda pop, and day sandwiches in it. There you go, a perfect solution and its not that expensive. Any more questions, just e-mail me! We use these tables in Montana and South Dakota prairie dog hunting all of the time. And they are very easy to transport in your car or truck when folded down.

    AL O
     
  8. vegeta

    vegeta

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    I have a VarmintMasters BR Pivot light and I am very happy with its performance. It is easy to set up, easy to break down, and very stable for long range shooting. The tabletop and the seat move as a single unit while pivoting so it is easy to scan for targets. Motion is so smooth that I can pivot the bench to make small windage adjustments, if needed. The ability to level the table allows setup nearly anywhere. I also purchased the custom carrying bags which makes transport simple.

    I could not imagine a system that is better than this setup. I have not personally seen a Big Shooters bench so I cannot compare. However, comparison to an economy bench by Coyote Jake's,I believe that is what a friend of mine has) is not contest.

    I am not sure if this is helpful since VarmintMasters no longer produces this model but I thought I should put in my 2 cents.
     
  9. eggman

    eggman

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    For someone who can weld or has access to a welding shop and would like to build their own pivot shooting bench . Richard Franklin at Richard's Custom Rifles sells a set of plans that I have used for two benches. Very solid but very heavy. I ended mounting mine on a trailer. A mini-war wagon if you will. If I can remember how to post pictures I'll post a picture of it later.

    Rodney
     
    hedgehoghunter likes this.
  10. btrapr

    btrapr

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    I too am looking to build a portible table...

    I found one that looks like it will work for me...

    here is the link
    http://www.californiavarmintcallers.com/shotbnch.htm
     
  11. Zale

    Zale

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    Here is one I built which works well. It is very stable and has adjustable legs so you can level it anywhere and also raise it high enough to shoot off of while standing.

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  12. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt

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    Many years ago we shot Prairie dogs off the hood of the truck over a rolled up jacket or a sleeping bag. Then I made a tripod that I could use prone and later on I discovered shooting from a bench. I made a few different styles but none of them were perfect. A few years ago my shooting buddy introduced me to the Coyote Jake table. I've used it now for going on 4 seasons and I love it as much today as the day I got it. It's simple and it works. I had a chance to try a Big Shooter last year and it's a toss up as to which is better.

    The best change I made to mine was to glue a piece of carpet to the top. Keeps the brass from rolling off and saves your elbows from rubbing themselves raw.

    MODERATOR -- The carpet is a nice idea. I'll remember that for the article. I've used a folded beach towel, but it tends to flap in the wind.
     
  13. Zale

    Zale

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    I have trouble with my elbows getting sore as well.. I have tried pads on the table, but it seems they are always in the wrong place. This is especially true when shooting off of bags like the Caldwells and sliding them all over the above bench to get various shots. I got a good quality pair of knee pads like my girls used playing volleyball and slipped one of them over my down elbow. Part of the pad is elastic and it stays put pretty well. It also raises you off the table a bit for pulling the trigger...
     
  14. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt

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    I used automotive trunk carpet. Found it at the local Autozone store.


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  15. English

    English

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    I used this link to make what I think is the best bench around
    http://www.larrywillis.com/shootingbench.html
    cost me about £30,UK Pounds)
    I made mine for right hand shooters only,heres a couple of photos with my Nesika 7mm WSM sat on it
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  16. CooperNV

    CooperNV

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    I have been using a Big Shooter for three years and I am very happy with it. The bearing can get a bit stiff with the dust and all out in the field, I honed mine out a couple of thousands with a cylinder hone and keep the parts cover with plastic bags when stored in the trans port bags. Its help alot this year. Seems I get a lot of dust in the bed of the truck and it migrates through the cordura bags. Other than that the bench is stout and serves me well, I'm 6'2 300# and there is zero wobble with this bench. It can also be set up in the bed of the truck for quick moving around the fields.

    A couple of my friends have the BR Pivots,pre-Caldwell) and they are nice benches, very heavy but well made. The price was considerably more than the Big Shooter.
    JMHO
    T
     
  17. Dennis_in_VA

    Dennis_in_VA I had more when I had less Site $$ Sponsor

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    I have a working protoype of a portable bench that I am working on with a friend of mine.

    It has a 1' Birch Plywood top that swivels 360* AND tilts up or down about 15*,you can aim the rifle with the bench top adjustment).

    It accommodates left and right hand shooters.

    It has a swivel seat that is adjustable for height that swivels with the table top.

    It has three folding legs that are individually adjustable so that you can get the bench plumb and level,so that when you swing around you don't go sliding off the seat).

    The bench can have the legs adjusted for seated or standing use.

    It breaks down into two pieces for transportation.

    It is VERY stable.

    It is heavier than the average commercial bench though.

    It is capable of handling an AR-50 rifle.

    We also have an adjustable bench mounted fore end rest as well.

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    For more views look at link below.

    Click Here
     
  18. LivetoHunt2008

    LivetoHunt2008

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    I finally am putting the finishing touches on mine...just waiting on a Ludwig Drummer's seat I picked up for cheap!

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  19. blk43

    blk43

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    I've had a 360 degree rotating bench for years built by Bob Jourdan. I've added a 4th leg and like the added stability. You can configure the top to your own likes and it's as durable as a Mack truck. They are very reasonably priced compared to many of the others.

    Bruce Kirby
     
  20. Jack Hester

    Jack Hester

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    Dec 26, 2009
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    I haven't seen a bench posted, like the one that I recently acquired. Here's the website:

    http://www.doatactical.com/

    I was looking for one that was easy to transport and set up. This one is in 2 pieces, each weighing 30-35 lbs.. It has 3 fold-up legs and a hardwood laminate top. The top has an anti-skid coating on it, so some type of carpet or bench mat is needed. It will be rough on the elbows, I'm sure.

    I purchased this mobile bench for 3 reasons. I no longer feel safe shooting on my farm, as there are too many people living around me. My neighbor's small children are my biggest concern. So, I won't shoot a all, unless it's at squirrels up in the trees.

    The second reason is that I can now have a really nice bench at the shooting range that I go to. They have many very usable benches, but one never knows the condition they are left in, as non-members frequent this range and leave it trashed up. It's a sorry affair, but this is a fairly new range, and not well managed as of yet. I can always have a good shooting platform, if I take my own.

    My third reason for buying this bench/table is that it's made by Veterans, of whom I look to support first and foremost. That's not to say that I won't consider products made by non-Veterans. I give them the first chance. These are young fellows (read that as everyone seems to be younger than me, these days), with a good business providing a service for our shooting interests.

    Anyway, it is very strongly built, and easy for me to setup, breakdown, and transport.

    Jack
     

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