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Old June 15, 2014, 06:47 PM   #1
gamestalker
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How to develop a decent shooting platform in the middle on no where

I'm not a big fan of using public shooting ranges. I've had some really bad incidents with careless shooters mostly, but I also like the freedom of not having to wait to change targets and all the other inconveniences associated with public ranges. So I have had to come up with a way to get a steady bench out to the desert with as little hassle as possible. I came up with this about 10 years ago and thought I would share, and maybe someone has something to add to further improve on my method.

So I have a folding table that I carry out with me. Then I set a couple of full sized sand bags on the table, both shoot off of, and to add weight, and to make the table good and steady. At first, I didn't think the folding table idea would function well, but once I put the sand bags on it, I was able to get a good steady solid platform. I bring a good chair with adjustable height, which I found a 5 leg office chair works well. Then I bring my shooting bag filled with tripods, spotting scope, some smaller sand bags to hold the pods down solid in the wind, chrony, targets, tape, a string and washer to level my targets, sharpie to mark, range finder, and any other range tools or accessories I might need.

It probably take me 15 minutes to get set up and started shooting. But the freedom to shoot without interruptions or the concern of careless shooters is well worth the time and effort, IMO. I've also tried shooting off the tailgate, but this can be far more difficult to get a functional height to shoot off.

GS
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Old June 15, 2014, 08:22 PM   #2
rcmodel
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Heres what I built several years ago.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....90&postcount=3

Three legs are stable on anything!

rc
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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Here is mine. Heavy but rock steady and 360 degrees of swivel. I can't upload for some reason. But it is in the hunting forum under "squirrel grounds"
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Old June 16, 2014, 01:24 AM   #4
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One of my pipe dreams is to take a lightweight 10-12ft. flat utility trailer and build it into a portable shooting rig. It would have a large bench mounted to it, lockable boxes mounted to it for ammo, targets, and all other the stuff I haul with me, a water jug, a cooler, built in rifle racks, etc. Let your imagination run wild.

Put leveling jacks on all 4 corners so you can stabilize it, and just keep it loaded up and ready to roll all the time. Even better if you can park it in a garage or building. Just load ammo on the rig, guns in the truck, hitch up and go! Don't forget a big umbrella or popup sun shade and some lawn chairs.
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Old June 16, 2014, 02:34 AM   #5
ColtPythonElite
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I use a old heavy metal folding ironing board for a portable bench. I sit beside it with the taper end under my arm.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:59 AM   #6
hoghunting
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When I need a portable bench, I use my Black & Decker Workmate as it's very solid, folds up very easily and set up is simple.

Nice bench, rc, I'll give it a try next time I buy plywood.
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Old June 16, 2014, 04:01 PM   #7
gamestalker
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That's pretty nifty RC, I particularly like the cut away design, much the same as the benches at public ranges. How does it handle serious recoil, 7 mag and such, doesn't it get kind of unstable following heavy recoil, or not?

GS
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Old June 19, 2014, 09:53 PM   #8
loose noose
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For years I used the older "Workmate" with the NRA Plywood platform on it. I made it for right hand shooters, however you could make it for lefty's as well.
I put a felt top on it to keep it soft on the elbows, served me well for a number of years, in fact I still have it, used a small folding chair to sit down on.

However I recently purchased a commercial 3 legged bench, that will hold my ammo, an integrated seat, and a yoke for sighting in. The only thing I need is the back yoke. Nice thing about it, it only weighs 50#s, and assembles in less than 5 minutes. Bought it from Cabela's a little over a year ago, on sale and if my memory serves me correctly it only cost $69.00 including shipping.
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Old June 20, 2014, 12:49 AM   #9
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I like the way you think Rondog.That trailer concept would be nice and rigid, stable.

GS
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Old June 21, 2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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It really depends on the time of the year (crops/grass up) but hitting the dirt with a good set of sand bags has always done well for me. If you can find a little rise to shoot off of and lay down a mat that's about as good as it gets.

HB
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Old June 22, 2014, 12:25 AM   #11
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HB says most of it.
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Old June 22, 2014, 11:56 PM   #12
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I like your idea also HB, but unfortunately here in the S.W. laying any where on the ground is to risk jamming large cactus needles, or worse yet, cholla cactus into your body, really nasty stuff that can take years to get all of it out of your flesh. Everything out here either bites you, stabs you, cuts you, or kills you.

Man I love Arizona!

GS
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Old June 23, 2014, 12:40 AM   #13
toiville2feathers
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Ron dog, I salvaged a personal watercraft trailer that was damaged and mounted a bench on it. It works great for when we go after the pasture poodles. But it has one draw back when using it on the range, and that is when I want to use the chronograph. I haven't found a stand that goes high enough and won't blow over. The next one is going to have retractable wheels.
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Old June 23, 2014, 01:23 AM   #14
rcmodel
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How do you keep the wind from shaking a trailer?

In these parts, if it ain't ground mounted somehow, you can't hold a rifle still on top of it.

No wind in MN or what?
It blows all the time here on the plains, the days you go shooting at least.

rc
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Old June 23, 2014, 01:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
How do you keep the wind from shaking a trailer?
Take the skirting off, of course! .

Man I pictured RC differently and that does look to be all you could ever want for in a portable shooting bench. I might have added T-Nuts to thread down a dedicated front rest.
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Old June 24, 2014, 06:59 PM   #16
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Is that you in the picture rc? You look just like my father in law.
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Old June 24, 2014, 11:54 PM   #17
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The trailer is equipped with 4 trailer tongue jacks so it can be leveled and solid. The bench is made so that either a southpaw or a right hand shooter can use it.
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Old June 25, 2014, 04:31 PM   #18
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we just sat inside the bed of the farm truck and braced the rifle over the side, simple, quick and it can go anywhere(as long as you can drive there). now if we dont have the section of dock to use i can poke the rifle out the back window of my jeep and use the sill as a platform. also rondog youve gotten me pondering how to fabricate that utility trailer, i'm thinking lots of diamondplate stainless with stainless locking bins recessed into the floor and some expanded metal for grip, the only thing i cant get figured out right now is how to fasten everything, i can weld the diamondplate and the locking bins together since theyre stainless but i'm not sure on the stainless to the aluminum frame or the expanded metal to the aluminum frame
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Old June 25, 2014, 10:31 PM   #19
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From my experience, those trailers having leveler jacks are square tube steel. If you've ever seen a large portable trash pump or compressor that's likely what it was riding on. From pintle hitch to size and weight I don't think I'd care for the set up but it should be secure enough.

For an aluminum trailer, u-bolts and plates are the standard attachment method. Most boat retailers keep stock of varying sizes on hand depending on the frame height and width.
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