Why a Portable Shooting Bench Would Help You
Very few people will argue the benefits of having a sturdy shooting bench when it comes to quickly sight in your rifle or shooting accurately with a shotgun. It doesn’t matter if you are a weekend hunter sighting in your gun before opening day or a hardcore gun nut who spends every weekend at a shooting range. But sometimes you crave a little more flexibility than the typical shooting rest you can find at a range or by simply leaning against a tree. A portable shooting bench allows you to comfortably shoot your firearms in a variety of situations. Here are a few scenarios where you might use a portable shooting bench and some good options to consider.
Where to Use a Portable Shooting Bench
Here are a few common places or scenarios where you might use a shooting bench table or portable shooting rest. As you can see, a lot of this depends on where you live and what kinds of shooting activities you typically do.
One of the most unusual places to find a portable shooting bench is at a shooting range. While most shooting ranges come with their own shooting benches, they may not offer the quality you’re looking for. As a result, some people opt to bring their own with them, although you will want to check with your specific shooting range first. In this case, having a lightweight option (without sacrificing stability) is really important for mobility and ease of us. After all, if you don’t like using it, you probably won’t continue to use it for very long.
Behind the House
Similarly, if you live in a location where you can shoot firearms on your property, you may already have a much higher quality heavy duty shooting bench built already. But if you don’t have an existing one or want to move to another area to do some target practice, having a portable rest to shoot from is very convenient. You can quickly grab it from the garage, set it up, shoot several rounds, and take it back down with you when you’re done.
In some scenarios, you may even want to use a portable gun rest while hunting various animals. Obviously, it’s not very sneaky or concealable to have a bulky looking shooting bench rest in the wide open, so using one of these from an enclosed ground blind is often the only way to do so. People may hunt turkeys, coyotes, hogs, or varmints using one of these portable rests, using either rifles or shotguns with them. In this case, having an option that can swivel and pivot quietly is important because it’s rare that a wild game animal holds still for too long!
Pros and Cons Versus Other Gun Rests
So how does a portable shooting bench compare to some of the other common gun rests you might use? Here are some of the usual options that you’ve probably used yourself, and why a portable option could be the better choice for you.
- Leaning against a tree – in most cases, you’ll only use a tree as a rest when you’re hunting and need a quick rest to steady your shot. While it works in a pinch, it’s obviously not ideal for all kinds of long range shooting if you’re looking for gains in accuracy. Any slight shift in stance could affect your shot.
- Resting on another object – similarly, you can rest your elbows on the ground (prone shooting), your knees, a rock, a log, etc. Again, these can work for different people, but it’s usually not very comfortable to shoot several rounds in these positions, and you’re not as steady as you could be. Many people use the sitting position while turkey hunting, but you would be much more comfortable on a shooting bench with a seat sitting in a blind, don’t you think?
- Monopods/bipods/tripods – while these options offer even more support and stability, especially as you go from monopod to tripod, they still aren’t as stable as a bench rest. There’s still a little wiggle room involved. With that said, they are very portable and lightweight, making them good choices for backcountry hunting trips.
Portable Shooting Bench Options
With all that said, here are a few of the best portable shooting benches to consider for this season. All of the options come with a durable, weather-resistant powder coating to keep your shooting rest looking great for years to come. Whether you’re gearing up for turkey season this spring, looking forward to more time at the shooting range this summer, or planning ahead for deer season in the fall, you should find something to match your style and budget below.
The Ultra-Steady Bench is a great portable shooting bench if you’re just entering the market. It folds up easily and only weighs 32 pounds, yet can hold up to 300 pounds on the attached seat. The rubber coated gun rest at the end of the bench table keeps your firearm steady so you can quickly zero your rifle.
The Swivel Action Shooting Bench is the next step up the line, featuring an adjustable seat and bench table that swivel together 360 degrees. This steel construction rest weighs 38 pounds and sits on a sturdy tripod base design.
Meanwhile, the Xtreme Shooting Bench is at the top end of the lineup with lots of advanced features. Weighing 46 pounds, this pivoting shooting bench allows you to easily change targets or shift into a more comfortable position. The attached seat and bench top swivel together or by themselves 360 degrees depending on how you want to use it. It also sits on a tripod base and is constructed of super-durable steel.
Now if you only occasionally shoot your guns and tend to hunt in remote wooded areas, these might not be at the top of your list, and that’s okay. But if you like to shoot your guns often, experiment with long range shooting, or do any kind of turkey, varmint, or predator hunting, these benches can really be a major asset to you. In fact, you really can’t go wrong no matter which of these portable shooting benches you choose.