Many beginner shooters, as well as professionals, want to improve their aim and shoot better. A shooting bench helps you to accomplish both of these tasks. While there’s a wide array of benches available on the market, you can also easily build one of your own. The right shooting bench plan will help you to achieve your shooting goals.
The internet is full of free downloadable shooting bench plans to help you construct a solid bench for under $100 in materials. Building your own portable shooting bench is a great do-it-yourself project. In comparison, if you decide to buy a shooting bench, you can spend up to $600 or more — most can be found online.
Before we get into our checklist and review of shooting bench plans — among a few of the best store-bought shooting benches — take a brief look at where it all began …
Since early 1840, shooting benches became popular when riflemen wanted to hone their skills as marksmen and practice their target shooting. Today, shooting is a well-known sport all over the world where rifles, shotguns, handguns — and even air pistols are used.
With that said, if you want to shoot properly, you need to fully concentrate to get the best possible shot. These shooting benches (or tables to some) will help you feel comfortable as you position your gun and aim better.
Before you buy a shooting bench, think about your priorities … comfort should be the main concern. A comfortable position is extremely important when you need to concentrate and even wait some time to get the perfect target.
It doesn’t matter your distance from a target, because if you’re in an uncomfortable position, you may miss the target. Always make sure the attached seat of the rifle shooting table you want is comfortable enough for you. If you choose to build your own shooting bench, you will probably want to buy some pillows or stuffed pads for comfort. I’ve found that lawn chair pads do the trick.
Some manufacturers use a foam pad to make the seats comfortable. But if you are about to sit there for an hour or so, a padded seat is not enough. Another thing that you need to feel more comfortable with is an adjustable hand rest.
An ordinary shooting bench that is made of wood doesn’t have this feature so some of its users suffer from a wedged hand. Look for an adjustable hand rest where you can place your hands comfortably especially if you’re into hunting.
Make sure you have sufficient space when you position yourself and place your shooting accessories. As any target shooter knows, backup ammunition is vital. Therefore there should be ample space on your table for extra rounds. This additional space will also help you concentrate more knowing that your supplies are within your reach.
Movability may not be a concern if you simply practice your shooting in your backyard. However, if you plan on bringing your shooting bench/table for hunting — invest in a portable one.
If you’re a hunter, you know that moving around and chasing after targets is very common. In this case, a lightweight shooting bench is your best bet. In addition, some portable benches include straps for carrying, while other movable shooting rests can be broken down and placed inside a bag.
A bench’s durability determines the type and amount of materials you’ll need to complete the project. If you prefer your shooting bench to be a permanent installation, you’ll need to construct it using weatherproof wood and rust-resistant hardware — including screws, nuts, and bolts.
A portable bench, on the other hand, is one that you can assemble at the shooting range. You can then fold it up and disassemble to take with you until you need to use it again.
If you go for the portable option, consider using both wood and steel for your project. You’ll need a ½-inch plywood top mounted to a collapsible steel frame — this will be sturdy and light enough to load into your vehicle.
When you visit your range, have you ever taken a close look at the shooting benches? Perhaps they’ve been designed by shooters just like you. It’s a good idea to sit at their shooting benches and see if they’re not only comfortable but also user-friendly.
Next, jot down some measurements and draw diagrams of these benches. These notes will help you in preparation for your DIY bench. Take pictures and make a checklist of your likes and dislikes.
In regards to a permanent installation, features such as a roof can provide shade on hot days, rain protection on wet days. These add-ons will increase the life of construction. Installation on a concrete pad will add stability and expedite retrieval of the spent brass.
Lastly, you can include bullet holders, padded seating, weatherproof storage for ear and eye protection, and other supplies for your ideal shooting session. Have fun with it — your DIY bench will be unique to your needs!
Here is a simple plan we’ve used. The video makes it simple to follow. You may not have some of the advanced tools, but you can still complete the build. You just have sand the edges by hand.
Here is a link to a PDF of the most detailed shooting bench plans. I like that it includes all the cut measurements. Also I like rifle rest edges. Nice touch. Did i mention these are free shooting bench plans.
We’ve seen where people make a wire spool shooting bench. These are cool. You could buy yourself a patio table umbrella and stick it in the hole for instant shade on your shooting bench.
Lastly, if you want a shooting bench with wheels, this plans are pretty simple to follow.
I get it, you may not be a handy man. You may not have the tools or the time to build your own shooting bench. We have 3 shooting benches that will do the trick.
|Product Name||Where to Buy|
|X-Stand X-Ecutor Shooting Bench|
|Caldwell Stable Table|
|BenchMaster Shooting Table|
The X-Ecutor Shooting Bench from X-Stand is a terrific option if you need a quality shooting bench. The X-Ecutor is easy to carry and simple to use. It features a foldable function for easy storage — and you can even hang it on your wall or any other useful area.
In addition, the gun rest is completely covered with non-scratch rubber padding, including handy pockets on each side. Finally, the X-Ecutor has an adjustable knob for improved elevation and tuning — simply perfect for both left and right-handed shooters.
|Durable steel construction||No backrest support|
|Easy to store and transport||Takes up space|
|Very portable and user-friendly|
The Caldwell Stable Table is a favorite among customers. This shooting bench is simple to use, adjustable and priced just right. Known as one of the best benches for shooting on the market, the Caldwell Stable Table is known for its basic yet integrated shooting rest, flexible seat, and very stable tripod. The result is an excellent shooting stand.
This shooting bench has been tested time and again and proven for its excellence. The end result is a remarkable product way above and beyond shooters’ expectations. Finally, the Caldwell Stable Table delivers a quality, reasonably priced product.
|Enables 360° movement to shoot in all directions||Quite heavy|
|Fewer joints enable users to maximize it for other shooting types||Not very stable|
|The table tends to shake while shooting|
The BenchMaster Shooting Table is rugged, durable and made of the finest quality materials. If you’re looking for a shooting bench that really delivers, the BenchMaster Shooting Table really delivers. Like many other brands, the BenchMaster Shooting Table is also compact and easy to store when not in use — simply fold it, grab its handle and you’re all set.
Whether you are a newbie, intermediate or veteran shooter, the Benchmaster Shooting Table is a smart investment. In addition, this shooting bench is perfect for practicing long-range and target shooting. Lastly, the shooting table’s legs are made from durable solid steel for ultimate longevity and stability.
|Very portable and easy to carry around||Not the best stability|
|Smart, sleek and classic design||Doesn’t include gun support|
|No tools required for assembly|
|Adjustable swivel seat|
|Adjustable legs to level your shooting|
Whether you choose to build your own shooting bench or purchase one from Amazon, your shooting experience will be more productive and fun. Your aim and accuracy will improve and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make or purchase one sooner!
A word of advice — always think of other important things that you need to keep within your reach, while positioned comfortably. To find the best shooting bench for your lifestyle, simply consider your shooting needs. How often will you use your bench? Will you use it for hunting or for target practice?
And remember, a shooting bench is just one thing you need to improve your shooting skills. You also need good ammunition, an accurate rifle, good targets, and a lot of patience.
After all, the tactical shooting bench you ultimately choose needs to be comfortable and easy to use as well as set up. Lastly, consider portability … the last thing you want is to haul around a bulky product. Stick to your guns and buy what’s right for you! Good luck!
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