The fall hunting seasons are just around the corner, and now’s the time to tune up for opening day. Whether you’re out for a mess of squirrels, an early season muzzleloading deer, or the bull of a lifetime, the accuracy of your rifle is critical to success. Many sportsmen will be working up the best loads for their rifle, experimenting with various calibers and setting the best scope for their quarry. The foundation for all of these shooting experiments is a solid rest; that is, a solid bench to conduct your research. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have easy access to a permanent bench, but purchasing a portable foundation is the next best thing. For the price of a few boxes of shells, you’ll have an investment that will save you frustration and countless do-overs. Remember, “good enough” is the enemy of excellence. Here’s a look a three popular models:
Cabela’s Pinnacle Shooting Bench: Inspired by the ergonomic chairs used by professional massage therapists, this revolutionary bench automatically positions you in the optimal shooting position to improve accuracy and minimize felt recoil. An adjustable EVA-padded seat and sternum pad comfortably facilitate perfect shooting posture. With a 300-lb. weight capacity, it’s built to accommodate small- to large-framed shooters. Thick EVA-padded elbow rests help ward off arm fatigue for hours of shooting enjoyment. The solid front rest pivots 360º, adjusts up and down, and moves 15″ side to side so you can easily set it precisely on target. The ABS plastic top with stabilizer bars has storage trays with cup holders on both sides. Pivoting feet keep the bench level on uneven surfaces. It folds for easy transport and storage. A powder-coated finish protects against the effects of weather. It also features a digital camo pattern on the seat and elbow resting pads.
Caldwell Stable Table: Part of its rigid tripod design is a T-knob in the base, which allows position adjustment of a single leg that aligns the table top parallel with the horizon. The center shaft, seat, and tabletop are able to pivot around a center axis as single unit while keeping the tabletop parallel with the horizon. A shooting position can be locked into place for your most comfortable shooting stance. The Tabletop is made of molded plastic with a rigid metal under-frame. It measures 34 x 23 inches and the padded seat adjusts from 16 to 22 inches and rotates in tandem with the table top.
MTM Predator Shooting Table: MTM makes a host of plastic outdoor products, and this is the most basic of the three, providing only a solid plastic shooting table. This product is ideal for those who already have bench tools like a Lead-Sled and provides enough room for your spotting scope, extra ammo, and other gear. A bonus: At the end of the shoot you can clear your gear and have lunch or a poker game.