I have received the loan of one of Royal Stukey’s portable shooting benches. I heard of it a little late to include it in our prairie dog outings this year, but I have had the opportunity to set it up on my rimfire range in the front yard, and to use it in some long range field test. This is a “Made in Montana” product. When you find this official label on any product you can pretty safely bet it is made by good honest folks with real American know how and work ethic. I found this man and his product to be no exception. The bench has an underframe of steel that is made of one and a half inch by two by 1/8 heavy gauge angle iron, nearly impossible to bend. On that is placed a top of Urethane finished A/C laminated wood about three quarters of an inch thick. The triangular frame gives full support to the top. The frame has sockets for three legs, angled properly for rigid, no wiggle stance. The sockets contain “floating nut plates” that receive the 5/8 NC threaded bolts centered in the end of each 2” leg. When they are screwed in tight, the shoulders of the 2” legs butt up against the shoulders of the leg sockets for absolutely rigid contact.
All metal is finished in powder coated black, a very durable steel finish.
Bottoms of the legs are neatly capped and welded for no dirt accumulation. Testing indicates that the unit is nearly wiggle free, as it requires considerable force to produce detectable movement. Only a stationary unit set in concrete could be more stable. He includes a picture of four units supporting a ¾ ton pick-up. Now don’t ask me how in the heck he lifted that truck up onto the benches! Shooting style differs for each of us. I find the standard bench rests at our shoots to be just a trifle high for my best hold. I stand 5’10. My personal portable bench is 30 inches tall. The Stukey bench is 36 inches ground to top. I called Royal and asked him how the heck tall he was. “6’1,” says he. This was not his basis for selecting the height. He explained his “arms flat, heart between the edges” method of shooting, which made sense. It is built for the average person. The weight, assembled, is 65 pounds. The top, which has a comfortable carrying handle, weighs 30 pounds, the bundles legs about 35 pounds. Royal also sells a Contico box that will hold up to 250 pounds of accessories. This is the seat he uses and recommends. It is strong and durable. The seat stands 20 inches tall. I prefer about 18 inches for comfort. Again, it is all in style and build. I would prefer about 6 inches off each leg, making it more to my personal liking, and which might remove about 6 pounds from the weight of the bundled legs. By the way, one leg has an attached carry handle to make the bundle comfortable to tote. Strong rubber bands are included to secure the bundle. No changes that I would prefer for my personal use have anything to do with the quality or general usefulness of the products. If you are looking for the strongest, most stable portable shooting bench made, the Stukey bench is probably it. And it is nice looking, too.
The Accurate Rifle: January 2003 by Jack Rush