Okay, sometimes I’ve been known to say something is built “tank-tough” and that means it’s, well … tough. Royal Stukey (that’s his real name, not his social standing) told me I needed to see one of his shooting benches, after he saw a plastic one I was using in an article. I said, “That’s okay, I’ve seen lots of shooting benches, and I’m sure yours is really good, but I’ll pass right now.” He was polite and said, “Well, okay, but mine’s the best one.” Then at the NRA show, I looked up and there, right in front of me, were these amazingly stout shooting benches. And yup, it was Royal’s booth. He and his dad were genuine gentlemen, showed me their wares and I realized I actually hadn’t seen “tank-tough” in the flesh before. If you look up “tank-tough” in the dictionary, they’ll likely be a picture of Royal’s shooting bench.
He was kind enough to loan me one for a while, and in all honesty, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Picture the U.S.S. Missouri WWII battleship and their 12″ of armor in places. Royal’s shooting bench is, well … the benchmark for what other portable shooting benches should aspire to. The legs are made of 1.5″ schedule 40 steel pipe, while the collar and sockets are 2″ schedule 80 steel. The bench frame is constructed of 1/8 x 11/2 x 2″ angle iron, and the wooden top is 3/4″, 11-laminate, cabinet-grade exterior plywood, heavily coated with varnish. All the threaded hardware is Grade 8 and welded with high-test wire. All the steel bits are also powder coated and pretty much impervious to the elements. There’s a nifty carrying handle to tote the legs when they are detached, and the whole thing fits in most trunks. You don’t need tools to set it up, either. The top piece weighs about 30 pounds and the leg package about 35 pounds. Not for the faint of heart, but that weight translates into stability.
I think the picture pretty much gets the point across. That’s a real truck sitting on four standard benches. Try that with your discount store plastic shooting bench. Ha! Alright, Royal, you win. It’s the best there is, period. For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/shooting-benches, (307) 754-2060
By Roy Huntington