Portable Shooting Bench

One of my favorite past times is to help ranchers out west eradicate those pesky prairie dogs.  But I like to do it from long range. Much more challenging and a real test of man and rifle.

I needed some type of portable shooting bench. I looked at all the available designs and didn’t like the idea of the seat being attached to the bench itself. At long range a very slight movement of the bench is a wide miss at 400+ yards. All the other portable benches were simply tables with a cut out for you to sit behind. The problem with these designs is it was difficult to swing right to left to engage more targets.  If you are shooting off a Bi-Pod, this sometimes works fine. But I like to use an actual BENCHREST  rest for my shooting. I’d have to design and make it myself!

It was clear to me the entire top would need to swivel.  But it would also need to be extremely stable. If the rifle moves .001″, you will be off target about 3″ at 500 yards. That is a miss on a target the size of a Coke bottle.

So the design I came up with is a rigid table, with a small section sitting on top that swivels.

The picture above shows the main table with the swivel top.

For front legs I used a simple set of folding table legs.


But if I built another one, I’d use screw on removable legs available from IKEA. They would be more sturdy and they would be height adjustable to level the bench.


Leg, chrome plated
Article Number:

Height adjustable from 27 1/2-42 1/8″; adjust according to need.       

These adjustable height legs are just about perfect for building this type of table. Bases are available from IKEA to angle them out a bit and make them easily removable.

I decided to use three legs. A three legged stool is much more stable on uneven ground than a four legged stool.

The rear leg is two pieces of aluminum angle with a center “leg” of 2″ X 2″ aluminum square tube. A simple pin holds everything together while transporting.

If the rear leg is height adjustable, it will allow elevation changes of the rifle for those really distant shots.

I added two side supports to the rear leg.

The whole leg folds flat for transport.

The top swivels around a single pivot point. I brazed a washer to a piece of steel cylinder and screwed it to the bottom of the swivel assembly. You simply need to raise the rear the same height as the front. I also fabricated a wing bolt by brazing a piece of steel stock to an appropriate length bolt.

Underneath the table there is a hole.  A “T” nut set unto the top of the swivel plate accepts the threaded bolt to tie it all together.

At the front I used simple ball rollers. These are available at good hardware stores or online.

And there you have it! A great way to set up in the PD fields

I’ve drawn up a full set of dimensioned plans. If you would like a set, simply email me and I’ll send them out to you.


More pictures here:



I hope you enjoyed this article. Comments and ideas are always welcolm!

Good Shooting!




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35 comments on “Portable Shooting Bench”

  1. Eric Reply

    Ive seen alot of shooting tables, and even built a few but thats a great new design! its compact enough for a car trunk, easy to set up and looks stable. Thanks

  2. Robert Winkelman Reply

    Mr. Bertalotto, I like the portable bench that you have designed and use. I am looking for a portable bench rest setup and I think this design would fit my needs. I am interested in obtaining our parts lists and diagrams. Thanks

  3. Robert Mascharka Reply

    I would really like to get a copy of the plans that you reference in your article. Please let me know what your expenses are and I will reimburse you in what ever fashion you prefer. Thanks for the really excellent contribution to the shooting world!

    Robert Mascharka
    4104 Topsail Trail
    New Port Richey, FL 34652


  4. Bill Hagan Reply

    I truly admire individuals that have the ability and motivation to comtemplate a situation and then come up with a solution and actually create the end product themselves.

    Please send a copy of the plans.

    I am one of those that takes advantage of someone else’s good idea.

    • Dijon Rabie

      I would also really appreciate a copy of your plans.
      Great design!!

      thank you very much

  5. Gerry Reply


    Outstanding design, please forward the plans if possible.


    “There’s always room for all God’s creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes”.

  6. Pingback: shootin bench's - Page 2

  7. Joe Parker Reply

    Mr. Bertalotto:

    This is really a useful and practical bench. May I have a set of plans, please?



  8. John Peterson Reply

    Would you please send me a copy of your plans? I think you just solved part of my grandson’s Christmas/Birthday gift! I got him a 22/250 and this will be the perfect accessory.


  9. Jim Gianotti Reply

    Mr. Bertalotto,
    This looks like a great solution for one who must travel away from town to shoot, I would love a set of plans.
    Jim Gianotti

  10. Darrold Stefan Reply

    This looks like a great plan. I would like a set of your plans and this portable plan will work great for me as I do long distance shooting 500 yards and up. Email me for with particulars. THANKS YOU DARROLD

  11. walt hodges Reply

    Excellent design. Please e-mail me the designs.

    If you use snail mail, please let m know an appropriate donation to your favorite beer fund.


  12. Michael Reply

    SWEET Bench! Would you be so kind and forward the pdf plans you’ver created.

    MUCH Appreciated,

  13. Ginger Reply

    Can u please email me a set of the plans for your shooting table. The design looks great and very manageable.

  14. Gregg Greenfield Reply

    I had already built a bench and was looking only for a swivel top. Thanks for your plan. I bought a set of pop up legs that bolted in. I will try to find the name. I liked them because you could use a pipe cutter to cut to proper height, and they had rubber end caps to keep the dirt out. Better yet, I purchased washers that fit (stack) between the end of the legs and the bottom of the rubber caps and you can add/remove washers for uneven surfaces. If you want, I will send you a picture. Gregg Greenfield

  15. Jim Hodge Reply

    Looks to be the bench I have been searching for. Not quite sure how the swivel point is set up.
    Jim Hodge

  16. Bruce Stewart Reply

    Dear Sir,
    Please send me your shooting bench plans. Looks well thought out. Thank you very much.

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