Brian, a reader of the blog, started up a business with his father and brother to make and sell a nifty hitch-mounted two-person shooting bench.
Brian says …
First off, we’re a start-up business. The team consists of myself, my dad, and my brother. I’m a mechanical engineer and I did the design work, while my dad and brother guided the design process with their experience (my brother is the gun nut). The three of us also fabricate everything ourselves in the shop of a barn here in North Idaho. If this ever takes off beyond our capabilities, we’ll look into outsourcing, but for now it’s all us from picking up steel to painting and packaging.
I’ve attached a few photos to show the various mounting options and the bench in use. Basically, you can hook up the bench (fully assembled and ready to use) to your vehicle in a vertical position so it won’t hit the ground or extend past the 3-ft legal limit beyond the rear bumper. When you arrive at your shooting location, you pull one pin and move the bench to the horizontal position. You then drop the stabilizers, maybe adjust your table height if needed, and you’re ready to shoot. The tailgate on a pickup also serves as a handy table to stage ammo, clips, guns, etc. If you don’t want the bench mounted to a vehicle (or if you don’t have a 2″ receiver), you can set the bench directly on the ground using the same parts that attach it to the vehicle. Overall, it’s a fairly versatile system that just about anybody could use.
The bench is aimed at the average recreational shooter. I live out in the boonies, so a lot of people in this type of area don’t go to “real” shooting ranges. This is why we came up with the bench — easy to transport, no hassle setting up, holds two people, and works. Users can adjust table height (accommodates sitting or standing positions) and the seats move in all three directions so you can find the perfect setup. Two shooters can use the bench at the same time, and we include a shell deflector to prevent hitting your buddy with hot brass.
Construction of the bench is all steel tubing. The tables, seats, shell deflectors, and accessory boxes are made of wood, and we offer two different benches — the standard and deluxe. The metal and hardware on both benches are identical. The wood on the standard bench is 7/16″ painted OSB — works just fine for those who don’t want to spend extra on the appearance. The deluxe bench uses 3/4″ stained birch plywood — a little sturdier, and a whole lot nicer looking. We’re working on developing various accessory components and other “special use” benches, but they haven’t been released for sale yet.
I wish Brian and his family the best of luck with their new business venture.