What is a shooting bench?

by B.B. Pelletier

This post is for JR, who asked what a shooting bench is. I suspect that a lot of newer shooters might also wonder what I am talking about, so today I’d like to show you.

Shooting benches date back to the 19th century, and they are exactly what the name implies – benches to shoot from. There is even a sport based on shooting from a bench called benchrest shooting. The purpose of a shooting bench is to stabilize the gun as much as possible so the best possible shooting can be done.

Anytime groups are given in a test report, unless the writer specifically mentions a different shooting position, the assumption is that the gun was shot from a bench. But what does a shooting bench look like? Well, there are many variations, but the basic bench looks the same – a large flat surface with cutouts on either side in the rear to allow either right- or left-handed shooters to get close to their rested rifle. While handguns are also shot from shooting benches, it is rifles that define the size and shape of the bench.


Looking down at the top of a shooting bench, this is the ideal shape.

Permanent shooting benches are constructed of heavy materials to be as stout as possible. Several rifle clubs I have belonged to have made the bases of their benches from either reinforced poured concrete or cinderblocks cemented together. They were cemented to the concrete slab of the firing range. Of course once these benches are built, they cannot be moved, so most ranges build their benches from heavy lumber. They may weigh 30-50 lbs., but at least they can be slid from position to position when necessary. In one club I remember, the bench legs were made from 6 by 6 posts and the table and tops were made from 2-inch dimensional lumber. You would think that construction, alone, would make the benches solid, but it didn’t.

At that club we rested our benches on bare ground, and if the ground wasn’t perfectly level, the benches would rock. It was always necessary to level the bench before shooting at that club. Naturally the best foundation is a concrete slab, which my current ranges have, but then the worry is that the bench legs are all the same length. By building a bench with only three legs, you can eliminate this problem.


This big bore airgunner is shooting at targets 200 yards away. Shooting like this is easiest from a good shooting bench.


Here’s my 7.5mm Swiss M31 on the bench at my rifle range.

Portable benches
There has always been a desire for portable benches that shooters could transport from range to range. Over the years there have been a number of plans for portable benches, but the last ten years have seen a boom in commercial portable shooting benches. However, what’s on the market today is not well-suited to spring-piston guns, because it assumes you will rest the forearm on a sandbag or other rest. There are no provisions for a hand-held rifle on the portable benches I have seen. There are a number of plans online for building your own portable shooting benches, and, because the dimensions of the table can be altered, most of these can be adapted to a spring gun.


This portable bench is sold by several outlets.


This is Cabelas’ portable shooting bench. Reader Scott will tell us about his in the comments section.

The seat
Some of these benches have seats built in but I feel a seat is best kept separate from the bench. The height of the seat is important so the top of the bench is comfortable. Adjustable seats are the best for shooting benches that will be used by a lot of different shooters.

What goes on top?
Once the bench situation is resolved, the shooter has to come up with a means of supporting the rifle on the bench. You don’t just sit down and start firing. I use a long shooting bag filled with crushed walnut shells. You see it in the photo of my Swiss 7.5 M31 Schmidt-Rubin rifle, above It weighs about half as much as a sandbag of similar size, yet it has the same resiliency. Many shooters use two bags – one in front and one in the rear. And the adjustable front support, a metal or plastic gizmo with a thin bag in the rest portion, is also very popular.

You don’t have to have a fancy shooting bench for accurate work, but the design of the bench has evolved to the point that anything else will feel like a compromise.

48 Responses to “What is a shooting bench?”

  • scott 298 Says:

    Good morning B.B=Did you put the pressure on me today-and printing my name in red no less. I feel like a 5yr old standing before the class for the 1st time. Bottom line is you have helped me, along with a host of others for so long -it would be my pleasure to add to this report. I bought the exact bench shown on the blog by Cabela’s . Now for some of the facts-I’m 51yrs old, I stand 5’8″ and weigh 210lbs. I am shooting a rws 350 in .177 with a Leapers 3x12x44 scope. The bench came fully assembled and sets up in less than 30 seconds. It is so easy that I was even able to use it after surgery on both arms. The bench folds up flat just as easy and fits the standard car trunk. I have been using mine now for approx 6 months with no complaints. I have been using mine for target shooting and sighting in. I have a permenant backstop -I pull out the tape measure-mark the yardage where I want to shoot and 5min later I already have 20 shots down range.
    The table is made with tubelar steel with a plastic seat and top with a slightly dimpled surface which will not mar the rifle. I set a 50 lb bag of sand on the table section, cover it with a couple folded towels and there is still room to rest the rifle on the table along with a 1/2 dozen tins of pellets and a few other accesories. when shooting I rest the gun on my open palm (which is on the towels that are on the sand bag). I do not use the barrel support that is supplied, but it’s there if I want to pull out the center fire rifles. The bench has been very sturdy on various surfaces-mud snow, frozen ground as well as a soggy lawn-the bench will dig in with a little pressure and can be taken anywhere. With little or no efort at all you can have a shooting bench where ever you go-to the local range-the farmers field where ever, and it is easy to carry , having a strap that holds the table together when closed. I do not have the bench with me at the moment but if I remember correctly there is some adjustment on seat hight and the bench works for both left and right hand shooters. The bench is my 3rd prized possesion followed only by my rifle and scope (I did not list my wife as she is the love of my life and not a possesion! Seriously people- for a little under a $100 a shooting bench is a bargain. Concerning accuracy, using my above set up I have shot 5 shot groups-using crossman premiers heavy, at 35 yards that could be covered by a nickle.I have shot a couple of thousand rounds and the bench has never flinched. No matter what type of gun you shoot I believe a bench will help you improve your accuracy along with your confidence! Well B.B.-how did I do?

  • andreas Says:

    Thanks for the article BB. – and thank you too Scott.

    Now I need to go build myself one. I can use all the accuracy improvement as I can get!

    I am currently using my grandmother’s old ironing stand and an old seed-filled pillow.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott,

    Great report. You have me wanting one. One question, though. Are you able to lay a bag directly on the table or do you have to use that extension shown in the picture?

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Scott: Per your ? “do all diana break barrel rifles havea sliding link that connects them to the cocking lever-on my 350 I removed the action from the stock- the cocking lever just seemed to have a bit of metal welded in place and popped out of the action as soon as I turned it over”

    I have tuned 2 RWS 350′s in 0.177 and 22 one 34 and one 36. The cocking lefers are only different in that the 350′s have an articulation joint and the (34-36 etc) have a solid link. The foot that engages and pushes back the piston is the same on all though. The RWS guns are easy to tune in my opinion with the exception of the trigger. Keeping the T5 together is key, use 2 slave pins long enough to cross through trigger but short enough to come back out of the receiver using the spring compresor.

    KTK

  • scott298 Says:

    B.B.-Scott-I have never used the extension. It’s basicaly a metal arm-that’s adjustable-with a plastic cradle on the top of it and it folds up and is out of the way so you never know it’s there. The 50lb bag of sand goes directly on top of the table and stability has never been an issue no matter whether you place it front,back, left, or right. There is still enough room -even with the sand bag- to lay the rifle on the table top when I go down range. I set the bag down-top of with a towel or to-don’t want to scratch the gun and still have room for a couple of tins of ammo. I also use the towel to put the back of my open hand on when shooting to mimmic the artillary hold as much as possible. It’s like a sandwich-gun-open palm -towl-sand bag -talbe top. I was really surprised how much you could put on the table top-how sturdy it was- and how easy it was to transport–B.B.–trust me-you’ll love it. I know your back loged, anything else you need help testing?–It’s been a pleasure to contribute-shoot straight–Scott

  • Anonymous Says:

    Have you shot a springer from a lead sled? I seemed to find that it was much better shooting from a bag like the setup you have on your swiss above. When I shot my 48 from the lead sled, the rifle bolted forward about 3-5″ from the spring recoil! Accuracy was terrible, but it may have been just user error.. or scope misadjustment etc. But the sound down a 100 yard rifle tube was pretty cool.
    Ozark

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott,

    Thanks. That clears a lot up for me. I just couldn’t see using that extension with spring guns.

    About the backlog; what can you do?

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Ozark,

    I did read your earlier lead sled comment. I guess that proves that spring guns go forward. I don’t think it was user error. I think spring guns need to be suspended in a soft coccoon to shoot their best.

    B.B.

  • scott298 Says:

    B.B.–it all depends what you have-I can give the birds eye view of the average joe on the street so they have the common man’s point of view. 14 yrs with the DOD couldn’t hurt-You send them, I’ll shoot them–Thanks Scott-I could even run a Pyramyd facility on the East Coast!

  • Anonymous Says:

    this is way way off topic but im going to post here anyway. i live in long island and there are very few places to shoot my airguns. i would like to know if possible where i can get information on any airgun ranges in the local vecinity. i know there is an actual pistol range 15 minutes from my house, but i doubt that i can fire my airguns there as well. also, is a hunting license required for pest elimination? thanks.

  • nathan Says:

    BB,off topic sorry,i bought another theoben rapid 7 .20 second hand,its 22ftlbs with a 16 inch barrel, could you tell me approx what i might gain by puting a 23 inch barrel on ? iam useing jsb exact pellets at 13.78 grains & the power ajustment screw at the back of the action is flush and has plenty of ajustment ,it will adjust to 26 ftlbs but if i put this length barrel on and leave the ajuster flush what the power might go to.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Long Island,

    Most of the Long Islanders I know shoot indoors in their homes. Contact the NRA to find ranges near you, or drop into a local gun store and ask.

    http://www.nrahq-org

    Hunting lisences are not required for pest elimination anywhere, but you do have to obey the local laws. Most municipalities outlaw the use of airguns within the city limits. Your local police are the ones to ask about that.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    nathan,

    Expect a 25 percent gain in power with a 23-inch barrel, so you’re looking at about 32 foot-pounds or more

    B.B.

  • Scott Says:

    I have a two-part question about rests, well sort of…

    1) Regarding bedding, is it true that it is wise to shoot an airgun for 1,000 rounds or so, to allow for the barreled action to settle down fully in the stock before giving the final action screw snug-down and Gun-Tite treatment?
    I am skeptical over the possible benefits of this for any firearm or airgun, but I have heard this bit of possible folklore from several different sources.
    Also, if it is beneficial, do all airguns benefit, be they breakbarrel or fixed, wood stocked or synthetic?

    2) What about glass bedding, specifically Brownell’s Acraglas Gel?
    Many years ago, I applied the late Len Brownell’s wonderful product to my beloved centerfire Ruger’s inletting, and the results exceeded my hopes.
    And, yes, I know that Acraglas is used in centerfires to freefloat the barrel to prevent it from warping into contacting the forestock due to the inevitable heating that comes from firing.
    But I wonder if a properly bedded airgun barreled action just might allow for greater harmonic consistency during its firing cycle.
    So my question is, would it be beneficial for an airgun (including all stock and action types), especially a Gamo CFX?

    And, B.B., I know you will want to remind others before they go wild applying Acraglas just how important it is that they read the instructions that come with Brownell’s Acraglas Gel fully.
    It is essential to not overapply the gel, while applying the release compound generously on all the action surfaces that will contact the gel.
    Not following those last two procedures can interfere with an underlever or barrel cocking, or permanently trap the action in the stock, and not even splintering the stock to toothpicks will separate it from the action!

    Oh, one last thing.
    I want to personally thank B.B. and his colleague, Tom Gaylord, for their technical knowledge and readiness to answer questions.
    I even find myself not much minding calling in and getting put on hold for a bit, because when I did for technical questions about scope mount clearance, I was treated to a recording of Mr. Gaylord giving a detailed description of how to sight in a scope!
    Furthermore, I sent in a mail order with money order for a scope and four tins of pellets on a Saturday and had the complete order in my hands on the following Thursday.
    I can’t get Internet PayPal paid orders placed with Amazon sent back any more quickly, and they are what I consider the gold standard!
    Because of your extremely strong technical support coupled with Pyramyd’s rapid delivery, they have gotten themselves a devoted customer who will eagerly point other potential customers in their direction.
    Would that there were more vendors with that kind of customer support.

    -Scott

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott,

    Regarding the Accraglass – I have a glass-bedded Garand that shoots like a dream. I have heard of high-power shooters glass-bedding 10-meter rifle actions into Garand and M1A stocks for training, but I have never heard of anyone bedding a regular sporter. I bet it would help.

    As for shooting a gun in, I read Gaylord’s R1 book, in which he did just what you said – shot an R1 for 1,000 shots and commented along the way. Actually he did two R1′s because the first one broke in such a way that it couldn’t be considered a new gun after Beeman repaired it.

    I have the book. Maybe this is a good topic for a blog!

    Thank you,

    B.B.

  • RexDart Says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for the great info on the Cabella’s shooting bench and for adding to a great blog. I have a nice wishlist living on their website now, in addition to my insane one at pyramidair :)

    Where are you abouts on the East coast? I do my shooting up in the Catskill mountains, my brother has 63 beautiful acres there. Come Sept 1, how about a crow hunt?!

    cheers
    Paul Capello

  • Anonymous Says:

    All us airgun people seem to live on the east coast. In cluding me. I dont need another bench but that one from cabelas is cool!

    -sumo

  • Anonymous Says:

    “In cluding me” i was trying to say, including me.

    -sumo

  • Anonymous Says:

    You guys put me to shame. I use three fluffy pillows on top of a bar stool as my bench on my 15′ indoor range. I used to use a sturdy Office Max folding table but someone borrowed and never returned it. For a seat I use an old comfortable couch I inherited from the living room when we upgraded furniture. Height is adjustable by the number of pillows used. I find this works great and suits my shooting style well.

    -Joe

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B. Is it wrong to rest the forearm of a springer on a sandbag? I thought it was ok as long as one doesn’t rest the barrel on the sandbag.

  • Scott Says:

    B.B.,

    It sounds as if I may have created you a project.
    ;-)

    Regarding using the Acraglas on my Ruger:
    It is a .30-06 M77 with the tang safety and iron sights – I don’t necessarily need them, but a rifle just looks unfinished without them – I bought in 1988.
    I also bought a full reloading setup, then quickly tailored my ammo to this rifle, using all the tricks I am sure you know handloaders use to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out of their rifles.
    I noticed right away that the barrel tended to have about a playing card’s width of space on the left side where it met the forestock inletting, while it didn’t have even a hair’s width of space on the right.
    I even did the standard dollar bill slide under the barrel trick, which confirmed that it wasn’t freefloating.
    So, I ordered the Acraglas Gel, scrupiously following the directions to the letter.
    I am a slow worker, but that prevented me from making any mistakes, and I had degreased the barreled action, applied the gel and release compound, then bolted up the barreled action for the initial molding…all inside 45 minutes.
    After the specified cure time, I unbolted the barreled action to ensure that I hadn’t permanently attached it to the stock, then carefully snugged down the screws.
    The barrel was now perfectly centered in its channel, and I was now able to confirm that it was freefloating, just enough to stay out of contact when hot, but not that awful post-64 Winchester Model 70 barn door gap.
    I soon discovered that my Ruger now was able to do 5 shot groups of everything I put through it into 2.5″ minimum, from Hornady 220gr RNSP, to Speer 150gr Mag Tips.
    Now, that wasn’t spectacular, but the sub 1″ groups I was able to produce using maximum charges of IMR4831 fired by CCI primers behind Barnes 165gr X-Bullets and Sierra 180gr Spitzer Pro-Hunters definitely were!
    Not only does it shoot better, but it just looks better.
    It also surprised me that you hadn’t heard of hunters using this technique, as I read about it in the book “The Hunting Rifle,” in which the author described having used this technique on most of his own hunting and varmint centerfires.
    He even described various other bedding techniques, including one that some benchresters use that entails having a pressure point in the barrel channel that is purposely placed to apply a continuous upward pressure that could be adjusted to tweak barrel harmonics.
    It was the idea of how important barrel harmonics are to target shooters that made me wonder about what – if any – positive influence this might provide for an airgun.
    The only problem is that most shooters are unlikely to take a chance at ruining a decent airgun stock, particularly the fine walnut wood on the high end airguns, just to see if it would work.
    My theory at this point is that Acraglas will have a more positive effect with wood stocks than with synthetics, because those are affected by humidity, rain, and other moisture.
    If it does anything good for synthetics, my guess is that it would come as a result of a more snug barrel channel that causes greater consistency.
    I see that Gamo sells CFX stocks for $30, so that tempts me to experiment myself using an extra stock as the guinea pig.
    The main reason that centerfire shooters use Acraglas is to prevent any barrel-to-stock contact due stock warpage, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t do something similar for any airgun that isn’t freefloated.

    -Scott

  • scott298 Says:

    to Paul-would love to-always wanted to bag a crow. B.B.–is there any way for us to get on another’s e-mail without broadcasting it to the whole world? I don’t know if one is in place yet but maybe it’s sonething that can be worked on-thanks for my 15 min of fame–Scott298

  • RexDart Says:

    I don’t mind giving my email out, ever since my book was published its all over the darn internet anyway. I posted some pics of the front yard of the Catskills property–there are 60 more acres behind the house! Before my bro bought the property, the house had been used as a ‘hunting shack’ (its 3 stories!)by the friends of the previous owner. There’s no power running to it, but it has a wood stove and plenty of fresh spring water. The front yard is perfect for target shooting.

    My friends and I escape the wives, kids and girlfriends for a few weeks here and there at what we now call “Camp Stogie” –several days of target shooting/air gun hunting, eating, playing whiffle ball, hiking, card playing, good whiskey and of course, premium cigars!

    It’s at Camp Stogie that I fell in love with airguns and practiced what I learned right here on B.B.’s blog. There’s plenty of wild turkey, rabbit and crow to be had in season. Starlings are also abundant, and a pest to local farmers.

    My friends aren’t as passionate about airguns as I have become, and I’d love to learn from other people. As I mentioned to B.B. in another post, its a great place to produce some airgun videos here on the east coast, and I have all the equipment and editing software.

    I think the people on this blog would give some great advice and input on the types of video content they’d like to see. Heck, now I want to build my own proper shooting bench and show others how to as well!

    Here are the pics:
    http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/camp_stogie/

    Cheers,
    Paul Capello
    paulATthebestcasescenario.com

  • RexDart Says:

    p.s. I’m the one in the boonie hat–It never seems to eave my head when I’m camping.

  • Anonymous Says:

    sorry yesterday i was talking about the weihrauch pellet weight. i went on their web can’t find any info.

  • Eric in VA Says:

    First off hello, I’m new to “adult” airguns, I was a competitive airgunner 20+ years ago when I was a teenager and have recently become interested in shooting again. While on vacation visiting my dad, he showed me the RWS model 34 combo that he got his wife to kill pests with and that gun impressed me so much I started shopping.

    Anyway to the topic, when shopping around for the guns available now-a-days I notice that a lot of guns seem to have very short sight profiles (I like Iron sights, my gun back in the day was a daisy 499 with an adjustable peep). Now I understand the logic on a break barrel of having both sights on the same solid piece of metal, but why do guns like the RWS 48 and other Fixed barrel guns have the rear sight so far forward?

    BTW the what I’m shopping for is my first “adult” airgun, I prize Quality and am looking for a general purpose gun to use for plinking, target practice and pest control, in the $300 range. Being a former champion I also insist on as much accuracy as I can eek out. Any input is welcome.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    i have tomorrow and the day after off from work, so i am going to do more tesing on the g1 extreme, and ill let you know how it goes. i do have a question for you though. i want to put a sling on it, and i have seen pics of other ppl’s guns with a sling that straps to the buttstock, but i cant find it to purchase…do you know where to look, or do you know of any other slings that work on synthetic stock guns? thanks.

    btw, anyone can answer on this one.

    Dave

  • Anonymous Says:

    dave

    they have slings that strap to the buttstock on cheaperthandirt.com so i would check there

    cody

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Sandbag,

    According to a lot of experience shooting spring guns, most of them should be rested on the flat of an open palm. A few like to be rested on the Pyramyd Gel Pad. Very few like to be rested directly on sandbags.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott,

    Have you tried 168-grain Sierra MatchKings in your Ruger? In almost every .30 caliber rifle I have owned they are the most accurate bullet.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Weirauch pellets,

    I figured it was the pellets. I have a request in to Pyramyd.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Eric,

    Welcome back to airguns!

    At the $300 limit you have set, you are eliminating precharged rifles, which are the easiest to shoot accurately. You are also eliminating the best spring piston rifles. But there are still some nice airguns for you.

    Do a search on the blog for reports on the BAM B40 and the RWS Diana 34 Panther I just finished testing.

    The B40 is the most accurate rifle under $300, but I don’t care for the trigger. It’s too light and hasn’t got a definite second-stage release.

    The Panther is $100 less and is a fine rifle, though it has a scoping problem common to all Diana air rifles. The solution is given in the blogs.

    I tested the BAM B40 in both .177 and .22 and it is by far the best gun for the price.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Dave,

    Cody gave you a good sourcde3. Also check Cabelas, Bass Pro, Dick’s and the other sporting goods places. What you want is commonly used by primitive shooters and by those with military rifles that have no slings.

    B.B.

  • scott298 Says:

    To Eric from Scott298-I was in the same boat-20yrs plus out of it then got badk in. A couple words of advice
    1. It’s great to go to local gun stores and sporting good stores checking there products to find one you like (may be hard to find one in the $300 range
    2. If you find one there -DO NOT BUY IT! Order it on line. The reason I say this is that a lot of stores are clueless when it comes to air guns. I have been in too many where the employee will take it off the shelf and dry fire it. Also they usually don’t have adequate knowledge of what there holding.
    3.Pricing-don’t let that be your only guide, sometimes it is better to pay a few bucks more and order a gun from one of the more reputable on-line dealers–and if you do your home work you can usually find a discount coupon for pyramyd on line. Pyramyd has been a great source for me and there are others out there-with respect for this blog I will not name them
    3. Ask questions, then when you think you have the answer ask more questions–this blog along with it’s archives will give you a ton of information
    4. Beware of other blogs-there are people out there that will discredit all guns,because they are trying to convince themselves that THEY made the right decision.
    5. When and if you buy one –enjoy it and remember straight out of the box you won’t be making 40yrd shots hitting the bulls eye-it takes practice. Getting to know your gun and learning to shoot itwell can be the most fustrating along with the most rewarding experience.

  • Jack Says:

    BB, Thanks for the great blog. It helped me understand the whole shooting bench. While all the East Coast airgunners were sleeping, I was out in the garage with my hammer, getting started. Thanks again, I’m off to work.
    JR

  • Anonymous Says:

    Yah, I saw a clerk at our local Big 5 tell a customer to go ahead and dry fire a break barrel with the end of the barrel pressed into the carpet. I cringed and told them it shouldn’t be dry fired, but he started to argue with me. At that point I just let it go.

  • Scott Says:

    B.B.,

    Indeed I have tried the vaunted Sierra 168gr HPBT Matchkings in my Ruger, and – while they shoot well enough – they consistently group into the 2″ territory, it is not in the same league as the hunting bullets I mentioned.
    The fact that my standard hunting rifle can do something so rare with standard hunting loads is the icing on the cake to me.
    I suspect that the Matchkings still could outdue the Pro Hunters and standard Barnes X-Bullets, given more time to tune the powder charge and especially seating depth, which I consistently adjust to within 0.010″ of the rifling leade on all my loads.
    I also found it essential to back off from max with the standard (not the replacement XLC, Triple Shock, or MRX) Barnes X because it is a very hard solid copper bullet that can dangerously elevate pressures when loaded to full throttle, resulting in cratered/blown primers and bulged case heads.
    Randy Brooks has corrected this quirk with the (now-discontinued) XLC and the current incarnations of Triple Shock and MRX.
    Doh!
    I didn’t mean to hijack your blog to the point that I had made it a defacto centerfire handloading forum.

    Okay, I have to redeem myself a bit by relating centerfire to airguns.
    The bullet preference anecdote for my Ruger applies equally to airguns and with which pellets a given airgun will perform at its best.
    JSB Exacts, Crosman Premiers, and RWS Superdomes seem to get mentioned as the most likely pellets to shine, but it is entirely possible that there are certain airguns that fail to perform with them, yet produce < 1" 50 yard groups with the cheapest Daisy brand pellets available.
    There are scores of variables involved within even identical make and model airguns.
    What the competition class airguns have is better quality control and consistency across the board, resulting in more predictable airguns.
    You won’t really know until you actually go to the range with target paper in hand.
    Knowing how critical seating depth is with centerfires, wouldn’t it be true that competition airgun shooters carefully control pellet seating depth to ensure a smooth transition for their pellet of choice into the leade?

    -Scott

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    JR,

    Thanks for your feedback. And good luck building your bench.

    B.B.

  • scott298 Says:

    to Paul capello-tried to e-mail-won’t go thru or I have wrong address-Scott298

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb and cody,

    thanks, i just ordered one from cheaper than dirt.

    Dave

  • Anonymous Says:

    eric, I find the RWS46 (DO NOT confuse with the RWS460 magnum) in .22 caliber to be a fine, consistent and accurate “fixed barrel” springer, and its nice to look at. pyramind only has it in .22, which is great for pest elimination. diana has a very decent reputation and warranty. its currently $344.99 – 10% coupon, you are sitting at $310.49 + shipping. since its an underlever it requires less technique than a break barrel. just my humble opinion

  • Anonymous Says:

    and eric, i forgot about the RWS48, another excellent choice if you like sidelevers. at $319.85 – 10% you are sitting at $287.87 + shipping. search the blog history for both of these. once again, just my humble opinion

  • JDB in NY Says:

    …have a similar bench (looks identical) by San Angelo Products. Purchased from Midway USA about $80 on sale. Works great, just as Scott described. Very stable, easily foldable. I use it in my basement 10m range and on occaison in the field.

  • Eric in VA Says:

    Thanks for the advice, you hit on the exact two guns I’m thinking about. I’m leaning to the 48 for the additional power even though the 46 has some very nice design touches and a longer sight profile.

    I am also considering a 48 combo I saw with RWS “C” mount and 4×32 scope, even though I have been an iron sight guy in the past, the combo was only about $20-$40 more than the un-scoped one, and it still has the iron sights.

    Hell I guess I’ve already decided, now just gotta figure out if I want .177 for future FT possibilities or .22 for more knockdown, better ballistic profile and slightly lower price.

    Also wanted to throw a thanks at B.B. Your blog has been the best source of info I could find as I renew an old interest and discover how much more there is to airgunning than there was when I was a young-un.

  • Anonymous Says:

    eric, i’m not trying to lean you toward the RWS46, but i just wanted to share that i “love” the pop-up loading port on the 46, plus i didn’t care to much for the sidelever “look” on the 48/52/54. i find the 46 looks more like a firearm. i know the 48/52/54′s have that ratcheting safety to keep the loading port open, but I didn’t want to chance erring on my part and losing parts of fingers. consider your normal shooting range/distance, the extra power in the 48 might be a moot point.
    just my humble opinion, we all have to be happy with our own decisions in the long run. i read bb’s reviews on the 46 and 48/52/54 over and over again, until i satisfactorily chose the 46.
    good shooting

  • RexDart Says:

    Scott298,

    paul@thebestcasescenario.com

    By replacing the ampersand with “AT” it fools the nasty spammer robots that scour the internet for email addresses.

    cheers
    Paul Capello

  • Anonymous Says:

    I wuld like to add my voice to the RWS 46 praise, I have one and I like it very much for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the most graceful looking spring guns you will find, and is very nicely balanced. Second, the pop-up port makes it a bit different than other guns, and thus rather interesting, as no other gun has one like it. You can really get a nice pace going when shooting and popping up that little port. You can also easily go around with the gun loaded but not cocked because of it, which is useful to those who hunt or want a go-to gun. It’s a very accurate gun, and not too bad in the hold-sensitivity deparment. Lastly, because not that many people seem to have them, there’s something kind of special about them.

  • SquirrelKiller Says:

    Eric,

    I would like to chime in and emphatically agree with “Anonymous” that the RWS46 is a superb air rifle. I got mine in .22caliber, and I am soooooooo happy I was able to get my hands on one.

    After searching deligently for weeks, I actually overpaid by $80 for mine a couple months ago by buying directly from Ryan at Umarex USA, before PyramidAir reinstated selling it here. Even though I paid more for it than what I would have through PyramidAir I’m still happy. I’m guessing Pyramid is helping Umarex liquidate their stock of the 46′s.

    Eric, if you are “getting back” into airgunning, I’m sure whatever you are about to buy at this point WILL NOT be your last gun. I am not and never have been an airgun competitor, but I got back into airgunning a couple years ago by buying a couple nostalgic Crosmans to do pest elimination. Once again bitten by the airgunning bug like most people, my airgun arsenal has increased in numbers and the brands I consider and appreciate have gone beyond the Crosmans I grew up with.

    This is just my opinion, but if you have narrowed down the field and are deciding between the RWS46 and the RWS48, I would go with the RWS46 while you have the ability to get your hands on one. Who knows, the availability of the RWS46 may improve again, so they are not so hard to acquire, but 48/52/54 models looks like they will always be readily available. As far as power goes, I’m shooting 14.6gr and 16.36gr H&N’s between 600-625fps with a relatively tame shooting behaviour. My 46 is not a finicky eater either. She pretty much gobbles most pellets and spits out accuracy.

    If you know for sure that you are only going to purchase one gun, go with your own gut. However, this Airgunning Bug packs a mean bite…

    Take it easy.

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