Rest a While

Ded­i­cated chair-gun­ner, Russ Dou­glas, has dis­cov­ered an­other seat of learn­ing for us

Airgun World - - Contents -

Russ Dou­glas takes a sim­ple, af­ford­able shoot­ing chair through its paces

Many months ago, whilst lin­ing up Trig­ger Sticks for Au­gust’s re­view ar­ti­cle, fel­low GARC shooter, Bob, kindly of­fered me the loan of a shoot­ing chair com­plete with gun rest. It in­cluded no la­bel or blurb, so I Googled it, dis­cov­ered the Idle­back, and the rest is his­tory. As you read this, the proud new owner, Stu­art, should be hap­pily taking ad­van­tage of his ‘bling’, fully-equipped Idle­back, and en­joy­ing its sup­port and ad­justa­bil­ity, but if you Google ‘shoot­ing chair with gun rest’, this more ba­sic chair is usu­ally what pops up first.

I’ve wanted to re­view this chair for nearly six months, but once other pri­or­i­ties were done I found the weather and Aberdeen’s early dark win­ter nights were against me, so the chair has sat in my lounge/kitchen/car pa­tiently wait­ing its turn.

Months later, af­ter many failed at­tempts, Mother Na­ture yes­ter­day be­stowed good weather, so I tod­dled up to our out­door range at Waulk­mill, to re­view this more ba­sic chair/rest prop­erly. I say ‘ba­sic’ be­cause this is no Idle­back; it’s more cum­ber­some and heavy and so less por­ta­ble. It was orig­i­nally sourced from eBay, and var­i­ous searches have shown dif­fer­ent sell­ers, as well as more ad­justable ver­sions of this some­what sim­ple ver­sion, but it does give you a sta­ble shoot­ing seat, and a fixed-an­gle/ ad­justable-length gun rest.

TAKE-DOWN

The ro­tat­ing, lightly-padded seat at­taches to the three sturdy legs with long cap­tive bolt (re­quires an M24 span­ner), whilst the back rest and its am­bidex­trous side arm rest de­tach and ad­just eas­ily with chunky, knurled knobs. The gun rest arm it­self at­taches with a bolt and Ny­loc nut, so a span­ner is also re­quired there – and I needed a seat whilst do­ing this, es­pe­cially get­ting the three wash­ers in the right place on each side of the arm.

FUNC­TION

This seat does its job pretty well, al­though I found my­self ad­just­ing to suit it, rather than the other way round. No doubt an ex­tended shoot­ing ses­sion would leave me with var­i­ous aches, but that would partly be my own fault for putting shoot­ing be­fore com­fort – again. The gun rest eas­ily ex­tends for length, with an­other knob – take care not to rest the weight of your gun whilst do­ing this – and the cap­tive, foam rub­ber–lined gun rest at the end pivots freely.

Where the ba­sic de­sign re­ally shows it­self up is in the porta­bil­ity, or lack thereof. The whole chair as­sem­bly weighs 8.5kg, so will be more at home in a semi-fixed lo­ca­tion, rather than be­ing hefted round fields for use in static shoot­ing, and then as­sem­bled.

DRAW­BACKS

The legs of this ver­sion are not ad­justable, and the seat is a wee bit small and sparsely padded, which you’ll feel in your ba­hookie af­ter an ex­tended ses­sion – I’m 15 stone – but the main flaw is the non-ad­just­ment of the gun-rest an­gle. I’ve seen other ver­sions of this chair with ad­justable legs, but first you’d re­ally want a more ad­justable rest arm, to make the rest suit you. Bob is plan­ning some mod­i­fi­ca­tions, the first of which may well be a quick-de­tach­able gun-rest arm, so he can sit down first, then add the arm and not worry about fid­dling with a bolt and wash­ers.

As with the Idle­back, I found there’s a knack to get­ting astride the round chair it­self. Again, I ap­proached this as if I had no

assistance, and no handy side ta­ble to keep every­thing within arm’s reach. With this in mind, I strad­dled the seat alone and then reached for the back and side arm, fix­ing those in po­si­tion by touch whilst behind my back. The other way is to sit down back­wards against the back rest, and then bolt on the gun arm. Either way, you have to en­sure that your ri­fle and pel­lets are within reach too, to avoid any face-palm mo­ments.

The other down­side is the fun­da­men­tal weight and cum­ber­some na­ture of the whole as­sem­bly. This isn’t a chair you could throw in a back­pack for a hike to your per­mis­sion. More likely, I can see this sit­ting in the doorway of a shed or on a cov­ered pa­tio, pro­tected from the worst of the el­e­ments and ready for reg­u­lar shoot­ing ses­sions.

CON­CLU­SIONS

The seat is per­fectly func­tional, if a bit ba­sic due to the non-ad­justa­bil­ity of the three legs, and the fixed an­gle of the gun rest it­self. The lat­ter would be my pri­or­ity im­prove­ment, given the choice. If you have a shel­tered pa­tio at home over­look­ing your gar­den range, and can setup then throw a tar­pau­lin over this chair – job done for when­ever you fancy a shoot in rel­a­tive com­fort. Weight: 8.5kg: Price £80 (eBay) That’s the last of my ac­ces­si­bil­ity shoot­ing equip­ment re­views for now, so if any re­tail­ers or whole­salers out there would like me to re­view some kit from a dis­abled shooter’s per­spec­tive, feel free to get in touch, send it over and I’ll do my best. Thanks very much to Bob for the loan of the chair and to Teri for her bril­liant help at Waulk­mill when taking the photos.

En­joy your shoot­ing ev­ery­one.

More at home with a longer, tra­di­tional shape.

Ad­just the arm for height be­fore get­ting started.

Don’t lose those wash­ers!

Chunky knobs help it all to func­tion.

Bullpup-friendly-ish, but el­bow misses the rest.

Jig­saw puz­zle, but it’s eas­ily am­bidex­trous.

The cum­ber­some 8.5kg box of bits.

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