February 13th, 2015

Chariots of the (Gun) Gods

Ben Hur

Ben Avery

Was this Ben Hur or Ben Avery? With all the wheels rolling around the place, the Berger SW Nationals looked a bit like the Chariot scene from the 1959 Hollywood blockbuster movie.

Folks attending a big match such as the Berger Southwest Nationals must haul a lot of gear — both to the range and from vehicles to the firing lines (and then back again). This transportational necessity has inspired shooters to develop a wide variety of modern chariots. Here’s a selection of the “wheeled contrivances” we found at Ben Avery This week.

Don’t mess with Texas. That kind of says it all…

Folding carts were the favored mode of transport. Yes there are TWO carts in the back of this SUV.

Grizzly President Shiraz Balolia, appropriately enough, customized his cart with ursine artwork.

This rig had a custom bracket to support a rifle vertically. This clever invention preserves space in the main cargo section.

Felix Solis of the U.S. Veterans’ Rifle Team customized his travel van’s interior. Rifles are secured upright in the left compartment, with shooting coats on the right.

The little red wagon offers four-wheel stability. This one even has its own license plate.

Wait a minute — is that a stroller? Actually these rigs can be easily adapted to hold rifles and rests. Check out Craigslist for low-cost, “previously owned” strollers.

Past F-Class Nat’l Champ Larry Bartholome was seen rolling around with a familiar cart. This cart used to belong to our good friend German Salazar. Hey German, we all miss your presence at Ben Avery…

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August 7th, 2010

Shooting Bench with Wheels Rolls into Position

Here’s an interesting new product that earns major points for innovation. Shooters Ridge has invented a shooting bench with wheels AND flip-up sides so it can serve as a field transporter. the Shooters Ridge new bench/cart is officially called the Voyager™ Shooting System. The Voyager features large 20”-diameter wheels with tubeless tires, a generous 12” cushioned seat and weather-resistant frame and hardware. The wheels come off allowing the Voyager to fold flat for storage and transport. The Voyager is surprisingly solid in the field, but we would recommend you chock the wheels, or dig in the rear handle/foot to stabilize the cart during firing. Current “street price” is about $320.00, and we’ve seen the Voyager cart as low as $309.99 at Tactical-Store.com.

Voyager Shooting Bench

Videos Show Voyager System Used as Cart and Shooting Bench
Shooters Ridge has two excellent videos on its website that show the Voyager bench/cart in use. They show varminters rolling the cart into position, setting up the bench, and then shooting. CLICK HERE TO VIEW VOYAGER VIDEOS (Select Voyager from sliding menu on Video Page).

While we prefer field benches that isolate the seat from the bench top, the versatility of the Voyager impresses us. You can use the Voyager to get your gear in and out of the field easily, yet it sets up quickly as a mobile shooting bench. If you’ve ever hauled a 100+ pound shooting bench around a varmint field you know it’s no fun. With the wheeled Voyager, you can easily roll to a new firing point, hauling your gear along with you. The folks at Shooters Ridge also say the Voyager is sturdy enough to haul game out of the field.

“Varmint hunters, big game hunters and all-day target shooters will appreciate the versatility of this new shooting bench,” stated Tom Knudtson of Shooters Ridge. “Whether it’s hauling game or gear, the Voyager is a rugged piece of equipment that pulls double-duty in the field. In my opinion, its quick conversion to a shooting bench is an amazing advancement.”

Voyager Shooting Bench

COMMENT: The concept of an easy-to-move bench that works as a cart is a good one. This editor has built a few gun-carts before. With wheels, wood, frame, and axles, one can easily spend over $125 just on materials. So, the $320.00 price of the Voyager is pretty reasonable, considering its hauling capacity and design features.

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August 21st, 2008

Range Carts for High Power and Silhouette Shooters

High Power shooters have a bunch of gear to carry to the firing line–pad, shooting jacket, scope stand, spotting scope, ammo, log-book and rifle(s). If you’re shooting F-Class, add a heavy front rest and 15-lb sand-bag to the list. A range cart makes life much easier, particularly if the shooting area’s a long way from the parking lot. Creedmoor Sports makes a folding range cart that is very popular with the iron sights crowd. This unit features 14″ ball-bearing wheels and the frame is made from solid aluminum–not lightweight tubing that can bend or crack. Lift a simple locking lever and the cart folds. The cart can be completely dis-assembled, without tools, to fit in a suitcase (collapsed size 30″ x 17″ x 8″). The Creedmoor cart retails for $499.00, and that includes a rifle case, tray, and rain-cover. The rifle case doubles as a rack/holster.

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

If $499.00 isn’t in the budget, or you’d like to build your own range cart with a lockable storage compartment, you should look at the carts used by Cowboy Action shooters. These wooden carts are heavy, but they provide a stable platform for multiple guns and a nice, solid perch for sitting. There are many do-it-yourself designs available. One of our favorites is the GateSlinger cart shown below. This well-balanced design breaks down into two pieces for transport. Click Here for cart plans, and read this “How-to Article” for complete instructions with many photos.

wooden range cart Gateslinger

The least expensive way to go is to purchase a Dolly (Hand Truck) at Harbor Freight, or a large warehouse store such as Home Depot. Make sure to get one with wheels at least 10″ in diameter, or you’ll have problems in rough terrain. The bigger the wheels the better. Normally you can find dollies for under $30.00. Just bolt a large box or milk crate to the bottom, and voilà, instant range cart. You can clamp a piece of wood at the top with slots for barrels on one side and a flat tray for ammo on the other. Use bungee cord or leather straps to hold the barrels in place. Having built a couple all-wood range carts (both collapsible and one-piece), this editor can assure you that starting with an inexpensive welded hand truck is the cheapest, simplest way to go overall. You can buy oversize, spoked wheels from NorthernTool.com. (From the Northern Tool home page, search for “spoked wheels”.)
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