Question - I had a look at your website after seeing a reference to the Idleback Chair in Airgun World. Having rheumatoid arthritis I can only shoot with myself and Rifle fully supported using a tripod and either a 3 legged folding seat or, if the ground is soft, a gardening kneel / sit seat. Your design looks very promising for my needs, but i wonder how it copes with soft ground,particularly where each of the legs will sink to a different extent. No doubt you can tell me about some relevant tests.
Answer - Soft Ground, Although this answer may seem a little long when describing it in words, in reality the adjustments take just a few seconds and if you have taken all reasonable care in preparation you should be able to sit comfortably for as long as you wish. If the ground is reasonable underfoot and you choose carefully in the first place the chair can be set level no problem. With the legs at the shortest (all three equal) and with the legs opened and safely locked ready for use, the chair should be fine without any adjustment. Having chosen a position care should be taken when you first sit down to distribute your weight so as to control any sinkage equally. However, should one leg sink further than the other two, simply adjust until level. If the ground is really soft then realistically it would be better to choose a better position, the chair will stand on a piece of ground no more than 1.1ft / 320mm square so moving doesn’t necessarily mean very far.
Eg. I have used the chair on a field which had just been drilled and therefore quite soft, although my position was level to start with I knew the chair would sink somewhat. With that in mind I extended all three legs equally by about four inches, placed the seat on the ground, then from a standing position I pushed the chair by hand into the ground until it stopped sinking but remained level ! I then sat on the seat applying my weight as previously described, the chair may sink a little more under body weight but will quickly come to a stop and be ready for use, again if one leg is slightly lower then adjust that leg and the chair will be ready for use.
As for the Gun Support - You should take a few seconds adjusting the height and angle of the gun cradle, if you have set the position correctly, with your back straight and your lower back resting on the back rest, your eye should be practically in the aiming position with little or no movement of your head. (a big advantage when hunting). On average the balance of most guns is at a point just forward of the trigger guard, you will have to check this with your rig whilst sat on the chair, obviously once you’ve established your own position , with the gun in the cradle and with the but in your shoulder, the gun is supported, you should be able to relax your shoulders or even put your hands down on your knees to rest. the gun will sit there quite secure. Obviously you will have to judge that for yourself with your set up. Spend time a home not in the field ! - Preparation will save time and possible discomfort in the long run. Remember your ultimate goal is to shoot well ! and enjoy ! Get to know the chair before you go out shooting, you don’t want to be practicing setting the chair up out in the field. Once you’ve personalised the settings to your own body size and comfort, generally speaking the settings will remain the same, when you eventually take the seat hunting, zeroing or whatever, it should take only a matter of seconds to be in position, sat with gun in cradle and in shoulder, at the ready.
Question - I am an overweight person of 18 stone, will it cope with my weight ?
Answer - We are currently in talks with Sheffield Hallam University testing department, who test new products to destruction but as yet we have no formal results on the maximum weight capability. However, what I can say from personal experience, the three people who field tested the chair over the past months range from 14 to 16 stone, they had no problem whatsoever, Also when we showed the chair at The British Shooting Show in Newark at the end of February lots of people tried the chair on the stand, everybody who tried the chair remarked how comfortable and stable the chair was, in particular, a gentleman who tried the chair was 32 stone, he was accompanied by his wife on the stand, she was really impressed that the chair could hold her husband, by the way she was the one who disclosed the gentleman’s weight to us !