Benchrest is all about shooting 'groups' rather than attempting to hit the centre of the target - accuracy rather than marksmanship. Having said that, when your target is the previous bullet-hole, you need to be a very competent marksman.
As the name suggests, we shoot seated at a solid concrete bench, rather than prone off the grass. Benches are under cover so protected from the weather.
5-shots 300 yards 5-shots 100 yards
5-shots 1000 yards
The first formal recorded benchrest match was held at Johnstown, New York State, USA in 1947. The discipline spread rapidly in the USA but it took a few years for the rest of the world to catch-on. Benchrest is now very popular in Australia, New Zealand and many European countries and the first World Championships were held in France in 1989. Championships for 100/200 yard benchrest are held every two years and governed by the World Benchrest Shooting Federation.
In this country, centrefire benchrest shooting at 100/600/1000 yards is governed by the United Kingdom Benchrest Association (UKBRA). The United Kingdom Association of Rimfire Benchrest Shooting covers 22RF benchrest in the UK and this Association is also affliliated to the UKBRA.
Benchrest can be shot at any distance. In the UK, we shoot 50,(rimfire) 100, 600 and 1000 yards. Our centrefire shoots are centred around the fabulous Diggle Range complex in the north west of England and we have covered firing-points with concrete benches at all these distances. We are indebted to the PSSA, managers of Diggle Ranges for the use of their facilities. The British Benchrest Club www.benchrest.co.uk organises shoots at 100 and 200 yards at Bisley Camp in Surrey and is affilated to the UKBRA.
Is the line ready? 145 competitors from 20 different countries prepare to shoot at the 2005 World Benchrest Championships at the fabulous Kelbly Range in North Lawrence, Ohio, USA.
Although we are always attempting to shoot small groups, benchrest is all about competing 'shoulder to shoulder' and, like all shooting-sports, the real object is simply to beat the other guys!
You can find Diggle Ranges by putting the postcode OL3 5LB into your sat-nav or www.streetmap.co.uk Diggle Ranges website www.diggleranges.com
G&C Custom Bullets - match-winning 6mm benchrest bullets made in the UK. 66 or 68gn 8 or 6/9 ogive made with J4 jackets on Dietsch carbide dies
Looking for Zircon (heavy sand) to fill your back bag? Check out the John Winter Foundry in Halifax, W.Yorks. The also do Chromite which is almost as heavy as Zircon and much cheaper. www.johnwinter.co.uk
New Zealander, Graeme Smith is a long-time benchrest shooter and is President of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation. He has written three interesting articles on benchrest and kindly allowed the UKBRA to use them on this site. The articles are in pdf format and need Acrobat Reader to open them. Click here Article One Article Two Article Three
Visit the World Benchrest Shooting federation website at www.world-benchrest.com
A years membership of the UKBRA costs just £5.00. But - we don't do newsletters, membership cards, badges, T shirts or social events.
We shoot benchrest - pure and simple.
We believe in putting our efforts into benchrest competition and keeping the costs as low as possible for members.
If you would like to join you will be very welcome - just turn up at any of our shoots. At Diggle Ranges, you can turn up at any time on the day of the shoot if you just want to have a look at benchrest shooting. If you would like to shoot with us, you need to be there by 10.00am for our 100 yard shoots (put the postcode OL3 5LB into www.streetmap.co.uk or www.multimap.co.uk and you can print off a location map).
The British Benchrest Club (www.benchrest.co.uk) hold 100/200 yard shoots at Bisley Ranges on Short Siberia and start at 9.00am
If your interest is benchrest shooting at longer ranges - 600 or 1000 yards - again you are welcome to come along to Diggle Ranges for a look but if you would like to shoot, you need to be there by 9.00am for 1000 yard shoots and 10.00am for 600 yard shoots.
Bring your rifle and about 50 rounds of ammunition. Bags and rests can usually be borrowed.
It's rare for shoots to be cancelled but any alterations will be posted on this site in the 'news' section.