April 21st, 2012

F-Bench Competition: ‘Belly Benchrest’ without the Belly

As part of the NBRSA Long-Range Nationals conducted this week in Sacramento, an F-Class Benchrest match was held Friday, April 20th, with great success. Why have a benchrest match for F-Classers you might ask? Well, this provides a new activity for F-Class shooters whose 22-lb F-Open and 18.15-lb F-TR rifles would not otherwise qualify under the NBRSA 17-lb Light Gun limits. Having more opportunities for more folks to shoot is always a good thing, we believe. With the success of this event, it looks like “F-Bench” matches will become more commonplace in the future. Jerry Tierney, our “field correspondent” in Sacramento, tells us that the NBRSA plans to approve F-Class Benchrest competition as a regular discipline. This will formalize the rules, targets, and course of fire.

NBRSA F-Class Bench Robert Hoppe

At Friday’s F-Class Bench match, the shooting was all done at 1000 yards, from the covered shooting line at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. The event consisted of two, 1000-yard matches with a time limit of 30 minutes each and unlimited sighters. Shooters were divided into three relays: one firing, one scoring, and one in the pits. That division of labor kept everyone active throughout the day. All three relays in the first match shot in VERY mild conditions. At the start of match two, the wind came up from the left.

NBRSA F-Class Bench Robert HoppeHoppe Wins F-Class Bench Match
The winner was a familar face, Robert Hoppe, racking up 387-11X with his 6mm Dasher. Runner-up, just one point behind, was Gary Noble (386-11X). In third place was Shawn Greene (383-13X). Robert is a heck of a shooter. He still holds the NBRSA record for the smallest 5-shot group ever shot in a 600-yard NBRSA benchrest match. Robert drilled an amazing 0.5823″ group in 2007 to set the NBRSA Light Gun record. Five years later, he’s still on his game.

The NBRSA Long-Range National Championships continue today and tomorrow with the Sloughhouse 1000 two-day match.

NBRSA F-Class Bench Robert Hoppe

Match results and photos by Jerry Tierney, who shot the match and finished 6th with 383-8X.

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