January 10th, 2018

Blast from the Past — Angelina Beats Benchrest Hall of Famers

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

We first ran this story in 2014, when Angelina was just ten years old. A Forum member recently asked if she was still shooting benchrest, and we can say the answer is yes — under the guidance of her grandfather Lou Murdica. So we are repeating the story today, to inspire all the other granddads who might encourage a little lady to take up the sport…

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenixYou have to love this story, supplied by our friend Lou Murdica. It seems that a petite little 10-year-old school girl finished fourth in a 100-Yard Benchrest match in Phoenix, beating some of the best in the business, including many Benchrest Hall of Famers. That’s right, shooting a remarkable 0.1612 Aggregate, little Angelina G. put a whupping on some very big names in the Benchrest game, including Lou Murdica himself. Angelina finished just .008 behind Hall of Famer Gary Ocock, beating other Benchrest superstars such as Bob Brackney, Lester Bruno, and Tom Libby. Angelina also beat legendary bullet-maker Walt Berger, but we’ll cut Walt some slack. Now in his 80s, Walt deserves praise for doing so well at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

Congratulations to Angelina on some great shooting in the Unlimited Class. Her five groups measured: 0.186, 0.172, 0.173, 0.121, 0.155. That’s impressive consistency. You go girl!

Point to ponder: If Angelina was shooting a Rail Gun, her rifle probably weighed more than she did.

Check out the big names who finished behind little Angelina.

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

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November 28th, 2017

World Benchrest Shooting Championship in New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo courtesy Australia WBC 2017 Team

The World Benchrest Shooting Championship (WBC) was held in New Zealand earlier this month. The 14th WBC was conducted November 7-11, 2017 at the Packers Creek Range, Nelson, New Zealand. The match was hosted by the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association on behalf of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation (WBSF). There were 76 competitors from 14 nations. Many competitors said this was one of the prettiest ranges they had ever seen. The Kiwi hosts put on a great event in a beautiful South Island shooting venue.

There were both individual and team awards. The Australian Benchrest Team 1 took top honors in the Two-Gun Team Match. Congrats to the Aussies, who had a great team effort to post a winning 0.283212 Agg. Finishing Second in the Two-Gun Overall was Team US1 with 0.286112. The 4-Man US1 Squad also won the Heavy Varmint Team Competition with a 0.270162 Agg, while the US2 foursome won the Light Varmint Team title with a 0.290925 Agg.

Standing atop the podium (center) are the four members of Team Australia 1, winners of the 2017 WBSF Team Championship:
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

Championship Organizer Graeme Smith said that the Championship got away to a cracking start with Kiwi shooter Greg Couper winning the Light Varmint Small Group contest with a Group of .076, just over the current world record. Overall the day was won by American Wayne Campbell, who was in hot form having recently won the USA Nationals. Day 2 provided the only new World Record shot at the Championship with Australia’s Steve Sori shooting a new Small Group record at 200 yards of 0.138, well under the existing WBSF record of .160. Mike Conry of the USA led the field for the day. The next two days followed the previous pattern with Wayne Campbell taking the Heavy Varmint 100-yard contest and Mike Conry the 200-yard event. The most sought-after medals were for the Two-Gun Aggregate, covering four days of competition. Mike Conry dominated the field, winning the Gold Medal, followed by Wayne Campbell taking Silver, and David Kerr of Australia earning Bronze.

In short-range benchrest, final standings can turn on a few thousands of an inch, so groups must be measured with great precision.
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo Courtesy AMP Annealing.

Shooting in Paradise…
The Packers Creek Range outside Nelson is a lovely shooting venue.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

The “top gun” at the match was American Mike Conry from Texas. Mike won the Heavy Varmint Grand Agg as well as the Two Gun Overall Aggregate. Mike received glory, medals, and most importantly, a new AMP Annealing machine from the New Zealand-based manufacturer, AMP Annealing. AMP’s President, Alex Findlay told us: “Mike Conry was definitely the dominant shooter. By the end of the awards he was just about weighed down with all the medals around his neck.”

WBC 2017 Equipment List | WBC 2017 Teams 2-Gun Aggregate Results | WBC Match Results

U.S. shooters filled the podium for the 200-yard Heavy Varmint. Winner Mike Conry (0.2458), flanked by Gene Bukys (R) and Ed Adams (L). Conry was also top individual shooter at the 2017 WBC, winning the Two-Gun Overall, as well as the HV Grand Agg.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Top Individual Winners at 2017 World Benchrest Championships
Two-Gun First Place: Mike Conry (USA) – 0.2597
Two-Gun Second Place: Wayne Campbell (USA) – 0.2655
Two-Gun Third Place: David Kerr (AUS) – 0.2795
Two-Gun Fourth Place: Mitchell Tallar (AUS) – 0.2813
Two-Gun Fifth Place: Larry Costa (USA) – 0.2833

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world recordAussie Steve Sori Sets Record
There were some ultra-small groups shot at the match. Shown below is an amazing 200-yard 5-shot Light Varmint Group shot by Australian Steve Sori. This tiny 0.138 group is a pending new World Benchrest Shooting Federation Record. Steve’s LV rig featured a BAT action, 1:13.5″-twist Krieger barrel, Scoville stock, and March High Master 48X scope. The cartridge was the 6PPC (of course), with Bart’s 68gr Bullets pushed by N133 and Federal 205m primers in Lapua Brass. Bullet-maker Bart Sauter is a Forum Member — its’ great to see his bullets perform so well at the WBC.

While this was an internationally-sanctioned match, the yardages shot were 100 yards and 200 yards. This was NOT a Metric Match with targets at 100m and 200m.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Record Target and Range Photos courtesy Team Australia WBC 2017 Facebook Page.

American competitor Wayne Campbell watches a 100-yard Heavy Varmint Relay.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Shooters from 14 nations came to New Zealand’s South Island to compete. Match Director Graeme Smith said the weather for New Zealand spring time could hardly been better with one wet day in 10 (including the practice days).
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

The reloading tent was full of equipment. In this discipline, most shooters load at the match between relays. That enables them to tune their loads to the conditions.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Parting Shot — Little Emily Has Fun in New Zealand

Emily, an English schoolgirl, traveled with Team UK to help her father Bruce Lenton who was shooting in the competition. Emily provided updates on social media during the match. Emily does shoot benchrest matches (Read Story), but she was not shooting for Team UK on this trip.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Vince Bottomley reports: “Emily was a huge hit over in NZ — she was given the honor of hoisting the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony, she drove the target changer’s buggy, did some impressive shirt-swapping.” Here she is wearing a Team Canada Jersey — a bit big for pint-size Emily.

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May 20th, 2017

Short-Range Benchrest Game Captured on Video

We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.

Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match

Viewer Comments on the Video:

“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr

“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP

“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao

“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt

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May 27th, 2016

Kelbly’s Super Shoot Draws World’s Best Benchrest Shooters

Kelbly Kelbly's Super Shoot Benchrest IBS Tony Boyer Light Varmint Heavy

It’s Super Shoot time. The “Top Guns” of Point Blank Benchrest are battling for prizes and glory at Kelbly’s Rifle Range in North Lawrence, Ohio. This annual event, held May 25-28 this year, draws some of the best 100-yard and 200-yard benchrest shooters in the world. Recent Super Shoots have drawn 300+ competitors from the USA and more than a dozen other countries (about 15% of the competitors come from overseas).

Past Super Shoot Highlights Video (Watch This — It’s Very Well Done!)

If you’ve never attended the Super Shoot before, and don’t know what to expect, former Sinclair International President Bill Gravatt offers some insights into this great event:

Super Shoot — What It’s All About

The excitement and anticipation leading up to a Super Shoot can be hard to explain to those who haven’t been to one. Every year, some shooters arrive at the Super Shoot a week early to dial in their rifles, learn wind conditions for the range, and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow shooters. As the match draws closer, campers and RVs fill the area behind the range, and shooters stake out turf all over the property with their reloading and cleaning equipment setups.

Many shooters choose to load cartridges in the main barn directly behind the 60-bench firing line, while others decide to work in pop-ups, campers and other outbuildings around the facility. Benchrest shooters tend to load in small batches, and some most load cartridges between each match. Many shooters clean their rifles after each match, while others sometimes go two or three matches between cleanings, depending on the number of rounds they fire.

Another part of high-level benchrest competition that will amaze first-time attendees is the quality and amount of equipment benchrest shooters use. Just in front of the shooting benches and the targets, range flags of all kinds sprout up, from the typical “daisy wheel” flags to very sophisticated velocity indicators that show varying wind intensity. Shooters adjust their flags to align with the particular target in front of a specific bench, just slightly below the path of the bullet but still partially visible in the high-powered scopes.

Kelbly Kelbly's Super Shoot Benchrest IBS Tony Boyer Light Varmint Heavy

The rifles represent a variety of actions, usually custom, with heavy benchrest barrels by various barrel makers. The most popular cartridge used is the 6mm PPC, but occasionally you will run into someone using a 6mm BR or a slightly modified 6mm BR, and as well as a few other cartridges. Rifle rests used are typically heavy tripods or plate rests. You see a lot of Sinclair rests, Farley rests, and a variety of others, including a few homemade rests. Bags are typically Edgewood or Protektor.

Super Shoot — Runners, Pickers and the Pursuit of Perfection
The techniques vary between shooters, and they are interesting to observe. Some shooters “run” their targets and will shoot a quick sighter and then run all 5 shots as fast as they can before conditions change. Others are “pickers” and shoot each shot carefully, going back and forth between the record target and the sighter target to verify wind conditions and bullet drift. These guys will sometimes shoot up to 10 sighters and use the full seven minutes. Both styles of shooting work and many shooters use both techniques depending on the match conditions[.]

Anyone who attends the Super Shoot will come away with a greater appreciation of precision benchrest shooting. Experienced benchresters already know there will be windy days that drive them crazy, and less experienced shooters can get completely lost when… holding off a shot in the wind. But the reward is worth it. It’s very satisfying to hold off a full inch at 100 yards because the wind changes during your string and drop your fifth shot into a sub 0.100″ group with only seconds remaining on the clock. And that’s what the Super Shoot is all about.

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November 10th, 2015

IBS Match Report: “Mainville Mania” in Pennsylvania

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light Varmint

IBS Match Report by Bob White
The “Mainville Mania” match marked the last International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) group shoot of 2015 on September 26-27, 2015. It was held at the Mainville Sportsman Club in Mainville, PA, and was attended by 30 shooters. Shooting conditions were good, with light winds and temperatures ranging from the upper 50s to high 70s both days. The “Mainville Mania” Two-Gun Aggregate winner for 2015 was Al Auman who recorded an impressive .2294 Overall Agg. There was some very tight competitition this year — second to sixth place in the Two-Gun Agg was separated by only 0.008. Jeff Peinhardt was the Two-Gun runner-up with 0.2545, while Harley Baker placed third with 0.2569.

The Mainville Sportsman Club is a very scenic venue, set in wooded countryside. Here is the view of the covered rifle benches, as seen from the target bays.
Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light Varmint

Saturday Start to a Great Event
The Saturday morning warm-up began with Light Varmint (LV) class. Sarah Dolinsky, a first-year rookie, shot the smallest group: 0.111 inch. With the start of the record matches, Barney Small jumped out in front with a 0.139 but his lead was short-lived as Howie Levy shot his second sub-0.2 group in match Two to take over first place. Bill McIntyre’s 0.114 placed him on top after match Three. Bill maintained his lead through match Four with a slightly larger Agg. Following match Five and completion of the yardage, by virtue of his 0.121 final group, Wyatt Peinhardt won with a superb 0.1830 LV Aggregate.

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light Varmint

Following lunch in the clubhouse (the “Mainville Cafe”), the Heavy Varmint 100-yard event began with record match number One. Al Auman took the lead with a 0.122 group. After match Two, Auman was still on top. But Harley Baker took the lead with a 0.158 after match Three. A new leader emerged after match Four as Howie Levy posted a 0.217 to take the number one spot on the leader board. On the fifth and final group, Bob White, who had been in third to seventh place all afternoon, fired a 0.121 to steal the HV 100-yard Agg. White’s final group edged out Howie Levy by a mere .002 for the win.

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light Varmint

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light VarmintMore Mirage on Day Two
Sunday’s weather conditions had more mirage, but were still quite shootable. Once again Sarah Dolinsky claimed small group on the warm-up in the Heavy Varmint (HV) class. Not content with a 0.277, she shot a 0.263 in match One. The lead changed to Al Auman in match Two following his first and second groups in the “threes”. However, Al wasn’t done — he improved with a 0.283 in match Three, giving him a 0.1637 Agg (as corrected for 200 yards). It appeared that a record Agg might be possible. Al maintained his lead throughout the match, finishing with a 0.2068 Agg for a solid win.

In the Sunday Afternoon Light Varmint event, Barney Small’s 0.277 in Match One had him on top. He maintained this spot through match Three, but Bob Brushingham was nipping at Barney’s heels. After match Four, Brushingham took the lead with a 0.2011. The final group gave Bob Brushingham the yardage win with a flat .2100 followed by Barney at 0.265 and first year Rookie Jason Brown in third with his 0.2707.

LV and HV Grand Agg Top Guns
Looking at Grand Agg standings in Light Varmint, Wyatt Peinhardt took third with a 0.2595. In second was Al Auman at 0.2476 and Top Dog was Bob Brushingham with a 0.2366. In the Heavy Varmint Grand Agg, Al Auman was the winner with a fine 0.2112. Harley Baker was second with 0.2395 and Howie Levy placed third with a .2423.

As awards were ending Brian Dolinsky (patriarch of the famous shooting Dolinskys) offered a $100 cash prize for the best Mainville three-match Two-Gun Agg average for the 2016 season. Bob Brushingham won the special award for best three-match Aggregate in 200-yard Light Varmint. The $100 award was donated by Kent Harshman to reward the shooter who excels in what are usually the last five targets shot in two-day match. The Mainville Club welcomes other cash award offers for its 2016 season.

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light Varmint

Mainville PA match report score shoot benchrest IBS Heavy Light VarmintThe Mainville Sportsman Club (MSC) was founded in the mid-60s to promote pistol and rifle shooting. With over 400 members, the Club hosts benchrest rifle competitions, pistol matches, Cowboy Action events, Buffalo Shoots, and an annual Ground Hog Shoot.

The Club operates a covered 40-bench rifle range, a 6-lane Cowboy Action Shooting area, plus an indoor meeting facility. The rifle range has targets set at 100, 200, and 300 yards. The club also offers Hunter Safety Courses. The facility is located in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania near Bloomsburg, PA, about 5 miles east of exit 242 on I-80 near Mainville, PA.

The Mainville Sportsman Club has a rich history. In the early years the organization held Dinner-Dances which were popular throughout the community. MSC also held Beef Shoots featuring 6″ black targets shot off-hand at 100 yards. These events were well-attended, with as many as 100 shooters.

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September 26th, 2015

USA Wins World Benchrest Championship Amidst Controversy

World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Team USA Russia Accuracy Benchrest Rifle
Benchrest legend Tony Boyer finished fifth overall in the individual standings.

Congratulations to USA Team 2, which won the “battle of the nations” at the World Benchrest Championship. Team 2 members are: Lester Bruno, Wayne Campbell, Larry Costa, and Billy Stevens. Wayne Campbell also won the individual Championship, earning him the title of 2015 World Benchrest Champion. Wayne is now officially the best point-blank benchrester on the planet! We wish to acknowledge all the many competitors, from 24 nations, who attended this prestigious event.

Penalties and DQs
Other USA Teams might have finished in the top five, but there were some major mishaps at this event. USA Team 1 suffered a big penalty because of a 5-shot cross-fire at 200 yards. USA Team 3 was disqualified from the event due to a late shot after the “Cease Fire” command (DQ details below).

Report by Vince Bottomley, Target Shooter Magazine

Here’s how the Teams Match ended up. USA Team 2 finished first, followed by three Australian squads, with Canada Team 1 finishing fifth:

World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Team USA Russia Accuracy Benchrest Rifle1. USA Team 2 – 0.2230 MOA
2. Australia Team 1 – 0.2441
3. Australia Team 3 – 0.2463
4. Australia Team 2 – 0.2635
5. Canada Team 1 – 0.2678

Wayne Campbell Wins WBC with 0.1866 Agg
But who is the individual World Benchrest Champion? That would be American Team member Wayne Campbell — a very popular result. Wayne shot a remarkable 0.1866 MOA Agg over the four-day event, combining 100- and 200-yard LV and HV matches. That shows you how accurate today’s Benchrest rifles can be (and the skill of the top shooters). Here are the top five individuals, all of whom Agg’d under 0.2100:

1. Wayne Campbell (USA) – 0.1866 MOA
2. Gene Bukys (USA) – 0.1973
3. Murray Hicks (Australia) – 0.2062
4. Larry Costa (USA) – 0.2087
5. Tony Boyer (USA) – 0.2095

The USA took four out of the Top Five individual spots. Living legend Tony Boyer proved he’s still got his stuff. Tony finished just .0033 off the podium, which saw Boyer protege Wayne Campbell in 1st place, Gene Bukys in second, and Australian Murray Hicks in third. The best of the two Great Britain Teams finished in 13th spot (out of 24 teams) with a 0.2998 MOA Agg. Top individual Brit was Bruce Lenton in 31st place with a very creditable 0.2666 MOA Agg.

Shooters from 24 nations competed at the 2015 World Benchrest Championship. Here Alexander Skuratov from Russia prepares ammo for a match.
World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Team USA Russia Accuracy Benchrest Rifle


DAY Four (Friday) Match Report
The fabulous St Louis weather was with us again for the last day and this is the first World Championship I can remember that didn’t have rain! Facilities at this fabulous Benchrest range are second to none and the event has run like the proverbial clockwork. That is a credit to the Club and its helpers and officials who have worked tirelessly for two weeks, as of course the NBRSA Nationals preceded the 2015 WBC.

Today, on the final day, Heavy Varmint rifles shot at 200 yards. Winds were again light, except for the odd relay but the top shooters again banged in those itty-bitty groups that the rest of us can only dream about. Just one non-American managed to sneak into the top five:

Friday Results, 200-Yard Heavy Varmint

1. Wayne Campbell (USA) – 0.1866 MOA
2. Gene Bukys (USA) – 0.1973
3. Murray Hicks (Australia) 0.2062
4. Larry Costa (USA) – 0.2087
5. Tony Boyer (USA) – 0.2095

Thursday DQ Drama — Disqualification and Penalty for American Teams
On Thursday, we had drama when one of the three USA Teams suffered a ten-inch penalty but such is the strength of American Benchrest that USA Team 1 members fought themselves back into contention. The ten-inch penalty was given when a USA Team 1 shooter fired all five shots on the wrong target at 200 yards. But, just as things were looking possible for an American 1, 2, 3 sweep, yet more drama occurred with the disqualification of USA Team 3! That’s right, the entire team was DQ’d as the result of a safety breach. Apparently, a USA Team 3 shooter fired AFTER the “Cease fire” command. That serious rule violation caused the disqualification.

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