December 15th, 2008

Hone Your Skills with Virtual Benchrest Program

For folks in Northern climes, the competitive shooting season is over, but you can still practice your wind-doping skills with the Virtual Benchrest program created by Bill Giel. This free online program simulates a short-range benchrest match, letting you shoot groups at official-size targets “on the clock”. The challenge is to adjust your aim to constantly changing wind conditions. There are no “virtual windflags” to watch, but the program provides a wind direction pointer along with a wind velocity meter. You need to take both wind angle and speed into account if you want to shoot tiny groups.The program lets you “dial in” windage and elevation for your crosshairs (and/or hold off), and you can switch from sighter to target during record fire. You have 7 minutes to put at least 5 shots for record on target. The program automatically calculates your group size with each shot. The program will also calculate a running average of your group sizes, which comprise your Aggregate. Shoot five, 5-shot groups to duplicate a real benchrest Aggregate.

Virtual Benchrest Game

It may sound easy, but once you give it a try, you’ll find it can be quite challenging (even if you don’t have to worry about tuning loads for temp or humidity changes). Virtual Benchrest is no substitute for real trigger-time at the range, but this program can help keep your skills sharp during the winter months. And you don’t have to pay for powder or bullets. The program is free, hosted by the Russian benchrest website, Benchrest.Ru. Although this site is in the Russian language, the instructions for the program are in English. Just click on the program’s “HELP” tab. A pop-up window will appear that explains program functions and offers tips on how to shoot the smallest groups.

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