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Benchrest Shooting

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Aussiebob
Aussiebob's picture
Benchrest Shooting

I have been Bench-rest shooting now for over 20 years and have competed in Hunter Class State and National shoots pretty well every year also IRB up till now.
I have been on a disability support pension for the last 18 years and any savings i have are slowly being eroded away. With Rates and insurance costing me $500 a month before any other expenses i can no longer afford to compete, what has compounded this is the recent changes to Hunter Class which is now Bench-rest for score with the dropping of the magazine and higher magnification of scopes my light guns are no longer competitive with custom rifles and i can not afford to upgrade. Another problem with this is people wanting to get into the sport at the lower level.
What has happend to the factory class that was part of the Queensland Hunter Class new shooters coming in now have to jump straight to a custom rifle.

Another factor is the increase in Nomination fee`s along with Camping fee`s a lot of branches are useing these shoots as revenue raising Maybe State can grant a branch $1000 for running a state shoot so that nominations can be bought down.
With the cost of fuel plus nominations plus camping fees plus ammo i am looking at $1,000 min. Targets cost approx $1 so $10 a day pay Juniors or backpackers or scouts for target crew $5 per shooter per day lets put another $10 a day for other expenses so $25 a day Most nominations are double that plus a $10 a day camping fee. The Medals are supplied by State and are not worth a fortune as we all know. I also shoot RBA and have represented Australia 3 times in World championships and world cup. Now i can go to a championship shoot and shoot light or heavy or International sporter for $15 per Class per day and at the end of the shoot not only do you receive a medal if you have done well but also some cash. Only problem with that is i have to travel at least 6 or 7 hrs to compete. In the north here no one shoots air rifle Benchrest so i get to shoot comp once a year so after state RBA shoot i am considering selling and getting out of all comp shooting and just doing club shoots and mainly hunting and helping out farmers with vermin control. Unless of course i win set for life.

With the expenses and my Injuries catching up with me I am considering selling some rifles such as a Stolle in Scoville Stock with 3 barrels, An RAW Air rifle BM500 Plus Air Tank am going to try to stay shooting FLY Havent looked at selling my heavy benchrest 30BR or 2013 Anschutz it is something i will consider over the next couple of months and if i do will try to keep them local with up and coming shooters.
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Just though i would put this up here for Discussion maybe someone has some ideas on how to bring costs down we are all getting older and i was working before super just lucky i own everything i have or i would be forced to sell up. I also now have to do a medical every year just to keep my Drivers licence.

Regards Bob Mulder

wally289
wally289's picture
fees and things

Bob I am pretty sure some of us brought this up in a discussion a while back to no avail then I know your problem as I am in the same boat so to say I have been for some time trying to work out why the I R B shoot requires two fees to shoot whereas only one for the others someone told me it was because its shot over two days it is still only one event is it not I also know we shoot the northern I R B challenge up here in the north and nearly all nomination fees are held to a minimum we charge $30 for the event and this includes a practice target also breakfast and lunch and the other ranges in this comp are very simular at $25 including lunch in some cases dinner as well and I know we make money off that it’s not a huge profit but it is a profit nun the less with higher traveling coasts ( I E ) petrol , accommodation ,food and other related costs I know our club only charges a camp fee of $5 and this only if you require power things are not getting any cheaper I do think it’s time for a change to the nomination fees this also may bring some shooters back to the sport of bench rest I know some do not travel because of this reason now I know we had a sort of discussion on this before but not much came of it I know that juniors get half nomination fees can this be looked at for those of us on a pension I know I am very selective of the state shoots I attend and national is defiantly out for me because of the very reason of nomination fees alone this is my thoughts it is a sad day when a computer of some 20 years has to sell off gear and only shoot club events simply because of nomination fees just as Bob putting this out there for discussion
Wally

Wombat

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Costs

I took up benchrest shooting only 3 years ago and have only managed to compete in 3 matches 2 of those were at the now unused Silverdale range and this years Australia shoot in Canberra.
Reason is every other shoot has been 6 hours away in Coffs . For me to shut down my business for 5 days and and go shooting would cost me and my business $5000 and that’s before any money is spent on the shoot itself so a weekend match would cost around $6000 after expenses .
The only thing that keeps me encouraged is the new CBRC range being built which is only 1.5 hours away .
I know Pete Armstrong is going to have a factory class competing side by side with custom rifles to try and break down that barrier that Bob was referring too and in doing so he will have 2 seperate awards categories one for Custom and one for factory .
So if you turn up with your 223,Remington on a bi-pod you shoot against everyone but you have the opportunity to win it all or at least you can win the factory class .
I am amazed these soughts of comps aren’t everywhere on lots of ranges on multiple weekends all over the country . It’s a pretty simple criteria with multiple out comes .
Hunters get to compete against other hunters, target shooter compete against other target shooters and hunters can compete against benchrest shooters . There is no caliber restrictions , no scope restrictions . Something ssaa should make compulsory at everyone of there ranges at least once a month

Aussiebob
Aussiebob's picture
Hunter-Class

Back when i first started here in Queensland we had Hunter-Class there was Factory Class, Modified and Custom. Factory had to be a stock standard Factory Rifle and 6x scope modified was a modified Factory rifle no wider than 2 1/4 inches both it and the Factory had to have working magazines this is why it was called HUNTER /CLASS them Custom rifle was added could weigh up to 14 lbs open power scope etc there is no longer a Hunter-Class it is now Benchrest for score no magazine and in rimfire the lighter classes have 6.5 power scope the Center fire is straight Custom open scope power etc only a weight difference Rimfire also straight custom. Queensland was the only state to have a factory Class and now it is dead also

Kergeo
Benchrest Shooting

I think this thread has drifted away from the competition costs as initially raised by Bob. I don't have the answers but I think we should be focusing on the subject rather than going off in tangent. Maybe someone has some suggestions to help people like Bob to continue to compete.

Kergeo

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Topic

The point I was making is that the only real answer is to bring the matches to the shooters and to build up those local club shoots and encourage those matches to be as good as the so called big matches.
The cost of travelling etc that is needed to compete in large comps is out of control and only those who have deep pockets and have a career that enables them to so are the ones who compete.
My general consensus is that people have to put up their hands to organise and run matches for their fellow shooters to compete in , ssaa won’t do it .
So as a group , benchrest shooters have been their own executioner and have for reasons unknown allowed all of these past opportunities to disappear .
I even considered getting more involved in rimfire matches as they occur all over Sydney on multiple ranges until I came across a ridiculous amount of regulations and rules .
Different classes , different stocks, different weights, different scope powers.
Every club or association has their own variations on rules etc etc
No wonder as shooters the rules and regulations have made the cost ridiculous .
Reel it all back in . We shoot bullets into targets , not that complicated folks
Shoot side by side ,shoot the same targets, use the same flags . Turn up with what ever rifle you want to and register in that class for the match as long the guns on the bench in a rest or on a bipod why does it matter . So if this was to happen Bob could shoot matches a lot closer to home with a lot more money to spend on shooting rather than camping costs and fuel .
And with a bit more coin in the bank that match a long way from home becomes less of burden .

Bill Collaros
Hi Bob my 10 cents worth

Not sure if this relates to centrefire or rimfire or both but i will talk re rimfire...

TRA does still have factory class and many local shoots have it alongside custom matches, pretty much as Chrisjon described CRBR would run it, i am not sure though whether there are any or many TRA clubs near you ?

The bottom line with Rimfire anyway it was debated over and over at World Level and State Level was that Factory Class was not a World Event and it should remain for local, juniors and or hunter who wants to test and try their rifle against others...So it became to distinct routes 1 being the World Championship aspiration route and yes it is expensive with much travel both local/international and many classes need or the local route for those who are starting out, would prefer to stay local or have been there done the World Route and now want to just keep shooting locally...

I do believe costs are high and i do believe Associations and i am talking both SSAA and the TRA State ones hold too much cash reserves rather than make it cheaper to enter and attend, how this can be fixed I am not sure as there seems to be blinkers on whenever anyone wants to suggest or change something...

Good luck my friend i hope u manage to stay in the game somehow one way or the other...

Bill Collaros
Sydney - Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

Aussiebob
Aussiebob's picture
Costs

Well Bill i have been mainly shooting RBA TRA shoots in Gympie as the entry fee is much lower have been getting free camping and can still be competitive with my sporter class etc but as for Qualifying for Aussie team it`s just out of the question with the shoots being held in Melbourne, for me that's a weeks travel each way as i have 3 rifles and air tank flying is out of the question i am at least 1000 Klms north of Brisbane. After State RBA will sell off the air-rifle and tank etc as no one shoots air much up this way. I have been helping out on a few farms here and there and enjoying it. so may cut right back on comp and do more vermin control and just generally helping out around farms. December i am a volunteer SANTA a bit further north, also some farm sitting same area this also may lead to more of the same. Who knows this may become my new lifestyle. Grey Nomad farm help and vermin control will work for food. I have my caravan which is now self contained with solar and gas.

Bill Collaros
Hang in there Agent Mulder

Hi Bob, mate may i suggest don't sell till you see what new (soon to be announced) TRA RBA Committee comes up with re costs and comps etc and also a bit of personal advise mate, it is really bloody hard to replace good rifles once they are sold if you change your mind, so think long and hard about it buddy...

Bill Collaros
Sydney - Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

Patrolit
This...

"Another problem with this is people wanting to get into the sport at the lower level."

This statement above Bob I think holds some importence to the future of the sport...

I am new to the benchrest shooting sport as is my family. We are now becoming regular attendies of our local SSAA branch in Mackay.

I have bought what we can afford so my daughter can participate... and my son is now lic and wanting to shoot as well. So another Howa 1500 .223 will need to be purchased at some stage.

It has been a point of discussion with some of the local club members as to how to make this sport affordable and appealing to Juniors/ Senior newbie.... or even people like Bob or myself.

How do other clubs in Australia deal with the introduction of Benchrest to Juniors / people who can afford a normal of the shelf rifle? Do you have junior fixtures, do you with in the local club have a production rifle class?

Thanks
Shane

Hello

Morto
Morto's picture
Hunting rifles

Every Saturday at coffs it's either r/f or c/f,two classes all ways, custom and hunting rifles, we have several new junior's at the moment, but both classes compete together all ways, they get the same prizes as the custom shooter's,

Morto

Patrolit
Thanks Morto

Thanks Morto,

Thats great to hear that you have new juniors coming in.

A little off topic I suppose, but does the club start out by providing a club gun and fact ammo for the new Juniors?

When you say same prizes, I gather there are 2 separate prize draws... one for custom one for hunting... but they are identical?

Thanks
Shane

Hello

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