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Dave Billinghurst


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Shooter Information

Where do you live and what is your home range?

Live in Sydney and home range is Silverdale

When did you first start benchrest?

Joined SSAA in 1965 and first Benchrest match was NSW titles 1970

Who helped you in the early days?

Ron Marsden - not only my mentor but a great friend

What was your first BR rifle?

Sako L461 in 22/45 with Douglas barrel and Bushnell 6X scope and
BSA .243 converted to .225Win. With these two rifles placed 3rd Sporter, 5th LV, 16th HV, 13th Open (Exp) and 3rd 4 Gun at my first Nationals in 1971 Brisbane.

When did you get your first HOF point?

1973 and by 1976 had amassed 9 points and there I sat for 13 years

What year did you qualify?

1989 Canberra won Sporter G/A using my own custom projectiles. The best part for me now in retrospect was that Ron Marsden was there to witness another of the shooters he mentored qualify for the HOF at his last appearance on a rifle range.

Where do you shoot most?


Which ranges do you like and dislike and why?

Favourites - Silverdale and Canberra. Both can be challenging but shoots are well run and there is always a social atmosphere during and after the events. Least favoured – Brisbane.

Which matches do you like most each year?

Nationals and Australia Day, lots of people lots of good shooting

Have you shot overseas, when, where, how did you go?

Shot in WBC in 1999 at Dobbiaco, Italy. Didn’t set the world on fire but had a good time, learnt a lot and was proud to represent Australia. Although not overseas in 1995 the WBC was hosted by Brisbane and was Coach for the Australian team.

What is your current equipment?

Have a Stolle with Hart and Tobler barrels with Leupold 36X smithed by Tobler which covers Sporter, LV and HV. Also a HV that I prize as it has a one off Ron Marsden action with a Tobler barrel. My Experimental class also has a Tobler barrel on a Remington action and was built and smithed by Ron Marsden as RTM.

What is your philosophy for benchrest?

First and foremost is that your time at the range and in competition must be enjoyable.

What advice would you give to new shooters?

Look, listen and learn. Seek advice from those at the top of the tree. They have the knowledge and are helpful and approachable.

Sadly David passed away on 20th January 2021.