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Benchrest Survey

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John B
John B's picture
Benchrest Survey

Benchrest Survey 2022

Fellow Benchrest Shooters,

As you are aware, the Benchrest discipline, like most other shooting sports, has been affected by Covid 19 over the last couple of years with many shoots cancelled due to government restrictions on gatherings and safety concerns for those at most risk among us. These restrictions seem to be behind us but apart from this the declining numbers of shooters attending matches over the last few years has been a concern to many.

Speaking with other Benchresters, most are of the opinion that change is needed in order to address the declining attendance numbers. Many suggestions were made, some new, some tried before, some minor and some radical however most believe something needs to be done to attract more shooters to our matches.

The State Delegates believe a survey may assist with future direction on some key issues raised by some shooters in recent times. The following are by no means the only questions to be considered however for this survey we will ask the following questions and explain briefly the reasoning behind each question.

1) What is your name and competitor number?
Reason: To ensure the Benchrester has previously shot at a registered BR match
2) What is your contact number and email address?
3) When was the last time you competed in a Registered Match?
Reason: To assess if competitors who have not shot for longer periods are still interested and in touch with BR and if not, possibly provide a reason why they no longer attend Matches.
4) Should the Nationals be held at the same venue every year?
Pros: Same centralised location each year, Benchresters can plan ahead, it may improve numbers as some current clubs are finding it hard to attract shooters due to distances involved.
Cons: Disadvantage to Benchresters from some states or far away locations
5) Should the Nationals be held at SSAA ACT Canberra – Majura Range every year?
Pros: Canberra is the National Capitol, it is central to a large number of shooters, good facility, lots of accommodation, direct flights from most places.
Cons: Low number of local shooters, would require out of state volunteers to run matches, possibly rotational on a state by state basis,
6) If not Canberra, Do we retain the Rotation system used to date?
7) What is your preferred time of the year below to hold the Nationals?
A) Autumn – Starting just before and including 2nd weekend of March
Pros: Mild weather in southern states, no school or public holiday so easier and cheaper to book flights and accommodation.
Cons: Too close to Australia Day shoot, still hot weather if to be held in Queensland. More time off work required then Easter
B) Easter Holiday Period
Pros: less time required off work, traditional, mild weather
Cons: Holiday period so more expensive for flights and accommodation, parents/grand parents away from kids during Easter which is a traditional family time for many as well as school holiday period.
C) Mid October
Pros: All other shoots held beforehand and build up to the Nationals, mild weather in southern states, no school or public holiday so easier and cheaper to book flights and accommodation.
Cons: More time off work required then Easter
D) Please nominate your preferred time

8) Should the LB and HB class be shot on the Saturday and Sunday at the Nationals with Sporter on Friday and Unlimited on Monday?
Reason: Some competitors are limited in how much time off work they can take and can only compete in a two gun event.
9) Should qualification for WBC be as per International rules as this is what will be required to be used at the WBC events, tapered barrels must be used, no parallel barrels allowed?
Pros: Qualifying with same type of equipment that you will have to compete with.
Cons: Competitors who are not interested in competing in the WBC would have a perceived advantage in the Nationals result should they choose to shoot a parallel barrel.
10) If question 9 is adopted, should the rule be implemented for:
A) All competitors at the Nationals matches Yes or No
B) All registered matches in Australia Yes or No
Please note: if the rule is implemented for all competitors and/or all registered matches, we would propose that a 5 year moratorium take place before the rule change takes effect.

I hope the above questions and reasoning behind the questions are clear to you. It is our hope that all our fellow BR shooters take part in this survey. What ever the outcome of the survey is we hope it provides clear and constructive advice to provide input into the way forward for the discipline as a whole.

The survey results may provide a clear indication of changes required to improve the discipline and if so we will advise Benchresters accordingly and undertake a change process in accordance with the Rule book and SSAA National procedures.
In the hope the survey responses are constructive and plentiful we plan in the future to also separately explore the ways available to bring Rimfire and Centrefire Benchrest closer together.

To participate in the survey, please go to following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/78VZ8CN

Kind Regards
John Babic
Benchrest Discipline Chairman

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Please do the survey

A agree that we need new ideas to try and increase participation in Benchrest, but I don't think any of these ideas will make one bit of difference. We should have an open discussion about this in another way.

But here is my take on the survey:

Question 4: Vote NO
The way this is worded it assumes the Nationals will be moved to a single location. I am dead against this as it is important to shoot at different ranges and conditions. Also it stops other ranges getting a financial boost when they host this match. Please vote against this.
Question 5: Vote NO
As above.
Question 6: Vote YES
Keep the rotation. Leave it up to he individual states to decide if they want to host the Nationals.
Question 7: Vote EASTER
This has been the tradition since 1972 and I see no reason to change it.
Question 8: Vote NO
This will kill the Sporter and Unlimited classes. Unlimited first gets the heavy lifting out of the way, then a lighter class the next day. I think this is ideal, with the Light and Heavy to finish.
Question 9: Vote NO
Fortunately/Unfortunately for us, Australians police the rules. When I have shot overseas most times I never had my barrel, stock, weight etc checked. We don't work this way and this would make a rod for our own back making more work for match officials. Every time I shot overseas I fitted a new barrel anyway, so I see this as a waste of time.
Question 10: Vote NO
See Q9.

Rob.

BB Administrator

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Survey

Something every person reading this subject and doing the survey needs to understand.
The dictionary description of a SURVEY is as follows.
“A way to collect data for analysis.”That is it very simple
To think there is some secret society he’ll bent on undermining the current benchrest rules and protocols is stupid .
Time to move on to the next Millennium
Once the Rankin File of shooters has done the survey and based on the results the state delegates can decide on which way to proceed with the consultation of their respective States shooters .
Now is not the time to start campaigns for or against the questions.
Everyone will have their own ideas and opinions .
let’s save it to later and just see where we are all situated .
Just something I would like everyone to understand before doing the survey.
Nationally , Australia has 3 ranges capable of holding a national BR championship,
Coffs Harbour NSW , Canberra ACT and Jarradale WA .
Please stop ,think and consider the real options moving forward.
Cheers Chris

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Really?

How about Silverdale, Colo River, Monarto, Springsure, Wagga?

All of these are probably able to host a Nationals, whether they wish to is another question.

And if there is no hidden agenda, why were the shooters not canvassed about this in advance? If so, there would have been much more suitable questions to be asked for the good of our sport.

I did the survey before I posted the details here to try it out, so I should have been the first. Interesting there were already 6 submissions supporting all these changes, so it is pretty obvious that there is an agenda here.

It would have been nice if minutes of the National BR Meeting were posted here so shooters would know what is happening in our sport.

Rob.

BB Administrator

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
Have a think about it!

Rob,
Have a think about what you are saying?
Why don’t you ask your delegates Steve Sori and Darren Parsons that question? Darren has since handed the rains to I believe Ian Thompson from Coffs.
If Silverdale gets going again, Wagga gets frames installed, COLO actually gets registered as a range and Springsure sorts out an issue and Monarto gets frames sorted then I would suggest nil problem. A bit of water to go under that bridge isn’t there.

As for the Survey I know you did the old survey made some comments which were listened to and changes made. John and I were testing it and FYI a subscription was paid by John to facilitate the extra information you personally requested. So I can assure you there is nil agenda.

As for the minutes ask Steve and Darren and if they don’t give them to you vote them out - simple
If they don’t give them to you after you ask them I will personally email them to you. Won’t be the first time I have emailed the minutes to a NSW shooter

I would hope you can now let the survey be completed by the shooters and knowing John like I do I am sure the results will not be a secret of any kind at all.

Regards
Michael Huebner
VIC State Delegate

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
You are out of touch!

Rob,

I am going to be very upfront here and say “you are out of touch”. I am only responding to your comments and all of my answers are not necessarily things I 100% agree with, but I am willing to listen and change if it will make things better.

As a current delegate I will address some of your comments as I see them;
1. Question 4
The primary issue is we are struggling to find a State to run the Nationals. So WA withdrew and it went to Springsure this year and Coffs Harbour next year who will hold the Nationals but not the NSW State Titles as the advised they will not do both.
Now we progress to the following year, which maybe interesting as potentially nil ACT (depends on Range), Nil VIC, Nil SA, Nil WA, Nil QLD are you starting to get the picture. As a discipline potentially trying to sure up a Range that has excellent facilities and good airports and general access for at least the interim is somewhat appealing.
2. Question 5
Canberra is a fantastic Range and potentially the idea is that States or a collection of state or a Nationals Committee made up of all the States would assist in running the match. Not always left to the locals
3. Question 7
The question re Easter is due to trying to encourage more shooters and Easter is a traditional Family time. In the past a lot of families would travel to a shoot, but so many different things to do these days. Also if we go further North into QLD the weather is more bearable in June/July
Another thing about Nationals at Easter is it really doesn’t make sense that the pinnacle event is so early in the Calendar
4. Question 8
It would appear you have a short memory as traditionally it was always Sporter, LB, HB and Unlimited and some scare mongering said if we don’t change then unlimited is doomed.
I think you will find that not much has changed re numbers wise.
There is a counter argument that if unlimited is last that those who think they have a chance for a top 10 in the 4Gun might actually nominate.
5. Question 9
This is something I am very passionate about. Qualifying for an event as per the International rules. Which would mean using a parallel barrel in Heavy Barrel at the Nationals would not be allowed.
I want everyone to think of a sport where you qualify at a class or specification over what you can use, to compete in the International Event or class. I cannot find one World Wide
Some of us remember a Benchrest Bylaw that stipulated that all International Qualifications must be as per International rules. Maybe Brendon Has the BR Discipline minutes from years ago and can dig this out. It was around the time qualifications allowed the worst aggregate which is what the selection used to be until it went to placings.
It Parallel Barrel slowly crept it to Heavy Barrel Class for one reason and that is they overall shoot better, plain and simple. There are a combination of reasons why, which I wont go into hear.
I actually believe the use of these barrels is bordering on cheating and was not the intent of Heavy Barrel Class. Just look at the NBRSA rule book where they are not allowed to be used.
6. Question 10
I believe at the Nationals Parallel barrels should be banned
7. Question 11
The issue with the allowance of these barrels in my opinion at State and other matches is the purity of records that are shot. I could get half a dozen HoF Shooters who will say 100% there is significant advantage with a Heavy Parallel over a tapered LB and an advantage with the Heavy Parallel over a Heavy Tapered barrel.
So there you have it some alternate information for you all to consider

Cheers
Michael Huebner PH 0400942626
Victorian BR Delegate

robbycar
robbycar's picture
How about all the other "international rules"?

There are many international rules that don't match ours eg. barrels having to be over the end of the bench, 2 bench rotation, our targets are different (better actually), range commands, flag placement, max number of relays per day, weight allowance, minimum number of benches, and stock dimensions (which are ambiguous anyway), and barrel contours.

Are we just going to pick a few to change?

Rob.

BB Administrator

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Survey

Rob
The points you brought up there aren’t equipment based and under no circumstances effect the performance of the shooter at the bench.
Based on our current rule book as it is .
1. I can shoot with a flat tracker stock with no taper at all .
2. I can shoot with a stock of any length I choose .
3. The underside of the stock could be concave inwards
The only requirement in our current rule book is that it is within weight and is no more that 3 inches at the front .
To me the idea of introducing a variation to the current rule is only to make shooters aware of the stock requirements and specifications.
I don’t think is about checking every stock at every match .
In my opinion if your stocks are within the WBC specification you don’t have to worry and should be all for a more thorough interpretation

michaeljp
Attracting new shooters

Im not a new shooter, but ive only been to 1 competition. For me, its hard to get time off work as i work different hours than most. I could only make it on a Saturday, so a 4 day shoot is out and in its current state i could only make it in the LV comp. But heres what i didnt like about the 2020 Australia day comp i attended. For me its a long drawn out day,. Why not have the LV and HV on the same day? Here are a few things that may speed up the day to allow both categories to be shot, In each relay i shot my 5 rounds in about 2 minutes. So i was at the range for 6-7 hours per day and only shot for 10 minutes. Now i know there are international rules we follow but to attract new shooters, i think you'll need to speed things up. How about 3 or 5 minute relay's? This may cause the agg;s to increase if you just so happen to be shooting when the wind picks up. Another thing that i didnt like was the bench rotation. Why not allocate a person a bench and thats the bench they shot from all weekend. Also why not have just a 100yd competitions aside from the regular matches that have been around for ages. They can be run and won in a few hours,its more relaxed you could probably come preloaded, and people still have the rest of the weekend to do family things.
Maybe a new hunter class might be the go. Factory made hunting rifles, or like at the friendly Silverdale matches some fly shooters bring their 6BR fly rifles or 30BR rifles. Les Fraser brought this up some time ago, attracting fly shooters with their 17lb rifles.
PRS shooting is taking off big time because its a fast paced comp when your shooting, and its exciting to watch. Your not sitting on your arse for 21 minutes watching the wind flags flutter in the breeze waiting for your turn to shoot.
Thats my 2 cents worth. Cheers

Brett
Why no mention of Rimfire

This whole discussion is about CF and there is another side to benchrest that is rimfire.
But the old guard of CF BR would prefer the world not to know that. Things are so bad that they made it 10 times harder to make HOF in RF to keep there special little club private.
I tried CR BR a couple times at club level and the shooters were so rude and condersending because of my RF bachground with comments like "see RF shooters cant shoot CF" after poor results. Sad thing is I have had other rimfire and fly shooters say the same thing.
You dont have equipment or range issues, you have a people and image problem!
This survey is just more proof CF BR would prefer Rimfire not be included.
I will never recomend a new shooter or any shooter try CF BR after my experience.
Brett

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
Rimfire

Brett,
Things are changing and we had to start somewhere.
Well I hope your not slotting me in with the “old guard statement”
Stay tuned as there is nil reason why in the very near future there will not be a Rimfire Survey. I suggest you contact Neil Digweed or Richard Lightfoot. If you want to I am happy to here what you have to say or I am sure John Babic Benchrest Chairman would love to here from you as well.
This is not a Centrefire against Rimfire it is where is the biggest issue right now.
Regards
Michael

BigStick
BigStick's picture
.

Well said Brett.
I got out of C/F because of the cost to be competitive. 5 to 7 thousand dollars x4 rifles thousands of dollars for reloading equipment, powder and primers you can’t buy, travel for thousands of Ks to get to the competitions and competitors that won’t give you the time of day.
Rimfire is way more relaxing and a joy to shoot.

Dig
Dig's picture
Benchrest Survey

Firstly let me say that I'd not like to see this initiative be turned into a shit fight about rimfire vs centrefire. Whilst I'll acknowledge there have been issues from both sides of the fence in the past, now is not the time to open old wounds and derail the process.
My understanding of the survey, from my 1 week on the committee, is that attendance at cf matches is falling and this is an attempt to offer some solutions. Perhaps the reason that rf was not included, is because it seems that attendances are have been stable. Not saying that we cannot improve, but cf needs to have the priority at the moment.
I'm also sure that the committee don't think they have all the answers and that the survey is just a starting point. I've been involved in sports administration for over 35 years and I can tell you starting with a "blank sheet" and asking for suggestions is like trying to herd cats.
In case you haven't looked outside lately, the world has changed. It's no longer the way it was when cf benchrest was in its hay day. And if we don't change to meet these new circumstances, the the sport will slowly die of its own volition. Heaven knows, there are enough organisations lining up to see us disappear from the scene. Lets not help they achieve their goals from our own internal politics.
So here a challenge to all the negative nancies, rock chuckers and conspiracy theorists out there. If you are truly interested in the future of the sport, put your ego back in your pocket, take the tinfoil out of your hats and contribute positively. If you don't agree, then tell us why you don't agree and offer some alternatives. Adopting the attitude "because that's the way it's always been done" doesn't cut the mustard with me. Remember, the best buggy whip maker in the world went broke, not because of the cost or quality of his product, but because transport changed and no one had a use for buggy whips any longer.
But of course if all you want to do is promote your own self importance and flap your gums, then I'd suggest you take up another sport because benchrest doesn't need you.
And if anyone has any issues regarding rimfire, send them to me. You all know how to contact me. The ball's in your court now.

Team KAOS - Catch us if you can! - Ya got no chance
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Survey
bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Good to hear..

We also have a rimfire delegate in Digs on the SSSA Benchrest Committee. I have been dealing wonderfully with John for our Aus Rimfire Team heading to Wbsf Worlds in Sept. I suggest we give him a go, though i do not think IU can comment this particular survey, as it is for Centrefire so i won't comment as i have no idea. Would be good to know who is on benchrest committee though so shooters may be able to have a say and contact them if needed ?

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
Chairman & Sate Delegates

Chairman
John Babic

QLD
Gavin Marshall
David McKillop

NSW
Steve Sori
Ian Thompson

ACT
Alex Chryss
Peter McDonald

VIC
Michael Huebner
Richard Lightfoot

SA
Brendan Atkinson
Rob Bissett

WA
Trevor Pearson
William Barrett

National Rimfire
Neil Digweed

Rule Book
Michael Huebner
David McKillop

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Thanks Michael

There u go people, u now know who to ask or suggest things to. And for the dual citizens for TRA Benchrest it is also myself just in case anyone does not know and i also liase with John and Neil as we should. #teamefforts #communication

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

Brett
Inlightened

I had a really good talk to Michael H yesterday (thank you for your time) and I know fully understand that this is about CF. I have looked at the original post again and if I read between the lines I can now see it is about CF. But it would be so much easier if the original post said that, and not just assume we all understand you mean CF not benchrest in general as the post clearly says "the Benchrest discipline".
Good news RF might get a chance in the future to have a survay of our own, maybe the survay could ask who we would like to be the "National rimfire rep".
So I will stop being a negative nancie, rock chucking conspiracy theorist. I will take the tinfoil out of my hat and wait for my turn to contribute.
Brett

Zorba
Zorba's picture
The Survey

It appears to me from some of the comments, some shooters consider the idea of the Discipline sub committee canvassing ideas from our fellow shooters on how to improve the sport, as being some sort of sinister plot.
In my memory (and I have been around a year or two) it’s been a while since the discipline has asked you for your opinion. (outside of the sub committee process)
On this occasion the survey is about Centrefire Benchrest. John Babic made it clear in his intro (to me at least) Rimfire BR would be approached at a different time to address different issues.
My understanding is the Survey has 3 broad focus points 1. The state of the CF discipline, 2. The rule book is up for review 3. The Nationals CF calendar
There are new members on the sub committee and that happens from time to time at AGMs as is deemed by the States sending their new delegates appointed at the local AGM.
I do want to comment on the subject of "minutes" and I am surprised it arose in this forum. Let me first remind readers here, the National Benchrest Sub Committee is a construct of the National Board of the SSAA and the discipline sub committee(s) was formed to allow a reporting structure back to the National Board about the discipline , its development and progress.
Secondly there are only draft minutes from the AGM (as is proper) and they do not become minutes until the delegates have had a chance to review, correct and then formally approve them at the next years AGM. Therefore it is logical to assume the draft minutes are not available until they are approved at the following AGM. Having said that I remind contributors here the AGM is held in conjunction with the Centrefire Nationals as has been the case since inception and any SSAA member there can attend the AGM as Observers and that is often far better (imo) from a contextual point of view.
Any Benchrester who wants an item they consider of national substance placed on the National AGM agenda simply can contact their State delegate and raise it with them. The State delegates provide their State’s agenda items to the Chair at least two months prior to the AGM for preparation and circulation to all the delegates.
Why the two months you ask? So the other State and Territory delegates can take such new agenda items back to their various states for advice and direction on how your delegates should vote on your behalf on the items at the AGM.

Back to the survey
The rule book is being updated this year and the matter of parallel barrels has arisen. Let me state here and now I for one am dead against changing the rule and will be making that point again in the survey.
Michael Huebner made the point he consider a parallel barrel to be bordering on cheating, it his opinion and of course he is entitled to that opinion in the same way that I disagree with it.
Selectively choosing a parallel barrel as being an advantage ignores the reality of our sport wherein almost every item can be considered an advantage against your neighbouring competitor’s equipment. I personally believe more HV/HB matches have been won with tapered barrels than with parallels. What does that mean? I don’t know but I do suspect if we go for this then we should tip the whole rules barrel over, what about the competitor who comes to every Nationals with brand new barrels and then sits down alongside a competitor who can only afford to change his barrels every few years. I seem to recollect at least two past Heavy events won by people shooting Light bench rifles unfortunately the equipment lists often are not down to that level of detail.
Michael’s opinion doesn't stack up for me because he doesn’t present a downside to using parallel barrels in Australia? Michael perceives a negative yet he doesn't explain how it would improve the Australian discipline by simply complying with a foreign rule. If parallel barrels were such a negative it should/would reflect in Australians shooting poorly internationally when we “switch” to the NBRSA tapered barrel at a WBC event. I think most would agree that history shows us as standing up pretty well when using tapered barrels at home and internationally. If other countries don’t like us using parallel barrels under Australian rules then maybe they should consider updating their rules. Australia is a founding member of the WBSF and had a lot to say in establishing the WBSF rules for the WBSF. There were a number of European countries which privately would have been happy to shoot under Australian rules back in the 90s but deferred to the NBRSA model not because it was better but largely because that was the gear they take to the States when they shoot and go on their shopping sprees to the USA, imo they didn’t want to rock the boat.
Personally I shoot a parallel barrels in our ACT matches when I can because it puts less wear an tear on my match taper barrels. Which I save for the Nats. The parallel barrel also happens to be cut down and reclaimed Experimental/Unlimited barrel so I see myself as getting extra mileage out of them.
Enough from me on that subject.

The survey as I understand it is primarily about how we get more bums on benches and seeking the various options or ways to do that whilst also addressing the difficulty faced in some areas of the country running the Nationals. Many suggestions have been made in the Sub Committee and one of them was to ask the shooters themselves.
The Sub Committee is looking for constructive comments in this case about how the centrefire discipline moves forward and I for one am glad to see it is being discussed. Interesting to see many of the constructive comments (outside of the survey which I hope they complete) from people devoted to Rimfire Benchrest.
Two last minute points I would make:
1. The second delegate for ACT is Peter McDonald and he is well known to the ACT BR shooters having assisted at Australia Day matches and he also runs and manages the 300yd Monthly Batshoot on the Wednesday night .
2. It is said, comparisons are odious equally variety is the spice of life which probably explains why the SSAA nationally has something like 20 disciplines it caters for. I like anyone else understand the difference exists because different attributes apply to different people. Trying to shoot 5 or 10 shots into one hole in 7 minutes is not for some in the same way as I see breaking clays repetitively as being as boring doesn't mean it isn't fun for myriads of shooters. The great thing is we have choice and the Sub Committee wants to find more people who like shooting small groups or getting 10.1 shots every time and getting their bum on seat and shooting to beat mother nature, our temperament and our equipment into getting that perfect score.

Cheers
Alex Chryss
SSAA(ACT) delegate

ZORBA

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
Some clarifications to a good discussion

Alex,

I have stated this many times before so to clarify for all to see I provide the below. Then the Survey can be filled out however the individual pleases.

To provide answers to your statements:
1. Your statement re Tapered barrels having more wins against parallels is of course true, but let’s provide some context - Parallel barrels crept into Heavy Barrel/Heavy Varmint around 7-10 yrs ago because prior to then they were not used for I believe two reasons; a) In some respects the discipline was following the NBRSA and IBS rules when it came to tapered barrels as the Australian Rulebook does not mention anything about barrels except it must be 18” long. Now I am sure I will get the statements saying that is not the case but then why did it take till around 2014 for these barrels to appear?
Why not in the 70’s or 80’s or 90’s??

b)there was a consensus that you used the equipment that complied with the international rules (ie What you would be obliged to use in the international event is what you would also use to qualify) I am not the only one who remembers a statement (bylaw) was written for this. It was around the time of the change of how World Team selection was changed. Definitely after 2003 I think and prior to 2005.

To the negative or downside as I see it which I have explained previously at delegates meetings but I understand you may have missed them or didn’t hear.
(btw I am not alone here but it is up to others if they want to speak up)
A parallel barrel in a Heavy Configuration is;
1. Easier to shoot (rides bags better) but so does a tspered Heavy
2. Easier to tune
3. Would appear to stay in tune easier/longer These are facts as pretty much everyone I have asked has stated the above with many of these HOF Shooters.

Now how much easier? Well I will say enough to make a significant difference of the positive kind. Which is backed up by those who use them.

Now we come to World Team Selection which potentially is using 4 x Aggregates (using our current system or two Aggregates if it was just a one year event for selection) utilising the parallel barrel which cannot be used in the international competition.

I am not against parallel barrels per say but if we wish to use them as included in the selection then we should canvas the WBSF to have the Heavy Class event allow a parallel barrel at World Events.
Which BTW I think is a fantastic idea and is something we should do and makes the Heavy Class have a point of difference.
My gut feel is though there will be opposition to this motion at the WBSF and the member countries. Maybe I am totally wrong but I am not so sure. How about we have the Australian International delegate ask the question?

Let’s see what everyone says in the Survey. If I have got this horribly wrong we will see 90% plus against what I am saying and then I won’t worry about it anymore.

And just to clarify I did use a parallel at my last two shoots which was the last Aust Day match and the 2022 Nationals.

Regards

Michael Huebner

Zorba
Zorba's picture
Thanks Michael a lot more

Thanks Michael a lot more context and background there and your right the survey should tell us and guide us. As for convincing the international scene, that effort was attempted first time around as I alluded in my post, getting the USA (NBRSA) to change its rules for what we know is simpler and better (which effectively means the WBSF would follow on) is about as hard as pushing it up Mount Everest with a pointy stick.
I hope we get lots of constructive comment.
Cheers
Alex

ZORBA

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Billo had one in 1974

I first saw a parallel barrel in HV in 1974, so they are not a new thing at all.

Ron Marsden shot them even before that. I got one in about 1979 but did not find it shot any better.

Rob.

BB Administrator

TAB
Michael - statement clarifications

Consider a few erroneous statements in your posts require clarification before the substance within assumes reality status.
Reference to a By Law for all international qualifications must be per international rules. Having been the author or co author of the majority of the 9 SSAA BR short range Rule Books written and approved, 7 of which have By Laws, there are no such references. There may have been discussion among parties but not at the official or endorsed level that would be binding.
The only reference to the subject appears in the 2011 Minutes of the National BR Committee - an Agenda item "that rifles used to qualify for WBC should meet the rules that apply to that competition" (has a familiar ring) It was noted the motion failed - 2 votes for the motion (Victorian delegates Peter Van Meurs and Jaegan Peet) and 10 votes against.
As for parallel barrels coming to the fore in the past 7-10 years and not in the 70's, 80's and 90's can only assume you did not notice or weren't around the scene. Rob pointed out their use in 1974 and Alex has competed with one one on and off for almost 3 decades. For my part I shot a parallel at the 1973 Nationals in Adelaide and I was not a stand alone user. The emergence of parallels in SSAA Varmint classes was due to SSAA in 1972 dropping the barrel contour from the initial rules proclaimed in 1968.
As said alternate info for consideration but able to be substantiated.
Ann Brummell

Dig
Dig's picture
Having your say

Brett,
You don't have to wait for a survey to raise any issues you have. You can do that any time and it will be raised with the committee. We are quite capable of managing multiple issues concurrently. It will also shorten the time to resolution. And yes I agree, the shooters should get a chance to select their rep. But we have to start somewhere.

Team KAOS - Catch us if you can! - Ya got no chance
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

BRT
BRT's picture
Wow. Why am I not surprised

Just fill out the survey guys. Like others have said here (I think Chris said that first).
But arguing about whirlwinds here before the survey. WTF?
Do your thing.
Thanks to the guys who have put this idea together. But it's looks as if it's like herding cats.
Also looking forward to the Rimfire Survey and the Fly survey.

Stuart

Annie & Stuart Elliott
www.benchrest.com.au

LJ Fraser
Such a shame

I havn't posted to this thread till now, I would only like to say that everyone who has posted here has a passion for shooting I am very lucky I have had a great career in shooting , full bore, Air Rifle, Rimfire, Centre fire, Clay targets, pistols, small bore, 500m fly and been able to achieve some standing in all these shooting disciplines. I have only met great shooters if they don't talk to you or the sport seems boring to some then try something else. It is about creating conversations and moving forward I like survey's i like talks at the bar having a yarn at the reloading bench and i would recommend every single shooting sport to each and everyone of you. Without membership and competitors sports cease to exist it is that simple. Those how know me know that i have not only put my hand up to be involved but built loan rifles, websites, facebook pages paid extra to the clubs that hold the nationals as a donation. Not once have i ever said to anyone don't get involved in this.

A number of key people have aided in my involvement in Centre Fire, Air Rifle and Rimfire Benchrest if it wasn't for Annie and Stuart i wouldn't have even known these existed.

Create positive conversations and get involved talk to your delegates thanks to Rob, Michael, john, digs, brett and everyone else who has posted here. Start this thread from now on in positive way. There is no justice or outcome in comparisons or historical events this is 2022 and I for one support all the shooting sports if you want to shoot then support shooters.

Once you make a comment on a forum like this that has any degree of personal experience it is going to be picked at by someone. Keep your comments positive bring a degree of professionalism to the sport don't run it into the ground.

John Babic is the chair and is prepared to do the right thing and move forward if you don't like it come to the nationals and shoot the event then go to the meeting and have your say. Don't sit at home and wait till the event is over and pick off the good ideas.

There is always value in trying something new no one is perfect........

John B
John B's picture
Benchrest survey closing

Just letting you all know the survey will close midnight on Sunday the 7th. If you haven't already done so, please complete the survey, your views and suggestions are important.
We've had a good response to date with some very good suggestions and insights. The survey results and comments will be released later this month after the delegates meeting.
Thank you all who participated.

Kind Regards
John Babic
Benchrest Discipline Chair

tyrone.thompson
tyrone.thompson's picture
Survey Shooting Event Day format.

I disagree with the nationals/state events being held at same range every year. It should have a continuous rotation. The advantages of shooting at different locations and different times of year it will make it more challenging, with different weather conditions.

I believe that national shoots should be held during the week, and allow weekends for travel. This allows people that live further away get to events. Taking minimum time off work. Also allows the event to be hosted anytime of year and not reliant on public holidays where family time is spent.

Here is an example of a shooting format that could be adopted at national level and possible state level:

Saturday - Travel / Range Setup
Sunday - Travel/Practice
Monday - Practice
Tuesday - Event 1
Wednesday - Event 2
Thursday - Event 3
Friday - Event 4 (Presentation after shooting)
Saturday - Travel / Range Pack up
Sunday – Travel

Patrolit
Patrolit's picture
Can I do the Survey?

Good evening, not sure if it is appropriate for me to do the survey. I have a competition number, but do not shoot Short Range CF BR.

I do shoot a little RF Irb at club level. But Fly CF and RF is my staple diet.

I have however been involved over the last 3 years in the assisting in organising State RF BR/ IRB comp and Running the line at those comps as well as this year’s National CF at Springsure.

Is it appropriate for me to do the Survey… as someone watching a little from the outside?

Thanks
Shane

Fly is shot of a Benchrest...

Will007
Will007's picture
Survey

Hi Shane

We want to hear from as many shooters as possible so go ahead and fill out the survey , I expect the delegates will read all responses. You have shot one group in the last 5 years that could be remembered

Thanks for your comments Tyrone please put them in the survey when completing it

Regards

Will Greer

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Interesting

Good point and please correct me if I am wrong , what you are trying to say as another shooter pointed out to me Is .
That using your suggestion would allow someone who has work commitments to effectively only require 1 full week of annual leave to compete in a 4 day match , great idea .
As a business owner I would prefer an employee’s leave effecting only 1 week as opposed interrupting the weeks prior and after the match

Steve Blaine
Steve Blaine's picture
Groups and Nats

I would like to know of all the states who hold the SSAA shoots who is putting their hands up for the next 4 years we have the below clubs and delegates will they put there hands up to run the national shoots.
Qld
NSW
SA
Wa
Canberra
please lets here from them in the forum so we know where we stand

Steve Blaine
Steve Blaine's picture
I believe we need a reply

I believe we need a reply from these on the forum to see where we are going.
QLD
Gavin Marshall
David McKillop

NSW
Steve Sori
Ian Thompson

ACT
Alex Chryss
Peter McDonald

VIC
Michael Huebner
Richard Lightfoot

SA
Brendan Atkinson
Rob Bissett

WA
Trevor Pearson
William Barrett

National Rimfire
Neil Digweed

Michael Huebner
Michael Huebner's picture
ROTATION (Existing)

The existing rotation is;
NSW, ACT, VIC, SA, WA, QLD
I believe Coffs is confirmed for 2023 Nationals

But maybe something comes out of the survey.

The best thing Competitors can do is attend current matches and the Nationals. As many as they can make.

michaeljp
more and or new shooters

"Speaking with other Benchresters, most are of the opinion that change is needed in order to address the declining attendance numbers. Many suggestions were made, some new, some tried before, some minor and some radical however most believe something needs to be done to attract more shooters to our matches." quote.

For any sport to progress it has to attract new members and or keep its existing ones entertained. I think the above paragraph of John's opening post is the one that needs to be addressed more so than parallel barrels or taking 1 week off work to go to an event or qualifying for the WBC. All are important subjects, but only for the top shooters. Do you want to cater for the top shooters or for everyone and new comers? I think, and its just my opinion, only the die hard BR shooters would take a week off work to travel to a comp. or care about qualifying for the WBC events. As i said important subjects but only for a few. We all need to ask ourselves, do we want to attract new shooters to the sport and help it progress or are we happy with the existing list of regular shooters, which going by John's opening post are in decline. I hope some good suggestions to attract new shooters are forthcoming in the survey.

John B
John B's picture
Survey response summary

I have attached the survey response summary here.

We had a very good participation with 85 shooters taking the survey.

Here are some key points to take from the survey:

-15 x HOF shooters did the survey with one not completing
-33 x shooters from NSW (includes ACT)
-4 x shooters from VIC
-21 shooters from QLD
-4 x shooters from SA
-5 x shooters from WA
-3 x shooters Unknown

-Shooters do not want to shoot at one location and want the rotation system to stay in place for the CF Nationals
-57% of shooters would prefer some other time then Easter to hold the CF Nationals
-Shooters want LB and HB to be held Saturday and Sunday
-Shooters say no parallel barrels for WBC qualification but allow those who wish to use them otherwise. (I believe this would not be workable and parallel barrels should be left as is)

There was a stack of comments with some good feedback and ideas and we are currently working through them to see which of these can be adopted or implemented to help our sport.

One thing is certain, the best thing all of us can do is turn up to the shoots, help the organisers and get involved at your local range, run some monthly club matches to get new people involved who may otherwise be reluctant to try shooting a big match.

Hope to see many of you at Coffs this weekend

Cheers

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Thanks for publishing this John

I do not think there were any surprises. I guess I am not as out of touch as was suggested!

Only thing I would point out about the timing of the CF Nationals is that whilst 57% were against an Easter Nationals, Easter was the most popular pick at 42.17%.

Rob.

BB Administrator

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Surveys

Great survey and some great and interesting comments with some great suggestions to better our discipline.
I genuinely look forward to everyone who had many of these great ideas and suggestions acting on them not just in here but at their local ranges and at the all the registered matches they are able to attend.
Opinions and comments good or bad are easy, acting on one’s opinion truly justifies that opinion.

wally289
wally289's picture
BENCHREST

Benchrest survey well I must say I did not do the survey as myself I don’t have enough experience in national shoots having shot non at this stage may change, I don’t know but
I must however make comment to this you started out with a very good idea of a survey of the discipline but to me the end result was already written as nothing is about to change or is going to judging from where we started to the finish none of the right questions or answers given as every thing is the same

you say we need change

I have like I say little to no experience with national but look at it this way it is no different to a state shoot for which I have some experience but have herd some very good suggestions this perceived thing we have of running around trying to make it a week end event where SOMEHOW USING EASTER AS A GOOD IDEA WHEN IT’S NOT we all need to start looking at things logically get the shoots run as a week day shoot giving week ends back to travel to and from makes sense think on it for a bit one week holiday applied for not two easier on the work side of things now I have opened this up lets get some input to this and think lets move things around some like holding I R B and SHOOT FOR SCORE RIMFIRE AND CENTRE FIRE SAME WEEK yes its posable if given thought groups and such as a separate week as is now sort of thing lets toss this around and see what happens

Thanks
Wally Bawden

Wombat

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Survey

To me the point of current survey isn’t targeted at recruiting new members .It’s more about trying to establish long term venues and potentially putting protocols in place that allow larger numbers to attend registered matches in a way that is more attractive to new shooters.
The drop in competitor numbers is due to many things ,but mainly due to the people in decision making positions completely ignoring the competitors and shooters who attend their local ranges not stepping up and introducing short range to the regular attendee’s
I do not believe it’s the responsibility of the chairman and the state delegates to come up with ways to increase shooter numbers ,
Their job is to determine issues on a national and state level.
A benchrest match has to effectively be hosted by range or be it a branch or SSAA who is willing to go through the whole process of organising one .
To organise a match the host range needs to organise , target crews,food availability’s ,camping and shower facilities, 2 people to score the match , 2 people to run the line and do the announcements. All the target preparation and trophies etc are host ranges responsiblity
The biggest hurdle we face is Ranges and people willing to organise the discipline at a range level , simply put we have have lost 99% of them.
We could get 100 new shooters tomorrow but there are no ranges for them to shoot
The only way to increase grass root numbers is at a local range level .
Like we have had a Silverdale
I have worked for 5 years to get our club shoots even off the ground , I had flack from range management all along the way .
Fortunately new management they are very supportive and encouraging .
A lot goes on behind the scenes .
The issue is current shooters have to step up and recruit new shooters and have an avenue to show those potential new recruits what our sport is about and that is 100% regular monthly shoots at everyone’s local range all over Australia . My thoughts Again

wally289
wally289's picture
BENCHREST AGAIN

Chrisjon65
hay mate I am not sure if your comment I directed at me for me or just in general but I was trying to suggest a way of generating interest in our sport of benchrest shooting whether it be rimfire of centrefire I am no so good with the written word but will try my best I think it’s time we looked at a different format and rifle rules we changed things on the centre fire end of things some time ago but sadly rimfire went relative unchanged shame I will explain soon also I believe the shoot format needs changing here as well this shooting over a week end is not good as shoot starts on or around the Thursday sorry I am speaking of the current I R B and GROUPS shooting rimfire travel to venue say 2 days so Tuesday practice Thursday shooting Friday Saturday Sunday Monday travel home Tuesday and Wednesday this sort of thing makes one take best part of 2 weeks off now bare me out here if we started this shoot on say a Monday travel would be the week end Saturday Sunday shoot practice Monday shoot Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday travel Saturday Sunday one week off work makes a whole lot of sense now there can be similar done for the centrefire may even looking at changing the shoot to put rimfire all in one shoot so GROUPS , I R B , and SHOOT FOR SCORE , THUS LEAVING THE CENTRE FIRE ALL TOGETHER AS WELL I THINK THIS MAKES A HOLE LOT OF SENSE okay there are details to work out but it’s not hard we as benchrest shooters need to do some thing to get bums on seats can be dune with this format also you are all forgetting I am and trying so dam hard to get TOWNSVILLE ON LINE IT’S NOT FUNNY ANY MORE things are close with a combined effort from the TOWNSVILLE MARKSMAN CLUB AND S S A A working together to achieve a workable solution it’s working out rather well also guys you do have an other range totally forgotten about this is the KURRAMINE RANGE IT IS REGISTERED BUT NOT USED as there are not enough benches this can be fixed I have made the benchtop molds benches can be made just have to have the need or wont to do this lots of forgotten venues and accommodation 20 odd minutes from ranges camping on range E C T fly in drive in come by boat accommodation can be secured for good pricing E C T any way come on one and all you so call big shots of our benchrest need to get your heads together maybe one set of targets with moving backers paid for by 5 different ranges and shifted around the north easy as

Ill leave this here from me I need you all to have think put ya 2 cents worth in and lets sort this for the better of our sport ‘BENCHREST

WALLY BAWDEN

Wombat

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