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New Class to assist in gaining new shooters.

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LJ Fraser
New Class to assist in gaining new shooters.

Hi everyone,

I would like to propose some consideration be given to a concept of getting other shooters engaged in our sport. I am proposing that a Class be created (Sporter- Heavy) at the event level that does not impact on the running of the shoot in relation to the rule book but gives the opportunity for shooters who have similar rifles to participate and be involved in short range benchrest.

The idea is this-

-Weight limit for the rifle be lifted to 17lbs in line with the fly shooters light rifle- There are approximately 65 active flyshooters who travel the circuit.
- Rifle caliber remains at 6mm- this will ensure that Max or who ever the scorer is has the same caliber print to measure groups.

-All other aspects in relation to the rest and rear bag etc remain the same and they shoot the same details and bench rotation as everyone else. Most of the flyshooters have the same rests bags and flags as we do.

These shooters shoot amongst the Short Range shooters and get exposure to the sport and I am confident once they see that we shoot 10 targets a day and the equipment that we use new members will emerge.

This forum topic is a proactive approach to gaining new shooters and capacity building in the sport if you have a comment to make please keep in mind this is about moving forward.

Your thoughts.

Cheers and good shooting to all
Les Fraser

chrisjon65's picture
New Class

Good idea Les
It’s something that we have struggled with at Silverdale and it’s a great option.
2 off our regular shooters shoot fly guns from 6 BR to 308.
Something that I have noticed talking to various other shooters is they struggle to get their heads around shooting a target without numbers on it .
Shooting a 5 shot group seems to be a struggle with some .
A seperate class is definitely the way to go and allows the opportunity for other disciplines simply shoot groups.
The question is where to begin?

tyrone.thompson's picture
Factory Class

We also need to look at introducing factory class. So people who buy a rifle off the shelf, can compete in there own division. As they might upgrade into custom rifle in future. Even if this is for club & state level events only.

QLD does have a supplementary rule book for this but probably needs a revisit on rifle specification. The scope power might need upgraded to 20x or 25x max power. Also need to look at rifle weight, as you don’t want to exclude anyone.

robbycar's picture
This has been tried before

Factory class is a great idea, and has been tried quite a few times before, and always failed.

There are always those who will try and cheat the rules, pillar bed, fit a match barrel, and they win every time.

Then other competitors get sick of losing all the time and stop entering.

But Les idea above has real merit.


BB Administrator

LJ Fraser
mentoring program

I have had 11 people message me away from the site and have provided this advice, they have felt in the past that they didn't feel as included in short range as they have done with other disciplines eg the fly.

I feel this may have been a misconception as short range shooters do their reloading at the range and there really isn't a lot of time for talking however you can reload in a fashion that makes the shoot easier to provide space between details. When i first started short range i pre loaded and it worked well but i found that because you can shoot as many sighters as you like loading at the range was a better option.

so i load 25 first thing in the morning before the weigh in and then load the ones i shoot. then over the lunch break i load another 25 and so on which provide lots of space for a chat or to look at the targets.

I take on board the comment on the site and i think that only have a 17lb weight limit and 6mm Cal works on many levels. Most fly shooters shoot 6mm something, Dasher, BR ackley, 6BR, 6GT, 6XC, 2mm x 284, 6mm Grinch, 6mm BRDX,6mm pro cal, and so on.

I feel that as a shooting group which is all bench rest disciplines there is skills to be learnt contained within everyone of them.

How i see this working is talking with our New National chair and putting the concept to the delegates and giving it a try. I will put the first trophy up and hopefully we can find a sponsor for new shooters. There will have to be a minimum of 5 entries for the discipline and it will be something new but it does not involve any other additional work. The class is simple 17lb rifle 6mm caliber and the rest is as per the bench rest rule book.

Most will know that the Fly actually started with the short range rule book and three shooters who loved short range developed the fly.

I am also going to post a mentoring idea up shortly for the thinkers to process this will involve having a HOF shooter assisting with new shooters to develop their skill set for the sport be email phone conversations and at matches.

Often there is always the comment "gee he started when the flags were blowing like hell and the group is a dot how did he do that" with a mentoring program shooters can talk with someone and build their toolbox for matches.

Please keep posting and thinking about ways to improve the sport.

cheers and good shooting to ALL

wazza's picture
Older Competitors

One thing I would love someone to look at is experimental class as it is just amazing how such rigs shoot so tiny groups on and on and on.

One only has to look at Steve Sori's groups at Coffs one year, one after one continuously really just great shooting by Steve, but I and many others cannot shoot these rigs because they are to bloody heavy to move and carry to the next bench because we are just too bloody old!

So my question is why can't we just draw a marble and sit at one bench for that yardage or the whole shoot of experimental you would have me and I am sure others.

I could say more, and just to clear one point I do know our rules, we have changed rules for other classes so can we look at experimental, I am throwing this out there for some comments, and I am sure there will be.

Regards to all


chrisjon65's picture

Registered matches are a no brainer and to do this we need to encourage regular monthly club shoots to the ranges capable of even folding them and those shooters in areas that can’t need to support those ranges when possible
Sadly geographically short range suffers from lack of range availability and the discipline has suffered catastrophically.
So do we try and focus on the ranges that can hold matches?
For our discipline to hold registered matches one would say suffers from extremely high level of requirements to achieve this.
A. We require good quality target frame and backing systems that can be easily retro fitted to existing range facilities.
B. We require reloading facilities of reasonable standard and generally uneffected by the weather elements.
C We require a target crew of reasonable ability and a knowledge of what the job entails
D we need a small group of volunteers to run the line , measure targets and ultimately
enter into the data base and put up results .
This can all be done , but the ranges need to have a solid core group of shooters to even consider registered matches .
We all need throw around the options and ideas but we can’t just talk about it but act on it .Chris

LJ Fraser
Hi guys just some feedback.

Firstly thanks to Barry and Chris for positing on this thread however the comments are not encouraging for new shooters or giving thought to how to get new shooters into the sport, rather personal views and that i will at least provide a response to.

Unfortunate as ageing is unlimited has a rightful place in short range many shooters (who actually attend matches) have rails and many don't some choose to put truck axles in their HV rifle and a large counter weight in the butt and shoot the match in this fashion.

If we changed every class the sporter would go as it kicks, and unsettles in the bags and is hard to shoot with confidence.

There is nothing wrong with the classes as they are the match has its integrity intact and should remain as it is.

Now to Chris-
your thread about ranges and the need for helpers volunteers etc is certainly at the height of other discussions with the new chairman i have made contact with Greg Chapman from the Wagga SSAA club who run great matches and have a great range. I am to prepare a brief for the club to consider for running matches. This thread is about encouraging new shooters at the clubs we currently have and they are in the few I do get that but there is no point in putting the range issues down in this thread please put constructive comments in the thread about tool boxes for matches.

Some of the discussions with many shooters who attended the Nationals for short range have spoken about developing a core group of organisers to do exactly that help to run a match for clubs. Often the real issues as to why matches aren't run the answer can be found in the mirror.

Every Short Range shooter who actively shoots or has gear needs to get to matches support the sport that has given them a sporting career and stop looking for the fountain of answers it just is not there.

Please post information that supports the encouragement of new shooters because without a membership the weight of rail or the lack of volunteers will not be an issue.

cheers and good shooting to all

BRT's picture
I pretty well agree with Les.

I pretty well agree with Les.
We mostly do have infrastructure as far as the ranges go. We are lucky with that. The target frames and that stuff can be built. Some of it transportable probably. But first we need the people to volunteer and if we can gain new shooters we all should explain to them that they also will be expected to also volunteer. Otherwise? Find another thing to do.
Many hands makes light work.
Although I do certainly agree that reasonable reloading facilities is a critical infrastructure thing which is particular to benchrest group shooting matches. Many ranges are lacking this and it costs money.
But the biggest real problem is volunteers and the notion of volunteering.
This word has almost disappeared from the shooters vocabulary. This whole sport actually runs on volunteers at many levels and it always has. The people in our sport still volunteering are all burnt out! Most are just taken for granted these days and often hardly even thanked for their service.
It's like a disease. A 'Cancer'
Want to know where to start? Like Les said, start with taking a look in the mirror. Basically each and every shooter needs to understand if they wish to be involved in this sport and enjoy the shooting and fellowship they will need to volunteer and they will need to keep doing it. This means somewhere, somehow to best of their ability. Also support, instead of criticize the others people doing different roles. It's a community.
This does NOT mean simply entering in a Match somewhere and turning up. That is not the example of "support" that is needed right now. In my opinion the people who just keep doing that and nothing else are just selfish.

What are some of the involvement levels?
Grass roots is the local clubs. Maybe not registered matches but continual program and calendar of local matches bring new shooters to come and try. Every local club benchrest shooter should be actively involved at this level
State level where there will be registered matches of various types being held and these WILL NEED actual physical support and work of all shooters who are NOT locals to that facility
Nationals level. Same things as mentioned above apply for National championships.
Committee levels. State committees, National committees and International committees. Also, what is often involved also is some level of commitment to the wider shooting community. Like, local club administration. State level and National general shooting sport involvement because this discipline like most others, needs to be within groups and associations banded together to further the sport. We as Benchrest cannot survive on our own.
None of these roles are paid positions. They will involve many hours and 'home time' hours of work and admin. As well as physically attending those State and National meetings.
Most shooters try to totally avoid any of this. The usual excuses come out like "I am not good with that so I leave it to others", or "I hate the politics and what people are doing", or "I don't have time for that, I want to just shoot"
So, to be honest, it is not easy, but that old saying is this:
"It's not what the sport can do for you. It is what YOU can do for the sport"
If everyone starts there then things will happen. The whole culture needs to change. Change is difficult and will be resisted. If that is so there will be many Benchrest rifles suitable for many classes of events, which just stay in a gunsafe somewhere.

I know I have said strong words here. I may be criticized for it. I don't care anymore. I am one of many whom have had enough. For me and Annie, 43 years of volunteering at every level and every discipline of Benchrest rifle shooting. Also with several different organisations. But we are sure not the only ones. I am simply expressing what most of the very few left still trying hard to do the work are feeling. Many other people have already left the sport because they could not stand the 'bludgers' and the 'users' within this sport. Selfish people they say. So those people are lost. Remember, it is easier to keep people within a sport than be constantly be trying to attract new people as we are now.
It's also probably time for a whole change of the people in administration of State and National committees. The 'Old Guard' still there you say? Make a change. Get fresh people in. You now have a new Benchrest National Committee chairman. John is a good guy. He needs younger people around him on his committee. So step up and get younger people as State representatives. Then get new faces running grass roots clubs and supporting.
But all that needs to happen first is look in the mirror and take a big think. You each will have lots of money and effort tied up in equipment and time. Did you forget about the other commitments? Or if this commitment is not there, maybe sell the gear and let someone else have a try.


Annie & Stuart Elliott

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Silver Fox HOF

Well said and too true Mr Elliot. I have copied your post (volunteers bit) it is important enough & needs it's own General thread.

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

Will007's picture
Great to see everyone Talking/thinking

Hi Everyone

Well its great to see that we are all thinking of how to improve or promote our sport , Great idea about super Heavy for fly shooters , i for one would welcome the fly shooters to short Range, could we possible trial it at a shoot where fly shooters just shoot out of class in Light and Heavy , surely we could organise some patches or prizes if we held such event.

Stuart is 100% correct the number one thing you can do is just ask how can i help. (Flags ,scoring , entering data , Range RO ,target crew all helpful roles )

Barry wont be giving up the rail gun anytime soon

Yes we need ranges to shoot at, but that comes down to us and how much effort we want to put in to make that happen.

Building frames etc is not hard, its time consuming and again you just need volunteers willing to do it and a club willing to support Benchrest shooting.

I hope to make this happen in Gladstone over the next 12 months , Range is now surveyed and i hope to be able to start frames etc over the next few month.

Build it they will come


Will Greer

Patrolit's picture

Well… this is a interesting topic. I agree with a lot of what has been put up.

Most on here don’t know me, not important to a degree… but I am some what new to BR Discipline… some what new to Sport Shooting, about 4 years worth and very much Fly orientated… been hunting etc since I was a teenager.

So an opinion from a Newish Range attendee, volunteer at local Branch as a now (Sadly) former SSAA RO, Shoot Cap and Branch Executive Member, and Farther who has tried to bring two Children into the sport over the last 4 years (and failed).


The volunteer issue, to be short. I see that I need to help others in there disciplines in hope that they will help me in mine. Those of you who were at the RF IRB/BR Qld State shoot the last 2 years and most recently last weekend BR CF Nationals in Springsure… will of got sick of seeing me and hearing my voice… “No Ammunition or Bolts on the Bench’s, Chamber empty Indicators in all actions please”…I don’t shoot short range BR as normal part of my shooting… and have no intention to… I Shoot Fly… but I hope if I help BR Short range shooters so they can enjoy their comp, and be able to concentrate on shooting and not changing targets or doing RO duties etc… they will help at a Fly event so I can enjoy my comp and I will not have to worry about Ro Duties and be able to concentrate on hitting a Fly.

That is how I see the volunteer side of things at a basic level.

The bringing in new shooters… to try and pull shooters from other areas of Benchrest to BR Short Range, Is that just robing Paul to pay Peter? Not really new shooters… just a thought.

If you look at a photo from 25, 30, 35 years ago… Annie, Stuart, Brendan and so on… you all look 25 to 30 years younger… were are the current photos with the groups of 25 to 30 year olds ( or younger in it)?

As a father Who has just been through the raising of 2 teenagers, as we have done the sporting circuit over the last how many years…Tennis, soccer and so on…. Guess what they all have? A junior league…

The parent body of Tennis, Soccer, League, cricket, Golf, Motor Sports, Motor cross, BMX…. Heck drag racing… all have a Junior league dedicated to starting juniors and bring them up the age brackets.

And Before you all go… Shane the National rule book caters for Juniors! So there is nothing to do as we already have a junior section… I hear that from a member of the QlD State Executive sadly, every time I have expressed my thoughts that is not what a junior league looks like. That is just a rule book…

Stuart, the old guard needs changing… you bet! ( I don’t mean that disrespectfully) but a fresh vision of growth and change is needed.

If we do not invest in a junior league… dedicated to juniors… junior fixtures… were they compete on even ground against there own… in a environment that they feel comfortable in… in a short period of time as the 60 year old Shooters turn 70…and then IF they make it to 80… it will then be… be nothing… as there will be no younger shooters to carry there Heavy Guns to the line.

From the very top down… National association bodies down to local level, we need an affordable Junior league program. Junior Fixtures.. to grow the sport… young grows, old dies.. that is reality!

At your local branch, what is the adult to junior ratio that actually come and shoot regularly?

You want this sport to survive after you are gone… then you need to think about who will be here once you are gone. It is the long game that we need to put in place to make sure that Tyrone T, And Dave Mc who were probably the youngest at the Nationals… are not the youngest in the photo in 20 years time.

Just my thoughts.

Shane C

Fly is shot off a Benchrest...

LJ Fraser
Thanks Shane

Thanks shane for putting up your thoughts and a junior program is a great idea that certainly needs exploration. I feel that the robbing shooters from the fly is not the case at all with only four shoots per state if don't follow the circuit you are shooting bench rest 4 times a year. The idea about encouraging fly competitors to have a go with the gear they currently have.

Yes for sure a junior program would be awesome but the reality is shooters are going to come from a competitive shooting background at an age when the footy is over the kids have grown and mum and dad have some time to get involved in a sport that has good people with reasonable sense of reality.

A very good example is the team of Dundas Kathy and David excellent shots that come from a rimfire background with their children. They became interested in the fly through exposure to the sport and now they are off on the circuit and doing really well.

I have given some thought to your post and what were some of the challenges you faced in getting your children interested in shooting. This information may be valuable in developing a junior program.

In the past week i have no less than 20 people express their interest in coming to a short range match and yes they are fly shooters, if they can have a crack at it under the proposed class it will at least give them some range time and get to experience and learn more about their way rifles react in bags and rests under new conditions.

There is no hard and fast road here. I started this thread and already put up three proposals to clubs for consideration so I am not sitting back letting the 60 turn 70 I am building capacity in the sport and hopefully some new shooters will get their children involved and hopefully remain in the sport as juniors and beyond.

And thank you for your range officer duties at Springsure I know everyone appreciated your great work and everyone felt comfortable with how the bench line was managed- flag in !!!!

Thanks again Shane for your input.
cheers and good shooting to all

BRT's picture
One more important thing.....

One more important thing.....

Something I forgot to make clear in my comments above. I think it is great that people here are trying and discussing different ways to bring into our sport new people. Whether they are juniors seniors or inbetween. BUT, please do not forget one important thing. When mentoring these new people and encouraging them about the different parts of Benchrest Rifle Shooting sports, be upfront and also explain that this sport IS ORGANISED AND RUN BY EACH OF US AS VOLUNTEERS. THERE IS AN EXPECTATION THAT THEY WILL ALSO NEED TO CONTRIBUTE IF THEY WANT TO JOIN THIS SPORT.

In fact it is all part of the benefits of being part of a community like this. So sell that as a benefit, but we really should all be upfront right from the beginning about this. Otherwise by not doing so enables the beliefs that all this stuff is available and is done for them! They certainly can easily get the impression that all they need to do is pay entry fees or something and it magically all happens. Like buying a service. Does not happen like this does it? So be upfront

You just have to be honest and explain how it all works. Every person involved should expect they will need to contribute in various ways continually for as long as they are part of this sport. It's like a family.

The days of assuming that people will just automatically get this are gone forever!
If someone whom you are mentoring is told this and pushes back from that... like you know the stuff..."well I don't get involved with clubs and politics because I hate that, blah, blah etc........ or "I just wanna shoot mate, I'll just keep a low profile" then read the warning signs..
Right there you should see you are wasting your time and oxygen. Wasting your energy and the sports soul. It is no use enabling them. Let them go somewhere else and go for the next person with a whole new attitude.
Please don't bring people into the sport with the wrong attitude as all the rest of us end up dealing with that.
Sorry I am being blunt. But the time for niceties and sweetness has long passed. We are all in trouble in this sport. It's pretty serious. We all need dedicated efforts. No time waters, no enabling. no entitlement, no empowerment. All those bad "E" words.


Annie & Stuart Elliott

New Class

I had hoped that someone else might have brought some reason to the fore but failing this I have reluctantly decided to make comment.

Some years ago we at the Melbourne Benchrest Club (here-after referred to as MBC) took steps to address the falling attendances at our traditional Benchrest Matches. Without trying to go into specifics as to why this state of affairs came to pass it will suffice to say that something needed to be done.

The immediate solution was to declare all of our BR matches open to all categories of 'Bag -Guns'. That this has worked is evident in the continued involvement of many more members over the last five years or so. However a few 'home-truths' have also surfaced.

The 100 yard event continued to be dominated by the traditional BR calibres (6mmPPC, 6mmBR & 30BR in their 'short-range' guise). The 'Fly' rifles with their high BC bullets hardly got a look-in.

At 200 yards things began to even out somewhat but the 'Fly' guns were certainly not always dominant despite some seriously good gear steered by seriously good shooters.

The Grand Aggregate always went to either a PPC (etc) or a combo of PPC (etc) and 'Fly'. I cannot recall a 'fly' rifle (for want of a better term) ever taking the Grand. And please remember this is 'open-slather' with no calibre or weight restrictions.

So where does this lead? Simple really - the suggested 'New Class' would just be another outing for the PPC shooter. 'Fly' shooters having a go would quickly realise that they are not likely to be truly competitive and may just as well have nominated for a traditional BR match and shot 'Out of Class'.

As for a restriction to 6mm for this proposed class to standardise the scoring procedure I would remind all that from time to time BR shooters use other than 6mm and experienced scorers are always aware that such might be the case.

The bottom line is that I think it is a dumb idea that few if any organisers would wish to add to their problems (despite the good intentions of the author).

Peter van Meurs

Peter van Meurs

chrisjon65's picture

Hi Peter
I would love to hear your feed back as to why short range shooting in Victoria is now obsolete so as to not repeat it any where else.
I agree with you in one point, if you want to shoot a fly gun at 100 and 200 you will be struggling to match PPC
To me that will only be a problem for someone who in my mind is nothing but a trophy hunter.
This my very very new interpretation of this discipline
To me short range is a discipline designed to challenge the individual .
It’s definitely not for 99 % shooters
Maybe anyone who wants to pursue the discipline needs to try it to see if they have the grit to master it .
As Les stated early in the topic .
Fly shooters along with rimfire shooters have all the gear required to shoot short range other than the rifle.
It’s about introducing these shooters to focus on group shooting ,no numbers no flies no mozzies no bull ants.
I shot my first short range match using a 223 Remington and a 6 x 45 BSA I came dead last , but I was hooked
You won’t shove short range into someone who doesn’t have the right mind set
The answer is let everyone know you have an avenue for them to try it and see what it’s about.
Everyone at the range looks at all the cool rests and great looking rifles but all to scared to ask .
Be pro active, let them shoot your rifle , tell them we have a club shoot once a month and encourage them to come with their current rifle and shoot groups
It worked for me .

Event appeal

I would not say that BR is obsolete in Vic but perhaps dormant. It is certainly a very demanding and serious discipline and viewed as bland by some.

The advent of the 'Fly' event introduced a different set of challenges that seemed to appeal to more new-comers and also added the novelty factor of a combined score/group match. Toss in the 'Fly Patch' for a hit on the insect and you get extra interest.

At MBC we have taken this further with our 'Mozzie Shoot' version of the 'Fly' at 300 yards which appeals to a great many shooters, including those who wish to shoot factory rifles. We cater to the 'Factory' guys by separating their results from the 'Custom' class. Custom is open to all 'bag guns' and yet the little PPC is an ever present threat. The result is good-spirited competition at 'Club' level with good attendances.

I think it obvious that the relatively recent introduction of so-called 'Long Range Precision' rifle shooting will make it very difficult to attract younger (and fitter) shooters to what is rapidly becoming an older persons sport (namely traditional benchrest). The new discipline involves action, motion, rapid-fire etc all of which seems to be very much in vogue with the younger guys. We are not going to be able to reverse that trend unless some draconian regulations were to pass into law banning such 'Military-Style' rifles. This is something none of us would want to see.


Peter van Meurs

LJ Fraser
re open thread to encourage conversation about BR membership

Hi everyone as 2024 opens it's doors to us we have an opportunity to open this thread again and seek out positive discussion about how to increase our membership and get shooters interested in the sport of Centrefire bench rest shooting.

There has been some discussion about an additional class to encourage shooters to use what they have and see if they like the sport. I feel it is time to capture the great ideas and begin online conversations to encourage new ranges and posible new members to the sport. Rob has stated that a membership fee now allows for members of this site to have additional features such as posting on this site and other important contributions which I feel is a direction that other sites may follow in the future but at least rob put it out there.

Australia Day is just around the corner and with this being a 3 day shoot should be a great experience at Canberra. The rising cost of shoots and components will certainly play a large part on the entries for matches moving forward but I guess the luxury of volunteers to assist has now come to a head and paid support has been the only option.

As members to this site please post your comments with clarity so the membership can open these online conversations and draft some ideas for 2024.

Over too you

John B
John B's picture

I think that attending or organising club shoots at your local range is the best way to keep interest in the sport. Most new shooters are reluctant to just turn up to a big match not knowing what to expect. But coming along to a local club match on a Saturday morning would be less daunting. This is where I believe all experienced shooters should try and attend, mentor some new shooters and guide them into the sport.

LJ Fraser
Benchrest training day

Hi John and Chris what do you think about holding a training day at Silverdale and have it advertised for a month on the calendar when you have your short range match and we put our thinking caps on and develop a introductory day for anyone who is interested. I have decided when I go to fly matches this year I will take my short range rifle and some gear and try and generate interest. additionally at my long range club I have held information session on benchrest equipment and what is possible in relation to group sizes. Chris i would really like to explore the school idea I know that several schools have large bore rifle teams that shoot at kings prizes perhaps we could provide an information session and take along equipment and speak with potential members in years to come. We have to start somewhere 2024 is the year of action we either get it going in the right direction or it will slowly decline to nothing. Whats your thoughts.

chrisjon65's picture
New recruits

Sorry just checking if I can post
I spend a lot of time at Silverdale just talking to the general shooting population.
The issue is they genuinely don’t understand what short range is about .
This is how I see things .
Today I went to Silverdale to sought some loads out for The Oz day shoot.
I set up my gear in the reloading room and I left the door open .
I had 2 visitors who were curious about the bright blue gun I was shooting at bench 21 and wondered in to see what it was .
I explained to them as best I could that our discipline is about Group Shooting .
These guys have hunting rifles, as I said to them it doesn’t matter .
I explained to them it’s about shooting the smallest group you can with the gear you
have available to you .
They are both keen to come to our club shoot in February and I have their E mail addresses to send them a reminder .
It’s about being seen and networking
We need to loose the mystique of our discipline.
Dumb it down and encourage the blokes with hunting rifles to shoot the smallest 5 shot groups they can .
As I have said in the past , I shot my first registered match with a 223 Remington and came dead last , but I was hooked .
Les the suggestion of a short range day is good, and I will chase it up .
I agree that our discipline needs new blood , but it’s about encouraging general shooters to the concept of shooting small groups with the equipment they currently have and teaching them to get the best out of the guns they have
In doing that they will inevitably move to the next level
As soon as they shoot a .250 group using a PPC trust me, they will get hooked .
Cheers Chris

attracting new members

I thought id throw in my 2 cents worth, with todays cost of living you wont find many new members who have 3-6k to throw at a new or used BR rifle , or a couple of grand on a front rest, most use bipods or range rest. But they may have a good hunting rifle. As some one said earlier, hunter class might be the way to go. Walk the line at Silverdale and they are all hunting rifles in the racks, and some worth a few grand at that.
But would a sporter profile barrel hunting rifle be accurate enough for 5 shots in 7 minutes? depends on calber i suppose, group shooting might not be the go for them, but hunter class targets might interest them more., still have the scoring circles but have a rabbit or fox background. yes, still 5 shots in 7 minutes or what ever it is., but different attitude or approach.
The BR training maybe of interest to some, especially the cause and effect of wind on a projectile in flight. I usually dont put up flags but i put up streamers next to my target, better than nothing i think. Im just to lazy to put up flags and im just shooting for the fun of it, i dont compete at all. Ive watched blokes chase their tails trying to sight in their rifles on days with a bit of wind, and they just have no idea, changing scope setting with every shot. And their target looks like some one shoot it with a shotgun. A wind reading class would help everyone i think. What if you had a target camera set up on one bench, and have Les or John, or another HOFamer doing the shooting, showing how hold for wind helps and not holding blows it off course, all visible on a monitor so all can watch live.
And there needs to be some sort of advertising at the range. There is no mention of BR shooting at Silverdale at all, or there wasnt last time i was there.
What about a best target of the week wall at the range, just to encourage shooters into a bit a friendly competition amongst themselves and that might lead them into some BR shoots.
I know the last 2 points are the range responsibility but maybe someone should speak to them about it.

chrisjon65's picture

Michael to encourage shooters one must participate as much as possible in the concept of recruiting.
As a group we need local shooters to support the club shoots and be seen in as bigger numbers as possible each month .
I understand many have work commitments etc but support of the local club shoots is vital and where possible everyone needs to make an effort and participate.
In the case of Silverdale we have a few shooters in the Sydney region who don’t support our shoots and that’s where the issue is.
As I have said in the past, The late Steve Sori , John Babic , My wife and I drive 3 hours down to Canberra as often as we can just support that ranges Club shoots. Why one might ask, because that’s supporting the discipline and participating as much as possible .
How can I expect support from other shooters if I don’t make every effort I can to support the discipline.
Food for thought . Cheers Chris

LJ Fraser
Discussion at Australia Day

Hi everyone perhaps this conversation can be expanded out at Canberra this week I will at the range from Tuesday through to Sunday I have said i would help Rob set and get the match ready so with cordless drill off i go.

These conversations on the forum are very important as it keeps the focus on the sport we enjoy so if any positive can came from that is will be great and we can build on this.

See you at Canberra

Mark Tallar
More shooters in benchrest

We need more benchrest shooters, not necessarily new shooters which are always welcome but the older benchrest shooters, ones that have all the gear to come back or pass it down to new shooters.
I can remember when the Australia Day and Nationals would get 90 shooters and maybe 5-10 would not show, rimfire back 15 years ago would be a full house of 90 shooters and a waiting list, this was not all that long ago, all these people still have the gear to compete, maybe we need another class, by this I mean a class for centrefire for the old 6x47, PPC, 223 or 308s, sleeved action Remingtons with RTM stocks, fiberglass stocks or wooden stocks, say a historic class for benchrest, mind you they can still be up there in this day and good aggs in the right hands, they could still shoot when we shoot LV, HV and sporter, even experimental, more numbers can only be good for the sport.
I have seen many club shooters that think they are not good enough for competition they shoot very well and could match many shooter in competition, you will learn more going to one competition match then you will learn at club level in a year, club level is very high in some clubs, come along. There are a lot of benchrest guns out in the community that are not being used.
They are in the Gun Safe being safe queens and collecting dust.
Some people still enjoy shooting the old Remingtons, maybe a social outing.
This could be a cheaper fun way to shoot benchrest, any views can be put up here, there are plenty of people to help new shooters, put your opinions up on this site, we are here to help. This goes for centrefire and rimfire.
Has covid stopped people and have moved off to a different direction, maybe? .



chrisjon65's picture
More shooters

Another issue that is a problem .
A lot of the time general shooters struggle with the cost associated with shooting benchrest at the highest level.
When you see match quality guns for sale @ $5000 and above it is only
natural folks Bork at the idea . That’s about 3 hunting rifles worth.
We did a rough costing a while back to establish a bit of general baseline cost to get into short range and there isn’t much change from 8k .
Until good rifles are attainable at around 3k we will struggle.
So what’s the answer.
Well as Mark maybe of those older rifles need to get on the market for sensible prices.
I got both my Teddys and both my Pandas for 3k each and came with good barrels that I still shoot now .
It’s time to be sensible about prices and folks shouldn’t be asking $5000
For guns they bought 20 years ago for $1000.

older shooters

I think most of the older shooters are in thieir late 70's 80's or 90's and some might have health issues that prevent them from travelling to comps or local club shoots. I went to a comp at silverdale in the mid to late 2000's and i could tell then that it was an old blokes thing. Im nearly 60 now and those blokes were a lot older than me. Maybe someone thats been in the game a long time could reach out to the older blokes that dont shoot anymore and see if they still have their rifles and reloading gear that they might like to sell.
Mark, i didnt want to reply to this comment of yours so as to not get into a argument but you said " you will learn more going to one competition match then you will learn at club level in a year" well, i went to the 2020 nationals, my first ever comp i entered and my last, and i didnt learn anything other than comps are not for me. I learnt more by myself shooting alone at silverdale in the preceding 13-15 years. Comps are not for everyone, i try and get to clubs shoots at silverdale but work gets in the way most times.
Another things i'll mention is known BR gunsmiths, their needs to be a list so people who maybe interested could look up and phone or email the gunsmith for a rifle build. A few years ago myself and another bloke i know wanted a brand new PPC built by who we perceived as the best We both rang and left messages with no reply and then sent emails again with no reply. So mate bought a new F class rifle and bought a new fly rifle. That doesnt help the sport to grow either. So i'll just keep banging away with my John Giles built panda.\
Also there needs to be more advertising at the ranges of up coming club shoots and comps. Most people at the range use hunting rifles, so again ill say their may need to be a hunting rifle class comp.

chrisjon65's picture

I do recall Supershoots used to be more popular and an opportunity to mix things up a bit .
I have been considering an event option which could potentially be held at Silverdale.

As many may not know , Silverdale range Approval by NSW firearms has been delayed for well over 12 months and the reason for this is unknown by both range management and Sydney Branch .
In saying that we have been unable to reintroduce the 200 yard concrete slab to cater for the moving backers and 200 target frames .
So my proposal would be 100 yd event only , as we could install moving backers at this distance at the range currently
My thinking is to potentially have a multi class group shooting event out to 100 yds only.
I would appreciate feedback regarding possible classes.
Options may be :
PPC , Fly guns capped at 6mm , Rimfire comp. Rimfire hunting , Factory Hunting rifles.
It’s an idea at this stage so comment would be appreciated . Chris

good idea

Sounds like a good idea Chris. Are you looking at this as a monthly club shoot or an annual event? To gauge the interest you should post the idea on Luke's silverdale facebook page as im sure most blokes that go to Silverdale dont know about this web site.
I know your taking about group shooting, but how about score shooting? In the US there is a comp called UBR. Where the targets are sized for different calibers, so the 30 cal does not have the edge, its all evened up by target size.

chrisjon65's picture

Why is Group shooting unpopular?
I would appreciate people’s thoughts on the subject
Generally we have what I would call 2 types of Bench Rest categories.
*Group shooting (Aim: Shoot five shots into the same hole in 7 minutes)
*Score Shooting (Aim: Hit the bullseye every time over various time frames)
Are they 2 completely different beasts and require completely different skill sets?
Score shooting has dozens of different avenues to pursue as a shooter ranging from Full Bore to Rimfire to Air Guns and shot at multiple distances using multiple styles of targets, shot indoors and outdoors and extremely popular with shooters
Group Shooting requires a little round circle ⭕️ on a bit of paper as a target and moving backers( To Stop Cheating)
So Why is it so unpopular?and why do such a small amount of BR shooters go down the Group Shooting path.

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