From March the 29th we are going to be allowed back to our clubs to shoot, albeit with social distancing, sanitiser and other sensible safety measures.
This will also be the start of the GBR 2021 Summer League which will begin on the 4th of April, and would be the ideal time for club shooters to give our simple and fun version of bench rest a go. Some clubs, like Dartmoor, West Devon and Mendip already have 25m target holders, but really all you need is a bench, a bean bag and 25 yards, and every club in SWEFTA has a zero range.
Dartmoor and West Devon have some nice BR benches, Mendip doesn’t and nor do any of us who shoot at home, mostly we have a workmate of some sort, or in Nigel’s case an ironing board…. not sure if it is retired or not!
Fancy adjustable rests are nice to have, as are special stocks and scopes with a fine cross hair, but Duncan Goodes recently put in a highly competitive score using a bog standard S400 with a 10mag HFT scope on top, and Paul Salmon wins our fun comps most weeks using a 30 year old Air Arms Shamal. None of us use £1000 co-axial BR front rests, in fact Paul S would faint on the spot at the prospect of spending that much money….. on anything, let alone a rest. Mostly we use bean bags of some sort or the kind of rifle rests many clubs already have… a wooden block or a bipod will do, just something to keep the front of the rifle up.
Target faces can be found in the files section of the SWEFTA FB page, either A3 or A4 (called Left and Right). E-mail me for those templates if you are not on Facebook. You don’t need to score your cards if you don’t want to, just e-mail me a clear picture or two… note, it does need to be sharp and in focus because if you can’t see the pellet holes… neither can I.
One thing to make clear, the point of the competition is not to beat one another. From Cornwall to North Somerset is around 125 miles, so the wind and weather conditions in those two places are very unlikely to be the same on any given Sunday, plus Paul S may shoot at 7.00 am where as I choose to shoot at 4.00 pm, so not exactly a level playing field. Instead, the competition is to see how well you, your rifle, scope and pellets can do against the conditions on the day, I have had as much fun and frustration shooting a 247 on a sunny day as shooting a 206 in a gale.
If you think BR is boring, it ain’t. If you think it is easy, it ain’t. If you think it is impossible, it ain’t, what it is is a challenging form of precision shooting which, as a bonus, will teach you more about wind and air movements than you ever thought possible.
Give it a go.
What have you got to lose?