Rimfire Benchrest FAQ

Q What sand do I use to fill my sand bags ?
A The easiest is to go to a Pet Store and buy Bird Cage sand, alternatively Play Pit sand is also good and fine. One thing you must do after that Sunday Roast is put the sand in the oven on a tray to make sure it is thoroughly dry. It’s then easier to put into the sand bag. Use a small funnel that fits into the leader leather tube or as I did make up a thin cardboard one stuck together with cellotape. I since found that my Reloading Powder funnel will fit perfectly, make sure you clean it before loading any more centre fire cartridges. There is what they call a ‘Heavy Sand’ available but I only know of Sinclair in the US as a supplier.

Q How much sand do I put in the sand bag ?
A This is basically up to the shooter, some Rules state that you should be able to depress the bag by min 6mm, our Rules do not include this condition. Try it out and you will come to a decision which is best for your rifle weight and stability.

Q Do you have any tips for new shooters?
A Yes, by looking at the files on the FAQ's download page which can be accessed with Adobe Acrobat and printed out. Some files are quite big, such as the Stock Conversion, Equipment Advice and Windage Top Design, as they contain lots of images. These files are approximately 800kb in size. All other files do not exceed 450kb. If further advice or help is needed, please email the webmaster. Smaller, but less quality files can be emailed to you.

Q What Ammunition ?
A Now that’s a question and a half. This all down to preference and what you trust to be accurate in your rifle. We always try to provide members information on what other shooter use in the way of ammunition, these details are shown on the Score Sheets sent out with the News Letters. As we have many shooters from the UK, Europe, Ireland and the US the choice and what shooters use is very wide. In the UK Eley Tennex or Match EPS is most popular, Lapua is good but has lost it’s edge recently but I hear if you can get the right batch number it is very good. Some members in the UK are using the SK range with good results. In Europe the members use Eley but also have success with RWS R50 and R100, Fiocchi SM 320. In the US most shooters either use the Eley Tennex or Match EPS with a brigade of Lapua followers. There is also success with Wolf which is now available in the UK at selected outlets.

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Q What is the best front and rear sand bag ?
A Again this is down to personal preference, the best are Protektor. The front ‘Owl Ear’ bag should be to match what ever rifle you use, they come in three different width, overall they are all 51/4” but the gap between the ‘Owl Ears’ varies from 11/2” to 3” which is the maximum width allowed under the rules for a flat rifle forend. The rear bags suggested by all the top shooters are the ‘Bunny Ear ’Protektor sand bags not ‘Rabbit Ear’ these are to big. You will need at least a medium sized bag so you get the height. These bags come with either leather or Cordura ears. The Cordura are more ‘slippy’ but will lose that after use for while, you can buy a replenishing silicon spray from Sinclair in the US. The leather ones I find are best and if necessary talcum powder or a spray deodorant can be applied to make more ‘slippy’. I have never found this necessary.

Q Are scope rings important ?
A Yes very! There are many scope rings on the market from the very expensive to the cheap and nasty, from quality steel to pressed aluminum. It is always best to purchase steel rings either single or double screw. I think the single screw ones are best and I always go for the “Hillver” rings manufactured by B-square (Texas) and supplied in the UK by www.deben.com Their range is extensive and the design very good, they also produce a set especially to fit the Anschutz where the top of the dovetail is rounded, quite a few ring sets will not fit as they are made for flat topped dovetails. Hillver also do rings for other rifles. The design is similar to the Leupold rings but less expensive. What ever rings you decide on they must be set up properly or the tube can be damaged. You will need a 25mm or 30mm rod, depending on tube diameter, when the rings are fitted to the rifle place this rod in the rings to make sure they are in line with axis of the barrel. Adjust as necessary and even use some wet and dry to rub down the rings inside so the alignment is correct. The slightest fault with the mounts not forming a good complete ring around the scope body will cause problems at 50M.

Q What Rifle is best for Benchrest ?
A There are so many rimfire rifles out there it’s impossible to suggest any as being the best. Firstly you should choose which Class you would like to shoot in, this clarifies the maximum weight. The Sorter Class also has to be magazine fed. As an indication of weights: Anschutz 1451 – 6.3lbs; Anschutz 64MPR – 9lbs; Anschutz 1903 – 10.1lbs; Anschutz 54 match – 14.3lbs; Anschutz 1700 Sporter series – 7.3 to 8lbs; Ruger 10/22 – 5lbs; Ruger 10/22 Target – 7.5lbs; Ruger 77/22 – 6lbs; Ruger 77/22 Target – 7lbs, all CZ’s are about the same weight as the Rugers. These rifles will have to include the weight of the scope which can be as much as 24oz but generally around 17oz. If you ever manage to get hold of an Anschutz BR50 then this would be very near perfect, unfortunately Anschutz have stopped making this range. It’s made specifically for Benchrest, has a 19.5” barrel, special stock and weighs in at 10.3lbs without a scope. However, some alteration or weight reduction would need to be made to get into the 10.5 pound class, as most scopes will weigh in at 1.5 pounds. Generally all other target Anschutz, Martini’s rifles etc. will give good results as they are all very accurate but limited to the Unlimited Class due to the weight being about 14 to 15lbs with scope and all the bits and bobs.

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