Rimfire Benchrest FAQs

Rimfire Benchrest FAQs

Here we have a selection of commonly asked questions. If you can’t find the answer to your question, then please drop us an email.

Where can I shoot this style of shooting?2020-02-21T18:22:16+00:00

All you need is a Home Office Approved Range of 25m of 50m. Most clubs will be able to allow you to shoot from a bench, but there are a handful of clubs that are not able to allow this due to their range orders.

Do I need a Fire Arms Certificate to be able to shoot Benchrest?2020-02-21T18:22:00+00:00

No, if you are a member of a small bore club and have permission to use the clubs rifles you do not need an FAC. Also you can shoot using an Air Rifle up to .22 calibre, and 12flbs or under.

Can I apply for my Fire Arms Certificate after joining the UKBR22 Association?2020-02-21T18:21:42+00:00

No, we are a postal competition association and as such we are not an approved Home Office Club.

How much is it to join your association, and what do I get for my money?2020-02-21T18:21:21+00:00

Membership is £15.00 per person, per year (1st April to 31st March). For this you will receive a membership card and free entry into 2, 5 round competitions ran each year. Each competition has 12 classes. These consist of 6 Air Rifle classes as follows; 25meter indoor, sporter, light varmint, heavy Varmint. 25meter outdoor sporter, light varmint, heavy varmint. rimfire classes consist of the following classes, 25meter indoor or outdoor, sporter, light varmint, heavy varmint and 50meter outdoor only, sporter, light varmint, and heavy varmint.

Will I be at a disadvantage when I start shooting these competitions?2020-02-21T18:20:55+00:00

No, after the first 3 rounds have been shot and the cards sent in for scoring, the competition secretary will place each shooter into a division along with others shooting the same average scores.

What rifle is best for benchrest?2020-02-21T18:20:40+00:00

There are so many rimfire rifles and air rifles to choose from it is hard to say what is best if not impossible. The best advice is to have a dedicated rifle. In other words a rifle that conforms as close as possible to the maximum allowed in each classification. So right on the limit with weight, the maximum allowed width at the fore end etc. Dedicated rifles always shoot better than adapted one.

Is the scope important and if so which scope should I use?2020-02-21T18:20:17+00:00

Yes the scope is very important, however scopes are a personal item, what suites one person may not work for another. Some like just a fine cross hair while others like a fine cross hair with a target dot, and some like tactical reticules. The amount of light that the scope gathers changes from shooter to shooter. A good starting point would be something like a Weaver T36, or a Sightron benchrest 36 power scope (others are available). The best way to find this out is to try other people’s scopes or attend a shooting show and visit the scope manufacturer’s stands.

How much is a front rest and a rear bag?2020-02-21T18:19:59+00:00

You can buy an entry level front rest from as little as £250.00, and at the other end of the scale you can be looking at almost £1,000.00. Personal recommendations would be to start somewhere in the middle of the price range (this way you will have a rest that you can sell if you wish to progress in the sport). The rear bag is similar, you can start at around £35.00 and move up in price to around £150.00.

Do the front rest and rear bag need to match?2020-02-21T18:19:38+00:00

No, they can be different makes. However a good rule of thumb is to try and ensure the rifle sits level when resting in the front rest and rear bag.

Can I shoot UKBR22 competition cards on a 20 yard or 20 meter range?2020-02-21T18:19:03+00:00

No, the minimum distance allowed is 25 Meters.

Can I clamp the rifle into the front rest?2020-02-21T18:18:46+00:00

No, the rules do not allow the rifle to be clamped, nor are you allowed to hold the rifle down with a strap or elasticated cord. The rifle should be able to “free-recoil” and indeed you are at a disadvantage if the rifle is held to tightly in the rest.

Do I have to complete the competition cards in under 20 minutes?2020-02-21T18:18:31+00:00

Yes, the time allowed is an international standard, and should you take part in a shoulder to shoulder competition you would have no other choice. When you first start it seems a daunting task, and most people either run out of time or shoot too quickly. After so practice you should find that 20 minutes is more than enough time, However when shooting outdoors and waiting for wind conditions you may find yourself wishing for a little more time.

Do wind flags help?2020-02-21T18:18:12+00:00

Yes they do, well at least they make a difference. By using wind flags you get a better sense of wind speed and direction, this will then help in understanding the bullet drift and hopefully where the bullet will strike the target. This is often seen as a black art and from time to time the bullet will do the exact opposite of what you expect.

Do I need to spend a lot of money on wind flags?2020-02-21T18:17:52+00:00

No you do not have to spend a lot of money, but as with all things, buy the best you can afford. People fit magnetic video tape to the backs of their flags as this is very sensitive and will often move before the flag rotates, thus giving you more indication of what the wind is doing. This is a cheap way of reading the wind. Lots of practice will help you better understand wind flags.

How much can I expect getting involved in Benchrest shooting to cost me?2020-02-21T18:22:55+00:00

How long is a piece of string? The short answer is anything from around £1,200.00 up to several thousand, it really depends upon how far you want to go. If you start off with a cheap front rest and rear bag, purchase an old prone rifle and pick up a half descent second hand scope, you should be underway for £1,200 or less. If you fall for it and start competing in competitions around Europe and the world you will need to be competitive, this lead to needing to spend a lot of money. Top end front rest £900.00, rear bags and sand can set you back £250.00 or more, the best scopes between £2,000.00 and £2,500.00, custom built rifle, in excess of £4,000.00, carry case around £350.00 then you can expect to be shooting £2,000.00 + of ammunition per year.

NO, is the answer to the next question, “Do you get help or funding to travel abroad and represent our country”? Sadly all trips abroad are self-funding (guess we should have picked a more socially acceptable sport!!)

What Rifle is best for Benchrest ?2020-02-16T13:47:41+00:00

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.

Are scope rings important ?2020-02-16T13:47:24+00:00

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.

What is the best front and rear sand bag ?2020-02-16T13:47:01+00:00

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.

What Ammunition ?2020-02-16T13:44:53+00:00

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.

Make Your Own Ammunition Box

Do you have any tips for new shooters?2020-02-16T13:41:07+00:00

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.

How much sand do I put in the sand bag ?2020-02-16T13:27:44+00:00

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.

What sand do I use to fill my sand bags2020-02-16T13:27:17+00:00

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.

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