NBRSA 2001 Benchrest Shool
I just got back from BR shool that was held at the Holton Gun Club in Michigan and have to say that the time spent was worth every minute of my 30 hour drive time. The school was to begin on Friday night with a raffle drawing where everybody was a winner. One lucky shooter walked away with a brand new BR rifle. Others got reloading tools, loading manuals, rifle barrels, chamber jobs, reamers, bullets, cleaning supplies, front rest, gun powder, etc. I couldnt believe the amount of stuff that was given away to all of the attendees it was certainly worth the entry fee into the school just for the drawing.
The school was organized by Francis Becigneul who did a fantastic job. It was obvious how much time he must have spent organizing such an event. The instructors also dedicated a bunch of time and energy to introduce the forty of us newbies to the fine sport of Benchrest shooting.
Above is a picture of the instructors for the weekend.
Above is a picture of the students. The first morning of class began in the clubhouse where we learned about range safety from Francis Becigneul, etiquette from Bill Gammon, Paul Becigneul on load development including the Sin wave technique, and Case preparation from Skip Otto. We then went to the range to learn about wind flags, and their placement on the range. Here are a couple of pictures of the classroom instruction.
Then we spent some time with our individual instructors on loading, case preparation, and shooting technique at the bench. Also while shooting, we were being taught about reading windflags and the effect of wind on the bullet. We had the opportunity to shoot different wind conditions to determine what the effect on the bullet was.
Above, the instructor teaches the proper way to hold up the roof - one lean on one side of the pole and another lean on the opposite side.
Here is a picture of my father shooting Jim Hutchinsons gun a beauty it is with its Scoville carbon fiber stock. This picture was taken on Saturday during the instructional time on shooting.
Here is a picture of Dick Wright instructing Chuck Bogardus (Bogie) on the correct way to do things. At the end of the day, a steak dinner was on the agenda and I have to say that it was one of the best steaks that I have had in quite some time. We each cooked our own steak on over hot coals until it met our satisfaction. We spent the time talking about the days learnings and the experience gained.
That evening, a number of us sat in the loading barn sharing. Bogie fired up a cigar to help keep the mosquitoes under control. We all sat around the loading benches sharing a story or two. These are the times that one cant find in the course description but yet make the experience a great one.
Match time on Sunday here is the shooting line. There were 3 relays and 50 participants in the match on Sunday. Both instructors and students participated in the match. Competition was fierce, although a few of us shot some big groups. It seemed that there was some vertical out there, and it was surprising a number of us. I had two groups that turned ugly from one shot that dropped low. At the wailing wall, there was some discussion around this vertical component that wasnt showing on the windflags. The conversation at the wailing wall seemed to indicate to me that others were experiencing the same kind of problems with vertical fliers. Now was a good time to polish up on the excuses. It was the gun, the wind coming over the roof, the Holton ghost, the load, low bullet tension, etc.
Here is Vince Williams taking a gander down at the targets during the match. There were a number of spotting scopes down the line, and there was always somebody interested in seeing how the targets were looking throughout the match. The instructors were not actively coaching the students during the actual match but they were still very interested in how we were doing.
Above is my father shooting a group. I watched through the spotting scope as he shot the group that is shown below and measured .094" a screamer group at his first match. I watched as he was shooting and the bug-hole just bulged slightly at each shot.
Here is the target of my fathers screamer group on the wailing wall. It was good enough for a match pin.
During the second match, I shot a .111 group (my personal best) that got me a second place in that match to a .102 that was fired by another shooter. On the bench next to me, a woman by the name of Barb Walters shot a screamer group during the first match that measured a tidy .066". Here is a picture below of Barb with her target.
Here is a picture of Bill Larson accepting his 2nd place plaque. He was shooting with Skip Ottos gun and he decided that he wasnt giving it back. Bill finished with a .2188 agg using Skips olive green gun.
Here is a picture of Don Mulder who won the match with a .2030 ag. During the first match, he shot a screamer group of .074 and didnt get a match pin because of Barbs .066 group.
I think that it is fair to say that the 2001 NBRSA Benchrest school was an overwhelming success. Shooters with varying levels of experience were able to learn plenty from the very experienced instructors. 3 screamer groups were shot by students in this class at the match on Sunday - and yes there was a moving backer system in place.