Bench rifle shooting has its origins in shooting for those with limited mobility but has grown to mean different things to different people.
As prone shooters age, getting down to the ground (and getting up again!) can become more and more of a challenge. So, it is now accepted that sitting at a bench supporting the rifle with the body only and using normal open sights is a suitable alternative. A photo and associated details is required to register ones position with the NSRA and then normal competitions over 25, 50 & 100yds can be entered. A fore-end rest can also be used with “open” sights.
A similar situation exists with those of limited mobility particularly shooting from a wheelchair.
With the introduction of a fore-end rest and telescopic sights groups naturally become tighter. In order to introduce a differential the NSRA standard ten bull target has been adapted with an inner “X” ring within the bull. We enter a number of such “Bench” competitions to accommodate this group of shooters.
Inevitably the consistency of ammunition and weight/stability of the rifle become increasingly important factors and at the extreme end of the sport there is highly specialised equipment where the sport leans towards budget and technology. We haven’t entered this specialist arena.
With the introduction of PCP air rifles there is little to distinguish between the accuracy of air and LR rifles and a number of competitions allow either format. Air is often a less costly point of entry than LR.
Bench shooting with a fore-end rest and “open” sights makes an ideal introduction to shooting as it involves less specialist equipment and adjustment to achieve perceptible results.