The majority of people that are now shooting Rimfire Benchrest have probably progressed from Prone and maybe looked at it originally with some derision! The remark most regularly heard being “how can you miss? its supported at both ends” Well take it from me after shooting prone for more years than I care to remember. You can and will.
benchrest 50m target
There are many crucial elements to any form of Benchrest Shooting one of them being the quality of the equipment you use. When I say quality it does not necessarily mean expensive. A reasonable .22 rimfire rifle supported at the forend on a firm stand accompanied by a well designed back bag and a scope with a sensible magnification will do the job. That is not to say that a rifle and associated sundries specifically designed and built for Benchrest will not give you an edge, because it will, but as a old mate of mine has been known to say (more than once) “Its the nut behind the butt”.
Probably the best place to start “Benchrest” is indoors. Why? Because there will not be any outside influences to affect you or your shot. eg Wind.
As you no doubt already know when shooting “Benchrest”, in any of its guises you are seated alongside a hopefully solid table/platform with your rifle at a comfortable height and distance from you. As in any form of shooting you do not want to be straining your neck or body to get a clear view down the sites or scope. So get comfortable first.
You will have already correctly aligned your rear bag with the front rest to ensure that the rifle is, normally, aiming at the centre of the target. This also allows the rifle to recoil straight and smooth.
Getting the best site picture and focus through the scope can only be obtained be getting the eye relief spot on. This varies from person to person and is also dependent on the scope design and may take some time to perfect.
Scope sights usually have either a dot in the centre or cross hairs, this is down to personal taste.
When you are happy that it is safe to do so insert the rifle bolt and load with your preferred selected ammunition. Do this causing as little movement to the rifle as possible as it will without doubt have altered your point of aim. Check your point of aim and adjust as necessary then with as little contact as possible with the rifle gently squeeze the trigger.
Either through the scope on the rifle or a spotting scope check the shot. Its taken the spot out!! NO its not that easy is it?. Shooting indoors is normally at a distance of 25mtrs with little or no outside influences the only exception being ammunition. No two makes are the same nor are any two batches and neither will suit all makes of rifle.
Once one is committed to “Benchrest” and dedicated to obtaining the ultimate score batch testing is a must. This consists of testing numbers of multiple batches of various makes of ammunition in an effort to get the smallest group. Once the ideal batch is found buy as much as you can afford and continue chasing the dream.
Then move outdoors and start all over again you will be up against the vagaries of the wind, or lack of, heat and rain, none of it either constant or consistent.
There are many accessories on sale both to assist and confound you not to mention the enormous amount of advice the expert will give. Use what you can and are able from both and ENJOY this excellent sport.