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  #1  
Old 07-21-2019, 08:51 AM
justinp61
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Classic "old school" benchrest?



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I shoot some local fun benchrest matches, these are generally older rifles, 37's, 52's, 40X's and such, we also shoot sporters. We shoot aperture sight and scope matches, no one piece rest, front rest and rear bag only.

This is all pretty new to me as I purchased my first 52 in late April and now have four, two D's a E and a Miroku sporter. My rest is a cast iron Bald Eagle and I use a Caldwell rear bag. As a general rule we all shoot cheaper ammo like SK Standard Plus. For scope matches I have Weaver 24X's and use Redfield Palma, International MK8 rears and International fronts for the aperture matches. For the sporter matches we generally shoot 8X scopes.

I see lots of advice on shooting from one piece rests but seldom see anything on old school aperture sight shooting or shooting off a rest and bag. So if you shoot or have shot the "old school" style benchrest and have some pointers please post them up.

Justin

Last edited by JEE; 07-21-2019 at 03:16 PM. Reason: fixed title
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2019, 02:39 PM
justinp61
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Good shooting 52.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:57 PM
kseatm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinp61 View Post
I shoot some local fun benchrest matches, these are generally older rifles, 37's, 52's, 40X's and such, we also shoot sporters. We shoot aperture sight and scope matches, no one piece rest, front rest and rear bag only.

This is all pretty new to me as I purchased my first 52 in late April and now have four, two D's a E and a Miroku sporter. My rest is a cast iron Bald Eagle and I use a Caldwell rear bag. As a general rule we all shoot cheaper ammo like SK Standard Plus. For scope matches I have Weaver 24X's and use Redfield Palma, International MK8 rears and International fronts for the aperture matches. For the sporter matches we generally shoot 8X scopes.

I see lots of advice on shooting from one piece rests but seldom see anything on old school aperture sight shooting or shooting off a rest and bag. So if you shoot or have shot the "old school" style benchrest and have some pointers please post them up.

Justin
Good for you! It's a blast shooting the old "workhorses" isn't it? Had so much fun shooting those types of guns.

One thing I wouldn't fall into though. Just because you see a lot of people shooting fancy custom rifles off of fancy one piece rests...don't think they all started out that way. Most started just as you are doing.

The thing to remember is that any of the high end guns factory rifles like the 52D's/E's, 40x's, Anschutz 54's can compete with about anything out there. Where the difference comes into play is consistency. Hence, the migration to custom actions, barrels, etc by those who want to go a step further. But you can do very well with the older factory rifles.

I started with a 40x, 52D and Anschutz 2007. Shot both aperture sights and with scopes. First BR formal BR match I ever went to, I pulled the apertures off the Anschutz, stuck on a scope and went to the IR 50 Nationals. Didn't win, but did pretty well. Have won a few targets here and there with all of those guns in formal matches, and even won a couple of matches when things fell in line. The funniest thing that ever happened was once I stuck a tuner on a Kimber 82G to see if it might help my aperture shooting and while trying to tune the thing (had a scope on it) ended up winning a BR match! Talk about funny! A $400 rifle beating nothing but custom guns!

The moral of the story is you don't need a custom rest or a custom rifle to do well. You've figured that part out. But, and this is a big but, you do need stuff like that when you want to go further up the food chain. Just the nature of things.

As to shooting apertures, I've used the Palmas, Olympic and International sights on some of my guns. Also different Anschutz aperture sights. But the best I've had the pleasure of using is a Phoenix rear with some of the Euro accessories. Takes things to another level. But I mostly shoot apertures at 100 yards now. At 50 I do pretty decent, but at 100 it's another world and it's a blast when you drop them all in the x ring. Try it sometime. The best feeling in the world is shooting a 200/20x on an A5 at 100 with aperture sights. Better than winning any big BR match I've ever won...

I've got some buddies just like you. They shoot off of bipods only, factory rifles, no tuners, and they even stand while shooting. Though, they do have a bench they sit their rifles on while shooting. Went down there one evening to shoot with them. They shoot all kinds of targets, money is involved and they will take your lunch money if you don't know what you're doing. Well, even if you know what you're doing they will take it! Heck after we shot a few different types of targets with scopes, we started shooting apertures with the A23/5 at 50. It was the best time I've ever had in shooting a match. And I've shot in quite a few matches!

Good luck going forward. All of this is fun. Just don't think that someone needs a fancy rest or a fancy gun to be good at something. Just enjoy what you're doing and don't make it into something it's not. I've still got my Kimber 82G, and if I stuck a scope on it, I would not be afraid to shoot it in any BR match on this planet. But it's too much fun shooting apertures so I just do that anymore. Got burned out with all the stupid side shows going on in BR so took a step back and just shoot for myself anymore.

Do try a bipod though. You might find it's even better than shooting from a two piece rest. Just takes a few minutes to figure out how your gun likes to be shot when there's no rest involved.

JMO

Kenny
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2019, 06:25 PM
justinp61
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Thanks Kenny. I have some bipods just need to make an adapter to fit the rails on my 52's. I will give them a shot on my sporter.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:36 PM
kseatm
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Originally Posted by justinp61 View Post
Thanks Kenny. I have some bipods just need to make an adapter to fit the rails on my 52's. I will give them a shot on my sporter.
Do try it! My friend George (Win52HR12) here on RFC is a pro at shooting bipods. He's one of the gang I mentioned earlier. They even have a name! The Bi Polar Bipod Posse from Bland! Nice ring to it don't you think?

Hopefully he'll see this thread and chime in. He's very very good at shooting and he almost always shoots off of a bipod. As do the guys he shoots with every Friday night. Heck, George even shoots his fancy custom rifle off of a bipod.

They use different types of bipods as some use the Harris models and some (like George) use homemade models. He made me one and it's awesome. Slips right into the rail of a 40x, 52, Anschutz or Kimber 82G. That's what I have mounted anymore. I do have a Harris that I stuck on my 1712 in case I ever can get to a Squirrel Match here locally.

Oh, a funny story to show how "dyed in the wool" George is when it comes to shooting BR in an unorthodox manner. We were at a match once and George asked if he could try one of my two piece rests. I was using a SEB NEO at the time. Which if you know anything about two piece rests it's, well it's kind of good...Anyway, George goes to the line with my rest and shoots. After he's done I ask how he liked it. He said he didn't use the joystick, just propped the gun on the rest and moved the rear bag to where he wanted as he shot the target. Who shoots like that off a $1200 joystick rest? And they don't use the joystick! Only George....

Anyway, he can give you some great advice on all of that. As well as a few of his friends who hang out there. They don't post much, but if they do, they know of what they speak. And they're all great guys.

Good luck

Kenny
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2019, 09:04 PM
justinp61
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I hope George will post his thoughts here.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2019, 09:32 PM
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Hey, Im in!
Ive never got past the old school gear.....lol
And my sorta 'tuned' factory rifles are more capable of possibles than I am anymore.
That saves a ton o' money!

Last edited by gcrank1; 07-22-2019 at 09:55 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2019, 10:41 PM
justinp61
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Hey, Im in!
Ive never got past the old school gear.....lol
I don't think I will either. At 58 I'm late to this game, also I'm the youngest in our group of shooters, a great bunch of guys. IMHO nothing beats blued steel and a nice piece of walnut.
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:27 AM
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I shoot the old school stuff in our club matches. Winchester 52s, etc. and Bald Eagle front rests and 1980'ish rear leather bag sitting on a plywood base or, since club rules allow, a home built rear rest built with roller blade wheels. For light sporter class I use a Caldwell Rock BR rest on the front. I'm currently averaging over 249 on the IR 50 target for this year with the 52 in our matches, so not bad for a factory gun. But we do use scopes; I wish our club had enough interest in shooting the peep sights to get up a match, as I have really enjoyed shooting those in the past. As Kenny says (listen to the man, he gives good advice), you don't have to have fancy and expensive equipment to shoot well. The other shooters in my club can attest to that, as I win my share of matches. Never shot much off a bipod, as the kind of matches I shoot are more easily shot with an adjustable rest.

I once gave consideration to going the custom built gun route, but gave a lot of thought to what I really liked enjoyed doing and decided to stick with the factory guns....haven't looked back and am having a large time doing what I do. I agree with Kenny, the old factory target guns can shoot very well and can win some matches, but they lack the consistency to compete against the good custom guns in the big matches on a consistent basis. But if you are not wanting to compete at the very top, they can be the cat's meow.

James
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:32 AM
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I have a couple of customs and more than several old school target rifles, I shoot them all from bi-pods. Its all in what you get use to. I have had a few nice rest, but really never saw a difference in the scores I shot using them vs bipods.

Most of the matches I shoot at are strictly for old school rifles, our club requires the use of bi-pods, factory actions, factory barrels ( NO TUNERS ), anything else is okay, stocks, bedding, triggers ammo........

I have shot scores with my 52D equal to the best I have shot with my custom rifles, but the custom is more consistent.

Harris makes a bipod adapter.
https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/51...SABEgKiKfD_BwE

that would work for your 52.
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2019, 02:07 PM
justinp61
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Thanks George.

I don't know why I didn't think about Harris for the adapter. I've used their #6 adapters to add Teflon bag riders/plates to some of my Feinwerkbau air rifles.


Justin
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:41 PM
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Me too

I too shoot a rock and a bag at 100 only,,,my 52c can outshoot any of my other rifles with peeps,, I like my palma's and an Olympic front with small o app..Ihave a 40x m12 anne match 54 and a disappointing custom..I'm 70 and have only a 1 point difference when I use a scope...love it when I teach the young'uns a lesson..have all the fun shooting my friend


nick
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:58 PM
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I really enjoy shooting the old rifles as well. I would also love to see some of the homemade bipod used. I have been thinking about building one for use on the bench.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:30 PM
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My earliest style 'old school' rest was in shooting over the log chunk gun muzzle loader matches, ala the Alvin York Memorial Match. I used my own 'chunk' made of a piece of 4x6 post and a pair of sideplates of 2x plank held together with a length of threaded rod topped with wing nuts. Rolled up my ropin' gloves as a pad. Did pretty good with my .50cal.
A good step beyond a hunk o' firewood.
Btw, I used that chunk again just today messing about, basic but it still works. My step up from there is my D.R.Greenlaw fancy windage adj. top on a modded up/repurposed El Cheapo Hoppe's base and elev. screw. c/w a Protector front bag a big rabbit-ear rear bag. This all fits, and more, into a HD construction tool satchel.
Do they work better than sandbags? Well, the way I watch most people stack sandbags, one atop the other/tippy/way too high I am amazed. I 'crib' stack sandbags such that the top bag is across; solid, stable, predictable. But I dont want to haul sandbags any more.

Last edited by gcrank1; 07-23-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2019, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kseatm View Post
Good for you! It's a blast shooting the old "workhorses" isn't it? Had so much fun shooting those types of guns.

One thing I wouldn't fall into though. Just because you see a lot of people shooting fancy custom rifles off of fancy one piece rests...don't think they all started out that way. Most started just as you are doing.

The thing to remember is that any of the high end guns factory rifles like the 52D's/E's, 40x's, Anschutz 54's can compete with about anything out there. Where the difference comes into play is consistency. Hence, the migration to custom actions, barrels, etc by those who want to go a step further. But you can do very well with the older factory rifles.

I started with a 40x, 52D and Anschutz 2007. Shot both aperture sights and with scopes. First BR formal BR match I ever went to, I pulled the apertures off the Anschutz, stuck on a scope and went to the IR 50 Nationals. Didn't win, but did pretty well. Have won a few targets here and there with all of those guns in formal matches, and even won a couple of matches when things fell in line. The funniest thing that ever happened was once I stuck a tuner on a Kimber 82G to see if it might help my aperture shooting and while trying to tune the thing (had a scope on it) ended up winning a BR match! Talk about funny! A $400 rifle beating nothing but custom guns!

The moral of the story is you don't need a custom rest or a custom rifle to do well. You've figured that part out. But, and this is a big but, you do need stuff like that when you want to go further up the food chain. Just the nature of things.

As to shooting apertures, I've used the Palmas, Olympic and International sights on some of my guns. Also different Anschutz aperture sights. But the best I've had the pleasure of using is a Phoenix rear with some of the Euro accessories. Takes things to another level. But I mostly shoot apertures at 100 yards now. At 50 I do pretty decent, but at 100 it's another world and it's a blast when you drop them all in the x ring. Try it sometime. The best feeling in the world is shooting a 200/20x on an A5 at 100 with aperture sights. Better than winning any big BR match I've ever won...

I've got some buddies just like you. They shoot off of bipods only, factory rifles, no tuners, and they even stand while shooting. Though, they do have a bench they sit their rifles on while shooting. Went down there one evening to shoot with them. They shoot all kinds of targets, money is involved and they will take your lunch money if you don't know what you're doing. Well, even if you know what you're doing they will take it! Heck after we shot a few different types of targets with scopes, we started shooting apertures with the A23/5 at 50. It was the best time I've ever had in shooting a match. And I've shot in quite a few matches!

Good luck going forward. All of this is fun. Just don't think that someone needs a fancy rest or a fancy gun to be good at something. Just enjoy what you're doing and don't make it into something it's not. I've still got my Kimber 82G, and if I stuck a scope on it, I would not be afraid to shoot it in any BR match on this planet. But it's too much fun shooting apertures so I just do that anymore. Got burned out with all the stupid side shows going on in BR so took a step back and just shoot for myself anymore.

Do try a bipod though. You might find it's even better than shooting from a two piece rest. Just takes a few minutes to figure out how your gun likes to be shot when there's no rest involved.

JMO

Kenny
for a newbie like me, this has great insights; thank you for posting. fun seems to be the operative word
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