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82boy
01-14-2008, 01:14 AM
Yes, I am a newbie to the sport, and I am seeking knowledge. I am familiar with the basics of how matches are conducted, and I have shot in a couple of matches.

My question is what you think a newbie to the sport should know.

What would you like to have known when you stated out that took you time to find out?

What did you find out the hard way about equipment?

At the time I have infearior equipment, but as I can, I plan on upgrading.
I am using a caldwell rock br rest, when I can I will get a better rest. I just upgraded my rear bag from a protekor #13 bag to a bumble bee bag.

I will soon be purchasing some wind flags, I am looking at Graham flags. Next to learn what to do with them.

Wayne Campbell
01-14-2008, 04:50 AM
are probably the fastest and most cost efficient way to get started. I don't don't know where you are located or do I have any hard facts about when and where but I'm sure someone will chime in here shortly

Dave D.
01-14-2008, 07:32 AM
Newby, The #13 bag is the preferred bag of alot of top shooters. Not too stiff, and has good rifle support.
Like Wayne says, schools are the best teacher, but at least get to a Registered Match and see, and talk to some better shooters (like Wayne)
Good luck, ...Dave

Charles E
01-14-2008, 08:06 AM
First of all, Wayne has given you excellent advice.

The one thing I noticed form your post is that you are brand conscious. That is going to cost you both money and learning time.

For example: Are Graham flags better than any other? I doubt it. Are they any worse? I doubt it. Do they have quirks that are different from some other brand? probably. Do the various brands have their strengths and weaknesses? Almost certainly.

Moral: learning to read wind flags really means learning to read YOUR windflags.

I see a number of people who post here, touting one brand or another, who I know to be rookies -- in their first two years of competitive shooting. There are probably a number of people who post here who don't even compete. Do you know who they are, so you can take their advice with a large dose of salt?

I see a lot of posts saying "well, a Remington action can be made to shoot just as good, but it won't have the resale value." There are reasons to get a custom action, but at this point, you shouldn't even be thinking about resale value, and the next rifle. Learn to shoot what you have.

When you go to a match, by all means look at your targets and other targets on the wall. But don't look at the writing (how small the group is), look at the shot pattern. If you are getting vertical, are the people on the other side of you also getting vertical? If so, it may not be your load, but a condition a lot of people are missing. If you're missing conditions generally, are most of the other targets? If so, don't beat yourself up or think about new equipment, try (& like most of us, usually fail) to figure out what's wrong. You try this on the sighter target, when there is time. Don't head down to the next target with the attitude you're going to figure it out before any record shot. Try something if you want, but go ahead & shoot your string. Now, with any time left, try stuff on the sighter target. You'll probably not figure it out (most of us don't), but you'll not put undo pressure on yourself & screw up the records shots even more.

After you win a few, you can go crazy & buy all new equipment & think you can figure things out in 5 minuets. Been there, got an expensive lesson.

FWIW

eww1350
01-14-2008, 08:33 AM
It will be difficult for you to get all the info you need in one event (Benchrest school)...So many questions will come up from brass prep to bench/rifle techniques...An experienced Benchrest shooter with a proven record will be your best bet...especially at your home range reading the windflags and trying to understand them..:D

abintx
01-14-2008, 08:35 AM
http://benchrest.netfirms.com/Benchrest%20Basics.htm. Read all of this first and then start making some decisions. This will help you get started in the right direction. No need to hurry. Also, Glenn Newick's "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy" and Mike Ratigan's "Extreme Rifle Accuracy" have a wealth of information.

82boy
01-14-2008, 10:42 AM
are probably the fastest and most cost efficient way to get started. I don't know where you are located or do I have any hard facts about when and where but I'm sure someone will chime in here shortly

I have a post looking for a School but have received no response, I live in NW Ohio.

82boy
01-14-2008, 10:47 AM
Newby, The #13 bag is the preferred bag of alot of top shooters. Not too stiff, and has good rifle support.
Like Wayne says, schools are the best teacher, but at least get to a Registered Match and see, and talk to some better shooters (like Wayne)
Good luck, ...Dave

I was planning on going to the kelby super shoot, someone told me if I go I might as well shoot, but to tell you the truth I am very intimidated, and the 100 dollar entry fee dont help, when I know more than likley I am not going to win any back.

Should I spend the money and shoot, or just go and observe?

The reason I switched bags was the 13 bag with its thin sweude bottom started rocking after use, so I got a new bumble bee bag for a slight bit more in cost than buying a donut would cost to stabilize my old bag.

caroby
01-14-2008, 11:19 AM
I have a post looking for a School but have received no response, I live in NW Ohio.
Your in a good location..!

By all means go to the Super Shoot and ask lottsa questions. Though don't be turned off if these guys give quick answers or seem in a hurry... This is a MAJOR shoot and these competitors are working real hard to win. Takes a lot of concentration and focus. Pick your times to ask questions, I.E. between long relays or lunch breaks.
Quite sure that you'll be given the opportunity to play with a BR rig during the evening open range tune-up's.
In the meantime, take time to watch the firing line, the commands, through a spotting scope and take note(s)... Write your comments/questions down.
Won't cost you a dime and is a WEALTH of knowledge.

Contact the Kelbly's and they'll be able to give you a complete match schedule for 2008.
http://www.kelbly.com/

Get this.................A wealth of knowledge and you'll read it time and time again...!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://extremerifleaccuracy.com/

P.S. keep your Savages, great varmint rifles!
Good luck,
cale

82boy
01-14-2008, 11:30 AM
First of all, Wayne has given you excellent advice.

The one thing I noticed form your post is that you are brand conscious. That is going to cost you both money and learning time. Ö
Moral: learning to read wind flags really means learning to read YOUR windflags.

I see a number of people who post here, touting one brand or another, who I know to be rookies -- in their first two years of competitive shooting. There are probably a number of people who post here who don't even compete. Do you know who they are, so you can take their advice with a large dose of salt?

I see a lot of posts saying "well, a Remington action can be made to shoot just as good, but it won't have the resale value." There are reasons to get a custom action, but at this point, you shouldn't even be thinking about resale value, and the next rifle. Learn to shoot what you have.

When you go to a match, Ö & think you can figure things out in 5 minuets. Been there, got an expensive lesson.

FWIW

Well to answer I try not to be brand conscious, I donít have a lot of money, and try to do the best with what I have, and try to get the best for my money. I have noticed that my Caldwell rest works but leave a lot to be desired. I had been thinking about selling one of my guns to buy a Sinclair windage rest, or a good used rest. Flags I just made a few, using the article in the FAQs section article from this site as a guide. I have not used them yet, but can see some difficulty in seeing them. I just picked graham flags because many advised me from another post as being good flags and at 30 bucks, each they seam to be affordable.

Yes, you are exactly right on taking what you read with a grain of Salt. The internet has a great wealth of information, and also has a lot of miss information, I am new to this site, so I donít know who to trust and who not to on opinions, this is one reason I post questions like this to gauge responses.

I have shot in local matches, last year attending 7 matches, and the year before attending 2. The local match I shot in a class called factory modified, basically itís a class for a factory action gun. I got extremely lucky and won a few of them in this class, I also only competed against 4 or 5 people in this class. One match I shot in the open class and finished ninth out of 12, so I have a lot to learn. I got bit by the bug and want to go to more matches and compete more.

Until I found this site I knew nothing about setting up my rest, and other topics that I have learned from reading the FAQS section. I still have a lot to learn, I have no idea on how to read wind flags and so far I just paid them no attention. I know there are other secrets I know nothing about, and donít even know what to ask to find them out, so hopefully replies from this thread will give me that advantage.

I believe the rifle I have assembled is competitive, I am sure its nothing like what most have, but I donít have the money to have a super nice rig, so I have to do with what I got, and as I grow in knowledge, and experience, I will then upgrade to something else. The gun I have is a Savage with a 22 in Douglas XX 22br barrel, the gun has been completely blueprinted, and I believe it as good as any Remington with equal amount of work.

On brass prep I have done some research and believe I have some good knowledge on the subject, but I also have a lot to learn. I need to learn more about seating depth, and BCís.

I what to thank you all for the great information, and hope to receive more, I am trying to learn, and think asking questions is the best way to obtain knowledge. Again, I realize some secrets people will not reveille, I hope in this post I donít sound like a know it all, because I donít, and I am seeking knowledge. I greatly appreciate everyone sharing there information. I really like this site, and hope to obtain a lot of knowledge from you all.

Patrick

82boy
01-14-2008, 11:40 AM
I have a post looking for a School but have received no response, I live in NW Ohio.
Your in a good location..!

By all means go to the Super Shoot and ask lottsa questions. Though don't be turned off if these guys give quick answers or seem in a hurry... This is a MAJOR shoot and these competitors are working real hard to win. Takes a lot of concentration and focus. Pick your times to ask questions, I.E. between long relays or lunch breaks.
Quite sure that you'll be given the opportunity to play with a BR rig during the evening open range tune-up's.
In the meantime, take time to watch the firing line, the commands, through a spotting scope and take note(s)... Write your comments/questions down.
Won't cost you a dime and is a WEALTH of knowledge.

Contact the Kelbly's and they'll be able to give you a complete match schedule for 2008.
http://www.kelbly.com/

Get this.................A wealth of knowledge and you'll read it time and time again...!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://extremerifleaccuracy.com/

P.S. keep your Savages, great varmint rifles!
Good luck,
cale

Thanks for the reply, I have had intention on purchasing this book.

Dusty Stevens
01-14-2008, 11:47 AM
get with somebody that actually shoots and just hang out with em. if you don't have anybody then just show up to a match. there you can find lots of good used equip. the best bet on that gun is to go ahead and find a used BR rig. call some benchrest gunsmiths and talk to them. they always know where a good used gun is. someone on here close that actually shoots will be glad to give you a hand. go to a shoot and see what people are actually using not what folks on the internet say is good enough. a few things you already have will work for loading and such. the books that were suggested are excellent for a beginner and pro alike. alot of stuff to learn in there for sure.

H."Snuffy"Smith
01-14-2008, 12:00 PM
go at least 2 days before the match begins, then shooters will have time to show you what is available AND there will be a world of excellent rifles for sale then.

PS. Either go with NO MONEY or lots:D

"Snuffy"

thebees
01-14-2008, 01:30 PM
82Boy
Ron Hoehn makes a fine windage top for the Caldwell Rest.

russell m
01-14-2008, 06:26 PM
Hoehn no longer makes windage tops. Called him today. Newbee I am in the same boat.I started with an ar15 that I put a kreiger upper on & made a flat surface for the gun to ride on in the front bag of my coldwell rest out of allum angle iron. Got the gun shooting in the 5's best group mid 1's. I was bit by the benchrest bug. & saved my money & watched several sights for a used guns for a year & a half. I bought a LV with 2 shileen barrels,panda action,36x scope,700rds of meyers bullets,sizer dies,50pieces of brass, jewel trigger,kelbly rings, wilson in line seater for 1250.00. Since then I have spent another 1500.00 & I still feel like I can not compete with the big boys. I had to change my thinking. I love to shoot even If I cant be competetive right now. I will be some day. The cost can get overwelming. I wanted to buy a new top for my rest but instead I am going to put an external spring on the top to get it to return better after adjusting. I will use that money for a new barrel. I know the problem you have with the rear bag. I took an old torn sand bag from my local range & made me a donut. Doesnt look great but it works. Dont get discouraged. Yes also made my own wind flags for 1/2 the cost. Made a mistake buying my stands from sinclares they are to tall. Will have to modify them.

GOOD LUCK russell m

Nader
01-14-2008, 09:30 PM
Patrick, everyone so far has offered good advice,perhaps the best advice is to find a mentor.The best way to do that is to find a gun club that has benchrest shooters as members and join it.The club where you are shooting matches at now might be a good place to start. I belong to 5 gun clubs ,only one caters to Benchrest shooters(good benches,heated inside reloading area,open honest range[not boxed in by berms]).The other 4 clubs all have something to offer, but it's not benchrest.My benchrest club( Canastota, NY)is 87 miles away,but I learn more there in a weekend than I will any other place. Find a benchrest club and join it!
The reason a mentor is so important is because a new guy won't know how a tuned rifle is supposed to shoot (or not shoot)through a given condition.Most new guys just play around with their tune until they stumble into a small group,pack things up and off to a match they go! About noon the first day they start wondering "what went wrong". An experienced coach/friend/mentor is invaluable.
On the subject of equipment,russell m sets a good example.This game ain't cheap but it is manageble. Start looking at all your firearms and get ready to sell most of them(you'll need the cash)Once you get a good bench gun,you probably aren't going to enjoy shooting them again anyway.Once you have two or three grand saved up ,let your mentor find you the right gear ,He'll know who has the right rifle for you at a fair price(without this help you'll probably buy the wrong gun)!
A well tuned PPC bench gun with a good scope can be the pinacle of shooting enjoyment. But the path begins at the right gun club.
Joel

82boy
01-19-2008, 12:46 PM
http://benchrest.netfirms.com/Benchrest%20Basics.htm. Read all of this first and then start making some decisions. This will help you get started in the right direction. No need to hurry. Also, Glenn Newick's "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy" and Mike Ratigan's "Extreme Rifle Accuracy" have a wealth of information.


I thought I would add an update I just purchased Mike Ratigans , and Glenn Nuwicks books, I have found a couple of schools that may be close by this summer.

Any other sujestions?

I just want to thanks everyone for the information shared, I greatly apperiate it thanks again.

Greg 79 F150
01-20-2008, 07:41 AM
As a person that is returning to BR after a 9 year break from it, I will add these notes that I learned the hard way. Be patient ,yet determined and do not get caught up in the equipment race too soon....

Take your new hobby in small steps, dont expect your groups to look like a 20 year veteran BR shooter that has the best and most expensive equipment in their hands....


High expectations are a keen motivator, but can disillusion a newbie fast if they are set too high, too soon. BR equipment gets expensive fast, pace your purchases to not kill your household budget. Do not waste your money on buying mediorce guns thinking you can make them tack drivers. ...

Pay attention to what the money pot grabbers are shooting in the winners circle. To use a old cliche' here, " it is hard to argue against success". Set your financial goals to one day afford what they are using. Be your own shooter, but it is self defeating to ones shooting ambitions in trying to re-invent the wheel, while using their own funds in this sport..

Be proud of every group as they get smaller with experience. Do not discourage your efforts by beating yourself up for not being in the winners circle more often. Use due diligence, research your rigs temperament for the best loads....

Be very cognitive of your bench shooting posture and the way that you "handle" your rig from shot to shot. Be consistent in a proper shooting posture/touch from shot to shot, as your rig will react to different rest pressures. Shooting BR is like any sport, it takes years of experience to consistently dig your hands around in the money pot...

Someone everyday is inventing and selling new gadgetry that will "better" your groups, buyer beware. Learn from every shot placed on the paper while keeping at least a short term recollection of what wind condition your flags showed. You know, the condition that caused the last bullet in your screamer group, to go a inch out....

The trend now for a lot of the winners is speed shooting. In other words, getting those five record shots to the paper as fast as they can before the wind changes on them. You may want to gear your rests purchases/case ejection/port side selection to that methodology. Some old school shooters reject this speed style though, and still pick and choose their condition to fire in throughout the full 7 minute match ..

Whenever starting out with a new gun, it is great to have a mentor that is a "in the money" shooter, tune in the rifle for you. It is too easy for a newbie shooter that will have a great shooting gun in their hands, get their high expectations of it stomped on by their own inexperienced shooting skills. ...

A top rig can only group as well as the person steering it. Keep in mind that BR is a extreme mental sport as well as a equipment race. It is your mind and your bullet that is bucking "against the wind", not against the person shooting beside you. good luck to you and me, this year. all jmo

russell m
01-20-2008, 03:49 PM
82Boy
I have been br shooting for 8 months. The thing I have learned is keep your expectations in check. I almost quit & sold everything because my expectations were to high. I have my first match in 2 weeks. It is a score match. I will be shooting a 6ppc which is a slight disadvantage. My goal is not to come in last place & have fun. I also have a coldwell rest. Have had tracking problems with the pivoting top not returning. I just installed a stiff spring to the L/F leg & the attached the spring to a turnbuckle & attached the turn buckle to the top of the rest. Shot it this morning tracks great. I think it helped my groups. Wont know until I have been out a couple of more times.
Good Luck. russell m.

82boy
01-26-2008, 12:08 PM
Well I got the Glenn Newick book The ultimate in Rifle Accuracy today. I been reading it and see there is several mentions of another book called the Accurate Rifle by Warren Page.

What do you guys think about this book?

degmon
01-26-2008, 12:59 PM
Would you mind elaborating on the "couple of schools" you found? I was fortunate enough to atten one in Raton in '04, but health issues kept me from competing since. Hope to get going soon, and would really like to atten another school.

Dennis

82boy
01-26-2008, 01:04 PM
Nothing set in stone yet, still talk, but one may be in Central MI in June and the other may be in eastern Ohio in August.

Donald
01-26-2008, 01:09 PM
Get Mike Ratigans book. It will tell you just about everything you need to know, plus it has a very good section on wind flags and how to read them. It is more up to date than the Newick book.

82boy
01-26-2008, 01:10 PM
Get Mike Ratigans book. It will tell you just about everything you need to know, plus it has a very good section on wind flags and how to read them. It is more up to date than the Newick book.

Just waiting for it to show up.

333smitty
01-26-2008, 02:14 PM
When you get Ratigan's book check out his flag design.

They are similar to the (faqs) flags on our home page.

Did you ever make a set? If so, how did they perform?

82boy
01-26-2008, 11:18 PM
I made a set but they look a bit small.

333smitty
01-27-2008, 12:14 AM
I agree that the faqs flags are a little small.

With that being said, I made my first set of flags
12" long x 4" high. Well , I didn't like that size either.

I finally decided to make them 12" x 6" and that seemed
to be the right size for me. They perform as good
as any of my competitors flags.

Make sure you break them in properly. Set them up
in your back yard for a few days and keep the pivots
clean.

Did you try out the "small" flags? How did they perform?

82boy
01-27-2008, 12:45 AM
Nope I have not tried them out yet, just made them. Thanks for the tip on break in, never thought of that.

82boy
01-28-2008, 11:48 PM
Well I just got the Ratigan book today, and wow what a wonderfull written book, I just started reading it and it is very well written. He has a wonderfull way of explaining things, and there is a ton of info. I can see it will take me a little time to read this one. Thanks guys great advice..