View Full Version : What rifle for getting started

08-05-2009, 08:34 AM
This is my first post here and cant wait to learn more about this great sport. I have long been an archery competition shooter and would love to try my hand at benchrest. I see alot of talk about Suhls and Anshutz rifles being some of the best. As a newbie would you suggest starting in sporter. If so, what are some of the better guns to use in this division. Is it repeaters only for sporting. I have had my eye on a Savage MKII BV. However, I dont think this will shoot with the big boys. Would it at least be somewhat competitive. Sory for the long post put I have got alot to learn. Thanks

08-05-2009, 08:46 AM
Anchutz and Suhl are touted by guys that shoot them. There are advantages and disadvantages to them. The point is to look at what wins whether than ask shooters opinions. Sporters are argueably the hardest to shoot and build competitivly. First decide if you are going to shoot with an organization that even shoots sporter. Then look at what they are shooting. I would suggest that a heavier gun would be easier for you to learn to shoot and get competitive with and then try to master the sporter.

08-05-2009, 09:14 AM
welcome Marlin

I've had 40 years of archery competition, benchrest is a different beast altogether.
i don't know which is more complicated, I'd vote for benchrest!!
you can build your own arrows, but not rimfire bullets..so your at the mercy
of ammo makers in projectile department.
I'm tinkering with sporter now only because i choose to, the single shot heavier guns
with wide flat forearms combined with one piece rest and high power scopes are much easier for starting out.
like Don said look at what wins and where your going to compete..research and don't jump into anything, been there.... done that..got a closet full of the t-shirts:)

08-05-2009, 09:22 AM
I agree with what Don says. The best bet would be to go to a match and observe (or paticipate if you have any kind of .22 rifle). Talk to the shooters and get a feel for the game. When you decide what you want you can usually get a very good rifle from the classifieds or one of the shooters in your area. This will be a lot cheaper than having one built. I would suggest a 10.5 pound gun. This will allow you to shoot in 10.5 and 13.5 in IR50/50 and RBA as well as ARA.

alan k
08-05-2009, 10:35 AM

Do you belong to a club that holds matches? You do not want to buy a rifle and then need to drive several hundred miles to shoot that kind of match.

Sporter in 50/50 and RBA no longer means an out of the box 10/22.

Go to the Benchrest Central Home and click on RBA logo and find the list of clubs holding matches. Then do the same for the others. With luck you might find a club close to where you live.

My local club shoots any thing goes .22 rimfire benchrest. We have lots of fun. I got hooked and now need to drive 100 miles for formal matchs.

Al Kunard

08-05-2009, 12:14 PM
We do have a club nearby that shoots benchrest rimfire. The name of the club is Red Brush. I believe they held the 2006 Indiana State Championship. Its my understanding they use the standard classes. I thought sporter would be the cheaper of the evils. Went to a local gun shop the other day and they carry Annies, Savage, CZ, Sako, Cooper. So I have my choice. What would you say is the cheapest class to start in and a moderate gun ready to go.

Dave S
08-05-2009, 12:27 PM

If your club is shooting RBA or IR-50/50 classes, the best way to go, to start, would be a good rifle that will make the 10.5 and 13.5 weight class.. If your club is shooting RBA or IR-50/50 Unlimited or ARA, then any rifle you want will work, as you can shoot all the matches. I would not buy a Sporter class rifle until you try the game for a while and see if it is worth the added expense. You will spend almost as much for a Sporter as you will for the other rifle. As far as a good rifle, go to a match and see what the other shooters are using. You can't go wrong with a Winchester 52, Suhl 150, Anschutz 54 action or a Remington 40X. There are several for sale in the classifieds that would make a good match rifle. Mickey Law currently has two rifles, in the classifieds, that I would buy if I needed another one. One is a Gene Davis 40X and the other is a Gene Davis Suhl..
Most important...ASK QUESTIONS, then buy a good rifle and good ammo and practice, practice, practice


alan k
08-05-2009, 01:13 PM

Dave, is not only on target, he shot a string of X's.

Sporter is now an equipment race. Limited to a 6 1/2 power scope. Many shooters hate that limit. At a big match they shoot 1 sporter, 1 ten and 1/2 lb. and 1 unlimited target at yards and meters. At a less formal match I have seen 1 sporter, 1 ten and 1/2 and several unlimited targets shot.

Don't buy any thing untill you have talked with the guys you will shoot with. Then buy the best 10 1/2 # class you can afford and shoot Eley Match. Sorry to say this is a money game and rifles and ammo from Wal Mart are fun to plink with but don't shoot many 10's.

Al Kunard

08-05-2009, 02:55 PM
I have a standard 1913 Anschütz adapted a bit with a tuner and a 3" support plate in the fore end rail.
IMO they are among the best in standard rifles.But the Feinwerkbau 2700 has a good reputation too.
These rifles are payable compared to the true customs.
Most important thing is you have FUN in shooting and puzzeling the gun.And trust me BR is addictive:)

08-05-2009, 03:23 PM
there have been some outstanding rifles for sale of late buiilt by some of the great smiths.

check classifieds and save yourself some money. these rifles are like classic cars you can put a whole bunch of money in them but when you want out there is no way you can recover your money. bad for the seller good for a buyer.

there are some guys here who wil not stear you wrong and will help you anyway they can great people you can rely on.

so be patient dont jump into anyting and listen to these men. they want you to succeed.

if you want to p/m me i will do my part what little i know


08-05-2009, 06:06 PM

Contrary to popular belief, a sporter is not a rifle you hunt with. It is a full blown bench gun, just a different set of rules apply to it. Follow the advice above, go to a match and ask lots of questions. DON"T buy anything until you have been to a couple of said matches.


08-14-2009, 06:15 PM
Is there a place for a guy with a stock Savage or Marlin etc to compete? I understand that the guys in sporter class aren't shooting out of the box varmint/ target guns, but who is? If someone wanted to compete with a $300-$500 .22 where would they go?

08-14-2009, 06:25 PM
find a club that shoots Barnyard, they just had the Barnyard Nationals here in Illinois. Thanks, Douiglas

Joe Haller
08-14-2009, 07:51 PM

If you do not have a club close to you that runs rimfire benchrest matches, you could consider "On-Line Matches". Something like NRA's postal matches, but without the postage stamps and not having to mail your target to some else for scoring,

I started a series of rimfire matches over on Rimfire Central, back in 2001. They are still going: A match every month for the past 8 1/2 years. Seems you have never heard of them.

Back 12 years ago my doctor. told me to quit centerfire bechrest as I was loosing my hearing. I asked for and got rules and targets from all the Rimfire National Associations. I had been running centerfire benchrest matches since 1956 and had a pretty good idea of what kind of rules would attract shooters to the matches.

After reading rules of all the Associations, I was disappointed. They all had rules that favored custom equipment. From past experience I knew I could not attract the local shooters in our club to this game if I had to tell them It would cost them a more than a thousand dollars to start, ad double that if they wanted to WIN. How did I know that? Because I've been promoting benchrest for more than 50 years. If your are going to get a new guy addicted to our game, ya gota start him out with low dollar equipment, and give him a chance to win.

That means ya gota set up classes that use low dollar rifles. That's what I did, over on Rimfire Central and at our local club here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

So, as you asked: "If someone wanted to compete with a $300-$500 .22 where would they go?"


We shoot on the USBR target, and have 5 rifle classes. That $300-$500 rifle you mentioned would fit in our Factory Sporter Class: If it has a factory stock and the original factory barrel and does not weigh more than 8.5 lbs. We are not allowed to shoot the expensive ammo in the Factory Sporter class: No Eley Red or Black Box. No Lapua Midas, Master, MultiMatch or Center X.

I like to think of these RFC matches as a Farm Team for the National Associations. In fact a lot of shooters who started with us, moved up the national level, after "getting their feet wet" in our "farm league".

You can compete on your home range, have your wife score the targets, and post your scores in the "Benchrest Scope Sight USBR Matches" on RFC:

If you don't have a local club: TRY these starter matches: Some of our shooters call them "The Gateway Drug" to rimfire benchrest. And they call me "The Pusher".

Joe Haller :-)

08-14-2009, 08:41 PM
i gotta call ya one of THE BEST promoters and best ambassadors
of the sport of benchrest rimfire..hats been off to you for years:)

08-15-2009, 10:32 AM
There's no rimfire benchrest shooting in my neck of the woods so I've been shooting the RFC matches a few months now. There's a class for every gun and I've found myself putting together guns for other classes now so I can shoot more. Joe has put together a great forum for us. For somone who either doesn't have or can't afford a full blown BR gun it's a great place to get some trigger time. And even if you do have a full blown gun it's place to do some more shooting. And unlike some other postal matches it's free.