View Full Version : IBS Benchrest Surveys (LONG)

Jeff Stover
12-11-2010, 12:21 PM
The IBS Executive Board has authorized two surveys. The first is for current, or former, benchrest competitors and the second is for NON-benchrest shooters. Both can be found on the following web links.

For benchrest shooters:
For NON-benchrest shooters:
Feel free to distribute these links to others.

The primary purpose for the surveys is determine how we can grow benchrest shooting. We realize there are a lot of shooters that were once into the sport but have drifted away. Why? Have they found something else, or are we doing something wrong?

The second group we want to reach are serious shooters that do not consider themselves to be benchresters. How do they view us? Are they interested in learning more? How can we help?

By design, the surveys contains some quite provocative and controversial questions. Some questions seek opinions on caliber neutral scoring in Score and whether the two benchrest organizations should be combined. We even tackle the age-old questions about competitions for factory rifles and whether there should be shooter classificatons.

Results of the survey will be presented-and discussed-at the IBS Annual Meeting on January 15, 2010 in Harrisburg, PA. As we did last year, details of the meeting, and the survey results, will be on our web site within 48 hours.

I have been thinking a lot about benchrest in comparison to the other shooting disciplines. In doing so, it is nearly impossible to avoid buzz words, such as "elite", "ultimate" and "cutting edge". Simply put, benchrest shooting CAN be described as such, because that is what we do. If that turns off some, so be it. The rifles that sit on the rests aimed at IBS or NBRSA targets from 100 to 1000 yards ARE the most accurate on the planet. Note I did not say "some of the most accurate".

Probably the most challenging part of our game is there is NO room for error. A group or aggregate that measures, say .270" is a far cry from a .170". Point out a .10" tick mark on a ruler to the average Joe and tell him that is the distance that represents the difference between great and average. I think the very nature of our discipline appeals to a particular type of individual. We are trying to place each shot in the same hole or on top of a small 'x'. It is hard to dabble in benchrest. It is a bit of an "all or nothing" game. And yes, you are pissing in the wind if you do not have the best equipment.

A decent comparison is to some dirt bike events I did a hundred years ago. I could look reasonably proficient in Hare Scrambles and motor along over small jumps. BUT in Observed Trials a screw up was quite spectacular. You needed to be much more proficient in Trials not to look like a Rube.

Selling our sport can be a little difficult. Some of the uninitated think it is either too complex or too easy (see the comments on this benchrest video on Youtube if you want to lose your lunch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkTsUKoaDlU ).

I don't mind that we are a "niche" sport, but we need to be a critical mass to make sure the normal weekend shoots have healthy numbers. Interestingly, most of the really large shoots, such as both Nationals and the Super Shoot have held their own in recent years. So, maybe the economy does play into the number of shoots that a person attends. There is a question to that effect in the survey.

Recently, I had a call from a fellow that is building a sophisticated range here in the east. He was not a benchrest shooter, but wanted information on what we needed so that he can host registered matches. He directly told me that benchrest was important because that is where all the accuracy improvements were coming from and he felt his range needed to cater to our discipline. Enough said.

The survey takes only a few minutes to fill out. Brick bats and other comments can be directed to me at jstover33@comcast.net or 570-660-6102.

Please pass on the survey link for non-benchrest shooters to those shooters that have not "seen the light".

Jeff Stover
IBS President

Jeff Stover
12-12-2010, 11:06 AM
Update - in 24 hours we have already 257 responses to the survey for benchrest shooters, and 240 on the companion survey for those not shooting benchrest. Thanks to all. If you have not taken the short survey(s) please do so.

On thing I can tell you is that well over 90% of the respondents thinks we should grow our sport. More to come.

I want to thank Paul at www.6mmbr.com for his help in publicizing the surveys. He produces one of the best firearms sites on the web as a labor of love. Please visit it and if you can donate via Paypal - he does have advertising on the site, but it does not cover the costs. (BTW, he did not ask me to solicit!)


12-12-2010, 07:12 PM

Many thanks for doing this.
Great idea!

Jeff Stover
12-14-2010, 08:14 PM
So far 456 have responded to the benchrest shooters' survey and 390 to the survey for those not in our sport...we will have some real interesting things to talk about.

I think the nation's weather has contributed to the response!