How Did Benchrest Central Start?

The Early Days

Memories of Wilbur from his son Elmer… You know I can’t hide my love for my Dad. To know him was to love him and most probably couldn’t tell you why. That unassuming, down-to-earth, unpretentious, and caring personality was powerfully magnetic.

Back in the early 1970s, one could easily find Wilbur Harris draped across the hood of an old Thunderbird down in the river bottom basin of Southeast Tennessee’s Sequatchie Valley. Focused only on the target, and not the soybean fields that stretched a few hundred yards between, it was abundantly clear he couldn’t squeeze any more precision out of his trusty 6 x 47 with mainstream reloading supplies. He and his trusty 6×47 rifle had already proved the best shot around.

But like many of you reading this today, Wilbur had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hunger for understanding, particularly for something as cool as ballistics. The only thing sweeter to him than the smell of unspent powder was the smell of freshly spent powder (earlier in the morning, the better of course). Only a few years away from his only tour in Vietnam, Ol’ Wilbur had caught the accuracy bug right there on the hood of that rusty old Thunderbird.

More to come…