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Get Off The Bench!!

This is a discussion on Get Off The Bench!! within the Rifle Competition forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Spoke yesterday with HP Chairman about upcoming season for matches and due to age and health not able to compete for past couple years and ...

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Old January 5th, 2017, 02:37 AM   #1
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Get Off The Bench!!

Spoke yesterday with HP Chairman about upcoming season for matches and due to age and health not able to compete for past couple years and asked how the turn out was last couple years and he said some 10-15 shooters per match. This range is outstanding in all respects and includes ranges from 600 to 1000yds. for Long Range shooters. Range hosts also International Bench shooting matches as well for very specialized type rifles at the 1000yd. range.
Individual using sling and rifle in position shooting is going down and down over the years and more and more going to bench style shooting. If your goal is to test your loads and rifles ability to delivery accurate shooting that is fine, but doing so does in no way make you a better rifleman, only verifies the ability of the load/rifle. I fully understand that going to the range and placing bag or rest on table top and firing away is much easier than getting on the ground with mat and spotting scope, getting into position w/ sling, firing a group and then retrieving target and being pleased with that small grouping of shots is fulfilling, but in reality you as a rifleman had little to do with that, it's the rifle/load. America is supposed to be a Nation of riflemen and I fear if effort is not made to encourage young shooters to "get off the bench" and learn how to hold and fire the rifle in various positions we will lose our claim to be riflemen. It does not have to be that way and would ask that as you attend a match this coming season you take a new shooter with you, young or old, and get them involved. Not likely a new shooter will have the gear to participate and answer to that is let him/her use your gear and it's not uncommon for others at the match to offer use of their gear as well for a new interested shooter, it's the right thing to do and that precious M1A/M14, AR, bolt gun, is designed to do one thing, be shot and not just from a bench.
Fellow at local range asked me to take him to range which he did not belong and wanted to take his teenage sons with him. Gladly agreed and brought along my LRB and AR plus mat, Kowa spotting scope, ammunition, etc. and first thing they wanted to do was shoot off the bench. Not being familiar with the rifles I understood that and did so for half a dozen shots and then told them we were going to next shoot from the mat and no way did they want to try that. They got back into their car and spent the rest of the afternoon on their "hand held electronic devices." They are good kids, good students, not problem children in anyway, but we are producing a whole generation of buttercups and if anything seems to require effort to excel at, it's not attractive. If we don't encourage the young generation to participate in the shooting sports we who do are going away one of these days and the sport will die also. Again, find someone young or old in your circle of friends and take them with you to a match. If dedicated HP shooters take just one person it will make a difference. It won't be long that the guy you first took to a match will be bringing a new guy with him. Remember that M1A/M14, AR, bolt gun, etc. is called "a shoulder fired rifle" not bench fired.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:42 AM   #2
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Working with one now. I loaned him an AR-15 so he could snap in with it. I showed him how to get in the different positions, and explained how to sight and hold his rifle. Before his 1st match I brought him to my house and we ran a trial match. His 1st match wasn't real good, but he was there and participating, unfortunately he only made one match, but he wants to go again this year.
If you are helping someone be prepared to not shoot when they are there. There might not be enough range personnel to help coach him on the line.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 06:39 AM   #3
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Fifty years ago in the Marines, I qualified as a sharpshooter with the M14, but I never really enjoyed wrapping my arm with a sling, sitting, kneeling, etc. Only shooting prone was enjoyable; the rest was just a chore.

Today, I still enjoy shooting prone off a mat with a bipod, scope and rear bag or shooting off the bench with the same equipment. I'll spend hours doing it a couple of times per week.

Shooting, hand loading, ballistics, getting outdoors are all part of the fun. I admire those who develop the skill and discipline necessary to shoot high power, it just never had much appeal to me.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 06:54 AM   #4
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I'm really hoping to get out and shoot more this year, . . . especially this spring.

Need to get my skill set back up to where I can pop a coyote at 300 yds, . . . ground hog or coon on the ground at 200.

Working on getting the cash for a thermal scope, . . . want to do some night time coyote and hog hunting.

Also hoping to have my son as my partner on this endeavor, . . .

May God bless,

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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:11 AM   #5
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I wholeheartedly agree. When I go to the range (and use the public side vs. the highpower range), you should see the looks I get when I roll out the mat and get into position. They always joke and say, "You know there's a bench right there...right?"

What do they plan to do if they ever have to use their weapon for real? "Hang on; I gotta drag out my bench, sandbags and grab a soda first! Oh, and let me grab a selfie real quick..."

The bench has it's place: load development, dialing-in a scope, etc., but marksmanship is built in position.


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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:26 AM   #6
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At my range I see far more position shooters now than there were a few years ago. Of the ones I've talked to almost all of them had been to an Appleseed or were preparing for their first one.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by WRMorrison View Post
They always joke and say, "You know there's a bench right there...right?"
That cracks me up everytime I get funny looks at the range. Then again, been to a couple ranges in So Cal where the RO's came up to appologize, "I'm sorry, you'll have to shoot from the bench please".

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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:58 AM   #8
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I wholeheartedly agree with what's being stated here. For me the difficulty in not using the bench has been finding a range that doesn't have them or allows for position shooting. My local range (8 mins from me) is great but unless there's a special match it's all bench shooting, and if so inclined you can stand at the bench too (which is what I do). One range I belonged to a few years ago only allowed bench shooting enforced by plywood barriers directly in front of the bench forcing one to sit to shoot = lame.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 08:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
That cracks me up everytime I get funny looks at the range. Then again, been to a couple ranges in So Cal where the RO's came up to appologize, "I'm sorry, you'll have to shoot from the bench please".
I set up Kneeling, Sitting, and Prone ON the bench.....

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Old January 5th, 2017, 08:57 AM   #10
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from the cmp forum

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Old January 5th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #11
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Strangely, the outdoor ranges I've used in NY were just berms with no bench or amenities at all. If you couldn't shoot standing, kneeling or prone, there was nothing else for you. I never saw a bench till I shot in Florida and then Colorado.

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Old January 5th, 2017, 10:56 AM   #12
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I tried dragging a bench, bags, chrongraph, brass catcher, and spotting scope with me in the woods hunting, but I scared all the game away!

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