Benchrest shooting is a rifle sport, where the shooter attempts to place five or ten shots into the smallest possible group at varying distances. Benchrest tests the accuracy of the rifle, ammunition and the shooter's skills, particularly with regard to position, technique and reading of conditions.

It aims to encourage competition in order to achieve extreme accuracy in firearms, ammunition, equipment and shooting methods. Participants are encouraged to explore the design limits of firearms hardware. After beginning by shooting with standard rifles and ammunition, many shooters set forth on a personal voyage in pursuit of extreme accuracy. In doing so they develop new hardware, adopt better shooting techniques and gain personal satisfaction.

Rifles are fired from rests which comprise a front rest to support the fore-end of the rifle, and a rear sandbag to support the butt.

There are a number of different sections in Benchrest - each designed to cater for the different rifles with varying weight and sight restrictions.

  • Light varmint
  • Heavy varmint
  • Rimfire
  • Experimental
  • IRB
  • Fly Shoot

The Rifle

Rifles are custom built from the finest components. Currently in Australia there are several custom benchrest gunsmiths who can build a winning rifle. Ask a benchrest captain, or some of the competitors for details.

Some components, such as high power scopes, have to be imported, but others are obtainable locally.

Shooting Benchrest

Most SSAA ranges have an active benchrest section. Persons interested in taking up benchrest shooting should contact the benchrest captain for further guidance.

Major benchrest shoots in Australia are:

  • National Championships: held every Easter on a roster system around Australia, where ranges are available. All classes are contested over five days.
  • Australia Day Matches: held in Canberra at the end of January, usually for light and heavy varmint.
  • NSW State Championships: held over two weekends, usually in July and August.
  • Harry Madden Memorial Shoot: held at Belmont Range, Brisbane, usually in November, for light varmint.


Group sizes will be determined by measuring from the centre to centre of the two widest shots in the group. The ultimate group of .000 inches has never been achieved, although the sport has been around since 1948.

For Benchrest Hunter Class, one shot shall be fired on each of the scoring bulls. 'Best edge' scoring is used, in that if a shot touches or covers any part of a scoring ring, then that score shall be given.

The Targets

The official target for benchrest group competition shall contain five concentric rings, an aiming mark and a border surrounding the rings and the aiming mark.

Sighter targets have the addition of two concentric rings in each lower corner and the letter 'S' in one other corner. Benchrest Hunter Class targets shall have six 'bulls' per target, one of which shall be a sighter, which consists of five concentric scoring rings. There is an X ring in the centre of the ten ring.

Further Information

Gavin Marshall
07 4657 5062
0438 759 162
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rule Books*

Benchrest Rule Book (Group & Score)

Benchrest Rule Book (Fly)

Benchrest Rule Book (IRB)

Benchrest Rule Supplementary (Qld Only)

* May be shot Subject to Range Approval. Approved firearms must still comply with Qld State Laws & Regulations.


National Information

National Competition Results

Benchrest Events

No events

Upcoming Events

No events

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