Extreme accuracy is the name of the game in benchrest competitions, where precision meets performance.

Competitors aim to put a number of rounds – typically five or 10 shots – into the smallest possible group on paper targets placed at 50, 100, 200 and 300 yards.

Groups are measured from the centre to the centre of the two widest shots in a group.

As the name suggests, rifles are fired from rests on benches, comprising a front rest to support the fore-end and a rear sandbag to support the rifle’s butt.

Precision rifles are only part of the kit, with high-end optics playing an important role and many competitors spending hours experimenting with different cartridge loads and projectiles to come up with a combination that provides the very best results with their firearm.

There are 10 main classes within Benchrest, four of which are centrefire rifle group shooting classes, two are rimfire group shooting classes and four are Hunter Class ‘application’ or score shooting classes. In Hunter Class, there are competitions for both rimfire and centrefire rifles and it is a requirement that these rifles have a safe trigger mechanism and trigger guard.

In the Experimental/Unlimited Benchrest, competitors fire 10 shots from a centrefire rifle with a minimum barrel length of 457mm (18”); otherwise there are no rifle or weight restrictions.

The Heavy Benchrest class also uses centrefire rifles, and the maximum weight of the rifle including a telescope must not exceed 6.123kg (13lb 8oz) and the stock width must not exceed 76.2mm (3″) at any point.  The rifle must also be shot from restricted rests, such as sandbags at the front and rear, while in the Light Benchrest class the total weight can’t be more than 5.76kg (10lb 8oz) and the Sporter Benchrest class is limited to 4kg (9lb).

Hunter Cass matches require a rifle with a maximum weight of 4.5kg (10lb) or 6.35kg (14lb) depending on whether it is a Light or Heavy category match, and scopes are restricted to 6x magnification. Rifles must also have a functional magazine holding at least two rounds.

There is also a .22 discipline, divided into Light and Heavy classes. Light Class rifles cannot weigh more than 3.5kg (7lb 12oz) and scopes cannot be more than 6x power, while Heavy Class rifles have a maximum weight of 6.35kg (14lb).

Further Information

  • Discipline Chairman:
  • Gavin Marshall
  • Phone:
  • 0438 759 162

Rule Books*

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


Benchrest – Groups Events

    There are currently no events

We'll keep you informed and up to date

Sign up to our newsletter to get current and upcoming news, views and events about firearms ownership, sport shooting and recreational hunting issues, important SSAA news, special offers and time-sensitive news.