Twelve Canadian rifle shooters placed fourth in overall competition at the recent 2019 World Benchrest Championships held in Alberta – a Canadian-best showing.
The participants, sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), also brought home a gold medal as Team ‘A’ won first place in the 200-yard LV (light varmint) category.
They shot an aggregate group size of 0.2165 minute-of-angle (MOA) – the equivalent of shooting inside a dime over two football fields, a team member said.
Bill Mitchell won several individual medals, including silver. Peter Smith also won silver in the 10-shot 200-yard HV (heavy varmint) competition, while Lloyd Miller won bronze in the 100-yard LV class. The event was held at the Rosebud Silhouette and Benchrest Club west of Calgary from July 14 to 21.
The championships, held in alternate years, attract top sharpshooters from around the globe. The calibre of choice is the 6mm PPC (.243), widely-considered the most accurate cartridge.
Benchrest is a shooting sport created by hunters and gunsmiths who competed for ultimate precision and accuracy. As the name implies, the rifle (a single-shot bolt action) is fired from a bench for stability, using a front rest and rear sand bag.
Canada’s team included OFAH members Bill Mitchell, Peter Smith, Hugh Williamson, and Robert Seeman on Team ‘A,’ Rick Pollock, Dave Holmes, Rob MacLennan, and George Carter on Team ‘B,’ and Lloyd Miller, Andy Laidlaw, Wayne Miller, and Vera Carter on Team ‘C’.