Have you heard the rumor that I set a shooting world record? it started last year and the rumor—unbelievable as it must seem—is true. In March 2012, I did indeed break a previous record that had stood for nearly 20 years. The record I set is in benchrest competition, and the bench-rest game, as Outdoor Life readers know, is the quest for the ultimate in rifle accuracy (see “Benchrest Explained”). The Holy Grail of Benchrest, as you would imagine, is to shoot every bullet through the exact same hole, but the closest anyone has come was back in 1973, when a single five-shot group fired at 100 yards measured an astonishing .009 inches. (That amounts to about the thickness of five pages of Outdoor Life magazine.) No one since has even come close to that record, but thousands of riflemen keep trying, even though it’s as unlikely as running a one-minute mile or skipping up Everest in ballet slippers. It probably ain’t gonna happen, but it’s in the genetic makeup of hardcore bench shooters to chase impossible dreams.
The Shamrock Shoot
A tournament is held at Twin Oaks range near the town of Dublin, Ga., on the weekend following St. Patrick’s Day, so what else could it have been named but the Shamrock? Sponsored by the Middle Georgia Gun Owners Association, it’s one of the more popular events on the Benchrest calendar because it is unfailingly well run.
Though I’d always had fun at the Shamrock, it had never been a successful tournament for me because things always had a way of going wrong. On one trip, my RV broke down en route. Another time a pair of new rifles developed extraction problems. The same bad luck seemed in store for this trip as well, when the refrigerator in my spanking-new RV went out, turning a four-day supply of frozen meals to mush.