Benchrest Basics


Firearms need to be treated with great care so please do not rely on any information within this section.






Benchrest Terminology



Bore Cleaner Tests


Equipment Suppliers (UK)

Load Tuning

Case Preparation 1

Case Preparation 2 - (Neck Clearance)

Precision Rifles

Precision Shooting Magazine

Range Disciplines


Reloading Equipment


Rest - Coaxial


Stocks - Manufacturers

Stocks - Graphics

Target Sports Magazine


Wind Flags

SG&Y - Introduction to Benchrest

SG&Y - Barrel Break-In

SG&Y - Vertical Tips

SG&Y - Filling Sand Bags

SG&Y - Bench Dimensions


Ranges (UK)

Big Game Cartridges

US Export Regulations

4500 Joules Calculator


Lapua 6 x 47

BP Pistol


High Pressure Grease - R S Components

Sapphire hi-load 2,bearing grease

Tru Blu Ultra High Temperature Extreme Pressure Grease

Permatex #133A Anti-Seize

Bostik Never Seez - Has fine metallic flakes

100yd Benchrest


Weight Classes

The two main classes are Heavy (13.5lb) and Light Varmint (10.5lb) with a 0.5oz allowable margin at weigh in. 



No limit but usually 36x to 45x power. Usually fixed power due to the class weight restrictions.

The 'Leopold' scopes are very popular. Other good manufacturers include Weaver & Sightron and more recently the superb March Scopes. The higher 45x power may give you a larger image but they also pick up more heat haze



The older .222 Remington was one of the first cartridges to dominate benchrest. The 6mm PPC is without doubt the most used cartridge today . This was developed from the 22 PPC by  Dr. Lou Palmisano and Mr. Ferris Pindel.



No restriction on length but barrels are usually short and thick. A short stiff barrel will generally outshoot a long skinny barrel of the same weight. The most common twist is 1 in 14. Krieger, Hart, Bartlein and Shilen are all popular Benchrest Barrels.



Typically flat based as generally these bullets tend to be more accurate and fairly short in length. High Ballistic Coefficient or VLD bullets which tend to be longer do not stabilise so well at short range. VLD bullets have advantages at longer ranges. The hollow point 68 grain bullet is probably the most commonly used but anything from 63 to 68 grain being suitable. Of the larger manufacturers Berger Bullets are usually available in the UK. Most top competition shooter use bullets from the USA made by the smaller bullet makers such as Bart, Fowler, Johnson, Brady Knight, Watson, Hammond, Gentner, Cheek, Zia, Bib, Chism. The Bart Ultra bullets are probably the most popular and are sometimes available in the UK. For the UK shooter Berger make a 65grn, 65grn Short and 68grn flat base bullets all of which shoot well. Avoid the VLD / ULD bullets.



Lapua 220 Russian is used almost exclusively for making 6mm PPC brass. The 0.22 neck needs to be expanded to 6mm. Sako also make 220 Russian brass. Max case length 1.500 inch. Cut to 1.485. Can sometimes use beyond the recommended length up to max of approx 1.525 inch depending on the reamer used to cut the barrel.



Vihtavuori 133 is probably the most commonly used powder with the slightly older Hodgdon H322 coming a close second. 28 grains of powder is usually the starting load for the 6mm PPC with a 66 or 68grain hollow point flat based bullet. Most shooters average around 29 grains and some shooting 30 grains. Other powder include Accurate 2015, Vihtavuori 130, Hodgdon 4198.


Bullet Seating

Most benchrest rifles prefer to be shot with the bullets touching the rifling. Aim for a square rifling mark on the bullet as a good starting point. As the bullet just touches there will be a small spot mark on the bullet head. Colour the bullet head using marker pen to help with this process or clean with wire wool. Another method is to load the bullet long and loose so the bolt pushes the bullet onto the rifling. Some Krieger barrels appear to like the bullet off the rifling. Hart barrels usually prefer to be set touching the rifling.

With the Wilson Dies a 1/4 turn = 10 thou movement on the bullet head.



Federal Match Primers are the most popular. CCI Benchrest Primers are used by some competitors. CCI primers are harder and some argue that there could be the possibility of a miss fire. Federal are a good match for 133 Viht.   


Neck Tension

The 258 or 259 bushing (Button) is the normal standard on a 262 neck, some go tighter to a 257 bushing. This can be increased to 260 for the larger diameter fatty bullets. The bushings range for 6 PPC is usually 261 to 257. Turning some bushes upside down can reduces the neck by 0.5 thou.


Benchrest Dies Manufacturers

The main suppliers are probably Redding, Harrell, Wilson