The year 2013 saw a paradigm shift for the International Benchrest Shooters. In late 2012 we learned that our official publication, Precision Shooting Magazine was folding. IBS had purchased pages in “PS Magazine” since our inception in 1970. The demise of the magazine came with no warning so we had to scramble for another option to keep our members informed.
Right off the bat, we were not totally floundering because IBS has had a very good website under the direction of 1st VP and webmaster, Dick Grosbier. Even though our membership’s average age is way beyond drinking age, most of us are pretty well Web-savvy and adaptable to on-line delivery of needed information. That is not to say we did not explore print options. NBRSA now has a very professional magazine that, perhaps, would sell some pages to the IBS. Having all benchrest in one place was quite attractive. One of the problems of today’s print media is the cost of production and distribution made that a fairly expensive option for us despite the fine quality of their new magazine. One aspect of a print benchrest magazine is that it only seen by the shooters active in our niche sport. A print publication with a circulation of, say 1400, does not allow for a wider audience.
Enter www.accurateshooter.com. Paul McMenamin, the guru behind the world’s most visited rifle accuracy site approached me about teaming up with his site. Accurateshooter.com is seen by over 120,000 precision rifle buffs every week. That is huge! The IBS Executive Board decided that a good combination would be to have coverage of all the Nationals and some “Featured Matches” on accurateshooter.com and use the IBS website for all our news and the rest of the results. We have been at this partnership since early spring and I think it has been successful for the most part. When we have had good match reporters (and accompanying photos) the story on accurateshooter.com has been stunning. A winning shooter’s photo on accurateshooter.com is akin to being on the cover of Rolling Stone. One thing we have learned is that, we as a sanctioning body, need to ensure that we have engaged a match reporter ahead of time. Two of our Nationals did not get coverage this year. The IBS is going to address that. We are going to compensate our designated reporters in 2014 so that we can ensure the information gets to Paul at accurateshooter.com.
The IBS Annual Meeting (better known as the “Winter Meeting”) is being held on January 10-11, 2014 in Harrisburg, PA. We have a social hour on Friday night; the business meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. Please try to attend. It is great way to talk benchrest in the middle of winter!
Congratulations to 2013 Shooters of the Year:
1000 yard – Mike Wilson
600 yard – Mike Moses / Tom Jacobs (tie)
Score – Herb Llewellyn
Group – Russ Raines
In 2013 I believe we held our own in terms of attendance. In looking at benchrest shooter participation around the county I think we are probably a little ahead of what others are doing. Let’s hope 2014 brings an uptick in IBS participation.
See you at the range,