Benchrest Shooter Posts Stunning 1.068” Group at 1000 Yards – New World Record!

Mike Wilson with his world-record setting group. (Photo: Mike Wilson)

Mike Wilson has been shooting competitively since 2004. He’s held four International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) records, and he’s currently ranked third nationally among IBS Long Range Marksmen. But even he couldn’t believe his eyes last Saturday when he approached his 1000-yard target at the Hawks Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, N.C.

“I was stunned. It was such a small group,” he said in an interview with GunsAmerica. “I was pretty emotional. I’ve been doing it so long, I have such a love for the sport. It’ll get to you, when you love it that much.”

Wilson’s world record-setting 5-shot group measured 1.068 inches or, in angular terms, a stunning 0.102 minutes of angle (MOA). He even managed to land all five rounds in the center X-ring for a perfect score. (The previous 5-shot, light gun IBS record, set in 2007, measured 1.397 inches.)

The conditions on Saturday were just right, and Wilson said each shot felt good.

“It was very, very calm Saturday morning. The mirage was not bad. It was just a really good day to shoot,” he said. “All five shots went off real smooth. I didn’t have to alter my rest. I felt good about it, but I had no idea it would be anything close to that.”

Regardless of the conditions, Wilson joked, a one-inch group at 1000 yards likely requires some divine intervention.

“The shooting gods have to be with you when you post a group like that,” he said, laughing.

Wilson has been shooting from distance since 1996, and he’s been competing in IBS competitions for the past fourteen years. He got into the sport as most do: through hunting.

“Like anyone else, I started hunting,” he said. “You try to shoot further, and you kind of get into it if you do well, and just progress from there.”

These days Wilson shoots 25-30 matches per year, and he competes in both the heavy gun (>17 pounds) and light gun (<17 pounds) categories. IBS has 1000-yard ranges throughout the country, and each range hosts about 10 matches per year, he said.

Wilson’s rifle (details below).

Wilson used a custom benchrest rifle chambered in a custom version of the 6mmBR Ackley Improved he calls the 6mmBRAW (6mmBR Ackley Wilson). Wilson said he started shooting 30-caliber loads, but soon gravitated towards the lighter 6mm cartridges.

“We learned those little sixes will shoot almost as well if not better on a good day. They’re a lot less expensive to shoot and more fun to shoot, actually. The cases are getting smaller and the groups are getting smaller. It’s kind of odd,” Wilson said, laughing.

Here are the details on his setup (thanks to AccurateShooter.com‘s Sam Hall):

Round

Bullet: 103g Vapor Trail
Brass: Lapua
Powder: Hodgdon H4895
Primer: CCI 450 (small rifle magnum)

Rifle

Action: BAT ‘B’ 1.550 Melonited Action with Jewell Trigger
Barrel: Brux HV 28″ Finished Length, 1:8″ Twist Rate
Chambering: 6BRAW (6mmBR Ackley Improved Wilson), Chambered by Darrell Jones
Chamber Specs: 0.272″ No-turn Neck with 0.135″ Freebore
Stock: Shehane ST 1000 Fiberglass Stock (with stock work by Larry “Bullet” Archer)
Optics: Nightforce 12-42x56mm Benchrest NP-2 DD
Weight: 16 pounds, 2 ounces.

For anyone hoping to get into the long-range shooting game, Mike’s advice is simple.

“Bring whatever you can get and come to a match,” he said. “There will be some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet. Everyone will be glad to help if you need help. Don’t come expecting to be the best right off the bat, but come enjoy it, see what it’s all about, let the people help you.”

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next long-range rifle.*** 

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Karl Vanhooten August 5, 2018, 7:08 pm

    First: My sincere congratulations to Mike Wilson. You are a better man than I am.

    Second: And directed to average Joe’s out there…This accomplishment is partly the efforts of practice, self-loading, rifle, custom mounts, chronographs , uber-scopes, and God knows whatever other technology is involved in this feat. Last time I quizzed bench-shooter aficionados at my local gun club, the low-end, buy-in to the sport is about $6-8,000.

    This is like reading Car & Driver, reading about $100,000 Euro sports cars when all you can afford is a VW Bug.

    I am just a retired, SSI survivor who likes to plink to past time. Theses articles of super-heros with unlimited bank accounts bore me.

  • John Osborn August 5, 2018, 5:45 pm

    A superb demonstration in the complete and total mastery of variables.

  • Jack Braun August 4, 2018, 1:30 am

    Did Mr. Wilson see the location of each shot on the target, before firing the next shot? If he did, he must have been puckering pretty good after the third shot! But, nevertheless — great shooting! And great control!

  • E August 3, 2018, 10:42 pm

    The hole in a 100yd target would be crazy! Nobody would believe you didn’t miss 4 out 5 all together. Just one clean hole. Congadulations!

  • LoneRanger77 August 3, 2018, 6:36 pm

    That’s an absolutely amazing group.

  • scott beverly August 3, 2018, 6:09 pm

    1.068″ group. So what your saying is, there is room for improvement. Congratulations Sir, and I do mean Sir! Much respect!

  • Konrad Lau August 3, 2018, 5:10 pm

    I recently hurt my shoulder from patting myself on the back over getting a .50 ” group…at 100 yards.

    Be careful! It could happen to you too.

    • Kyle August 4, 2018, 2:57 am

      May I be so unlucky one day!

  • Ricky Price August 3, 2018, 4:57 pm

    Great shooting . Wish i could have been the shooter.

  • DK August 3, 2018, 2:01 pm

    What is the round dial on the curved pipe beside the left side of the breech?
    Is that part of the trigger assembly? Anybody know? I apologize if this is
    a stupid question.

    • Chris V August 3, 2018, 6:45 pm

      That’s probably a mount for a ballistic or wind computer. It’s not part of the rifle, just allows him to see information on conditions without moving out of position.

    • Kenny Smith August 3, 2018, 11:15 pm

      I am probably wrong , but it looks like a place for some extra rounds, maybe ! If not oh well I tried !

    • wade August 4, 2018, 10:40 am

      I believe you are looking at a disk that holds the loaded ammo so the shooter can load fast, I assume the action has two ports a port for loading on the left hand side of the action and ejection port on the right. Right/Left as viewed looking down the barrel towards the target.

      Hope this helps,
      wade

  • Michael August 3, 2018, 1:13 pm

    Awesome job, everyone has a great day, and this one was yours. Never mind the idiots who are hating on the post. They are just jealous

  • Mike Philbin August 3, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Marines are shooting 1″ 700 yards with iron sights. Whats the big deal as this guy is using every bell and whistle and a mounted rifle with a huge magnified scope also a huge 4′ target that my Grand mother can see a mile away… Not impressed…..

    • Scotty Gunn August 3, 2018, 6:38 pm

      Post a pic of your target at 1000 yards, then, please.

    • Michael Hall August 3, 2018, 7:29 pm

      Mr. Philbin,
      Unless you have a time, date and name ( and maybe a photo) of the Marine that shot a 1″ group at 700 yards, ( with iron sights no-less)your comment is nothing but “smoke”. Mike Wilson’s accomplishment is most impressive. Anyone not impressed knows little about precision shooting, or just doesn’t care.

    • GARY STARR August 3, 2018, 9:35 pm

      Well then, go do it.

    • 101st ABN August 3, 2018, 11:25 pm

      BULLSHIT!

    • wade August 4, 2018, 10:43 am

      Mike,

      Maybe you should try a match and show them how it is done, I am sure they would be happy to learn what you know if you would be so kind to share your wisdom. 0.1 MOA is really good at any range, at one 100 yards a 0.1 MOA group shot with a 6 mm bullet would measure 0.253 inches measured edge to edge.

      wade

    • Sgt. Pop August 4, 2018, 4:40 pm

      sorry, nobody is shooting 1″ at 700 yds in F-class, much less iron sights on any issue rifle…

  • James Gordon August 3, 2018, 12:54 pm

    That’s some impressive shooting by anyone’s standard, Mr Wilson this is something to be very proud of!And now to the cisco’s kid comment.You are obviously incapable of ever shooting such a amazing group and your ignorant comment proves just how JEALOUS you are of Mr Wilsons accomplishment.I sincerely hope that your appearance doesn’t match your lack of intelligence because that would prove that cave men still exist!

  • Johnny August 3, 2018, 12:00 pm

    Well done sir! That’s amazing. And even more amazing these days was how humble he is about it. No “well, I actually normally shoot a groups half that size at twice the distance BUT…” (lol) like we’re used to reading or at least have a read a few articles that ain’t too far off.

    Makes me happy to see guys like Mike Wilson do as well as he did…and I hope he beats his own record someday!!!

    Being a humble shooter seemss to make folks better shooters. Lose the ego and gain more skills. That should be the “formula” every shooter should learn first.

    • rick August 3, 2018, 4:22 pm

      Hummm…. Seems that we did that good in Korea w/ thee 1911 and hardball.!!

  • Sgt. Pop August 3, 2018, 10:25 am

    well, I’ll admit it, I’m torn between jealous and envious. I shot a sub 1inch group with my Stealth 6.5 at 200 yds., and carried the damn target on the dash of my PU for a week…….. If Mike Wilson is ever in LLA, beer and crawfish on me…….

  • cisco kid August 3, 2018, 9:45 am

    Ho hum so he got lucky on a windless day. Could he do it again. Well people do sometimes win the lottery twice in a row but not often. Those who engage in competition know the “Gods of Accuracy” are indeed fickle as a young maiden and when everything should go wrong the opposite sometimes happens. “The Gods of Accuracy” do this to play with your mind and torture you as they are sadistic creatures who revel in mayhem and uncertainty.

  • Wordell Fornortener August 3, 2018, 8:38 am

    While on TAD (Temp Assigned Duty) in 1973 at 29 Palms Marine Corp Base in the Mojave desert, a Gunny Sgt. with an M-14 put this sailor in the middle of a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood, with a dayglo orange spray paint circle in the middle of it – – -1000 yds away.We \”squids\” were from a Navy aerial target outfit from NASNI in San Diego. We were in this God forsaken desert to provide targets for the Marines who were shooting their Hawk missiles.We started talking to a Gunny Sgt. from the Marine missile outfit and found out he was a hunter & target shooter and to break the monotony…offered to bring his rifle to our site and we could set up a target & shoot. We did that at the end of the next day. He had a gargantuan spotting scope…and an M-14 rifle…and knowing the effective range was 500 yards…was surprised he set the plywood up at 1000 yds. Long story short. After about 20 rds. each (4 of us were shooting) he \”walked\” us out to where I was landing rounds near the center of the orange dayglo circle. Understand this: This in no way qualifies me as a distance shooter and the rounds landed that day were far and few between and would have effectively scared – not killed – someone – – -but it peaked my interest in longer distance shooting than the standard 100 yds to this day…and I\’m a geezer now. It was a fun day…but interesting that it began a lifelong quest to get that bullet in that little circle from further and further away.

    • Kevin August 3, 2018, 1:42 pm

      Wow I was 8541 back in the 90s when you kept saying a certain Gunny and I looked at you service date I thought your were gonna say good ole Carlos until you metioned missle outfit. Now that would have be a tell the grandkids story still liked yours to. And not bad spelling for a old SQUID lol I have nothing but love you guys are the finest chuaphers in the world thanks for the never ending supply of Crayons and thanks for the Corpsman we love them more than anything on a Float take care and tell King Neptune I’m glad I not near him.

  • Mark August 3, 2018, 7:00 am

    For those of us who aim for just a 1″ group at 100 yards this is the holy grail of the sport. I salute you! 👍

  • Jim Williams August 3, 2018, 6:04 am

    Pope would have been excited about this group.

  • Chuck Reynolds August 3, 2018, 5:42 am

    Amazing! Well done, Sir! Congratulations for raising the bar in Competitive Shooting!

  • Tony August 3, 2018, 5:17 am

    Just plain awesome …. and at that distance …. sir you are the man

  • John Nesbitt August 3, 2018, 5:11 am

    Wow! Nice accurate grouping. Great job and good advice for the rest of us.

  • Mark Kiernan August 3, 2018, 4:10 am

    Look at it like this Steve, you shot at something once, but you are an imbecile every single day.

  • davida August 2, 2018, 9:22 pm

    MAGNIFICENT that’s on ‘par ‘ with 5 holes in one in a row !! congrats.

  • Justin July 30, 2018, 5:46 am

    Good shooting Mike!

  • steve July 27, 2018, 9:04 pm

    Big freakin deal. I shot at something once.

    • Swifty July 29, 2018, 1:48 pm

      You’re comment sir was completely uncalled for and just shows how ignorant you really are.

      • st15rexxx August 3, 2018, 3:25 am

        though your wrath is deserved if the OP is serious, Swifty, I am of the mind that he was being facetious; i.e. attempting humor when no such ability seems to have manifested itself…IOW, steve think he funny; he ain’t funny 🙂

        • Mike V August 3, 2018, 12:33 pm

          I laughed, sorry

    • Infidel762X51 August 3, 2018, 7:49 am

      Are you a berkley grad or just spontaneously stupid?

      • Harley Meiroff August 3, 2018, 9:12 am

        Neither can be fixed

      • Goose August 4, 2018, 12:26 am

        HAY what’s wrong with Berkley

    • MagnumOpUS August 3, 2018, 10:08 am

      “…but I shoot my mouth off every day.”

      Every forum has its trolls, folks. Steve and his ilk only know how to get negative attention since being abandoned by his parents and ending up sexually abused by his uncle and the uncle’s boyfriend.

    • Johnny August 3, 2018, 12:12 pm

      Come on man?!?! Jealousy ain’t a good look on ya. And actually he didn’t “shoot at something once”…he shot at something, his target 1000yd out FIVE TIMES and landed all in just over a 1” group…and in the X ring, not just over an inch anywhere on target which would’ve been a sight to see as well!

      However, I’m sure in your FPS games like HALO (or whatever the hell people play now…I haven’t had a game console since the first Nintendo) you put holes in holes at a mile so big deal right. 🙄

      Must suck being pissed off all the time looking over your shoulder angray at other’s success’…get off the keyboard and show us how easy that “shot at something once” is.

    • George Murphy August 3, 2018, 12:43 pm

      You guys need to chill! I pretty sure he was just being funny! I am in a room with 17 very experienced marksmen and we are all still laughing!!

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