Is there luck involved in winning the EBR?

Forums Benchrest Benchrest Talk Is there luck involved in winning the EBR?

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    EdLena
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    I say this because there has never been a repeat winner at any 100 yard event that I know of. You would think that if you had a top level gun and were the best shooter you'd win them all but this is not the case. I know it isn't ACTUALLY luck but one or more of the many variables involved in shooting well. I, like many of you I'm sure have experience a large variability in the scores you shoot at your home ranges. On a day with average wind, say 6 to 10 mph, I can shoot anywhere from 205 to 225 and this baffles me. Same gun, same sorted pellets, same shooting technique, same wind management—different outcomes. My theory is that our wind flags can't always accurately read the wind conditions. For instance the flag tail will look the same, say at a 45 degree angle, if there is a mild horizontal wind or a strong wind coming down at 45 degrees. Any thoughts?

    Ed.

     

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    edosan
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    Luck for sure is a variable that comes into play, specially with gust wind that you can not predict. But more than luck, is bad luck. ;) , or luck if you do not have gust wind. 

    Is like when you are hunting and aiming for the head, you take the perfect shot and your prey moves the head in that exact second and you totally miss, does not happen a lot, but happens (to me several times this year)

    IME the longer the distance the less accurate are the flags for reading the wind, flags are a must for 25m and 50m, over that not really that important.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by edosan.
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    nervoustrig
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    Luck is a component, insofar as it represents the variables we don’t know how to control. 

    But the more you practice, the luckier you get!

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    Centercut
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    Yes, it is definitely a factor. Sometimes the wind can shift or gust just as you’re pulling the trigger. Heres a good example of bad luck recently. Theres a photo of Ken Hicks posted with him standing next to his finals target In one of the picture pack photos Michael posted. Very good card, except for one “4”.  He must have had that happen to him with a wind gust or shift as he was pulling the trigger. Without that bad luck his 221 would have been 226 or 227 and he would have won.  I also had something similar happen.  I was shooting and as I pulled the trigger a gust came at me from the 11 o'clock position and caused my pellet to jump into the 7 ring directly above the "x".  I had three other "misses" in the 7 ring, but they were left or right, not high or low.  Does luck come into play at EBR? What do you think?  ;)

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Centercut.
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    Raden1942
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    Never been to ebr but any skill involves some luck. Any unpredictable variable=luck however I don't think there are too many variables you can't predict with enough time and work. So what I'm saying is if someone wins don't chock it up to luck, they earned it. 

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    JoeWayneRhea
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    It for sure is a factor . But I do know from talking to past winners they have put in a Lot of trigger time before the event . The guys who win like Mike ( Centercut ) and Ken are practicing and putting in the time to eliminate as many misses as possible . 

    The top shooters are so close in skill and shooting ability that one puff of wind , one bad pellet , or any mistake makes the difference between holding up a big check ….and waiting till next year . At EBR the bench you draw can also make a big difference . Again luck of the draw 

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    steve123
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    Heck life can get in the way even before the match.

    I was all excited to get practicing 3 weeks before the match, but I had a job that needed to be done which set me back a week – long story, I hurt my back in the process, then developed another health problem that is fairly serious which I'm still struggling with, in the meanwhile what little time I did have to practice was for not because of sever winds in the afternoon for 5 days straight, then the wife and I went on our previously planned 3 day vacation, so I only had 3 decent practice sessions left before the match.

    Turned out my rifle had lost 70fps somehow which I was suspicious of because it was impacting lower, and was confirmed shortly before I left – I kinda ran out of time at this point. In the first 75Y match the rifle was obviously out of tune with the 44's so I got a dismal 206. In desperation I used the 50's the next day which worked fortunately so I did much better with a 231. But the first qualifier score ruined me for the 100Y match.

    Well at any time we can make a mistake somehow, or get a bench that has swirly winds downrange, or a windier relay, some things are out of our control. I'm pretty sure my friend would have won the one gun challenge but he drew 1st relay in the windiest conditions of the match. I know both he and his rifle was capable of winning.

    The top shooters are usually within a point or two of each other, one misread of the wind can make the difference between 1st and 3rd place. I know in other shooting sports I've won from having things just going well, call it luck or whatever.

    It is what it is, aye.

     

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    EdLena
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    steve123

    Heck life can get in the way even before the match.

    It is what it is, aye.

    Boy you've had your share of bad luck that's for sure. Just keep bringing it—you have some good luck coming to you.

    Ed.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by a Moderator.
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    Tominco
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    Yes.

    There's luck in which bench you draw and how the berms affect the winds around your shot. Not only the berms on the sides of the range but also some of the lanes have berms down range.

    There's also luck in how the winds are blowing. Both strength and direction. 

    Then there's the easy stuff – Lucky for you, you remembered the right pellets. Lucky for you, you screwed your moderator on all the way. Lucky for you, the guy next to you isn't shooting an exceptionally loud air rifle. And, so on. 

    While there is luck involved, I wouldn't say that it's a huge part of winning. Skill, practice, preparation, and experience are the main components for the win. 

    Tom

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    Motorhead
    Participant
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    With little or no skill … all the luck in the world would likely not having you beating those with the skill and having bad luck.  Sad but true …..

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    steve123
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    Tominco

    Yes.

    Tom

    Thanks for the encouragement Tom!

    Next year….

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by a Moderator.
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    steve123
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    I mean thanks for the encouragement, Ed. Quoted the wrong guy. 

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    FredAZ
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    Lucky for us shooters that EBR exists!

    Even luckier for the winners!

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by FredAZ.
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    Richieg
    Participant
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    MY OPINION ON LUCK. I'm one that doesn't believe in luck. It's the shooter, the rifle, and pellets all working together that wins a match. I give credit where it's do, and when I loose its because I was out shot..and not because another shooter was lucky, for any reason and THAT'S why he won. At THAT given point in time, I was out shot..period.If you believe it's about some amount of luck..isnt that a crutch anyone can use when they get out shot, at any match, at anytime?

     

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    TheLakeRat
    Participant
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    As the winner of the modified class of big bore event this year, I would say luck is definitely a factor.

    Yes I practiced allot more this year and yes my score was higher this year than last but it was more than that.

    I was going to shoot in the morning and then got delayed at the field target area and barely made it to the big bore in time. So what was almost bad luck turned into good luck as the wind died off by that time.

    And I shot against some AWESOME shooters and I was just lucky that they weren't having a good day.

    So again, YES it is a factor.

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    AirgunnerAJ
    Participant
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    100% luck is a factor. I will say that there is a reason that many of the same names are always near the top of the leaderboard though. You have to have the high level skills, equipment and mindset or else you won’t even have a chance. The people up near the top put a lot of time and have some of the best equipment typically. 

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    thomasair
    Manufacturer
    Manufacturer

    I’m sure I will get flamed for this…but here it is anyway.  

    I liken 100y BR to Blackjack.  

    1. You have those that spend a tremendous amount of time practicing and studying the event.  I’ll call them the card counters.  

    2.  You have the folks that have have spent some time checking their gun at their home range and working on their technique.  I’ll call them the basic strategy players.

    3.  You have those that dont put much into it and just show up to shoot.  Those would be the intuitive players without a strategy at all.

    The odds are that the number 3 shooters will always fill out the bottom half of the scoreboard. Now and then they will post a great single card which will keep them interested.

    The number 2 shooters and the number 1 shooters have very similar odds like in blackjack.  In fact, in blackjack, there is only .5% to 1% that separate the card counters from those that just play basic strategy.  

    In the short term, a basic strategy player can outplay a counter.  In the long term, the counter will prevail…but not by a large margin.

    This happens because the distance and the performance of the equipment combine to make the event something that no person will ever perfect.  There is just too high of a percentage of chance involved to make perfection over anything but the short term possible.

    Now compare 25m BR to 100y.  The relatively short distance of 25m combined with guns that have much more precision at that distance shift the chance percentage greatly.

    25m can be nearly mastered, 100 cannot.  The best 25m shooter in the world will always be at the top.  The best 100y shooter will suffer many more ups and downs and may only make the top once in a very great while. A mid level shooter can actually win at 100. This happens to be more universally appealing to those that have not put much time into learning to be a great shooter….and likely accounts for the rise in popularity of 100y shooting. It’s also the reason 25m shooting is not very popular.  Mediocre shooters have virtually no chance of making it near the top unless the top shooters simply do not show up.

    This is the reason you don’t see many (if any) top 25m shooters attend events like EBR. 25m shooters like to know that their hard work and mastery of their craft will always give them a high percentage shot at the top.  

    The comparison of the two disciplines is simply a comparison of a high chance game vs a high skill game.  Some will likely find that statement offensive…but it’s not meant to be.  Logic would tell you that anyone who has won a 100y EBR should easily be able to win any 25m event….but even when you had very little (if any) participation from the top 25m shooters at former EBRs…you never saw any of the 100y guys near the top of the 25m event.

     

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    Centercut
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    Great post, and very logical views on all this… 

    I shoot both 100Y and 25M, and agree with your reasoning, except for your statement "The comparison of the two disciplines is simply a comparison of a high chance game vs a high skill game.."  I would change that to (…a comparison of a high skill with moderate chance game vs a high skill game with little chance.)  

    However, we have had top 25M shooters finish near the top at 100Y, look at Ken Hicks this year finishing 2nd… There are a few others, like Jack Mercer, a top 25M shooter who won the 100Y Saguaro Classic this year.  I really like the Blackjack analogy, when I used to play a lot, I was a card counter…

    Mike

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Centercut.
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    steve123
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    I think it bears mentioning as well that there is such a thing as a "hummer" barrel, most of us wish we had one, right?! Would luck be the right word to use if a guy happened to have one of those exceptionally accurate barrels that just happened to come on his factory rifle?

    In some cases there are those that can cherry pic a good barrel after buying a bunch of barrels to test, that wouldn't qualify as lucky but doing so is allowed since benchrest is the quest for ultimate accuracy. I want one of those, lol.

    Man I looked at the winners vertical of the 100Y EBR and my expensive Anschutz 22rf that I had tested in a rigidly mounted jig at the Lapua test facility, to find the best lot number of Polar Biathlon, which I then bought, doesn't shoot that tight at 100Y with my ammo as his rifle does with pellets! Of course my extreme spread is 30 fps whereas if I were to guess his is 10 fps so there's that.

    I know if I had a super consistent and accurate air rifle, using high BC sorted and weighed pellets going fast, I'd stand more of "chance" to win- (that's where preparation by paying the price in time and effort, along with some luck, comes in). 

    Fun thread!

     

     

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    Centercut
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    steve123

    I know if I had a super consistent and accurate air rifle, using high BC sorted and weighed pellets going fast, I'd stand more of "chance" to win- (that's where preparation by paying the price in time and effort, along with some luck, comes in). 

    I'm of the opinion that "fast" really has nothing to do with accuracy or results.  High BC – yes.  Consistent, accurate gun – yes. Good shooting skills – yes.  Luck – yes.  Pellets going fast – not so much…  I shot .30 JSB 44.75 grain pellets at 875 FPS straight from the tin.  Certainly not "fast"….

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Centercut.
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