Sponsored by KC Multimedia and Design Group, Inc.
Builders of Functional Software Solutions and Interactive Websites.
Note: As of Oct. 15, 1998 you need version 2.04 to enter matches
*only shooters who have submitted groups for this match may see the standings until the match is completed.
Virtual Benchrest (VBR) is an interactive computer simulation of actual benchrest target shooting (in layman's terms, it's a "game."). "Group shooting," which VBR specifically simulates, is an aspect of benchrest shooting where the shooter attempts to place five shots all through the same bullet hole. Smaller five-shot "group" sizes are better than larger ones. The shooter with the smallest average or "aggregate" group size for a course of fire (normally consisting of five five-shot matches and a single five-shot warmup match) wins.
Benchrest shooting looks easy. It is actually quite difficult to shoot consistently small groups due to the effect of varying wind pushing the bullet around on its brief trip to the target. If you shoot a rifle in competition, you know this. If you don't shoot, believe us, it is a fact.
VBR is about as close as you can get to shooting benchrest without filling the back of your car or truck with equipment and heading off to a real match.
The original Virtual Benchrest I simulator was written as a web applet ( a small Java program designed to run in a web-browser or applet-viewer.) Also, the original VBR was written in an early version of the Java programming language. It worked, it was fun, but there was room for improvement. The new VBR II is written in the latest version of Java (1.1.5,) and features many improvements, while retaining the good features of the original. The new features include
- New network capability lets you enter and shoot virtual matches against other VBR players. Of course you can still relax with VBR as a single-player. But now you can actually shoot an aggregate and submit it to our server. We'll rank the scores and post the results.
- New and improved graphics and audio, better sub-system components and controls, and better program design.Simply stated, VBR II is a better program than the original.
- Written as a standalone application, VBR II does not run in a web-browser. You can run it like any other program, by simply double-clicking its icon.
- VBR II is provided in two very friendly, and familiar "setup" programs. The Windows-specific version includes everything you need to run the program. You do not have to be a "java geek" to install it and start playing. For non-Windows users, or for users who already have a JavaSoft-compatible Java 1.1 runtime installed on their computer, an alternate version is offered in a generic Java installer.
In order for any serious Java programs to run well under Windows, you need a fast, Pentium class PC, or equivalent. We strongly recommend running VBR II on a 166 Mhz Pentium (or faster) or PowerMac with 32 MB of RAM (or more.) Less capable machines will probably be disappointing as a Java/VBR II platform.
If you are short on horsepower for VBR II, you may still download the original Virtual Benchrest I applet, a lightweight version that does not feature the network capability to enter virtual matches.
The full VBR version that includes the Java Runtime Environment, will require about five megabytes of hard disk space for installation. If you already have the Java Runtime Enironment, the actual VBR program is about 800 KB.
We've tested VBR on Windows 95 /NT, SPARC/Solaris 2.5.1, Intel/Solaris 2.6, and MacOS 8.1 w/MRJ 2.0 . Based on past experience, we anticipate that it will also run on OS/2 and AIX 4.2 platforms.
How do you use VBR to shoot in a "virtual match?" It's easy.
- Download a copy of VBR II, use it to become familiar with how it works in practice mode and in match mode.
- Find a web server that is hosting matches, and register yourself to compete. KC Multimedia will be hosting matches on a regular basis, and registration is free. You'll receive a user name and password by email, that you will use when you electronically submit your match for official scoring.
- Use VBR II to shoot a match on your computer sometime between the official start and end times of the match. You can use VBR offline to do this. At KC Multimedia, we give you a week to shoot a match and submit it to the server. When you are ready, go on the Internet, and use VBR II's "Submit Match" function to send your best match aggregate for the week to the server. You may only submit one match for the weekly match.
- You can check the current standings at any time, which will change as other virtual shooters submit their matches. The standings are final when the official match period expires. Winners may download appropriate virtual "patches" that can be printed out, or displayed on personal web pages.
We offer three versions for download. All versions contain the exact same VBR program.
The Windows 95/NT full installation includes everything you need to run VBR, including the Java Runtime Environment. Download it, run the downloaded file, and a familiar setup program will guide you through the installation process. The installer will place Virtual Benchrest items in your Start menu. It does not get any easier.
The MacOS bin file expands to a java-powered installer that will copy Virtual Benchrest to a folder of your choice on your hard disk, and drop an icon on your desktop that can be used to start VBR like any other Mac program.
Finally, the smaller, multi-platform, Java installer is designed for Unix or Windows systems that already have an installed Java 1.1 runtime (Java 1.1.2 or higher.) The Java installer is actually a Java program that self-installs VBR on your system. It also features a very user-friendly interface, but you must have a Java runtime to run the installer.
If you are not sure if you have a Java Runtime, then you probably don't. Java runtimes are not yet "standard equipment" on PC's. The ability to run Java applets in a web browser does not mean that you have a Java runtime installed.
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- Xtremeaccuracy.com - a haven on the WWW for precision shooters!
- Shooters Gunlinks - "The Web Encyclopedia of Shooting"
- GunHoo - Gun Pages Central - The site for finding firearms-related resources.
- National Rifle Association - Training, Competition, Safety, Legislative.