Winning the Ultimate Civil War Shooting Sports Event: Ben Waits Does It Again!

by Mike Kendra on June 21, 2010

I was really busy at the 121st National, but Ben Waits was even busier, shooting holes in the black in individual competition.

Ben is a 13 time winner of National Grand Aggregate competition, and a member of the Nansemond Guards.

I recently sent him an email with a list of questions which he kindly answered. Here is my interview:

SkirmishNotes: When did you start Skirmishing, and also, how long have you been competing in the National Grand Aggregate Competition?

Ben: I joined in 1977 and I started entering the aggregate about 1985.

SkirmishNotes: What events in the Grand Aggregate are your favorite?

Ben: I would say that the pistol has always been my number one gun and then the carbine

SkirmishNotes: At the 121st National Skirmish you finished in 1st Place with a 556-10X in Grand Aggregate Competition. Can you give us the scores for the six targets that comprised this score?

Ben: The musket score was a 95 at 50, and 93 at 100; the carbine was 89 at 50, 90 at 100; and the pistol was 98 at 25, and 91 at 50.

SkirmishNotes: What other medals did you win at the 121st Nationals?

Ben: I was first in the pistol aggregate, musket aggregate the fifty yard aggregate and the five gun aggregate.

SkirmishNotes: Prior to the 121st National, you’ve won the National Grand Aggregate Competition 12 times (according to my records going back to 1983). Your score of 556-10X is a personal best in this event, how did this National stack up to previous competitions?

Ben: I think the first one was the most exciting I clinch it on the last target with a 96 at 50 yards with my carbine. This one was special because I have only won the musket aggregate about three time before and for me that trophy has been a hard one to win. Shooting the 91 at 50 yard pistol was another personal best.

SkirmishNotes: Your last Grand Aggregate win was in October of 2007. What did you do to prepare for the 121st National?

Ben: I got a new pistol to shoot at 50 yards my old one was just not doing the job anymore. With a lot of trips to the range to work the sights in that practice time was a tremendous help. And because I ran out of powder and had to open a new keg. I went to the range and shot the musket/carbine for group. After changing the charges it made a big difference in how the musket scored.

SkirmishNotes: At this National your Grand Aggregate score was 14 points ahead of second place, were you surprised that there was no closer competition?

Ben: Not so much. The grand aggregate scores normally run between 538 and 548 depending a lot on the weather. To have a score in the 550’s is the exception to the norm.

Thanks Ben for answering my questions, and keep hitting the X-ring, we will be watching the white sheets at the stat house at the next National!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike M. June 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Note the revolver scores.

20-odd years ago (that’s a frightening thought), Steve Light did a statistical analysis that showed just how dominant the revolver scores are in the Grand Aggregate.

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