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    • #32927
      Chris C
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      Tim, I read where you posted you could look at someone’s shooting position and tell where their bullet was going to hit the target. Obviously, then, you are capable of critiquing a shooting position. Would you do that for me? I posted this on the open forum so it might start a discussion that would help more people than just myself.

    • #32954
      Goodsteel
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      Understand, there’s a huge difference between an experienced shooter and a hunter who shows up and wraps three fingers around the barrel as he sprawls across my bench like a fiddler crab and tries to hit a pie plate.

      If I were you, I would turn your body clockwise till the target was at a 10:00 position. I would also do anything you can to get on a more level surface.
      Just my opinion, but if you’re trying to shoot the most precise group you can, whatever muscles connect you to the ground must be at rest and not tense at all, and if you are perched on a leaning stool facing the rifle as you are, it puts stress on your body.
      Not that you can’t shoot fantastic groups this way, it just takes effort away from your shot.
      Other than that, you look fine, and your rifle and upper body are well supported.
      Watch the position of the bags on your barrel. You must return to the same place every time, or you are changing your harmonics with every shot.

    • #32956
      Chris C
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      Okay, I understand. Only thing is there’s no level ground on my property. I’ve got tape marking exactly where my butt plate of my stock needs to return to after each shot and the front rest is setting in holes, so it doesn’t move.

    • #32960
      Goodsteel
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      If I were in your position, I would make level ground.

    • #32964
      Chris C
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      Well, if it were out in the field I would……….but the lane for my range is my driveway.

    • #32967
      Menner
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      Hi Chris
      I think Tim means just were the shooting table is setup
      so your body and table are setting level
      Tony

    • #32968
      kens
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      I usually set the toe of the butt on my closed fist, and adjust elevation by squeezing my fist, for up or down.

    • #32970
      Chris C
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      Menner;n13561 wrote: Hi Chris
      I think Tim means just were the shooting table is setup
      so your body and table are setting level
      Tony

      Table was leveled with a bubble level. Drummer’s stool was at the edge of a wide angle lenses coverage and was tilted less than it looked. I don’t have the luxury of a concrete pad and table. I’m sure Tim remembers what that’s like to deal with portable tables. 😉

      Edit: I take that back, the pic was taken with a 70mm lens, so it wasn’t distorted. Guess the stool was leaning more than I realized. Sorry ’bout dat!

    • #32971
      Goodsteel
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      The fact is, you’re leaning FORWARD in the picture, and you are facing the target almost dead on. This is not the correct way to aproach the bench nor to mount the rifle because it makes you stretch to reach things. (this is me just going by the picture. You might really like it that way and more power to ya).
      However, if you were to approach the bench from the side like you’re supposed to, you will be fighting the urge to tip over to your left which would be even worse.
      What you are doing is more than fine for any sort of hunting, but we are talking about target shooting here, and any advantage you can take from yourself and give to the rifle should be done.
      you really want to have fun, screw a scope rail to the bench and mount a cheap scope ON THE BENCH. Get a buddy to take a shot with your rifle while you are looking through the scope and see how stable your bench really is. Again, this isn’t about hitting a deer or a groundhog. It’s about hitting the target…….ten times minimum…..as consistently as possible. It’s a whole different ball of wax than walking through the woods and making one perfectly placed shot on a large target. You figure most of us get all ticked off and bumfuzzled if we can’t shoot groups the size of squirrel heads at 100 yards with some semblance of consistency. If that’s your game, then everything you can do to support yourself and the rifle is vital.
      When I built my concrete shooting bench, I jacked it up and added 3/4″ shims to make it perfect, and I went around the bench lifting the top on each corner letting things get settled as solid as possible. That was definitely worth the time.
      Now I do have a slight downhill grade on my bench top so rainwater will run off it, but it’s not enough to bias my shooting or make me uncomfortable at all. It’s solid as a rock, and very consistent. After shooting from wood benches, truck hoods, tail gaits, prone with bipods, etc etc etc, I can honestly say that my shooting bench is about the most comfortable place I have ever set down with a rifle. That’s not to say you need to go to the lengths that I did! It’s my business to shoot small groups, and Lord knows I need all the help I can get, but you should make yourself very very comfortable. I mean, when the smoke clears, and you just don’t feel like getting up to check the targets yet, do you just sit there for a few minutes (in position) and enjoy being there while you watch the clouds roll by? just snug as a bug in a rug and happy as a clam (a clam that happens to be holding a rifle)? That’s what it should be like in my opinion.

      I throw a soft towel over the bench so my elbows are not offended, and my chair is a nice adjustable padded office chair. Comfy comfy comfy!!!! I could sit there all day!

    • #32973
      Chris C
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      I agree I’m leaning forward. Been working on adjusting things so I sit up more straight today. I’ve raised both my front and rear rests to facilitate that. I also drew a circle on my table today and placed a 10 o’clock arrow on it so I get used to that position. Thanks. I was only shooting 5-shot groups working on finding a powder load, so unfortunately this isn’t one of the 10-shot groups you got me started on. But in my defense, here is what I shot that day from that position.

    • #32976
      Menner
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      Chris
      Nice looking rifle and a shooter to
      Tony

    • #32977
      Scharfschuetze
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      That’s a nice looking 50 yard group you have there.

      Unless your rifle for some reason shoots better with the barrel on the sand bags, I’d suggest moving the sand bags or front support from under the barrel to under your hand guard. Most rifles will shoot higher than their true zero when the barrel is touching something like your sand bag and often, the barrel harmonics are interfered with also.

      My experience with shooting rifles of low velocity like your 38/55 as well as rifles with long lock times (M1 Garand, M14, etc.) is that a firm grip on the pistol grip (independent of the trigger pull) is helpful.

      The main thing with any position (from bench rests to NRA position shooting) is that you’ll want your position to be uniform from shot to shot and from day to day so that your rifle recoils as uniformly as possible into your shoulder and thus the barrel’s whip and displacement before the bullet leaves the barrel is as uniform as possible.

    • #32983
      Chris C
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      Interesting. Didn’t start getting good groups until I stopped resting the foregrip on the front rest and found a proper balance for itself. 7″ back from the muzzle has been perfect for me. I shoot free recoil, so the only thing touching the rifle is my finger on the trigger.

    • #32990
      Goodsteel
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      Chris C;n13576 wrote: Interesting. Didn’t start getting good groups until I stopped resting the foregrip on the front rest and found a proper balance for itself. 7″ back from the muzzle has been perfect for me. I shoot free recoil, so the only thing touching the rifle is my finger on the trigger.

      I don’t doubt that. The style rifle you are using has a forend that is tied hard to the barrel, so it becomes a matter of finding where on that barrel the bags need to be placed, which it seems you have done.

      Again, if you’re comfortable with your position, then you’re good to go. but I assume you are having some sort of difficulty to prompt this thread. All I can see in your picture is the odd angle you are sitting at. Does it matter for you? Only you can tell.
      If you have a load that seems precise enough, you might try shooting 50 shots from slightly different positions to see if you can get better consistency. If it turns out that nothing gives you the results you are getting from your original position, and your results return when you return to that position, then go back to working on loads, alloy, bullet selection and lube.
      Rinse, lather, repeat.

      If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1000 times: It’s just like the eye doctor flipping the lenses in front of you and saying “better or worse?”. All we are doing here is dialing in a prescription for your rifle, lead pot, load technique, and YOU.

    • #33108
      Goodsteel
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      Tony, that is the correct way to approach and mount a rifle in my opinion. I’m the type that controls my rifle with the rear bag, so my left hand would be under my right armpit manipulating the rear bag for sight adjustment.

      On a side note:
      I find that it’s never acceptable to take a shot when the cross hairs are brought up from the bottom by releasing some tension from the rear bag. The cross hair MUST come down from the top as I squeeze the bag, and when alignment is perfect, the hand is locked in place, and the shot is taken. However, my rear bag is filled with a “sand” that is made from crystallized black volcanic ash. It has a very good feel that “crushes” nicely in the hand?

      I’m curious if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon, or if it’s just the sand I chose to fill my bag with?

    • #33116
      Chris C
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      Tim, is that the “heavy” sand they recommend for bags?

    • #33117
      Goodsteel
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      Chris C;n13754 wrote: Tim, is that the “heavy” sand they recommend for bags?

      No, it’s about the same weight as play sand, but it’s got a “crushy” feel to it that I love.

    • #33126
      Harter
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      As a field shooter I have just about zero input on bags or holds . I shoot mostly unimproved flats and gravel pits with dunes or rock slides as back stops .
      My input here is from a recent shooting set .
      The platform was a 92′ Rossi in Colts because of the demands of the pit range and sun I shot the first of 3 sets setting on my right foot left foot out for left elbow on the knee rest . Left hand mid fore end , medium firm grips , that steel butt plate sucks . Those shots landed right of POH but at correct elevation , not big deal this is workups for a super heavyweight with experimental data .
      The sun had moved enough to make a standing hood rest possible so the 3rd set was shot an extra 15yd leaned into the fender but with the same grip . This load was shot with Kentucky windage horizontal the change in rest resulted in the last group landing high by the change in windage . Which suggests that the load and platform are heavily influenced by recoil movement .
      the other possible answer is that the 3rd load lays within a burn curve efficiency ripple and all the humms got together to move the group up 6″ at 50 yd .

      The lean into the fender results in a forward lean and reduced body movements in recoils vs sitting more or less straight up . Of course a short barreled , long magazine tube , lowest bidder , iron sighted , 5# trigger lever gun is the perfect example for precision shooting from a rest .

      This example has little to no bearing on the actual subject but some on how the recoil is altered by a position change .
      ​​​​​

    • #33148
      Menner
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      Thank You Harter that made me chuckle.
      And we can all use that
      Also a valid point I have tried letting my rifle free recoil and it no like it at all. Of course it has a varmint hunter stock on it without the straight bottom of a bench rest stock to ride on there is a definite muzzle rise as it recoils. be that as it may this rifle likes to be hugged. and the first target really showed the different out come of pressure and I am sure the way the rifle is recoiling can produce
      Tim I also steer the rifle with the rear bag but I am trying to get in the habit of keeping the front rest as close to the same orientation to the rifle as I can, using the leg on the rest that comes back to me as a point of reference so I am moving the front rest from target to target in an attempt to keep the rifle recoiling the same shot to shot.
      I try and start each shot with the reticle at the same point on the target by just looking through the scope without touching the rifle before I setup for the shot trying to duplicate the same pressure on the rifle shot to shot
      My rear bag is a Wally world special I bought years ago and it dose not squeeze well I have been looking at upgrading to a leather bag and may in the near future and like Chris I think that I would prefer one with the short ears, I looked at the one Sgt Mike posted and that may be the answer and I may fill it with the Volcanic sand and give that a try, the only down side I see for me is that the CBA matches at Atglen are in the mountains and you are actually shooting down hill and I have a need for a fairly tall rear bag for there still shopping though
      I may be over thinking this LOL
      Tony

    • #33169
      Goodsteel
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      I have not had any good luck shooting free recoil except with a heavy rifle secured in a heavy benchrest that is properly adjusted. If it’s a sporter rifle, I find I have to hold onto it, and the more recoil there is, the harder I need to hold on and do it correctly.
      Kind of reminds my of a my uncle telling me “you drive a fourwheeler. You ride a dirtbike.” The lighter the rifle, the more incumbent it is on the shooter to involve himself in the equation IMHO.

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