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Thread: How to make my rifle track straight?

  1. #1
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    Question How to make my rifle track straight?

    I am a newbie to benchrest type shooting. I'm using a Sinclair Competition rest, a Protektor DR rear bag with 1/2" spacing, and a Savage BR stock (bottom of butt is flat and basically parallel to the forearm). Looking through the scope and running the rifle back and forth, the crosshairs always track down and right. The vertical I get... its a function of the stock being thicker as it nears the palm swell and that causes the the rifle to raise in the rear bag during recoil. I would imagine the yaw is bag alignment, but is that alignment of the rear bag to the front rest? The front bag doesn't sit straight? Rear bag not straight? I haven't yet found information that clearly defines the accepted methods for aligning the bags and troubleshooting tracking issues. Not being able to solve this on my own is making me feel rather dumb and I've considered my rifle might make a better lamp stand than what I am doing with it! Grrrr... And tips, pointers, methodologies etc would save my rifle from wearing a lampshade. Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    I think the problem is yer over thinking it.

    How's the gun shoot? That's really all that matters (to me, anyway.)

    I use a bipod up front, a rear bag, point the gun at the target, and pull the trigger. It it hits the target and makes nice little groups, I'm good. I don't worry about bad alignment. I've never had bag alignment affect anything.
    Last edited by garandman; 02-23-2018 at 02:50 PM.

  3. #3
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    I can't wait for the line up of replies!

    Quote Originally Posted by garandman View Post
    I . I've never had bag alignment affect anything.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    I can't wait for the line up of replies!


    0.36 MoA repeatable groups. Good enuf fer me. YMMV.

  5. #5
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    and in no way

    Quote Originally Posted by garandman View Post


    0.36 MoA repeatable groups. Good enuf fer me. YMMV.
    acceptable in benchrest. Will kill Prairie Dogs and woodchucks. Will put you in bottom 25% in a BR match. And even if you are not competing, why settle for poor performance.

    That being said, as far as tracking, you need to check your bag set up for straight and square. If it isn't, why? Move the back bag around, a little at a time, and see what happens. If it gets better, but only to a point, the next issue is is the the stock straight? Any BR shooter with some time in grade on this board can tell you about a stock they have owned with twist or crookedness they have owned. If it is the stock, the only thing you can do is machine it straight or get a different stock.

    David

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Halblom View Post
    acceptable in benchrest. Will kill Prairie Dogs and woodchucks. Will put you in bottom 25% in a BR match. And even if you are not competing, why settle for poor performance.



    David
    0.36 MoA is "poor performance?"

    I guess we have different purposes for our guns. I don't own them to comepte in benchrest matches.


    More to the point, you totally missed my point.... which is "How is your shooting?" OP never said. If his shooting is on target / tight groups, who cares what his technique is?

    Not me. Do what works.
    Last edited by garandman; 02-23-2018 at 04:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    So garandman,
    Did you every read the name of the site or the forum ?
    Just checking 'cause there is a factory rifle forum.
    Heck there are even sites and forums that think 0.36 is great.

  8. #8
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    When I have a benchrest rifle that I consider is tracking, it's coming back on target when I push it back up to the stop after firing it and reloading ready to shoot the next shot. It will just about be back on point of aim almost to the point that re-aiming isn't necessary. To get to this point, everything has to work together. The cases have to close in the rifle with very little to no resistance, the bolt has to open without any extraction problems, the size die has to work with the chamber and the stock can't be pushing the sandbags out of alignment. Not to be snobby, but I take it that your action is a Savage. There is so much going on with the Savage action with the firing mechanism that I doubt if you could ever get it to that point. If you want the stock to move from the center of the top record target to the center of the bottom target, more than likely that will take some work on getting the butt of the stock to align with the sides of the forend. It will be a matter of building up the butt or reducing it to get it to where it aligns. When Jim Borden was making his carbon fiber benchrest stocks, he built up the butt and milled the butt to align it with the forend. The Scarbrough and Scoville stocks are build to align similarly. The sides and butt are milled to align which is a lot of why they are as expensive as they are, besides the amount of hand labor in them and partially why you'll see so many of them on the firing line. The other part of why you see so many is because of the follow the leader mentality so common in benchrest. People shoot what works and if someone or a lot of people are winning using XYX equipment, pretty soon everyone is using XYZ equipment.

  9. #9
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    Yes, my rifle is a Savage. Home-brewed 6BR that started life as a .22-250. I don't take your comment as snobby. I know the Savage action leaves a lot to be desired in terms of... well a lot of things really but specifically bolt feel. But this is what I have so I am trying to make the best of it.

    How's my shooting? I can shoot in the .3s regularly. Mid .2s on better days and high .1s occasionally. I am not a competition shooter as yet but I am trying to get there. I am definitely in the middle of downtown "I don't even know what I don't know".

    I read a lot and all the factors of stiffness of the bags, what sand to use, how much forend overhang and all that... I do get a bit lost. I figured I'd start with trying to make my rifle come straight back in the bags and I cant even get that right. It does come back pretty close to POA when pinned to the front stop but not always. I assume that's a fault of my bag stuffing.

    Is the stock straight? Hmm... Since it's a Savage factory f-class stock, I'd have to guess "maybe" at best. I don't think I have the tools to check it.

    So I guess a secondary question would be if the rifle is not recoiling dead straight backwards, is that offset during recoil going to affect POI?

    Sure, I quite likely am over-thinking this. I have been accused of that very thing on many occasions. It sure would be great if I could have some of the "old heads" sit down at my rig and show me what I can do to tighten up my ship as it were.

    Maybe I should stop trying to milk Ferrari performance from a Hyundai?

  10. #10
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    There is no "bag Gun" setup that will allow the Rifle to stay dead on target as the Rifle is moved back in the bags. There are way too many variables. That venue is reserved for true return to battery Rail Guns.

    The main aim is to have the Rifle recoil in the same manner and come back reasonably close to the point of aim after each shot if shooting Group. In Score, it's not that big a deal because you have to move the Rifle to the next bull anyway. But, You do want the Rifle to ride the bags in the same manner shot after shot.

  11. #11
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    I did NOT miss your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by garandman View Post
    0.36 MoA is "poor performance?"

    I guess we have different purposes for our guns. I don't own them to comepte in benchrest matches.


    More to the point, you totally missed my point.... which is "How is your shooting?" OP never said. If his shooting is on target / tight groups, who cares what his technique is?

    Not me. Do what works.
    You sir, miss the point of this forum. We who spend our time here are here to help people like the original poster get EVERYTHING they can out of their rifle. We have "been there, done that" in spades. Your .36xx rifle is fine for what you want. But for those who are looking for true accuracy, it is a real dud.

    Tracking is an aspect of true accuracy that requires a bit if work. It can be simply setting up bags and rest straight and true or it can be a bad stock/action/rifle issue. Takes a bit of work to figure it out and fix. Hence, the answer I originally gave. Your requirements for black rifles are one thing. What it takes to make a truly accurate rifle for shooting targets is another thing completely. If you have a hard time understanding that, my condolences. Think of this, a NRA target is 2" minute of angle for the 10 ring. An IBS or NBRSA target is 1/2 minute of angle for the 10 ring. Any distance on all those targets. I do believe that 1/2 minute of angle is just a bit more accurate, by at least a factor of 4. Wins in my book.
    http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...esults-Feb#top,

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    So garandman,
    Did you every read the name of the site or the forum ?
    Just checking 'cause there is a factory rifle forum.
    Heck there are even sites and forums that think 0.36 is great.
    Nice to have you back Mike. How have you been?

    Rick

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    60
    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    So garandman,
    Did you every read the name of the site or the forum ?
    Just checking 'cause there is a factory rifle forum.
    Heck there are even sites and forums that think 0.36 is great.

    THIS site is called the benchrest site, and this forum is the benchrest forum.

    There is ANOTHER forum here for competition.

    I own neither pure competition rifles, nor factory rifles.

    You should take your own advice and READ - this forum title, and the words I actually post.... attempting to actually comprehend them.

    Cuz you haven't done so yet.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    60
    Plainly stated.... I'd advise the OP to NOT worry about "tracking" unless he shoots the rifle, and has a problem with accuracy.

    And then it'd be down the list of things I'd worry about.... after things like load development, trigger, trigger pull, etc.

    Don't anticipate problems that may not even exist. Shoot the rifle. Worry more about ACTUAL group size, repeatability than whether anyone thinks his technique is perfect textbook.

    If it works, then its good technique. No matter whther its "orthodox" or not.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Wink Savage

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bryant View Post
    When I have a benchrest rifle that I consider is tracking, it's coming back on target when I push it back up to the stop after firing it and reloading ready to shoot the next shot. It will just about be back on point of aim almost to the point that re-aiming isn't necessary. To get to this point, everything has to work together. The cases have to close in the rifle with very little to no resistance, the bolt has to open without any extraction problems, the size die has to work with the chamber and the stock can't be pushing the sandbags out of alignment. Not to be snobby, but I take it that your action is a Savage. There is so much going on with the Savage action with the firing mechanism that I doubt if you could ever get it to that point. If you want the stock to move from the center of the top record target to the center of the bottom target, more than likely that will take some work on getting the butt of the stock to align with the sides of the forend. It will be a matter of building up the butt or reducing it to get it to where it aligns. When Jim Borden was making his carbon fiber benchrest stocks, he built up the butt and milled the butt to align it with the forend. The Scarbrough and Scoville stocks are build to align similarly. The sides and butt are milled to align which is a lot of why they are as expensive as they are, besides the amount of hand labor in them and partially why you'll see so many of them on the firing line. The other part of why you see so many is because of the follow the leader mentality so common in benchrest. People shoot what works and if someone or a lot of people are winning using XYX equipment, pretty soon everyone is using XYZ equipment.
    They don't call them "Savages" for nothing.....

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