Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 38

Thread: Better rifle setup and SHOOTER setup for load development from a bench?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
    Posts
    7,013
    Cheek weld? Not in benchrest.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ca.
    Posts
    954
    " Cheek weld? Not in benchrest. "

    Totally agree and probably more Tactical shooting related. I also noticed that he mentioned he has a problem with not being able to get his head far enough over the stock to get his eye centered with the scope. To me that even makes it allot worse when trying to get comfortable with his setup. There is a saying the name of the game is the same, meaning every shot fired has to be executed exactly the same. Head placement, hand placement, rifle management, and trigger squeeze just to name a few. When I setup at the bench I can instantly tell if my shooting stool is even just a half inch off in height, distance from the bench or to far forward or back. How I am just not completely comfortable and cannot get completely relaxed and I know it right away. When I am in my own correct position and the cross hairs are lined up at a specific point of impact on the target. I can then back off of the rifle and the cross hairs will not move. If they do I am putting undue pressure somewhere on the rifle or I am just possibly to tense. And there is no hope of the bullet going to my original / pre-chosen point of impact when my trigger breaks. But I am also not free recoiling the rifle but I am actually in direct contact with it and that part of it is unfortunately very difficult to try and describe.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    29
    I agree with some of the suggestion that have been made, but not all.

    I suppose that if you want to be the best of the best, a person would concentrate on one discipline of shooting, but it doesn't sound as though that is what is being asked about. Now, most of us want to do the best that we can, with what we have and what we do.
    I also think that each discipline can add something to our overall knowledge or maybe even add something. Learning to read wind flags isn't only good for Benchrest shooting, nor is 100 yard Benchrest reloading skill beneficial only for that one discipline.

    Having the right equipment or tools is important for each of the various disciplines. Some are interchangeable and some not.
    I do agree going to a Benchrest match to see what people have and use is beneficial, if possible.

    In the opening post, there was mention of the shooting chairs being donated and different at the club. I would suggest getting your own chair or stool. Many people use a drummers throne. Its portable, it's adjustable, most are not overly expensive, and you can adjust it to suit your needs for where you're shooting.
    I'm surprised no one hasn't already commented on that.

    As far as picking one discipline and sticking with only it, I feel confident that even Tony Boyer has shot other guns than just BR rifles, and probably figured out what to do. And yes, Benchrest is his speciality and has a history of being quite good.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis.J View Post
    " Cheek weld? Not in benchrest. "

    Totally agree and probably more Tactical shooting related. I also noticed that he mentioned he has a problem with not being able to get his head far enough over the stock to get his eye centered with the scope. To me that even makes it allot worse when trying to get comfortable with his setup. There is a saying the name of the game is the same, meaning every shot fired has to be executed exactly the same. Head placement, hand placement, rifle management, and trigger squeeze just to name a few. When I setup at the bench I can instantly tell if my shooting stool is even just a half inch off in height, distance from the bench or to far forward or back. How I am just not completely comfortable and cannot get completely relaxed and I know it right away. When I am in my own correct position and the cross hairs are lined up at a specific point of impact on the target. I can then back off of the rifle and the cross hairs will not move. If they do I am putting undue pressure somewhere on the rifle or I am just possibly to tense. And there is no hope of the bullet going to my original / pre-chosen point of impact when my trigger breaks. But I am also not free recoiling the rifle but I am actually in direct contact with it and that part of it is unfortunately very difficult to try and describe.
    Yes, yesteday, the last time I went to the range, and the first day with my new stool, I finally felt like I was totally relaxed in my shooting position. What I need to work on a fair bit though now is speeding up the process of perfecting the sight picture before firing, as that process is not yet quick enough. Sometimes, I take a bit too long and my eyes start to lose focus. I need to perfect the view a bit faster, as my next big improvement task.

    Jim G

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsplce View Post
    I agree with some of the suggestion that have been made, but not all.

    I suppose that if you want to be the best of the best, a person would concentrate on one discipline of shooting, but it doesn't sound as though that is what is being asked about. Now, most of us want to do the best that we can, with what we have and what we do.
    I also think that each discipline can add something to our overall knowledge or maybe even add something. Learning to read wind flags isn't only good for Benchrest shooting, nor is 100 yard Benchrest reloading skill beneficial only for that one discipline.

    Having the right equipment or tools is important for each of the various disciplines. Some are interchangeable and some not.
    I do agree going to a Benchrest match to see what people have and use is beneficial, if possible.

    In the opening post, there was mention of the shooting chairs being donated and different at the club. I would suggest getting your own chair or stool. Many people use a drummers throne. Its portable, it's adjustable, most are not overly expensive, and you can adjust it to suit your needs for where you're shooting.
    I'm surprised no one hasn't already commented on that.

    As far as picking one discipline and sticking with only it, I feel confident that even Tony Boyer has shot other guns than just BR rifles, and probably figured out what to do. And yes, Benchrest is his speciality and has a history of being quite good.
    Yes, I tried out my new stool yesterday, and it made an immediate very notable improvement in my degree of muscle relaxation. It has all the right featiures:

    - Solid, smooth, no-give thick, heavy wooden seat


    - Seat even reinforced with metal frame to which the ret of the stool mounts (NOT just screwed into the bottom of the seat)


    - Huge adjustment range: 15Ē to 24Ē, but obviously the lower you go, the less potential play in the screw thread as more thread depth is engaged


    - Big-ass jam nut (2Ē OD) with lever to easily and positively lock the seat against rotation and height changes once at desired height


    - Ring footrest for situations where the bench is REALLY tall or your required front and rear rests are for a specific shot are really tall


    - All metal frame (no looseness, no flex, plenty of stabilizing weight


    - Weighs 15.10 lb, so plenty of stability, but easy too carry when set to lowest height and locked there (see next photo I will send)


    - height adjustment knobs on each individual leg, for where the ground surface is uneven


    - Very easy to stack extra wood plates on top (after drilling 2 indexing holes) for bizarre situations where a LOT of extra height is needed for some reason, or if you simply want more threads engaged on the central screw for the ultimate in rigidity. 2 more one-inch thick wood plates added on top would make the stool the envy of all the bench resters measuring their groups in hundredths of an inch!


    $90 delivered from Amazon. In 2 days.


    Awesome!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Shooting stool - 1.jpeg 
Views:	141 
Size:	1.83 MB 
ID:	24729

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    41

    more thoughts on bench set-up

    Hi Jim, good information from folks on this thread, a couple more thoughts on set-up:

    Sit so the rifle recoils squarely into your shoulder pocket. The rifle should return to battery on target after firing. Keep your head down through firing and follow-through. Top shooters sit behind the rifle (watch the scope doesnít poke you in the forehead if you lean too far forward). Personally I have trouble getting behind the gun on some ranges and sit more to the side, bringing the rear bag as close to the edge of the bench as possible.

    A hydraulic stool is a good investment since benches are rarely consistent height even on the same range. The hydraulic stool is quick to adjust. The stool you purchased sounds like it did the trick for you though.

    You should be able to sit behind the rifle and line the reticle on target, close your eyes and relax, and still be on target when you look again into the scope. Front rest needs to be tight enough that it doesnít creep down during the match. The rear bag should be stiff enough to not settle while firing.

    Settle the rifle into the bags before firing. The stock should ride on the ears and not bottom out in the v-groove of the rear bag.

    If you have a sling swivel on your stock donít let it drag in the rear bag. Check the swivel is behind the bag.

    If the rifle drags in the bags it will cause accuracy problems. Use teflon stock tape and place a used dryer sheet under the stock to help the rifle slide in the bags. Some shooters use powder but I find it messy, and it gets gummy on wet days.

    Flinching the shoulder into the butt stock on firing will change the point of impact. This is often seen as vertical on target. I also sometimes nudge the rear bag sideways when I overhandle the rifle (not being directly behind the gun sets me up for this problem). Practice pinning the rifle against the front stop and shooting with a consistent shoulder hold. Itís not as easy as it sounds.

    Watch how you lean against the bench Ė see how much the reticle moves on target if you lean into or let up against the bench. Some benches have unstable platforms and can rock when someone walks behind you.

    Donít allow the rifle to cant in the bags. If youíre shooting a traditional-style hunting stock this can be difficult to prevent, especially if you're using a tactical "cheek weld" hold Ė the top benchrest shooters have low-profile stocks and shoot free recoil, but I understand you might be shooting a larger caliber so a firm (but stable) hold would be needed.

    Check your set-up before your first shot: slide the rifle forward and back in the rest and watch the reticle Ė does it track vertically? If not then check the front rest is parallel to the target board, and the rear rest is directly in line behind. Tighten the front rest so the rifle tracks consistently in the bags.

    If the hard machined surface of the front rest touches the forestock this will cause crazy flyers. Happens at some ranges when shooting uphill. Make sure your front sand bag sits high enough above the machined pedestal so the metal edge doesnít touch the stock when you raise the height of the front rest.

    Check that the front sand bag is level (an unlevel bag will also cause the rifle to cant). The front bag must be soft enough to absorb vibration.

    Hope this is helpful for you,

    cheers,
    Vera (precisionshooting.com)

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
    Posts
    7,013
    Quote Originally Posted by G & V Carter View Post
    Hi Jim, good information from folks on this thread, a couple more thoughts on set-up:

    Sit so the rifle recoils squarely into your shoulder pocket. The rifle should return to battery on target after firing. Keep your head down through firing and follow-through. Top shooters sit behind the rifle (watch the scope doesnít poke you in the forehead if you lean too far forward). Personally I have trouble getting behind the gun on some ranges and sit more to the side, bringing the rear bag as close to the edge of the bench as possible.

    A hydraulic stool is a good investment since benches are rarely consistent height even on the same range. The hydraulic stool is quick to adjust. The stool you purchased sounds like it did the trick for you though.

    You should be able to sit behind the rifle and line the reticle on target, close your eyes and relax, and still be on target when you look again into the scope. Front rest needs to be tight enough that it doesnít creep down during the match. The rear bag should be stiff enough to not settle while firing.

    Settle the rifle into the bags before firing. The stock should ride on the ears and not bottom out in the v-groove of the rear bag.

    If you have a sling swivel on your stock donít let it drag in the rear bag. Check the swivel is behind the bag.

    If the rifle drags in the bags it will cause accuracy problems. Use teflon stock tape and place a used dryer sheet under the stock to help the rifle slide in the bags. Some shooters use powder but I find it messy, and it gets gummy on wet days.

    Flinching the shoulder into the butt stock on firing will change the point of impact. This is often seen as vertical on target. I also sometimes nudge the rear bag sideways when I overhandle the rifle (not being directly behind the gun sets me up for this problem). Practice pinning the rifle against the front stop and shooting with a consistent shoulder hold. Itís not as easy as it sounds.

    Watch how you lean against the bench Ė see how much the reticle moves on target if you lean into or let up against the bench. Some benches have unstable platforms and can rock when someone walks behind you.

    Donít allow the rifle to cant in the bags. If youíre shooting a traditional-style hunting stock this can be difficult to prevent, especially if you're using a tactical "cheek weld" hold Ė the top benchrest shooters have low-profile stocks and shoot free recoil, but I understand you might be shooting a larger caliber so a firm (but stable) hold would be needed.

    Check your set-up before your first shot: slide the rifle forward and back in the rest and watch the reticle Ė does it track vertically? If not then check the front rest is parallel to the target board, and the rear rest is directly in line behind. Tighten the front rest so the rifle tracks consistently in the bags.

    If the hard machined surface of the front rest touches the forestock this will cause crazy flyers. Happens at some ranges when shooting uphill. Make sure your front sand bag sits high enough above the machined pedestal so the metal edge doesnít touch the stock when you raise the height of the front rest.

    Check that the front sand bag is level (an unlevel bag will also cause the rifle to cant). The front bag must be soft enough to absorb vibration.

    Hope this is helpful for you,

    cheers,
    Vera (precisionshooting.com)

    Great Advice!

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by G & V Carter View Post
    Hi Jim, good information from folks on this thread, a couple more thoughts on set-up:

    Sit so the rifle recoils squarely into your shoulder pocket. The rifle should return to battery on target after firing. Keep your head down through firing and follow-throug Understand. But should my head be "level" in the fore-aft dimension, or tilted forward, while holding the sight picture before, during, and after firing? . Top shooters sit behind the rifle (watch the scope doesnít poke you in the forehead if you lean too far forward). Personally I have trouble getting behind the gun on some ranges and sit more to the side, bringing the rear bag as close to the edge of the bench as possible. I wondered about that. So some shooters actually sit behind the bench and elan into the rifle from behind, versus sitting beside the rifle (in the bench "cutout") and lenaing in sdieways? Either one can work, and it's just a matter of preference for an individual shooter?

    A hydraulic stool is a good investment since benches are rarely consistent height even on the same range. The hydraulic stool is quick to adjust. The stool you purchased sounds like it did the trick for you though.

    You should be able to sit behind the rifle and line the reticle on target, close your eyes and relax, and still be on target when you look again into the scope Yes! I am doing that now. Front rest needs to be tight enough that it doesnít creep down during the match. The rear bag should be stiff enough to not settle while firing.

    Settle the rifle into the bags before firing. The stock should ride on the ears and not bottom out in the v-groove of the rear bag. Why is it important that the stock not bottom out in the v-groove? Too much friction? or? If the stock is 1.25" wide at the bottom, with FLAT bottom except for 1/8" radious on each side edge, how wide should the slot between the ears in the Protektor flattop rear bag ideally be? (THe widest they offer is 1" without asking for a custom built bag)

    If you have a sling swivel on your stock donít let it drag in the rear bag. Check the swivel is behind the bag. I removed the swivel.

    If the rifle drags in the bags it will cause accuracy problems.Use teflon stock tape and place a used dryer sheet under the stock to help the rifle slide in the bags. Some shooters use powder but I find it messy, and it gets gummy on wet days. I have ordered a Protektor flattop bag with the "Slick Silver" option. But it sounds like the dryer sheet might be a good additonal idea to not only ensure low friction, but also minimize bag surface wear.

    Flinching the shoulder into the butt stock on firing will change the point of impact. This is often seen as vertical on target. I also sometimes nudge the rear bag sideways when I overhandle the rifle (not being directly behind the gun sets me up for this problem). Practice pinning the rifle against the front stop and shooting with a consistent shoulder hold. Itís not as easy as it sounds. Right now, I still have the muzzle brake on the rifle that was standard equipment on it when ordered from PGW Defence. So I have zero problem with recoil and so no flinch. But that muzzle brake will need to come off for F-Class, and that will change both the recoil and the POI probably. But I have fired plenty of strong caliber rifles and handguns in the past, and don't seem to flinch as I am pretty stocky in build (190 lb in a frame that has shrunk at my age to just 5'7"!). With the muzzle brake in place for load testing, I am able to shoot almost "free recoil" with just the lightest shoulder contact and trigger hand contact.

    Watch how you lean against the bench Ė see how much the reticle moves on target if you lean into or let up against the bench. Some benches have unstable platforms and can rock when someone walks behind you. Yes, although the bench seems very solid, I myself cause reticle movement with my slight hold pressure variations. I can also literally see my heartbeat (I have an unusually low heartrate that averages in the low 50s when not sleeping).

    Donít allow the rifle to cant in the bags. If youíre shooting a traditional-style hunting stock this can be difficult to prevent, especially if you're using a tactical "cheek weld" hold Ė the top benchrest shooters have low-profile stocks and shoot free recoil, but I understand you might be shooting a larger caliber so a firm (but stable) hold would be needed. I am shooting avery mild 6.5Creedmoor load - 120g Hornady ELD Match at 2700 fps. The toe of my stock is 1.25" wide and is flat except for that 1/8" radius on the edge of each side. I level the rifle precisely beforehand using a very sensitive iPhone app with the phone laying across the top turret of the scope. And as mentioned earlier, my hold is very light. So, cant has not been a problem.

    Check your set-up before your first shot: slide the rifle forward and back in the rest and watch the reticle Ė does it track vertically? If not then check the front rest is parallel to the target board, and the rear rest is directly in line behind. Tighten the front rest so the rifle tracks consistently in the bags.

    If the hard machined surface of the front rest touches the forestock this will cause crazy flyers. Happens at some ranges when shooting uphill. Make sure your front sand bag sits high enough above the machined pedestal so the metal edge doesnít touch the stock when you raise the height of the front rest.

    Check that the front sand bag is level (an unlevel bag will also cause the rifle to cant). The front bag must be soft enough to absorb vibration.

    Hope this is helpful for you, VERY MUCH SO! THANK-YOU!

    cheers,
    Vera (precisionshooting.com)
    Wow, Vera! Thank-you! THIS is the kind of information that I was looking for when I posted this thread! Please see my comments as well in red font in the quote of your text above!

    Jim G

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Vera: I just visited your website. I think I am going to enjoy going through it, and will liekly learn a LOT. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I have noted that you are among the few posters on this thread who have actually provided the kind of specific "position" information that I was hoping to get.

    Jim G

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    41
    Good discussion, some additional thoughts below:

    Sit so the rifle recoils squarely into your shoulder pocket. The rifle should return to battery on target after firing. Keep your head down through firing and follow-throug Understand. But should my head be "level" in the fore-aft dimension, or tilted forward, while holding the sight picture before, during, and after firing? . Any (reasonable) head position would be OK; you want to have a good sight picture without joining the half-moon club. But donít lean your head sideways over the stock. If you must contort your head to see through the scope, then your body position behind the rifle should be adjusted. The point of keeping your head down is to not lose your sight picture or change your position between shots. Turkey-necking (or ground-hogging) where you raise your head after every shot is just poor technique. But there are conditions when shooting Ďheads upí can be a good tactic (for example in fast switching winds). Also some folks have poor eyesight (or only one eye) and have to shoot with their head above the stock (waiting for the condition to return), and with practice they shoot very well, but itís definitely a work-around.

    Top shooters sit behind the rifle (watch the scope doesnít poke you in the forehead if you lean too far forward). Personally I have trouble getting behind the gun on some ranges and sit more to the side, bringing the rear bag as close to the edge of the bench as possible. I wondered about that. So some shooters actually sit behind the bench and elan into the rifle from behind, versus sitting beside the rifle (in the bench "cutout") and leaning in sideways? Either one can work, and it's just a matter of preference for an individual shooter? Best technique is behind the rifle. Just donít sit so far behind the gun that it has a long run at you during recoil. Usually when someone shoots from beside the gun itís because of body structure Ė I think I would need to climb on top of the bench at some ranges to get behind the rifle. I always thought it was me just being too stubborn to do the right thing but have met some men who said they also canít get behind the rifle on some ranges. When I shoot from beside the rifle, the butt stock doesnít hit me in the shoulder pocket, but on the bony part of my arm. With practice Iíve learned to not move the rifle during firing, and I use a pad on my arm to stop the bruises. When you watch my video online youíll see me reflexively grabbing the stock with my shooting hand, which is a flinch from my arm getting hammered over the years. Learn to shoot with the rifle recoiling directly into your shoulder pocket if you can Ė youíll have a better sight picture and return the gun to battery more reliably by pushing your shoulder forward.

    Settle the rifle into the bags before firing. The stock should ride on the ears and not bottom out in the v-groove of the rear bag. Why is it important that the stock not bottom out in the v-groove? Too much friction? or? If the stock is 1.25" wide at the bottom, with FLAT bottom except for 1/8" radious on each side edge, how wide should the slot between the ears in the Protektor flattop rear bag ideally be? (THe widest they offer is 1" without asking for a custom built bag) You shouldnít have trouble with a new Protektor rear bag and your stock profile. What causes erratic accuracy is the stock bouncing on an unyielding surface, either a front rest thatís compacted or filled too hard (periodically remove the sand bag and Ďfluffí it to keep it soft) or a rear bag where the stock is bottomed out on the hard-packed bag. The ears are there for more than keeping the rifle from canting, the ears are softer than the bottom surface and will absorb vibration. Another note, if the stock rides on top of the front stop youíll see flyers, so periodically check the stop hasnít loosened and dropped over time with rough handling of the front rest.

    If the rifle drags in the bags it will cause accuracy problems.Use teflon stock tape and place a used dryer sheet under the stock to help the rifle slide in the bags. Some shooters use powder but I find it messy, and it gets gummy on wet days. I have ordered a Protektor flattop bag with the "Slick Silver" option. But it sounds like the dryer sheet might be a good additonal idea to not only ensure low friction, but also minimize bag surface wear. I always use a dryer sheet. Not so much worried about the bag wearing out.

    Flinching the shoulder into the butt stock on firing will change the point of impact. This is often seen as vertical on target. I also sometimes nudge the rear bag sideways when I overhandle the rifle (not being directly behind the gun sets me up for this problem). Practice pinning the rifle against the front stop and shooting with a consistent shoulder hold. Itís not as easy as it sounds. Right now, I still have the muzzle brake on the rifle that was standard equipment on it when ordered from PGW Defence. So I have zero problem with recoil and so no flinch. But that muzzle brake will need to come off for F-Class, and that will change both the recoil and the POI probably. But I have fired plenty of strong caliber rifles and handguns in the past, and don't seem to flinch as I am pretty stocky in build (190 lb in a frame that has shrunk at my age to just 5'7"!). With the muzzle brake in place for load testing, I am able to shoot almost "free recoil" with just the lightest shoulder contact and trigger hand contact. Maybe the word Ďflinchingí is too much Ė even slight pressure on the stock will cause change in POI, but you mentioned that below. For anyone else following this thread, if you think you have a flinch then practice dry firing the rifle (center-fire only, a rimfire will be damaged by dry firing). Helped me shoot smoother (smooth is fast) and without the dreaded Ďdouble clutchí caused by jamming the bolt due to poor technique.

    Watch how you lean against the bench Ė see how much the reticle moves on target if you lean into or let up against the bench. Some benches have unstable platforms and can rock when someone walks behind you. Yes, although the bench seems very solid, I myself cause reticle movement with my slight hold pressure variations. I can also literally see my heartbeat (I have an unusually low heartrate that averages in the low 50s when not sleeping). Thatís exactly the idea, you need to become aware of how youíre influencing the POI by your handling. The bench issue was OPEX gained by traveling to many ranges around the world. I check every bench now for movement, and then focus on how much pressure I put against the side of the bench if itís a problem.

    Donít allow the rifle to cant in the bags. If youíre shooting a traditional-style hunting stock this can be difficult to prevent, especially if you're using a tactical "cheek weld" hold Ė the top benchrest shooters have low-profile stocks and shoot free recoil, but I understand you might be shooting a larger caliber so a firm (but stable) hold would be needed. I am shooting avery mild 6.5Creedmoor load - 120g Hornady ELD Match at 2700 fps. The toe of my stock is 1.25" wide and is flat except for that 1/8" radius on the edge of each side. I level the rifle precisely beforehand using a very sensitive iPhone app with the phone laying across the top turret of the scope. And as mentioned earlier, my hold is very light. So, cant has not been a problem. Sounds like canting the rifle isn't a problem, but I'm curious about the ammunition since you mentioned it. I donít know Creedmoor loads, since I shoot 67 gr match bullets in 6PPC (my husband and I swage our own bullets) pushed to an undisclosed muzzle velocity (suffice it to say itís above 2700 fps.) The load gives me 1/10Ē MOA routinely out to 200 yards in mild wind conditions, and when tuned correctly will shoot through moderate conditions. If Iím shooting 1/4" MOA then Iím not competitive at a match unless the winds are beyond sporty. Youíd be surprised how much a wind-sensitive load will cause horrible accuracy at 100 yards. Suggest you look at your ammo and see whether itís accurate at short range Ė if Iím not mistaken the ELDs stabilize around 200 yards and then have awesome ballistics at long range. Thereís a lot of voodoo in getting a bullet to go to sleep within 100 yards.

    Here's what I would do next, although youíre on the right track with getting your equipment upgraded. Three things come to mind, what I would do at the range when I run into trouble myself. 1) Ask someone to watch your technique. Or prop your iPhone on the bench and video yourself. 2) Ask a competitive shooter at your range to shoot your set-up. They may have the same accuracy problems using your equipment/loads and give you hints to fix. 3) Ask to shoot another competitorís rifle, or rest etc. This favor comes with getting to know folks at the range. But benchrest shooters are a helpful lot and want to encourage people to succeed in the sport Ė Iíve often let a new shooter pull the trigger on my rifle during practice so they can see what a proper set-up looks like. Also, when Iím struggling (lost) during a competition Iíll ask my husband to leave his rifle/rest on the bench for me to shoot, so I can troubleshoot if the problem is with my missing conditions (head problem) or my set-up.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
    11,403
    "in for a penny" I guess

    If you ever get too wrapped up in the whole "bullets going to sleep" thing, I'm down in Vancouver WA with a 20-ton concrete bench and multiple acoustic targets set in a row so's you can watch your groups get tighter with range


    Vera's last paragraph here is gold..... AND, it's a way to actually experience accuracy for real




    2) Ask a competitive shooter at your range to shoot your set-up. They may have the same accuracy problems using your equipment/loads and give you hints to fix. 3) Ask to shoot another competitorís rifle, or rest etc. This favor comes with getting to know folks at the range. But benchrest shooters are a helpful lot and want to encourage people to succeed in the sport Ė Iíve often let a new shooter pull the trigger on my rifle during practice so they can see what a proper set-up looks like. Also, when Iím struggling (lost) during a competition Iíll ask my husband to leave his rifle/rest on the bench for me to shoot, so I can troubleshoot if the problem is with my missing conditions (head problem) or my set-up.

    Pay special attention to this advice, all of it. You MUST have an established benchmark against which to base your "progress" for actual progress to happen

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by G & V Carter View Post
    Good discussion, some additional thoughts below:

    Sit so the rifle recoils squarely into your shoulder pocket. The rifle should return to battery on target after firing. Keep your head down through firing and follow-throug Understand. But should my head be "level" in the fore-aft dimension, or tilted forward, while holding the sight picture before, during, and after firing? . Any (reasonable) head position would be OK; you want to have a good sight picture without joining the half-moon club. But donít lean your head sideways over the stock. If you must contort your head to see through the scope, then your body position behind the rifle should be adjusted. The point of keeping your head down is to not lose your sight picture or change your position between shots. Turkey-necking (or ground-hogging) where you raise your head after every shot is just poor technique. But there are conditions when shooting Ďheads upí can be a good tactic (for example in fast switching winds). Also some folks have poor eyesight (or only one eye) and have to shoot with their head above the stock (waiting for the condition to return), and with practice they shoot very well, but itís definitely a work-around.

    Top shooters sit behind the rifle (watch the scope doesnít poke you in the forehead if you lean too far forward). Personally I have trouble getting behind the gun on some ranges and sit more to the side, bringing the rear bag as close to the edge of the bench as possible. I wondered about that. So some shooters actually sit behind the bench and elan into the rifle from behind, versus sitting beside the rifle (in the bench "cutout") and leaning in sideways? Either one can work, and it's just a matter of preference for an individual shooter? Best technique is behind the rifle. Just donít sit so far behind the gun that it has a long run at you during recoil. Usually when someone shoots from beside the gun itís because of body structure Ė I think I would need to climb on top of the bench at some ranges to get behind the rifle. I always thought it was me just being too stubborn to do the right thing but have met some men who said they also canít get behind the rifle on some ranges. When I shoot from beside the rifle, the butt stock doesnít hit me in the shoulder pocket, but on the bony part of my arm. With practice Iíve learned to not move the rifle during firing, and I use a pad on my arm to stop the bruises. When you watch my video online youíll see me reflexively grabbing the stock with my shooting hand, which is a flinch from my arm getting hammered over the years. Learn to shoot with the rifle recoiling directly into your shoulder pocket if you can Ė youíll have a better sight picture and return the gun to battery more reliably by pushing your shoulder forward.

    Settle the rifle into the bags before firing. The stock should ride on the ears and not bottom out in the v-groove of the rear bag. Why is it important that the stock not bottom out in the v-groove? Too much friction? or? If the stock is 1.25" wide at the bottom, with FLAT bottom except for 1/8" radious on each side edge, how wide should the slot between the ears in the Protektor flattop rear bag ideally be? (THe widest they offer is 1" without asking for a custom built bag) You shouldnít have trouble with a new Protektor rear bag and your stock profile. What causes erratic accuracy is the stock bouncing on an unyielding surface, either a front rest thatís compacted or filled too hard (periodically remove the sand bag and Ďfluffí it to keep it soft) or a rear bag where the stock is bottomed out on the hard-packed bag. The ears are there for more than keeping the rifle from canting, the ears are softer than the bottom surface and will absorb vibration. Another note, if the stock rides on top of the front stop youíll see flyers, so periodically check the stop hasnít loosened and dropped over time with rough handling of the front rest.

    If the rifle drags in the bags it will cause accuracy problems.Use teflon stock tape and place a used dryer sheet under the stock to help the rifle slide in the bags. Some shooters use powder but I find it messy, and it gets gummy on wet days. I have ordered a Protektor flattop bag with the "Slick Silver" option. But it sounds like the dryer sheet might be a good additonal idea to not only ensure low friction, but also minimize bag surface wear. I always use a dryer sheet. Not so much worried about the bag wearing out.

    Flinching the shoulder into the butt stock on firing will change the point of impact. This is often seen as vertical on target. I also sometimes nudge the rear bag sideways when I overhandle the rifle (not being directly behind the gun sets me up for this problem). Practice pinning the rifle against the front stop and shooting with a consistent shoulder hold. Itís not as easy as it sounds. Right now, I still have the muzzle brake on the rifle that was standard equipment on it when ordered from PGW Defence. So I have zero problem with recoil and so no flinch. But that muzzle brake will need to come off for F-Class, and that will change both the recoil and the POI probably. But I have fired plenty of strong caliber rifles and handguns in the past, and don't seem to flinch as I am pretty stocky in build (190 lb in a frame that has shrunk at my age to just 5'7"!). With the muzzle brake in place for load testing, I am able to shoot almost "free recoil" with just the lightest shoulder contact and trigger hand contact. Maybe the word Ďflinchingí is too much Ė even slight pressure on the stock will cause change in POI, but you mentioned that below. For anyone else following this thread, if you think you have a flinch then practice dry firing the rifle (center-fire only, a rimfire will be damaged by dry firing). Helped me shoot smoother (smooth is fast) and without the dreaded Ďdouble clutchí caused by jamming the bolt due to poor technique.

    Watch how you lean against the bench Ė see how much the reticle moves on target if you lean into or let up against the bench. Some benches have unstable platforms and can rock when someone walks behind you. Yes, although the bench seems very solid, I myself cause reticle movement with my slight hold pressure variations. I can also literally see my heartbeat (I have an unusually low heartrate that averages in the low 50s when not sleeping). Thatís exactly the idea, you need to become aware of how youíre influencing the POI by your handling. The bench issue was OPEX gained by traveling to many ranges around the world. I check every bench now for movement, and then focus on how much pressure I put against the side of the bench if itís a problem.

    Donít allow the rifle to cant in the bags. If youíre shooting a traditional-style hunting stock this can be difficult to prevent, especially if you're using a tactical "cheek weld" hold Ė the top benchrest shooters have low-profile stocks and shoot free recoil, but I understand you might be shooting a larger caliber so a firm (but stable) hold would be needed. I am shooting avery mild 6.5Creedmoor load - 120g Hornady ELD Match at 2700 fps. The toe of my stock is 1.25" wide and is flat except for that 1/8" radius on the edge of each side. I level the rifle precisely beforehand using a very sensitive iPhone app with the phone laying across the top turret of the scope. And as mentioned earlier, my hold is very light. So, cant has not been a problem. Sounds like canting the rifle isn't a problem, but I'm curious about the ammunition since you mentioned it. I donít know Creedmoor loads, since I shoot 67 gr match bullets in 6PPC (my husband and I swage our own bullets) pushed to an undisclosed muzzle velocity (suffice it to say itís above 2700 fps.) The load gives me 1/10Ē MOA routinely out to 200 yards in mild wind conditions, and when tuned correctly will shoot through moderate conditions. If Iím shooting 1/4" MOA then Iím not competitive at a match unless the winds are beyond sporty. Youíd be surprised how much a wind-sensitive load will cause horrible accuracy at 100 yards. Suggest you look at your ammo and see whether itís accurate at short range Ė if Iím not mistaken the ELDs stabilize around 200 yards and then have awesome ballistics at long range. Thereís a lot of voodoo in getting a bullet to go to sleep within 100 yards.

    Here's what I would do next, although youíre on the right track with getting your equipment upgraded. Three things come to mind, what I would do at the range when I run into trouble myself. 1) Ask someone to watch your technique. Or prop your iPhone on the bench and video yourself. 2) Ask a competitive shooter at your range to shoot your set-up. They may have the same accuracy problems using your equipment/loads and give you hints to fix. 3) Ask to shoot another competitorís rifle, or rest etc. This favor comes with getting to know folks at the range. But benchrest shooters are a helpful lot and want to encourage people to succeed in the sport Ė Iíve often let a new shooter pull the trigger on my rifle during practice so they can see what a proper set-up looks like. Also, when Iím struggling (lost) during a competition Iíll ask my husband to leave his rifle/rest on the bench for me to shoot, so I can troubleshoot if the problem is with my missing conditions (head problem) or my set-up.
    Thank-you, Vera. You asked about my ammunition, and suggested I get some in-person on-range coaching:

    I am brand new to shooting PRECISION level rifles. So I ordered a PGW Defence M15 XRS in 6.5 Creedmoor. The M15 is a Remington 700 pattern action on a MDT XRS encapsulated alloy chassis. PGW Defence is the Canadian firm that builds sniper rifles for International militaries. I chose this rifle because of its superb accuracy, ruggedness, weight (13.39 lb with scope, but before front rest or bipod) and conservative look and feel despite the alloy chassis.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Jim G PGW M15 XRS with Harris bipod and Picatinny for Rempel - 1.jpeg 
Views:	66 
Size:	492.8 KB 
ID:	24739

    I chose 6.5 Creedmoor for it's superior 100 to 1000 yard ballistics, its light recoil, its reasonable barrel life, and its ample supply of very low drag bullets.

    I live on Vancouver Island, where shooting ranges are not generally "right nearby", so I am fortunate to have a local range within 18 minutes, where I can practice regularly easily, BUT it is only a 300 yard range. I will have to make a full-day trip of it later when I am ready to shoot 600 or 1000 yards, to a 1000 yard range 2 hours away by car each way. So I wanted to start with bullets that perform reasonably well across the entire 100 to 1000 yard range.

    I am using the 120g Hornady ELD Match bullet, and loading based on Hornady's load table for it in the Hornady loading manual. I wanted to try the 140g Hornady as well, but availability here in Canada,as you know, is very limited right now due to COVID supply line disruptions.

    Powder has also been a huge issue, with NO H4350 or Accurate 4350 being available. I managed to find an 8 lb jug of IMR 4350. Ladder testing showed nodes at 41.4g and 43.2g, and the 41.4 shot better in my rifle than the 43.2. The 41.4 also extends barrel life, and its trajectory works with my 25 MOA built-in rifle scope rail plus the 55 MOA range of my Vortex scope (With a 100 yard zero, I have 3-5/8 MOA of downward adjustment still available, and 51.375 MOA of upward adjustment available).

    The Hornady online trajectory calculator for this specific bullet says I will need 36.3 MOA of come up at 100 yards.

    You also recommended I get some in-person on-range coaching.

    I have initiated some activity in that regard. There is a local very experienced shooter whom I see a lot at the range, and I have asked him if he could spend some time coaching me the next time we are both there.

    And my F-Class buddy, who lives a day's drive away, said a day or 2 ago that he will try to get out here to my place sometime in August, and we can shoot together at the local range where he can coach me. He is an excellent F-Class shooter who has in the past won provincial championships, so his coaching will likely be very helpful.

    I noticed on your website that you and your husband live in Elmira. My wife's relatives are all in Southwestern Ontario as well, in Sarnia and Owen Sound. Due to COVID, we have been unable to see them for quite a while now. I find Sarnia a little too flat and the weather too humid, but love Owen Sound's topography and vibe! Since you are only about 100 km from Owen Sound, I imagine your weather and topography might be more like the weather there.

    Thanks again for your kind help here. If you ever run a shooting class, and we all recover from the COVID travel and logistic issues sometime soon, I'd be interested .

    Jim G
    Last edited by JimGnitecki; 06-20-2021 at 09:18 PM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    41
    Hi Jim, for what it's worth I'm getting ready to post an online training course (with fear and trepidation if there will be interest in a narrow niche like benchrest, but today has been encouraging).
    Would include equipment set-up, hand loading, reading the wind, tactics and strategies.
    I enjoyed our exchange today, I think you're well on your way to achieving the accuracy you're looking for
    cheers
    Vera

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by G & V Carter View Post
    Hi Jim, for what it's worth I'm getting ready to post an online training course (with fear and trepidation if there will be interest in a narrow niche like benchrest, but today has been encouraging).
    Would include equipment set-up, hand loading, reading the wind, tactics and strategies.
    I enjoyed our exchange today, I think you're well on your way to achieving the accuracy you're looking for
    cheers
    Vera
    I'll be looking for that online course on your website, Vera. If you are starting a list of prospective students, add me to the list. I knwo the difference a great teacher can make. Back in the 1990s, when I lived for a long time in The U.S., I went to Chapman Academy in Missouri twice, multiple days each time, for handgun training. It really made a difference for me.

    Jim G

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    18
    Vera: I went t the range yesterday and tried applying some of the advice you gave. It made a difference! I was testing 4 different BTO measurement loads, 12 rounds of each, so I was doing only 3-shot groups, so that fatigue would not start to over-influence the accuracy of each load. My best 2 3-shot groups were 0.13" and 0.19", which is an improvement over my prior best groups. Thank-you for your helpful advice!

    Jim G

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •