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Some Benchrest Shooting Tips


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#1 Leo

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:27 AM

I'm not an expert bench rest shooter, but I have shot with some folks who absolutely are.

So I'll pass on some of the advice they gave me. This isn't as complete a list as the real experts go through but it will definitely get you started shooting much better groups at 100yds. These 10 points will help.

1. If the rifle has a sling. TAKE IT OFF. Slings and shooting rests do not mix. Resting your rifle on its' sling in a rest is definitely going to effect your consistency. Don't do it.
2. If your Scope has an adjustable objective. Set it for the distance you are shooting at. Seems like a no brainer but it's easy to forget.
3. The front rest should be as close to the action front as possible. (ie. under the chambered round) This will keep you from bending the forearm up and therefore putting inconsistent pressure on the barrel. This is true even on firearms with "Free Floated" barrels.
4. The rear rest should preferably be in front of the stock sling stud. If recoil can slam the stud into the rear rest, you will have issues. On big bags sometimes you can't avoid the stud and get the rifle on target. Better to have the stud resting in the bag than in front. Though this truly is NOT ideal.
5. Your off hand can rest on top of the scope between the rings for lower recoiling rounds (like 223). That's a good way to do it for the low kick stuff. Just rest your hand there with no added pressure. For the more lively kickers, grip the forearm under the barrel just in front of the front rest, and squeeze the heck out of it.
6. The rest should naturally point the rifle exactly where you want to hit. If you find yourself pushing the rifle around and trying to hold it on a point adjust the rest some more.
7. Your cheek weld is an important anchor point. You need to be consistent with this. The best way I've found to do this with a scoped rifle is to get my eye close enough to the rear end of the scope to see that "ghosting" black circle around the outside of your field of view. Back away from the scope until that circle just disappears and is perfectly centered. That will get your cheek weld in almost exactly the same place every time. If you still feel this is uncomfortably close to the scope adjust your eye relief.
8. Don't mess with variable magnifications while you are sighting in. Turn it all the way up and leave it there until you are confident the scope is on and you are shooting good groups. Only then can you experiment with other magnifications to see if that effects you point of impact. (On some scopes magnification setting does move your POI)
9. The elbow on your trigger hand should be on the table. This will help immensely to stabilize the rear end of the rifle. What this does is help lock your shoulder in position and keep it from "floating" around. Put a bag or board under that elbow if you need to.
10. Squeeze the trigger as slowly as you can make yourself do it. This helps keep you from squeezing with the whole trigger hand. Try squeezing with your non-trigger fingers and watch what that does to your point of aim.

Follow all 10 of these tips and you'll shoot better off a rest than most. Even then. It still takes practice to get good. It also takes practice to stay good. Knowing and doing are two different things.

Good luck.
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#2 tomscheland

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:22 PM

good points leo...thanks bud...
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#3 silvertip-co

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:36 PM

9A. ...keep a little breath in then squeeze. The gun going off should be a surprise. If you anticipate the trigger you'll miss. Go to step 10.


Good job Leo.
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