Bench Shooting

DocRDS

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I'm sorta restricted at this point to shooting off the bench. However, I wanted to confirm that I should still be able to achieve things like no bi-pod hop, spotting impacts, etc even while bench shooting (aka, the fundamentals don't change just by shooting off a bench). I've seen frank's video on getting into a more "standing prone" shoulders forward position and have already worked on getting centered behind the rifle. Still got work to do on recoil as at 100 yards (max distance available to me), I'm still all over the place post shot. (I can tell you where I hit, but I can't see it, if that makes sense).

Naturally finding a place to shoot prone is top priority, but in the meantime, want to make sure I'm not chasing my tail trying to do the impossible.
 

Newbie2020

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Are you setting up straight behind the rifle rather than along side the rifle in the bench cutout?

Do you have the rifle on your collarbone close to the center of your body?

If you close your eyes and open them are you still on target (natural point of aim)?

If you let go of the rifle w your shooting hand does it stay on target? (NPA)
 

DocRDS

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(1) Trying to
(2) Modified that last shooting session, the muzzle brake helped (sighting in 300 win mag) as it was better but not good.
(3) + (4) Guess what I am adding to my training....

One of the biggest challenges I face is getting behind the rifle as the back of the rifle tends to hang over the cutout when I get everything centered. I need to qualify at this other local range to get to 200 and 400 (which allow prone) but their benches are ridiculously uncomfortable and impossible to sqaure up on, so I tend to favor the other place in the meantime as at least I can get square.
 

Newbie2020

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I take an adjustable stool and sit behind the bench to avoid the cutout entirely
 

DocRDS

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Hmmm i def have setup issues. Working through training, my bipod was already too low, and my LOP is apparently set for Frank or I have Monkey boy arms (my wrist was only 1/2 inch or so behind trigger).

On the bright side my NPOA seems good--tough to tell in back yard as everyone has a fence, but treated myself to some DF practice and it seemed ok at least for there.

But of course main point--although bench presents issues--recoil management is still possible along with impact spotting impact of things beyond .22LR correct? Maybe take it off 27X, but still..
 

Newbie2020

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In the prone, Frank had me raise my bipod to 8-9" to keep me from cocking my head over and craning my neck to get onto the scope---wayyyy more comfortable, therefore more sustainable and repeatable. So I now use an 8" rear bag.

I'm 6'4" so I thought I needed a super long LOP, but I've brought that back down to 13-3/4" and it's actually comfortable. The key is you can get a 90-degree trigger finger every time.
 
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KnowNothing256

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I don’t know about you, but spotting impacts live at 100yds is pretty tough on my 6.5CM. The bullet has already hit by the time recoil has finished, so I worry more about my post-recoil sight picture being oriented near enough my original POA to see the POI. If you can get to that point, you’ll be able to see your impacts at longer ranges where TOF is long enough for recoil to complete before impact.

YMMV
 

DocRDS

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Yeah I realize 100 yards is short, but I know the rifle is "hopping" and I end up off target post shot. OK so more practice and videos and practice on range..

Obviously coming down to a "normal" rifle like 6.5 and 308 helps too. Not that 300WM is uncontrollable--baby steps--control the 6.5/308 first.
 

KnowNothing256

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Might not be an option, but having your buttpad higher would also reduce muzzle hop.

More rearward force from your firing hand will also reduce it, at the expense of some repeatability on trigger press and firing hand force. Pushed too far, this will also lead to muscle fatigue and tremors in your pre-fire sight picture.
 

Baron23

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    I'm sorta restricted at this point to shooting off the bench. However, I wanted to confirm that I should still be able to achieve things like no bi-pod hop, spotting impacts, etc even while bench shooting (aka, the fundamentals don't change just by shooting off a bench). I've seen frank's video on getting into a more "standing prone" shoulders forward position and have already worked on getting centered behind the rifle. Still got work to do on recoil as at 100 yards (max distance available to me), I'm still all over the place post shot. (I can tell you where I hit, but I can't see it, if that makes sense).

    Naturally finding a place to shoot prone is top priority, but in the meantime, want to make sure I'm not chasing my tail trying to do the impossible.
    I shoot mostly from a bench though I will be starting to fire prone almost exclusively now its getting warmer in anticipation of a clinic in Sep.

    I absolutely do NOT shoot from the side cut outs and think they are idiotic (yes, I do have strong opinions on things haha).

    I did get a drummers throne (stool) that I sit behind the bench and can raise/lower so as to get a very forward upper body position. I sort of heard some call it a modified prone....but really, its just laying out a bit on the bench.

    Recoil control is something that I have struggled a bit with as the chassis my gun is in doesn't position my smallish hands far enough forward. Fast forward to this week when I received a modified grip I had been working with a fella on and it was night and day.

    Now I can truly grip with my on hand gripping fingers, pull straight back into my shoulder (as close to my torso's center line as i can get it), have a 90 degree trigger finger, and freeze after the shot and my recoil control has gone from a jump of at least 1 foot left and up to about 2" on average.
    Hope this is somewhat helpful.

    Oh, and I'm 68 in case you too have any age related stuff.
     
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    Newbie2020

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    If your scope picture post shot is significantly left or right of your original point of aim, either your NPOA is off or you’ve got recoil causing them rifle to “leak” (my own word...) left or right

    Frank says the rifle will seek the path of least resistance during recoil: if you are perfectly square behind the rifle w the butt firmly in your collarbone the recoil should push the rifle straight back into your torso and settle back on nearly the same Point of Aim.
     
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    Newbie2020

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    As per @Enough Said pull backwards on the grip with the graspers of the firing hand with a force about 10 lbs. Do not squeeze the grip, just pull rearward on the grip: this should not cause fatigue.

    The support hand should control the rear bag and manipulate the rifle vertically, NOT the firing hand.
     
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    DownhillFromHere

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    After four years of chasing this addiction and studying info here on SH and elsewhere, I'm still finding little tweaks that help me tighten groups from the bench. Most recently, two things have helped a little more in addition to everything mentioned above:
    • Pull straight back on the grip. Easier said than done, even when you think you are. No finger/thumb contact with the sides of the grip. If the rifle hops to one side or the other, you're probably loading a side of the grip. A vertical grip makes this much easier!
    • To aid in pulling straight back, I consciously move my hand a little lower on the grip to help preclude pushing the grip down trying to force stock toe into rear bag for "ultimate stability."
    • Pay attention to the pressure of your cheek weld. Be consistent.
    • If your support hand touches the stock (or any other part of the rifle), there's a good chance you'll give recoil an easier path up, down or sideways... which manifests as "hop." Even if it's a little "hop," it doesn't take much to ruin that ragged-hole group.
    It's really easy to unconsciously brute-force the rifle even when you think you aren't. Historically, I've tended to struggle with vertical stringing with bench groups, and practicing the points above as well as points made in other posts has helped significantly.

    Good luck.