Rifle Balance. What is it?

IPoutdoors

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you here this term thrown a lot in PRS. this or that balances better. But what is the standard fulcrum we use to measure this? how far forward of the magazine?
 

Mordamer

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    For the most part everyone is just throwing weight at their rifles and claiming they needed to do that to balance the rifle. Instead of placing a weight limit on open class rifles we all just decided to carry around 25 lb rifles at matches and whenever someone from outside the sport questions the practicality of our ridiculous rifles we tell them that we had to add the weight to get the rifle to "balance". If people were really seeking to "balance" their rifle they'd be taking weight off of certain areas just as much as adding it in other areas.

    I'm an avid competitor in PRS. I hear the balance term thrown around all the time. Whenever someone adds 2 lbs of weight to the butt and then adds 2 pounds of weight to the forend and claims it is to "balance" I find it funny. The balance point probably didn't move at all, but the weight increased.

    I find the desirable balance point of a PRS rifle to be in front of the front action screw about 3 inches. Most positional shooting will place the rifle on a bag in this area of the forend. If the balance point of the rifle is just in front of the center of support of the bag it helps keep muzzle rise down under recoil because the recoil has to lift the rifles weight.

    The whole unlimited weight thing drives me crazy. If we had an 18 lb limit for scope+rifle then we could all carry around lighter weight rifles and the best shooters would still win. Now I'm forced to compete with a tank of a rifle just to keep from having a disadvantage. End rant. haha
     

    IPoutdoors

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    I am with you on that. what I find funny is people paying a lot of money on adding weights at the forend instead of just getting a thicker profile barrel to begin with. that way the weight is being utilized for something like heat dissipation etc...

    good info about the balance point and recoil lifting the forward weight. although, I do think too much weight is a thing in PRS especially with 6br variant cartridges.
     

    XLR308

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    I am with you on that. what I find funny is people paying a lot of money on adding weights at the forend instead of just getting a thicker profile barrel to begin with. that way the weight is being utilized for something like heat dissipation etc...

    good info about the balance point and recoil lifting the forward weight. although, I do think too much weight is a thing in PRS especially with 6br variant cartridges.
    Have you ever actually built a rifle or put any consideration into any you have bought ?
     

    Baron23

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    In airplanes we required a forward center of gravity (balance point) as if it got far back it was less responsive in pitch and if bad enough it would kill you.

    I’m really a rifle novice and the shooting on bag off of a barricade was a good point about where to balance for that sport. Hadn’t thought about that. At 68, I don’t think I’m shooting PRS, but I’m often wrong.

    But I’m finding a slightly rear heavy gun to be more stable (really don’t think I’m looking for responsiveness here) off of bench and prone.

    With a 2 x 4, a can as a fulcrum, and some weight, you can easily demonstrate this.

    Carry on, I need another scotch. :)
     
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    Dthomas3523

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    yes. yes. your point?
    His point is likely that from your posts, you don’t seem to have a good grasp of the subject.Most people are running m24, mtu, or straight taper barrels. Your suggestion that people aren’t using heavier barrels implies you don’t have much experience with this.

    Balance is the exactly what it says, balance. Some balance the rifle after adding a bunch of weight and others just add weight to balance the rifle.

    And balance is subjective. Some like the rifle to be rearward heavy so they can use their support hand to move rifle vertically. Others like it to balance just ahead of the magwell. I personally like mine to balance a few inches ahead of magwell. When I set the rifle on a bag, I can walk away and the rifle will sit there.
     

    want2learn

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    when i consider balance, i think of it in both dynamic as well as static terms. by altering weight and distribution (in addition to many other factors) one can notably alter or modify comfort, agility, stability, harmonics, cycling, response to recoil forces etc. I found this to be particularly true in the pistol and shotgun sports where i had much more experience.....i would imagine that these effects would similarly be noted in rifle as well.

    if you have the good fortune to shoot a"well balanced and well fitting shotgun" you will note that the shotgun will feel light in hand (not too light and not too heavy), it swings beautifully, controlled....not to hard to get moving and doesn't overshoot the swing.... and so we feel confident in the way it handles resulting often in a more reproducible and efficient shot. I have similarly felt this on some well crafted, well balanced and well fit pistols.

    i.e. If you throw off harmonics or alter the response to angular momentum you will perceive a change in dynamic balance.

    for the PRS shooter i would imagine these characteristics would/could play an even more significant effect when positional shooting, free hand shooting and shooting movers.
     
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    mtruong

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    25 lbs is only heavy if you think it's heavy. Might need to work on that fitness if you want to take advantage of the benefits of a beefier rifle.
     
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    Mordamer

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    25 lbs is only heavy if you think it's heavy. Might need to work on that fitness if you want to take advantage of the benefits of a beefier rifle.
    Wrong. 25 lbs is heavy for any man portable weapon system regardless of what I or you think.
     

    JustSendit

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    25 lbs is only heavy if you think it's heavy. Might need to work on that fitness if you want to take advantage of the benefits of a beefier rifle.
    Lol nah dude 25lbs is heavy for a bolt gun I don’t care the application. I mean I got it, PRS is a game bring whatever you want but don’t pretend 25lbs is practical for anything else besides moving around at a PRS comp.
     

    Nfrantz87

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    I'm starting to rethink my whole build now. I was going for light to move quicker and easier. My RimX is light but now cloning it for a Centerfire. I shot my first centerfire match a few weeks ago and was hooked other than how crazy heavy especially nose heavy the loaner rifle was. I never considered the weight to help mitigate recoil and stay on target easier. The one guy that basically wins ever rimfire match we go to has a Vudoo that weighs 24lbs. I never understood it.
     

    Tommy m

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    I too just recently started shooting prs competitions and I’m hooked. I have an rpr that I’ve done a lot to over the years. It has a Magpul prs stock and is still rear heavy even with a 26” LRI barrel. I’m switching to a catalyst arms hand guard with Arca rail and a 6mm barrel. Part of the reason I’m switching to that hand guard is so I can add mlock weights to the front to balance it where it rests on the bag in front of the magazine. I never weighed the rifle and wasn’t planning on it, I just wanted to balance it. Does that make me bad? Lol. So many people & so many opinions, I’m still learning.
     

    CraigG1

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    rifle balance? It's the balance in your bank account after buying rifle+ glass+ extraneous doo dads that you seem to need/want/wish for :ROFLMAO:
     
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    Birddog6424

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    For the most part everyone is just throwing weight at their rifles and claiming they needed to do that to balance the rifle. Instead of placing a weight limit on open class rifles we all just decided to carry around 25 lb rifles at matches and whenever someone from outside the sport questions the practicality of our ridiculous rifles we tell them that we had to add the weight to get the rifle to "balance". If people were really seeking to "balance" their rifle they'd be taking weight off of certain areas just as much as adding it in other areas.

    I'm an avid competitor in PRS. I hear the balance term thrown around all the time. Whenever someone adds 2 lbs of weight to the butt and then adds 2 pounds of weight to the forend and claims it is to "balance" I find it funny. The balance point probably didn't move at all, but the weight increased.

    I find the desirable balance point of a PRS rifle to be in front of the front action screw about 3 inches. Most positional shooting will place the rifle on a bag in this area of the forend. If the balance point of the rifle is just in front of the center of support of the bag it helps keep muzzle rise down under recoil because the recoil has to lift the rifles weight.

    The whole unlimited weight thing drives me crazy. If we had an 18 lb limit for scope+rifle then we could all carry around lighter weight rifles and the best shooters would still win. Now I'm forced to compete with a tank of a rifle just to keep from having a disadvantage. End rant. haha
    For every guy like you, there's a guy like me. I dont believe weight restrictions should exist in Open class. Its Open class, anything goes. Let's not become a sport of rules and regulations and go tumbling down the USPSA rabbit hole.

    We just voted on five new rules for the PRS Rule Book for 2021. I think they are good, make sense changes. They need to happen. So much so that they are passing pretty overwhelmingly in the vote. And I'm sure the shooters will all agree they are good changes.

    Making changes to the Open class by adding restrictions will not go over well with shooters OR the manufacturers supporting the sport.
     

    mtruong

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    For every guy like you, there's a guy like me. I dont believe weight restrictions should exist in Open class. Its Open class, anything goes. Let's not become a sport of rules and regulations and go tumbling down the USPSA rabbit hole.

    We just voted on five new rules for the PRS Rule Book for 2021. I think they are good, make sense changes. They need to happen. So much so that they are passing pretty overwhelmingly in the vote. And I'm sure the shooters will all agree they are good changes.

    Making changes to the Open class by adding restrictions will not go over well with shooters OR the manufacturers supporting the sport.
    What are the new rules for PRS in 2021?
     

    XLR308

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    yes. yes. your point?
    I wasnt entirely trying to be a shit head but being serious.
    This thread got lost in the boring zone and just saw it again.
    My pount was what do you consider most benificial in regards to balance ?
    My personal preference is balanced in 2-3" in front of the forward action bolt so i can set it on a bag and walk away without it becoming a my rifle survided this thread.
    I personally call this nuetral balance but i am nowhere near as schooled as some of the competitive shooters it just works for me and what i use since i hunt with my rifles as much as i target shoot with them.
    My 6.5CM is a 23" M24 in A5 pattern stock and my 6.5x47 is a 24" medium palma in a XLR carbon that both ballance the same even though they are much different in weight.
     

    mpk1996

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    Lol nah dude 25lbs is heavy for a bolt gun I don’t care the application. I mean I got it, PRS is a game bring whatever you want but don’t pretend 25lbs is practical for anything else besides moving around at a PRS comp.

    Also, you might want to work on your fundamentals if you need a 25 lbs rifle to shoot steel targets.
    who cares. I don’t see people complaining that they can’t take their nascar race car to get groceries.

    the reason guys are going Heavier is to be able to better control recoil on rickety barricades to be able to spot hits/misses. With the competition getting so good, matches are going to smaller targets, further away, off of more unstable positions. Those top shooters don’t need to “work on their fundamentals”. Their fundamentals are solid.
     

    JustSendit

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    who cares. I don’t see people complaining that they can’t take their nascar race car to get groceries.

    the reason guys are going Heavier is to be able to better control recoil on rickety barricades to be able to spot hits/misses. With the competition getting so good, matches are going to smaller targets, further away, off of more unstable positions. Those top shooters don’t need to “work on their fundamentals”. Their fundamentals are solid.
    I don’t care, you don’t need to justify your 70lbs 6dasher to me. You do you. What I said was reference to another poster, not you.

    That being said: You say top level guys like they’re the norm... Most people are not top shooters and are using very light triggers and heavy guns to make up for crap fundamentals. That’s a fact I see it often, do I care? No, but it’s worth mentioning that proper fundamentals is what takes people to the top 10 at a 2-day, not 30lbs rifles.
     

    mpk1996

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    I don’t care, you don’t need to justify your 70lbs 6dasher to me. You do you. What I said was reference to another poster, not you.

    That being said: You say top level guys like they’re the norm... Most people are not top shooters and are using very light triggers and heavy guns to make up for crap fundamentals. That’s a fact I see it often, do I care? No, but it’s worth mentioning that proper fundamentals is what takes people to the top 10 at a 2-day, not 30lbs rifles.

    No. They are not the norm. But that’s what it takes to compete. If I were new, I’d be looking at what/why the top guys shoot what they shoot. Do you need a heavier rifle to compete? No. Do you need one to compete at the top level. Maybe, maybe not. Does it help. Yes. Should you take every advantage you can. Yes, if you want to win.

    You’re right I don’t need or care to justify my rifle choice to you or anyone. But when guys come on and blast a setup the top shooters have proven work better, those who don’t know should have both sides presented. Otherwise they listen to statements like yours and base their decisions on bad information.

    I just love when guys come on and say you don’t need this or that. You need to work on fundamentals. Like the two things are mutually exclusive. You can get a rifle setup that has proven to work, and still work on fundamentals. You don’t need an inferior setup to do that. That’s like telling a new nascar driver they should show up to a race in a stock mustang until they can drive with the best. Makes no sense. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying if you don’t have what too guys are using don’t show up. Don’t compete. You can’t do well. I’m juat saying no need to poo poo on guys cause they are new and want a setup like that.
     
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    JustSendit

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    No. They are not the norm. But that’s what it takes to compete. If I were new, I’d be looking at what/why the top guys shoot what they shoot. Do you need a heavier rifle to compete? No. Do you need one to compete at the top level. Maybe, maybe not. Does it help. Yes. Should you take every advantage you can. Yes, if you want to win.

    You’re right I don’t need or care to justify my rifle choice to you or anyone. But when guys come on and blast a setup the top shooters have proven work better, those who don’t know should have both sides presented. Otherwise they listen to statements like yours and base their decisions on bad information.

    I just love when guys come on and say you don’t need this or that. You need to work on fundamentals. Like the two things are mutually exclusive. You can get a rifle setup that has proven to work, and still work on fundamentals. You don’t need an inferior setup to do that. That’s like telling a new nascar driver they should show up to a race in a stock mustang until they can drive with the best. Makes no sense. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying if you don’t have what too guys are using don’t show up. Don’t compete. You can’t do well. I’m juat saying no need to poo poo on guys cause they are new and want a setup like that.
    You are twisting this thing around creating an argument where there is not one. Maybe someone said a heavy gun is not a benefit but I did not say that, nor even insinuate that. I didn’t blast anyone probably, no one is has in this thread. A 20+lbs 6mm are part of the game, everyone who does a lot of PRS understands that fact. It’s not even disputed.

    You did not read the context of my quote earlier. Telling someone they need to check their fitness level to weld a heavy ass gun for PRS is lame. That is what I was replying to.

    I guess we have a different philosophy I would encourage a new shooter to hammer fundamentals without adding a bunch of weights, and gizmos to their rifle. Just like I would encourage a new shooter to use 308 or 6.5 and buy ammo before diving into reloading. You keep referring to NASCAR well those drivers started with go carts and other stuff before getting to Daytona.
     
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    mpk1996

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    You are twisting this thing around creating an argument where there is not one. Maybe someone said a heavy gun is not a benefit but I did not say that, nor even insinuate that. I didn’t blast anyone probably, no one is has in this thread. A 20+lbs 6mm are part of the game, everyone who does a lot of PRS understands that fact. It’s not even disputed.

    You did not read the context of my quote earlier. Telling someone they need to check their fitness level to weld a heavy ass gun for PRS is lame. That is what I was replying to.

    I guess we have a different philosophy I would encourage a new shooter to hammer fundamentals without adding a bunch of weights, and gizmos to their rifle. Just like I would encourage a new shooter to use 308 or 6.5 and buy ammo before diving into reloading. You keep referring to NASCAR well those drivers started with go carts and other stuff before getting to Daytona.
    That’s fine. And I only quoted you and my only response to you was about the comment that said a 25# rifle isn’t practical for anything else. And I responded. Who cares. To that.

    Maybe you should re read my orig post and notice that I quoted two posts

    Now I will say that I totally disagree with the recommendation for new shooters to get a 308 or 6.5 to learn on for competition. That’s just stupid.
     
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    Birddog6424

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    No it’s really not.
    Yeh, it kinda is..

    Its no more valid now than it was 5 years ago when people used to dole out that advice all the time. No one says learn the game on a .308 anymore. Or certainly not anywhere near the numbers you used to see it. There's no advantage learning the ropes on an inferior caliber that you have no intention of keeping.

    If you plan on competing with a 308, great.. as a more durable trainer, absolutely. But if you want to shoot Open in PRS, choose and learn how to shoot a competitive Open division cartridge.
     
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    JustSendit

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    Yeh, it kinda is..

    Its no more valid now than it was 5 years ago when people used to dole out that advice all the time. No one says learn the game on a .308 anymore. Or certainly not anywhere near the numbers you used to see it. There's no advantage learning the ropes on an inferior caliber that you have no intention of keeping.

    If you plan on competing with a 308, great.. as a more durable trainer, absolutely. But if you want to shoot Open in PRS, choose and learn how to shoot a competitive Open division cartridge.
    What’s wrong with 6.5 for a starting caliber?
     

    Birddog6424

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    What’s wrong with 6.5 for a starting caliber?
    I would agree with you that 6.5 is a pretty decent caliber. I also agree its a great round to suggest to a newer or less serious shooter. It's competitive, its easy to load, and its great barrel longevity.

    I should have been more specific in saying I disagree with tossing the 308 in there. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the 6.5 Creedmoor.
     

    BigdaddyWSM

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    If I can set rifle on a gamechanger bag right in front of magazine on a T post & walk away I feel it's perfectly balanced for me. mine run between 17.5-19 lbs. some people like heavier, some lighter. depends on how much recoil you want. less helps spot hits at distance & quicker follow up shots.
     

    IPoutdoors

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    I have messed with weights and found that i prefer the balance to be in the middle of the bag that I am using (GC). Weight ends up being slightly front biased. This makes it a bit stable when free recoiling giving the rifle room to recoil straight back before the butt dips. Just my observation.