Shooting off of a bench

JoshPutman

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New guy here. I did a quick search, but didn't see anything pertaining to my question.

I've learned from listening to the podcast and reading that proper prone position is to be straight behind the gun.

My question is about shooting off of a bench. Most benches I've seen have cutouts on both sides so you sit almost sideways when taking a firing position depended on which hand you are. Since proper position is behind the gun in prone, is it better to emulate that on a bench and sit at the back so you are square to the target?

Hopefully this isn't a stupid question. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

Rocketmandb

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Stand up behind the bench in a modified prone. Never use the cutouts.
Don't you just love a design that creates bad habits?

Edit: When I shoot from a bench with a cutout, I set the stool behind one of the arms and shoot straight on - but then my rifle is sitting on a very narrow piece of wood.
 
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_Raining

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Don't you just love a design that creates bad habits?
It was probably made that way for sling supported and was never fixed for bipod/bag usage. I just go prone next to the bench or if it isn't bolted down just flip it around and get square.
 
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IronmanDaremo

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The range I typically go to has strict rules about having the muzzle past a certain line on the concrete. Found that out the hard way when I tried to line up standing with the bench and my muzzle was "too far back." To square on the bench, I would have to make the bench sideways. Haven't tried that yet. I said f-ck it and have just been shooting prone since.
 

kthomas

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Stand up behind the bench in a modified prone. Never use the cutouts.
I absolutely HATE benches with cutouts.

I just lay down on the floor prone between benches. Trying to shoot from a bench that fits you worth fuck all isn't worth it to me.

Otherwise, this idea of standing up and doing modified prone is the best solution IMO.
 

Pbgt

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Interesting......I have poured concrete benches at my range, first time using them, novice shooters act like they just discovered a pussy for the first time, experienced shooters grumble!!
 

Cuzz

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Interesting......I have poured concrete benches at my range, first time using them, novice shooters act like they just discovered a pussy for the first time, experienced shooters grumble!!
What is it that the experienced shooters don’t like? I would have thought concrete would be very good.
 
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Pbgt

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There are a couple of issues, surface texture is one. Polished smooth =0 preload, next is slight ribs from the plywood forms cause vibration issues during recoil as well as the benches with a little more exposed aggregate, its like shooting off of marbles. These issues are more specific to bipods, than bags however. All of my benches have a cut-out for left and rh shooters with the seat centered, typical design. Without the ability to adjust the seat in any direction, shooters tend to have one forearm resting on edge of the bench at a 45 degree angle, during recoil the forearm slides downward, bringing the stock with it. Shooters tend to want to be low as possible to the bench, however if they are tall, they tend to hump over forward or if they have a belly touching the edge, instead of raising the shooting rest. Too much forward lean and the shooter is not taking recoil straight to the rear, more of an radius. So what I teach is : feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart or slightly more, shoulders squared to target back straight, not slouched, butt fully on seat and flat(no thick wallet in pockets..ect) weak arm elbow on bench with forearm flat to bench, squeezing the bag from the bottom. Rear bag under the cheek rest point of contact, press trigger straight to rear, moving just the finger, hold to the rear till the stee targetl rings. There is a little more, you get the idea. If you want to see some of my benches go to PointBlankGunTraining.com and look thru our videos.
 
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Dunraven

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An accomplished PRS shooter once told me he always zeros off the ground, because POI could change from bench to prone.
 

308pirate

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Interesting......I have poured concrete benches at my range, first time using them, novice shooters act like they just discovered a pussy for the first time, experienced shooters grumble!!
Probably because your benches force us to shoot like this, which only a noob, cowboy fudd, or moron would like
 
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308pirate

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So what I teach is : feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart or slightly more, shoulders squared to target back straight, not slouched, butt fully on seat and flat(no thick wallet in pockets..ect) weak arm elbow on bench with forearm flat to bench, squeezing the bag from the bottom. Rear bag under the cheek rest point of contact, press trigger straight to rear, moving just the finger, hold to the rear till the stee targetl rings.
Or we can avoid all that bullshit and just get on the ground, which is where we're going to shoot from anyway

I don't understand this fascination with shooting benches.
 

whatsupdoc

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I shoot off of typical concrete benches all the time as many public ranges will not allow you to shoot prone.
I just sit behind the bench so the rifle is dead center omn the bench with a bipod and rear bag. Loading the bipod on concrete does not seem to be a issue.
You can place small sandbags on the bench lo load the bipod if you feel it would help.
 
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Pbgt

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308, the cowboy has a horrible body position. Prone is great, but not a typical shooting position for elk hunters ect...
 

308pirate

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Prone is great, but not a typical shooting position for elk hunters ect...
Neither is seated behind or besides a bench or table

It doesn't really matter because most hunters never practice from real field positions nor know how to use a sling to stabilize the rifle enough.
 

Pbgt

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Not disagreeing with you at all, but ya gotta start them somewhere to get a reasonable zero.
 

powerspc

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Probably because your benches force us to shoot like this, which only a noob, cowboy fudd, or moron would like
This picture made me laugh in a good way; I square to the bench using a modified prone position (I swear). But I can’t help but wonder if the guy in the picture was printing dime sized groups at a 1,000 yards shooting that way? I can remember my Dad reloading when I was a kid using a nail and a claw hammer. That’s it. Nail. Claw hammer. He could shoot the rat out of fleas ass with both eyes closed (I may have that expression backwards). There’s always the right way, the wrong way and the way that works for you!
 

Dthomas3523

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Neither is seated behind or besides a bench or table

It doesn't really matter because most hunters never practice from real field positions nor know how to use a sling to stabilize the rifle enough.
Learning from prone and then moving to/learning how to be as proficient in all levels of tripod shooting would be where I would focus for elk (or any game). With tripods being so good, it just doesn’t make sense not to perfect it.

A bench would be at the very bottom of my list. And when using a bench, I wouldn’t be sitting behind it.
 

Pbgt

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At 9k altitude, fat fuckers can barely carry a rifle, much less extra weight like a tripod.
 
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Dthomas3523

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Then why buy a 6lb rifle....?
So that you can carry them both. If you run a modern schoolhouse and don’t utilize tripods, you are way, way, way behind the curve.

It’s literally become the most important tool to carry other than rifle and dope.
 
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Pbgt

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I am not against tripods, some students choose to use/bring them....I believe, when you are dealing with newbies, give them a fairly comfortable solid surface and position to shoot from, then, once they understand how to not yank the trigger, throw the finger, lift the head every shot ect...then we proceed to the 200 thru 750 yard targets and a variety of shooting positions.
 

308pirate

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So that you can carry them both. If you run a modern schoolhouse and don’t utilize tripods, you are way, way, way behind the curve.

It’s literally become the most important tool to carry other than rifle and dope.
That depends entirely on the terrain. And to be quite honest, you probably need to use your imagination and practice more using natural objects for support if you feel you need to have a tripod with you every time you go afield.
 

eastexsteve

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New guy here. I did a quick search, but didn't see anything pertaining to my question.

I've learned from listening to the podcast and reading that proper prone position is to be straight behind the gun.

My question is about shooting off of a bench. Most benches I've seen have cutouts on both sides so you sit almost sideways when taking a firing position depended on which hand you are. Since proper position is behind the gun in prone, is it better to emulate that on a bench and sit at the back so you are square to the target?

Hopefully this isn't a stupid question. Thanks for any advice in advance.
I built a shooting bench with cutouts for both left and right-hand shooting. I discovered that to get fully behind the rifle, I had to lean way forward to reach the rifle if I put it directly in front of me. I think most benches are built this way, just so you can get in and out of them comfortably. I ended up extending the seat(s) forward about a foot so I could scoot up closer to the rifle and get it right in front of me.
 
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1moaoff

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There are a couple of issues, surface texture is one. Polished smooth =0 preload, next is slight ribs from the plywood forms cause vibration issues during recoil as well as the benches with a little more exposed aggregate, its like shooting off of marbles. These issues are more specific to bipods, than bags however. All of my benches have a cut-out for left and rh shooters with the seat centered, typical design. Without the ability to adjust the seat in any direction, shooters tend to have one forearm resting on edge of the bench at a 45 degree angle, during recoil the forearm slides downward, bringing the stock with it. Shooters tend to want to be low as possible to the bench, however if they are tall, they tend to hump over forward or if they have a belly touching the edge, instead of raising the shooting rest. Too much forward lean and the shooter is not taking recoil straight to the rear, more of an radius. So what I teach is : feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart or slightly more, shoulders squared to target back straight, not slouched, butt fully on seat and flat(no thick wallet in pockets..ect) weak arm elbow on bench with forearm flat to bench, squeezing the bag from the bottom. Rear bag under the cheek rest point of contact, press trigger straight to rear, moving just the finger, hold to the rear till the stee targetl rings. There is a little more, you get the idea. If you want to see some of my benches go to PointBlankGunTraining.com and look thru our videos.
The concrete is causing vibration issue????
 

Pbgt

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Yes, one of my benches has an exposed aggregate surface, with a light hunting rifle and magnum caliber, you will see shooters running a bipod leave "skid marks" from the bipod feet, about 1 1/2 inch long. Using a front bag eliminates this. Monopod users see issues, if the point of the monopod is in a valley or peak, your cheek pressure will drive the rear of the stock downward into the valley..or in the case of the point being in a low spot, the rear of the stock will jump upward. I negate the rear monopod issues by folding an ammo box into 4 layers under my pod point, thus making a "sled" and smooth recoil to the rear.
 
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Southern Custom

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There's a good video on YouTube by Mark and Sam After Work on shooting from benches or similar positions with bipod's. It's imperceptible unless using high speed camera but the bipod jumps. That jump causes impact shifts. One solution is to clamp a rail or board to the front of the bench in order to properly load the bipod.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Or we can avoid all that bullshit and just get on the ground, which is where we're going to shoot from anyway

I don't understand this fascination with shooting benches.
That's a good observation, and for yourself and many here, it's easy to sustain.

Others, like myself, no longer have the unsupported route available, due to health or other concerns. Some, like myself, never had access to tactical employment that stresses the Prone and other available support positions that come so readily to others, beyond some combat deployment over half a century ago. I entered the precision rifle marksmanship process through a route that encompassed 3-Gun Bullseye Handgun Competition, Benchrest Rifle shooting, and NRA Highpower National Match.

At my age, some of that is no longer readily accessible; and for me, Prone is only a memory. The last time I tried it in competition, I ended up retiring from that comp early due to heat and positional physical stress; postponing what turned out to be a second heart attack two months later.

To me, there is no "only" way, there are many ways, and some suit us differently. Nobody is wrong here, we simply need to establish different preferences.

I have always maintained that the marksman is not an individual of disciplines, and is unbound by such limitations. It is the skills which count, and not the terrain upon which they are exercised, nor the equipment that is used. The accomplished marksman can hit the target as ever desired without regard to those limitations.

I'm no longer that versatile, but I can still put a bench to good use. That's good enough for me.

That bench is usually a concrete one, on a retired USA reserves Base 300 Meter Range, down on The Border 50mi South of my home. The cowboy is using portable bench, and his puts mine to shame. But mine also allows me to get out to a local pit for shorter (100yd) initial load testing and adjusting to rifle upgrades. Life goes on; and I'm not throwing in any towels anytime soon. Hell, on a good day, that cowboy and I could be mistaken for each other with me in my Resistol 10X.

Who are these noobs, cowboy fudds, or morons of whom you speak, Sir? LOL! <Humor font fully deployed here<

Not myself, I hope...

Greg
 
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308pirate

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That's a good observation, and for yourself and many here, it's easy to sustain.

Others, like myself, no longer have the unsupported route available, due to health or other concerns. Some, like myself, never had access to tactical employment that stresses the Prone and other available support positions that come so readily to others. I entered the precision rifle marksmanship process through a route that encompassed 3-Gun Bullseye Handgun Competition, Benchrest Rifle shooting, and NRA Highpower National Match.

At my age, some of that is no longer readily accessible; and for me, Prone is only a memory. The last time I tried it in competition, I ended up retiring from that comp early due to het and positional physical stress; postponing what turned out to be a second heart attack two months later.

To me, there is no "only" way, there are many ways, and some suit us differently. Nobody is wrong here, we simply need to establish different preferences.

I have always maintained that the marksman is not an individual of disciplines, and is unbound by such limitations. It is the skills which count, and not the terrain upon which they are exercised, or the equipment that is used. The accomplished marksman can hit the target as ever desired without regard to those limitations.

I'm no longer that versatile, but I can still put a bench to good use. That's good enough for me.

Greg
You do what you gotta do to keep on keeping on.......
 

eastexsteve

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At my age, some of that is no longer readily accessible; and for me, Prone is only a memory. The last time I tried it in competition, I ended up retiring from that comp early due to heat and positional physical stress; postponing what turned out to be a second heart attack two months later.

To me, there is no "only" way, there are many ways, and some suit us differently. Nobody is wrong here, we simply need to establish different preferences.

I have always maintained that the marksman is not an individual of disciplines, and is unbound by such limitations. It is the skills which count, and not the terrain upon which they are exercised, nor the equipment that is used. The accomplished marksman can hit the target as ever desired without regard to those limitations.

I'm no longer that versatile, but I can still put a bench to good use. That's good enough for me.
Prone is excellent when you can use it. I prefer prone over a bag. But, where I live, the fire ants will find you if you spend too much time on the ground.
 

Cuzz

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Or we can avoid all that bullshit and just get on the ground, which is where we're going to shoot from anyway

I don't understand this fascination with shooting benches.
I like shooting from a bench for the same reason that I eat, drive, watch tv, weld, etc, in that position. I don’t feel like i’m fascinated with it, it’s more comfortable, sometime i have to lay in the dirt to weld and i don’t like it, i don’t understand the fascination with laying down to shoot.
 
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seanh

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For me shooting prone with a sling, it's about the challenge. I'm there to find out how well I can shoot and how well I can improve my skills... wish I could still shoot standing but that's a really good way to shoot over the berm... LOL

The only time I use a bench is when I sight in briefly, verify zero, load development or have that inexperienced shooter with me. Otherwise, I'm on my belly with a sling.

On the rare occasion I do use a bipod there is no rear bag. I find that it's completely unnecessary and truly a waste of time. As mentioned earlier, use your three fingers to pull the gun into you. When you have the pressure right in the pocket right the gun doesn't slip from the shoulder.

I will say this, having a 3-way adjustable butt plate significantly helps rifle fit.