Shooting from a bench, load development.

62flint

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What's everyone's preference and tricks for bench shooting/ load development. Sand bags, bipod, bench rest, prone, or off a bench? Just curious every one seems to have their own way.
I prefer a commercial rest with sand bag or sand bags off a bench and bipods off of dirt. I seem to get a lot of bounce with bipods on a hard bench, Tried lead bag in front of the bipod, clamped board etc to get some load on the legs but good old sand bags seem to be the most consistent for me. I don't have the problem prone,
As for load development I prefer a bench, simply because I don't like getting up and down that much any more lol, But I feel I can be just as steady off a bench as prone.

 

Diverjeff

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Still working on that myself 62flint.The one I'm trying to dial in at the moment is a CA MPR 338LM.So far I've only used Atlas bipods(3)on the front end and use a large Protektor bag at the rear.I've added a TT Diamond trigger set at 1lb.(helps a lot),and an adjustable bag rider on the rear(also helps a lot).I have a Caldwell BR front rest with 3 different width Protektor bags I've never tried yet,along with 2 Bulls Bags,and last time out I took a length of indoor/outdoor carpet and screwed a length of 1"x2" across the front to load the bipod against(didn't seem to really help).Have also tried 6 different grips until I found one I like.The recoil from those 300 grain/338LM Bergers does a pretty decent job of unsettling the rifle so trying to square everything up the same after each shot is always a challenge(shooting a smaller caliber would no doubt make that portion of it easier to manage).On top of that the closest range to me(50 miles away)has some pretty crappy,not level benches so after each shot I have to go to(and trust)my anti-cant level.Dealing with all of this I almost feel every group under 1 MOA is a win/win. :D
 
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Ladd

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8B4D7BB9-CB40-4DE0-8785-EE51601EEA8A.jpeg 41F15A46-E3A4-45AD-B3C2-EE648C5FF42D.jpeg When I shoot off a bench, which it has been a long time, I go with one of these two setups. I find I am more accurate with the bipod angle like it is in one of the pics rather than using a front rest. Either way, I have shot some pretty good groups like this. The bench and seat in my pics was one @Broz did a review on. Check out the video in the review section.
 

Wired2Hunt

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@Ladd - so it is safe to assume that most of your load development is done prone? I am slowly shifting to this because the bench at my local range has a slight wobble to it and so does the seat and I am thinking it could be a cause of the occasional flyer.
 

Diverjeff

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Always take my drummer's throne with me,and next time I go I'm taking everything but the damned kitchen sink including the Caldwell front rest and both of the heavy Bulls Bags(I'm thinking those Bulls Bags under the forend look promising,as heavy as they are). (y)
 

Ladd

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@Ladd - so it is safe to assume that most of your load development is done prone? I am slowly shifting to this because the bench at my local range has a slight wobble to it and so does the seat and I am thinking it could be a cause of the occasional flyer.
These pics are from the last time I used the bench, March 2021. I shoot prone pretty much. The roll is easier to haul around and quicker to setup than the portable bench, at least for me.
 

Ladd

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I don't know if my gut would allow me to shoot prone(never tried it yet),might have to use some serious bipod leg extensions. :D
Well, that bench is the next best thing. The bench I tried in Wyoming at Star Valley Outfitters was too short to place the bipod legs at an angle. I think that is a good way to go if shooting from a bench.
 

J2shooter

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I use the same Caldwell front rest and rear LRO bag (heavy fill) that Ladd has pictured.

*I'll put a couple layers of paper or something similar between the forend and the front bag to make it really slick so the rifle slides very easy.

*Be sure to remove sling studs or even front pic rail even if it's a bit of a pita.

* I put my target high on the back stop so that I can adjust up with the front rest. If the target is low so that you're aiming above it with the front rest all the way down then you'll be fighting it too much or you'll be building the rear bag up..not the best. Check this before you hang targets by setting the rifle up with the front rest all the way down. Hang the target above the POA.

*I try to spend however much time it takes to get the rifle setup such that it's resting very close to POA by itself.....so that I'm not fighting it to stay on POA. This way I'm putting very little input into the rifle with grip, cheek weld and rear bag manipulation.

*Dry firing a few times before each shot before sending rounds. Making sure POA shift is minimal or non existent and that I'm staying on my POA

These are a few that come to mind that seem to help my groups.
 

tonyf3

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I run Armageddon Game changer bags front and rear on the bench. Works great, but i need to try what Ladd does with his bipod leg angle off the bench.

I'm finding for load development I can shoot longer session from the bench vs. shooting prone. My 300PRC from prone just rides a tad higher so I end up tiring sooner and i have to wait longer before I can get back to the range.

Once i find what i like I verify and zero shooting prone off a bipod.
 

Diverjeff

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Since I'm starting to do OCW I'm going to try out the Caldwell BR rest I've had sitting around for over a year the next time I go to our local range with crappy benches,should be more stable than what I've been doing.Thanks for posting the video C.O. Shooter. (y)
 

C.O. Shooter

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👍🏻

I haven’t shot from a bench in 10+ years.
 

Ladd

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@Ladd
Hey try taking your pillow next time, catch up on those lost zzzzz's. 😴
On a serious note: my neck aches like you know what after shooting prone. Of course I did break it over 30yrs ago.
Normally that is a good place to take a nap but I was swapping out 3-rifles and making notes. Good thing is, they are all sighted in ready to go and it is fun times ahead for the Oryx 6.5 PRC.
 

Diverjeff

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I will say, doing burpees this morning dropping down to prone then standing waiting for the barrel to cool is becoming a chore.
As bad as my knees are,if I get down on the ground I may not get back up. :D
 

Diverjeff

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I am starting to see that myself. Knees, elbows, thigh muscles...I need to replace them all.
...and you're still a youngster,when you're pushin' 70 everything's pretty much gone to hell. :D
 
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Diverjeff

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I always shoot from a bench. Use your bipod. Tune the rifle how you will shoot it. Cut a piece of carpet for under the bipod and get a protector bunny ear rear bag or the squeeze bag LRO sells. Just squeeze the bag to aim. You can shoot TINY this way.
Never thought of it like that but it makes total sense.I've always shot off a bipod(and will bring a thick piece of carpet next time)and never had any problem shooting 1/2" groups(some smaller)with the 300WM and 338LM.I can now understand how developing and tuning a load from a bipod makes sense when you're always going to be shooting from a bipod.I have a couple of the Protektor bags with ears and 2 of the LRO canvas bags I always use.(y)

Thanks Alex (y)
 

md99cobra

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I always shoot from a bench. Use your bipod. Tune the rifle how you will shoot it. Cut a piece of carpet for under the bipod and get a protector bunny ear rear bag or the squeeze bag LRO sells. Just squeeze the bag to aim. You can shoot TINY this way.

The carpet idea sounds good but how do you keep the carpet from sliding on the bench?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

matt_3479

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The carpet idea sounds good but how do you keep the carpet from sliding on the bench?


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The carpets I use have rubber base (more like a door mat or kitchen mat so it slides and moves under recoil and pressure but doesn’t slip around too much
 
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Diverjeff

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Nice range Matt!It's a wonder I can hit the side of a barn from the inside off of those old worn out,plywood topped,wobbly ass'd benches at our local(50 miles away)range.I take my own drummer's throne to sit on and spend a lot of time leveling out my anti-cant level.I bought a pretty nice Legacy Shooting Products bench a couple of years ago that I've yet to find a place to use it.
 

matt_3479

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Nice range Matt!It's a wonder I can hit the side of a barn from the inside off of those old worn out,plywood topped,wobbly ass'd benches at our local(50 miles away)range.I take my own drummer's throne to sit on and spend a lot of time leveling out my anti-cant level.I bought a pretty nice Legacy Shooting Products bench a couple of years ago that I've yet to find a place to use it.
Thank you. It works but it’s only 300 yards which sucks. I spend more time just zeroing and rimfire there then anything. They also won’t let us shoot off props as of yet. Fingers crossed that will change soon
 

Diverjeff

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I found this one the other day that looks decent,I think they have steel out to 600 or 700 yards and around 75 miles from the house.
 

Alex Wheeler

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The carpet idea sounds good but how do you keep the carpet from sliding on the bench?


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You want it to slide under recoil. It prevents the bipod from jumping. If your loading the bipod really hard, Id stop doing that. It changes poi and you will not always find a hunting position where you can load the bipod that hard. I have killed more than one elk with my bipod legs resting on a jacket draped over a sage brush. Sometimes your position is less than ideal.
 

Diverjeff

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I don't know if my gut would allow me to shoot prone(never tried it yet),might have to use some serious bipod leg extensions. :D
...one of my wise ass friends said now when I turn sideways I look like a whiskey barrel. :LOL:
 
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windypants

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You want it to slide under recoil. It prevents the bipod from jumping. If your loading the bipod really hard, Id stop doing that. It changes poi and you will not always find a hunting position where you can load the bipod that hard. I have killed more than one elk with my bipod legs resting on a jacket draped over a sage brush. Sometimes your position is less than ideal.
Can you spot your shots that way? I was shooting my 25 creed with a very light touch, but now I hold the 30-28 with a hard pre-load and a tight grip just so I can spot my shots. I use the spiked feet so I can really get a firm pre-load. I'm happy with my accuracy, but always wondering if there's a better way. If I get my technique right, should I still be able to spot my shots with a light hold? Always wanting to learn!
 

Greyfox

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I shoot both bench and prone with bi-pod. I’m not a big proponent of the added “forward/rearward “ play in the Atlas, finding that there is a very slight radius in the pivot inducing an upward movement during recoil. I prefer a solid leg format with slight forward pressure that flexes the legs. Whether bench or prone, it’s critical to be directly behind the rifle with the shoulders positioned at 90 degrees to the barrel. In either position I pull the grip very firmly and consistently straight back into the shoulder, and very little if any downward cheekweld pressure.
I’m sure others may have had success with different processes, but this has worked for me.
200 yards bench and prone:
4E014EE6-5A01-45BD-9AE6-CE1EF8F6E47D.jpeg 345CD375-F134-4980-A860-DCFD04043310.jpeg
 

jmyers

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I use my SEB Neo front rest and Lenzi rear bag like I use in short range benchrest that way I know exactly what my load is doing then when I get that load perfected I practice field positions for hunting.

 

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