Shooting Tips

dragginwood

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Aug 9, 2017
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I'm historically a MI whitetail hunter with shots seldom over 75 yards, so I've been working on stepping up my game to get out west. I'm pretty consistent prone & bench rest around 1-2 MOA, but I've started shooting from a seated position off of my pack, and that has really opened up my groups to the point that I wouldn't be comfortable shooting beyond 100yds.

Any tips on how to get the reticle to settle when shooting from a position where the gun isn't 100% stable?
 

Cheater

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Jan 22, 2013
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Everybody's groups open up the less stable they become. MOA is great and I'm not suggesting you shouldn't practice, practice, practice--but you're not going to be hunting a bulls eye. You're going to be hunting an animal with kill zone (vitals). So the question really is how far do your groups open up?
 

SticksMcKinley

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Feb 18, 2019
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To stabilize the rifle, I would work on your body positioning and finding your natural point of aim. Your natural POA will be found when your body is fairly relaxed and the rifle is supported in a position where you can close your eyes, wait a second or two, and open them to find your reticle in the same place. If the reticle is way off, adjust your position. I suggest checking out Jeff Cooper's The Art of the Rifle for some tips. You might also find support using a sling with a second loop, like a Rhodesian or Ching Sling. I've used Galco's Safari Sling successfully.

If I recall correctly, Randy has a video on YouTube where he demonstrates a good sitting technique with an extended bipod if you use one of those. And Cheater is right - you're not looking for benchrest accuracy from sitting. Try some steel targets or 6-8 inch paper plates at 100 and see how you do with those.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Bust out your .22, and practice, alot. Experiment with tweaking your position. Google "Tight Sling Shooting" and give that a shot. Try getting your knees up under your elbows.

Worst case scenario, 100yds might end up being your max range from a sitting position.....
This and also dry fire practice at home on a 0.5" or 1" dot.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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To stabilize the rifle, I would work on your body positioning and finding your natural point of aim. Your natural POA will be found when your body is fairly relaxed and the rifle is supported in a position where you can close your eyes, wait a second or two, and open them to find your reticle in the same place. If the reticle is way off, adjust your position.
This is really good advice. If you are fighting the rifle onto the target, you are starting out with at least one strike against you.
 

pabearhunter

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Pa,
Relax and breathe. Take a breath, let out half and squeeze the trigger. Controlled breathing is half the shot. Good luck.
 

teej89

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Oct 7, 2015
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It's complicated.
Bust out your .22, and practice, alot. Experiment with tweaking your position. Google "Tight Sling Shooting" and give that a shot. Try getting your knees up under your elbows.

Worst case scenario, 100yds might end up being your max range from a sitting position.....
Agreed, learn how to wrap the sling around your left arm, assuming you're right handed.
 

Cav1

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Mar 9, 2017
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Central Montana
Body position, shooting sling, and plenty of practice. I follow Jack O'Connor's advice of ten rounds of dry-fire per day, adding plastic snap-caps to also practice instant bolt work after the "shot". I can HIGHLY recommend a weekend Appleseed shoot. They teach Basic Rifle Marksmanship as well as Uncle Sam did and also proper use of the sling, and you can learn it all with just as .22 LR. They shoot at 25 yards but with reduced size targets to represent the equivalent of shots out to 400 yards.

“A good gunsling, properly adjusted, is one of the great inventions of the human race, along with fire and the wheel.” Jack O'Connor
 

Werty

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Apr 23, 2018
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I dry fire my gun a lot, while zoomed out. It has really helped. It also helps with my trigger squeeze.
 

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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I don't think position shooting is practiced enough anymore. Sitting should be fairly stable. Cross your legs in front of you and left elbow rest's on the left knee, right on the right. That's not quite all though. Once your there, get a good hold on the target and shut your eyes and completely relax, completely. Then open your eyes and look to see where the rifle is pointing. If no where you were aiming, you need to adjust your body. Your getting a strain on your lower back mussel's and need to relieve it. Move your body on the ground, if I remember right, shooting off to the left move your body a bit clockwise. Once you have that stress in your lower back removed it become's a much better position to shoot accurately. It work's in every position. I tried using a bi-pod just a little, hated it. never could hold the rifle as still as simply using good posture. I think, don't know, a problem is the body works one way then you add a point out front where pressure is placed upward on the stock without any other change. One more suggestion to shooting, get a decent military sling and learn to use it. When using one, your arm will go through the sling and then wrap it one more time and hold the rifle near the sling swivel. You should need to push a bit with the arm through the sling and you end up getting very steady. Sling when ready to shoot should be very tight.

Trigger squeeze. In position with the gun up, get someone to balance a quarter out on the muzzle of the barrel. The drill is to dry fire without making the quarter fall off the barrel! Take's some practice.
 
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Rancho Loco

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Don't even need a military sling, although they are bitchin'.

This is one of the reasons I like the BC Mountain Sling besides being cheep, non-slip and light - it's easy and quick to adjust length and give a quick wrap around the left arm for shooting stability.
 

std7mag

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Aug 23, 2016
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central pa
As many points of support as possible.
Walking sticks can be fashioned into a bipod.
Keep your trigger hand relaxed. Too tight and your fighting between hands, trying to bend the stock.
Lower magnification.
 

Oregon_Ryan

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Jun 25, 2019
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A couple of things I would recommend, and it is mostly to echo or expand on what a few others here have said.

1. Understanding Natural Point of Aim (NPOA) is a game changer. It sounds completely obvious, but having to "fight" your body position to keep the sights on target is going to degrade accuracy. The best way to discover NPOA, either at a hot range or dry firing, is to get into position, get your sight alignment and sight picture on the target, then close your eyes for a breath cycle or two. Don't shoot, just take a few breathes with your eyes closed. If you reopen them and you have an NPOA that is aligning you to the target, your sights should still be on the target (or very close to it). If you open your eyes, and you are off target, that means your NPOA wasn't aligned on the target. At the range, I usually check my NPOA before each course of fire.

2. Learn how to shoot sling supported. I have a collection of USGI cotton web slings, along with a leather "National Match" type. Either works just fine. You can get into a "hasty sling" supported position just as fast as a non-supported position. It just helps to snug the rifle up tight to your shoulder, and makes you and the rifle more of a single unit. Using a sling helps keep your body relaxed, since the sling is doing the work of holding the rifle tight to you. You should be able to open and close your support hand without affecting NPOA.

3. Learn shooting positions that work for you. For seated or kneeling (which seems to be the main topic regarding shooting positions), I have a few pointers. First is to get into a comfortable to you position. Some guys can shoot cross legged; others kneel, while others are seated with their legs partially extended and their knees bent. Personally, I can't hold a stable, cross-legged position. I can hold a stable kneeling position, so that's my go to. Next tip- avoid "bone to bone" contact. Place the point of your elbow on top of your knee cap. You'll feel the elbow sort of roll on the knee, and that's not stable, which isn't accurate. Now, slide your elbow forward, so that the bottom of your tricep is supported by the knee. That's a softer part of the body being supported by the bone of the knee. That is stable.

4. Good, frequent, dry fire practice is better than poorly done range days. You can practice just about everything other than shot follow through by dry firing. Shooting positions, breathing, sight alignment and sight picture, and trigger squeeze can all be done dry firing in the garage. Get the fundamentals down by dry firing, and watch how much improvement you'll see at the range.
 
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