Re: BENCH TECHNIQUE
The answer is two-fold. For a field shooting situation it is not likely to help and will probably hurt. For a bench shooting situation it might help.
Let me explain. In bench shooting techniques or bag techniques the effort is to control ( or not control in the free recoil method) the muzzle of the barrel so that when it moves during recoil it is not adding a vertical or horizontal component to the bullet's trajectory. Much effort is dedicated to this by extreme accuracy shooters. The method of bagging, the method of trigger pull, the method of follow through, etc. are all intended to avoid changing the point of bullet departure at the muzzle, during and after ignition. One method, the one you mention, to reduce this induced error is to hold the top of the barrel fore end and pull back with the off hand. The is more of an error mitigation technique than it is and error elimination technique, but for some shooters it can be effective. It is likely to only be effective in a well bagged situation which you are not likely to encounter when shooting in non bench positions.
I am assuming that you have a lightweight rifle so that you can pack it around the woods. I am also assuming that you won't be packing heavy sandbags with you. NRA (military) field shooting positions would be more appropriate as would supported light bagged positions when possible. It is not likely that the hand on the top technique would be helpful in any of these situations.
Perhaps someone else has a different opinion?
[ 08-01-2001: Message edited by: Warren Jensen ]