Re: Hand position while shooting
Muzzle jump is affected by a combination of load power( heavy bullet/ high velocity), weight of the rifle and balance (some guns are heavy but balance near the bolt head, others with real fat barrels might tip a little ways out the fore-end) and especially stock shape: the more drop at the comb the greater the tendency for the muzzle to fly up, the straighter the comb the less so. I have three rifles (and a fourth collection of parts not yet assembled) where I replaced factory stocks that had an inch or more of drop with laminates that have a straight comb that just barely allows the cleaning rod to run back and forth without dragging the stock too hard. The lower boreline relative to your shoulder, the more comfortable the rifle is in recoil. I never put pressure on the fore-end in any deliberate manner, not even when shooting offhand-the rifle sits on my fingertips under the magazine floorplate, no actual gripping whatsoever. For me "free-recoil" is the most consistent way to shoot. Never rest the rifle on anything hard, either. If the ground is really hard and dry, I put my pack under the bipod legs to pad things. I use my hiking poles as shooting sticks for sitting or kneeling shots, and the rifle rests on the wrist straps looped together, allowing the sticks to move a little during recoil so there is no bounce. If your point of impact changes from one shooting position to another, it usually means you got the rifle against something too solid in your support mechanism. I see people shoot using the non-trigger hand to hold down over the scope, or worse yet over the barrel. NEVER touch the barrel during a shot! Any other active pressure is too hard for me to keep consistent, so the only conscious pressure in my positions is the gentle rearward pull of my trigger hand keeping the recoil pad tucked into my shoulder pocket, and I emphasize GENTLE pressure, fingers only, not with the fist. If your gun seems to jump excessively, also take a look at the overall position of your body. The more squarely you are behind the rifle, the straighter it and the bullets will travel. If the rifle doesn't recoil straight back, the bullets don't have much hope to go straight forward either. Darryl Holland has a good video on body position and recoil tracking that is worth a look.