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Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

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Unread 03-28-2006, 10:15 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 30
Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

I have a Savage, chambered in 300 RUM, 27" heavy varmint contour 1:10 twist. No Brake. Its in a Savage BVSS laminate stock. Leupold vari-x III 6.5-20x40. I shoot from a front rest with a sandbag top, and a bunny ear sandbag under the butt stock. Its a pretty stable rest for my 30BR.

I was shooting 200 gr SMK's over a stout charge of IMR-7828 the other day.

Problem: 4" groups at 200 yards (longest my home range goes). The gun is literally jumping 3" off the front rest, and torquing to the right, I'm thinking this ain't doing much for accuracy.

What will help the most? New stock? brake? (who makes a good one for a RUM?)

What bench technique works the best- -what do you do with your off hand? Presently, I grip the rear sandbag with it. wondering if there is any thing I should be doing with my off hand to help.
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Unread 03-28-2006, 10:25 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 953
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

first of all I like your name.

don't think that the recoil thing will ruin any accuracy, all guns kick and still shoot good.

I have a 300rum and before I ever shot it I put a Holland brake on it, and it sure doesn't kick as hard as the shells look like they would.

A lot of people on this board like hollands brakes, so check those out..

I don't know about hand positions and stuff like that, so someone else will have to chime in with more bench experiance than me. I lay on a shooting mat, my front rest is a harris bipod with a sandbag in the rear, so I don't know alot about benches.

good luck
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Unread 03-28-2006, 10:48 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

I'd consider the brake as the first improvement. Simultaneous with the brake a good set of hearing protectors would be a must. Some go with both plugs and muffs. I use Radian electronic muffs. That way you get to hear that big bullet going down range and the thunk of the hit. Kewl....

The brake will reduce recoil w/o impacting accuracy. I could stand the 338 Win Mag recoil from all shooting positions except prone. I wouldn't even attempt it w/o the brake. Can shoot 50 - 60 rounds prone and enjoy it.

I have the holland QD brake which is great for snow or loose dirt i.e., no holes in the bottom.

After the brake installation I'd consider other improvements, like the trigger, etc. depending on how things went.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 03-29-2006, 05:39 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,483
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

Welcome to the club I'm a member of. I can't shoot heavy recoiling rifles very accurate off a bench either. Fact is, most people can't. Two reasons are typically the cause.

One is that small amount of recoil that happens when the bullet's going down the barrel. There's enough to move the barrel axis away from where it was pointed when the primer started burning the powder. This is the reason left handed shooters have a different windage zero than right handed ones. Most interesting is the windage zero shooting off sandbags is typically a MOA or more off from what the zero is for shooting offhand (standing) without any support. And it's why elephant smacking double rifles have their barrels parallel for the first several inches then are bent inwards so their muzzle axes actually cross at a range shorter than their regulated (zeroed) for.

The other reason is us humans sometimes flinch when we know we're gonna get smacked in the shoulder when a large cartridge is fired. Some folks don't flinch and you may well be one of this group.

You might consider shooting prone with a bag under the forend and your front hand holding the rifle right behind it. Using a sling from the forend to around your arm will help, too. Use a smaller bag under the toe of the stock right in front of your shoulder. Just be sure your scope is mounted forward enough so it doesn't leave a "Weatherby mark" above your eye. I've always got smaller groups with centerfire rifles shooting this way; typically one-third the size I get off a bench.

Try holding the forend right behind the bag atop the bench and see what that does. I've got better results that way shooting off bags atop a bench. Be sure you don't move your trigger finger after the firing pin's released until you stop moving from recoil. Lots of folks 'flick' their trigger finger forward as soon as they feel it release the sear and that movement is transferred to the rifle causing a bad shot.

The best bench technique is free recoil. One doesn't hold or touch the rifle at all except for their index finger pusing back the 2-ounce trigger. This is how a heavy benchrest rifle gets groups that are so tiny. Doing this with a lighter weight hunting rifle shooting 30 caliber magnums will end up with the rifle flying off the bags and falling to the ground. With their heavier triggers one has to hold on to the pistol grip rather hard, but uniform for each shot.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 06:37 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,787
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

1. Go buy a PAST pad for you. This is a $25 special foam type pad that you wear on your shoulder where you place the gun but. Works great for heavy recoiling guns and is just over 1/4" thick.

2. IMO prone with an unbraked RUM will be "significant emotional event" that you will not forget, nor want to repeat.

3. Free recoil is out. Go for tight foreend pressure with the hand underneath holding the forearm. Your other hand will need to pull the gun into the rear tightly into the shoulder.

4. Holland brake is very good and not holes on bottom.

Have fun.

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Unread 03-29-2006, 06:51 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 723
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

Ditto what Bart says. Make sure both your elbows are firmly settled, and the front rest is high enough .. otherwise you´ll be enjoying the experience that BountyHunter talks about.

The brake will help of course... but it has nothing to do with bench technique but common sense [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img].
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Unread 03-29-2006, 08:24 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 30
Re: Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

Good suggestions, I'll try them the next time out.

Looking into a Holland brake, looks like a pretty substantial piece of machinery! Probably won't make me any friends at the range though, but its pretty interesting how many guys pack up when I say its a 300 RUM.

Flynch? With a RUM? Yes, the thing makes me "Recoil Challenged" at times, I'll be the first to admit that! I do shoot it with a PAST shoulder pad, and a good set of muffs. I just can't seem to get comfortable on the bench with it, and keep the crosshairs steady.
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