i guess i differ from most, but i basically use a death grip. i have a hangmans type rope, on the sling loop, on the bipod, to pull down on the front of the gun. i press into the rear,with my shoulder, fairly hard and also try to keep downward pressure on the back with my head, which is resting on the rear part of the receiver. not exactly everyone's technique, but it's what works for me. two reasons i shoot like this. first is, it's the only way i can spot my shots,and the second reason would be i flat out shoot a whole bunch more accurate with this technique.
#1 I shot a bunch of smallbore target stuff this summer, it really helped my shooting, without bags I am pretty confident in prone, especially with a target type sling. With bags I keep my left hand back.
#2 No, I am used to the rifle being pushed hard into the shoulder by a sling after all my target shooting, so now I prefer all my rifles put into the shoulder hard.
#3 Offhand I don't have the rifle in my shoulder as hard unless it is my 45-70 with hot loads because I like my eyebrow the way it is. Every other position is about the same, kneeling my hand goes out to near the end of the stock. (Another carryover from the target shooting...)
#4 I prefer a vertical grip because of a wrist injury, although until my Boyd's stock arrives none of my guns have this. My 45-70 has a straight stock, no curve, and I like it however.
Interested to hear opinions on how "tight" to hold the rifle during the bench and also field firing procedure.
#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?
Hell no... the front of the rifle is resting on somthing prefereably.. unless there is no option.
#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?
No. this could also be called magnumitis.. big rifle needs big muscle thing...
You know there will be a boom and a thump why fight it. All you do is affect the consistiency and accuracy when you try to compensate.
#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?
Typcaill I always look for a prone postiion to use the bi-pod or a rest to be under the bi-pod area.
#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?
Have had them all.. and each has its advantages and disadvantages.. this is a personal prefeance thing. I will say pick a style and use it. Muscle memory plays a big part.
I am far from expert, and am learning a great deal from you fellers and this site. But a couple times ago at the range, a fella was observing my wife shoot. She was oh-kaaay, but while we were checking targets we struck up a conversation. He recommended a right hand death grip, left hand float, and solid shoulder placement to her. Breathing as recommended above.
She tried it and her groups immediately improved (this was with a little .243 too). I tried it then (.300WSM), and so did mine. Appreciably.
Turns out he was an Army Ranger sniper. Great guy, shooting a .308 at the 400-600 yd. marks. Didn't brag but did hit the 10s every time. That was good enough for me. Guess I need more training.
Depends on the rifle and the bark vs bite. On a light rifle with a bite at the level of my .270WSM I pull it back tight into my shoulder, and when on the bench I use my left hand to squeeze the bag. In the field, out of tree stands, I use the stand front rail as a rest with my left palm down on the wood with the forearm riding the top of my left hand, the right hand once again pulls the rifle into my shoulder for a solid hold. Some folks use monopods in tree stands if the stand does not have a front rail.
For rim fire, I let the rifle just about free recoil when on the bench and use a light hold in the field. In the field I also use any rest I can find when chasing squirrels. Often squirrel hunting with a rim fire is done from a seated position.
Well I am a novice so I can't tell ya too much.... but, if the head starts to turn purple, it's to tight! Swap hands or it will begin to favor the opposite direction! My God, I couldn't help myself! LOL!!! Good luck man!
Hope ya got a good laugh out of it if nothing else!