Bench technique for a unbraked RUM

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NotEnoughTriggerTime, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. NotEnoughTriggerTime

    NotEnoughTriggerTime Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    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.
  2. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    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

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    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.
  4. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2005
    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.
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    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.

  6. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    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 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
  7. NotEnoughTriggerTime

    NotEnoughTriggerTime Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    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.
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    When I have shooters come to the shop to pick up there heavy recoiling rifles I generally take them out to the range and let them shoot them to see what they think. Most often I get a muzzle brake job out of them before they take the rifle home /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif!!

    There are some things to be aware of when you shoot a heavy recoiling rifle off the bench. First off, the front swivel stud needs to stay clear of the front bag, this can and will effect shot placement everytime if the stud is hanging up on the front bag.

    What stock you have on the rifle also will effect how it shoots off the bags. Most Savage stocks are not overly strong in the forend. If you grab the forend of the rifle with a death grip, most often you are pulling the rifle down into the bags, this is not what you want. THis will do a couple things to greatly effect accuracy.

    First thing it does is tighten up your arm and shoulder muscles, tight muscles are much more likely to flinch then relaxed muscles.

    Second, If you are pulling the stock down into the bags with your off hand, you are preloading the stock. This will effect the bedding of the rifle in a synthetic Savage stock and will effect consistancy. This will also cause alot more vertical jump in the rifle because in most cases, shooters are not strong enough to restrain the rifle by pulling it down, the forend will slip in the off hand and you will get a slap of the barrel by the stock. The jump is often exaggerated by this.

    The best shooting technique I have found for heavy recoiling rifls is as follows:

    1. It is critical to have solid, SQUARE shoulder contact to the rifle. If your shoulder is not square to the recoil pad, a heavy recoiling rifle will slip on your shoulder. This will add to the toquing you feel when the rifle recoils. Imagine using your shoulder to hold something up against the wall. This is what you want, a solid, square, lean into the rifle shooting position.

    2. The off hand should grip the stock, NOT BARREL IN ANY WAY, grip the forend of the stock ahead of the receiver whereever it feel comfortable for the shooter. DO NOT PULL DOWN ON THE FOREND. Imagine a straight line running down the bore, through the receiver, through the buttstock of the rifle and into your shoulder. We need to keep this line square to your shoulder. We also need to keep the force applied by the off hand in this same direction to prevent stock preloading and bounce off the bags. Pull the stock straight back into your shoulder along that imaginary line through the rifle. You do not need to strangle the rifle. Just firm pressure squarely back against the shoulder. In fact, your shoulder leaning into the rifle should apply most of this force.

    3. The trigger hand is not as critical but it can cause fliers. I recommend firm contact with the stock but not strained. You should leave your shooting hand relatively relaxed with only a slightly firm grip on the stock. There should really not be alot of force on the stock by the shooting hand. The function of this hand it to work the bolt and trip the trigger, not stearing the rifle. That is done by the shoulder and off hand.

    4. Trigger pull is also critical on a heacy recoiling rifle. Just like the offhand, imagine that same straight line down the rifle into your shoulder, pull the trigger in the same direction as this line. Do not wrap your finger around the trigger and pull it to one side of the other. Put your first digit of your finger on the trigger and pull STRAIGHT back.

    5. Finally, let the rifle do what it will. Do not think you will control the rifle, you will not!! It will recoil every time and do what it wants every time. Your job is simply to control it and make that recoil consistant from shot to shot. The most difficult thing is blocking the recoil out of your mind but that is what needs to be done. If you have a flinch this may be nearly impossible to do and your best and really only good options will be either a brake of a smaller, lower recoiling round.

    Just as important as anything, do not over shoot your heavy recoiling rifles. They will wear you down quickly, anyone!! Shoot then several times to keep you mentally trained on the recoil but do not overshoot them to start a flinch because it WILL happen eventually.

    Hope this helps some.

    Kirby Allen(50)
  9. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Nov 15, 2004
    I would echo everything kirby just said, actually I think I am gonna take some of that advice myself. I would tell ya to get a Holland QD brake. I have used a few different types and the holland is by far and above the best. It is a very slim design and is not ported on the botttom so you can shoot it prone on the dirt without getting a dirt shower each shot. I would imagine they would reduce your gun down to kicking like a varmint wieght .308 win, or less.

    My grandfather is a world famous trap shooter/sporting clays shooter. He told me that at one point in time in his career he developed a flinch due to shooting heavier dram 1 1/8 oz shells. This flinched affected him so bad that after losing several tournaments he decided to go to a release trigger.

    I developed a similiar problem with archery several years ago. After having good success with compound bows i decided to try instinctive shooting. I bought a nice longbow and spent about 1/2 a year learning to shoot this stick. All I got out of it was a sore damn wrist and a problem snap shooting that I took back into shooting compound bows.

    The amazing thing is that problems like these you know they are in your head but it can be SO DANG HARD to get over them.

    Follow up with what FiftyDriver told you and if you are still spraying snot every time you trip the trigger put a brake on that bad boy

    good luck
  10. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    My 300 RUM is a remington LSS and is not braked. I weigh 135 lbs and can shoot it just fine off a bench. I have put over 1000 rounds down it now and still no muzzle brake. The kick has little to do with accuracy in my opinion, I think you need to work on load development. I have shot 4" groups with mine at 800 yards off the bench with 200g SMK's. So I dont think thats your problem. I hold it tight into my shoulder and squeeze the trigger. You cant be scared of the rifle, yah its going to kick you, but it aint going to kill you. Thats always been my way of thinking. Some people can shoot big guns w/out a brake, but most cant. I"m just lucky that I'm not one of them. Its a good thing, cuz its just another $200 piece of equipment thats not really neccesary if you can handle it.