Hand position while shooting

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Greywolf18, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering where everyone puts their non-trigger hand while shooting. I am curious because I notice most long range people put it under the buttstock or on the rear sand bag. Whenever I try to do that, the barrel jumps a whole lot. I have been putting it in the front and pulling it into my shoulder for a nice tight fit...just not so tight that I am shaking. Just curious and looking for ways to shoot even better than what I do now. If you do put your hand in the back, how do you prevent muzzle jump?
     
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I always put my hand to the rear of the rifle. Most times I just let the rifle jump where it needs to go. If you are on a bi-pod you can just push the feet into the table or ground. What I mean, is put forward pressure loading the feet. If you are shooting off of bags, use a tighter grip over the pistol grip locking your thumb to the stock as much as possible. Becareful not to torque the rifle to the left or right when firing or this will cause erratic grouping. Always pay attention to your position in your shoulder and repeat the position every time. I can tell when I do something different each shot depending on the recoil. It should recoil in the same direction all the time.

    Example: I was on the range one day shooting my 300WSM. I was getting some really good groups. The recoil was mainly back and straight up. The last shot was a flier, but I noticed the rifle recoiled up and to the left. This tells me that I was not on the rifle the same way as the first 3 or 4 shots (I forget how many I shot for group that day). Hope this helps.

    Tank
     

  3. Tikkatactical308

    Tikkatactical308 Active Member

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    From what I understand if you are in the correct position behind the rifle you should not see extensive muzzle jump. I also hold my back bag with my free hand on the bench as well as prone and if I'm directly behind my rifle 100% I will see minimal muzzle jump
    Cheers

    gun):D
     
  4. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    I put my hand around the top of the bipod, by doing this I can spot my own shots, this is with an un-braked 10 lb 7mm mag.

    Stu.
     
  5. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    I tuck mine under the buttstock as well. Most of my long range rifles are heavier, mid size caliber sticks so I don't get alot of jump. The only excetion is my Savage 300 WM even at 10 lbs it jumps a little...ok alot, I just let her go where she needs to, If I'm positioned properly I hit what I aim at......usually:D

    Chris
     
  6. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I was just curious because I tried doing it with my hand in the back a couple times and my groups grew dramatically. Thats why I always put in in the front and pull it back in. Just figured I was doing something wrong lol
     
  7. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Recently I tried something new and it seemed to reduce the amount of jump I was getting from the rifle. Take a blank and fold it a couple of times and place under your bi-pod. My really settled down.

    Tank
     
  8. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt Well-Known Member

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    I have a speed screw on my front rest so my left hand is on that. It has been my observation that the more contact you have with the rifle, the less acuracy you will have because it will be harder to be consistant.
     
  9. LRSickle

    LRSickle Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you mean to put a blanket under the tripod. I'll have to try that.
     
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Yep... blanket, I was distracted when I was typing. Kids will do that to a guy. I let my bi-pod just rest on it.

    Tank
     
  11. Limbic

    Limbic Well-Known Member

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    I think it really depends on caliber, load, shooting position, and rest. I have a 260 that I can lock my nondominant had around my rear bag. I can't spot my shots yet but the POI is at the POA.

    However I also have a 7mm with a 26" tube that weighs 14 lbs. It is a two hand gun for sure. I put moderate reward presssure on the forend with the nondominat hand(left) and really try and hold on. With my 180 Berger load you really have to hold on. It is a steady 1/2 MOA gun. I've tried all ltypes of different holds and with my rest (cheap caldwell front rest and rear bag) that somewhat resembles what I would shoot with in the woods I have to put two good hands on the gun.

    Just my 2cents.
     
  12. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Generally nothing unless it's cold.

    Shooting with the off hand under the butt you won't control muzzle flip to any significant degree other than the weight of the rifle itself working with gravity unless you add a good brake.
     
  14. TracySes23

    TracySes23 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that completely. I can't shoulder my rifle at the bench or at 100 yards, my heartbeat will take the crosshair 1-2 inches off the bullseye. At 200 yards or further, it get very bad. I've had an unusually strong heartbeat all my life.

    Spencer