Handgun bipod technique for newbie

Discussion in 'Specialty Handgun Hunting' started by Len Backus, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,359
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    So my new XP-100 in 6.5 WSM is here and I am frantically trying to learn how to shoot it before my Montana hunt in 11 days. Nice job, Kirby. It is a beautiful piece of work. The one pound pull weight trigger is fabulous. Picture and specs later when I have time.

    So far my best group at 100 (prone with bipod) was 4 into 1/2 inch...but then I threw the 5th out about an inch. Much to learn about shooting a handgun.
    I have already learned that in terms of shooting technique, this isn't just a short barreled rifle! Not having a stock butt firmly implanted into the shoulder makes a huge difference in stability, especially in a seated position.

    Yesterday I shot prone out to 500 yards, partly for practice and partly to get an idea of drops. I took 4 shots at 300, 400 and 500. Considering that I was guessing the drops from a ballistics program without chronographing the velocity, I was pleased to find that I would have hit the deer in or very near to the vitals at all ranges. Horizontal spread was quite good. But...the vertical wasn't as good...about 1 MOA.

    So...do I load the bipod forward slightly? Or...?

    Is rear bag technique any different than with a rifle?

    Can you describe your stock shooting-hand gripping technique? I am so used to pulling back on the front of the grip of a rifle with four fingers into my shoulder. Can't do that with a handgun and therefor I have to be teach my body how to grip tightly without this 4-other-fingers tension causing me to torque the grip to the side as I squeeze the trigger. Any comments on this issue?

    I know it's generally best to get as low with bipod height as possible with a rifle. Is this even more important with a handgun? Does anyone ever even bother to attempt a long shot on game from a seated bipod position with a hangun...when the vegetation is too high for prone?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  2. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Len,
    To date, I have never loaded my bi-pod.
    As far as distance from the seated position it will all be about how stable you can get with a 25C bi-pod and stadium seat cinched down.
    Sometimes having the sling around the back of your neck can provide some added stability.
    rear bag technique is basically the same.
    In some ways it is just like shoting a rifle-all about consistency. It is more difficult to get steady than using a rifle. But there are +'s as well.
    It is finding a way(s) to be consistent in field conditions, then confirming if POI changes.
    The more you use it the more you will feel comfortable with it.
    I have been successful with a shooting position with the SP between my knees beyond 500 yards.
    AS far as grip goes, I have a light to medium grip and then focus on the trigger pull while not effecting the rest of my grip.
     

  3. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Len-- i hunt all the time from the sitting position using a specialty handgun, but i've got a couple tricks that i use with a stadium seat that helps a lot. The 1st thing i do is to reattach the female end of the Fastex snap so it's closer to the seat itself. If u look at them they're not really close enuf to get a tight cinch when sitting in them--that's not enuf back support for accurate sitting positiopn shooting using a tall Harris bipod. Once that's accomplished i attach another snap at the ends of the cinch straps. This allows me to attach the seat around my waist tightly for carrying ease. Take a look at it closely--u'll see what i mean. Once these 2 things are accomplished the stadium seat will become one of your most important field shooting resources, with the added benefit of being able to use it as a shooting mat as well. Also if u can add some more closed cell foam in the seat--helps a lot when u're old farts like us.

    I also put the whole thing inside a burlap bag that's had holes cut in it for the straps, etc. for a great camo effect. Mike (Yotefever) does even more with his.

    Longest shot i ever made was with a seated position handgun--906 yds. on a coyote. It's actually quite steady with the front of the pistol grip pushed into the knees sitting in a stadium seat with the tall Harris.

    I've never loaded the bipod either--i just squeeze the sandbag as best i can under the pistol grip from the bench--but then i'm not attempting benchrest comps. with the rigs i use. Try to keep your wrist straight as u shoot, or at the least stay consistent with whatever system u adopt, of course.
     
  4. yotefever

    yotefever Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Len,
    I don't know what I could add to what's been stated already but my silhouette shooting has helped me out a lot. Using different guns from 22lr Contenders to the 7br xps and my DW revolvers gets me used to shooting handguns and it gives confidence and the experience to 'feel' comfortable shooting them.
    A couple years ago I shot all 16 disciplines in two and a half days, 60 round matches with 5 sighters and 5 shootoffs not to mention a couple of tiebreakers. It was our regional matches and sure was an endurance test. It turned out not being as bad as I thought but taught me more lessons about myself and shooting handguns.
    I'll let you know when our 2008 schedule comes out, I'm the deputy state director. Encase you want to try it. ;-))
     
  5. TCKev

    TCKev Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    I Had Those Same?'s

    Len can't wait to see it. I was`wondering the same thing about loading the bipod I'm shooting with one for the first time myself and it's really different than off the bag's.
     
  6. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Len,
    Better yet, make a trip over here to Gillette and we can do some hands on shooting.
     
  7. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,359
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Thanks, guys, for the help.

    Steve, I broke my 7 (?) year-old stadium seat last hunting season. That's a great idea. I had tried using it to shoot a rifle but it was awkward. I can see how it probably will work well for a handgun. Boy have the prices ever come down on those. Mine was the original Crazy Creek version and I think I paid around $50. Now you can get knock-offs for just over $20. I'll try it right away.

    Can you see if yours has a brand and model? Nowadays there are quite a few variations out there and I don't have time to pick a wrong one.

    Mike, after hunting season I'll bring my gun down and you can show me what a real handgun marksman can do with it.

    Ernie, I'll be out some time in 2008 for sure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  8. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    537
    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Anybody got a picture showing the use of the stadium seat?
     
  9. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    U know i wish i did, maybe this photo will help some, tho it's hard to see behind the kid in the foreground--

    [​IMG]

    Len-- i just buy mine at KWal-Mart, and i think they're called the Hot Seat, or something like that, i got a bunch of 'em awhile back for $4 after hunting season. All these are are just the soft-sided stadium seats. Sometimes the stitching rips out, and they have to be resewn, and if u push too hard on the back it'll rip too at the seams unless reinforced, but for $4-10 i don't really care. Mike (Yotefever) put camo fleece on his, and sprayed the seat part wth some kinda' goo that keeps u from slipping around on it--excellent idea.

    U really do have to sew the female end of the snap closer to the seat itself tho. It won't work well unless u do this little modification.
     
  10. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Not the best of pics but it works.

    [​IMG]