I need some help....with a lot of stuff....

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by DocGlenn, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. DocGlenn

    DocGlenn Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    I'm trying to become a decent shot. I've got what I think is a good rifle. 7WSM, Rem 700 (short action which limits max seating depth to magazine length), Lilja barrel, HS bottom metal, NF 5-22x50 scope & Manners GAT stock. Stock tigger set at 3.5 lbs and Leupold dual dove-tail scope mounts (both of which may need an upgrade, I don't know).

    I've been trying to develop a good load. My best so far seems to be SGK 160gr, Win Mag primers, 64.5gr of 4381sc. I can usually get an MOA group, sometimes better. If memory servers, I'm getting around 2950 fps (don't that info here).

    I've been shooting from a bench & prone with a Harris bipod and rear bag. My problem has been consistency. I think I may have discovered one error I have been making last night. I was shooting at 200yds and my group was a 4-5 inch horizontal line. I'm not a great shot, but I know I'm not that bad. I had read something about "Bipod Hop" when shooting off hard surfaces, so I placed a Past Recoil pad that was in my bag under the bipod and shot again. I got about a 2" group just by putting a pad under the bipod.
    Do most of you shoot with a pad under your bipod when shooting off a bench or is this a mental problem I have?

    I ordered and watched Shawn's DVD and thought it was great, but I feel like I'm not shooting well enough to move on to that level. I know you can't judge my technique, but with the info I've provided, can you see any obvious problems?

    I'm going to go shoot in an hour, and I'll try and post some photos, but if anyone has any obvious suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks for your help.

  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    For what it's worth. I always have some sort of pad (couple thicknesses of carpet, etc.) under my bi-pod when shooting off a bench.

    There is an article called "Bugholes from Bipods" It is well worth the read ---> Bugholes from Bipod

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    If you have rubber feet on the bypod it can cause the stock to make
    contact with the barrel when firing and as AJ said you need some sort
    of a pad under them so the bypod can move easier from recoil.

    Metal feet on the bypod help with this problem.

    The other thing could be bedding or the stock is not supporting the bypod
    keeping it off of the barrel.

    Slip a dollar bill under the barrel and get in your shooting position and see
    if you can still remove it. (You should be able to).

    Just some thoughts I hope will help
  4. gamehauler

    gamehauler Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Good read AJ.
    Thanks for the link
  5. DocGlenn

    DocGlenn Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Thanks for the link. I'll read it and see what I learn.

    I'm going to look for a scrap of carpet for the bench also. Thanks.
  6. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    do you have a level on your scope/mount?
    do you preload your bipod before shooting?

    these 2 things made a BIG difference in my groups.
  7. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    If it was me I'd either have a good smith work that trigger over or have him install a good aftermarket unit. It's just my personal opinion but a 3.5# trigger would drive me crazy on a long range gun. Most of mine run about 1.5#. The more muscle you have to use to break the shot the more of a chance you're going to do something slightly different as in side pressure on the trigger, not pulling straight back, not making contact with the same part of your finger each time etc. etc. etc.

    The components of the build seem to indicate that it should be a shooter so given what you are getting for accuracy, if it was me, I'd start over and see if I couldn't find a different, more accurate load.

    Do you have other guns that you can shoot more accurately than this one? Have you ever had anyone else shoot the same gun to see what the results are?

    I find that the field conditions I shoot in seldom tend to mimic what I may use at the bench/range when testing. Thus I try to make sure my long range gun will shoot at the bench under the same conditions as when I'm in the field. I know some people have guns that won't shoot off hard surfaces but I'm lucky in that my long range rigs aren't that finicky. I also carry a frisbee with me when shooting and have found that the slick surface and broad area gives me good results with the bipod. I know this sounds goofy but it only costs a couple of bucks to find out if it works for you. I can put that frisbee down in sand, dirt, grass, lava rock, plain rocks, mud etc. and the gun/bipod always sees the same nice slick surface. No guarantees but it's something to try.;)
  8. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    I would say you answered your own question. I would have something done about the trigger, it would probably help- every little bit does.
  9. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Hey buddy.

    First off. Whenever in a pickle, I fall back on fundamentals.

    Bone support
    Muscle relaxation
    Trigger control
    Breath control
    Natural Point of Aim
    Follow through

    I'd ditch the bi pod (for now) Judging from your tone, your confidence in your equipment and maybe yourself is shaken and you gotta get that squared away before you do anything else. If this all sounds redundant, good. It means you know it already. This is just a quick refresher.

    Get a good ol ruck sack and stuff it full of something pliable (pillow?) and throw it on the ground. Get into a prone position that puts as much of your ass behind the rifle as possible. Spread the legs to a comfortable position, usually just past shoulder width. The forend should be supported by the ruck. Your left hand is balled into a fist under the back of the stock. This makes for a handy elevation adjuster. (Assuming your a righty)

    Right hand is on the grip and your pulling the rifle into your shoulder slightly. Not crazy hard, just to ensure you don't eat a scope during recoil.

    Obtain a firm grip. Firm is no more than what you'd use to shake a man's hand.

    Acquire the target through the scope. Check for parallax. Do this by bobbing your head slightly while watching the reticle. If it moves off target, you have parallax and that needs to be fixed first. The reticle and the target need to be on the same focal plane. Not having this results in much the same of not concentrating on the front sight when shooting with irons; you don't know where the rifle is actually pointing.

    Now check for natural point of aim. Sight in on the rifle at the target. Close your eyes and inhale, then exhale. Now open your eye again. If you are way out in left field you need to adjust your entire position before you continue. You keep doing this until the sights fall back on the target naturally. It may not be perfect, but it should be damn close.

    Now, finger on the trigger. It's all about timing and critical mass happens when the lungs exhale and you have that natural respiratory pause, the sights pick up the hold, and the trigger finger applies pressure until the sears lets go of the firing pin. Then its just a matter of staying that way till the bullet gets out of the barrel.

    If you see elevation in your shots, check to ensue your reticle is in focus. The rear ocular lens may need to be adjusted. Check this against a featureless surface. Sheet of paper on a wall works or a blank sky (don't look at the sun obviously)

    There are two types of trigger control. Interrupted and uninterrupted. Interrupted is you only apply pressure to the trigger when all the above described events are happening correctly. Great in theory, but can be a bitch to learn. It's not so bad when firing from a supported position in prone.

    Uninterrupted is much more aggressive. You see it, you sense it, the green light comes on, and you yank that thing just hard enough to to get the bullet out of there without screwing everything else up. Offhand competitive shooters use this often. Get some overtravel in your trigger, it'll help to avoid pulled shots that go down and right (right hand shooter, opposite for a lefty)

    Even with a scope, you gotta watch "the sights". Don't focus on the target.

    Hope this helps.

    I've been a marksmanship instructor since 1991. I just recently graduated from the DoS BFFOC instructors course. I got into a discussion with one of the instructors over something none related, but similar one day.

    He advocated shooting M-4's from prone using the magazine for artificial support. I chimed in that I felt it was a bad thing for a number of reasons. I've seen guns malfunction from this being the primary. The other is a group that suffers from elevation. The rifle rocks on the magazine because that is the polar moment, or the center of gravity. Especially with a full magazine. All that mass is down low and in the geographical center of the rifle. It becomes a fulcrum. Then it changes on you every time you pull the trigger cause the magazine gets lighter and lighter as it empties.

    I think much the same may happen (sort of) with a bi pod only now your out in front with rubber feet that don't want to slide over the ground while the gun is in the recoil event. So, it binds up and you get some flyers.

    This is why I suggested the ruck sack initially.

    Personally, I don't care for bi pods much. They look cool, but just seem to get in the way of things.

    Hope you get something helpful from this and get your problem sorted out.

    Good shooting.

  10. DocGlenn

    DocGlenn Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to start working through eveything that has been suggested. Hopefully I'll start to see some improvement soon. I think I'll give my 'smith a call a see about a Jewel trigger. I think I need to slow down my shooting also. I'm not sure what conture barrel I have, but it is not real heavy (smaller than a Sendero) and I'm thinking I may be getting it too hot. Last night my last 3 shots went about 2 inches high, still grouped well though. I checked for barrel clearance with a dollar bill, and it was clean, but the barrel was really hot, too hot to hold onto.

    Thanks for all the help, I'm going to slow down and work on technique, and see if things don't improve.
  11. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2001
    Ummm.... No.

    Using the mag as a rest, is one the main reasons Redi-Mags are used in certain circles.

    Sorry for the drift......