Opinions on bench rests?

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by Wlfdg, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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    Howdy All, As I posted, someone "poached" my Lead Sled out of my old rig awhile back.
    I need to re-zero for the season with my bullet of choice. So I am going to buy a new bench rest.


    What do you recommend ? Why ?

    Chris
     
  2. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

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    Do you shoot with a bipod in the field?
    You may find a slight difference in POI between the two.
    I've been useing my bi-pod with a rear bag more and more. Plus it simultes field conditions.
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have just bought one of the nicer Caldwells here in the last year. But since I have started using 9-13 inch Harris bipods on my rifles. I have noticed for me the groups are better and it is easier to hold on target. So I agree with Gamedog here, you might just want to by a bipod and try it. Another thing that has come to my attention is what I shoot off of. I had a piece of 1" foam I was laying on the other day and the bag for the back of the stock was on it. I shot a rotten group at 500 yds. I removed the foam and shot another. Bingo! 3 shots just under 3". Hard to beat the ground and a good bipod.

    JMO.

    Jeff
     
  4. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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    I shoot from a few positions. Mostly I shoot prone with my backpack as a rest. I've shot seated off my trekking poles, prone off my poles with a rope under my buttstock, off my arm rested against a tree, etc.... Pretty much what ever suits my need at the time.

    Is a bi-pod really the "way to go"? They seem super popular. I wasn't sure if they were worth the extra weight. I hike everywhere. Opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    New question; Should I zero as I shoot in the field ?

    I've always set my zero from a benchrest. That is the only time I shoot from a bench rest.
     
  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I zero from my bipod on the ground.

    Jeff
     
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Various field positions work until the range gets long (500+ or so), then a more consistent position is better in my opinion.

    Yes a bipod is great, but it depends on the terrain you are hunting if a bipod will work and which length is best.

    Getting your initial zero from the bench is fine, but it must be verified using the position and range you will be hunting with.

    AJ
     
  7. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    I won't be stretching this rifle (Vanguard 7RM) out to long ranges on a live target. I've punched paper at 600, 800, & 1,000 yds., but, I don't see myself shooting a deer, elk or a bear beyond 400 yds. with it. At least without a serious optical upgrade.

    Maybe I'll continue to work with out a rest as I have been. "If it ain't broke..." I figure most of my shots will be in the 250 or less neighborhood.


    Thanks again.
    You guys just help me put a couple hundred bucks in the LR DREAM RIFLE kitty.:rolleyes:
     
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Bipod is the way to go but be cautious, there is a knack to using a harris type. It seems one has to "load" it w/forward pressure consistently from shot to shot.

    If you shoot off your pack, I'd zero off your pack and worry about a bipod for next season.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  9. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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    Right on. Thanks Roy.

    Do you hunt in the Palisades at all?

    If yes, do you find a bi-pod to be practical in such tight cover?
     
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    South of Palisades area in unit 69.

    For walk & stalk the bipod is iffy and I don't use a Harris type folding thing. For a steady shot at the distances you are talking I have a set of DIY shooting sticks that are great.

    Setup can be very quick and they are adjustable by narrow or wide stance for a comfortable sitting or kneeling position.

    I find the bipod good for an ambush position from a hide that is developed by chopping grass and limbs and scratching dirt or digging ruts for elevation differences. Even with all of that prep I find that I have to use the pack or rolled up shooting mat to get a little more elevation.

    Get a couple of those ceramic or whatever electric fence posts (1/4" diameter) and lace them together with electrical tape about 4" from the end. Flex them a bit and give 'em a try. This would be the prototype and will not support the rifle properly but will let you know if you like the idea.

    I ended up with a chap leather strap about 8 or 9" long and wide enough to sew around the stick.. I sewed about 4" of both, ends put some Gorilla glue over the ends of the sticks and slipped the sewn ends over them and let dry.

    When cross there's a nice cradle for the fore arm to rest in. Color the white sticks with some brown or black cobblers shoe sole edge dressing then scratch em up a bit for a camo affect.

    [​IMG]

    The second use as a walking stick for some of those steep spots. Attach to you pack if you don't like waving a stick around.;)

    It supports a 10# sporter fore arm very well. Doesn't like 12# 3" wide fore arms at all.

    Its good for uneven ground but ya gotta be careful with that. I've found that the further from center the rifle to an extreme will cause some misses especially with big unbraked, heavy recoiling cartridges.

    That'll save you another few bucks. Total cost is less than 5 bucks.:)
     
  11. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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    Nice set up.
    I've been shooting off my collapse-able trekking poles. I X them up with a ski strap. I have a pretty thick wrap of tape around the shafts. I need to make a cradle similar to what you have done. I think that will be a lot better. Still a little shakey with the 7mm. Got them down practicing with the .22 out to 100 yds. I think I'm going to take the 7mm. out today for some work on it. Found a good spot to do some cross canyon stump shooting(400-600 yds.).

    Thanks for the tip!

    Chris