Shooting Prone - Off hand on scope?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by cohunter14, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen this a handful of times on some of the long range hunting shows, where a person who is shooting prone will actually put their off hand on top of the scope. I assume that by applying a little bit of pressure pusing down, it would help reduce the 'jumping' of the rifle when it recoils. My question is, would doing that have any affect on the scope? I would just think that it could affect the scope accuracy. I would love to hear some thoughts on this because I actually think it would be easier to do that to reduce the 'jumping' of the rifle then to be holding on to the stock. Thoughts???
     
  2. silvercreekguide

    silvercreekguide Well-Known Member

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    I have also seen it on a few shows. I would think that it would affect how the rifle recoils from shot to shot. I like to place my free hand under the but of the stock to help fine tune.

    Mike
     

  3. Wyofax

    Wyofax Well-Known Member

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    There is a bloke from down under who wrote an article on this topic. My summation of his thoughts are that by only supporting the rear stock with your non-trigger hand leaves the forend of the rifle to rise freely. This rise may not be consistent depending on many vairables including the angle of the rifle. This free rise can cause verticle stringing. His suggestion is either rest the free hand on the scope or hold down on the forend stock or front sling.
     
  4. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Whether prone or from a bench, I never rest my off hand on the scope or the stock. I still remember what my Dad taught me many years ago and can hear his voice coaching me before the shot, "Don't hang on the rifle son, that hand is for the sandbag. Relax and let go. Get Johnny (me) out of the equation as much as possible and let the rifle shoot."
    I think the "jumping" of the rifle happens more so when using a bipod on a fairly solid surface. Just my experience, though. If you are experiencing this while using a bipod, some on here may can explain how they use their bipods. I think the term is called "loading" and uses the springs to keep tension on it. I own a bipod but rarely use it.
    As for the hand on the scope, I don't think it will effect the scopes accuracy but rather the consistency of the rifle from shot to shot. Most modern scopes, worthy of residing on a dedicated long range rifle, are sturdy enough to withstand this pressure with no deflection of the tube. The phrase "aircraft grade aluminum" keeps coming to mind. JohnnyK.
     
  5. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    I have a Winchester Coyote .243 WSSM that if put on a front & rear rest that I use for bench rest comp. at 100, 200 & 1,000 yds. will shoot 1+1/2" five shot groups at 100 yds. If I hold down on top of the scope with some "good" pressure the same rifle & ammo will consistently shoot 5/8" five shot groups at 100 yds. This is the only rifle I have had to do this to.

    I have even seen similar rifles in the .243WSSM with a handle screwed to the bottom of the forearm that you would have on a screen door at your house. They used the handle to pull down on the forearm instead of pulling down on their scope.

    joseph

    PS: Don't know why it may be necessary, but It works for my one rifle.
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    There are three things I tell shooters for long range consistancy.

    1. Set up in a shooting position so that the rifle is not help in position by force. What I mean there is that if you come off the rifle, the reticle stays on target, you do not want to have to lean into the rifle to keep the reticle on target because under recoil you will get unconsistant bounce.

    2. Never touch the barrel while shooting, EVER!!!

    3. Do the EXACT SAME THING every time you shoot. Consistancy before, during and after the shot are key to consistancy.

    Other then that, do what feels comfortable and do the same thing every time.
     
  7. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! I should have mentioned that the reason I need to hold it is because I am shooting a 300 RUM without a break. So just placing the hand under the stock for support won't exactly work :)

    I guess since I haven't seen anything too negative about trying this, I might give it a shot and see what happens!
     
  8. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, why can't you place your non-shooting hand "under the stock" squeezing your rear rest when needed?
     
  9. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Because I think the gun would go jumping into the air and I would end up with a nice scope ring around my eye. The few shots that I fired off of my bipod recently where I wasn't holding the stock down with much pressure proved that. I had a couple close calls to say the least :)
     
  10. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    oooooh, I know that feeling too well. I was shooting a factory 700 in 300 RUM and the kick was a mule. After one year I gave up, just wasn't going to continue anymore with the abuse, not that I couldn't take it, it was just uncomfortable to practice with. I didn't notice the abuse shooting one shot at an animal but the practice was brutal. Decided to put a muzzle break on the gun and since needing the work upgraded to a match barrel and aluminum block stock. I don't have the mule kick any more and the gun precision increased to within 1/2 MOA.

    I usually coach consistancy but in this case I swithched from a bipod to a leadsled for practice up until I made the custom conversion.....Huge difference in abuse factor and not much noticable difference in groups considering the gun initially shot 1 MOA at midrange anyway.
     
  11. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    My hunting partner has been putting his hand on top of scope for 25 years that I know of and it works well for him. I'm more free recoil with my left hand under the butt. Targets will tell if it works for you.
     
  12. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Plus one ! and will ad "long range targets"

    Jeff
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I shoot an unbraked 300 RUM Sendero and use my free hand on the rear bag. It jumps a little but no big deal. Your rifle will have to come rearward if it's going to clock you in the eye. As long as you have the butt firmly in the pocket you should be fine.
     
  14. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    fifty drivers comments about body angle with relation to the target are right on. position shooting requires the body be in the proper position/angle regardless of the position being used wether it be prone sitting or offhand.
    there should be no muscle power exerted to have the gun alligned with the target. also consider that competetors use slings as an aid also.
    shooting from a bipod is a somewhat different situation but still dosent
    preclude good position.
    muzzel jump with a bipod is a condition more controlable when using a normal prone position with a sling.
    but there is also no doubt a bipod is a plus for less experienced shooters
    and also a plus for hunting due to terrain conditions.
    i personaly prefer a rabbit ear rear bag for a rear support when using a bipod.
    i use my non trigger hand to fine tune the sight picture as i shoot by squeezing the bag. but then i always use a bench of some type even for hunting.
    i wouldnt consider using any heavy recoil gun without a muzzel brake.
    not only does it reduce recoil but even more important it reduces movement
    following the shot. that allows for several things including seeing the hit
    as well as not having to find the target again in the scope.
    those few seconds could be very important in a hunting situation where a
    follow up shot is required. 1 or 2 steps could put the animal behind some trees
    where he is no longer visable to you during that period.
    of coarse a spotter is very helpfull/ necessary in those situations.
    we do make good use of bipods at our camp up to certain distances with
    certain guns. but again, always from a bench.
    on the longer shots where the heavy stuff is used we use yet another bench
    with a return to battery ball bearing rest. those are usually locations in fairly close proximity to a vehicle.
    call that whatever you like as you cant insult me. there aint no deer can run fast enough which ever way he wants to make us lose him. and when he stops were ready to shoot right now.
    provided of coarse you dont need to screw around resetting your video or play with your program first.:)
    send lead and let the spotter sort it out.