Shooting rest while developing loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by One_Duck_Limit, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. One_Duck_Limit

    One_Duck_Limit Well-Known Member

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    What rest do you all use while at the range testing loads or sighting in? I've been using a bipod with a rear bag. I've been thinking about purchasing a Caldwell Rock BR front rest. Without considering the human factor would a front rest like the Rock BR improve groups over a bipod attached to the front swivel?
     
  2. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I use one of these with good results. The butterfly bag is much more stable than shooting with a bipod.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. MT4XFore

    MT4XFore Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the rock would be a lot more stable.
     
  4. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    What level/price-point of rest are you looking for?
    The front rests I sell are expensive and would take some time to get.



     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    A benchrest is more consistent -shooting off a bench. This of course would be more desirable with all the testing done during load development.
    But a lot of guns are sensitive to varying forearm pressure points. With these the POI changes with one bag to another, and one rest stop to another. Depending on your swivel stud threading protrusion and position, you might not be able to test with the rest under the stud position.
    So don't be surprised if your zero departs when you go back to a bipod.

    This really comes into play with cold bore load development..
     
  6. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    I have used the Caldwell 7 shooting rest with very good results. It's light, adjusts easily, packs easily, and best of all, it is about $30. So for about the same money that I paid for my sand bags this rest is a lot more solid. Just my .02.
     
  7. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    I often use the caldwell lead sled during load development, not so much for its recoil reduction, but because it is a very steady platform. Then after load development I go back to the bipod.
     
  8. One_Duck_Limit

    One_Duck_Limit Well-Known Member

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    Ernie, you need to work on your sales pitch. :)

    I'm not looking to get into bench rest shooting. My wife says I have OCD and I can just image what would happen if I started bench rest shooting. I'm just trying to get the most out of my time at the range. Take as much human factor out as I can while developing loads.

    I've used a bipod for a while now with decent results. But I've always wondered about the bipod being attached to the gun during recoil. Those rubber feet don't slide smoothly along the cement benches at the range.
     
  9. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    The SEB & NEO Rests do not need a sales pitch:D
    But if you want one I would be glad to give you one.
    For those you have been in contact with me there is 6-7 month once you get on a waiting list for the NEO (newest design) and around 4 months for the SEB Rest.
    So, if someone wants a rest quickly I am NOT the man to talk to.:)
    FWIW-I shoot a lot off a bi-pod as wellgun)Except my barrels are shorter and there is no stock to put against your shoulder.
    E

     
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I've given up on the pedestal rest and shooting bench for all shooting whether working up loads, developing drop chart and taking game.

    Everything is done prone w/rear bag and bipod.

    I've been thinking about the way the PA boys do it with the standing height tripod.... Seems to work for them.
     
  11. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I've discovered a shift in POI on some rifles from shooting off the bench vs shooting off the bipod. Seems the lighter the rifle, harder the recoil, the more pronounced this is. Which ever way you do it, just be aware that this can happen.

    Personally, I do load development on the bench with a pedestal rest or a sandbag platform. Then, I practice and hunt from a bipod or other rest, like shooting sticks. Exception is prarie dogs, they usually get shot off the bench, or hood of the pickup with sandbags.

    Again, either way; If you're looking for one shot kills, it's important to know if you're getting shift in POI from different positions, and learn how much.

    Just my .02
     
  12. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I don't really see a problem with either the bipod or bench/front rest in your situation. You seem to understand the issues.

    Having said that, it never hurts to practice various shooting positions in order to be adaptable for whatever hunting or defense situation presents itself. As others stated, cold bore POI shift is a concern.

    Either way, good technique makes all the difference.

    I do my load dev at a range where 100yd/bench is the only option and mostly use the bipod from the bench. The difference between that vs sandbags vs my Caldwell Fire Control rest aren't enough to warrant lugging the front rest around. I just want to find and chrony a decent load and then go to another location to collect real data at longer distances from prone and other positions.

    Hope this helps,
    Richard
     
  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    I don't thing any of us humans can hold a rifle with its butt hard against a shoulder, stock fore end atop something along with the way most of us pull the trigger can shoot as small a group as the same rifle (and ammo) will produce when fired from a free recoil system untouched (or virtually so) by humans.

    One free recoil system's like benchrest rifles use; the rest atop bags or rests, slide in free recoil such that their point of aim's not disturbed by recoil while the bullet goes down the barrel. The only human thing touching them is a finger on their 2-ounce trigger.

    The other a machine rest with the rifle clamped in a cradle riding in three V blocks for perfect repeatability. Very heavy recoiling rifles can accurately be fired from such devices. With good ammo, barrels and assembly/fit techniques, old Model 70 Winchester actions bedded in wood stocks have shot groups from such devices smaller than current bench rest records.

    As long as we choose to hold onto the rifle and shoot it, the best position seems to be shooting from prone. Slung up correctly with the fore end resting on something and the stock toe also resting on something, this seems to produce the best accuracy when firing rifles from the shoulder.

    One other issue; if you don't shoot at least 20 shots per test group, the probability of the group size reflecting what the rifle will do at least 80% of the time is doubtful. One 20-shot group's worth 4 times as much as four 5-shot groups. And the largets group one shoots is the best representation of what one can count on all the time. Even benchrest rifles rarely better the record group they hold; all the rest are larger, oft times much larger.
     
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Absolute rubbish for hunting guns, factory or custom...
    We don't group shoot animals, and it only takes a single shot to define ACCURACY.

    That's what it will always boil down to here..