bench technique


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2001
Walla Walla, WA
I am shooting a 9.5# 300 Win Mag that does not have a muzzle brake. The loads I am shooting are generating 34 ft.lbs of recoil. I am not bothered by this but I am wondering what would be the best technique to utilize while shooting from the bench. I have heard of various methods being used and would like to try to get a consensus. There are two basic methods. Both utilize a front pedestal rest with a bag on top and a rear bag (the basic benchrest setup). First is to use the non-shooting hand to squeeze the rear bag to fine tune elevation. This is the method that I generally use. Others use the non-shooting hand to hold the stock between front rest and rear bag, pulling the stock into the shoulder and down onto front bag. This second method is more often recommended for lighter, harder kicking rifles. I wonder if the fliers I occasionally get would be minimized if I tried the second method. Sometimes the stock recoils up off the front rest. Also I wonder if it makes any difference whether the front rest is positioned just in front of the action or should it be closer to where the front sling stud would be? Any generalities? Thanks, Rufous.

Steve Shelp

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
I used my Rem Sendero in 300 Win Mag a couple of years ago to shoot in 1,000yd competition with. I settled on using the non-shooting hand pulling straight down on the forearm. Not back but straight down with only 2 fingers (thumb on one side and middle finger on the other. I would only rest my shooting hand lightly against the stock without wrapping my finger around the pistol grip. I would bring my shoulder up against the recoil pad enough to move the rifle forward to adjust elevation and just back off a little on shoulder pressure. This is the method that worked best for me.
As for the placement of the rest on the forarm I found the further out the forearm I could put it the better mechanical leverage I had when pulling the rifle down. Any thing shorter hurt me. Place your non-shooting hand as close to the front rest as possible though to eliminate as much stock flex as possible when pulling down. You'll see what I mean when you do this looking through the scope. Adjust your hand and rest setup and pull down. You'll see what makes the big changes or not by watching the crosshairs dance and feel the stock flexing.


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