Holding a Magnum while shooting??

DTinTX

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
14
Location
Prague or Texas
Well I confess that I was taught by the same outfit (Parris Island for me), but way back when it was with a M-14 and bi-pods weren't an option...just really tight slings and a much more flexible and youthful body! I've been through Todd Hodnett's course since, and I was already using the same position his team advocates but they helped with refinement. That is with the off hand on the shooting bag under the butt of the stock. Having that hand come across the body provides great stabilization with elbow and forearm anchoring. The off hand manipulates the bag to make the fine elevation adjustments. Key to managing the recoil and return to point of aim for self-spotting is loading the bi-pod lightly and getting proper body alignment behind the rifle.

As always, it's a personal choice and do what works consistently. I'm somewhat schizoid here, longing for the day when the expat gig is over and I can get behind my rifles again, but also enjoying life in Prague for now...wish I could have it all!
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
45
Location
TN
I
I have a buddy that is a great shot. Whenever we go shoot our 300 ultras at long range off the bipods, he holds the fore end of the stock. Drives me crazy, but he shoots really well and consistent. I use the standard, off hand under the butt squeezing the rear bag.

I’m curious, how many guys use their off hand to hold something other than the rear bag?
In my experience always support them, when you shoot, where you supported them when you zero them. On MANY rifles it makes a difference, likely due to harmonics.
 

Will Gray

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
184
I use a bipod and heavy bag for the butt. Most of my rifles are large caliber and KICK. I hold the forend tight toward my shoulder taking up the slack. I also pull the stock to me with my trigger hand. I put my thumb on top of the grip and squeeze the trigger between my trigger finger and my thumb. I do it the same way offhand or resting on my hand in a deer stand. The secret is always do everything the same.. With hard kicking rifles it is important to take up the slack in your body so the scope does not kiss your forehead.
 

crazyhorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
240
Location
southeast
Once you accomplished having a solid rifle setup, consistency is key! MOST of the shooter input doesn't matter as long as its done the same way each time. I emphasize the word most because there are a few fundamentals that are necessary to shoot well and if you don't use them you will struggle.
I tend to stay away from bipods on the range because most of my hunting situations wont allow for them. Bipods have a very different influence on a rifle than a bag and its not uncommon to see a fairly noticeable difference when switching from one method to the other.
A really good instructor early in my career taught me something that has been (for me) the single most valuable piece of advice to help shoot consistently good groups from the bench.
He was an absolute stickler for correct body position behind the rifle and keeping recoil moving straight to the rear with each shot!

This might be a little long but try it and I guarantee if you aren't already doing it, your groups will improve.

When getting down on the gun to shoot and in your final firing position, meaning the only thing left is pressing the trigger. While keeping your cheek weld and shoulder position, slowly and slightly release pressure with your strong hand (the one gripping the rifle and pulling the trigger) and watch the aiming point.
If the rifle drifts slightly from center (especially left or right) adjust your position until it stops moving off the aiming point. The result will be consistent rearward recoil and minimizing your "influence" on the rifle under recoil. There's a lot of big gun shooters on this forum that don't need reminding that most of these guns have significant recoil. The little bit of drift noticed from using this technique is magnified tremendously under recoil and will challenge even the best of equipment to produce reliable, repeatable accuracy. Remember, the whole reason for all the things we spend extra money on such as blueprinting, bedding, quality smith work, etc. is to gain consistent, even surfaces to give our rifle its best chance of repeatable accuracy. Its very easy to overcome all of these great and expensive measures with poor fundamentals!

Nearly every single time when shooting at distance and my groups go south, its because I've lost focus on fundamentals worrying about wind, mirage or some other factor I cant control. A deep breath and a few minutes to "rebuild" my position fixes it every time!
 

ofbandg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Messages
138
When I am shooting big guns from the bench I use a short cut-off piece of a sling with a detachable sling swivel attached to the front hook-up. I shoot over bags and reach around and pull the sling piece down, and in, for steadiness. When I have time in the bush I do the same thing using the full sling. I find it is steadier than holding the forestock. I just grab a few inches below the sling swivel, backhanded, and twist up. It works for me.
 

memtb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,042
Location
Winchester, Wy.
Quote from crazyhorse: When getting down on the gun to shoot and in your final firing position, meaning the only thing left is pressing the trigger. While keeping your cheek weld and shoulder position, slowly and slightly release pressure with your strong hand (the one gripping the rifle and pulling the trigger) and watch the aiming point.
If the rifle drifts slightly from center (especially left or right) adjust your position until it stops moving off the aiming point. The result will be consistent rearward recoil and minimizing your "influence" on the rifle under recoil. There's a lot of big gun shooters on this forum that don't need reminding that most of these guns have significant recoil. The little bit of drift noticed from using this technique is magnified tremendously under recoil and will challenge even the best of equipment to produce reliable, repeatable accuracy.

This is something I’m keenly aware of when shooting from the bench, and “pretty much” use this method as well! Essentially, your verifying that you are “not” introducing undue stress/torque to the rifle during the shot! memtb
 

CO_Guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
841
Location
CO, USA
I don't use a bipod anymore but sometimes while shooting from the bench, using a front rest and rear bag, I will wedge my left index finger between the stock and rest bag to prevent lateral movement. This helps when the forearm of the stock is a sporter type and thin.
I do this and for the same reason, to minimize lateral movement, but as a lefty, it is the R index.
 

sturner

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
905
Location
Tyler Texas
Like I said, I need to try it both ways because he doesn’t shoot as much as me, yet he shoots as good or better at times. I even built his rifle and reload for him! At least miss a few to make me feel like I’m better :)
Ungrateful he could throw one every now and then LOL
 

keithcandler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
549
I will add this note, when I was shooting registered benchrest, it was common knowledge that squeezing the rear bag with your left hand caused vertical, as the bag settles while the bullet is in the barrel during recoil(about .200 of an inch)
 

tony d willIiams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
133
Location
San Bernardino Mountains
What works for me is leaning into the bipod, my left hand clenched under the shoulder stock when off a table or prone. Standing the sling is wrapped around elbow & wrist as forward stock is gripped, this helps me to be locked in. Naturally standing is much less accurate, but consistency leads to repeatability
 

Bucklowery

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
241
Location
northwest florida
Off benches and with bipod I squeeze the bag. Now when I shoot a new gun or someone else’s I hold the forearm or down on the sling at least until I get comfortable with the gun

Thanks

Buck
 

sturner

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
905
Location
Tyler Texas
Front Sinclair’s rest and rabbit ear sand bag small or mag rifle
One hand on back bag the other on the rifle
 
Last edited:

JustMe2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
114
Mram, I also hold the forearm down with slight pressure (weight of my relaxed hand and arm, no muscles pulling it down) whether I'm using a bipod, tripod, lead sled, front rest and back bag, etc. I feel it improves my accuracy because it keeps the front from excessively springing up when the rifle is fired, helps keep consistant pressure on my shoulder instead of slipping around on the front rest or the bipod legs slipping away from me when I lean into the butt stock, and it allows the trigger hand to relax instead of using the trigger hand to pull the rifle into my shoulder and simultaneously squeeze the trigger. All my muscles are much more relaxed and the only rifle pressure is just my body weight resting on the rifle's front and butt and my finger pulling the trigger. No muscle memory required because they are not used. Only the weight from my hand/forearm on the front, my cheek holding down the butt, and my shoulder resting forward on butt holding the rifle steady.
 

Top