MARKSMANSHIP BASICS - How hard do you hold

Ian M

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
2,410
Location
Sask. Canada
Interested to hear opinions on how "tight" to hold the rifle during the bench and also field firing procedure.

#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?

#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?

#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?

#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?
 
Last edited:

Buffalobob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
5,095
Location
Potomac River
#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?
Depends on the level of recoil. If I can use only one hand I will.
#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?
I vary it by whether the gun returns to target on its own or needs a left hand to get it back down.
#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?

For kneeling, sitting and standing positions I will vary technique as needed.
#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?
For prone I like a vertical grip but for other positions I am more comfortable and more used to the curved grip.
 

royinidaho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
8,936
Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
Answers are for bench and prone and for three rifles 222 REM, 270AM-braked 338 RUM-braked

#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?
Only one hand with the trigger finger touches the rifle. Other hand is on the beanie bag.

#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?

No. A slight/delicate straight pull back with the trigger hand.

#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?

For long range hunting the position is always prone unless something miserable happens.

#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?
Vertical pistol grip much much more preferred!!!
 

41mag

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
754
Location
Texas born and raised
#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?
I prefer to only use my right hand to hold the grip.

#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?
Yes depending on the recoil, I might rest my left hand on the top of the scope to prevent the rifle from jumping the bag.

#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?
Depends on the situation, if I am able to shoot prone, I would rather only hold the rifle with my right hand and use the left to support the rear bag or rest. If using sticks or other similar type rest the left hand is generally supporting the forend of the rifle stock and the rest.

#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?
All the sticos I have use the curved grip so I guess I prefer it at this time.
 

grit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
1,375
Location
Utah
1. I find some rifles / positions need the left hand on the forearm to spot hits. I will hold on then, if left hand is not needed on rear rest.

2. Yes. I pull heavier recoiling rifles into my shoulder harder. However, only tension changes, not hand position.

3. Yes. Same reasons as #1. If bipod is on uneven suface I will hold onto forend to help spot hits. I will sacrifice the spot if left hand is needed on rear rest, or to maintain stability.

4. I prefer a vertical grip. I also like a near vertical tear drop. Seems to feal more solid.
 

HeskethPritchard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
257
+1 on all the above. See also Shawn Carlock's Dad and the way he is holding it in the article reading the wind.
 

littletoes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
362
Location
Loon Lake WA
I've found that with my rifles, each is its own person. One likes to be held "tight", while another I can just relax, and let it "free-recoil", another point I've found that if I'm shooting prone it depends on what I'm shooting off of. If its concrete on a bipod, I have to hold the but a bit tighter (A5 McMillan helps by design), but I allow the forearm to "ride".
 

davewilson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
2,689
Location
Pennsyltucky
i guess i differ from most, but i basically use a death grip. i have a hangmans type rope, on the sling loop, on the bipod, to pull down on the front of the gun. i press into the rear,with my shoulder, fairly hard and also try to keep downward pressure on the back with my head, which is resting on the rear part of the receiver. not exactly everyone's technique, but it's what works for me. two reasons i shoot like this. first is, it's the only way i can spot my shots,and the second reason would be i flat out shoot a whole bunch more accurate with this technique.
 

Tyler Kemp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
1,500
Location
Columbia, MO
#1 I shot a bunch of smallbore target stuff this summer, it really helped my shooting, without bags I am pretty confident in prone, especially with a target type sling. With bags I keep my left hand back.

#2 No, I am used to the rifle being pushed hard into the shoulder by a sling after all my target shooting, so now I prefer all my rifles put into the shoulder hard.

#3 Offhand I don't have the rifle in my shoulder as hard unless it is my 45-70 with hot loads because I like my eyebrow the way it is. Every other position is about the same, kneeling my hand goes out to near the end of the stock. (Another carryover from the target shooting...)

#4 I prefer a vertical grip because of a wrist injury, although until my Boyd's stock arrives none of my guns have this. My 45-70 has a straight stock, no curve, and I like it however.
 
W

Weda

Guest
Interested to hear opinions on how "tight" to hold the rifle during the bench and also field firing procedure.

#1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?

Hell no... the front of the rifle is resting on somthing prefereably.. unless there is no option.

#2 Do you vary the hold according to the caliber and weight of the rifle?

No. this could also be called magnumitis.. big rifle needs big muscle thing...
You know there will be a boom and a thump why fight it. All you do is affect the consistiency and accuracy when you try to compensate.

#3 Do you vary the hold depending on the field shooting position?

Typcaill I always look for a prone postiion to use the bi-pod or a rest to be under the bi-pod area.

#4 Do you prefer vertical pistol grips vs curved grip design?

Have had them all.. and each has its advantages and disadvantages.. this is a personal prefeance thing. I will say pick a style and use it. Muscle memory plays a big part.
My .02 worth
 

Red_Chili

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
4
Location
Littleton, CO
I am far from expert, and am learning a great deal from you fellers and this site. But a couple times ago at the range, a fella was observing my wife shoot. She was oh-kaaay, but while we were checking targets we struck up a conversation. He recommended a right hand death grip, left hand float, and solid shoulder placement to her. Breathing as recommended above.

She tried it and her groups immediately improved (this was with a little .243 too). I tried it then (.300WSM), and so did mine. Appreciably.

Turns out he was an Army Ranger sniper. Great guy, shooting a .308 at the 400-600 yd. marks. Didn't brag but did hit the 10s every time. That was good enough for me. Guess I need more training.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
23
Depends on the rifle and the bark vs bite. On a light rifle with a bite at the level of my .270WSM I pull it back tight into my shoulder, and when on the bench I use my left hand to squeeze the bag. In the field, out of tree stands, I use the stand front rail as a rest with my left palm down on the wood with the forearm riding the top of my left hand, the right hand once again pulls the rifle into my shoulder for a solid hold. Some folks use monopods in tree stands if the stand does not have a front rail.

For rim fire, I let the rifle just about free recoil when on the bench and use a light hold in the field. In the field I also use any rest I can find when chasing squirrels. Often squirrel hunting with a rim fire is done from a seated position.
 

THUMPER7MMRUM

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
14
Well I am a novice so I can't tell ya too much.... but, if the head starts to turn purple, it's to tight! Swap hands or it will begin to favor the opposite direction! My God, I couldn't help myself! LOL!!! Good luck man!

Hope ya got a good laugh out of it if nothing else!
 

Top