MARKSMANSHIP BASICS - How hard do you hold

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Ian M, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    This is how finicky some rifles can be with how hard you hold. These were fired prone on a bipod with a rear bag. The center 3 were letting the rifle do it's thing with a light hold aiming center of the blue cross, the top two were with the bipod loaded and a firm grip (POA was top of vertical blue post). The shots opened up several MOA with just a difference in hold. This rifle is consistent in doing this. I have never seen a rifle this bad. This dude has a bit of recoil and so I have to consciously make myself gingerly shoot it... it is not so gentle in return.
    Added: the picture turned sideways when I inverted it, so there are still three center shots and the last two are the ones on the left.

    Attached Files:

  2. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2012
    On the bench of prone with bipod I usually only grip with my fireing hand . I too have a very strong pulse and limited options for true long range shooting. Also there tends to be lots of grass and brush in the way for anything other than standing shooting . Whenever possible I use a staff or tree to help steady the rifle. For long range shooting that doesn't work so there are plenty of shots that must be passed up.
    Whenever I can I hunker down onto shooting sticks. A lot depends on the rifle I'm shooting as to whether verticle or curved grip. On my 6.5 or 223 I absolutely prefer a vertical grip. On my 9.3 and larger a slender curved grip. But I don't usually shoot them from prone. Most grips need to be fitted to my hand on the larger caliber rifles or I always cant the rifle.
    For offhand big game shooting I use a very short lop. 13" and sometimes less. For precision and lr shooting I use 13 1/2-14" . I do everything I can to make the back half of the rifle fit me for the type shooting that rifle will primarily do. I want to Not put any incorrect pressure on the stock to get it on and keep it on target. When my rifle fits me, my shootin improves far beyond the numbers say they should.
  3. Savageman69

    Savageman69 Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2009
    #1 Do you control the rifle with both left and right hands?

    Prone I use my non firing hand for the rear bag, with shooting sticks or offhand I will put my non firing hand on the forend.

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

    my firing hand on bolt guns only has the tips of my fingers touching the grip pulling in slightly, my thumb stays on the same side of the stock as my fingers. Certain AR rifles I will wrap my thumb and fully grab the pistol grip then twist slightly and pull in firmly. Im trying to consistently "tighten up" the fit of the two halves, but on Other AR's like my 18" match grade rifle its not necessary to twist and pull hard, so I use my bolt gun grip and just pull slightly. the one thing that will change alot is how much I load the bipod, that is very caliber and rifle weight dependant, not to mention the terrain dictates how hard I can load a bipod.

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

    yes as described above

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

    Pistol grips all the way
  4. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    This is my 'front rest':

    [​IMG]Untitled by Sharps Man, on Flickr

    There's a 2" diameter piece of galvanized pipe shoved through the center of my spare shooting mat to keep the roll from collapsing and it works quite well. I have often been 'brow beaten' for not using a high tech front rest but I hate 'em with a passion! I shoot off left shoulder and my right hand rest atop the roll with the forearm of the rifle rested in my hand. Rifle is pulled back firmly into my left shoulder alongside my neck and left hand grips the pistol grip of the stock firmly. I do not use a rear bag as I can hold the reticle where I want it. My right hand assist in maintenance of stock pressure into my shoulder! MY quite well FOR ME!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  5. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    The prone firing supported (or your version) has worked well for many a Soldier:
    Army Field Manual 3-22.9 ch4
    I still practice this from time to time over a patrol pack, good for field shooting without the use of a bipod or rear bag out to medium distances (for me).