Prone shooting technique

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by rufous, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. rufous

    rufous Well-Known Member

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    Just curious what would be considered good field shooting. By field shooting I mean using bipod and sling but no bags or backpaks. Just like one would do when shooting at game animals. If the gun/load can give 3" 10 shot groups at 400 yards from the bench with sandbags what would be considered good from the belly? I suppose there are some who can shoot groups as small from their belly with bipod and sling but not likely many of us can do that. Rufous.
     
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    rufous,
    I beleive that Dave King wrote an excellent description of the prone shooting position taught at tactical shooting schools a while back. The basic position is very low, so low that it is hard on the neck and shoulders until you get used to it. You also get whacked on the collar-bone occassionally, you will know when that happens.

    I have used the position in hunts with complete confidence and made some nice shots. I like to use my Cabela's fleece backpack for a rest, or a Harris or Underwood Shooting sticks. Always take the Underwoods, usually take the Harris's.

    As for 400 yard field accuracy, I saw Steve Suttles shoot a 6 inch group at 400 - from sitting. You can imagine what he can do from prone. I am confident that guys on this forum can shoot five shots well inside three inches if the wind is not too ugly. Before leaving for a hunt this fall I cranked off five shots at 400 with my GA Precision "ROCK" that went 3 5/8" but three of them measure 0.459" outside to outside. It was quite windy and my buddies claim that the wind blew those shots into my group...
     
  3. Bill

    Bill Member

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    I would try to shoot off a backpack. I practice quite a bit with a pack that has a gortex rolled gortex jacket tied to the back.
     
  4. rufous

    rufous Well-Known Member

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    I got my rebarreled rifle back about 2 weeks ago. It is a sporter weight (9.5# with scope) 300 Win Mag with sporter stock for big game hunting on foot. It has a 26" stainless Lothar Walther barrel 1:10 twist. By the way that barrel is the easyist cleaning rifle I have ever had except for a couple 243 Winchesters that I shoot moly bullets out of. I am shooting uncoated bullets in the 300 Win Mag. The best load I have come up with so far is with the 220 Sierra Matchking at 2830 fps with 77 grains of H1000. I shot a 12 shot group at 400 yards that measured 5.2" (10 were in 2.75"). Then I tried that load prone with bipod and sling like I would be shooting at game in the field. I shot a 9 shot group of 7.4" at 500 yards with 6 of those in 3.4". I am wondering how to shoot better prone. I realize that a 9 shot group of 7.4" at 500 yards is mighty good and am quite pleased (I seriously doubt that I will ever shoot at game beyond 600 yards since I am on foot). However I would like to do better. The gun with this load is capable of apparently sub 0.7 MOA but my prone groups are twice that size. Any tips? Thanks, Rufous.
     
  5. bigbads10

    bigbads10 Member

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    Apr 30, 2012
    Practice makes perfect. I shoot a metal targets that i made, out to 400 yards. The targets are 5inches by 5 inches and can hit them all day long with my .243. Been shooting up hill between 2 and 16 degrees. Where do ya shoot .
     
  6. Jordan Smith

    Jordan Smith Well-Known Member

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    Here's a tip- you're never going to need 9 shots on a game animal (well, hopefully!) ;)

    Practice getting off 1-2 shots quickly from prone, and try to keep both of those shots within 6" of the POA. If a deer/elk's vital area is roughly 12" in diameter, then if you can keep 1-2 shots within that area, at any range, from field positions like prone, you'll have some wrecked lungs and a terminally ill animal. :)
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Preactice is the key.

    First you have to figure out:

    1) How to really get the most out of your bipod by bracing it against something like a log ro rock or digging the feet in slightly so you can really lean into it.

    2) Learn to use what's available as a rear bag. Rock, carried tactical rear bag etc.

    3) Breathing/heart rate-See the thread we did here on trigger, timing, practice.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/trigger-timing-training-practice-80572/

    4) Consistency in mounting. Much moreso prone than on the bench you really have to practice at getting the same mount and cheek weld every time when prone and sometimes it's flat not easy. Also make damned sure you have a solid weld from the butt stock to your shoulder, and in the same place every time. If you don't it's going to beat you up.

    Now one technique I use to increase stability is to set my left elbow inside the loop of my sling and hand under the stock or at an angle. I then slide my elbow out to tension the sling which creates a downward force on the rifle to help in loading up the bipod and the rear bag at the same time. You can also use this same method and curl your left arm up under the rifle to use your fist as a field expedient rear bag.

    More than anything practice and work hard on finding the technique that works best for you consistently.