Rifle front support

timmymic

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Sep 23, 2012
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284
wondering pros and cons or best practice for a front rest. I see many people running bipods and preach loading your bipod then you watch best of the West where they preach free recoil. Do I get a bipod or tripod with a leather head?

Thanks I’m advance
 

Canhunter35

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Jun 13, 2017
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All methods are valid. Depends how you hunt and what you get used to. I use Harris bipods and preload them, I find this best with harder recoiling rifles.
I honestly don’t know how to free recoil a hunting rifle though
 

rfurman24

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It is extremely difficult to free recoil a heavy recoiling, relatively light, hunting rifle. In order to effectively free recoil you need a rifle that "rides the bags" very well. It is even more difficult when in field positions. I find a good bipod like the Atlas or Evolution coupled with a solid rear bag is the most versatile for long rang shots. Whatever system you choose give it some time to learn.
 

Hand Skills

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This is going to be a good thread I think.

Many pros and cons. A lot of it depends on

-the rifle (how heavy? How long? How much recoil?),

-the terrain (where you hunt), and

-style of hunting (still? Mobile? Means of transportation?)

Fundamentally, a good field position is as low as possible, utilizing a front and rear support. Mass is your friend.

In the field, however, prone position can limit line of sight. Carrying unnecessary weight can result in fatigue, and elevated blood pressure.

Personally I use my pack for a low rest when possible and lightweight shooting sticks when I need to get above vegetation.

I like to walk and sneek and feel generally unencumbered by tools/gear. As such, sacrificing a bit of shootability to gain hunting ability is an easy tradeoff.

That said, there's a reason bipods are so popular. They're a good rest, but they are also a good stand, offering a safe means of putting the rifle down while keeping the muzzle, action and optics out of the dirt!

Best practice is simply being consistent with whatever method you choose!
 

Buckfever34

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Jan 31, 2016
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I use a tripod up front and, if time and terrain allows, I like to get low. I either carry a rear bag or use my pack or glassing pad for a rear support.

I use the Primos Shockey shooting sticks for walking sticks and can pull up fast on them if need be or if the terrain/vegetation doesn’t allow for getting prone.
 

sable tireur

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If I’m still hunting or spot and stalk, I will improvise with a tree, limb, stump of other object available. If I’m scoping a power line or similar terrain, I’ll use a bipod, backpack or other assistance from a fixed position. Most of my rifles have a bipod at least so it’s always available.
 

Idaho Lefty

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Jan 29, 2018
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Just got back from an open country Moose Hunt in Eastern Idaho. The Moose were moving to and from water, then bedding in timber (not exposing themselves for very long). We walk several Miles and glass at times. While walking down a ridge toward a spring we spotted, a Huge Bull just after dawn, at about 400 yards and by the time I got "set up" he was at 510 yards then, went "broadside", for a few seconds but out of range, for my little 7X30 Waters T/C single shot with 2x7 scope. Next time, I'll have my 7.5 pound Tikka, SS Lite in .270 WSM with, a "Dial" turret, rested over my pack and using, a rear "toe" support bag,..Prone ! I practice that method, to about 650 yards. I use Hunters Specialties shooting Stick's, to 300 yards sitting with, my pack on my chest, supporting the rifles "Toe" and my rifle over pack for any longer shots ! I totally AGREE with Hand Skills above, that rest used is, "Terrain dependent" and I'll add,.. bring ENOUGH Gun,.. one that can shoot far enough and still Kill cleanly. My .02 cents !
 

RockyMtnMT

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I find shooting off a pack to be the best in an uncontrolled field situation. Easy to get the gun aimed and level. I carry a single segment setof sticks do that I can use them with the pack and have front and rear support if needed.

I personally do not shoot as well off a bipod and they will get in the way in s situation that requires shooting without it. Also the added weight to the rifleis not wanted.

Steve
 

Idaho Lefty

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There was NO way that, a bipod could be used, on my eastern Id. Moose hunt as, the sage and grass were pretty high and the slopes were fairly steep and rocky! I rarely take a bipod along anymore for the type of hunting we do. I'd probably be done Moose hunting,.. IF I'd of had my .270 WSM along, oh well, I will continue to enjoy my hunt and time spent with my son, in the Woods !
 

Beardeddeer91

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May 14, 2018
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Alabama
At the end of the day you need to practice with whichever form of rest you use in the field and be consistent in how you use it. At the range I never shoot of a bench, but practice all of my shots off the rest I would use in a hunting situation (as realistic as you can get at the range). Practice shooting from your bipod, from a flat pack and from the top of your pack, etc. I have yet to see a shooting bench in the woods.
 

snookntarpon

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Feb 28, 2011
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273
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FL
getting a little old i fear, but i keep saying to look at javelin bipods. The sentinel tripod they make is the foundation of this phenomenal shooting system.
SnT
 

WildRose

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Feb 3, 2011
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N. Texas and S. Africa
This is going to be a good thread I think.

Many pros and cons. A lot of it depends on

-the rifle (how heavy? How long? How much recoil?),

-the terrain (where you hunt), and

-style of hunting (still? Mobile? Means of transportation?)

Fundamentally, a good field position is as low as possible, utilizing a front and rear support. Mass is your friend.

In the field, however, prone position can limit line of sight. Carrying unnecessary weight can result in fatigue, and elevated blood pressure.

Personally I use my pack for a low rest when possible and lightweight shooting sticks when I need to get above vegetation.

I like to walk and sneek and feel generally unencumbered by tools/gear. As such, sacrificing a bit of shootability to gain hunting ability is an easy tradeoff.

That said, there's a reason bipods are so popular. They're a good rest, but they are also a good stand, offering a safe means of putting the rifle down while keeping the muzzle, action and optics out of the dirt!

Best practice is simply being consistent with whatever method you choose!
Bipods tend to work well in the field in many situations but are terrible on the bench. They tend to make a rifle really bounce when braced on a hard surface.

In the field, each shot opportunity presents a different set of variables we have to work around. Sometimes a bipod is great, sometimes you need to move to a pack, sticks, or a tree or wad up a jacket for a rest on a rock.

Depending on the terrain a bipod can be a real aid but I've learned the hard way that you want to have a QD attachment for them or it may just end up being in the way.

Unfortunately there's no one solution for every situation, if there were, half of the gear companies would be out of business.
 

Idaho Lefty

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Jan 29, 2018
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We walk, sit on hillsides and glass, then walk, sit, glass again, repeatedly, over several miles, in a Day while looking for, Elk and Moose ! And,.. we've ditched, the Bipod's in favor of FIRM Packs with Toe support bags for the long shots to 700 yards and use sticks with a pack propping up, the rifles "Toe" for 200-350 yard shots (quick, solid and deadly to 350 yds, once practiced a bit). If, I only laid out, on top of a ridge and shot across Canyons/ Mountains I'd probably use a bipod,.. NOT how, we hunt, tho ! Rests ARE,..Terrain dependent !
I still use a bipod on .22-250 Rem for ground squirrels, tho !
 

Crews

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Sep 9, 2014
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Houston
I haven't ever watched the hunting show you speak of, but I'd shy away from anyone that preaches "free recoil" with anything other than a 20# PRS or F-Class competition rifle. That's a bunch of hog wash.

Focus on the fundamentals, no matter what shooting scenario you're in. Drive the rifle with purpose, the same time every time. Square up behind it, trigger control, breathing, and follow through.

I personally chose to be proficient with both a bipod and a tripod. The bipod really is limited in field application, but if you've got the option to set up for a prone shot off a bipod it's really ideal. The tripod stays on the pack at all times, and really expands capability. Stay away from the fancy bench equipment, unless being a recreational bench shooter is what you want to do.
 
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