Shooting lighter weight rifles?

jtbiv01

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Load Development : light weight deer rifles and rimfires

Caldwell Tackdriver or DogGone Good Bag
7A2E121B-DEBF-4F32-B5D1-D8100589FCBE.jpeg


I find this is the most stable/repeatable platform to get as much of me out of the equation.

once load is determined, I prefer to zero as I plan to carry to the field, either over a pack or off a bipod resting on a floor rug or towel.
 

30BR

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Feb 9, 2013
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I believe what you are getting is a parallax issue. Once the crosshairs are focused in the ocular lens, the objective lens is used to focus on the target. However, the markings on the objective for distance are not all that accurate. The focus also sets up the scope for zero parallax error. With the rig held firm, no wobble or movement at all, as in a bench rest set up, you should be able to move your head a bit side to side with no visible shift of the crosshairs on the target. Keep finely adjusting your objective until that is achieved. The perceived movement of the target is due to the lens not being perfectly aligned for the distance, and so the image appears to move. Hard to hit a moving target...
 

jrock

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Mar 12, 2014
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I don't shoot a bipod off a bench. Only off the ground. Longer bags help a lot with stability, especially left and right movement. When I started shooting this year, I noticed the same left and right movement. I was putting too much force on the gun from about every angle. I think some of it was heart beat since it was somewhat rhythmic. Guess I was super rusty.
I describe a good shooting form as setting the gun up on the bags with the crosshairs on target. Then wrap your body around it without moving it. I'm far from a good shot but this methodology gets me on the right track to figure out what else I may be doing wrong. I've learned that shooting is a perishable skill. Check out the Barbour Creek shooting videos on youtube.
I have a rifle that is sub 7 lbs scoped and fully loaded. I work it into the bags with a back and forth motion to dampen human input.
 

Ninering62

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May 14, 2020
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Orig from southern Md. In North Central Florida
It’s not about lbs if trigger pull. It’s having your finger straight and pressing the trigger straight back toward you. Lateral movement during trigger press is a finder/hand position problem. Mixed in with gripping the gun which is also a no no. There are people in the world that can take an m40 with a 6-7lb trigger and get good results. Trigger lbs is just a crutch and convenience. Or in most case, an edge for competitive nature.
Outstanding post.
 

Lenny Foffa

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Mar 6, 2017
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I Shoot my Ultra light off my Grizzly Bald eagle Cast iron Rest or my Vey old Cast iron 1000 Yard Rest ! I just replace the Front Bags for the Slim Light Hunting Rifles ! During Load development I Shot at 100 Yard Indoor range !! Great Groupes , Then Practice outside ! For My Ultra light Three Shots 1 1/4 To 1 1/2 At 100yards Is Ok For deer !! No special tuning Or Bedding Has Been Dome ! All Factory including the Trigger !!! Only One second Shot Needed the Last 8 Deer !! I do not expect That Rifle to Shoot Like My Target rifles !!
 

zr600

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Load Development : light weight deer rifles and rimfires

Caldwell Tackdriver or DogGone Good Bag
View attachment 213972

I find this is the most stable/repeatable platform to get as much of me out of the equation.

once load is determined, I prefer to zero as I plan to carry to the field, either over a pack or off a bipod resting on a floor rug or towel.
What do you use for a rear bag with this on the front?
 

jtbiv01

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Jan 31, 2007
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Pint sized game changer has been my goto rear bag. I get 3 different height ranges depending on how I position the bag. Sometimes a piece of 2x12 under the front bag gets the rifle height right for my bench/target.
 

skipglo

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Jan 23, 2015
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How do you guys shoot lighter weight rifles good? I have a 7 mag Remington 700 action criterion magnum Sporter contour 26” long, have it in a Mesa precision stock bedded. Have a Trijicon 4-16x50 acculite scope on it. Weights about 9lbs. Shooting off a Harris and a rear bag at the range it seem like it’s hard to shoot good. Seems like the reticle really is moving left to right. Have been struggling finding a good load for it am just wondering if it’s the fact I just can’t hold it as steady as my other rifles that are 2-5 more pounds. How do I get it to settle down?
Get off the bipod and go to bags for a bit until you steady up....!
 

hawk45

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Oct 23, 2010
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Ohio
Knowing your rifle and having good technique is everything. If you have those two things, weight shouldn't matter.

If you are using a bipod or anything where you put downward force on the front of the stock, you need to make sure your barrel is free-floated WITH that pressure on it. Checking for barrel clearance w/o the pressure on the bipod does not validate. Hang a 5 or 10 lb weight on the end of the barrel when on the bipod to check for contact. Sand down as needed. Thin barrels heat fast and faster in mag calibers so when calibrating, leave LOTS of time between shots (10 - 15 min) for proper barrel cooling. 2-3 shots from a mag on a thin barrel will string fast.

As far as technique. The bullet is gone before you have any time to influence it after breaking the shot. So any influence you have on it is before you break the shot. Fear of recoil and sound are the biggest factors to poor shots, followed by a poor trigger or trigger control. Extra ear protection (double/triple up) during practice/zeroing will help to curve the yips. Have someone load your rifle and have you shoot it. Have them sometimes load a round and sometimes not w/o telling you. See if you jerk the trigger. You can do this also by loading dummy rounds (well marked) and loading your magazine with your eyes closed. If you are stone cold when breaking an unknown dummy round, you are good to go. But you will be surprised how much you are moving when you break that trigger and nothing happens. It can be a real eye opener. Leaning to accept the jolt of noise and recoil is a bit win.

Not going to get deeper into equipment and optics as that is a rabbit hole. But hopefully all these great replys help.
Cheers!
 

rustyshackleford

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Dec 13, 2012
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North Alabama
For me and mine I found that increasing the preload into my shoulder pocket helped. Not so much as to induce shaking but enough to tame the recoil and help with seeing less of your pulse in the crosshairs. All things being equal it’s still harder to shoot these guns. Balance of the gun is a factor, having a lighter weight barrel that heats up faster, and then less mass in the system to keep it stable. My gun is a ~7.5-8lb 30-06 shooting 200 gr game kings at 2685 ft/sec w/out a brake.

Also if you are seeing a lot of movement in the crosshairs during dry fire try putting a snap cap or spent round in when doing so. With my model 70 the crosshairs jump ~1-2 inches without a snap cap and there is no jump with.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
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Are you supporting the butt of the stock? Especially on the bench. A bipod in the front should take care of the movement up front, but the butt of the stocks has to be supported too. A lighten trigger goes a long ways into cutting down the movement, because of not having to holed the rifle so tightly. With a lighten trigger you learn not to mess with the trigger until you are ready to shot. Heavy trigger are harder to use. So much hand pressure has to be applied to get the trigger to release. Means you have to gripe your rifle or pistol harder to get the trigger to brake. I have in the pass and probable will again deal with a heavy trigger pull, but it take a lot to see if the rifle is grouping and you are not creating the problem. That the hardest thing to do.
 

zr600

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See the funny thing is my least unbalanced rifles are the ones that shoot the best. Biggest reason they are unabalanced is because they have longer heavier barrels and I run a can on them. My 7mag is pretty well balanced I think. My two best shooting rifles are very unbalanced but they are heavy rifles and light recoiling rifles too.
 

Huntz

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Jul 30, 2019
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NE Wisconsin
I hunt with a Forbes 24B in 270 Win with a Minox 2-10X42 in talley rings all up 6.5 pounds.I would rather shoot oy my pack or using trigger sticks then a bipod.In Montana when lying prone you can have grass and other vegetation too high for a bipod.I prefer the pack when I can use it or the trigger sticks sitting up.The only thing I use a bipod on are my AR-15s with a free floating forend.I use them for shooting P.Dogs and the accuracy does not seem to be impeded.Try shooting your rifle sans bipod and having the front rest more towards the action.JMHO,Huntz
 

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