Shooting lighter weight rifles?

Tommo64

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Nov 29, 2018
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103
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Adelaide
I would go back to the post where the guys recommended watching the grip on your firing hand. Movement induced by squeezing the hand to pull the trigger is one of the biggest buggers I have seen repeatedly. When My 4 position indoor match rifle scores go to hell that is invariable the culprit. Comes from trying to hard.
I definitely shoot better when I am relaxed. Grip is also important. The key, I believe, is isolating the trigger finger. I use my other three fingers to pull the butt back into my shoulder, moderate pressure. My thumb lies limply on top or slightly over centre. Works best for me anyhow.
 

Tulsa Reiner

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Jan 6, 2014
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Tulsa, OK
Well sometimes groups can be sub moa other times other times bigger. The gun does have a muzzle break on it. I did just shoot a 3 shot group with it that was half moa. What would you recommend for a better bipod? I was thinking maybe a rail and an atlas would maybe be worth a look. I might take a backpack and put a couple Coates or towels in it and try and shoot off that too. Thanks for all the advice any more is always welcome to. I think I might just need to work on my fundamentals on this rifle. I can shoot my heavier rifles very well. But they do have different stock designs too. I’m wondering if some of it is the stock too, maybe I’m just not used to this stock.
Since you asked: The Atlas bipod I shoot on with my 300 WM and 6.5 PRC is rock solid and fully adjustable for irregular terrain. Having it mount to a rail makes attachment and removal very quick and solid. The short rails and screws are available at MidwayUSA.com
 

stx

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The best thing I have found for developing handloads for a lightweight rifle is a bulls bag combined with a rear bag. I built a wooden riser to get the bag up to the height I need.
Exactly! See my post #50 on page 4 with video! I wasn’t grouping like I wanted with my Cooper Model 92 in 6.5x284 at 6 lbs, 15 oz until I watched Mark Bansner’s video.....attached are 3 shot groups with his method.
16662941-1878-4B10-B047-ED16069DDF91.jpeg53EB3421-0BD4-4A7A-AD68-6031A2F6E9C2.jpeg
 

.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
You can try applying one, two, or three pressure points underneath the barrel channel with something like non-drying modeling clay. It's trial and error, and plenty of "experts" laugh and scoff at the idea, but more often than not, I get these light barrels really dialed in with placing small balls of this clay along the barrel channel and then pressing the barreled action into the stock. Take it to the range, and make adjustments if needed. I have had it make it decidedly worse, too, but only once or twice was there no change. Works great in budget factory guns like the Savage Axis, Remington 710 or similar, and Mossberg ATR. I will get lambasted for this idea, but if you try it, you'll have a different opinion whether you admit it or not. The clay is good because it absorbs vibration. The non-drying really doesn't dry (had an argument with a gunsmith about this point). I just took apart an Axis that the clay drew in from 3 1/2" down to 1/2" groups and the clay was still pliable over 2 years later. Took 3 pieces for that rifle. 1st about 4 inches forward of the chamber, 2nd about 2 inches beyond that, and the third about 3 inches beyond that. Still not within 3 inches of the tip of the forend.

Having said that: It is something to try, but you SHOULDN'T have to "try" anything with a properly fitted custom gun. We can argue mechanics of trigger pull and weight all day, but if you have a Jewell or similar competition trigger set down around a pound or a little less, it eliminates that variable from the equation and makes it virtually impossible to "pull off" when you shoot. Yes, you can shoot just as accurately with a heavier trigger if you really take your time and pay attention. Some of the higher end scopes will have a crosshair picture that doesn't move as your eye moves. Visit your LGS and take a look through several to verify this. Having a scope centered on your target dot no matter where your head position is on the stock is worth the price of the lowest end model you find that does this along with your other requirements for your optic.

Finally, how many rounds do you have down the bore? I built a .300 Dakota with a Douglas 27" Remington Magnum contour barrel on a Winchester 70 push feed action. It shot ok until the 40th round was fired, and all of a sudden began spitting out 1/4" groups. You may just need to polish the inside up a little more. I have a Bartlein now with 40 or so rounds shot and it isn't broken in yet. Accuracy reflects that, also.

One last thing to try is Barnes TTSX bullets. Some rifles love them, and some hate them. If yours likes them, it will shine above anything else you've shot. Start with the recommended .050" jump distance. The Hornady GMX may work, too. I've had more than one rifle suddenly go from the trade block to tack driver status by simply using this bullet.

If, after you have tried all the above, along with Berger seated exactly touching the lands, and it still doesn't shoot well, it's time to change barrels or actions or both. Good luck with this thing!

P.S. The thing the guys above me are saying about the bags is very true also. Accuracy will improve over a lead sled or similar device that supports the gun for you. I can't explain it, but it has to do with the consistency of the pressure applied to points along the stock by you as you hold and fire the rifle. Bags work better.
 
Last edited:

7MM Mike

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Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
11
Shooting a light rifle with stout recoil requires a solid hold for consistent results. " free recoil" has not produced consistent or even decent results for me. I shoot an unbraked kimber 8400 short action in 338 WSM as my main hunting rifle, which is around 7lbs loaded. the load is a 230 eldx over rl16. the biggest improvement for me was the addition and proper use of a shooting sling, one where you can lock in your elbow. using this from any field position, has greatly improved the consistency of my shooting. as well, keeping my thumb on the trigger hand side of the stock and using some rearward pressure from my middle 2 fingers back into my shoulder. I don't use much cheek pressure as I find this pushed the rifle sideways under recoil. anyway, I don't known if any of that is useful but it works well for me. good luck getting it to shoot!
 

Rich Coyle

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Aug 14, 2013
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Grants Pass, Oregon
You can try applying one, two, or three pressure points underneath the barrel channel with something like non-drying modeling clay. It's trial and error, and plenty of "experts" laugh and scoff at the idea, but more often than not, I get these light barrels really dialed in with placing small balls of this clay along the barrel channel and then pressing the barreled action into the stock. Take it to the range, and make adjustments if needed. I have had it make it decidedly worse, too, but only once or twice was there no change. Works great in budget factory guns like the Savage Axis, Remington 710 or similar, and Mossberg ATR. I will get lambasted for this idea, but if you try it, you'll have a different opinion whether you admit it or not. The clay is good because it absorbs vibration. The non-drying really doesn't dry (had an argument with a gunsmith about this point). I just took apart an Axis that the clay drew in from 3 1/2" down to 1/2" groups and the clay was still pliable over 2 years later. Took 3 pieces for that rifle. 1st about 4 inches forward of the chamber, 2nd about 2 inches beyond that, and the third about 3 inches beyond that. Still not within 3 inches of the tip of the forend.
Robert Klienguenther worked for Roy Weatherby and wanted to do some of this. Roy told him, "An inch and a half is good enough for a hunting rifle." Klienguenther left and started his own thing in Texas. Clear back in the 1970's he guaranteed 1/2" groups with the correct hand loads because one of the things he did was similar to your modeling clay idea.
 

.300 Dakota

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Jul 21, 2018
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Moss Point, MS
Robert Klienguenther worked for Roy Weatherby and wanted to do some of this. Roy told him, "An inch and a half is good enough for a hunting rifle." Klienguenther left and started his own thing in Texas. Clear back in the 1970's he guaranteed 1/2" groups with the correct hand loads because one of the things he did was similar to your modeling clay idea.
I had never heard this. Thanks for sharing! I assume in the few that do not respond are due to a bad crown or misalignment issues between barrel and action.
 

stx

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Messages
749
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South Texas
Robert Klienguenther worked for Roy Weatherby and wanted to do some of this. Roy told him, "An inch and a half is good enough for a hunting rifle." Klienguenther left and started his own thing in Texas. Clear back in the 1970's he guaranteed 1/2" groups with the correct hand loads because one of the things he did was similar to your modeling clay idea.
I have a couple of rifles Mr. Klienguenther built for me in the ‘80s......300 Wby on a Sako action and a 280 Ackley on a Mauser action.....both are Shooters! He also accurized several other rifles for me. He knew his “Stuff”!
 

7070yshot

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May 26, 2020
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45
Location
Liberty Hill, TX
Well sometimes groups can be sub moa other times other times bigger. The gun does have a muzzle break on it. I did just shoot a 3 shot group with it that was half moa. What would you recommend for a better bipod? I was thinking maybe a rail and an atlas would maybe be worth a look. I might take a backpack and put a couple Coates or towels in it and try and shoot off that too. Thanks for all the advice any more is always welcome to. I think I might just need to work on my fundamentals on this rifle. I can shoot my heavier rifles very well. But they do have different stock designs too. I’m wondering if some of it is the stock too, maybe I’m just not used to this stock.
Atlas Is fine, good solid bipod for light to medium rifles.
setup your camera/phone and video in slow mode a three shot group. Position camera so we can see everything you are doingand what the rifle is doing
Do a separate video for each shot, then edit those down to just before the shot to just after.
Post here or on Instagram for review
 

zr600

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Jan 16, 2018
Messages
566
Location
Nd
This is the load I have settled on for now. I think I’m just going to leave it. I shot off my pack and had about the same results. It shot some other loads pretty well to but this was the best group. The group with the tape measure was at 200yards.
 

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PNWdude67

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Jul 4, 2019
Messages
109
Location
Ridgefield WA
What kind of bipod is that? You think I should try just shooting prone when doing load development?
Yes, probe solid for load development. It’s the Ckyepod. We rarely shoot off a “bench” at a public range and when we do we mimic a prone position by standing behind the bench use a rear bag and bipod. I am 5’10” so that works Ok for me, someone much taller or shorter may be more comfortable prone. Main thing when zeroing and doing load work up, get in a sound position behind the rifle and be comfortable as possible. Use the same mechanics and fundamentals you will in the field.
 

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