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  #1  
Old 08-19-2021, 06:49 PM
DMTJAGER

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Advice on front rest set up and use from ARA BR shooters



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Novice here more or less and would like the input and advice of those far more experienced ARA 22lr bench rest shooters on setting up and using your front rest and try to flatten out my front rest set up and use learning curve as much as I can.

A little background first.
I currently own a Bald eagle front rest and have done the mod where flip the top of the rest and I replaced the cable adjustment with a direct acting adjustment knob and are quite happy with the improvement.

I use a Protector #13 standard (non-hard bottom) rabbit ear rear bag.

I am just starting out in Factory class 22lr BR and are encountering issues with transitioning from target to target in terms terms of smooth, fluid and fast adjustments while shooting a ARA factory class 25 bull target.

My last range session I learned an immense amount about how to remove as close to 100% of me from the shot process as possible and saw (at least for ME) a dramatic improvement in my groups and over all accuracy. I'm talking reducing my 50 yard 22lr group size by 30%+ vs my last trip and shot my best 22lr groups to date. And not just a few but had 20, 10 and 5 shot 50 yard groups all be essentially one ragged hole groups.

I suspect my next issue and issues are likely due to my front rest not being dead level even though I use a bulls-eye bubble level to level my front rest as close to perfect as I can.

Although I had fewer issues adjusting my rest when shooting 5-20 shot groups at 50 yards, my biggest problem of the day was adjusting my front rest in a smooth and consistent manner from shot to shot while trying to get my 1/8" target dot on the 10 bull when I tried to shoot a ARA factory class target and transitioned from target to target.

I fully realize part of this was due to almost certainly my lack of experienced based knowledge of how to use and adjust my Bald Eagle rest to transition between 25 separate targets and would like the input from those that still use a non joy stick Bald Eagle front rest on how you set up and use the windage and elevation adjustments to move my target dot from 10 bull to 10 bull in as close to straight vertical and horizontal paths of travel as can be done with a admittedly rather basic front rest like my Bald Eagle.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2021, 07:55 AM
Ralph Spoilsport

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I've never owned or used a Bald Eagle rest so I can't give you specific advice for that rest but here are some things to consider that I think apply to all rests.

First, if your using your range sessions to practice for an ARA match then practice for an ARA match forget the group shooting as that only tells you what your ammo is capable of. It doesn't translate into a traget score at all and doesn't help you with your issues getting your rest under control.

Second, experiment with how you and your rest work best with the sequence of shooting a target. If you go to match with a lot of shooters you'll see just about any sequence you can think of being used. Left to right... starting at the top. Right to left... starting at the bottom. Vertically up and down. I know a shooter who insists that shooting the target in a spiral sequence is "scientifically proven". People watching me shoot a target have said that my sequence looks really random but I use a very specific pattern and rarely deviate from it.

Experimenting with these approaches will start to tell you things about your rest. For instance, the left to right or bottom to top approaches are more important for some rests than others because of tension or springs. Do you use sighters enough to confirm your rest has adjusted to a new row? That might also be an issue.

If your concern is that moving from bull to bull doesn't put your cross-hairs in the same place on each bull I wouldn't worry too much about that. As long as your rest is easy to micro adjust and holds those cross-hairs in exactly the same place you can work on your shooting technique and worry less about your rest.

Forget about those groups!!

Bruce Hornstein
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Old 08-20-2021, 09:03 AM
vlnbyr

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Good advice from one of the absolute best in the game. There are NO SHORTCUTS. Take your rifle, your ammo and your rest, go to the range, and grind it out.
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2021, 09:25 AM
DMTJAGER

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Bruce,
Thank you sir for your reply and advice, I will incorporate it into my practice sessions.

You are indeed correct about shooting groups. Shooting great groups a great ABA shooter doesn't make. I am still in the very early stages of learning how to do pretty much everything about 22lr BR shooting, so I am only using group shooting to as quickly as is practical (and cheap as now 22lr match ammo is costing 60%+ as much as 308 FGMM) learn how to shoot my T1X as a accurately as I can while also finding which ammo it will shoot it's best with.

Once I find ammo I can consistently shoot 5 shot single hole or nearly single hole groups I will then concentrate on mastering ARA targets. My T1X has proven if fed the correct ammo it has the capability to at a minimum consistently shoot .3" 50 yard 5-shot groups.

I would respectfully ask all who read and especially all who are so graciously willing to respond to my requests for help and advice, I am literally figuring this out as I go as to my knowledge (and I implore anyone who knows to please inform me if there indeed are) there are no books I am aware of let alone highly regarded ones written by the top ARA competitors on how to go from a novice to capable ARA competitor.

So if at times I say things that inflict a urge to roll one's eyes or "Face Palm" it is because I at this point don't have the knowledge to know better.
I am going about learning this in the same dominated by common sense methodology as I have employed every time I have been forced to learn something new when I am essentially completely on my own and have no experienced person I can depend on for in person instruction and mentoring/advice and must teach 90%+ all I must know myself.

Last edited by DMTJAGER; 08-20-2021 at 09:30 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2021, 09:40 AM
DMTJAGER

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlnbyr View Post
Good advice from one of the absolute best in the game. There are NO SHORTCUTS. Take your rifle, your ammo and your rest, go to the range, and grind it out.
Again the truth is always the greatest of all available advice.

Instant gratification is the drug of choice for those drowning in sloth and impatients, two maladies from which I thankfully do not suffer.

I am reminded of a saying common among successful self made entrepreneurs:
"It only took me 10 years of my life to be an overnight success"
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Old 08-20-2021, 11:41 PM
gaboy

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2 of the BEST in the game have given you the best advice you'll ever get. Go back and re-read both #2 and #3 post several times. One shot per dot.


Ricky

Last edited by gaboy; 08-21-2021 at 06:40 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2021, 06:30 PM
DMTJAGER

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Originally Posted by gaboy View Post
2 of the BEST in the game have given you the best advice you'll ever get. Go back and re-read both #2 and #3 post several times. One shot per dot.


Ricky
Forget about those groups!!
Absolutely correct.
My last range session this past Saturday at my gun club a fellow member who was most responsible for convincing me to give factory class 22lr BR a try was also there and is a devoted UL 22lr BR competitor. He saw what I was doing and suggested the same thing.

As you have both suggested, he also told me shooting any more groups than needed to confirm what ammo your rifle likes is a waist of both time and ammo, and shooting the same targets as used in matches is the best and really only way to practice.

Will order me a pack of Factory Class ARA targets from Killoughs SS and that will be how I practice from now forward.

Again thanks for the advice.
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2021, 07:01 PM
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Don't know if you are already doing it, but these 3 things may help.

1 - Level your target when posting it.

2 - Once a shot is fired get your gun adjusted in your rest so your crosshairs are back on the bull, before making rest adjustments to move to the next bull.

3- Once moved and on the next bull, look at your crosshair alignment with the other bulls on the target. If your target was leveled they should be intersecting vertically, and horizontally with the other bulls on the target, to avoid cant.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:42 AM
DMTJAGER

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Thanks to all for your sharing your experience with me.
I printed out all replies and keep such info in a folder I have made for RFBR info.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2021, 07:17 PM
oldshot50
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I believe Killough's also sells ARA targets that are 2 sided. One side for factory class and one for ARA Unlimited class. Would be economical and practical to order these. Then as your shooting improves, you can step up to the more challenging target. I believe pricing is the same as the factory class only targets. Just an idea. As others have said, practice and consistency are key to your improvement. Keep shooting!
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2021, 07:58 PM
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igolfat8
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Iíve used a few different front rests and I am presently using a Tier One bi-pod in conjunction with a Holeshot rear rest. I am shooting my best ARA scores yet with this set up. I am certainly not a grand master shooter but merely a newbie BR shooter too.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2021, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DMTJAGER View Post
Thanks to all for your sharing your experience with me.
I printed out all replies and keep such info in a folder I have made for RFBR info.
I love your methodical approach. And frankly, that's part of improving your scores: finding a method or procedure on the bench that works for you, and repeating it over and over again. Being methodical is part of the mental part of this game, and believe me, there is a mental dimension.

I think someone mentioned ammo. I resist the "finding the right lot" mentality because of all the panic buying and hoarding, but finding the right lot really is essential to obtaining good versus outstanding scores. My main unlimited rifle can shoot 2000 to 2100 with any premium ammo, but with the right lot, it hops to 2300. Right now I'm saving the last few boxes of one of those magic lots for ARA "worse ring" scoring; if I am shooting in a 250 "best ring" match, I use rejected lots and still shoot 250 with a very respectable number of X's. This spring, when one of the distributors has at least 100 boxes of eight to 10 lots, I'll buy a box of each (and pay for overnight shipping), race to the range for testing, and then race home to order enough bricks of the winning lot to get me through the summer and maybe beyond. (I do all that racing before they sell out of that lot.)

I will not tell you too find the right lot and "buy all they have." Sure, that's sound advice, but too many guys on these forums are too quick to spend other peoples' money, know what I mean?

Last edited by neangler; 10-22-2021 at 04:53 PM.
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