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Old 09-23-2019, 08:50 PM
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Sighting in bench vs offhand



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How many signt in on the bench then wonder why they miss from offhand or improvised rest? My little Marlin 717 is a completely different animal from bench to offhand.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:44 PM
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:44 PM
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I sight in on the bench, but dont wonder at all if/when they go to a diff poi offhand.
Bench proves the gun and ammo, offhand proves the shooter.
Ive had strickly offhand match rifles, they get proved on the bench, for sure and certain. Then in offhand, only if needed, the sighting equipment gets tweaked to center the wobbly group of mine. My degree of error is always worse than the bench has; ie, aint no way I am going to shoot a 1/2" group at 50yd offhand, centered or not.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:47 PM
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Don't forget that zeroing a rifle on an unyielding solid rest will have a different POI than when fired with the forearm allowed to move.
I learned years ago to always rest the forearm on something compressible.

Probably not a big deal with .22s and I've never tested it.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:10 AM
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I used to have a problem like this, but found out why. Now all my guns that are always sighted in on a rest, then I shoot off hand and they head dead on. Lets say you want to go off hand, but against the side of a tree for support.... do not lay the firearm against the tree. Put your hand there, and create a cradle from your thumb and index finger for the forearm to pay in, and it should hit dead on. Now... for all of this to work., that barrel needs to be completely floated from the action all the way out the barrel channel, and floated enough to get at leats 2 business cards underneath. Anything less, and any slight binding of how you are holding and that barrel will touch the stock again.

When I could see...lol, we would practice right before squirrel season, but shooting buckeyes off the tree, and when we would see 2 or 3 buckeyes with their stems all attached to one single stem, I could shoot at that spot and shoot all 2 or 3 buckeyes out just be shooting the stem off. It takes practice, and free floating barrel, and keep the gun away from any tree or post you might want to rest on.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:53 AM
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I think guys get to concerned and overthink things like this for hunting situations.
Sight it in with a good rest, then use whatever is handy in the field if you can.
Practice offhand enough to feel confident if no rest is available, and learn when to not shoot.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:21 AM
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I agree with Gizzy. And I will add one additional pitch to having a .22, or any rifle, hit where you are holding.

The amount of force, or comfort if you will, that the gun is held against your shoulder and the grip on the forearm, needs to be consistent as well. In the past when I was hunting with several guys, we would swap guns around and see how well we could shoot each others.

Generally we all shot each others fairly well. But in watching what someone was doing when he was really off target, was generally a completely different stance and hold on the gun. Even to the point of flexing the forend, or an overly loose or tight cheek weld.

I try to have a consistent tight butt to the shoulder, a firm cheek weld, but not to the point of compressing my cheek out of shape on the stock. That is my recipe. But someone else may be quite different. The crux of the whole accuracy of the rifle is however you hold the rifle when sighting in from a rest, it should be held the same way when you are shooting offhand, or from a makeshift rest. Keep the barrel off the support, keep a stock the same against your shoulder, and you should be in good shape.

In 4 position matches, the sling tension, and all of the above had to be consistent. Once the rifle was dialed in in the prone position, it had to shoot the same kneeling, sitting and standing.

Consistency is the name of the game.

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Old 09-24-2019, 11:12 AM
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I have been shooting competitively for over 60 years, 4 position smallbore, high power, metallic silhouette, the works.

From long experience I know that if I dial in my sights off the bench, I have to come up 2 minutes when I go to offhand. Works every time. Yes, with .22's .

YMMV.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:16 PM
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After sighting in offhand my group is up and slightly left when I sit back down to check where the group forms when bench rested. This happens rim fire and center fire.
There may be a way to get the offhand group to hit the same place as my bench rest group by holding the rifle differently but it would probably not feel right or comfortable to me.
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