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Old 04-30-2020, 07:49 AM
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Free recoil versus...not



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So...Long story involving a rickety bench etc. that needs no more explanation.

I am used to shooting free recoil from the bench with my 6ppc and that is how I have been shooting my 455 varmint. Due to circumstances with the rickety bench I ended up shooting two five shot groups with my right hand on the grip adjusting my aim and my left hand resting on the scope to hold it steady on the rest.

Wow! two different kinds of ammo and both groups went into basically one hole at 50 yards. My 455 is pretty accurate but these groups were exceptional. And I ran out of time to continue.

This is a cause of wonderment to me, so, I will have time tomorrow and will experiment some more but in the mean time I have questions.

What is going on here? Do these relatively light rifles bounce off the rest that much? The rifle does seem to like the rest closer to the magazine rather than out further, is the free floated barrel and forearm acting like a tuning fork and vibrating during firing?

I would like your thoughts and whether most of you are shooting free recoil or if any are holding on to the forearm etc.

Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:04 AM
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I use a two bag set up and have trouble keeping sporter stocks from riding up the angle of the stock's butt. Unless it rides up the same way every time, I often wind up with a bullet hole out of the group, but my cross hairs pointed right at the errant hole. This has been the source of much colorful language on my part. In other words, the rifle/scope are sending the bullet exactly where they are pointed, but controlling that to a quarter inch at 50 yards is a challenge (I would say the challenge). My 455 Varmint rides the bags better than the American, because of the Varmint's wide forearm, though.

I don't shoot sporters free recoil but I tend not to hold on to the forearm. (Although I make no claim to doing this correctly. . .). I tend to set up the rifle and rest so that the rifle is pointing at the bullseye all on its own with no involvement from me. Check to make sure that recoil, minimal though it is with a .22, will not cause either sling stud to ride up on the bags. Settle in and pull the stock against my shoulder with my right (trigger) hand. Close my eyes for a moment. Open them to make sure I am still on target. If anywhere, my left hand is on the rear bag. Breathe in. Breathe out. Break the shot. And about eight times out of ten, I get it right. Hey, don't laugh. Used to be six times out of ten.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:26 AM
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Many shooters find the cast in sporter-style stocks diminishes the effectiveness of free recoil shooting. As a result such stocks are often held firmly or otherwise when using them from the bench.

Free recoil stocks typically have no cast off so that the butt stock is in line with the barrel, allowing for straight movement back and forth on the rear bag.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:44 AM
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Much better results with Free Recoil though this is with heavier rifles. A rickety bench would be problematic for me.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:11 AM
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I am interested in what ammo gave that kind of result.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:12 AM
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I'm not a benchrest guy. 98% of my shooting is either from field positions or traditional 3P/4P. I have very little experience with the free recoil method.

That said...

The technique of using your offhand to apply gentle pressure on the top of the scope is extremely common in PRS/NRL-style games. In those endeavors, the rifle is often supported only by a front bag or perhaps a bipod, maybe even only resting with the forearm directly on a barricade. These are positions where there may be little to no support for the buttstock, and the left hand (right handed shooter) goes up on top to give some extra stability. It works, quite well actually.

Now, there is a camp of shooters in the long range precision games who also do free recoil. I am not one of those, at least not yet.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:27 AM
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usually the trigger pull on a sporter rifle prevents me from shooting free recoil. No matter what the rests are, I can't pull or pinch a 3 lb. trigger on a 6 lb. rifle without moving something.

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Old 04-30-2020, 09:37 AM
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My experience pretty much matches what's been said. With lighter sporter rifles, a firm grip to the rest gives best results.

With heavy rifles, a lighter grip or even free recoil works best. But the make free-recoil work well, the rifle has to have a flat bottom and recoil the same way every time -- hence the weight and design of benchrest rifles.

My heaviest rifle is a BRNO-4, more of a smallbore rifle than a benchrest rifle. And so, I don't use free recoil even with the BRNO.
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Old 04-30-2020, 10:03 AM
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tomorrow

tomorrow the winds are supposed to be in the 4-5MPH range so excellent shooting environment for this time of year and I will try a couple of different holds to see what I can learn. My trigger is at around about 16oz I would guess pretty light but not like a bench gun.

My rifle tends to shoot best with Eley Ten-X, RWS R100 and RWS R50, those two groups were with the RWS products.

Thanks to all of you for your comments.
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Old 04-30-2020, 10:14 AM
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Wink trigger

Curiosity got the better of me, average of five pulls and the trigger breaks at 8.3oz, a little lighter than i thought
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:15 PM
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All my 22's are setup for bipods, I have tried the pinch method but saw little if any change from a more conventional hold and pull
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberbeast View Post
My experience pretty much matches what's been said. With lighter sporter rifles, a firm grip to the rest gives best results.

With heavy rifles, a lighter grip or even free recoil works best. But the make free-recoil work well, the rifle has to have a flat bottom and recoil the same way every time -- hence the weight and design of benchrest
Iíve found this also to be true and have been contemplating fabricating a small wedge shaped piece to attach to the sling stud on the rear of my 457 Varmint. Something to make what rides the rear bag parallel to the barrel. It sounds like it might help.
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:02 PM
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I don't/can't shoot free recoil, just doesn't "feel" right to me. Regardless of the rifle weight, I am always worried I will pull the rifle off target. My standard set up is bipods and sandbag. I never hold the rifle by the forearm when bench shooting.

My technique 95% of the time is enough shoulder pressure on the buttstock that if I move my shoulder forward it moves the rifle. I never have constant pressure on my shoulder as a result of me pulling the rifle back with my hand. My shooting hand lays up against the side of the grip with no input at all, it's just there. My thumb doesn't wrap around the stock, it stays on top or the right hand side, again with no input. Trigger finger is at the lowest point on the trigger and in the center of my finger "pad". My other three fingers are most of the time curled with the tips of my fingers making contact with the front of the grip but not exerting any force. My left hand is under the buttstock squeezing the sandback adjusting my elevation. Next, this is my one variable, check pressure. Different stocks/chassis require a different cheek weld, at least mine do to me. I use what is best for that particular rifle and reduces my heart rate affect that transmits ultimately to the reticle. One option is to not have any cheek contact at all but I elect to not do it that way. I believe my bench technique gives me the most consistent results. Trust me, I have tried a lot of methods. Other people may feel totally different.

Regardless of what technique someone uses, they should do it consistently time after time. If a particular technique doesn't work then change it but still do it consistently. Also, have confidence in what you do, without confidence you are doing nothing but shooting up money.

Anyway, that's my .02 cents, that's about what it's worth too.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:21 PM
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Thats almost EXACTLY what I do Kissofdeath.
Very little shoulder. Real light, next to no cheek weld.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:40 PM
JimSC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptBill252 View Post
Thats almost EXACTLY what I do Kissofdeath.
Very little shoulder. Real light, next to no cheek weld.
times 3. Once I find my natural point of aim I put a little piece (1 x 1) of velcro on the comb of my stock. Then put the same spot on my cheekbone on it every time. I use the hook side of the velcro so it's pretty easy to tell when I am on it
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