bag technique

  • Last Post 20 February 2018
porthos posted this 19 February 2018

what works best with loads that are 1800 - 2000 fps  for you.  free recoil or a snug hold??

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onondaga posted this 20 February 2018


Let me add what helped me most was an NRA instructor at a club when I first started pistol. I know you are asking about rifle... This instructor was a woman and she out shot every man at the club with a revolver shooting double action. Everybody told me to ask her for help. She taught me to watch how my grip rotated the pistol as I tried to fire double action and she helped me to stop doing that with a revolver. It is a see and learn thing with a revolver that is very visible if you really look.

That lesson will transfer to a rifle if you practice dry fire with a rifle that has a very high power scope and you aim at a tiny bullseye no wider than your cross-hair in your view. You will see where you drift from your grip and your squeeze.

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 20 February 2018

12 pound 13 ounce heavy rifle. Free recoil. Front rest has a stop rod so forend placement is repeatable. Right shoulder and cheek putting a small amount of pressure on buttstock. Left hand pinches rear bag to fine adjust vertical Right hand holds rifle but not tightly. I've not experimented much with my technique. I think being consistent from shot to shot and  session to session matters more than the exact technique but I'm not exactly winning matches so my opinions may be way wrong.

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onondaga posted this 20 February 2018

Either can work well if you concentrate more on simply supporting the rifle with no torquing or rotational force in your grip with BOTH hands. You can pull the rifle butt into your shoulder without putting any rotational force in your grip but it takes deep concentration to acknowledge your grip effect successfully.  If you counter act the rotation of your fore-grip with torquing your pistol grip, you will shoot your worst all over the place. Learning not to change your grip when you squeeze the trigger takes effort and that effort will be less with a light trigger.

A habit that is difficult to break is if you increase your grip in anticipation of recoil during your trigger squeeze. That very generally causes lateral dispersion of shots because you do it so quickly that you do not detect rotational forces you apply with your grip as you fire.

Something I do with light recoil rifles on a day when I am having lateral dispersion problems is to only hold the resting rifle with a thumb pad behind the trigger guard and squeeze the trigger toward that thumb. This is free recoil shooting with no hand support. I can do that with a well supported heavy rifle with light loads but it is folly with a light rifle and any loads.



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R. Dupraz posted this 20 February 2018

I have tried both methods and use a fairly firm hold with all my long guns and pistols for that matter, maybe more so. The free recoil thing doesn't work for me although I have shot next to some that use it and do quite well. They must know something that I don't and aren't telling. 

Don't think my cast loads run that fast though. Most around 1500 FPS or less.

Just have to try and see what works. The targets don't lie.


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RicinYakima posted this 20 February 2018

Flat fore end rifles shoot well with free recoil. Military and sporters are much harder to shoot that way, Like RD says, some can and some can't. Gary has one of the main reasons, consistence of placement and pressure of the trigger finger hand. I started shooting BR about 25 years ago, and tried both methods. For me, a firm pull back to the shoulder, but I'm very careful of hand placement and pressure and not twisting. Too shoot free recoil, you need to spend the bucks to buy the best equipment and individualize for each rifle. HTH, Ric

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joeb33050 posted this 20 February 2018

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