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Thread: practical shooting accuracy

  1. #1

    Default practical shooting accuracy

    I always read about how accurate this gun is or that gun is but in most of those situations it is from a bench and I rarely see people shooting offhand or sitting or kneeling at the range. I have been shooting my 350 mag around 30-40 rounds a week since the new year and typically one off the bench to make sure its on then clays at 100 and balloons at differing distances. Trying to shoot the first shot slow and the next two quickly trying to simulate follow up sots. I am getting to where I rarely miss and the clays are 4 inches so all the tiny groups a gun can shoot doesn't seem to matter if you haven't practiced because at first it took a long time to hit a clay. is it because of cost that so few people donj't try different positions

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    I believe that it's because marksmanship is rarely taught anymore.

  3. #3

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    You and I are reading from the same book. Kinda sorts out who will shoot with me and who won't. Lotta guys show up and discover there's no bench rest and they won't even load their guns. Results of that kind of thinking and bad habit show up on hunts, too.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    The only time I shoot from a bench is if I'm zeroing a scope....everything else is field positions. I shoot a lot of prone over a pack and a lot of sitting because that's mostly how I shoot in the field.

    Shooting from a bench is an occasional evil to zero a scope or some other kind of administrative hassle..not really very good practice unless you shoot out of a box blind with a bench in it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I rarely shoot from a bench. I shoot sitting if im going to sight in, or prone if im in the notion. I normally shoot standing as its the hardest, and most useful to master. I can generally do a clay bird/4" at 100 yards off hand with a rifle. And 6" at 50 with a handgun. I have shot a lot, and practiced dry firing and stance a fair amount to get that decent. Last time I shot at a bench, was with a 22, I was hitting empty 22 casings with a scope at 25 yards.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default practical shooting accuracy

    I get different types of satisfaction by different types of shooting.

    For some, I like bench shooting. This involves mainly a test of my rifle, the work I've done to it, and the development and quality of my hand loads. I get great satisfaction by taking my 14 pound .308 range queen and making really small groups on paper at long distances. There's still a fair amount of skill involved with reading wind.

    On the other hand, I also like hearing the sound of metal clanging at short (50-300 yards) with a variety of shooting positions. When I shot competition, the course of fire included standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone unsupported.

    It all depends on what I feel like, and the weather conditions.
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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    I like to use my frame pack to shoot off of either in kneeling, prone or laying back against it and shooting off my knees. I've had to do all those in the field to get the shot, and of course off hand standing or kneeling, I like to have a rest if I can but a rest isn't always available at the moment of truth. My dad had us shooting golf balls in clear cuts with .22 bull barrels without a bench as boys, we hated to miss so bad, we got pretty good at it



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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Your zero can change with positions.

    If you zero on the bench your rounds on target can change if you shoot from a different position. This is because your position on the rifle is not going to be the same on the bench as in prone, sitting, or standing.

    Learning the proper way to use a sling will improve your rounds on target also.

  9. #9

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    Good info guys. I use a 200 yard zero for my .338 and 30-06 and once the scopes zero is verified I am off the bench and shooting at 8" paper plates. I even do some shooting with those little shooting sticks that work from the kneeling and sitting position. I like my old Browning T Bolt .22 for off hand practice too.

    I have shot moose from all positions, but most from the kneeling position. Kneeling was just quick to get into and most steady due to the terrain and vegetation not allowing visibility from lower positions. The one and only moose I shot from sitting gave me a wet butt for the next few hours and the one I shot from prone left me covered in mud.

    I have shot several caribou from prone and sitting and a few standing and kneeling. The terrain certainly dictates what position to use.

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
    I always read about how accurate this gun is or that gun is but in most of those situations it is from a bench and I rarely see people shooting offhand or sitting or kneeling at the range. I have been shooting my 350 mag around 30-40 rounds a week since the new year and typically one off the bench to make sure its on then clays at 100 and balloons at differing distances. Trying to shoot the first shot slow and the next two quickly trying to simulate follow up sots. I am getting to where I rarely miss and the clays are 4 inches so all the tiny groups a gun can shoot doesn't seem to matter if you haven't practiced because at first it took a long time to hit a clay. is it because of cost that so few people donj't try different positions
    I think its because of ego. Most figure their good enough already and verifying with bench rest groups makes them feel better. I've been guilty with this for sure. I've done a fair amount of shooting, competitive leagues at times, but, the practice you guys are talking about for sure rules!

  11. #11

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    We have a little informal "competition" we sure enjoy, but it makes the benchrest-handicapped shooters absolutely nuts. They only do it once and never come back for more.

    We cut five 6-inch holes in a big piece of cardboard for each shooter. Then we blow up balloons just big enough for friction fit in the holes. Everyone lines up at 50 yards and gets 5 shots offhand for his balloons. Hit them all, and your backstop gets moved back 5 yards for the next round. Miss any and your targets stay right where they are. Sooner or later it's kinda self-handicapping as a guy reaches the point that he's missing one or two, and the target doesn't move back any more while he gets to practice at the range he needs to practice. Bring lots of ammo and lots of balloons!

    Guys who do all their hunting with a benchrest strapped to their body almost never get beyond that 50 yard line. But some of us that shoot offhand regularly can push it out to 150 yards or so, maybe a little further on a lucky day. It sure shames the backpack benchresters to stand around waiting while half a dozen other guys hike way on out there to put up more targets!

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    As a kid I remember practicing on jack rabbits freehand with the 308......great fun at all distances...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    As a kid I remember practicing on jack rabbits freehand with the 308......great fun at all distances...!!!
    The last 40 rounds that I have fired have been at coyotes. EKC clears throat....the last ten rounds have only found frozen ground. I have been shooting at running coyotes for a lot of years but I still miss more than I hit. One Sunday last winter I fired exactly 3 rounds that morning and rolled three coyotes. I have fired 40 rounds this winter and have killed but two. The last one had been shot at a half dozen times and eluded two of my buds a half mile to the south. When he cleared the fence line he was exactly 50 yards broadside of me and he had his tongue hanging out as he trotted broadside for a hundred yards or so. My Mini 14 barked 10 times and the coyote made it to cover and as he faded into the brush I am pretty sure I heard him laugh at me. I would hate to guess how many rounds I have fired at coyotes in my days......evidently not enough😕.

  14. #14

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    I am going to do this what a great idea

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    One Sunday last winter I fired exactly 3 rounds that morning and rolled three coyotes. I have fired 40 rounds this winter and have killed but two.
    Isn't it great how we can remember the good days so clearly!

    I can remember every detail of a shot I made 50 years ago in my teens on a jackrabbit so far away you could hardly tell it was a jackrabbit. Held so far over it with my open sighted 22LR that the front sight was clearing the mountains on the horizon. I had enough time to lower the rifle and for my buddy to say "You mi...." when that longear did a backflip and lay still. Still took our excited young legs about 5 minutes to get over to it. Perfect head shot. I frankly can't remember the details of any other jack, and over the years we went through a whole lot of 22LR!

  16. #16

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    What I also know and have confirmed time and again is that my percentages go way up when using my bolt action 243 as opposed to the Mini 14. The three last year all died from 243 lead. The 243 is longer, balances well when shooting free handed but most of all I take my time and line up the crosshairs behind the running coyote swing through him unit the lead feels right and the feather the trigger. With my 243 the cross hairs glide through the coyote and stay level through the process. Why take the Mini 14 then? Many times I am driving along parralell to the coyote until I am in front of him, then I just stop in position to shoot from behind the wheel with out getting out of the truck. The Mini 14 has a high percentage when shooting off the mirror. When the coyote doesn't cooperate and is on the wrong side of the truck I bail out of the truck and shoot off the hood or drop to one knee. The 10 round frakus with the Mini 14 last weekend was from one knee, he was close and I had my scope cranked up way too high. I have a Weatherby 459 tactical 12 gauge set up with a Carlson buckshot choke.....it was on the back seat unloaded😤. Sometimes the coyote wins because the hunter has his head up his rear.........it was a huge yote/dark pelt with lots of color.

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    Member Nanook's Avatar
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    If you want to learn to be a shooter, spend a day with Hogfamily and the Appleseed bunch. That program is one of the best that I have ever seen. It is a version of the Army qualification course and involves prone, sitting or kneeling and standing with your rifle and a sling. The course is fired at 1000" just like in the military. The targets just change size for the different positions. It emphasizes the fundamentals of shooting. You can use either a .22rf or your big game gun. The course does include some sustained fire so your gun should be able to hold at least 5 rounds. It's a real hoot and I guarantee you will learn something about shooting and about the history of why you are there. Then you can get involved with one of the rifle clubs and shoot some National Match Competition. That includes standing and rapid fire sitting from 200 yds. Rapid fire prone at 300 yds. Then you go back to 600 yds. and shoot some prone, slow fire. Trust me friend, that will make a shooter out of you. If you want to learn to shoot standing, come out and shoot some silhouettes. The Alaska Rifle Club holds matches, TVSA up north and check with The Kenai guys at Snowshoe. Years ago, I shot a big caribou back by the Black River. I slung up and sat down and shot him at about 300 yds. Didn't really think much of it, but the guy I was with was a bit miffed as he thought I was just an animal murderer. I guess that our concept of marksmanship was a bit different.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
    If you want to learn to be a shooter, spend a day with Hogfamily and the Appleseed bunch. That program is one of the best that I have ever seen. It is a version of the Army qualification course and involves prone, sitting or kneeling and standing with your rifle and a sling. The course is fired at 1000" just like in the military. The targets just change size for the different positions. It emphasizes the fundamentals of shooting. You can use either a .22rf or your big game gun. The course does include some sustained fire so your gun should be able to hold at least 5 rounds. It's a real hoot and I guarantee you will learn something about shooting and about the history of why you are there. Then you can get involved with one of the rifle clubs and shoot some National Match Competition. That includes standing and rapid fire sitting from 200 yds. Rapid fire prone at 300 yds. Then you go back to 600 yds. and shoot some prone, slow fire. Trust me friend, that will make a shooter out of you. If you want to learn to shoot standing, come out and shoot some silhouettes. The Alaska Rifle Club holds matches, TVSA up north and check with The Kenai guys at Snowshoe. Years ago, I shot a big caribou back by the Black River. I slung up and sat down and shot him at about 300 yds. Didn't really think much of it, but the guy I was with was a bit miffed as he thought I was just an animal murderer. I guess that our concept of marksmanship was a bit different.
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    Good stuff Nanook! It's called paying your dues. We have so many guys in this corner of the world that get their gun out for one weekend per year. Many of them never even shoot paper before season. They are the reason we have miles of blood trails all over the state after shotgun season. I heard one fella telling that he hit three deer on opening day and didn't find any of them.

    I really wish slug hunters in this state had to shoot to qualify for deer tags. That would force them to put forth some effort towards marksmanship.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Gosh Nanook, thank you from myself and the Appleseed instructors for the kind words!

    HUZZAH!

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    Im a strong believer in fundaments, correct line of sight then posture then breathing and then trigger control.
    Practicing off a bench allows one to concentrate on certain aspects more then others. Mainly sight picture, breathing and trigger control. This type of practice has a place.
    I strongly believe part of being a good marksman is being able to use the environment around you, to get as steady as you can in the time allowed and being able to find the appropriate balance of those 2. This sometimes entails knowing when a shot is ethical, safe and appropriate.
    This is what I consider (practical accuracy).
    In the field I always try to shoot off a rock against a tree or go prone and shoot off my pack or bipod. Then I choose Kneeling (bone to bone).
    lastly Ill use a sling and shoot standing. I practice a bit of all those. Mostly I try to use my environment, IMO this is the best practice you can get.

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