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Author Topic: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls  (Read 6893 times)

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2017, 07:53:29 AM »
Zip tie a 20 oz water bottle to your front sling mount or hold the forend or get a good brake or lighten your loads?  Looking forward to hearing your solution to keeping a light 30 cal rifle from rising off rest. 

Offline poopooheaddad

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2017, 07:59:19 AM »
try a lead sled  :dunno:
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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2017, 08:05:02 AM »
Shooting a relatively light weight rifle free recoil is more difficult than you'd think. Part of what you're seeing could be the forend bouncing off of the front test. I usually get better accuracy from hunting rifles when I grip the forend to control the bounce off of the front rest. Also, make sure that the contour of the front bag matches the forend. Using a 2" front bag on a standard spotter forend won't offer much help.

Try shooting it off of a bipod too. This will take away some of the problems you can get when your front rest is either too hard or too soft. A bipod with a good rear bag is my preferred method for shooting groups with a spotter style rifle.
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Offline kentrek

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2017, 08:30:04 AM »
A muzzle break might helps aswell

Online wooltie

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2017, 08:39:33 AM »
From what everyone is saying--it sounds like I may just not be controlling the recoil enough.  And by "control" I mean just not letting the gun fly all over the place.

I mean, I know you don't need a death grip but I could certainly use a firmer grip and also pull the rifle into my shoulder--which is fine by me, I'm not trying to shoot any particular style e.g. free recoil, I just want to improve my marksmanship and group moa consistently.

When I shot my .308, which weighed a pound more, using 150g factory loads, I didn't run into this issue of "the gun flying all over the place", probably because of less recoil.

Offline Alchase

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2017, 08:57:31 AM »
When I shot my .308, which weighed a pound more, using 150g factory loads, I didn't run into this issue of "the gun flying all over the place", probably because of less recoil.

The .308 and the 30-06 are almost identical ballistically.
The rifle would make more of a difference in recoil, then difference between a .308 and 30-06 would.
Have you tried shooting offhand while standing?
This would take the "bench out of the equation.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2017, 09:24:35 AM »
I like to shoot with left hand on the rear bag but Son's 338-378 shoots 12" groups at 500 yards like this - with hand on the forearm groups shrink to 4" at 500 yards.  This is a 11.5 # rifle with brake.   If I back off the load a couple grains or go with light bullets its fine without holding the foreend though. 

Offline Bill W

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2017, 11:07:34 AM »
I've seen a lot of interesting methods on here and most are part there.   The key to good shooting is to do everything consistently the same every shot.   One thing I'd like to know is how did shooting free recoil work for you?  I bet that turned into a real eye opener.

Proper alignment of your front and back rests is also another little aspect that should be heeded.

If you're ever over in the Moses Lake area camping bring your gear along and we can go up to the local range for a short session.  A person learns more when being shown rather than reading about it or trying to meld together various methods.

I shoot free recoil with a .30 BR.  Some people don't like even that little bit of recoil.  One thing I did learn about free recoil was to make sure the scope didn't hit my hea or nose.   :yike:  That sorta makes a person jumpy for the next couple of shots.

you also need to ensure that parallex is minimized or removed for the distance you are shooting.  It's hard to get it all out. With some parallex a person might think everything they are doing is the same but it's not.

Online wooltie

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2017, 11:57:03 AM »
I've seen a lot of interesting methods on here and most are part there.   The key to good shooting is to do everything consistently the same every shot.   One thing I'd like to know is how did shooting free recoil work for you?  I bet that turned into a real eye opener.

Proper alignment of your front and back rests is also another little aspect that should be heeded.

If you're ever over in the Moses Lake area camping bring your gear along and we can go up to the local range for a short session.  A person learns more when being shown rather than reading about it or trying to meld together various methods.

I shoot free recoil with a .30 BR.  Some people don't like even that little bit of recoil.  One thing I did learn about free recoil was to make sure the scope didn't hit my hea or nose.   :yike:  That sorta makes a person jumpy for the next couple of shots.

you also need to ensure that parallex is minimized or removed for the distance you are shooting.  It's hard to get it all out. With some parallex a person might think everything they are doing is the same but it's not.

Free recoil worked fine when I shot heavier rifles and lighter loads relative to 180g .30 cal @ 2750 fps out of a 7.5 lb rifle.  150g .30 cal @ 2910 out of a 8.5-9 lb rifle delivered much less felt recoil, muzzle flip.

I think I just need to manage the recoil more with this gun by holding the forend, or pulling firmly into shoulder pocket, checking bag setup, trying bipod, etc. as others have suggested and figure out what works.  Free recoiling this gun, with the rest and bag setup, sends the gun wandering all over the place.  I can observe the crosshairs move off target during recoil and where the crosshairs go is where the bullet impacts the target (e.g. up left, up, up right etc.)  This tells me that the gun is not staying on target during recoil.  My goal is to find the setup variables that get the gun recoiling back, with less flip, and comes to rest more on target.

thanks everyone!

Offline JLS

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2017, 12:22:42 PM »
Shooting a relatively light weight rifle free recoil is more difficult than you'd think. Part of what you're seeing could be the forend bouncing off of the front test. I usually get better accuracy from hunting rifles when I grip the forend to control the bounce off of the front rest. Also, make sure that the contour of the front bag matches the forend. Using a 2" front bag on a standard spotter forend won't offer much help.

Try shooting it off of a bipod too. This will take away some of the problems you can get when your front rest is either too hard or too soft. A bipod with a good rear bag is my preferred method for shooting groups with a spotter style rifle.

Thanks.  I use a Caldwell Rock Deluxe w/the factory bag and a leather bunny ears rear bag.  The benches are solid wood or concrete which require a pallet jack to move.

The trigger is the factory MOA turned almost all the way down to where I'm comfortable.  All the way down is pretty darn light.  The rifle+scope weighs about 7.5 lbs I believe--it weighs under 8 lbs for sure.  Shooting 180g factory accubonds for a hunting load right now.

By free recoil I mean (1) the rifle sits on the rests at the target, (2) I bring my body and shoulder to the rifle, (3) I lightly grip/shoulder the stock not to disrupt the point of aim, and apply pressure to the trigger.  The gun comes off target considerably when it recoils, typically going up and torquing right or left.  I can see where the point of aim moves to during the shot, and where it goes is where my shots always end up.  That's why I'm trying to find the right combination to get consistent recoil of just straight back--neither up/down/left/right.

I agree with what Yorker and Magnum Willy's are saying.  When shooting my Kimber Hunter, my groups will open up to 2-3" shooting off of sandbags and foreend support.  As soon as I grip the foreend I can immediately reduce them to 0.75 MOA.  This is with a 5.5 pound rifle.

Try some different methods using the same ammo, just make sure you are consistent with the method during the entirety of the group.
Matthew 7:13-14

Offline hogslayer

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2017, 12:24:10 PM »
I can shoot wayyyy better off I bi paid and rear bag.  Speaking from experience I can shoot 1/2" or less consistently with my hand loads and it's very rare that I look back into the scope after a shot and am right on track with the target.

Online JDHasty

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2017, 09:11:56 PM »
Shooting a relatively light weight rifle free recoil is more difficult than you'd think. Part of what you're seeing could be the forend bouncing off of the front test. I usually get better accuracy from hunting rifles when I grip the forend to control the bounce off of the front rest. Also, make sure that the contour of the front bag matches the forend. Using a 2" front bag on a standard spotter forend won't offer much help.

Try shooting it off of a bipod too. This will take away some of the problems you can get when your front rest is either too hard or too soft. A bipod with a good rear bag is my preferred method for shooting groups with a spotter style rifle.

Thanks.  I use a Caldwell Rock Deluxe w/the factory bag and a leather bunny ears rear bag.  The benches are solid wood or concrete which require a pallet jack to move.

The trigger is the factory MOA turned almost all the way down to where I'm comfortable.  All the way down is pretty darn light.  The rifle+scope weighs about 7.5 lbs I believe--it weighs under 8 lbs for sure.  Shooting 180g factory accubonds for a hunting load right now.

By free recoil I mean (1) the rifle sits on the rests at the target, (2) I bring my body and shoulder to the rifle, (3) I lightly grip/shoulder the stock not to disrupt the point of aim, and apply pressure to the trigger.  The gun comes off target considerably when it recoils, typically going up and torquing right or left.  I can see where the point of aim moves to during the shot, and where it goes is where my shots always end up.  That's why I'm trying to find the right combination to get consistent recoil of just straight back--neither up/down/left/right.

I agree with what Yorker and Magnum Willy's are saying.  When shooting my Kimber Hunter, my groups will open up to 2-3" shooting off of sandbags and foreend support.  As soon as I grip the foreend I can immediately reduce them to 0.75 MOA.  This is with a 5.5 pound rifle.

Try some different methods using the same ammo, just make sure you are consistent with the method during the entirety of the group.

I have not found that to be the case, but I powder my bags and watch the sling swivels.  I will say that a bipod/rear bag can give me about the same result usually as bags though.

I have shot off bags so much for so long it is my preference. 

I even shoot my Deerslayers w/out holding the fore end, but caution against it unless you know how to get and hold the butt pad well into the shoulder socket.   

Offline Alchase

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2017, 09:19:29 PM »
Funny, how everyone has their own preferences. I hate shooting with a rear rest.
I makes me feel like I am not in control of the rifle. I also always grip the foreend when not shooting of a bi-pod.   

Just to clarify, I shoot from a bench often, but I am not a "bench rest shooter".
Bench rest shooters are in their own world, and they have very accurate rifles, but damn! Their rifles are ugly!
 :chuckle:
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My rock,
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Offline EmeraldBullet

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2017, 09:20:01 PM »
When I shot my .308, which weighed a pound more, using 150g factory loads, I didn't run into this issue of "the gun flying all over the place", probably because of less recoil.

The .308 and the 30-06 are almost identical ballistically.
The rifle would make more of a difference in recoil, then difference between a .308 and 30-06 would.
Have you tried shooting offhand while standing?
This would take the "bench out of the equation.

I know for me personally, it's a lot easier for me to shoot my .308 standing than using a sand bag. I'm sure every model and person is different though in this regard.

Offline Alchase

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2017, 09:35:14 PM »
When I shot my .308, which weighed a pound more, using 150g factory loads, I didn't run into this issue of "the gun flying all over the place", probably because of less recoil.

The .308 and the 30-06 are almost identical ballistically.
The rifle would make more of a difference in recoil, then difference between a .308 and 30-06 would.
Have you tried shooting offhand while standing?
This would take the "bench out of the equation.

I know for me personally, it's a lot easier for me to shoot my .308 standing than using a sand bag. I'm sure every model and person is different though in this regard.

Good for you to practice shooting offhand.
Before every hunting season, there is a mad rush of people to sight in or check scopes at the local range.
The part I always found interesting, it is actually pretty rare to see people practicing shooting from offhand.
I never understood this.
They will never have a bench to shoot from while hunting.
They could have a rifle that shoots MOA from a bench all day long, if they do not practice real shooting situations they might not hit a paper plate at 100 yards.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
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My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Bill W

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2017, 08:51:34 AM »
Funny, how everyone has their own preferences. I hate shooting with a rear rest.
I makes me feel like I am not in control of the rifle. I also always grip the foreend when not shooting of a bi-pod.   

Just to clarify, I shoot from a bench often, but I am not a "bench rest shooter".
Bench rest shooters are in their own world, and they have very accurate rifles, but damn! Their rifles are ugly!
 :chuckle:

When I first started shooting BR I told the guy (who was working on getting me to try it) that if my rifle didn't look like a rifle I wasn't going to do it. 10 years later I tried it and got hooked.  With jacketed bullets it's possible to shoot flies at 300 yards when they land on a target.

Offline Alchase

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2017, 09:26:37 AM »
Funny, how everyone has their own preferences. I hate shooting with a rear rest.
I makes me feel like I am not in control of the rifle. I also always grip the foreend when not shooting of a bi-pod.   

Just to clarify, I shoot from a bench often, but I am not a "bench rest shooter".
Bench rest shooters are in their own world, and they have very accurate rifles, but damn! Their rifles are ugly!
 :chuckle:

When I first started shooting BR I told the guy (who was working on getting me to try it) that if my rifle didn't look like a rifle I wasn't going to do it. 10 years later I tried it and got hooked.  With jacketed bullets it's possible to shoot flies at 300 yards when they land on a target.

You bench rest guys take accuracy to a whole new level.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2017, 10:22:22 AM »
Just a guess, but I'm leaning a more and more towards the stock.  Something I'm kind of going through, and noticed a number of other sites discussing as well.  Bell and Carlson stocks have a little bit of flex in them (more than many shooters like), especially the further out on the fore end.  You can usually grab the barrel and the fore end and apply different pressure and see the stock deflecting--with the more solid stocks (wood included) it is usually just the barrel springing over.  The softer composites transfer the flex down to the bedding blocks and action, so even the free floated barrels get affected.  Just have to put the gun in the rests exactly the same way for each shot.  A half inch further forward or back flexes the stock enough to change the point of impact.  May or may not be the issue, but might explore.

Offline browney5er

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2017, 12:00:34 PM »
Just a guess, but I'm leaning a more and more towards the stock.  Something I'm kind of going through, and noticed a number of other sites discussing as well.  Bell and Carlson stocks have a little bit of flex in them (more than many shooters like), especially the further out on the fore end.  You can usually grab the barrel and the fore end and apply different pressure and see the stock deflecting--with the more solid stocks (wood included) it is usually just the barrel springing over.  The softer composites transfer the flex down to the bedding blocks and action, so even the free floated barrels get affected.  Just have to put the gun in the rests exactly the same way for each shot.  A half inch further forward or back flexes the stock enough to change the point of impact.  May or may not be the issue, but might explore.



I agree 100% with the flex in a bell and Carlson stock. I have a .223 that will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yards off sand bags but if I use my bipod my groups can open up to over an inch. I grabbed the butt of my rifle that was resting on the bipod on a shooting bench and twisted it left to right and was surprised how much it moved. When I was shooting it off of the bipod I would get on target then move the butt of the rifle around
to get perfect before the shot, that was torquing my stock and giving me poor performance. This is a bell and Carlson medalist stock. I'm not saying you can't shoot effectively off of a bipod just that there are variables. My hunting rifle is a .280 and has a much stiffer stock, I know this because I tried the same thing with it and found no twist. I shoot my .280 from a bipod free recoil 1" or less at 100yrds. That being said it sounds like you're shooting off of a stand so that isn't an issue. Recoil would have nothing to do with your groupings other than flinching at trigger pull anticipating recoil. Since your shooting off a stand recoil shouldn't be an issue. I agree with a previous post of shooting free recoil and like he said be aware of proper technique or you'll get bit by the scope. I only shoot free recoil when developing loads or sighting in a rifle because my rifle jumps all over the place during the shot, not good practice in a hunting situation but I've never needed a quick follow up shot while sighting in a rifle. Your rifle if properly bedded will never shoot better than sitting on a stand with nothing touching the barrel or torquing the stock. The only thing we can do is make it worse by touching it you can't make it better with your grip. If you've ever seen high speed slow motion footage of a bullet leaving the muzzle the bullet is way out of the picture before any muzzle jump happens. It doesn't matter if it is a pistol or high powered rifle. You might want to look at the crown of your barrel.
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Online wooltie

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2017, 09:30:28 AM »
Range Report--

Groups improved yesterday, though I used my backpack instead of the Caldwell as a front rest.  I stuffed my hunting jackets into a small osprey pack to create a rest similar to something I'd use in the field.  The rest was stable and cupped the forend but still allowing the rifle to recoil back freely.  I also used the same bunny ear rear rest.

I applied more grip pressure to pull the rifle into the pocket, which was the one thing I wanted to do differently this session.  I leaned more forward initially, as opposed to sitting more upright, because the bench @ the 50 yard range was lower than the 100 yard benches.  I rifle was still flipping, but much less, and no torque.

I began shooting at 50 yards, using 150g factory interlocks since I'm low on 180g.  First 6 shots were 1-2.5" high of center, except for one shot which was on center/target.  All 6 shots were spread left/right 0.5" or less of each other.  Some where touching.  The groupings were decent; they were just high of center.  I took next shot at a new target and hit 2" high of center.  At this point I turned my scope down 8 clicks.  Next three shots were moa on center, one of which was 180g.  So I moved to the 100 yard range.

I used the same setup at the 100 yard range except that I was sitting more upright because the bench was taller.  Muzzle flip seemed to increase somewhat, but I also noticed that the gun was moving more left or right of target --  which didn't happen at the 50 yard range.

Groups were not groups at 100 yards.  I put one shot in the center, but the remaining 10 shots were spread 1.5-2" high of center, and 1-2" right of center, in that general quadrant.

Interestingly, the rifle flipped less and recoiled more straight and on target back when I used my left fist as a rear rest instead of my bunny ears.  I can't remember where those two shots landed, but I thought that was interesting.

I'll return next week to try again, probably bring the Caldwell and try that.

 


Online wooltie

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2017, 09:39:47 AM »
Just a guess, but I'm leaning a more and more towards the stock.  Something I'm kind of going through, and noticed a number of other sites discussing as well.  Bell and Carlson stocks have a little bit of flex in them (more than many shooters like), especially the further out on the fore end.  You can usually grab the barrel and the fore end and apply different pressure and see the stock deflecting--with the more solid stocks (wood included) it is usually just the barrel springing over.  The softer composites transfer the flex down to the bedding blocks and action, so even the free floated barrels get affected.  Just have to put the gun in the rests exactly the same way for each shot.  A half inch further forward or back flexes the stock enough to change the point of impact.  May or may not be the issue, but might explore.

I agree 100% with the flex in a bell and Carlson stock. I have a .223 that will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yards off sand bags but if I use my bipod my groups can open up to over an inch. I grabbed the butt of my rifle that was resting on the bipod on a shooting bench and twisted it left to right and was surprised how much it moved. When I was shooting it off of the bipod I would get on target then move the butt of the rifle around
to get perfect before the shot, that was torquing my stock and giving me poor performance. This is a bell and Carlson medalist stock. I'm not saying you can't shoot effectively off of a bipod just that there are variables. My hunting rifle is a .280 and has a much stiffer stock, I know this because I tried the same thing with it and found no twist. I shoot my .280 from a bipod free recoil 1" or less at 100yrds. That being said it sounds like you're shooting off of a stand so that isn't an issue. Recoil would have nothing to do with your groupings other than flinching at trigger pull anticipating recoil. Since your shooting off a stand recoil shouldn't be an issue. I agree with a previous post of shooting free recoil and like he said be aware of proper technique or you'll get bit by the scope. I only shoot free recoil when developing loads or sighting in a rifle because my rifle jumps all over the place during the shot, not good practice in a hunting situation but I've never needed a quick follow up shot while sighting in a rifle. Your rifle if properly bedded will never shoot better than sitting on a stand with nothing touching the barrel or torquing the stock. The only thing we can do is make it worse by touching it you can't make it better with your grip. If you've ever seen high speed slow motion footage of a bullet leaving the muzzle the bullet is way out of the picture before any muzzle jump happens. It doesn't matter if it is a pistol or high powered rifle. You might want to look at the crown of your barrel.

That's interesting.  Throws the whole 'managing recoil' thing out the window.  I'm using a medalist, torqued to 65 in lbs.  The barrel does not tough the stock.

When shooting free recoil, I would setup the gun on rests so that it was on the target, then shoulder/grip the stock.  Then take your hand off the grip just to check that shouldering/gripping didn't affect the point of aim. 

Here's a thought --

If the bullet exist the barrel before muzzle flip occurs, then why do some shooters improve their groups by placing their lead hand on the forend to basically add weight to the stock?

Not trying to argue w/you because what you are saying makes sense.

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2017, 09:51:31 AM »
Have you ever used a good copper cleaner when cleaning your gun? If you have copper fouling you can clean your gun with regular solvents and it won't get it out, you have to use a copper cleaner. I had a gun that was shooting all over and it took a couple good copper scrubbings to clean it up, it shot a lot better afterward.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2017, 10:44:11 AM »
I have a big long break in with copper cleaner until everything gets smoothed up
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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2017, 01:05:44 PM »
Have you ever used a good copper cleaner when cleaning your gun? If you have copper fouling you can clean your gun with regular solvents and it won't get it out, you have to use a copper cleaner. I had a gun that was shooting all over and it took a couple good copper scrubbings to clean it up, it shot a lot better afterward.

I have once with this rifle.

Today I used hoppes 9 for an hour, wet and dry until the wet and dry patches were clear.

Then I ran sweets through the barrel using a wad of 3 patches to form a tight fit.

The wad came out with medium blue lines on it from where the wad rode the lands.

Guess I gotta go back later and repeat the process with Sweets until the blue goes away, right?

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Re: bench rest shooting techniques--help needed pls
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2017, 01:56:45 PM »
Have you ever used a good copper cleaner when cleaning your gun? If you have copper fouling you can clean your gun with regular solvents and it won't get it out, you have to use a copper cleaner. I had a gun that was shooting all over and it took a couple good copper scrubbings to clean it up, it shot a lot better afterward.

I have once with this rifle.

Today I used hoppes 9 for an hour, wet and dry until the wet and dry patches were clear.

Then I ran sweets through the barrel using a wad of 3 patches to form a tight fit.

The wad came out with medium blue lines on it from where the wad rode the lands.

Guess I gotta go back later and repeat the process with Sweets until the blue goes away, right?

Yes, do it again until you get no blue/green color. Sweets is good, Hoppes is not really that good for getting out copper.
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://trophymaps.com "Do-It-Yourself" Hunting Maps" 
http://bearpawoutfitters.com Guided, Semi-Guided, Unguided, and Drop Camp Hunts in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington. Hunts with tags available (no draw) spring bear, fall bear, buffalo, cougar, elk, mule deer, turkey, whitetail, wolf!

 

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