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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) First shot blues (Read 1567 times)
JLouis
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Re: First shot blues
Reply #15 - Jul 18th, 2021 at 2:54pm
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A hard rear bag that does not allow for the sand to relocate inside the bag. By either recoil and the disturbed rifle movement in the bags after each shot takes place can be a big help. This would also hold true if moving down to another target as the rifle does not have to re-settle the sand back down in the rear bag.
  

Every Time You Try And Fail The Closer You Are To Achieving Success.
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Schuetzendave
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Re: First shot blues
Reply #16 - Jul 18th, 2021 at 4:27pm
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Before shooting on the target I fire four shots into the bank.
With a consistently fouled barrel my shots will then always go through the same hole.

My bench technique is to allow the rifle to freely kick back.
That means making sure there is no pressure from your trigger hand against the stock.
Only putting slight pressure directly back on the trigger when firing.
It also means making sure you do not place any pressure on the stock from your cheek.
I also put no pressure on the buttstock with my shoulder.
I leave a hair of space to just catch the stock with my shoulder on recoil.

Still you can have shots change when you move to another target because the rifle slightly realigns in the rear bag on the first shot and then tracks the same on successive shots.

I avoided this problem once I went to a windage top. 
Adjusting to the next target by moving the windage at the front ensures the bag will still track the same as it did when you shot the previous target.
Adjusting the rear bags means the rifle needs to settle and start to track consistently again.
This can be avoided by adjusting your POA with a front windage adjustment instead of moving the rear bag angle.

Using this technique I was the International Schuetzen Benchrest Champion on two occasions.

I use a stock with a perch belly.
Moving the rifle forward or back in the sandbags will allow me to adjust my elevation without changing the tracking from the adjustments.

And yes my sandbags are packed solid with heavy sand.
« Last Edit: Jul 18th, 2021 at 4:36pm by Schuetzendave »  
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Joe_S
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Re: First shot blues
Reply #17 - Jul 18th, 2021 at 10:40pm
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Thanks everyone for your help. In the last few days I have made some changes to my setup. 
I am shooting a Win. Highwall with large Swiss Buttplate. The knob on the lower prong of the buttplate rides the groove between the rear bag ears so that the stock can recoil straight back. 
I am working with a Caldwell BR front rest which is not the best but I am happy with it overall. I elevated the main column as high as it will go to minimize the amount that I have to use the elevation screw. Doing so has greatly reduced the amount of wobble in the elevation process.
With a barrel sled the rifle can recoil more or less straight back and come back to battery. I have a rear bag filled with heavy sand which was supposed to be level across the top but has a very slight slope to it. When shooting warm ups and sighters, I need to adjust elevation for the first several shots as the butt settles in. I shoot at least ten sighters minimum before moving to the score targets. 
I also use a foam pad to absorb recoil so that I can put minimum forward pressure with my shoulder on the buttstock, to make it easier to get consistent pressure. Shooting a 38-55 in free recoil with a 12 lb rifle is NOT an option. I believe that getting consistent forward pressure will result in more consistent recoil and less vertical stringing but time will tell if this holds true in the long run.  The last two times I shot I did NOT get any first  hits  outside the 24 ring ( when moving from one target to the next) which is a huge improvement for me. 
I also check return to battery to make sure its consistent. 
I will make it a point to try to settle the buttstock by lightly tapping it with the palm of my hand in order to see if I can minimize the amount of vertical adjustment I need to do while warming up/sighting in. Not sure if that will work or not. Last two times out I shot 246s on each of the score targets when moving from the spotter target. There is lots of room for improvement but if I can do that consistently and maybe a little better on occasion I will be very satisfied, at least for the near future. 
Any other ideas will be greatly appreciated. 
Thanks!
Joe S
  
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JLouis
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Re: First shot blues
Reply #18 - Jul 19th, 2021 at 11:38am
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" Shooting a 38-55 in free recoil with a 12 lb rifle is NOT an option. "

Amen ! 
Happy to hear you are experiencing some improvements. It all boils down to eliminating as many variables as you can and also keeping it as simple as you can.
  

Every Time You Try And Fail The Closer You Are To Achieving Success.
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