Shooting form question?

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LittleGump72

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Joined
Aug 20, 2019
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14
New guy here.

Question is when shooting for groups do
you hold the forearm snug or just let it rest
in a sandbag or cushion?
The reason I ask is because this one thing
I really never gave much thought to and
therefore I think I may not be very consistent
at.

Thanks for any replies.
 

ENCORE50A

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Dec 4, 2009
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4,092
I leave the forearm alone in the rest and tuck my free hand. Shooting for the tiniest groups possible, if you hold the forearm with shot 1, how do you know you're holding it the same way with shots 2+? Try to eliminate any contributing factors you can.
 

dbowling

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Nov 5, 2005
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I hold the forearm like when I'm hunting because that's usually what I'm shooting groups for to zero for hunting.Grip forearm lightly but firmly if that makes sense. I practice a lot and hunt with springer air rifles, they will teach you good grip/trigger control, if you dont do it the same with a magnum springer every time your groups will look pretty bad..really need good form when head shooting squirrels with them offhand also.
 

Far Sighted

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Nov 22, 2018
Messages
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New guy here.

Question is when shooting for groups do
you hold the forearm snug or just let it rest
in a sandbag or cushion?
The reason I ask is because this one thing
I really never gave much thought to and
therefore I think I may not be very consistent
at.

Thanks for any replies.
Be careful around the barrel to avoid applying any pressure. Light consistent pressure on forearm should do well if you repeat this. Remember to squeeze the trigger by pulling it straight back then follow thru until the shot is finished. Using bags or lead sled will help you repeat or determine if it is the weapon or the shooter
 

michiganmuzzy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I hold the forearm like when I'm hunting because that's usually what I'm shooting groups for to zero for hunting.Grip forearm lightly but firmly if that makes sense. I practice a lot and hunt with springer air rifles, they will teach you good grip/trigger control, if you dont do it the same with a magnum springer every time your groups will look pretty bad..really need good form when head shooting squirrels with them offhand also.
I stopped shooting with a springer and got a pcp, i may start shooting it again for those reasons. I couldn't get good groups. I can practice in my yard instead of going to the range.
 

MMDC

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Aug 9, 2019
Messages
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Believe it depends on what you mean by shooting for a group. As replies indicate generally no contact for bench rest type shooting and light forearm contact for hunting style shooting.
 

michiganmuzzy

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If there was an economical way to practice shooting will your hearts pounding and your breathing hard but trying not to move a muscle but you know the target will hide if it knows your right there! Oh crap, oh crap, one more step! I can't hold still... He sees me...
I would practice that way, for sure.
 

TR1Hemi

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Sep 5, 2019
Messages
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Any of you who zero your gun without holding the forearm like you would hunting, ever miss low? There is a reason for that. It is a HUGE deal when shotgun slug hunting.
 

45-70

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Jan 8, 2019
Messages
784
Any of you who zero your gun without holding the forearm like you would hunting, ever miss low? There is a reason for that. It is a HUGE deal when shotgun slug hunting.
nope never did, only thing is recoil that would change it
 

Chris W.

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Sep 1, 2006
Messages
99
Any of you who zero your gun without holding the forearm like you would hunting, ever miss low? There is a reason for that. It is a HUGE deal when shotgun slug hunting.
If my hunting shots are hitting low, it's not enough to notice or matter. Haven't lost a animal to a bad shot in a long time.
 

LittleGump72

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Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
14
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I have been lurking here for a couple of years
and have learned a lot. I really enjoy all the
wisdom everyone shares.

You probably won't hear much from me because dad always said keep your mouth shut and listen and you might learn something. Lol!

Keep sharing the wisdom.
 

deerlessbob

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Apr 26, 2010
Messages
130
I think it’s a personal kind of thing in finding out what you’re most comfortable with and, if your long term goal involves hunting, practice like you’re going to shoot an animal. In my case, I always shoot at deer with a rest, whether it’s a shooting house window, a tree, off my knee, etc. and when I pull the trigger in one of those situations, my off hand will be holding the forearm. Consequently, at the range, I do use a sandbag, but only as a rest for my hand. I guess I’d practice differently if I was shooting only for a group.
 

gle3105

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Dec 24, 2015
Messages
178
As the initial question asked "shooting for groups".
Lot's of good techniques written above.
I have found most of the time the gun or gun/rest combo will tell you what is needed.
Shooting a rifled shotgun? You'd better hold the forearm down.
Beaver forearm bench gun?
Hardly or better not touch anything.

I just recently rebarreled two 7mm mags.
Same barrel weight being a light sporter.
Fully bedded.Same loads etc.
One grouped using no forearm touch and the other had to use some forearm pressure.

As far as hunting or afield? I would want the most accurate loads first to see what load combinations the piece shoots best. Whatever it takes to find that load and “touch” .... use it.
I pay most attention in how a gun recoils. Does it recoil and tilt left or right? Twist?
Then adjust until a recoil that is straight back and straight up vertical.

My 2 cts.
 
Last edited:

jims

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May 18, 2005
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I hold the forearm like I would when actually hunting. I believe that may not be as accurate as not holding the forearm when bench shooting but I am trying to duplicate what it will do in actual field use. Each has their own thoughts.
 

LittleGump72

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Aug 20, 2019
Messages
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I am basically looking for the best technique to develop an accurate load to be used for hunting.

My thought has always been, the tighter the groups are from the bench the more room I have for error in a hunting situation.

It seems that there are different opinions on what to do and that maybe you should let your rifle help in making that decision.
 

Dougs136Schwartz

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Jul 26, 2016
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Little hump

You are correct your most accurate load from the bench will also be your most accurate hunting load.

As far as shooting form . I have found there are several different ways to skin a cat . Not necessarily is one shooting form more accurate than the next The shooting form that fits your style of hunting is the form you should incorporate.

The very most important factor is to be able to repeat your shooting form . I have a good friend that has a totally different shooting form than my own . Scott pulls his guns in tight ( hard hold ) and pushes his body forward . Whether he is shooting from a rest , sand bag or bipods .

Myself I have more of a loose hold ( free recoil) I try not to manipulate the gun as much lean forward and absorb the recoil .

Both forms work very well . You just need to find what form works the best for you .
 

GM54-120

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I develop the load i want to use from a very solid rest or sled first. NO WEIGHT ON THE SLED and allow it to move back as much as possible.

After im happy with that load i try it again as close to my hunting situation as i can mimic. Such as off a rolled up jacket or supported by a 2x4 rail of some kind with more forearm hand use than on the solid benchrest. Works well for me but im almost never shooting past 150 when hunting.

Hard kickers i hold against me tighter and mild ones are far more relaxed hold.
 
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