From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bart Bobbitt)
Subject: Re: Rifle rests - advice sought !
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins Site
I don't think using a rest like you mention will help you shoot any
better. Most folks can't shoot very well from a benchrest anyway.
Those that do oft times shoot benchrest competition. One thing about
benching a rifle is that the larger the cartridge and/or heavier the
recoil or trigger pull weight, the more difficult it is to shoot
accurately from a bench. Ones accurate-rifle-firing skills and knowledge
they have will no doubt be used in any position; including benchrest.
If those attributes don't produce good results from postion shooting
such as standing, sitting or prone (conventional field positions, not
competition ones), I don't see how they will do so from a bench. The
same things have to be done to shoot well; from a bench, you just don't
have to hold the rifle.
One thing that seems to be quite consistant with benchrest shooting
for accuracy; the larger and heavier, as well as quality of parts fit,
the rest is, the more accurately you can shoot your rifle. Most of
the light-weight, inexpensive adjustable rests move back with the rifle
during recoil before the bullet has left the muzzle. This means the
shot will go higher than normal. Depending on how tight you hold the
rifle to your shoulder, the vertical dispersion can and will vary, as
well as the muzzle velocity of the bullet itself. Loose holds typically
mean higher shot impact and lower velocity. The larger, heavier, less
prone to loosening up ones serious BR folks use remain in place and let
the rifle's forend move back without moving the top of the rest with it.
And some talcum powder (like that for baby's bottoms) on the forend will
eliminate most friction, which, means the rifle will recoil more uniformly
before the bullet exits the barrel. Bench guns used in one-holemanship
contests don't have any rough things on their forend; it's just as smooth
as a baby's back side.
If your rifle's stock has checkering or a sling swivel on the forend,
they can also effect the accuracy. Remove the sling swivel so it don't
strike the front rest. Tape the checkering over with a smooth tape placed
lengthwise on the stock. Checkering does grab sandbags or whatever is on
the top of the rest; not a good thing if you are after the best accuracy
your rifle/ammo/sights/shooter system can deliver.
My recommendation is, if you're interested in real accuracy, get one of
the larger benchrests, such as a Hart. It isn't inexpensive, but then
you need to ask yourself just how accurate do you want to shoot. Then
answer the question and purchase a rest equal to your objectives. You
won't be sorry.