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Thread: What to do with my left arm at a range - tips please

  1. #1

    What to do with my left arm at a range - tips please

    Bench shooting is very new to me. Other than for my DSC1 I haven't shot prone for a number of, err, decades.

    I have a new rifle that I need practice with so I am going to Bisley.

    I will support the rifle on a bipod. I am right handed so I will use my right hand to hold the rifle and to squeeze the trigger.

    What do I do with my left hand and arm? Do I hold the upper part of my right arm, or do I hold the foreend of the rifle? And do I do the same for both bench and prone?

    All suggestions welcome.

  2. #2
    using a bipod leaves your left hand free to support the bottom of the stock whilst it is in your shoulder

  3. #3
    .................. and by forming a fist under the stock with that hand you have a solid support that can be varied for elevation by clenching it to varying degrees.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TA6319 View Post
    using a bipod leaves your left hand free to support the bottom of the stock whilst it is in your shoulder...
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    .................. and by forming a fist under the stock with that hand you have a solid support that can be varied for elevation by clenching it to varying degrees.
    This is a very popular approach: but is it a good way to get consistent POI with a sporting-weight rifle?

    Personally, I try to hold the rifle in the same grip as far as possible, whether I'm prone, standing, sitting or kneeling, and regardless of whether in those positions I'm using supports (vehicle, wall, tree, sticks, bipod etc.) or not.

    That means holding the forend.

  5. #5
    First rule - be comfortable. Avoid having to 'muscle in' to be on target. In your prone position you should be able to close your eyes, open again and find cross hair relatively unmoved. Everyone one is different, so you are the best judge of what works for you - keep in mind what you seek to achieve - eg steady rifle.

    First Rule part a - for the majority of people using your left arm to support the rear of the rifle and minimise disturbance from basically being alive - ie heart beat etc - will prove the most effective.

    The exact position you use is down to comfort, but generally grasping the toe of the stock in thumb pocket and snugging the stock into the shoulder; combined with locking your elbow/ forearm works well for most people.

    The fist method is good too - giving a great way to minutely alter elevation etc.

    Out of sight of a window and with proper safety - then trying various positions at home pays dividends.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    .................. and by forming a fist under the stock with that hand you have a solid support that can be varied for elevation by clenching it to varying degrees.
    This is a start, but lower still is better. If you can form a fist under the butt, then perhaps your bipod is set too high? Regards JCS

  7. #7
    Established Poster HowaU's Avatar
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    Building a good position is fundamental, I use a simple check list,

    Alignment to traget
    right hand
    right elbow
    left hand
    left elbow
    rifle butt
    your legs
    relaxing
    breath
    sight picture
    bolt manipulation (keep spot-weld, relaxed not racking the bolt)

    this will square most posn away, if you are a leftie I will alignment with target then left hand and left elbow and so on.

  8. #8
    some hold some don't I hold the rear of the butt bit like marmite try what you like? if it fits use it

  9. #9
    I suppose it also depends what you're hoping to achieve on the range, and in what position.

  10. #10
    Fenchieboy of this forum did a youtube video (which I can't find right now, maybe send him a PM?) of what he does with his left hand. Whilst prone he puts his left thumb into his right armpit and grasps his right bicep whilst resting the butt on his left wrist. The butt plate is tucked into the right shoulder with his right hand around the stock. By adjusting the angle of his left wrist he can get very good elevation control. I tried this method and it helped my shooting from prone immensely - a rock steady position that can be held for minutes and minutes if necessary. Before I'd used my left fist under the stock, but I find the thumb-in-the-armpit method much, much better.
    Another method is shown by THLR.NO on youtube in his early videos. He uses a beanbag to rest the stock on top of, and uses his left hand to squeeze the bag to get the correct elevation. PATHFilmsNZ uses the same method, and they both shoot exceptionally well, so this might be worth a shot too.

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