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Thread: Rest position for working up a load

  1. #1

    Rest position for working up a load

    Hello folks,
    No experience with BPCR but quite a bit with BP muzzle loaders and smokeless benchrest shooting. Never shot with X sticks.
    It seems like all BPCR shooting, except the OH position, is done with the bbl supported nearer the muzzle on X sticks. Tradition I suppose. I would think that the best location of the cross sticks would be at the nodal point of the bbl. vibration and that would be found by experiment. If true would not that nodal point change with change of load? If so X stick placement would be another variable. The reason I ask this is I want to work up a load for my Browning ‘85 .45-70 BPCR using the Audette ladder method and Harmonics play a significant part in ladder load development, as I understand it and where the X sticks are located would affect bullet placement too. I would think the X sticks need to be at the same place for each shot or the work is in vain and you’re chasing the Will ‘O the - wisp.
    Would not the ladder method be more effective if you shot of a forearm rest to find the closest spread then go to X sticks? Or am I over thinking this.
    Thanks,
    Richard

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    richard,
    just think of your cross sticks as a tuner.
    that is potential for improvement and the opposite.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  3. #3
    Hi Bruce thanks for the reply! What you say makes sense. Maybe I’ll just start working up a load like I have done in the past. Start with a particular bullet and vary just the powder charge starting close to a full load and work up. Five rounds each.
    Regards, Richard

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    rfd's Avatar
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    wherever you end up resting the gun, barrel or forestock, keep it consistent ... with accuracy, consistency is thy name.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    wherever you end up resting the gun, barrel or forestock, keep it consistent ... with accuracy, consistency is thy name.
    That’s a truism!
    Regards , Richard

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Here is how you can find the null spot on the barrel.
    Hold the rifle loose in your off hand at it's balance point. Now slap the barrel with two or three fingers or you can use a hammer handle wood or rubber coated and slap the barrel, not to hard with the hammer handle you will feel a vibration or even hear it if your ears are still good.
    Start at the forearm and slowly work forward toward the muzzle. Some where along the line you will find a spot with out any vibration and a dull thud when you slap the barrel with your fingers. This will be your null spot where to rest the barrel on the sticks. Some wrap tape around this spot for reference to place it on the sticks.

  7. #7
    Lead pot, thanks for that bit of info, I will give it a try. As far as my hearing goes, it is shot, no pun intended. In the late ‘50s I acquired a Ruger .44 mag with a 10” bbl. i shot that without hearing protection as was the norm back then and thought the ringing in my ears while shooting that neat wheel gun was cool. Little did I realize that my hearing was being destroyed. I still remember my load for her, A Lyman 429421 out of wheel weights and 22 gns of 2400. Loading being done with the old 310 tool. I just gave my other Ruger .44 mag flat top to my nephew.
    Thanks again Lead pot.
    Regards, Richard

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Null spot may change as the barrel heats up. Most important thing is to rest it in the same place every time. Usually about 4 inches back from the muzzle or right against the forearm.
    Also make sure you have the stick height adjusted so the rifles sights align elevation perfect on the target with you having a comfortable grip with your gun hand and not having to raise or lower your head and upper body.
    If your sticks are to high or too low you will shoot all sorts of vertical on the target.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  9. #9
    [QUOTE
    Also make sure you have the stick height adjusted so the rifles sights align elevation perfect on the target with you having a comfortable grip with your gun hand and not having to raise or lower your head and upper body.
    If your sticks are to high or too low you will shoot all sorts of vertical on the target.[/QUOTE]

    Don, I was reading through Paul A. Matthews booklet, “Black Powder, Pig Lead and Steel Silhoettes” late last where he emphasized exactly what you said. Just back from a Lowe’s with lumber to build my bench rest.
    Thanks, Richard

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    interesting comment about bartrels heating up.
    have just been getting into tuners, and it appears that a barrel can easily lengthen by 0.005" as it heats up.
    for serious accuracy this can put a barrel out of tune, and that can be brought back by adjusting a tuner.
    of course we do not and can not go to those extremes.
    i used to rest the muzzle end of my barrels on the sticks, but some firing points made this hard to do, including benchrest events.
    i now rest the barrel just in front of the forend.
    this creates a resting point that is easy to replicate.
    whether it is the best for accuracy is outweighed by mastering wind deflection.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Drill lots of holes in the sticks so you have plenty of adjustment for those bench sticks. Also make the base as wide and as heavy as you can
    We adjust the height of the sticks we use on the ground with a rubber hammer to get them to the right height and drove in far enough to be solid
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    you are right don.
    all shooting is best done from what is called the "natural point of aim."
    this means that the body is in its most relaxed position when the sights are on target, in fact when you relax the gun points where it should.
    that way you are not "steering" the rifle.
    you need to aim the rifle with your eyes closed, than open them and check where the sights are.
    keep adjusting body, sticks etc until the 2 coincide.
    this can be a pain in the *** adjusting stick height for max benefit, but is well worth it.
    if time does not permit, or ground conditions, a little too high is better than a little too low, as it at least keeps the heartbeat away from the ground.doing this will reduce vert far more than seeking a null point, as a more consistent shooting position is attainable.
    when wiping, a rock solid position from shot to shot is hard to guarantee, but a good setup will bring things closer.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I haven't been able to shoot prone for many years, pain is just to great. what do you think of this natural point of aim shot I made once at the Lodi long range match. I was on the 1000 yard line with my head high and set the triggr and as I was pulling the rifle into my pocket and just lowering my head the rifle went off before I got on the sights. the target went down and shortly came back up with the marker in the X ring

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    kurt,
    you are a funny man.
    the question is "did you expect an x?"
    this reminds me of a gunsmith guild member writing of stock fit.
    hunting elk with his own custom rifle, he brought the rifle up on an unexpected elk and fired, taking it with a clean shot.
    only afterwards did he realize that the scope covers were still on.
    he looked at the target and the gun pointed where it needed to go.
    that gun was set up for offhand, a different arrangement than for prone &/or rested shooting, but also illustrates the point.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    It put a smile on my face

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Lead pot View Post
    I haven't been able to shoot prone for many years, pain is just to great. what do you think of this natural point of aim shot I made once at the Lodi long range match. I was on the 1000 yard line with my head high and set the triggr and as I was pulling the rifle into my pocket and just lowering my head the rifle went off before I got on the sights. the target went down and shortly came back up with the marker in the X ring

    Lol, I’d rather be lucky than good ! Or more likely, luck favors the prepared.
    A lot of good points about proper setup. I did a lot of competitive pistol shooting in my youth, after getting to the line and placing the pistol in my hand I would shut my eyes bring my pistol up and settle it back down to the bull, open my eyes then shuffle my feet to get lined up with the bull, after a few iterations, after making sure it was my target lol. After that I would not move my grip or my feet til the string was over.
    Thanks guys, a lot of good points to remember and like you say...consistency.
    Regards, Richard

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Richard that in my opinion is a must. I did this for the pistol bulls eye and I still do this for rifle matches. You cant expect to hit reliable if you force your body to get alignment with the target.
    I close my eyes and bring up the rifle get my cheek weld and open my eyes to see where the target is then move my feet while looking through the sights and do it again from the start.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check