Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

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Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by Wmvdg123 on 10/2/2017, 5:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

I am thinking of trying to get into world of Bullseye, however my equipment is not the best and on average group I shoot off sandbags is about 2.3 inches. Obviously it's much more difficult to shoot free hand then on sand bags. Do you think my equipment will be a limiting factor? How well can people shoot off sandbags with a nice 1.5 inch Ransom rest gun?
Thanks!
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by orpheoet on 6/6/2018, 10:46 am

The way I sight in an iron sight pistol is one handed, seated with the gun supported. I'm trying to reproduce my bullseye sight picture with a more stable position. I'm certain that I could shoot tighter groups with an even more stable position but my goal is to be able to take it to the 50 yard line and have my shots on call. I 100% will admit this could be a flawed approach but it works for me. When I shoot an X I have no doubt.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by LenV on 6/6/2018, 4:10 pm

mikemyers wrote:That sounds far more useful than what I thought I needed to do.  My goal was to take me out of the picture, and see what the gun can do, as if it was in a Ransom Rest.  You mention things I never thought of, such as supporting your elbow.  You're immobilizing the shooter's body, as well as the gun.  Sounds like a better way than my half-hearted attempt, not knowing any better.  Thank you.

Any feedback on how your groups compared doing what you described, compared to using the same gun, ammo, etc., in a Ransom Rest?  How close were the results?
Mike, I can't answer that question. I don't own and have never used a Ransom Rest. I will say that it compares very favorably with results from my Lee rest. The Lee and the sandbag method I use are very dependent on trigger control. Trigger, trigger, trigger. Try dry firing from the sand bags and watch your sights. When doing it correctly the sights don't move when the hammer falls. Just like normal dry fire but easier to see tiny movements. Picture below was taken after 10 shots @ 25yds off sand bags. Pistol was previously sighted in but I had just loaded a bunch of the PPU brass and wanted to check results.

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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by mikemyers on 6/7/2018, 1:13 am

Reading between the lines, apparently the benefit of the Ransom Rest is not that it holds the gun any more stationary, but that it removes the effect of "trigger control" from the test pattern.

So if you're testing a change in powder, or cases, or anything else, either you need "perfect" trigger control, or a Ransom Rest?

If that is true, what is the benefit of testing on sand bags at all?   In your case, was the test sensitive enough that it gave you the information you were looking for to answer your question?

My range has a lot of "bags" filled with something like sand.  Is that all that's needed, or are there better "sand bags" for sale?  I never really thought about this that much.  In my mind, if I want to know those things, I think I need to buy a Ransom Rest.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by john bickar on 6/7/2018, 1:40 am

mikemyers wrote:I think I need to buy a Ransom Rest.
No you don’t.

Go shoot some matches. Give the keyboard a break.

You can thank me later.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by mikemyers on 6/7/2018, 1:52 am

I'll thank you now; I'm in India, and the keyboard is the only connection I have with anything involving shooting.  In three weeks, I will start "doing" and slow down with "typing".

My full sentence was "In my mind, if I want to know those things, I think I need to buy a Ransom Rest."

Most of my mind is telling me exactly what you meant.  That's why I'll thank you now.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by Wobbley on 6/7/2018, 8:22 am

I’ll second John’s comment.

You have good equipment in the Salyer. Unless your loads are terrible, they’ll shoot well enough. Load a bunch and go shoot.

You don’t need to buy a Ransom rest. Spend the money on Zero reloads have them delivered just after you get back and go shoot them while you reload. If you still have the wrist weights put them on your arm and train yourself to hold them up for 30 seconds. Use that sight thingy you used for getting prescription glasses as a training aid.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by mikemyers on 6/7/2018, 8:38 am

Wobbley, my sort-of-practice is going on every day.  When I'm in Pondicherry, with all my stuff, I use that "sight thingy" at least once a day, usually more, along with the wrist weights.  When I was out of town, I took a Publix plastic bag, filled it with the three heaviest books I had access to, held it out over my wrists using my training app, one minute work, one minute rest, for 10 "sets".  It takes about 25 minutes, and by the time I'm finished, I'm sometimes sweating, and my arms are usually dead tired.  

I've got an 'auto index kit' for my RCBS Pro 2000 in my shopping cart, the NOE die equipment and some other things in the same cart...   last time I checked it was over $300.  Instead of getting another bottle of Bullseye, I want to try out Clays.  Oh, and if I still have free time left, I will eventually learn what I need to know to shoot my Ruger Old Army safely.  But that is not until July, at the earliest.


I know that what's best for me is to follow the guidelines I've learned here, do dry fire practice at home, and get to the range at least twice a week.  Doing is going to help me a lot more than "testing".....     but if you've read all the stuff I write, you know I'm also fascinated (maybe too fascinated) by all kinds of testing equipment, laser training, and all the rest.  I don't see a Ransom Rest as a necessity, just as an enjoyable piece of gear to use for a while.  From that point of view, I'd like to have one to work with, but I'm pretty sure it will have NO effect on anything I do.  In the back of my mind, I fully accept what you guys say about the subconscious, and the fundamentals, and that this is the ONLY place that really counts.   ......which doesn't mean I don't want a Ransom Rest, only that it will have zero effect on everything more important to me, that I'm already trying to do.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by LenV on 6/7/2018, 10:23 am

Mike, It is all about goals. If your goal is to make the best bullet/cartridge  then you probably want a chronograph and a barrel tester. If your goal is to make the most accurate pistol ever made then you will want a Ransom Rest and the 10,000 hours needed to become a Master Gunsmith. If, however your goal is to become a Master class shooter then you don't need a chronograph or a Ransom Rest. You need to shoot your pistol. The OP asked if 2.3" off sandbags is good enough to start Bullseye. The answer is 2.3" will take you to Master.

Len
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by jmdavis on 6/7/2018, 10:44 am

Mike, 

There are people who will loan you a Ransom Rest or help you test your loads. Further, trigger control issues aren't completely out the equation with the Ransom Rest, though they are reduced. Consistency requires consistency. 

I trip the trigger on the Ransom every time with my right thumb. I always reset by pushing down on the rest (NOT THE GUN or BARREL) with my right thumb. I seat the gun, fire 10 rounds, and then check the mounting of the rest and the gun in the rest. Usually, I can tighten the gun clamp screws another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. 

The Rest is mounted on the mount that was installed at the club by Jerry Keefer for Ransom Rest testing and Barrel tester work. It is a "13X8" 3/4 in steel plate on a 6" column set and leveled in a 55 gallon drum of concrete. It is not as stable as the version that Jerry later built at his shop. 

My Rest is mounted as per the Ransom instructions on a plywood and 1x1 board. I use three 3" C clamps, (1 at the front and two at the back). Recently I added a process to my procedure that seems to be helping. That process is to set a cup of water or water bottle on the mounting board and not fire the next shot until the water is still. I learned that tip second hand from David Sams, and I think that it helps. 

My point in this long winded answer is that the Ransom Rest is a complex piece of equipment that requires its own processes and mastery. I have been lucky in that I have multiple known loaders, shooters and Gunsmiths (some with more than 40 years of experience with the system) to talk to about its use. If I had simply gone from Youtube videos, my results would have been inconsistent and likely unrepeatable. It has been helped greatly that I have access to a stand made by Jerry Keefer to use for the testing as well. I do not believe that clamping it on a wooden or concrete bench or barrel of sand, would produce results as consistent as those I have had. 

Finally, any testing that I do is in addition to my training and practice. It can never replace it. It can and has increased my confidence in my loads. But it also proved that the standard loads +- .1 gr. work just fine. 4.44 of BE with a 185 Nosler shot right around 2" out of my Ball gun for 10 shots off the Ransom Rest at 50 yards and just over 2" for 30 shots. The same load shot a 94-2 at 50 yards out of my wad gun with all shots inside of call. A 160 cast lead SWC shot 1.75 inches for a 10 shot group at 50 from the rest and has been my personal best Long Line score of 97-5. The 160 used the Doc Young Load, the 185 jacketed was right around the Salyer/USMC load. In other words the time that I have spent mastering the Ransom Rest and testing could have been additional time spent mastering the pistol. But in the end it is all up to you.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by mikemyers on 6/7/2018, 12:04 pm

jmdavis wrote:..........In other words the time that I have spent mastering the Ransom Rest and testing could have been additional time spent mastering the pistol. But in the end it is all up to you.
The way I viewed things before reading your post is very different after reading that last sentence.  It isn't really what I might experience using the Ransom Rest - it's the time at the range that could be used much more effectively in improving myself.  

I think my "gun time" gets divided four ways, shooting, cleaning, dry-fire, and reloading.  That's enough.  

(I've also got photography, computers, personal things, and possibly black powder eventually.)

I had no idea of the "rest of the story" about a Ransom Rest, to do it right.    Thanks again.....
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by Chris Miceli on 6/7/2018, 12:10 pm

jmdavis wrote:Mike, 

There are people who will loan you a Ransom Rest or help you test your loads. Further, trigger control issues aren't completely out the equation with the Ransom Rest, though they are reduced. Consistency requires consistency. 

I trip the trigger on the Ransom every time with my right thumb. I always reset by pushing down on the rest (NOT THE GUN or BARREL) with my right thumb. I seat the gun, fire 10 rounds, and then check the mounting of the rest and the gun in the rest. Usually, I can tighten the gun clamp screws another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. 

The Rest is mounted on the mount that was installed at the club by Jerry Keefer for Ransom Rest testing and Barrel tester work. It is a "13X8" 3/4 in steel plate on a 6" column set and leveled in a 55 gallon drum of concrete. It is not as stable as the version that Jerry later built at his shop. 

My Rest is mounted as per the Ransom instructions on a plywood and 1x1 board. I use three 3" C clamps, (1 at the front and two at the back). Recently I added a process to my procedure that seems to be helping. That process is to set a cup of water or water bottle on the mounting board and not fire the next shot until the water is still. I learned that tip second hand from David Sams, and I think that it helps. 

My point in this long winded answer is that the Ransom Rest is a complex piece of equipment that requires its own processes and mastery. I have been lucky in that I have multiple known loaders, shooters and Gunsmiths (some with more than 40 years of experience with the system) to talk to about its use. If I had simply gone from Youtube videos, my results would have been inconsistent and likely unrepeatable. It has been helped greatly that I have access to a stand made by Jerry Keefer to use for the testing as well. I do not believe that clamping it on a wooden or concrete bench or barrel of sand, would produce results as consistent as those I have had. 

Finally, any testing that I do is in addition to my training and practice. It can never replace it. It can and has increased my confidence in my loads. But it also proved that the standard loads +- .1 gr. work just fine. 4.44 of BE with a 185 Nosler shot right around 2" out of my Ball gun for 10 shots off the Ransom Rest at 50 yards and just over 2" for 30 shots. The same load shot a 94-2 at 50 yards out of my wad gun with all shots inside of call. A 160 cast lead SWC shot 1.75 inches for a 10 shot group at 50 from the rest and has been my personal best Long Line score of 97-5. The 160 used the Doc Young Load, the 185 jacketed was right around the Salyer/USMC load. In other words the time that I have spent mastering the Ransom Rest and testing could have been additional time spent mastering the pistol. But in the end it is all up to you.
Here is the Base for my new to me ransom and barrel tester. A lot of steel and wood. 
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by jmdavis on 6/7/2018, 12:37 pm

There's something about that color green that reminds me of a Concrete and steel monolith I once saw somewhere.

One day we should test barrels.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by Toz35m on 6/8/2018, 8:46 pm

One trick to testing from a sandbag is to use a 25 yd target at 50 yds.  A 4moa dot it fits very nice in the black and helps to center the dot up.  I have shot 1.5" from a sandbag.  It gives me good enough results and takes far less time to set up and test loads.  A 50ft target works great for testing loads at 25 yds.
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by james r chapman on 6/9/2018, 6:47 am

jmdavis wrote:There's something about that color green that reminds me of a Concrete and steel monolith I once saw somewhere.

One day we should test barrels.

I believe CM now owns Keefer's RR & barrel tester and possibly the Monolith...
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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

Post by Aufidius on 6/9/2018, 10:29 pm

james r chapman wrote:
jmdavis wrote:There's something about that color green that reminds me of a Concrete and steel monolith I once saw somewhere.

One day we should test barrels.

I believe CM now owns Keefer's RR & barrel tester and possibly the Monolith...

XXX


Last edited by Aufidius on 6/11/2018, 7:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Whoops- completely misread this comment, not sure where brain was!)

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Re: Is 2.3 in off a sandbag good enough to start bullseye?

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