Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series.

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Post by jlow on 6/8/2019, 8:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

I was lucky recently to acquire a used one.  It does not come with either a windage base or base plate – actually good for me as I needed to keep my cost at a reasonable level.  So the question is how best to set it up?

I have downloaded the instruction from the Ransom International website and read it.  I understand it is best to mount it on a ¾ or 1” plywood and attach two wood strips at the front and back to “keep the center of the mount board from contacting the bench.  I also understand that it is best to attach the above using 3-4 C-clamps on a concrete bench.

Here is my problem – we have no concrete bench at our club, we however have a large square block of concrete with 4 threaded rods embedded.  I am thinking that this would be an ideal attachment point.  The problem is of course it is not a bench with edges.  My thought is I could use a corresponding size 1” thick board with holes at the appropriate location and lock it down to the concrete block using the appropriate nut/water using the threaded rods.


So the next question is how to adjust windage.  My thought is to attach four 500 lb horizontal toggle clamps to the 1” thick board and use them to lock down the rest/plywood setup (so a total of 2,000 lb pressure).  This seems to allow a lot of flexibility in terms of windage adjustment, and the easiest to lock it down.

What do people think of these ideas?  Not really looking for a pat in the back, but specifically looking for things/problems that I have not thought of with this setup?  I will be testing only a 9mm semi-auto.

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Post by fc60 on 6/9/2019, 7:37 pm

Greetings,

Cleaning the friction disk is detailed in the Random Rest Instruction Sheet.

They have updated their manual. My old one was three pages of typed data.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwjx4qjW1N3iAhVtIDQIHbXWDl4QFjAAegQIBRAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fransomrest.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F12%2FRansom-Rest-Instruction-Manual.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0jHw-tsAtFo_eMm1gge8Yo

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by jlow on 6/9/2019, 9:03 pm

Thanks Dave!

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Post by jlow on 6/10/2019, 4:46 pm

Well I could not wait and so went to the range to look at that concrete block (I also did some shooting).  Yip, it's yellow, but no threaded rods but instead there are 4 bolts each with a washer screwed into it.  I could not get them off by hand (intentional I am sure so people don't take off with them) but I did measure everything.

So the block is 24" long (towards downrange), 20 3/4" wide and 30" high.  This thing must weigh a ton!  The thread area of the bolt I was able to measure with a pair of calipers and they all came out to 0.622" in diameter (5/8"??).

I also got down and took a photo downrange along the surface of the block and it is at the level of the target area, so yea, this was build intentionally for a RR I am sure.

My plan is to go back with a wrench to remove the bolts and use a piece of large paper to trace out the holes so that I can accurately transfer their location to my board for drilling.Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series. - Page 2 Img_1713
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Last edited by jlow on 6/10/2019, 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by jglenn21 on 6/10/2019, 4:55 pm

perfect.
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Post by Wobbley on 6/10/2019, 4:58 pm

Take a little penetrating oil, those bolts are probably rusted.

Take a few of these.

https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Hand-Tools/Punches-Grommet-Tools/Blind-Hole-Spotters?product_id=nv&rd=k&pcrid=183709198238&navid=12102936&gclid=CjwKCAjw__fnBRANEiwAuFxET1CjCCsLBf-a3YJkqJsG9BR6ED1Jt6wrmSCTnEgwkCwNm7XqIMAUwRoCAxoQAvD_BwE&mkwid=sum0oOEGi%7Cdt&cid=ppc-google-New+-+Hand+Tools+-+DSA_sum0oOEGi__b_183709198238_t_S#navid=12102936+4287417066

17/32 is the tap drill for 5/8 coarse thread and they should drop in fine. Then just hit the board with a rubber mallet... presto chango you have the location. Drill the holes 1/8 bigger (3/4) and you should be set.
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Post by jlow on 6/10/2019, 5:47 pm

Wobbley I will bring some Kroll, but I actually think they have been used and not rusted in as my buddy told me just last month that he saw someone using a RR in that area so there is hope.

Unfortunately I don't have any of those blind hole spotter but lots of drill bits and so that is a good idea and I will bring a few of those if I bring my board along.

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Post by Ed Hall on 6/10/2019, 9:11 pm

The board you're taking there is the one I'd put the arcs in, rather than the rest itself.  You mentioned something about a pivot pin through the rest.  I'd mount the rest securely on the board.

You might be able to thread some shortened carpenter's pencils into three holes and drill and place one bolt for the fourth.  Then mount the board by the single bolt hole and rotate the board on the pencils to get your arcs.  When you mount your rest to the board, you'll want to leave room to reach the bolts, of course.

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Post by jlow on 6/11/2019, 7:41 am

At least at this point, my plan is to use two separate 3/4" plywood boards.  The first one would be the same size as the concrete stand and bolted down using its 4 bolts.  The second one will be smaller with the two strips of wood underneath that RRI suggest and the RR will be attached to.  I plan to put a hole through both boards that the pivot pin will go into that way it would be easy to pivot the second board.Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series. - Page 2 Image_10 The second board will be held down once adjusted to proper POI with four of those horizontal hold down clamps that I have already brought from Harbor Freight Tools.  That way easy adjust and hold down.

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Post by Dr.Don on 6/11/2019, 8:40 am

Save your pocket change for an actual windage base.  Makes a big difference.  Allows me to put 6-8 groups on the back of a full size target without going downrange.  The makeshift approach to windage may well reflect itself in your group sizes without you knowing it, i.e. it decreases the overall rigidity of the setup.
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Post by jlow on 6/11/2019, 9:12 am

My overall interest in load development at least at this point is limited.  As mentioned earlier, I am a tactical shooter and not a bullseye shooter.  If I was a bullseye shooter, I would likely invest in the windage and also their base but...

At least to me, its not a question of affordability but an effort to reduce the amount of "stuff" I have.  Those who are older in this group knows what I am talking about...  Laughing

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Post by Pac918 on 6/11/2019, 10:11 am

Jlow et al., fascinated to see this. I acquired anRR recently and agree completely with Will’s comments about processmattering as much or more than mounting, assuming an acceptable approach to the latter. I got the clamps that RR uses, which are Rock River L-clamps, at some expense in dollars and more in verbal abuse from some range friends. I’ve used them on basic benches at two clubs, one in an indoor lane, with steel framing and a composite countertop, and one wood-framed. Way below specs for concrete, etc., but I’ve gotten very tight groups out of a Pardini SP, several 1911s, an M41 and an STI 2011. I’ve found that the biggest issue with a learning curve is proper seating in the grip inserts. Pardini inserts come with an adapter that I had trouble securing adequately to the gun.
My experience led me to wonder whether the heavy-duty mounting specs are more relevant for rifles. However, I haven’t tested at 50 yards yet.
Good luck and enjoy! You can learn a lot about your guns and the bottom line, for me, is the confidence from knowing that the gun is really zeroed.

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Post by jlow on 6/11/2019, 10:43 am

Yes, absolutely in terms of the importance of "process", I've been reading about it and that is the next part of my journey after I put together a good mounting.  As the saying goes, the whole setup is really only as good as it's weakest part.

I think it is fair to say that when RRI build the whole setup, they engineer it for the worst case situation.  That's not to say that us 9mm shooter should po po the importance of a steady mount but one can indeed go overboard.

Agreed that one can learn a lot about our guns with this setup and of course the zero... Twisted Evil   Looking forward to a lot of good learning!

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Post by tovaert on 6/15/2019, 12:05 pm

I'm new to precision pistol shooting. I bought a RR for fun and load testing for a Sig P210A (and a M1911). I mounted the RR to a pair of oak boards totaling 1.5" thickness, then on 3/4" x 2" front and back oak strips as/per RR's instructions. I use 4 c-clamps, clamp it to a steel base plate, which is welded to three steel pipes that are buried in cement at our range. It's certainly stiff, but it's also a long cantilever "beam" and will "ring" as there isn't the damping present like 500# of concrete offers. So I accept a bit of vertical stringing, and fire slowly. The comments on panel pressure and consistency are right-on. The P210A panels are not a frame-mount design (as in the case of the M1911 panels)...so they are molded to fit the Target-style Sig wood grips. I don't like that design because it adds another "interface" even when the wood grips seem tight to the pistol frame. I have found quite a bit of inconsistency in testing depending on the method I use to secure the P210A in the panels, and how the trigger bar is setup (since it's a pivoting trigger). When I mount a pistol in the panels, I grab the slide and pull it upwards until the RR's stop-screw limits any further pivoting, to check for any play, then repeat pushing downwards. I also do the same applying a lateral force (right/left). I accept "movement" as the panel's polymer deforms, but I'm also looking for even the slightest "slip" somewhere. I tend to get small amounts of slip with the P210A panels, but nothing for the M1911 panels (which again are a frame-mount design). When all is working well, I've gotten some pretty good 50 yard groups. With the factory Sig 10.5# recoil spring, Starline brass, Fed 100 primers, 1.100" to 1.105" COAL, 3.3gr e^3, 147 gr XTP, 920 fps MV.
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/15/2019, 2:14 pm

Encase that in concrete and  you'd be set
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Post by jlow on 6/15/2019, 4:39 pm

Yes, your assessment of the problem with the pipes ringing I think is spot on.  I agree with Jimmy G’s suggestion of encasing it in concrete.  Should not be hard as you can easily build a temporary box around the pipes and then just pour concrete in?

I think my grips will be more stable as they are part of the frame and they are also stippled which reduce the chance of movement.  I basically tighten until I feel slight hesitation on mag ejection and then just back off ½ turn.


I have been working on the project on and off between shooting matches.  We also lost power one day when I had spare time which was a bummer.  Today I worked on it after shooting a match and this is where it is at. 

The ¾” plywood base that will attach to the concrete block is done as is the RR mount board with the two strips of 2” wood strips .  The RR base is screwed on the mount board.  

I made the extra boards that the horizontal hold down clamps will sit on.  Right now neither is attached as I want to go to the range to see if the current setup has enough movement for the necessarily windage to hit targets downrange and to ensure the clamps still have enough reach.  Then everything will be glued and screwed down with 1 ½” screws and then the real testing will happen.Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series. - Page 2 Img_1810

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Post by fc60 on 6/15/2019, 5:41 pm

Greetings,

The four toggle clamps will certainly reduce movement in the Z axis (up and down).

However, I feel there may be some movement along the X and Y axes as a result of shear forces from the recoil.

You might try some strips of thin rubber under the front and rear wood strips to increase friction. If it works well, cement the strips to the Random Rest spacer strips.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by TexasShooter on 6/15/2019, 6:22 pm

One suggestion I heard was to put a bottle of water on one side of your base. After a shot wait until the water in the bottle stops moving before shooting your next shot. It's surprising how much some benches move even when they seem very stable. But often they tend to settle back to their original position if you give it those few extra seconds - the water bottle gives you a pretty clear visual...

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Post by jlow on 6/15/2019, 6:23 pm

TexasShooter - sounds like a plan!

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Post by jlow on 6/17/2019, 3:23 pm

Put the whole thing together and went out to the range today.  The base board fit and was able to screw the whole thing down tight.  This was actually my second outing and my first with just the baseboard found it needed a little adjustment but nothing that a little rasping did not fix.

The RR mount board had plenty of windage adjustment to allow me to get my sights on target.  Only a slight adjustment of elevation was needed.  I went low tech with the target – cardboard with large paint sprayed orange dot which was easily visible 50 yards away with my eye.

Mounted the gun which is a SA XDm 5.25 Competition 9mm.  Grip adjustment was not hard, I basically opened it wide with the screws flush with the hold down plate.  Put the gun in and hand push the hold down plate until it was flushed.  Single ½ turn with each of the star knobs until the mag would not drop free easily – backed off ½ turn.

Today I was just shooting my IDPA/2-gun ammo which is range pickup unsorted 9mm brass, Rem ½ primer, Titegroup, and Precision Delta 147FMJ.

I shot a 5 round group first to allow the rest to settle (middle group) and I can see my sights were good.  There is significant group spread as expected (11.2” group).  Analysis done with OnTarget software that I use for my centerfire rifle targets.  I took Jimmy G's dvice and loaded 6 rounds leaving one in the chamber while I reloaded another 6.  Fired first round off target to avoid temperature problem and shot another 5 round group (left) with the same powder weight – group much tighter (5.7”).  Lastly shot another 5 round with another powder weight (extreme right) and got an 8.7” group.

All in all I am very pleased with the setup,  Windage adjustment was easy with the pivot pin and the horizontal lock down clamps.  My loads were reasonable as they have never been optimized and I know they will improve as I go to more precise powder weighting, single headstamp brass, bullet seating depth adjustments, better bullet, etc.

Just for fun I also evaluated how steady the rest is compared to me shooting two hand free style i.e. no support.  I used an electronic device called a MantisX.  This is a small box that you attached to the front pic rail of the gun and this thing has very sensitive accelerometer which scores movement away from sighted position during trigger pull – more info here:
https://mantisx.com/pages/how-it-works-1


Being a reasonably good shooter, I can consistently score in the 90% range.  Using the RR, the average score is more like an average of 99.6% with the low number never lower than 99.1% and a few 99.9%.  FWIW, this is as good as I can do with a centerfire rifle using a very steady rear rest and high quality F-class bipod, high magnification scope that allows me to shoot 6” groups at 600 yards.  So yes, the RR is very very good and group size is not a function of the rest but the gun (slide/barrel) and ammunition.

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Post by TonyH on 8/7/2019, 6:57 am

jlow wrote:Well I could not wait and so went to the range to look at that concrete block (I also did some shooting).  Yip, it's yellow, but no threaded rods but instead there are 4 bolts each with a washer screwed into it.  I could not get them off by hand (intentional I am sure so people don't take off with them) but I did measure everything.

So the block is 24" long (towards downrange), 20 3/4" wide and 30" high.  This thing must weigh a ton!  The thread area of the bolt I was able to measure with a pair of calipers and they all came out to 0.622" in diameter (5/8"??).

I also got down and took a photo downrange along the surface of the block and it is at the level of the target area, so yea, this was build intentionally for a RR I am sure.

My plan is to go back with a wrench to remove the bolts and use a piece of large paper to trace out the holes so that I can accurately transfer their location to my board for drilling.Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series. - Page 2 Img_1713
Looking for comments regarding setting up a Ransom Rest Master Series. - Page 2 Img_1714
Is this Washtenaw? Sure looks like it....it was built for mounting a RR and I have used it with the gentleman that built it. They don't get much sturdier and immovable than this!  Smile
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Post by jlow on 8/7/2019, 7:30 am

That's correct - at Washtenaw.

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Post by TonyH on 8/7/2019, 8:04 am

Ok. That block was installed prior to the slab around it and it goes 42-48" below ground level and below the frost line. One can very definitely eliminate that from the RR test equation.
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Post by jlow on 8/7/2019, 8:18 am

Super!  Great to know....

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