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Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo

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chopper
fc60
jjfitch
faraim
BE Mike
james r chapman
Wobbley
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jwax
CO1Mtn
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-TT-
SteveT
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Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo Empty Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo

Post by Foundryratjim 6/28/2022, 9:44 am

I did a search and couldn't find what I'm looking for. What is the best way to support your pistol for bench testing of ammo, sight adjustment etc. The majority of us don't have access to a ransom rest.

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Post by SteveT 6/28/2022, 11:02 am

Ideally I shoot from a sitting position with a sandbag and some ammo boxes, pieces of wood or other "shims" to get the height right. I may put the sandbag on the bench or on top of my gun box. I want the height of the gun to be about shoulder high or a little lower so my arms are in a normal shooting position for a two handed grip.

If the gun has a fixed barrel (22, revolver) I rest the barrel on the sandbag. For the 1911 or other semi-auto guns I either rest on the trigger guard or put my wrists on the sandbag.

Use the shims to adjust the height of the sandbag and the butt of the gun so it is aimed just above the center of the target. Sit down with both feet flat on the floor. Hold the gun with a two handed grip. When I tighten my grip, it raises the butt of the gun slightly above the rear shim to bring the aiming point into the center of the target.

Dry fire a couple of times to make sure nothing moves. Breath in and out with each shot. Be as consistent as possible. Don't plan to test a huge number of rounds in one sitting. You are not a machine.
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Post by -TT- 6/28/2022, 11:25 am

Be sure the gun is at about the distance from your eye as in your normal stance. It's really easy to scrunch your shoulders and pull the pistol close, and you end up squinting too. These will seriously mess up your POI, and your data.

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Post by SteveT 6/28/2022, 12:20 pm

I just re-read the OP. The rested shooting I describe is to test guns and ammo. 

Shooting from a rest can get you on paper, but you have to in the normal position to center the sights.
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Post by Merick 6/28/2022, 6:58 pm

If you don't have access to a ransom rest the best answer is to gain access to a ransom rest by any legal means. Befriend someone that has one, lobby your club to get one, split the cost between a couple friends, or (gasp) buy one yourself.

They aren't perfect, but if you are testing ammo or parts, A vs B, trying to accomplish that with any certainty, while shooting in a manner that you usually don't, is going to be nearly impossible. Two or three wasted range trips averted and it will have paid for itself, saving a road trip match from disaster and its a bargain at twice the price.

However you will have to find your zeros the old fashioned way.


Last edited by Merick on 6/28/2022, 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by CO1Mtn 6/28/2022, 8:11 pm

What if you rested your arm instead of the pistol? That way you are not inducing any stress or pressure on any part of the pistol differently from when you were shooting it offhand. If you put sandbags on top of your shooting box, then rested your arm on those, propped up at the same height and position as if offhand, that would be ideal, wouldn't it?

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Post by Foundryratjim 6/29/2022, 3:46 pm

Wow, thanks for the replies. A lot of different info to try out

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Post by jwax 6/30/2022, 11:47 am

Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo Rest11
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Post by jwax 6/30/2022, 11:49 am

The Caldwell rest is at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003FSQOTU?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
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Post by Jack H 6/30/2022, 12:03 pm

I usually rest my arms across use the top of my box.  My wrists are at the forward edge of the box, leaving the gun in hands free.  Sometimes I bring the gun butt back onto the box.  The box sits on the bench at a height that requires just a little lean forward.  I have shot some groups this way very close to what the ransom can do.  One time I got real lucky and shot a 1/2" at 50 yards with a 41.  Here is a 25 yard sample
Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo Ruger1a-Jan08
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Post by Wobbley 7/1/2022, 12:08 am

I’ve adapted this “rollover prone” style to shooting from a table. It’s a bit awkward, but you can get used to it and it’s very stable.  I put a sandbag under my wrist.  

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Post by james r chapman 7/1/2022, 6:34 am

Wobbley wrote:I’ve adapted this “rollover prone” style to shooting from a table. It’s a bit awkward, but you can get used to it and it’s very stable.  I put a sandbag under my wrist.  

Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo 82d6e510

Much like some PPC shooters use.
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Post by BE Mike 7/1/2022, 8:48 am

Using a high power scope really helps.
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Post by SteveT 7/1/2022, 9:02 am

BE Mike wrote:Using a high power scope really helps.
YMMV, but I haven't found this to be the case. It's pretty easy to center the dot of a 1 power scope on whatever target I'm shooting. The groups I shoot with a 1 power dot and the groups I shot with a 3-9 power scope (IIRC) were about the same and not worth the trouble or dismounting, remounting, recentering.
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Post by Foundryratjim 7/1/2022, 11:37 am

Wobbley wrote:I’ve adapted this “rollover prone” style to shooting from a table. It’s a bit awkward, but you can get used to it and it’s very stable.  I put a sandbag under my wrist.  

Proper way to support the pistol for bench rest testing your ammo 82d6e510
I tried this idea and with a couple of sandbags and it worked well.

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Post by faraim 7/4/2022, 8:39 am

I've tried Wobbley's rollover prone and my extended legs blocked folks from walking behind the bench, plus I tended to roll off the side.The drop hurts. Seriously, thanks to everyone for the tips. My bench technique is frustratingly poor. I have a metal adjustable rest but I believe I get better results with sandbags. I have a piece of carpet that I've rolled up like a jelly roll that works too.
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Post by jjfitch 7/5/2022, 10:18 pm

For sight adjustments be sure you are only resting your wrist and not the gun. Each will give a different POI. When in the shooting position you are not resting the gun! Smile
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Post by jwax 7/21/2022, 8:04 am

jjfitch wrote:For sight adjustments be sure you are only resting your wrist and not the gun. Each will give a different POI. When in the shooting position you are not resting the gun! Smile
In doing that, it would seem your wrist is now involved in the test. If you're testing just the gun, you want a Ransom Rest or similar.
From a Ransom Rest, my shots are 1" at 3 o'clock from center. When I shoot one-handed, they're centered. Just me.
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Post by jjfitch 7/21/2022, 6:44 pm

jwax wrote:
jjfitch wrote:For sight adjustments be sure you are only resting your wrist and not the gun. Each will give a different POI. When in the shooting position you are not resting the gun! Smile
In doing that, it would seem your wrist is now involved in the test. If you're testing just the gun, you want a Ransom Rest or similar.
From a Ransom Rest, my shots are 1" at 3 o'clock from center. When I shoot one-handed, they're centered. Just me.Were 
We're saying the same thing. 

 I think! Smile
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Post by fc60 7/21/2022, 7:09 pm

Greetings,

A long time ago, I sent Darius "Doc" Young some home swaged bullets to test.

He returned the test targets a few weeks later via mail.

I then talked with him at a later Tournament and asked how he tested. Random Rest, maybe?

He said he tests his ammo/guns before each match from a standing position one handed. He built up a support such that his arm was fully supported in the "normal" offhand shooting position.

I still have the test targets and they are all close to X-Ring in size at 50 yards.

In closing, another way to test your ammo/gun.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by chopper 7/21/2022, 10:54 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

A long time ago, I sent Darius "Doc" Young some home swaged bullets to test.

He returned the test targets a few weeks later via mail.

I then talked with him at a later Tournament and asked how he tested. Random Rest, maybe?

He said he tests his ammo/guns before each match from a standing position one handed. He built up a support such that his arm was fully supported in the "normal" offhand shooting position.

I still have the test targets and they are all close to X-Ring in size at 50 yards.

In closing, another way to test your ammo/gun.

Cheers,

Dave
   Hi Dave, I've wondered if that was a better way to test. I like the fact that you can align the sights at arm's length and rest the whole forearm on a box while standing. I could build a nice sturdy box for the range bench. It would be a more natural and comfortable position for me, I have a hard time sighting off a sandbag on the bench, I have to get on my knees. Dave, do you know what he used to rest his arm on ?
 Thanks much,
 Stan

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Post by Wobbley 7/21/2022, 11:52 pm

I never met Doc Young…. 

I do know that a range in Washington State (Kenmore) has short stools that you can put on the pistol bench and rest your arm.  Maybe something like that.  Needs a sandbag tho.
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Post by fc60 7/22/2022, 10:43 am

chopper wrote:
   Hi Dave, I've wondered if that was a better way to test. I like the fact that you can align the sights at arm's length and rest the whole forearm on a box while standing. I could build a nice sturdy box for the range bench. It would be a more natural and comfortable position for me, I have a hard time sighting off a sandbag on the bench, I have to get on my knees. Dave, do you know what he used to rest his arm on ?
 Thanks much,
 Stan
Greetings,

I suspect a framework of 2x4's would work. I drove through Malo, WA several times; but, never stopped in to visit Doc. Only saw him at matches, via email, or Snail Mail. I do miss him.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by chopper 7/22/2022, 12:41 pm

Thank you Dave.

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Post by sharkdoctor 7/22/2022, 1:58 pm

Our range requires pistol shooting from eye level for best berm impact - no shooting a gun off a bench.  We provide plywood boxes for those needing support.  A simple box, say 8x12x16" (size depends on need) can accomodate shooters of various heights, or different styles of support, e.g. sandbag, butt rested (gun, not yours), arm rested and so on.  With such a box I can rest the gun butt on a rug, and shoot 1.5" 10 shot groups with a SW41 at 50yds, not much worse than a RR, and perhaps sometimes better since the sights/barrel are aligned and not just the frame (as in the RR).  An added advantage is observing dot or sight alignment with trigger movement under optimal conditions.  I also find that my sight settings are pretty close to a free-hand hold, so I can quickly confirm my poor shooting that day is all me.

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