Shooting from sticks

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by cptkirk, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. cptkirk

    cptkirk AH Member

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    Well, 6 weeks to go. I spent 3 hours at the range yesterday tenderizing/pulverizing my shoulder. 70 rounds and the rifle is set to go. Got it dialed in for everything from 50 yards out to 300. I must admit I am very disappointed with my performance shooting off a set of bipod sticks though. I can almost do okay at 100 yards but any thing over that will be a crap shoot. I have a big problem with left and right swaying. All you stick bangers out there, I need some pointers. Whats your favorite form. Foot positioning, elbows in or out, lean forward etc., etc., etc. I have shot deer at 250 yards off hand on more than one occasion and never had to fire a second shot. What am I doing wrong? Next trip to the range is going to be sticks first.
    Thanks in advance,
    Kirk
  2. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Veteran

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    I'm new with the sticks, by I've used trees and walls on a number of occasions. While practicing on sticks I've found it helpful to lean them backwards slightly, me forward into them. I put my non shooting hand grasping the V of the bipod, index finger pointing to the target. It helps me feel like I'm calling my shot like Babe Ruth. Typically have 100 yard groups inside 3 inches like this.

    Side note, I've been using Korean surplus 30-06 ammo for practicing. Better quality ammo and I may well hit smaller groups. The steel down range on another site rings each time, and water bottles fear me...
  3. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    turn your bi into a tri ,lad....
    my gracious wife couldn't hit shit with a bipod a month ago . now she is hitting 600 ml soft drink bottles out toi 150 metres . one after the other .
    in a post about making your own shooting sticks ,on here .
    look up 35 bores and code4 posts .that is where I got the plan from .
    $8 bamboo pole and some string, hey presto , theres your start .
    once she got comfortable with this set up .
    l bought a primos trigger stick tripod , and now I have to get her permission to use it .
    I would let her shoot at a deer size target, out 300 metres , at an instant , now
  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    [​IMG]

    Don't know if this image will post, but I also lean slightly into the sticks. I personally think a tripod is slightly steadier, but it is the "floating" elbow of the trigger finger arm that causes most of the movement. Providing some support for it (such as your PH's arm or shoulder) can make a world of difference on a really long shot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2014
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Following up Red Leg's post, this is why I had my son using a sling for the left hand "floating" elbow. Drop your elbow into the sling and wrap your forehand around the front end of the sling. Much more support and it also controls muzzle jump.
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Third vote for leaning into the sticks.

    Support for that elbow was incredibly helpful.
  7. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Fourth vote. "Loading" the sticks helps just like putting pressure on the bipod helps from prone.

    And ANYTHING to make the elbow steadier. A sling, the shoulder of the PH, a tree, a second set of shooting sticks under it, you name it.
  8. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    im having similar problem shooting from a tripod. my elevation is good but I keep pulling my shots left. ill give the elbow support idea a go, hopefully it will help.

    thanks
    -matt
  9. RickP

    RickP AH Senior Member

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    Probably a bit redundant now but I, too, lean a bit into the sticks when shooting the rifle. But I normally take my game with a handgun which puts a twist on things.
  10. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Try this Matt.

    Make sure you have two tripods. The three legs of the tripod, and your two legs with the rifle/tripod leg being the third "leg" of the second tripod. It helps to make you steadier. Without seeing you shoot I will bet that you've got your feet set with right foot much further back. Fine for offhand, but this isn't offhand.

    Let me know if I guessed right. ;)
  11. RickP

    RickP AH Senior Member

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    To emulate shooting from sticks, I went to Lowe's and bought three bamboo poles and a vacuum cleaner belt. Then strapped them all together to emulate a cheap set of shooting sticks. When setting them up keep the two rear legs parallel in the back and the third leg pointing forward. This might seem obvious but..........
  12. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Royal27 I had to read your post a couple times to figure out what your saying LOL. but you are correct, I do put my left foot forward of my right similar to offhand shooting.

    I think I understand what your asking me to do and will give it a shot at the range. I wonder how such a stance will handle the heavy recoil of my guns though.

    -matt
  13. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    That's where leaning into the sticks and "loading" them will help and you don't have to have your feet completely side by side. The right foot can still be a bit further back and the shoulders don't have to be totally square but probably more square than they are (sorry, should have said shoulders earlier too). Play with it and I will bet you can find a happy medium. I'm not an expert, but the Navy Seal who taught me how to shoot off sticks is! :)

    To me this is why it is SO important to practice off of sticks before Africa. We are all different and we need to figure out what works for us personally.
  14. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Oh, and the Seal (Doug Pritchard - lead instructor at SAAM) had a guy doing what I'm suggesting with a .470 Nitro Express and it worked great. So that should help to answer your recoil question.
  15. RickP

    RickP AH Senior Member

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    I too found that standing a bit more square with a moderately wide stance worked best for me. This helped the lateral wobbling and leaning forward on the stick helped the fore and aft movement.
  16. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Bingo!!!
  17. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I will give a try next weekend when I take out my new (to me) 500/416 NE.

    as for the comment in red, I couldn't agree more! in fact I have completely given up shooting from a bench. ALL of my shooting is now either done from a tripod or off hand.

    -matt
  18. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Enjoy the Searcy, Matt! I have to admit I'm envious. One day I will have a double, just not today.
  19. tedthorn

    tedthorn AH Member

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    I shot over 500 rounds off sticks this past spring in preparation for my June hunt and received a lot of good tips that work!

    Stand tall......set the sticks at shoulder to just below shoulder hight as you stand normal

    Lock your arm strait.....front arm....no elbow bend. This creates a triangle that locks your torso

    Stop using your thumb on your trigger hand and slide your elbow into your chest. The but of your rifle now rest on your shoulder and bicep

    Put your forward hand open facing away from you grabbing the sticks under the V with your last three fingers and form another V with your thumb and index finger....now squeeze the sticks and the forarm of the rifle together.....btw.....I dont lean.....stand as flat and balanced as possible for control of working the bolt

    If you have a rimfire use it and practice shooting very small targets on very low scope power at 50 to 75 yards.....this will give you good practice and is very underrated
  20. tedthorn

    tedthorn AH Member

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    Also......email your outfitter and find out what tripod your PH will be using and make or in most cases these days buy one just like his......if it is packable then take it with you and use it

    You will also have a use for the extra set of sticks on your hunt. You spend days looking through your binoculars and the tripod folded flat used as a monopod makes glassing far more enjoyable
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014

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