Help Shooting Off Sticks

Discussion in 'Shot Placement' started by IA diver, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. IA diver

    IA diver SILVER SUPPORTER New Member

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    Have been using a 23 x 35 target to simulate Steenbok etc. Shooting standing off sticks 20180916_181714.jpg at 200m am able to get the entire box on target but not in the vitals. Any tips or techniques for using sticks? 3 weeks to RSA.
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Practice and anticipating the shot. You will have movement. The trick is learning to control the movement sufficiently to anticipate the shot as the crosshairs touch the exact target point. You can learn to do that with a scoped .22 as easily as a full bore. Dry firing in your basement is almost as effective. Again, the key is training eye and trigger squeeze to touch off the shot at exactly the right moment in movement. Everyone is different, but I was taught to get the rifle moving in an ellipse across the target. For me that is lower left to upper right. Looking at your target, I would suggest that is already the pattern your body goes into. Embrace it. Whether I have 2 secs or 32 secs, I automatically see that movement of the crosshairs and at this point in my life, the rifle almost goes off on its own as it crosses the target on the upward track. Finally, when I say "movement" and an "ellipse," I am probably talking a four to eight- inch pattern at 200 meters depending on conditions and how tired or winded I am at the moment. Others with whom I shot competitively trained themselves to see an oval movement or a cross. Up and down or side-to-side rarely works because the body introduces movement in multiple directions.

    A final bit of help is learning to call the shot. Doing so forces follow through which is very important when shooting offhand or with minimal support like sticks or a limb. Every single shot I take - whether at the range or in the field - I call the actual hit. Again, with practice, calling the shot will force you to instinctively hold the shot a millisecond longer. In remarkably short order the accuracy improvement can be dramatic. It is particularly effective at preventing dropping shots low.

    Again, looking at your target, I can almost guarantee you that a bit of practice will put every one of those shots into heart lung. Follow through long enough to call the shot and regulate that lower left to upper right movement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    tarbe, Shootist43, Rick Cox and 4 others like this.

  3. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Pressure forward with your shoulder and pulling back slightly with the opposite hand. Stable base with your feet, one slightly behind the other (trigger finger side) also locked and rigid with same leg. Lots of practice also helps, I use a 22LR and 223 Rem and put hundreds of rounds down range in preparation.

    @Red Leg gave great advice on calling the shot and follow through.

    200 yards on a Steinbok is pretty darn far, get closer if you aren’t sure you can make a good shot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  4. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Fanatic

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    I do much better if I put another set(or mono-pod) under my trigger hand elbow.
     

  5. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    Little trick from FTW/SAAM Shooting School, use a bi-pod and hold one leg of the bi-pod and one leg of the shooting sticks together for added stability.
     
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  6. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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  7. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Do you know what your PH uses for sticks as not all sticks are the same? My PH last year used a tri-pod (and I practiced using the same), this year a different PH used a Bi-pod. I didn’t have any issues with the bi-pod as I was able to get myself into a stable and solid shooting position which will allow you to use either.
     

  8. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    I hunted with KMG Hunting Safaris in July and shot off sticks. For every shot Marius, my PH, put his shoulder under my right elbow. It really helped to stabilize me. I never missed a shot, however my Kudu and springbok each needed a follow up. Everything else were quick, one-shot kills. Good luck on your hunt!
     

  9. Bruce

    Bruce AH Fanatic

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    If using BI POD sticks. Let them INCLINE towards your body, then you actually push forward when aiming do that pressure travels down the sticks into Mother Earth...wavering and motion will be greatly reduced,if not eliminated.
     

  10. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    The left leaning pattern could also mean you are pulling the trigger vs squeezing it. Or at least this is what we look at when shooting M4's for qualifying. Make sure you lose the last pad of your trigger finger and squeeze it vs pull it.
     

  11. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Yah- the vitals on that mule deer target are about the size of a whole Steenbok and much farther off the ground :) and 200 yards is a little long on little critters like that anyway.

    Just get comfortable behind the sticks, RELAX, let gravity hold every thing down. Feet not to close together nor far apart, sticks not too high or low- it has to be comfortable and relaxed while the rifle is on the sticks. Expect some wobble. Reduce scope power if wobble is too distracting- what good is the 14x scope resolution that can distinguish a 1/4" speck at 200 yards when the wobble (thus group size) is 15+ inches!

    The idea is to minimize the wobble, relax and don't fight the sticks, hold the cross hair's/reticle's POA in the center of the vital zone (if the wobble goes outside the vital zone hunt closer- shoot closer), squeeze.... boom. Practice
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  12. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    So I received a shooting lesson from the Griffen & Howe instructor (has since left, I believe) who was the shooting instructor for the Navy Seals prior to joining Griffen & Howe. I had a similar problem and asked what was the "correct" procedure. He stated clearly that what works for you is the correct procedure but you can think about the following: (easier to show than describe but i will try and be clear)

    1) Off-Hand forms a peace sign and with palm facing shooter put the two fingers at the x of the bi pod or tripod(pod, from now on) then the whole hand wraps the upper part of the X of the pod and grips stock of gun.
    2) Off-hand and grip pulls back on the gun against the shooters shoulder, you should be able to keep the rifle on the pod and your shoulder while waving with your trigger arm/hand. This releases all tension off of trigger finger and helps with the squeeze.
    3) With your body/shoulder you push forward on the gun and your grip on the sticks, on a tripod, push till the back two legs just about come off ground. On a bi-pod, the bi-pod should be angling backward with you pushing forward in a balance.
    4) Wide base with staggered feet and LOCK you knees, bend at the waist only.
    5) Not from instructor but every PH I have been with, forget using any magnification over 6x, even on long shots. This seems to exaggerate the movement.

    These really helped me to get more stable than I was before. Notice I did not say very stable. I will add, practice, practice and then more. At my range I never use the bench anymore.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018

  13. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    6x or less on scope.

    Get snap caps and practice in your house off sticks. Get the muscle memory there. Do this every day, you will be amazed.

    Also, are you focusing your breathing? What throws me off the most is when I am not concentrating on my breathing when shooting.

    And make sure your feet aren't too close together, we have a tendency to want to want to put our feet together rather than getting square with the target.

    You will be fine, sticks are weird and it just takes some practice to get the hang of it.
     

  14. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    Breathing usually makes a shot pattern that goes up and down trying to time the scope normally leaves one that is in a figure 8. Inproper trigger pull is what I think is causing this pattern.
     

  15. IA diver

    IA diver SILVER SUPPORTER New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Left handed shooter FYI. The ellipse technique seems to really help.
     

  16. kevin masters

    kevin masters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    My ph used stick that had four limbs, supporting the gun under the forearm and the butt stock? not sure how to describe it.
    They were very solid. you leaned in to increase elevation or back to decrease. I didnt have an errant shot off of sticks. Now there
    was that one off handed shot, lol :whistle::whistle::whistle:
    The best advise, practice , practice and more practice!
    Good luck and enjoy the hunt!
     

  17. Von S.

    Von S. AH Enthusiast

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    For those who played organized sports in stadiums where everyone in the stands is screaming yet you can't hear them at all, but you can hear the breathing of the full back who in a few seconds it is your fondest desire to decapitate you understand " being in the zone".

    Shooting is not much different.

    Best of luck.
     
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  18. Bushpig4Ever

    Bushpig4Ever AH Member

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    I would never use tripod and bipod, can't stand it. For support I use a tree, my knees or that little handy devise which I really like a lot. It's similar to Georg Dedek's umbrella. Or I shoot off-hand.
    IMG_2840.JPG
    IMG_1540 (1).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2018 at 7:18 AM

  19. Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

    Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Enthusiast

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    Just a note
    Aim further forward
    African games vitals are further forward than most other game
    Aim straight up the front leg, not just behind the leg if u did this most of your 20 shot group would be in the kill zone
    Dont think too much on the sticks and dont take too long when the cross hair is in right place squeeze
    200m off sticks is far....too far ... get closer i would say
    Hope this helps

    Regards
     
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