Help Shooting Off Sticks

BeeMaa

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@VertigoBE - You are wise to take your own shooting sticks. Dance with the one you came with so to speak.

As @fourfive8 mentioned above, there may not be much time to set the sticks up beforehand. What we did is have a talk with our PH and tracker on how we like the sticks set up. We practiced it a few time to get the technique down and never had a problem in the field. Open lines of honest communication between you, the PH and the tracker are absolutely necessary to a successful hunt.

Good luck with your upcoming safari and keep up the dry fire work. It will pay off in the end.
 

Tanks

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One other thing to consider is the terrain. On sand most likely the sticks will sink. On a few occasions I used a hasty sling and shot off-hand for that very reason. So, good to practice all shooting positions in addition to using sticks.
 

1dirthawker

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i'm not a super great shot, but practiced quite a bit before i went to africa for a cape buffalo, with an airgun. as red leg stated above, a 22 or a air rifle and deliver the same practice without the expense. get some sticks and an accurate small bore or airgun.

my suggestion; you are going to wobble around a bit, it is not a bench. but you will tend to wobble in a certain pattern, so, BE PATIENT. pretty soon you will be able to time your shot, when your wobble is in the right spot. do not let a shot go that you are not sure about on an animal. well, not letting a shot go on your practice will carry over to your shooting at game. being patient for the crosshairs to wobble in place when i touch one off helps me.

good luck on your hunt.
 

VertigoBE

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i'm not a super great shot, but practiced quite a bit before i went to africa for a cape buffalo, with an airgun. as red leg stated above, a 22 or a air rifle and deliver the same practice without the expense. get some sticks and an accurate small bore or airgun.

my suggestion; you are going to wobble around a bit, it is not a bench. but you will tend to wobble in a certain pattern, so, BE PATIENT. pretty soon you will be able to time your shot, when your wobble is in the right spot. do not let a shot go that you are not sure about on an animal. well, not letting a shot go on your practice will carry over to your shooting at game. being patient for the crosshairs to wobble in place when i touch one off helps me.

good luck on your hunt.
I'm actually limited to practicing with snap caps. Shooting ranges are closed and I have no garden.
And as I'm practicing with 4 legged shooting sticks, I do not have any wobble.

but that does give me ideas to get myself a cheap 3 legged version to practice this as well.

thanks for the good wishes, but right now, we still don't know if we will be allowed to leave...
 

Royal27

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He told me that it was a bad idea to practice... as I was more likely to ingrain a bad habit than instill any good ones. And that once being there, I would be way too excited to be paying attention to anything else than just getting the rifle up and taking a shot. All fine motor skills go out the window. (he does like to exaggerate a little...)

With all due respect to the gentleman, that's just plain dumb.

You won't be paying attention, which makes muscle memory that much more important and a great reason TO practice. Not to mention becoming a better shot in general.
 

Philip Glass

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Hello all,

Just got back from a small visit to the gunstore where I was discussing with the owner that I'll be going on my first safari in 2 months (fingers crossed) and I asked him if he had any additional .300WinMag Snap Caps for me to practice more with my rifle. (shoot, work the bolt, shoot, reload two).

He looked at me as if I had just mentioned that I'd be interested in removing my manhood. 'Why?'he asked, I explained to him for practice off the sticks, dry fire at home (all gun ranges have been closed since October last year) and getting used to shooting and operating the bolt while on the sticks.

He told me that it was a bad idea to practice... as I was more likely to ingrain a bad habit than instill any good ones. And that once being there, I would be way too excited to be paying attention to anything else than just getting the rifle up and taking a shot. All fine motor skills go out the window. (he does like to exaggerate a little...)

Now I do know that "practice does not make perfect. practice makes permanent". So what kind of bad habits could I be ingraining? He did not want to elaborate on 'what I'd practice wrong' just "everything"...

Btw, I'm practicing on 4Stable sticks, not 3-legged ones, I'll be taking mine with me to Africa.

V.

That is a head scratcher! What? Don’t practice shooting for your safari? Wrong!
You don’t really need snap caps.
 

Royal27

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That is a head scratcher! What? Don’t practice shooting for your safari? Wrong!
You don’t really need snap caps.

Where snap caps (purchased or homemade) are great is reloading drills. Agree you don't need them for dry fire practice on a bolt rifle.
 

VertigoBE

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@Philip Glass and @Royal27 , thanks for the responses. I had always been under the impression that the use of snap caps was recommended for dry fire? Also for a more realistic manipulation of the bolt.

In fact, I have dry fired with snap caps so much, that I realised this weekend that the extractor on the bolt head has a corner broken off... causing the rifle (also due to the snap cap rim having cracked and coming loose) to have some failures to extract and thus double feed.

Mauser M03 Bolt Head extractor cracked 1.jpg
Mauser M03 Bolt Head extractor cracked 2.jpg
 

Philip Glass

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@Philip Glass and @Royal27 , thanks for the responses. I had always been under the impression that the use of snap caps was recommended for dry fire? Also for a more realistic manipulation of the bolt.

In fact, I have dry fired with snap caps so much, that I realised this weekend that the extractor on the bolt head has a corner broken off... causing the rifle (also due to the snap cap rim having cracked and coming loose) to have some failures to extract and thus double feed.

View attachment 396607View attachment 396608
Oh no! That was unforeseen. I guess this is a reason to not use snap caps.
What we don’t want is a rifle in Africa that does not operate properly!
Regards,
Philip
 

Dean2

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@Philip Glass and @Royal27 , thanks for the responses. I had always been under the impression that the use of snap caps was recommended for dry fire? Also for a more realistic manipulation of the bolt.

In fact, I have dry fired with snap caps so much, that I realised this weekend that the extractor on the bolt head has a corner broken off... causing the rifle (also due to the snap cap rim having cracked and coming loose) to have some failures to extract and thus double feed.

View attachment 396607View attachment 396608
Great part is you found it now with lots of time to replace it. Snap caps aren't needed to protect the firing pin but they really do mimic load and eject way better than just doing it with an empty gun. They also do no damage to your gun so why not use them.
 

VertigoBE

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Great part is you found it now with lots of time to replace it. Snap caps aren't needed to protect the firing pin but they really do mimic load and eject way better than just doing it with an empty gun. They also do no damage to your gun so why not use them.
That was my thinking too @Dean2 , if it does not hurt the gun well why not use them. But it seems endless repititions with snap caps can cause the extractor to break :)

Maybe because these snapcaps are steel, and a little harder than brass, for which the extractor is not built.

Actually cracked the rim on one of the snap caps too...

IMG_2980.jpg
 

Dean2

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I agree, those look like aluminum. I would not use steel snap caps. I make my own snap caps out of brass, a bullet and a fired primer, that way they are as close as possible to the real thing. They are also clearly marked so you know they are duds. Extractors may break with enough use but that would not stop me from practicing. Extractors are cheap.
 

Ike85123

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I bought snap caps from the store. But I have a friend that uses old brass with a dab of silicone on the old primer.
Guess different strokes for different folks ?
 

VertigoBE

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Oh no! That was unforeseen. I guess this is a reason to not use snap caps.
What we don’t want is a rifle in Africa that does not operate properly!
Regards,
Philip

I’ll not be taking my rifle with me to Africa in June, that is if we are allowed to go :s just too complicated for now with Covid.

But it is a dream to do so some time

V.
 

VertigoBE

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To bring the topic back to shooting sticks, I had mentioned earlier that I had purchased the 4StableSticks. However I was not too fond of the metal on metal sounds when gripping them or closing them back up. So I found some camo duck tape and did this:

Image1617985332.354331.jpg


Image1617985317.466029.jpg


First leg I tried, I was winding it round and round, but was not able to keep the spacing. So all the other legs I cut one long piece and stuck it around. The duck tape was just wide enough to have a little overlap.

The metal sounds definitely are less strong and high in pitch now, so definitely an improvement. And added bonus is it covers the black a bit :)

Might be a cool idea for some :)
 

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Always use snap caps in a double - shotgun or rifle. In a bolt action they offer no value and can actually cause damage to extractors and/or firing pins.

Whoever suggested not practicing is certifiably incompetent to advise anyone about shooting.
 

fourfive8

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"Whoever suggested not practicing is certifiably incompetent to advise anyone about shooting."

I read that gun shop owner's advice- yes, certifiable I've seen people practice that philosophy but have never heard anyone advise it!
 

Dean2

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Practice clearly works. For years I have shot gophers using Bipod sticks for rests with me many times standing but for extended sessions, sitting in a camp type canvas chair. I can comfortably shoot gophers to three hundred yards that way. Shooting big game off of sticks is no problem at all after shooting many thousands of rounds a year shooting gophers. Like I said above, there is a lot of bad advice slung around, even by supposed experts.
 

PARA45

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I recently purchased a set of shooting sticks, called Rudolph PH Shooting Sticks. They are basically the similar as the 4StableSticks, but less than half the price. I have not shot with them, but tried them out at home and they feel solid. I will practice with them, and take them with me to Africa next year. :)

shooting sticks.jpg
 

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