Recoil effects on Accuracy

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Ray B, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    I'm not talking about flinching, bucking etc, but rather changes in bullet path due to different holdings. the rifle recoils as the bullet is traveling through the barrel so if the rifle has different recoil path I'd expect the bullet's path to differ. For example- heavy recoiling rifle is held in a leadsled so that there is virtually no rearward movement, but due to design, the muzzle is allowed to rise. or, the rifle is fired from offhand position and the recoil moves the shooter's shoulder back several inches and while the muzzle does rise, having spent some of the recoil moving back, the upward movement would be less.

    I would expect there to be two different patterns of impact. I'd guess using the leadsled would have a higher pattern. those that have shot a lot of heavy recoiling rifles, is this correct, or at least is there a noticeable difference in aim points?
     

  2. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    I think the answer to this, is anybody's guess.

    However, probably - this was more issue with older rifle models, rather then with newer models, for the reason that practically all modern bolt actions will have free floated barrel, as opposed to old standard non-floating bbl.
    Different holding will have more influence on non-floating barrel. But as I said, this is just an educated guess.
     

  3. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Ray B, I think that the answer to your question is contained in the following article written by Nathan Foster who is a long distance hunter and overall gun nut from New Zealand.
    https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Hold+that+Forend.html

    I use a lead sled from time to time but I never put more than 10 lbs. of weight on it. There is rearward movement that I absorb through my shoulder. BUT and there is always a but, I control the forend as much as possible whether I'm using the sled or shooting off sticks or offhand.
     
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  4. Standard Velocity

    Standard Velocity AH Enthusiast

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    Lead Sled will give you a slightly different POI than offhand or field positions. I don’t own one but have tried one on several occasions and don’t particularly care for them. They are great for getting on the paper and getting the zero pretty close but final zero should be from a more natural rest.

    Ive found that a heavy bag front rest paired with a bunny bag rear does it for me. I always need something to shim it though. A regular bath towel works for me. I can use it to shim the rifle on the front bag while shimming the rear bag to bring it up higher for my shoulder. The towel can then cover my rifle loosely to shade it from the sun between shots. If there is intermittent rain towel works fine for that too.

    Even with bags I check zero with some offhand shots uncoupled from the rests with my hand under the rifle but still a solid platform.
     

  5. perttime

    perttime AH Enthusiast

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    I don't think this is about mechanical accuracy of the rifle with its accessories.

    When you have significant recoil, the shooter's position, in field positions, will have some effect of how the rifle behaves when fired.
     
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  6. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    The main reason for the poor precision of a big bore rifle with strong recoil is IMHO mainly the shooter and his position. When shooting from a bench with big bore rifles , no matter what recoil , I have never noticed a difference in terms of accuracy. The holes in the target are certainly bigger and cover a larger surface , but the spread of shots is comparable to smaller calibers.
     
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  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    JME, my 375 H&H changes POI taking the muzzlebrake off. It changes depending on my hold on front and rear rests. It changes depending on the amount of weight in the LedSled. It’s different from a prone position off bipod.
    My Tikka T3 in 300 WM changes 5 1/2” at 100 yards when I install my suppressor.

    What I do: I develop my loads mostly using a LedSled weighted fairly heavy. Then I shoot groups of 3 off standard soft front and rear rest. Finally I shoot standing off a tripod several range trips before adventuring to Africa.

    Luckily I am retired and can work in time to do all this. I know, I’m a retired (maybe really tired) nerdy engineer.
     
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  8. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I don't believe inherent accuracy is affected by recoil, but the point of impact could be depending on the hold as mentioned above. Unless there is a large difference in the load quality of each round, accuracy should be a constant in as much as the shooter has the ability to hold hard. Its a known fact that big bores shoot just fine with good loads.
     
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  9. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    I can also confirm.
     

  10. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I use a lead led extensively and have found no meaningful change in POI after using if for sighting in. That has been the case regardless of caliber or action.
     
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  11. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    One can takes the same shooting position , with a lead led or without on a bench.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020

  12. MS 9x56

    MS 9x56 AH Veteran

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    I am not a fan of lead sleds. I prefer bags under toe and forearm with hand on forearm. Just works better for me.
     

  13. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Not sure if you have shot a .40 + caliber with full power loads off the bench or not.
    A lot of the members here have shoot calibers above .458 off the bench to sight them in.
    After a few rounds, even the biggest stud can be looking for a little respite.

    I use a lead sled although I don't always load it with the 2 - 25# plates.
    My wife isn't very fond of having to carry them in and out of the range. :D
    Usually the addition of the 12# of the sled itself with the added stability is enough.

    I have not seen an appreciable amount of change in POI from sled to sticks.
    YRMV.
     

  14. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Fanatic

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    I think @mark-hunter is probably right. It my well be different to prove and get consistent results everyone is different so skill and most likely technique y play a part but a bullet has probably left the barrel before the effect of recoil and our reflexes can affect things.

    It’s interesting a suppressor cage the point of impact by 5” I know brakes change poi too but I don’t have a brake and cannot have. Suppressor in Australia, we call them silencers, like in the movies, you barely hear it and anyone who has them is a Hitman. No wonder they are banned, what are al of these other countries thinking?

    And I haven’t used a Lead Sled or really needed one. If @Red Leg puts his beloved Blaser R8 in one they cannot be all bad. I assume they re worthwhile when using the big bores but if you can boresight it close a few shots maybe tolerable on a soft rest to get it sighted. Redleg seems to have a Ton of experience and some nice pics on here so listen to everyone and weigh up the odds find what suits you and while I cannot answer the question practice, technique and shoot straight.

    I have been on Nathan Foster site a Bit before, I like the article Hold That fore end. It makes sense.
    He is certainly knowledgeable, certainly experienced, maybe. Little biased but he has a fan base or cult following but we can learn from him.
     

  15. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    this has not been my experience. most of my large rifles are shot with a lead sled for groups etc. once load development is done, i shoot off sand bags to make sure my info is good, there is almost no difference between shooting off my lead sled and shooting off bags after i have a load that i am happy with. just what i have seen shooting 30-06, 338, 375, 450-400.
     
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  16. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Giving it some more thought, the aspect of scope damage when using a heavily weighted lead sled indicates that the support system of the rifle has a slight amount of slack/free travel in it. Since the damage to scopes due to excessive acceleration and equally excessive deceleration would mean the support system differed from a 60 pound rifle. With the 60 pound rifle the entire 60 pounds would be moved as a function of recoil, but with the lead sled the 10 pound rifle initiates movement, takes up the "slack" in the system then is stopped as the 10 pound rifle pushes against the 50 pound lead sled. I suspect the POI sighting is not affected by a proper use of a lead sled is due to the rifle being in the free recoil portion of its movement, which is similar to non-lead sled use, during which time the bullet has escaped the barrel. Differences in sighting would be much more noticeable if the positioning of the rifle put differing support on the buttplate or lateral pressure on the barrel.
     
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  17. Standard Velocity

    Standard Velocity AH Enthusiast

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    I’m glad the sled works for you and I wish I were able to use one too. I cannot get used to it nor the Past pads or muzzle breaks. All the nifty things that mitigate recoil annoy me and cause me to shoot differently than normal.

    This does not mean I’m exceptionally tolerant of recoil. Rather, it means I can’t shoot as much before I’m worn out.
     
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  18. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    i am also kind of a wimp regarding recoil. that said, the "sled" is a great deal for a crybaby like me. when hunting of course recoil does not exist.
     

  19. Uwe Jaspersen

    Uwe Jaspersen AH Member

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    The biggest influence on accuracy, in my view, is recoil shyness, i.e. the flinch
     
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  20. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I thought the lead sled was hard on scopes with the shock wave and sudden stop??
     

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