Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
3,428
Reaction score
5,454
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
81
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
I have a brief rundown of the various shooting sticks here and discuss their application in preparing for your next safari. I believe shooting and hunting off sticks regularly is the best safari prep a person can do.
Regards,
Philip
PS Checkout how little recoil there is from my Tikka 7mm Mag with Edward’s Recoil Reducer, shooting Barnes 160gr.
 
Last edited:

MarkCZ

AH veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
261
Location
West Sussex
Media
18
Hunted
South Africa, Finland, Estonia, C.Z. Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Scotland , England, Namibia
Without a doubt you will have to practice shooting off sticks for Africa. Here in the UK we regularly shoot off sticks so it is never a problem, much to the surprise of some P.H,s . There is no big secret other than , I would advise not trying to hold too long on target.
MarkCZ
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,305
Reaction score
7,227
Location
Colorado
Media
229
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Excellent reminder of a critical training item!
My granddaughter and I go to the range about once a month. One of the things she really enjoys is shooting a gong off sticks at the 100 meter range. I think the 6” gongs give her instant feedback making it more fun than targets.
 

Sika98k

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
327
Reaction score
314
Location
Dublin,Ireland
Media
57
Hunting reports
Europe
1
Member of
Wild Deer Association of Ireland
Hunted
Kenya,Namibia, Croatia, Morocco Ireland,Scotland,Denmark, Romania, Sweden,Norway,Latvia,Germany,Hungary,
Look for Viperflex sticks, the Ferrari of quad shooting sticks. Made in Denmark, sold in the US by, I think, Holland Gun Company. Not too sure about the name. An American client of mine used them, called me some months later to find where he could buy them Stateside. I gather he’s very happy with them.
 

shootist~

Bronze supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
342
Reaction score
327
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
9
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico
Good stuff, thanks for posting.

I have a set of the Jim Skockley Trigger Sticks that generally stay at the house for dry fire practice. Very fast to deploy from the stored position and lightweight.

Also have a set of Bog Pods that stay in the truck for range use. I like the HD feel of the Bogs and the fact that they can be extended longer (or shorter) than the Trigger Sticks. Good chance the Bogs get packed up and go to Africa next year.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,365
Reaction score
3,434
Location
Eastern US
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Excellent video and I agree that practice from sticks is paramount.
But I will add that other improvised positions should also be practiced.
Offhand, kneeling and sitting were all encountered on our last safari.

Our PH had a set of JS Trigger Sticks but they were not in the best condition.
We were glad we took a set of BOG-POD's with us.
The weekly practice we did at home really paid off.
We took 10 PG from different positions, 4 were off sticks.

I would not make any assumptions on what your PH may or may not have.
If you have the ability to pack your sticks...take them.
Using the ones you've been practicing with will only help you.
Dance with the one you came with.
 
Last edited:

Fastrig

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
825
Reaction score
1,102
Location
Hill Country, TX
Media
28
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
CA, TX, MT, CO, NV, AK, NE, SD, FL
Excellent video and I agree that practice from sticks is paramount.
But I will add that other improvised positions should also be practiced.
Offhand, kneeling and sitting were all encountered on our last safari.

Our PH had a set of JS Trigger Sticks but they were not in the best condition.
We were glad we took a set of BOG-POD's with us.
The weekly practice we did at home really paid off.
We took 10 PG from different positions, 4 were off sticks.

Lastly...
I would not make any assumptions on what your PH may or may not have.
If you have the ability to pack your sticks...take them.
Using the ones you've been practicing with will only help you.
Dance with the one you came with.

Bringing my own sticks that I’ve used a lot on the range, not taking any chances. That’s why I bought the breakdown sticks from Africa Sporting Creations :) Sticks breakdown Into a nice canvas bag and can be thrown in my rifle case.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
5,673
Reaction score
11,927
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
74
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA, Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
Thanks for posting and good info as usual. For stick practice, I use either a .22 or .17 rimfire. It's cheaper. :giggle: Also accuracy improves with a good trigger.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,365
Reaction score
3,434
Location
Eastern US
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
For those choosing to use Viper-Flex...a word of caution.
When shooting larger calibers, the forend of the rifle may come off the sticks.
This could be a problem, having them fall toward or away from you.
Making a follow up shot more complicated.

Proper technique is to NOT grip the sticks, but grip the rifle forend.
If you grip the sticks, they will fold up with the recoil of the rifle.
Again, making a follow up shot more difficult.
 

Fastrig

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
825
Reaction score
1,102
Location
Hill Country, TX
Media
28
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
CA, TX, MT, CO, NV, AK, NE, SD, FL
For those choosing to use Viper-Flex...a word of caution.
When shooting larger calibers, the forend of the rifle may come off the sticks.
This could be a problem, having them fall toward or away from you.
Making a follow up shot more complicated.

Proper technique is to NOT grip the sticks, but grip the rifle forend.
If you grip the sticks, they will fold up with the recoil of the rifle.
Again, making a follow up shot more difficult.

It’s so interesting on what is the “proper” way to use sticks. Was watching an seasoned “expert” hunter’s video on using sticks and he was saying to grip the sticks and the rifle forend. Worked okay with a 308, no worth a crap with a 300 wm or 9.3x62. Been reading One Day’s and Shootist’s posts and definitely not going to holding on to the sticks any longer. With my new Weatherby’s there is no way I could do that with these rifles, just doesn’t work with how the stocks are configured and hand placement.
 

375Fox

AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
270
Reaction score
546
Location
Pennsylvania
Media
50
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Zambia, Namibia, South Africa
For those choosing to use Viper-Flex...a word of caution.
When shooting larger calibers, the forend of the rifle may come off the sticks.
This could be a problem, having them fall toward or away from you.
Making a follow up shot more complicated.

Proper technique is to NOT grip the sticks, but grip the rifle forend.
If you grip the sticks, they will fold up with the recoil of the rifle.
Again, making a follow up shot more difficult.
You may be correct on proper technique using quad sticks, but this is what I have found. I use 4 stable sticks. I have found the best way for me to shoot them is by having a sling on the rifle and using my left hand to hold both front sticks and the sling, this will stop the rifle from falling off. I shoot up to 375. If I hold the forearm of the rifle instead of sticks and sling, my groups are not as tight. I also find the less weight I bear into the sticks and straighter I keep my back the better I can shoot from them. I have used them now on 5 African trips and 3 roe buck hunts and practice with them regularly, this technique works really well for me. You can actually see how I hold the gun and sticks in my picture next to my name.
 

fourfive8

AH elite
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
1,367
Reaction score
2,083
Media
226
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
Off sticks is best shooting "practice" you can do before safari. Because most of the time (not always) sticks will be used. I hesitate to take sticks because either the PH or tracker will be setting them up and they are going to be most familiar with their own and they all have them. The only rehearsal I go over with PH or trackers is the height to set the sticks. With the sticks they are familiar with, they can can set them up very quickly and usually at the height you request. Practice the best height for you before you go.

As to how to hold the forend of the rifle while on sticks?? Each have their preference. I think I just kind of grip from underneath and slightly to the side and lightly grasp the rifle with thumb and index finger (maybe index plus middle) with the heel of the hand touching the front/left part of the sticks - I'm right handed. After recoil, especially with the heavy calibers, I want to have the gun under control and in hand for working the bolt and ready for follow up shot(s). The recoil will come back and up. All my heavy recoil rifles have front sling attachment on the barrel, so the recoil-hand-sticks-stud "problem" is not an issue. With most shooting, especially on DG, usually only the first shot will be off sticks then shots will be "whatever works best" if necessary for follow ups. Only if time allows will you be able or really need to stay on or get back on sticks for 2nd or more shots anyway- occasionally follow ups will happen where the sticks can be used... all depends. After a while it becomes second nature how to hold rifle when getting on sticks. I try to avoid mixing slings and sticks for obvious reasons. I don't rest the barrel on the sticks but try to use the same location on the forend as would be used to hold off hand or off bags. Most will prefer slightly different methods so use the method that works best for you. Often, in the field, it will happen very quickly so practice enough that it becomes second nature and comfortable. :)
 
Last edited:

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,365
Reaction score
3,434
Location
Eastern US
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I should have qualified my earlier statement on "proper" use of sticks.
There are many methods to handle heavy recoiling rifles from sticks.

The method I described is what works best for my wife and I.
She shoots a 375H&H and I'm using a 416RM.
Both have significant recoil for us to handle.
Not gripping the sticks means they stay put while we roll with the rifle.

Follow up shots are more "take what you can get" than anything else.
But if the sticks stay in place, having them as an option is always good.
 

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
2,687
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
328
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
I looked at Philip 's video and subsequent comments. Very nice!

I am sure Philip will not mind the following thoughts, because he has proven through his writing to be a true AH.com companion.

I only have one observation: a 7mm Mag with Edward’s Recoil Reducer shooting 160 gr bullets is hardly representative of a DG caliber rifle shooting 300 to 500 gr slugs.....................

May I suggest one does not try having one's left hand between sling stud and tripod/bipod fork with a .458 Lott rifle ;)

I would hate to suggest someone tries it to illustrate my point, but I think that everyone understands exactly what I mean :)

This is the ENTIRE point about acquiring ONE proper shooting form that becomes unconscious muscle memory: one's hand does not wander back & forth on the forearm, front or back of the sticks, and it does not matter what caliber one shoots...

This is another example why in the end one needs to shoot a few boxes of ammo with the actual rifle, the actual load, and under actual conditions, before going on safari, to verify that everything comes together. It is better to discover at the home range that, for example, flat nose truncated solids do not feed through one's rifle, or to get a few stiches in the left hand palm web at the local American or European emergency room, than to have this happen in Africa :oops:

Yes, there are "many different ways to skin a cat", and I guess that both house kitten and Leopard are cats (the same way both 7 Rem / 160 gr and .416 Rem / 400 gr are rifle & load combos), but one should not get distracted in thinking that what works with one will necessary work with another. Just saying :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
2,687
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
328
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
Here is a video from BeeMaa shooting the .416 Rem from a 13.5 lbs. rifle, which he does very well I might add...
Any one wants to try squeezing one's hand between a swivel stud and a tripod fork?
 
Last edited:

CoElkHunter

AH elite
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
1,837
Reaction score
1,624
Location
Colorado
Media
15
Never shot off sticks, but I’m learning I need to when I hunt in Africa. Nothing I’ve hunted here, except maybe a stupid pronghorn, would stand still long enough to use them? But besides the stick shooting, I like the video of shooting off the back porch!
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,365
Reaction score
3,434
Location
Eastern US
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Never shot off sticks, but I’m learning I need to when I hunt in Africa. Nothing I’ve hunted here, except maybe a stupid pronghorn, would stand still long enough to use them? But besides the stick shooting, I like the video of shooting off the back porch!
First I wanted to thank @One Day... for the kind words and for posting the video.

I was at my friends place and he warned his neighbors we'd be shooting.
One of them called up after we started throwing lead...wanted to know the caliber.
They weren't upset...just expecting the usual 223 rifle or 9mm pistol.
We kinda chuckled and went back to shooting.
Gotta love those kind of neighbors.
 

yhc

AH senior member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
54
Reaction score
63
Location
Alaska, USA
Media
3
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
USA (Alaska, Colorado, Kansas), Germany, Austria
Thanks for posting the video Philip.

I have been considering getting a set of shooting sticks in preparation for my first safari next year. Of the quad shooting sticks I have looked at I have narrowed down to either Viper-Flex Journey vs. Blaser Carbon Shooting Sticks. Does anyone have experiences with both? If so which one would you recommend?

Regards,
 
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

mbogo45 wrote on Jager Waffen74's profile.
Appreciate your info and feedback, I looked at some European websites to try and get info on the value of this particular Steyr. Further input from you on it's value would be appreciated as you have a bunch of them. I assume you collect the Steyr Luxus for a reason ---they are a finely built rifle.
I’ll never hunt Africa, but give me please a Jack O’Connor hunt up high in the Canadian Rockies!
Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
 
Top