Quality of shooting rests

hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
Does the quality of shooting rest affect accuracy? Currently, I am shooting an MTM predator rest. It isn't a real bad rest, but I'm wondering if I went to a good heavy bench rest with good sand bags if I could expect to see an improvement in shot to shot consistency. Seems the rifle and rest really jump around upon ignition of powder. Hey, I just thought of another question. Normally, I grip the forend of the rifle with the non-shooting hand, but today I tried shooting without bracing. POI was about the same, but I'm thinking maybe my groupings were a little better by gripping the fore-end. Is that the proper method for getting best consistency or not so much? Thank You


  • CubsloverCubslover Member Posts: 18,601
    edited November -1
    I shoot off a Predator rest as well. It had treated my well.

    I've been toying with the idea of a Caldwell deadshot bag set. It seems to me that it can't get any better than that.

    If you look at the setups that the bench shooters use, you'll see a front tripod rest, and a rear bag. They seem to be the most popular.

    This is the Deadshot bag set that I've been thinking about(this or the Tack Driver bag)...


    This looks like your typical BR setup...

    Half of the lives they tell about me aren't true.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,035 ******
    edited November -1
    I use the Bald Eagle front rest,..but you don't necessarily need one for informal shooting. The one cubs pictured is the Sinclair rest that the owner had painted yellow. It is a very good rest as well.

    The problem with bull bags and other rests is that they don't support the side of the stock. That helps to eliminate recoil, torque, and accidental tipping of the rifle. The bull bag I have is an uncle bud's that is the 15" bench bag,..and when full of sand and used with a rear bag,...I get pert near the results as my bald eagle rest and bag. You simply have to be sure of crosshair orientation before firing,..and make sure it is set in such a way that it is in contact with the sides of the stock. Also,..if you use one of these,..or even a mechanical rest,...you need to get the rest as close to the trigger guard as possible if it is a flimsy factory stock,..so as to eliminate the possibility of it flexing the front of the stock up to touch the barrel under the weight of the rifle. The more rearward you can place the weight,..the better the rifle will shoot.
  • Mk 19Mk 19 Member Posts: 8,170
    edited November -1
    If you really want the best accuracy you need to look at what benchrest shooters are using. They use a high quality rest that properly secures the rifle with all of the adjustments built into the rest so that the rifle is in the same posistion on every shotTake a look at these:

    But for the casual shooter (non-competition) a nice set of bags or a basic rest, like the one you now have, will work just fine
  • hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Lordy, I didn't know something as basic as a rest could be so technical. I suppose my rest works fine, but seems I'm never satisfied with the accuracy I get. I'm always scheming, trying to figure what I'm doing wrong, or what's wrong with my set-up. Last week I went through my brass. I weighed it, trimmed it all to the same length, deburred the flash holes, and then weighed every charge. I seated the bullet(Berger 130 grain VLD, 6.5mm) .025" off the rifling. I shot them up today, and I still seem to get 1 flier out of 4 shots, which just ruins the looks of the group, along with deflating my confidence in finding my problem, or solution. I guess I was thinking maybe I ought to try a better rest than what I have.
  • PearywPearyw Member Posts: 3,699
    edited November -1
    I bought a Caldwell Rock Deluxe Front rest and a rear bag from Midway. I have been happy with it. The rest costs $75 and comes with the front bag. It definitely improves the accuracy I get. They make a rest that cost twice as much, but I don't think it is really worth the extra money for the average shooter.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,035 ******
    edited November -1
    the one peice rests with a front and rear bag/rest all on 1 platform are illegal in competition unless it's the "heavy gun" class. For "light gun, varmint for score, light varmint, heavy varmint, and hunter class" the front and rear bag have to be seperate.

    you may want to try seating those VLD's into the lands by .010"-.020" they seem to like the jamm seating.

    a good rest and rear bag will improve your shooting.

    here is the bald eagle
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 30,921 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I made one from a screw type car jack and a flat plate of sheet metal. I screwed the metal to the top of the jack eith wings bent up on each side to hold the bag. The entire thing was painted Ford blue to lend that quality look to it.

    The adjustable "legs" are just bolts. I welded the nuts to a hunk of 3/8" plate steel for a base. it works for me.
  • hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    PearyW, I just ordered one of those Caldwell Rock rests and the magnum rear bag. I looked at the Caldwell "Benchrest" model, and figured I didn't want to spend the extra hundred bucks right now. Hopefully I can try it out this weekend. JustC, I'll try seating those bullets as you suggest. One question though. By seating the bullets touching the lands, will I see an upsurge of pressure, or not so much? Thanks everybody. The number of questions I have had answered here on Gunbroker is just amazing. I don't know what I would do without the "real" experts of this forum.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,035 ******
    edited November -1
    The pressure curve will change. I have read articles that say the pressure will rise by 5000PSI +/-. You can back off a bit and work back up. It may be that your load will be the same but with better accuracy.
  • RCrosbyRCrosby Member Posts: 3,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As for the question of whether or not to hold onto the fore-end with the left hand, the answer can vary a bit depending on what you're shooting. For a heavy varminter you may want as little contact with the rifle as possible; i.e. thumb and finger of the right hand on the trigger and behind the trigger guard and left hand holding the rear bag. On the other hand when I'm trying for accuracy comparison with various ammo and light plinker like a Rem. 66, I pull the butt into my shoulder with the right hand and glom onto the foreend ahead of the front bag with my left. Two extremes.
    Don't know if it's still available, but a few years back Warren Page wrote a book, The Accurate Rifle, that goes into bench technique in detail.
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