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Thread: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

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    Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    I have a Savage FP10 in .308 18 or 20" barrel.. I was running some factory win ammo through it last weekend for the brass (It was cheaper to buy loaded ammo then it was to buy virgin brass, so why not have some fun getting to the brass).

    I was using a fixed 6-8" adjustable bipod. I was sighting the rifle in at 150 yrds. This was the first time I had really took the time to run the rifle. I dry fired about 20 times before I started shooting..

    After every shot the rifle would hop and be pointing high and left about 10 feet left 3 feet high of my target..I am right handed. My grouping of 5 shots was about 1.5" once I finally got it sighted in to do a group... Having to reset the rifle after every shot.

    Now I didn't have a sand bag to load the bipod against so I would cant the rifle down, load the bipod, and then lower the rifle to my shoulder. I was using my fist as a rear rest under the butt of the rifle...

    I have noticed many folks on here run longer heavier barrels then the one I have. Is the hop a byproduct of ammo and light chassis/barrel or lack of setup i.e. no sandbag/more load on the bipod?

    Thanks for the insight.

    B_R

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    could the reaction to recoil on the way your grip torque or the way you are shouldering it causing it to end up where it does.

    whatever it is, at least it's consistant.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    You dont' need a heavy rifle, sandbag or anything else, you need proper technique.

    Loading the bipod is not magic, it's physics, you are managing the recoil so that you have an equal and opposite reaction. Recoil will exploit any weakness the shooter puts into the system, to include angles, hold, etc. If you create an angle the recoil will exploit it.

    You have to be straight back behind the rifle, you them simply take the slack out of the system and fire, the rifle should never be more than a few inches from center, regardless of the position or surface you shoot on.

    Barrel length, ammo has nothing to do with it... technique does.

    Here is a 20" 338LM with no hop and very little movement on recoil and I weight all of 130lbs

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    +1 barrel hop only happens when BP is off. fix that and hop disappears.

    Originally Posted By: Lowlight
    You dont' need a heavy rifle, sandbag or anything else, you need proper technique.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Thank you Frank,
    I have seen this video and others on this site shooting .338 etc and it looking easier than what I am witnessing in the recoil dept.

    I thing I might have had my legs more to the left if watching from behind with my right leg directly inline with the rifle.

    This was round 5-25 through this rifle and round 3-25 with me running the gun my first two shots were off hand. Once I didn't hit the 4x4 piece of plywood holding my target I realized the guy that bore sighted it didn't know what he was doing.

    So should I try to push less on the bipod? And make sure I pull more into my shoulder pocket then pushing with my shoulder/body? I push into the rifle with my toes to load the bipod. The rifle came with a sweet recoil pad so there isn't an issue with being afraid of the kick.
    I hit where I aim just follow up shots are a bit labored. I do shoot with both eyes open even though I am left eye dominate which makes it fun sometimes. So I watch the rifle though the rocoil. I plan to load and run 50 rounds through the gun tis weekend and see if I can try something new

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    I'm interested in this as well. I've seen other posts come up concerning this same topic, but I've never posted.

    I've got a similar setup, but with the choate stock. And my problem is the same. Always left and up.

    I've tried to think of the shoulders as being a plane that should be perpendicular to the bullet path. But it still seems to go left.

    I've also experimented with my hip and leg placement, and my feet. I've tried to keep movin my hips right to see if that stopped the leftward travel, but I've always stopped at a certain point because the movement off target wasn't lessening and I felt that the line from my hips thru my head was too far left of the path of the bullet. Or is this acceptable?

    Side note: with my .223 I can spot hit using what I've picked up on here. But with my .308 I think the recoil is taking small problems with my position and amplifying them.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    In addition, be sure that you load the bipod properly as well.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    the recoil will take the path of least resistance. If your body position is not straight behind the rifle ( a right handed shooter will normally be canted off to the left of the rifle. Butt pad is not square in your shoulder and shoulders aren't square to the target you leave a void on the left side of the recoil pad. Gun recoils and fills that void you created on the left side of your shoulder pocket....there is your hop up and to the left.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    You don't push into the rifle. You need to be dead relaxed behind the gun. The only muscle tension should be the lower three fingers of the firing hand pressing straight back to snug the butt into your shoulder.

    Get the forward pressure on the bipod by bringing the bipod back about 1/2" as you get in behind the gun, so it's just your body weight that's putting on the pressure.

    Be sure to set natural point of aim so that spine and barrel are parallel and you are relaxed. If you are muscling the gun onto the target, you will release that tension as the shot is fired, recoild will increase your setback and then you will react by pushing into the rifle and move it left and up.

    One of these days I'm going to do a little demo tape shooting the rifle with the butt held against a 50# sandbag and an iPhone attached to the scope so people can see the lack of movement a dead weight behind the gun provides.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Here is a screen shot from the DVD, this is what the prone should look like



    You're body, especially the shoulders, need to be relaxed as Cory indicated. You don't push the bipod forward, you pull it into the shoulder pocket then mentally stack your core weight against it. A tiny bit...

    you are only taking up the slack in the bipod, a Harris has none so you just need to think about it and not actually do it.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Tagging a good one. I have gotten better but these explanations will help. One of these years I am going to sign up for the online training then really learn how to shoot...

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Ok. I am a problem solver so here goes.

    With me loading the bi-pod with my feet, I am taking the recoil pad out of the equation and with me being the dead weight the reaction force of the rifle instead of being directed into my shoulder is lifting the rifle and my muscle tension is pushing the rifle up and to the left.

    So as "dead weight", I should let the rifle rock on the bi-pod and straight back into my shoulder/body, compressing the recoil pad, and therefor my POI is maybe slightly moved?

    I wasn't having to muscle the rifle onto the target because it was resting on my left fist. Once I was on target I would load the bi-pod with my feet...

    Thanks guys.. I will take some video this weekend and see how good I am at taking this advice and putting it into action.. I was shooting on target it was just impossible to make a follow up shot without having to reacquire the target.

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Thanks Lowlight!
    That helps a lot. Especially since the rifle is lined up with the crack in the ground. Which lets me see that my left glute should be in line with the rifle barrel.

    That's really helpful. Thanks again.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Here is our 4 year old shooting our 6.5x47L with no assistance. Rear of stock is on shooting bag and she probably weighs around 35# at the time we took the video. When you provide dead weight behind the gun without muscle influence, you get no hop.

    No hop.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Azprc

    Cool video, looked at your shooting pics, that really looks like a really nice place to shoot and so much fun, Im jealous!!!

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Ok I found this video.. This is the same gun I have or pretty damn close. Mine has a fluted barrel and dbm.

    So skip to about 3 mins in the video. He has the rifle resting on a boulder. When he fires the rifle jumps pretty good. On the following couple shots he is holding the rifle in his hand about where the mag well would be and of course the recoil is managed.

    When I shoot I am getting the first shot worth of jump and This weekend I didn't tension up on the rifle. I pretty much shot it limp like the az's son did in that one video.

    does the barrel angle above horizon make the jump more pronounced? because that is the only thing I saw in lowlight and az's video that differ from what I was doing. Their rifles were pretty much flat...

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    They type of rifle has absolutely nothing to do with it...

    Just laying the rifle on the rock is not managing the recoil, he is just laying it on the rock.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    OK, Like everyone says a post is worthless without pics, and video is even better...

    Here is the video...Before anyone asks or comments I cleared the weapon.. I am at work so there isn't any ammo in sight, and I cycle the bolt before I dry fire so if there just happened to be a round in the chamber I would have ejected it...




    Now I had never video'd my setup before so it was kinda neat to see how I did based on Lowlight's image from the video above. I didn't have my toes turned out like in his video but other than that it looks like there was very little movement of the rifle once I mounted it, fired, and cycled the bolt..

    After I "chambered" the round, my hand moving around is me turned the safety off. I put a dot on the filing cabinet in front of me to hold my crosshairs on..

    So is there anything in the setup besides my feet that looks like it needs to be addressed?

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Ok, I'm no expert, but comparing your position with the pic above, it looks like your hips are shifted a little too far right. Notice the crack in the cement which runs from gunbarrel thru right buttcheek.

    One more thing... Not sure from the vid, but it looks like your non firing shoulder is farther forward than your firing shoulder.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    "Hopping"
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    In the video, you did not have the room to get into a good prone, with your legs spread naturally, feet flat. Legs together and up on your toes brings your upper body up, which causes you to tense shoulders to keep body in position. I think you'll find that when you can spread out and relax, you'll be lower with less tension in your shoulders. But without asking you what you were feeling, I'm just taking a guess based on what I see. Otherwise, your spine and rifle seem to be in pretty good alignment, and your follow through seemed good.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    I didn't realize how much the wall was in the way until I watched the video myself. I am going to try and get some video actually shooting..

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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Is it just tall guys, or am I the only one who has trouble figuring out the correct amount of pressure to place into the butt of the rifle?

    It seems like either I'm hopping or I push the bipod forward, and i'm hopping... thoughts?
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    The more I read the more I learn! Good info!
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    I had a similar problem. Once I got it worked out it was like night and day
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Broken_Reticle. Sorry I didn't notice before. It looked like your shoulders are not square. It appears your left elbow if further forward than your right elbow, creating an angle in your shoulders. This will cause the butt of the gun to glance off your right shoulder rather than recoil straight back into it. It could be that this is a more comfortable position for you, or your scope is too far forward, causing you to slightly crawl up on the rifle to get a proper sight picture. Could be I'm imagining things. :-). Just be aware that even if your body alignment is square, your shoulders can be canted. Make sure your shoulders and elbows are square to the target as well.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    All good info. The gun will vibrate, that's a given. Rearward pressure with the bicep solves this. Remember, the bullet goes one way and the recoil goes the other. Getting straight behind is the first step, straight back on the trigger is the second. Guarding against sympathetic squeeze of the grip along with the trigger pull also goes a long way.
    All of the work done to get straight behind the gun and come straight back on the trigger will be negated if you ignore follow through when the shot breaks. If you are going through all the trouble to do everything right, don't disengage from the gun when the shot is fired. Stay with the rifle THROUGH the recoil.
    Put it in your mind that you will watch the bullet go downrange.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    This is an intriguing subject, considering the amount of issues I have with it.

    -LL, how does one with a Harris bipod 'fix' the issue of that brand not having any slack to take up? I'm not entirely sure, but it seems like my GG&G suffers from the same issue, i.e. the legs achieve mechanical lock with zero play when in the firing (extended) position. If there's nowhere to go, is that why I'm always pushing the bipod forward, no matter how little pressure (which is to say, no matter how much muscular holding) I'm using? I get the same results on carpet, concrete, dirt and even frozen ground: either I'm holding myself or the bipod pushes, and the system hops when I shoot. Or, in your experience, is there a point of pressure just enough to not make the rubber feet slide that will take up the slack and prevent hopping?

    -Jacob, dry firing is showing me that I'm finally able to get away from the sympathetic squeeze you're talking about while releasing the sear. Unfortunately I'm dry firing so much more than I'm shooting right now (gotta love barely double digit temps plus wind) that I'm not sure what's up with my 'actual' follow through. I'm making myself stay behind the weapon until I don't feel vibration in the system any more, is that long enough for practice's sake or do I want to hold still for long enough to 'let the bullet go' 400, 500, 1000 yards and then move?

    Damn, I need to get down there and take a course...
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    RIght around the 2:00 mark I use a Harris on a wooden deck, and shoot around 2:30.

    This is an old video, 3 - 4 yrs but shows that position is key.



    Doesn't matter, wood, concrete, if you are correct behind the rifle, the recoil will go in a straight line. The reason it hops to the side is, because it is reacting off you the shooter. Fix you the shooter and the bullet goes one way the recoil the opposite, there is no left or right in that, just front to back. You are solely responsible for left or right reactions to the recoil.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    ...I guess I'll have to find the sweet spot and learn how to not over-load the bipod.
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Jacob is the only one I've seen here mention a sympathetic squeeze. I'll elaborate a little more on that in my own experience.

    Several years ago I was having a heck of a time staying on target after the shot. I was straight behind the rifle. I had good NPA. I had the bipod loaded correctly. I had good trigger finger position. I dropped the shot at the bottom of the natural respiratory pause. I was following through well.

    Yet I still had the rifle jumping up and to the left, exactly like Broken Reticle is describing. It was driving me crazy.

    I finally asked Jacob to help me figure out what was going on with me. He laid down at my left side and watched me take a prone shot like I always did, the rifle jumped up and left.

    He then had me take my support hand off of the rear bag and lay it out in front parallel with the rifle and relax the left shoulder. I took a shot holding the rifle into the shoulder with only my bottom three fingers exerting rearward pressure, like CoryT talked about, and my shooting hand bicep muscle.

    When the shot broke, it was about the sweetest thing I'd ever seen through the scope, the rifle recoiled, and the reticle never left the target.

    In ONE round Jacob had helped me prove to myself that I'd been introducing a sympathetic squeeze into my shooting that was causing the jump up and to the left.

    I had all the fundamentals down yet was still screwing the pooch because of what I was doing with my left shoulder muscle.

    Since that's happened several years ago I've helped instruct a few classes down at RO and can say that almost every single time we get a student who's complaining about having the reticle jump up and to the left we can trace to a sympathetic squeeze from his left shoulder, for the right handed shooter.

    We can stand over the shooter and right before he shoots touch his left shoulder to give him the key to make sure it's relaxed and you'll see him drop his shoulder into the relaxed state, and start seeing rapid results in how much less the reticle drifts off target at the shot.

    MontanaHick, if I could make that much progress in one shot, just think what you could learn in a five day class. [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]
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    Re: Hoping rifle when shooting with a bipod...

    Lol I'd probably get my first clue behind a rifle...
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    This photo posted by Lowlight is what did the trick for me. I had my left elbow WAY out in front. Keeping my body straight behind the rifle wasn't enough because my shoulders weren't even close to square. Pulling my elbow back to get my shoulders square and having my body straight back made instant improvements.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowlight View Post
    Here is a screen shot from the DVD, this is what the prone should look like



    You're body, especially the shoulders, need to be relaxed as Cory indicated. You don't push the bipod forward, you pull it into the shoulder pocket then mentally stack your core weight against it. A tiny bit...

    you are only taking up the slack in the bipod, a Harris has none so you just need to think about it and not actually do it.

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    OP, looking at the video you posted I would predict the rifle hopping to the left with live ammo.
    Square your shoulders. Don't lean your neck over to the strong side.

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    Tagging this thread for all the good reminders

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    Increasing the bipod height so I could shoulder the rifle more consistently (and comfortably) also helped me dramatically. i was running the atlas with the retractable legs all the way in. One click out was the ticket on engineered surfaces. Definitely a noob mistake on my part but it's behind me now. Really is cool to keep a solid sight picture through the shot ....

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    Increasing the bipod height so I could shoulder the rifle more consistently (and comfortably) also helped me dramatically. i was running the atlas with the retractable legs all the way in. One click out was the ticket on engineered surfaces. Definitely a noob mistake on my part but it's behind me now. Really is cool to keep a solid sight picture through the shot ....

    Scott
    This is important. At least it has proven to be with me now that the most convenient place I have to shoot has a cement floor. Prior I had the BP too low and would put a downward torque on the stock causing it to raise the muzzle on recoil. My windage would be fine, my elevation high.

    One technique that I tried today was to practice pulling the stock with the three fingers of the trigger hand so that it would not move the cross hairs off the target. I found today that when I can get that done and I remember to relax my shoulders with follow-through I get near-perfect impact and sight picture through recoil. I use LRA bipods which have no flex in them and so I'm not even thinking about loading the bipod, just having my shoulders relaxed, square and pulling straight back on the stock and obviously the trigger. Out of everything, the thing that's requiring the most conscious thought is relaxing BOTH shoulders.

    I'm still, however, having trouble keeping the stock steady through successive shots. I'm finding I have to rebuild my position after every other or third shot. My rear bag is a sock and I've ordered a CrossTac rear bag so hopefully the broader and higher bag will give me a better platform for keeping things steady when I take my trigger hand off the stock.

    I will say this, I find shooting off cement amplifies my errors in a way shooting off of dirt has never done. I've had great groups and drills off of dirt at distances beyond 200yds which I struggle to replicate consistently on cement at 100yds. I'm assuming it's because I used the dirt to really 'wedge' the rifle and got away with sub-par technique leading me to thinking I was better than I truly am.

    It's good to be humbled like this.
    "That the enduring problem is never with the wolves. The people can, and eventually do, stop wolves. The recurring problem is with sheep who like to dress-up as sheepdogs." Graham

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    Tagging for later - lots of good info in here. The photo LL provided helps a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowlight View Post
    You dont' need a heavy rifle, sandbag or anything else, you need proper technique.

    Loading the bipod is not magic, it's physics, you are managing the recoil so that you have an equal and opposite reaction. Recoil will exploit any weakness the shooter puts into the system, to include angles, hold, etc. If you create an angle the recoil will exploit it.

    You have to be straight back behind the rifle, you them simply take the slack out of the system and fire, the rifle should never be more than a few inches from center, regardless of the position or surface you shoot on.

    Barrel length, ammo has nothing to do with it... technique does.

    Here is a 20" 338LM with no hop and very little movement on recoil and I weight all of 130lbs

    What are you doing when you chamber a round, then lift bolt, then half cycle, stick finger in receiver, then rechamber the round? Seems like only the first round, too?
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    It is called a "press check" with any magazine feed rifle it is always a good idea to make sure the rifle picked up a round from the magazine.

    You do this with an M4, Pistol, and now because Bolt Action rifles use Magazines, you do it there also. This way you avoid the click of death...

    It's a good habit to get into
    Watch your thoughts; they become words.
    Watch your words; they become actions.
    Watch your actions; they become habits.
    Watch your habits; they become character.
    Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
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    This thread is AWESOME. Thanks lowlight! My shooting partner has all sorts of awful bipod hop/twist off a bench bu when I shoot his rig (.308 varmint contour ) I have none of the symptoms he complains about. I'm sending him this link. His bipod problems are obviously a result of his form and I tried helping him but you know how best friends are; they rarely listen to each others advice! Lol
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    Great info here! Tagging
    Last edited by Capt Academy; 08-18-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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    I had noticed this in some of your videos before but never thought to ask - thanks.

    And one question generates another :-)
    "Click of Death"??? Firing on empty chamber and damaging firing pin or....?[
    TIA
    QUOTE=Lowlight;2537736]It is called a "press check" with any magazine feed rifle it is always a good idea to make sure the rifle picked up a round from the magazine.

    You do this with an M4, Pistol, and now because Bolt Action rifles use Magazines, you do it there also. This way you avoid the click of death...

    It's a good habit to get into[/QUOTE]

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    He's talking about in a battle situation. This is, after all, called "snipers hide" - not "target shooters hide", lol.
    Its also a useful practice for hunting, though, too...
    I just look inside the ejection port while sliding the bolt into battery to make sure the round is feeding, although i can also feel the difference. But I'm calm and collected and not worried about my steel plate shooting back at me!
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    I found answers to my follow up ?'s Tagged for reference and a place holder for a big thanks when I start seeing improvements from my poor body position I use now.
    NRA Lifetime Member.....if that means anything now.

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    Ive been having the same problems with rifle hop. Thanks for the advice. I've been using my right hand under the stock while shooting (lefty). Ordered a bag from Triad. Also digging in with my toes and pushing into the rifle with a heavy load in the bipod. Will try these changes the next time out. I already got the Triad stock pack and finally have a comfortable cheek weld to keep me from craning my neck to get a good sight picture. Now I just have to learn to square my shoulders and relax.

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    This is a great thread - tagged. I just got back from working with a new .223 and I was laying prone in the dirt, I was glad I had glasses on otherwise I would be wearing a nice new half moon - from a .223! Off the bipod, the darn thing jumped on me with no load duh! I felt like an idiot - basics work because they work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broken_Reticle View Post
    Thank you Frank,
    I have seen this video and others on this site shooting .338 etc and it looking easier than what I am witnessing in the recoil dept.

    I thing I might have had my legs more to the left if watching from behind with my right leg directly inline with the rifle.

    This was round 5-25 through this rifle and round 3-25 with me running the gun my first two shots were off hand. Once I didn't hit the 4x4 piece of plywood holding my target I realized the guy that bore sighted it didn't know what he was doing.

    So should I try to push less on the bipod? And make sure I pull more into my shoulder pocket then pushing with my shoulder/body? I push into the rifle with my toes to load the bipod. The rifle came with a sweet recoil pad so there isn't an issue with being afraid of the kick.
    I hit where I aim just follow up shots are a bit labored. I do shoot with both eyes open even though I am left eye dominate which makes it fun sometimes. So I watch the rifle though the rocoil. I plan to load and run 50 rounds through the gun tis weekend and see if I can try something new
    One of my daughters is left eye dominate and she was having a lot of trouble learning to shoot a scoped rifle. When she told me, I didn't know about that, I re-set up her rifle using the scope rings with the see through on the bottom, look's like a double set of rings, and now she puts her cheek on the stock and looks through the scope with her left eye. She has a Remington 600 in .308, and the set up works well with her being right handed and left eye dominate.

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    Thanks for the great information. I hope I can implement it the way you describe.
    Troy

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