Recoil management?

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That I can do! I did a lot of dry firing at home setting up my rifle with the eye relief, cheek piece as I moved my position of the rifle from my shoulder pocket to my collar bone. It's adjusted where it all feels comfortable, and dry fired a bunch of positional shooting positions. I need to do what you say, put a pasty on the wall, line everything up straight, and pull straight back. I also need to get a more constant/repeatable position on my elbows that is holding the rear bag, so see how that might be causing my shoulders to shift. I'll get some videos dry firing so I can analyze... Thank you for your detailed response.

Shoulder pocket + Area 419 Hellfire Brake, I was shooting really well, and I was staying on target after every shot. Switching to collar bone + removing the hellfire brake, showed lots of problems. So I'm going to keep working on it until I get it right, then go back to the brake/suppressor. Thousands of rounds of rimfire unfortunately do nothing for helping with recoil management...
The best thing I ever did for my fundamentals was shoot 300 Norma Mag unbraked for a while. I’d say you are taking the right road.

I’m not sure what those smarter than me would call “correct”, but for me there is minimal pressure on elbows. Balancing weight on elbows is tiresome and rigid and creates pivot points. I press my lower chest/upper ribs into the ground by flexing my back; basically a reverse sit-up. That makes a solid slab of meat thats connected to the earth that you can connect the rifle to. Watch in the video when I reach up to turn the side focus before the first shot. You can tell there is almost no weight on that elbow when I reach up and then back down.

I used to have a good bit of weight on both elbows and a good bit pressing down on the cheek rest. Those where my main connection points to the ground. Not good. Now my whole torso is connected to the earth and the rifle is connected to my body. With that connection, a good NPA, and just enough cheek pressure for that last bit of steady, things get much easier and more repeatable.
 

littlepod

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I need to take a video, but at least I got a picture of myself - I'm going to need to take a video as I'm still having issues with the rifle recoiling and shifting the rifle so it points about 6mil left. I tried to only use my biceps to pull in, and relax my shoulders. I used my core to keep my body up, so no weight on the elbows. I did 15 shots today, all with the same outcome, and tried to shift my body in different manners to compensate for it, but it all ended up more or less the same.

A video would've made much more sense... well I'll go back out there and try again with a video. I guess from the picture, it looks like I'm not perfectly square behind the rifle on this shot.

1567383998781.png
 

Dthomas3523

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If it’s shifting 6mil left, the butt is escaping to the right.

I picture standing behind and in front of you would help more to see what’s up.
 

littlepod

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If it’s shifting 6mil left, the butt is escaping to the right.

I picture standing behind and in front of you would help more to see what’s up.
One thing to note after the shot I don't have to reposition the rifle back on the collar bone. Looks like the recoil and where my body lands after the recoil it's shifted to the right. I maintain my cheek weld. I'll take a picture from the back and front next time.
 

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I need to take a video, but at least I got a picture of myself - I'm going to need to take a video as I'm still having issues with the rifle recoiling and shifting the rifle so it points about 6mil left. I tried to only use my biceps to pull in, and relax my shoulders. I used my core to keep my body up, so no weight on the elbows. I did 15 shots today, all with the same outcome, and tried to shift my body in different manners to compensate for it, but it all ended up more or less the same.

A video would've made much more sense... well I'll go back out there and try again with a video. I guess from the picture, it looks like I'm not perfectly square behind the rifle on this shot.

View attachment 7140343
It looks like you are shouldering the heck out of it. Look how high and forward your right shoulder is. Looks like there is a good bit of pressure on that right elbow too. Your upper arm is way too vertical there working like a prop. Hard to tell from a photo but it sure looks like this is the case.

I think part of it is that to me the bipod looks too high for your build. That’s causing you to have your body and shoulders too high then you are putting too much pressure on your elbow and on the rear bag with your cheek. When you fire your cheek is pushing the stock to the right because everything is propped up rather than dead on the ground. I’m 6” 185 and on a flat surface like that my atlas is out one full notch at most.

My brother has just started working of his form shooting prone and has done well. I almost have him straight here but look how much lower and more level his shoulders are. His right is actually almost too low. Look how his elbows are more out than they are down.
F3AA9921-C310-4A1F-9571-5422C00D92FC.png

Go full retard at home and lay as low and flat as you can with bipod out no more than the first small notch. Don’t let ANY weight on your elbows. Line up on a spot on the wall like this and lift your elbows so you know there is no weight on them. Not that you want to shoot that way but just to feel what the difference is. You’ll find that if you have zero weight on your elbows you have to use your back muscles to get up to the stock. You need to have more of your torso touching the ground to anchor yourself. THAT is what you anchor the rifle to and that is what absorbs the recoil. When you are on your elbows it is rigid and will no absorb recoil, it will move the whole system.
 

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One thing to note after the shot I don't have to reposition the rifle back on the collar bone. Looks like the recoil and where my body lands after the recoil it's shifted to the right. I maintain my cheek weld. I'll take a picture from the back and front next time.
I was typing when you posted this. See the last sentence, it moves the whole system!
 
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littlepod

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Okay back out to the range tomorrow! I wish there was a middle notch. Two notches definitely felt a bit high. One notch felt a little low as I couldn't get on target. I wanted a notch in between to be perfect. With one notch the elr bag was too high and I was seeing dirt. So I need a slightly shorter bag. Running the bag the short direction is too low.
 

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Okay back out to the range tomorrow! I wish there was a middle notch. Two notches definitely felt a bit high. One notch felt a little low as I couldn't get on target. I wanted a notch in between to be perfect. With one notch the elr bag was too high and I was seeing dirt. So I need a slightly shorter bag. Running the bag the short direction is too low.
I would say don’t go back to the range just yet. Spend some hours at home working on your position. This is something that adding live fire will make more difficult.

And don’t adjust your set up for the bag let’s adjust your bag for the set up! If it needs to be a little smaller send that thing back and I’ll adjust it!
 

littlepod

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Went out today again... I have a 22 trainer that's same scope, lop, chassis. Dry fired, and shot 150 rounds. Lowered the bipod down to 1 notch, and then even lowered it more down to no extension. I moved the targets @ 100 yards to be a little lower as well, so things felt great. Tested lifting my elbows and putting my torso on the ground, tried also to not put as much weight on cheek too. Rimfire, of course with no recoil, things felt fine, shot fine. Pretty comfortable.

Switched over to my .308. Noticed that it was still recoiling and shifting to the left. What I did notice that, if I ignored the target, and shot again, I'd stay more or less in the same place. It looks like the issue is that my NPOA is off. So the way I'm pulling my rifle into my shoulder and where my shoulder is, is not where my shoulder ends up after the recoil cycle. So before my shot, I wasn't loading it up enough, or in the correct "natural position". So for example, if the pressure of the rifle and my shoulder is like a 3 out of 10 before the shot. After the shot, it felt like the rifle/shoulder was now at a 6/7 out of 10. I was trying to use my torso, not load the rifle too much, and pull in with the bicep. But after the shot, my body falls back onto the rifle, and the shoulder extending/loading on the rifle more is what causes the 6mil shift.
 

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If we are shooting in the dirt then yes I load the pod. Which interesting enough I don’t have the issue. We shoot off of benches most time. Not sure how to load a pod on a smooth bench.
If you're on a smooth bench with the bipod hopping, and you can't preload the bipod sufficiently ( feet slide, or feet roll) go get a cargo strap. Strap it around the front end of the bench tight. Push your bipod legs in to the strap and you'll be able to preload fine.
 

Shutrmgavin

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Thanks to precision underground for the great tips here, I've learned a lot. One thing I have noticed is that just shooting also helps, by unknown/ subconscious mechanisms. I just screwed on a much lighter barrel to one of my actions and after a couple sessions and a couple hundred rounds my precision enhanced noticeably, with the reticle also moving less.
 

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Went out today again... I have a 22 trainer that's same scope, lop, chassis. Dry fired, and shot 150 rounds. Lowered the bipod down to 1 notch, and then even lowered it more down to no extension. I moved the targets @ 100 yards to be a little lower as well, so things felt great. Tested lifting my elbows and putting my torso on the ground, tried also to not put as much weight on cheek too. Rimfire, of course with no recoil, things felt fine, shot fine. Pretty comfortable.

Switched over to my .308. Noticed that it was still recoiling and shifting to the left. What I did notice that, if I ignored the target, and shot again, I'd stay more or less in the same place. It looks like the issue is that my NPOA is off. So the way I'm pulling my rifle into my shoulder and where my shoulder is, is not where my shoulder ends up after the recoil cycle. So before my shot, I wasn't loading it up enough, or in the correct "natural position". So for example, if the pressure of the rifle and my shoulder is like a 3 out of 10 before the shot. After the shot, it felt like the rifle/shoulder was now at a 6/7 out of 10. I was trying to use my torso, not load the rifle too much, and pull in with the bicep. But after the shot, my body falls back onto the rifle, and the shoulder extending/loading on the rifle more is what causes the 6mil shift.
Yes and yes. That’s why I was saying don’t even chamber a round until you get your set up right. Without correct set up/NPA you’ll never stay on target.
I posted this before but watch it again and look how much I shift my feet/hips/torso around. I am pulling in to my shoulder and the reticle is coming off target so I am shifting my body around so that when I connect the rifle to me(pull in with bicep) it’s right on target. The key is to allow the rifle to point where it wants to point when you pull in on it. Then move your body change the aim and then pull again. Resist the tendency to steer the rifle with your hand. This is 100% subconscious to me now and I don’t even think about it. That’s just how I aim the rifle.
 

littlepod

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I do shift my hips feet and torso around, I don't move the rifle with my hand arms. I think the issue is when you say pull in on it, I think part of that is also me pulling my shoulder back. But after the recoil cycle, my shoulder is forward more. When I do my dry fire, everything feels comfortable. What exactly am I practicing with the dry fire? It feels comfortable dry firing at home, I can mentally practice weight off the elbows and my dry firing shows no movement of the reticle. My breathing motion is now straight vertical up and down, versus diagonal. Let me go re-watch this NPOA video from the training section...
 
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I do shift my hips feet and torso around, I don't move the rifle with my hand arms. I think the issue is when you say pull in on it, I think part of that is also me pulling my shoulder back. But after the recoil cycle, my shoulder is forward more. When I do my dry fire, everything feels comfortable. What exactly am I practicing with the dry fire? It feels comfortable dry firing at home, I can mentally practice weight off the elbows and my dry firing shows no movement of the reticle. My breathing motion is now straight vertical up and down, versus diagonal. Let me go re-watch this NPOA video from the training section...
Put it this way. If you are a dead slab of meat on the ground, straight behind the rifle, and you are pulling the rifle in to a relaxed shoulder with your bicep only- there is only one place the rifle will point. That’s your NPA. If you are doing all of those things, and you don’t react when the shot breaks, the rifle will 100% stay on target.

What I mean by resist steering it is that if your body position is off or you are “propping” yourself up rather than being a slab of meat, you will HAVE to steer it. Whether it’s a little tug left or right with the hand, a little lean left or right with the shoulders, or pressing on an elbow somewhere, you will have to do something other than just pulling straight to you to get the rifle on target. You won’t know you are doing it until you feel what it is like to NOT do it.

A huge key is being able to be a slab of meat laying on the ground in the correct way. That is your actual means of aiming the rifle. Spend as much time as you can working on this with an empty chamber. Line your mat up straight to a target, line the rifle up to that, line yourself up to that, address the rifle and practice getting on it correctly so all you are doing is pulling in and the reticle is on the target. Close your eyes and let go with your bicep and then pull in again. Open your eyes and see if you are still on or very close to the target.

Don’t stress it’s not an easy thing to do. I remember my mind being blown at the endless ways I could lay behind the rifle while having no idea what was right. Once you find it and feel it a few times you can repeat it fairly easily. Something I accidentally found that helped me was to reach forward and grab the mag instead of the grip. That makes it easier to relax your shoulder and get off your elbows. I have no idea if that’s good advice or not but it definitely helped me feel what I feel now to consistently shoot well and control even unbraked 300 Norma recoil.
 
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littlepod

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Put it this way. If you are a dead slab of meat on the ground, straight behind the rifle, and you are pulling the rifle in to a relaxed shoulder with your bicep only- there is only one place the rifle will point. That’s your NPA. If you are doing all of those things, and you don’t react when the shot breaks, the rifle will 100% stay on target.

What I mean by resist steering it is that if your body position is off or you are “propping” yourself up rather than being a slab of meat, you will HAVE to steer it. Whether it’s a little tug left or right with the hand, a little lean left or right with the shoulders, or pressing on an elbow somewhere, you will have to do something other than just pulling straight to you to get the rifle on target. You won’t know you are doing it until you feel what it is like to NOT do it.

A huge key is being able to be a slab of meat laying on the ground in the correct way. That is your actual means of aiming the rifle. Spend as much time as you can working on this with an empty chamber. Line your mat up straight to a target, line the rifle up to that, line yourself up to that, address the rifle and practice getting on it correctly so all you are doing is pulling in and the reticle is on the target. Close your eyes and let go with your bicep and then pull in again. Open your eyes and see if you are still on or very close to the target.

Don’t stress it’s not an easy thing to do. I remember my mind being blown at the endless ways I could lay behind the rifle while having no idea what was right. Once you find it and feel it a few times you can repeat it fairly easily. Something I accidentally found that helped me was to reach forward and grab the mag instead of the grip. That makes it easier to relax your shoulder and get off your elbows. I have no idea if that’s good advice or not but it definitely helped me feel what I feel now to consistently shoot well and control even unbraked 300 Norma recoil.
Thanks a lot for all your help. I watched your video and lowlight's video. Dead slab of meat, letting off, and repulling the rifle, cycling the bolt, etc. Doing everything, with my eyes closed, and dry firing the trigger, the reticle should be exactly where I left it right? Okay, lots of fun dry firing practice this week to do at home after work...

The range is next to my house so when I said I went to the range, I'm definitely not shooting 50 rounds of the same error :) $1 a round is costly... so I go and shoot 3 rounds, and call it good and go home...
 

littlepod

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Well 25minutes later... man that was pretty rough. Letting off my rifle, and getting back on it, w/o disturbing my body, definitely showed a shift in POA. 6mil isn't really that much when your'e zoomed out and at close range... Also made note to keep my shoulders squared up to the rifle and not slanted. Yeh there's going to be a lot of practice at home... hard wood floors aren't very comfortable to lie on either.
 

Rocketmandb

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Shoulder pocket + Area 419 Hellfire Brake, I was shooting really well, and I was staying on target after every shot. Switching to collar bone + removing the hellfire brake, showed lots of problems.

Question: Where are you ending up (aim wise) after the shot? Are you on target or off to one side or the other?
 

littlepod

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I'm always about 6-8mil to the left after the shot. Dry firing practice at home shows the same thing... if I get behind the rifle, then let go of it, cycle the bolt with my eyes closed, and pull the rifle back into me. I was also 6 mil off to the left. So after doing the eyes closed, NPOA procedure, I then shifted my entire body to get back on target. Did 3-4 more cycles of eyes closed cycling, and my reticle was exactly how I left it. Will try this out later this week...

This is what the final shot would've looked like - excuse the random bottles.. I was using them for holding the gun steady and teaching my fiance what parallax means, and how scope adjustments work. Did a reeallllllly rough tracking test having the rifle locked in place on top of the random corn starch bottle...

1567484451199.png
 

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I'm always about 6-8mil to the left after the shot. Dry firing practice at home shows the same thing... if I get behind the rifle, then let go of it, cycle the bolt with my eyes closed, and pull the rifle back into me. I was also 6 mil off to the left. So after doing the eyes closed, NPOA procedure, I then shifted my entire body to get back on target. Did 3-4 more cycles of eyes closed cycling, and my reticle was exactly how I left it. Will try this out later this week...

This is what the final shot would've looked like - excuse the random bottles.. I was using them for holding the gun steady and teaching my fiance what parallax means, and how scope adjustments work. Did a reeallllllly rough tracking test having the rifle locked in place on top of the random corn starch bottle...

View attachment 7141072
Hard to tell with the black shirt but that’s def better than before. Get that left elbow out from under you. Lay on your belly/chest and get your elbows out, not under.
 
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Loading the bipod is not going to fix it IMO and will likely make it worse. If your rifle is hopping it is bouncing off of something. That something is your rigid shoulder. Relax your shoulder and pull into it with your bicep only. It can be a tricky thing to pull with your bicep while keeping the shoulder relaxed.
Amen brother! I recently had an 'aha' moment after seeing one of Phil Velayo's videos, and I realized that I would tense-up when shooting my 7mag. I do just fine with the smaller 308, 6.5, etc. and absorb recoil pretty well, but my brain gets in the way when I get behind the relatively light magnum. I didn't even recognize that I was doing it. At least now I can actively work on improving the known error.

Thanks for posting the videos and information!
 

Rocketmandb

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Amen brother! I recently had an 'aha' moment after seeing one of Phil Velayo's videos, and I realized that I would tense-up when shooting my 7mag. I do just fine with the smaller 308, 6.5, etc. and absorb recoil pretty well, but my brain gets in the way when I get behind the relatively light magnum. I didn't even recognize that I was doing it. At least now I can actively work on improving the known error.

Thanks for posting the videos and information!
I'm in the final stages of doing my first video in a 3-part series called The Science of Recoil where I go into all the forces acting on the rifle during recoil. I find it interesting how many people don't realize that they are imparting recoil forces into the rifle - that's the whole "equal and opposite reaction" thing. It's all about momentum, and change in momentum equals force x time. The longer your shoulder is working on the rifle (e.g. in a relaxed shoulder absorbing recoil), the smaller that recoil reaction force is, and the longer you have the weight of the rifle working for you.
 
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Rocketmandb

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I'm a professional engineer, so I have a solid foundation regarding the mechanics. That didn't stop my subconscious from making poor choices on my behalf, LOL.
Is that like how I know I'm overweight and don't get enough exercise, but still ordered a pizza last night for my fantasy football draft? :)
 

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I'm in the final stages of doing my first video in a 3-part series called The Science of Recoil where I go into all the forces acting on the rifle during recoil. I find it interesting how many people don't realize that they are imparting recoil forces into the rifle - that's the whole "equal and opposite reaction" thing. It's all about momentum, and change in momentum equals force x time. The longer your shoulder is working on the rifle (e.g. in a relaxed shoulder absorbing recoil), the smaller that recoil reaction force is, and the longer you have the weight of the rifle working for you.
I hope you will kindly post a link to the videos. Always looking for an opportunity to learn something new.
 

Rocketmandb

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I hope you will kindly post a link to the videos. Always looking for an opportunity to learn something new.
Absolutely - I'm waiting on getting out to the range to get a little footage. I plan to simulate a "brick wall" of a shoulder by using a friend's lead sled with the front of the rifle not locked down then compare it to as soft a shoulder as I can muster.
 

Dthomas3523

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I'm always about 6-8mil to the left after the shot. Dry firing practice at home shows the same thing... if I get behind the rifle, then let go of it, cycle the bolt with my eyes closed, and pull the rifle back into me. I was also 6 mil off to the left. So after doing the eyes closed, NPOA procedure, I then shifted my entire body to get back on target. Did 3-4 more cycles of eyes closed cycling, and my reticle was exactly how I left it. Will try this out later this week...

This is what the final shot would've looked like - excuse the random bottles.. I was using them for holding the gun steady and teaching my fiance what parallax means, and how scope adjustments work. Did a reeallllllly rough tracking test having the rifle locked in place on top of the random corn starch bottle...

View attachment 7141072

Still need to get a bit more straight behind the rifle.

Here is a really rough edit. If you draw a line from the rifle straight back and a line following your spine, they need to be more parallel.

6F3BE4C3-DEA2-4A00-80FF-4D72695D8B9F.jpeg
 

littlepod

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Thanks @Dthomas3523 It looks like I need to find that NPOA natural feeling with my shoulders & my spine aligned straight. In that picture things felt really good and repeatable, let go of my rifle, closed my eyes, got back on everything, cycled the bolt, and it was dead on. Did that repeatedly. But if I move my spine aligned, then everything else goes with it and I'll need to make sure to keep my shoulders still square.
 

GySgt Smith JE

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Not trying to hijack OP's thread but there's lots of very informative information in this thread. Thank you to everyone who has commented and helped out. I have learned quite a bit in here.
 
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clcustom1911

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A quick video of me shooting my Tikka T3x Lite 7mm RemMag. Light contour barrel, no brake, Manners MCS stock.... light combo with a magnum cartridge. LOL thankfully the Limbsaver recoil pad is there!

I'm still working on my recoil management techniques, etc, but I've gotten a lot better shooting this setup. Makes my braked, 15 pound 6.5 Creedmoor seem like cheating 🤣😂

 
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A quick video of me shooting my Tikka T3x Lite 7mm RemMag. Light contour barrel, no brake, Manners MCS stock.... light combo with a magnum cartridge. LOL thankfully the Limbsaver recoil pad is there!

I'm still working on my recoil management techniques, etc, but I've gotten a lot better shooting this setup. Makes my braked, 15 pound 6.5 Creedmoor seem like cheating 🤣😂

Holy crap that thing bucks! Looks like you need to pull in tighter to your shoulder. The gun moves a ton and you don’t move much. A lot of that recoil is reflecting off of you. Let all of that energy transfer into you. You have to weld it to your relaxed body. It’s a tricky thing to do- stay relaxed while pulling the rifle in.
 

clcustom1911

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Holy crap that thing bucks! Looks like you need to pull in tighter to your shoulder. The gun moves a ton and you don’t move much. A lot of that recoil is reflecting off of you. Let all of that energy transfer into you. You have to weld it to your relaxed body. It’s a tricky thing to do- stay relaxed while pulling the rifle in.
Yeah that's why I took the video. To see how I was doing. Thanks for the tips.
 

Jayjay1

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Thanks to you guys, and especially to Precision Underground for this great informations about recoil management here and in another thread.
I know now that I´ve made a lot mistakes and thankfully have a plan to work on it.

Oh yes, and thanks to PU too, for not making me feel like an idiot.
☺ (y)
 

Rocketmandb

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This is still a draft and is unlisted on YouTube, but here is a link to my first video in my "The Science of Recoil" series. In this series I focus not on what to do and how to do it with respect to recoil management - there are people much more able to explain these things appropriately. Instead I focus on the dynamics of the forces involved to try to explain why doing those things is important. I find that when people know the "why" they are more apt to adopt the "what" and "how."

 

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That was an awesome video! My over critical scientific mind loves to process the reasons "why" behind things. Can't wait for the rest of it
 

Rocketmandb

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That was an awesome video! My over critical scientific mind loves to process the reasons "why" behind things. Can't wait for the rest of it
Thanks for the comment. The next one will look at the effects of not lining up behind the rifle - it's interesting how obvious the result is when you draw everything out. I've already got the diagrams done, as well as a video through the scope showing the impact of lining up off center. Depending on how long that goes, I'll either add loading up the bipod to it, or put it in the last one. Same thing with muzzle brakes. The last will focus on adding these things together and impacts to accuracy. I'm trying to work on a worthy bullet-in-the-barrel animation with only minimal success...
 
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Rocketmandb

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I like the graphics and how you explained that
Thanks - I'll be putting out a lot of similar types of videos, along with some product reviews and DIYs. After this series, I've got a DIY barrel cooler (that's really frikking cool) and a review of the large size Hornady sonic cleaner (comparing it to the smaller size).

Other videos I've put out a two-part fire forming video, a comparison of case cleaning solutions (spoiler: Bore Tech wins) and a show-off video of my new 6mm BRA - which, I'm happy to report, I think I finally landed on my go-to load for during the same trip to the range where I shot the footage of my 300 PRC.
 

Precision Underground

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This is still a draft and is unlisted on YouTube, but here is a link to my first video in my "The Science of Recoil" series. In this series I focus not on what to do and how to do it with respect to recoil management - there are people much more able to explain these things appropriately. Instead I focus on the dynamics of the forces involved to try to explain why doing those things is important. I find that when people know the "why" they are more apt to adopt the "what" and "how."

Yep and yep. My one critique, take that brake off for the video to show the rifle really hop when constrained! Next time I go out I’m going to shoot some 300 Norma unbraked and get some high speed video of how much a rifle moves you when you let it. It literally lifts my hips up 1-2”.
 

Rocketmandb

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Yep and yep. My one critique, take that brake off for the video to show the rifle really hop when constrained! Next time I go out I’m going to shoot some 300 Norma unbraked and get some high speed video of how much a rifle moves you when you let it. It literally lifts my hips up 1-2”.
I know - I thought about it when I was at the range, but didn't bring my wrench.