Support your Firearm with the Proper Rest
When I’m working in the gun shop, one of the most common questions asked is, “How can I shoot “X firearm” more accurately?” I always tell customers to purchase a quality support system that matches the type of shooting they will be doing. I am confident any shooter using one of the support systems currently available in our stores will see an instant improvement in their shooting ability. Pick the system that will work best for you based on your shooting goals and location.
At the Range
At the range, the goal of most shooters is to shoot the tightest group possible or get a perfect “zero” for their firearm. This can be accomplished through the use of either a sight vise or shooting bags, in conjunction with a shooting bench. Generally speaking, a sight vise, like the many offerings from Caldwell, will provide an exceptionally stable platform to sight in your rifle. It will also test what your rifle/scope/ammo is truly capable of from an accuracy standpoint. As an added benefit, some of the models offered can help tame the recoil of the modern super magnum cartridges. If you choose to go the sight vise route, make sure you get a model that will handle all of the types of firearms you intend to use it for. Many models are available that accommodate traditional rifles, MSR’s and handguns. Sight vises start at around $100 depending on features and adjustability. Shooting bags are a more economical, easier to store, option that can really help you get the most from your rifle/scope/ammo. Many traditional shooters prefer bags to sight vices because they feel the bags are more forgiving and allow for a better connection between the rifle and shooter.
In the Field
While a sight vice and shooting bags may provide an incredibly stable shooting platform, it is unreasonable to carry these items in the field. With that said, hunters need some sort of front support item to be able to truly shoot the full potential of their rifle platform. People who want the most stable platform will choose a bipod. Because of their compact size and positioning, bipods are designed for specific shooting positions – laying prone , kneeling or sitting. Make sure you select the one that fits the majority of your shooting situations and securely mounts to your firearm. And finally, look for a bipod that has the ability to pivot to help compensate for uneven terrain. Bipods have one major flaw in that they can add significant bulk to your hunting rifle. If you are looking for something lighter or more versatile height wise, make sure you look at a quality set of shooting sticks. Shooting sticks, a pair of legs that are bound together, allow you to create a quick shooting rest. The sticks are generally bought in lengths that allow for a rest when sitting/kneeling, but in some instances they can be long enough to provide a proper rest for shooting while standing.