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Thread: Technicalities of bench shooting for beginners

  1. #16
    Sharp Shooter

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    Blud, let's see if Derek can work this one out in a follow-up article........

    Would the diagram look the same if canted to the right or would the barrel twist have an impact on the result ??
    Last edited by Wannebe; 23-03-12 at 18:32.
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  2. #17
    Sharp Shooter
    ARF Member Of The Year 2011

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    You oke's know what, go to Builder's Warehouse and buy a bloomin spirit level for R10 like I advised then I won't have to waste 5 cups of good coffee trying to figure out which way the pellet will go IF you cant the rifle which you're NOT supposed to do
    Thanks Blud, will update the diagram tonight.
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  3. #18
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by DvdM View Post
    You oke's know what, go to Builder's Warehouse and buy a bloomin spirit level for R10 like I advised then I won't have to waste 5 cups of good coffee trying to figure out which way the pellet will go IF you cant the rifle which you're NOT supposed to do
    Thanks Blud, will update the diagram tonight.




    Thanks Derek, best laugh I had for a month .....






    BUT ........


    As always, you are 100% correct. Get the bloody level.
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  4. #19
    Sharp Shooter
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    The second and last part of the bench knowledge I'd like to share:
    Technique.
    We now have all the hardware together to attempt accurate bench shooting so let’s look at technique. I’d like to remind you that technique might vary from shooter to shooter.
    I’ll point out all the possible factors that might influence accuracy, some might be debatable but logic dictates that these might have an influence on your eventual results.
    The idea is to achieve maximum accuracy possible, so if sorting pellets result in a 2% accuracy increase then it will be worth the effort. PCP bench has progressed to a point where the shooters and equipment is so good that a single bull or X might determine the winner when both shot the same high score.
    It is very important to have total faith in your equipment. The psychological draw-backs of a ‘bad feeling’ about equipment can be devastating on a windy day. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do equipment tests in near as possible windless conditions. These will create a bond with your rifle and ensure that you use the best pellet/barrel combination and the best velocity for the job.
    I have shot countless test sessions at Northcliff to hear a shooter proclaim loudly: “This rifle is so accurate it is boring!”, only to see said shooter a week later fitting another barrel to his rifle. Sometimes barrels get changed the night before a competition, a sure sign of lack of trust in equipment and most possibly attributed to poor shooter performance the day before.
    I feel that every rifle/barrel/pellet combo has specific characteristics. Doing equipment swapping for ever will never see the day you can successfully predict performance under varying weather conditions.
    Once you bond with a rifle you’ll know when you yourself lack in performance and won’t blame it outright on the rifle resulting in yet another sell and buy experience, or worse, spanners out modifying exercise to create a headache for the next owner trying to replace butchered screws, ports or hammer adjusters.
    Setting up.
    Windicators are put up first, time is allowed for this before a competition. Your bench allocation appears on the ‘squadding list’, benches are numbered clearly. Your first windicator should be as close to your rifle barrel as possible. Wind here has the most effect of steering the pellet off course, its basic trigonometry. A centimeter of sideways adjustment here will result in almost a meter deviation from aiming point whereas a centimeter deviation at the target will only result in a centimeter sideways deviation.
    FT shooters judge wind mainly by a single strand of wool attached to their rifles. The furthest windicator goes as close to the target as possible. It must be placed in such a way that it does not obscure or interfere with any of the targets, even if the wind picks up the tassels. The third one can be placed in the middle or such that it favors the closer area from the first, again wind here has more effect than in the middle. Whichever way you put them up, make sure you standardize.
    Benches have concrete tops and are T shaped to allow the shooter to almost sit next to his rifle with bench surface in front and next to him. I have a small dog’s blanket I put on the bench top first to protect rifles and other equipment from the concrete. The spiked rest feet go through the loosely woven blanket so my front rest won’t slip on it.
    Have your pellets ready within easy reach.
    Set your rests up, level front rest by adjusting spiked feet.
    Set rifle up, be sure it is filled.
    Sight through scope to determine correct front rest height, use spacers under rear rest if needed.
    Scope should be centered on center of target sheet with front rest adjustments set to middle. Move rear bag to achieve this. When using sand bag rests wriggle the rifle to ‘seat’ it properly in the rests so it is hugged by the bags.
    Level the rifle by checking the bubble level. Do not trust the levelness of the target, these don’t get set up by using spirit levels so aligning your horizontal scope crosshair won’t represent true level of the rifle.
    Adjust chair height so you can easily aim through scope without touching rifle or ending up with a stiff neck after the shoot. Trigger must be reached without other rifle contact.
    Double check that you are indeed aiming at your own target, your name should be written on it.
    We’ll assume you have already adjusted your scope’s eyepiece according to your dominant eye by sighting at a blank wall or the sky with the scope out of focus and turning the diopter adjuster until the crosshairs are crisp and in focus. This adjustment will stay the same unless your eyesight deteriorates.
    Adjust the scope’s focus (or parallax) until the target appears crisp. If your picture through the scope is not perfectly round, in other words, if there’s a blurry side to the circle, then your eye is not perfectly aligned to the optical axis of the scope. Move your head until the circle is clean and round.
    Fine tune focusing (parallax) by checking that point of aim does not move when you move your eye slightly off scope center. From this point onwards the rifle should not be disturbed other than moving point of aim from target to target.
    Now wait for the range officer’s command to commence firing before loading the rifle.
    Loading
    Try to counter cocking force by pushing your thumb against the stock behind the action so the rifle does not get dragged backwards by it. Be gentle and avoid yanking the bolt backwards, you’ll disturb the rifle’s cradling. The electronic rifles are superior in design here since they need no cocking force; the bolt is simply slid backwards to insert a pellet and then closed.
    Visibly inspect the pellet you load, more so if you are shooting unsorted from a tin.
    Concentrate not to double load. If you are not sure whether you have two pellets loaded, fire the shot WAY off your target into the backstop. Firing at a sighter may land one of the two pellets in a scoring target and unless you are best friends with Murphy he will have it you don’t score a good point. The same goes for when you suspect a pellet loaded backwards.
    Trigger control.
    Always concentrate on trigger control. Remember that all is not over until the pellet has left the barrel. If you move the rifle after you activated the trigger before the pellet is launched you will steer it off course. This is called ‘follow through’ when activating the trigger. Continue rearward pull for a fraction of a second after the sear has disengaged. This split second is called ‘lock time’, the time it takes for all the mechanical contraptions to get the air released and the pellet to travel down the barrel.
    The trigger releases the hammer which is set into forward motion by the expanding hammer spring from its compressed state. The hammer then hits the knock open valve at the end of its forward travel, the air is released and rushes through the port. The pellet starts travelling forward when the air pressure reaches it flaring its skirt to form an airtight seal against the barrel walls. The better quality rifles are designed with as short as possible lock times.
    Wind.
    Watch the wind and shoot a sighter before commencing to shoot the scoring targets. With enough practice you’ll develop a ‘feeling’ for the pellet’s reaction to certain wind conditions. The wind conditions you’ll read from the windicators.
    The easiest shooting condition save a windless day is consistent wind. If all your windicators behave the same it means that there’s wind consistency between you and the target. It might be worth noting the Bernoulli effect which dictates that if your rifle has a right hand twisted rifling a crosswind from left to right will push the pellet right AND low whereas a right to left wind will push it left AND high.
    This only holds true if the wind direction is the same for the total 25m the pellet needs to travel. If the windicators indicate different wind speeds and directions it means turbulence and you are going to have a hard time guessing where the pellet is going to land.
    If there’s a lull in the wind or a short period of consistency then it must be taken advantage of by shooting as fast as possible. This is when the coaxial rest comes to its full right. A single adjustment of the lever instantly sets you on the next target ready for the next shot.
    Mirage.
    No remedy here, like I said, it’s more noticeable at higher magnification. The 2mm bull will be swimming around in the mirage, best is to estimate it’s true position by mentally averaging it. The only plus about mirage is that it can be used as wind direction indicator and to observe convection currents on a hot day because what you see is indeed moving air.
    Target sequence.
    It’s good practice to shoot a sighter after you have gone to the next row of targets on the sheet since you would have to adjust the rifle’s vertical angle which means recoil behavior would have changed. I prefer shooting in zig zag order, from left to right and down to the next row then from right to left again. This way there’s no drastic rifle position change from row to row.
    Be aware of what’s going on on your target and always shoot in sequence. Should holes appear that you have not shot, notify the range officer immediately. Someone else might be cross firing at your target. I have seen this happen and the situation was immediately remedied by a competent range officer.
    Psychology.
    Trust your equipment and be familiar with it. If anything changes, don’t wait for a competition event to try it out, test it beforehand else you’ll be shimming scopes and borrowing tools on competition day.
    Concentrate. It’s a good idea to pack hearing protection since most bench competitions have center and rimfire events scheduled concurrent with PCP events. Sitting in the same town shooting with a 3PPC centerfire shot is not fun without ear protection.. Ignore verbal fellow competitors moaning and groaning about bad wind conditions, it will dishearten you.
    Another point to remember is that when difficult windy conditions send your pellets all over the place it’s doing the same to everybody shooting with you. Never give it up as an impossible task and get reckless throwing points away by losing concentration.
    If you are shooting at a range with inter connected benches like Northcliff and you have a springer shooter next to you; watch for vibrations of the bench when the springer gets slammed down onto the rest after each cocking exercise. These do influence accuracy.
    Good luck with pursueing ultimate accuracy, hope the knowledge I shared will help you in your quest, and most of all, have fun doing so!
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  5. #20
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    Thanks Derek. Something to practice

    Target sequence.
    It’s good practice to shoot a sighter after you have gone to the next row of targets on the sheet since you would have to adjust the rifle’s vertical angle which means recoil behavior would have changed. I prefer shooting in zig zag order, from left to right and down to the next row then from right to left again. This way there’s no drastic rifle position change from row to row.
    Be aware of what’s going on on your target and always shoot in sequence. Should holes appear that you have not shot, notify the range officer immediately. Someone else might be cross firing at your target. I have seen this happen and the situation was immediately remedied by a competent range officer.
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  6. #21
    Sharp Shooter
    SAFTAA FT Colours '19

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    Hi Derek......I can't wait for you guys to start shooting FT, cos I'd like to see your next article on "technicalities of shooting FT for beginners"

    Bloody Brilliant article! Cheers!
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  7. #22
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    Hello everyone

    CANTING...

    Attached is a series of articles by Jeroen Hogema. Mathmetician and statistician interested in shooting.

    Diagrams explains everything very well...

    Read the following articles by Jeroen Hogema

    Scientist and shooter


    1. Air rifle cant experiment

      EFFECT OF CANT ANGLE VARIATION ON POINT-OF-IMPACT IN AIR-RIFLE SHOOTING
      Copyright Jeroen Hogema



    2. Line-of-sight height and the cant angle effect in air-rifle shooting

      LINE-OF-SIGHT HEIGHT AND THE CANT ANGLE EFFECT IN AIR-RIFLE SHOOTING
      Copyright Jeroen Hogema, 5 September 1999



    3. Shooting sport ballistics, ballistiek voor de sportschutter

      Shooting sport ballistics
      Copyright Jeroen Hogema
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