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Bipod or rest/sandbag?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jordan1948, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Well-Known Member

    I've always wondered about this. If you have a bipod on you rifle do you use it or use a rest/sandbag when you go to the range? And why or why not?
  2. Heavies

    Heavies Well-Known Member

    I use what I will be using to shoot. If I was going to go hunt, I would use a type of rest that I would most likely use in that type of situation to get a zero. I usually shoot off a bipod so, I use my bipod to zero.
    The type of rest you use will affect recoil. Thus, if you use one type to zero, then use a different type during normal situation, point of impact may change.
  3. benzy2

    benzy2 Well-Known Member

    Rest for load development. Then use the bipod if that is how the riflew will be shot. I find I'm a bit more accurate off a rest than a bipod so testing happens the way I can remove the most shooter error.
  4. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member

    ditto benzy for me.
  5. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    Sand bags lend themselves to more accurate shooting. Bipods are actually pretty bad for shooting groups and load development, but having a bipod in the field is better than nothing. How bad the bipod is going to be for you depends quite a bit on the surface that the bipod will be resting on. The harder the surface, the worse it will be.

    You can get pretty good results from using a bipod, if you know how to use it. I'm new to precision shooting, but the results that I was getting from using a bipod had me tearing my hair out. It turns out that I was using the bipod all wrong.

    I've come across a couple of tidbits of info that helped me out and tightened by groups from a bipod considerably. First, you want your bipod mounted with the legs pointing toward the muzzle when folded. I'm just mentioning it because I've seen lots of guys with their bipods on backwards and cursing the rifle and ammo because they can't shoot a decent group. When using a bipod, you want to load it up. What I mean by this is that you want to be putting a tad bit of forward pressure on the bipod when you shoot. When I first started using a bipod, I was having a heck of a time and it turned out that while shooting a group, I had a tendency to pull the rifle in to me (releasing tension on the legs) rather than pusing myself into the rifle (keeping the bipod loaded up). I'm just talking about a little bit. Not much pushing is needed, but the difference between pushing and pulling made a lot of difference in the groups that I was getting.

    I have since gotten me a set of Caldwell bags and made some risers out of wood for when I need them. This is much more stable than using a bipod. I only use the bipod when I'm going in the woods or being mobile. I haven't noticed an affect on my point of impact either way with my AR15.
  6. rtpzwms

    rtpzwms Well-Known Member

    +1 Heavies
    Load development should be as close to the shooting experience as possible. The idea is to reduce variables not add new ones.
  7. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    When shooting with a bi-pod for accuracy (load development), press forward on the rifle to take up the slack in the bi-pod. That enhances accuracy. The groups in this thread: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=537502 were all fired at 300 yards, using a Harris bi-pod and a sandbag under the buttstock.

  8. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    I do load development off bags.

    Once I have found a load I like, I'll practice field conditions by getting into the prone with a bipod - which is normal for what I hunt (with centerfires at least).
  9. wgp

    wgp Well-Known Member

    I'll use a bipod, sandbags or other type of rest on the checking zero and loads. In the field I find the bipod heavy and cumbersome, so I use natural rests (limbs, hay bales) if available, or shooting sticks, as a rest.
  10. Mustanir

    Mustanir Well-Known Member

    For me sandbags and bi-pods are for different worlds: sand bags for range firing and load development, controlled conditions,no problem of time and sipping coke or cofee from the bench and chatting with your spotter buddy,, on the other hand Bi-pod for hunters on the most sensitive art of stalking,, adrenaline, rush of respiration and perspiration,anxiety of missing a B&C, remembering the jokes cracked on your buddy when he missed a monster last year from close range, in these conditions bi-pod is a blessing cos you dont need to be sub MOA to down a Mulie.
  11. chrome_austex

    chrome_austex Well-Known Member

    Ditto benzy.. My harris bipod doesn't give me the accuracy I need for load development.

    But my sandbags seem to work nicely for that. I think if I had enough money a nice rest would be best for load development, because the sandbags shift so much with each shot I'm always fussing with them.

    However when zeroing, I use whatever I'll be shooting with (bipod on my hunting gun, and sling on my highpower gun)
  12. Heavies

    Heavies Well-Known Member

    Good info TonyAngel. :) Also, I have noticed that body position when shooting off the bi-pod plays a huge role in consistent shots. You don't want the rifle bouncing to the right or left any, just straight back. If you are getting right or left bounce play with your body position a bit, you'll see a world of difference. In different terrain you'll have to adjust and see where your body has to be in order for that to happen.
    Even though that bullet is moving fast, any kind of inconsistent movement will effect the shot while the bullet is spending time in the barrel. Major effects at longer ranges.

    IMO bags seem to be more accurate because it is easier for the rifle to slide straight back. However, it's giving you a false reading and not helping to improve your shooting any.
    Just my $.02
  13. dtvburns

    dtvburns Member.

    After reading this thread I went to the range and shot my .17 to experiment. I have not been at all happy with the groups I have been getting at 100 yards, every group has been about 1.5 inches or more, not the 1MOA I was expecting. I have a bipod on my .17, as I do with my 22-250. At 50 yards I shot 4 groups of 5 and they were all around an inch group. I then took off the bipod and shot off a front bag and had 3 of 4 groups that where all one ragged hole and one group with a flier. I then did the same with my 22-250 at 100 yards, it is a heavy gun around 10 lbs. The groups where the same with and without the bipod. My 17 is lighter and I do not think it is capable of loading the bipod legs enough to make them stable. Shooting off of bags at 100 I did get the 1 MOA I was expecting.
  14. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    A front rest for load development only. Bipods can be very accurate, and make exellent gun stands when not firing:D
  15. mjyeagle

    mjyeagle Well-Known Member

    i ues a bipod but NO to sand bags because good luck finding a sandbag in the bush in front of the animal practice how you plan to shoot in the bush just my opnion
  16. scythefwd

    scythefwd Well-Known Member

    The only bipod shooting I have done doesn't apply. I use wooden blocks to shoot off of when sighting in, because that most replicates my field use. IF I take a pack to the field, I use that as a rest. I'm a little under 2.5 moa with either but it's a .30-30 so I'm not expecting a whole lot. Once I get into load development, I expect to drop down to about 1.5 moa. The bipod shooting I did, I'd load up the bipod with enough force to break all but the absolute best on the market. I shot a SAW in the Army, and to keep it controlable, you lean into it and man handle it. It aint a precision shooting device, but I was able to do raggid hole 3 shot groups at 25m with it. That ain't bad for a full auto.

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