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Glued To The Bench--a growing trend?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cosmoline, May 22, 2012.

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  1. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Then there's us old phaarts. My knees are bad so I don't shoot kneeling and I have tremors as a side effect from a medication. It's a joke for me to shoot a rifle offhand at more than 50 yards. I started shooting from the bench so I could continue to enjoy my rifles. So you young guns with your keen eye sight and steady hands can stuff it.:D
     
  2. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I don't think it's growing. Lots of people have always only shot from the bench, and lots of people still do. In fact many ranges will only allow you to shoot from a bench, particularly if they are near urban areas, they don't need a bunch of wannabes shooting over the berms.
     
  3. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I like being called a "young gun", even at 57. :)

    Infirmities and other issues aside, I think this question was more aimed at the those who dont have "issues".

    I know when we were growing up and learning to shoot, we were not permitted to shoot off a bench. We learned to shoot from the basic field positions using a sling. When my kids were small, they learned the same way. Its not wasted time or energy, and it produces good, confidant shooters who have usable skills.

    I still shoot a couple of different military type rifles 2-3 times a month. I still dry fire both rifles and pistols daily. Most of what I shoot these days rifle wise is offhand, as offhand has always been my weakest position, Im not all that bad at it, but Ive been better (an old Toby Keith song is coming to mind here :) ). I also find its the most comfortable position when you shoot a lot of 30/06 and 308 at a session.
     
  4. bryank30

    bryank30 Member

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    Making match grade ammo is very labor and time consuming. I want every cartridge to count. If I want to plink standing up I will go to my stock tank and shoot cheap walmart bought bulk .22LR out of my trusty 10/22
     
  5. s.forktraveler

    s.forktraveler Member

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    from the bench

    bench rest shooting both long and short range can be a very competitive sport -or a great just for fun activity -- range is a good safe place to start/teach your children -- you might be surprised how many varmint hunters pack a small mini bench into an target rich area -- set up & spend the day -- i know i am lucky to live in idaho where just because i don't see
    other hunters/plinkers or off hand shooters crowding an area doesn't mean they are not there -- quite often i can hear them doing what they like to do
    best --
     
  6. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I want every round to count too, thats why I practice and shoot like I do. I wouldnt want to have to rely on a bench to make the important shots count.
     
  7. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    I haven't shot off a bench in some time and several of my rifles have only seen a bench for cleaning. The rifle will recoil slightly differently in a rest than in prone, so I don't even have a use for the rest to zero a rifle. If I am really unsure of how the sights are adjusted, I'll fire a few shots offhand at <25yd, then move back to 25 and then to full distance.

    Why don't people use field positions? I think we have a lot of people coming into the shooting sports with little/no shooting background. I should know, I fired my first firearm at 27. Hadn't been near a gun until then. Neither of my parents had owned one either. Yeah, I spent a few years shooting rifles off benches. Nobody had shown me any different and shooting without a rest was really intimidating. I mean, I need these sandbags to hit that tiny little target all the way out there, right? Finally got some instruction (Appleseed) and really wish I had done so sooner. Much more fun, more of a test of skill and I am shooting better groups than ever before. :D I'm sure some people like shooting off the bench better, that's fine. I just don't go to ranges that force me to shoot off a bench, or at least use some improvised position sitting on the bench or such.
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Sure, it's obviously their choice. I'm not dictator of the range. I can't take away the benches. Nor would I if I could. But this is more than just whittling we're talking about. It's rifle shooting--a core part of our national identity. And I think we're sitting down more to do it because we sit down more to do *everything* now.

    I'm no uber shooter type by any stretch. I'm a fat old man who can usually manage no better than 6" off hand at 100 yards. A low speed, high drag operator ;-) So if I can do low kneeling, off-hand and prone, most people should be able to. This is after all our martial art. Isn't it?
     
  9. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I really don't know why threads like this even get started. This topic should fall into the "live and let live" category.

    As far as the original post goes, you make it sound like shooting from a bench is easy. For some, the pursuit of the all elusive zero group is something to strive for.
     
  10. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

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    i dont disagree with the ones shooting from benches all the time, i just think its rediculous that some of them drive fords.
     
  11. Curator

    Curator Member

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    Benchrest shooting is excellent practice for sight allingment.sight picture, breath control, trigger control, and follow through. I coach two NRA Jr Rifle teams and we do about half of our shooting from the bench. Bench shooting builds confidence in equipment and is excellent training. It also helps identify and isolate minor shooting problems. If you can't shoot nice, small, round groups off the bench, your equipment, ammo, or technique needs improvement. Last week I was at my gun club where a grand-dad was forcing his 12 year old grandson to "shoot like a man, standing on his hind legs." The kid couldn't even hit the target backstop and was about to cry. I offered him some sand bags and grand dad said; "shooting from the bench is for ...deleted...." I did not punch him, but thought about it for a minute.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    As a fellow who shot Benchrest competitively, I take some issue with that, but I do understand your point, which is a good one. I shoot off the bench to sight rifles in, and I like to shoot a few groups now and then, but much of my shooting is off hand. I do brace my old .222 Mag when popping the odd crow or two.

    Anyone who never shoots offhand with their rifles, cannot consider themselves a well rounded shooter. IMHO of course.
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    No insult to BR shooting intended. It's an important and fascinating part of the sport. And I agree that for training it's very useful to start at the bench--or at least prone as we did in scouts.

    To me, it's about trying to encourage people to do more than just sit there and cap off a few, get bored and leave. Without making them angry--because this is apparently a touchy subject for some.
     
  14. Virg461

    Virg461 Member

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    People get very touchy about this topic, but the fact is that the skill of shooting is important. Knowing how to shoot and shoot well, from all positions, when it mattered is what has kept this a free nation.
     
  15. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    I shoot weekly. Sight my rifles in, play with pistols, have a good time. I want to be comfortable. Come deer/coyote hunting I'm taking pain killers, twisted in a pretzel, shooting off hand on the wrong side 20'up a tree, sitting for six or eight hours in a climbing stand, bugs in my ears and freezing my ass off. Point is I have to be miserable hunting. I''m not going to do it at the range.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I certainly agree with that. Just like the folks who take their pistol to the pistol pit, blast 50 rounds seemingly indiscriminately, as fast as they can, and leave. *sigh*

    I get some weird looks on the 100 yard range shooting at clay pigeons on the berm, with my handguns, off hand. :)
     
  17. gunnysmith

    gunnysmith Member

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    Disipline in shooting appears to be a lost art.
    Standing, kneeling sitting prone with a rifle.
    Off hand 2700 bullseye.
    Learn the disipline for the above, any thing else, bipod. sandbags are just another advantage, not a crutch.
     
  18. rugerman

    rugerman Member

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    Due to age & arthritis I do most or my shooting from the bench, I used t just sight in from the bench and then practice shooting off hand, pistols were mostly off hand, now due to lack of hand strength even most of my pistol in from the bench. Getting old is not for sissies.
     
  19. 22lr

    22lr Member

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    I shoot a lot from a bench for one main reason. Its how I relax after a stressful week. I can get serious, I focus my mind on one thing, my target. Nothing else matters, nothing else worries me. Pursuing that legendary half MOA group is like therapy for me, it can remove stress and allows me to focus on something other than work.

    People shoot for lots of different reasons, I shoot because its a way for me to focus 100% on something that isnt work. Now, I have my AR and my VZ-58 that get put through tactical drills, but most of my shooting is with 308 bolt actions from a bench. Its just how I relax, nothing more, nothing less.

    At the end of the day, bench shooting is my therapy to cope with the stress of the daily grind. A hobby that allows me to focus and just clear my mind. Its not "real shooting," but then again I don't consider anything to be real shooting unless your on a two way range.
     
  20. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    This is what you see at our private club at the rifle ranges. Shooting while standing is not popular at all, except at the club's handgun and skeet ranges.
    Even the Wednesday matches with .22s involve scopes, and everybody seems to be sitting using a rest.

    This makes no difference to me because most of my sessions are much more fun, and involve destroying solid objects elsewhere, in a "natural setting".
    Shooting which seems to involve transcendental meditation, using sand bags or a soft support helps people to become familiar with a gun's accuracy and how to correct the aim.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  21. guzzi

    guzzi Member

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    My wife has taken multiple carbine classes with her AR, and when she practices I have had fellows ask me what she is doing.

    I think those who don't work the various stances and positions are those who may not had the oppertunity to learn them, or are just out for a relaxing time with their weapons.

    I also think the majority of folks on this fourm are lot more into shooting than the average gun owner.
     
  22. smithman 10

    smithman 10 Member

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    To bench or not to bench

    It does seem that most folks are obsessed with the bench so they can get the tightest groups out of their rifles.

    But it's a lot more fun to shoot from the 4 positions, in my view.

    So sight 'em in and then shoot like they taught you in the service. Or the Boy Scouts. Or Applesseed.

    I do understand those who have physical constraints. Getting a bit long in the tooth myself. Plopping down into prone and back up again's not as easy as it once was. But I do it anyway from time to time.
     
  23. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    Another warm season is upon us and I can't for the life of me understand why someone again feels compelled to worry about show someone else is spending their time at the range. If they aren't shooting your ammo, and they are conducting themselves in a safe manner, and their muzzle blast isn't knocking you out of your firing position.....who cares if they have it parked at the bench?

    Nothing has gone wrong. Nothing needs to be fixed. Sorry...but the last thing I need at the range is a nanny mom telling me what they think I should be doing and how I should be doing it.

    That being said, I spent my last training class (this past December) prone for 4 days shooting my Savage 10 FCP HS-Precision out to 600 yds. I'll shoot from a non-bench position when I feel like doing so. Simple enough.
     
  24. stan rose

    stan rose Member

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    At the local range it is bench shooting only, once the guns are sighted in and load development is over most practice shooting takes place 3hrs away where there is property to shoot at. If someone does not hunt or does not plan on using a firearm in a SHTF situation then shoot what ever way you like, and have fun, but if a shooter hunts I believe you owe it to your quarry to practice field positions if for no other reason than knowing your true limitations. Sorry but I have tracked to many gut shot deer due to poor preparations on the hunters part.
     
  25. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    I shoot from a bench so I can: tweak powders, bullets, dope wind, understand effects of barrel heating, develope cleaning schedules, adjust the trigger, and learn to control breathing, trigger pull, flinch. In another words learn to shoot my rifle to its absolute potential. When I have acheived it I will begin to shoot from sitting, kneeling, and prone.:)
     
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