Mound Setup 101

Get or give advice on equipment, reloading and other technical issues.

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DenisA
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#1 Postby DenisA » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:18 am

Being a 101 thread this contribution is intended for new comers to F-Class. I won’t delve into tuning but what needs to be sorted before tuning so as not to interpret false results and be mislead from the start.

From my point of view.....

I'd like to re-iterate how important a perfect setup is before tuning for precision, before trying to diagnose load error and before trying to diagnose environmental error. A perfect setup will allow the shooter to have the least amount of physical input into the rifle as possible when shooting. The less input, the less technique, the less induced error, the more consistent.
This is not to say that someone that holds a rifle and uses cheek pressure can’t be at the top, but it does mean that that guy has to make sure that each part of the rifle that he touches, cheek, shoulder, palm swell, trigger, recoil, rifle torque, etc, has to be exactly the same every time. So before anything else is done tune wise, equipment wise or condition reading wise, that guy is working harder and running more risk than the bloke with the perfect setup.

I see a lot of shooters with good setups drop points and blame technique. Then they start changing technique or setup and ruining a good thing. On the contrary, I see a lot of shooters with less than adequate setup and technique drop points and blame load or environment. The setup is the only “control” that we have in this game, everything else is a variable so we need to make sure that the “control” is perfect.
We MUST be certain that setup and technique that we use is perfect before diagnosing other issues. The perfect set up is different for different people, rests, rifles, stocks techniques, etc but the perfect technique will ALWAYS give consistent results and is easily seen at 100y with a good basic load.

The fundamental rule to tuning setup and technique is similar to load development. Start with known good components and theory and tweak it from there.

100y is a brilliant place to confirm your setup obviously because environmental and optical error is at a minimum. If you can shoot multiple and consistent 0.3 moa groups at 100y using your F-class setup and technique, then it stands to reason you can keep setup and technique within .3moa at the longs also. That’s when you can be certain other issues are at play when shots don’t go to plan and start diagnosing from there.
A lot of F-class shooters are reluctant to do any development at 100y which is a shame because there’s a lot that can be gained at 100y.

I run probably the cheapest competitive rifles in SE QLD at Queens level. I stand to be corrected so don’t bite. They’re Savage factory actions, pre-fit barrels still utilising the factory barrel nuts, V-blocks and well designed, in-expensive domestically made laminate timber stocks. Who’d have thought that a rifle like that could win a Queens or a leadup series against full blown custom guns. My competitive results haven’t come from buying the most expensive gear but from a practical approach, beginning with setup and technique.

Some fundamentals of my setup and technique:

Scope setup – Make certain at each range that its set to ABSOLUTE parallax free and not just the clearest picture. They’re close, but not always the same thing. Make sure your cross hair is true with the use of a bubble.

Front rest – Make sure that all adjustment locking nuts are tight and firm prior to shooting. Use F-Class feet and adjust the base of the rest up over the grass. Spongy grass is a vert killer.
Make sure that the forend stop never touches the barrel which is not always as obvious as it sounds when shooting from different height mounds with forend stops directly under the barrel.

Rear bag – On grass, use a rear plate for stability.
Rear bags benefit from a big footprint, being heavy and ears should be firm. Less than adequate weight will allow the bag to move under recoil, especially when the rifle hits the fulcrum point and torques. By this time the bullets gone but the bags unsettled for the subsequent shot.
Less than adequately packed ears will allow too much movement even at the point that the rifles laying idle. The butt NEEDS to sit down between the ears on the bag. Allowing butt to track on the ears is a train wreck waiting to happen.
The rear of the rifle should not be easily manipulated to allow crosshair movement when stationery. For rear bags such as a SEB bigfoot (which I love and use) be careful on steep mounds that front toe or palm pad of the bag doesn’t angle up and contact the bottom of the palm swell. This lifts the butt out of the ears sometimes and the slightest contact can cause shot dispersion in all directions. Don’t let the tail wag the dog.

Rear plate – Legal in Australian F-class, a good rear plate lifts the rear bag off your mat and off the grass. A rear plate is most effective with spikes and spacers to get the plate above the grass. As with front rests, spongy grass is a vert killer.

Shooting mat – I believe it’s critical in F-Class to run a hole in the front of a shooting mat for the rear plate / bag. Rear bags that sit on top of mats move under recoil and also when the shooters shifts his body lightly.
For consistency, the core equipment needs to be interfered with as least as possible.

Stock – There’s a great thread on Ozfclass about “Recoil and stock design” and stocks are a very personal thing. There are some fundamental basics that should be considered. A good stock is true and will track straight back while maintaining the position of the cross hair on the target, therefore it is critical that the forend is parallel to the butt.
Like long wheel base vehicles, long stocks increase stability and negate the importance of perfect weight distribution.
Bag riders machined into the forend noticeably increase the stability when the forend sits on a common 1 piece bag. The bagriders keep the centre of the forend off the hump in the middle of the bag. Even where bags are packed a little softer to keep flat, the rifle torque will still move sand to the middle of the bag forming a hump during the process of the shoot.

In general – It’s widely accepted that free recoiling a rifle is a highly accurate way to shoot but it’s not for everyone and isn’t necessary to win matches. What is certain is that a “perfect setup”, due to its stability will allow a well setup rifle to be free recoiled with ease, precision and very little input / technique from the shooter. A free recoiled rifle on a perfect setup will only torque when the rifle hits its fulcrum point (shoulder) and by that time the bullet should be long gone all things done properly. Good free recoil technique on a perfect setup can make a constant technique impervious to change when shooting different cartridges, eg, .6BR to .300WSM.
Keep your setup straight, solid and stable with zero free play anywhere. Build a pre-shoot systematic process that becomes a part of your routine to make sure that once you’ve setup, all locking nuts on the front rest, feet are tight and make sure the rifle easily and smoothly tracks back and forth in the bags with the cross hair stationary. Track the rifle back and forth with light pressure to settle the front and rear bags every time you setup the rifle up or unsettle it.
Adjust the feet of the rest to level your scope bubble when load testing or shooting matches.

Load test using exactly the same technique and setup as when your shooting in competition prone. If you choose to load test off a bench make certain that your shoulder approaches the rifle at the same angle as when your prone and allows the same amount of tracking on recoil. This may require standing or the use of a stool and bending down at the bench rather than the usual chair to allow correct positioning and rifle travel.
Lastly, a good competitor / load tester / shooter must be 100% confident in technique at all times ESPECIALLY for meaningful load testing results. They must KNOW beyond doubt that what they are doing works for them every shot. If setup is not perfect then it’s impossible to be truly confident in technique.
Get your setup right using the fundamentals, you don’t have to buy expensive gear but you will have to apply thought to what you have and make it work. Even the expensive stuff gets modified by the individuals to suit.

AlanF
Posts: 6935
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: Maffra, Vic

Mound Setup 101

#2 Postby AlanF » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:39 am

Following the very popular Tuning Basics 101 thread, this one is for advice and discussion on setting up rests etc for best accuracy. I've started by moving Denis Aarons's excellent post to here.

Jason72
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:23 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#3 Postby Jason72 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm

Thank you very much Denis for taking the time to post this information, great to see this type of knowledge shared.

Cheers
Jason

pjifl
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:15 pm
Location: Innisfail, Far North QLD.

Re: Mound Setup 101

#4 Postby pjifl » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:07 pm

Mound setup is very important. There are basics, but, often the first time you shoot on a strange mound, you are presented with a new situation. Analyse the the situation and setup and be prepared to change and move and choose a different position on the mound.

If there is a good reason to break the basic rules, make sure you do it consistently !

Peter Smith.

bruce moulds
Posts: 2658
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:07 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#5 Postby bruce moulds » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:09 pm

I must confess to being a luddite in some ways, and do not use a joystick rest, preferring to be a bag squeezer.
many beginners do not want to spend big money on joystics for various reasons.
any advice from bag squeezers would be appreciated.
bruce.
"SUCH IS LIFE" Edward Kelly 11 nov 1880
http://youtu.be/YRaRCCZjdTM

Matt P
Posts: 1360
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:22 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#6 Postby Matt P » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:42 pm

bruce moulds wrote:I must confess to being a luddite in some ways, and do not use a joystick rest, preferring to be a bag squeezer.
many beginners do not want to spend big money on joystics for various reasons.
any advice from bag squeezers would be appreciated.
bruce.

Buy a joystick rest !

GSells
Posts: 556
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#7 Postby GSells » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:47 pm

bruce moulds wrote:I must confess to being a luddite in some ways, and do not use a joystick rest, preferring to be a bag squeezer.
many beginners do not want to spend big money on joystics for various reasons.
any advice from bag squeezers would be appreciated.
bruce.

Slight pre load is important but every stock behaves definitely. In Memory of the late Great Cam McEwan. If anyone remembers or maybe somebody has a video of it . He use to let his .284 Sheahan free recoil and the thing use to rifle torque badly . But he shot very well like that . I remember just before his passing he ended up taming it a bit !

wsftr
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:58 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#8 Postby wsftr » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:04 am

joy stick rests FO are fantastic but not necessary for a beginner....if they can afford it sure go straight there.
Joysticks FTR - personal preference. The OZ pod concept is well worth a look. It fits nicely in between the mariner wheel and joystick options.

AlanF
Posts: 6935
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: Maffra, Vic

Re: Mound Setup 101

#9 Postby AlanF » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:57 pm

On the subject of joysticks, it would be interesting to know the variations on how they are used. I gather that some have the joystick movement adjusted quite tightly and move it close to the aiming point, then let it go and do the final aim by other means (bag squeezing?) Others have the joystick movement adjusted more freely and keep hold of it for the final aiming (FWIW that's my approach).

Jakec27
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:28 pm
Location: Bendigo

Re: Mound Setup 101

#10 Postby Jakec27 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:17 pm

I would be interested in knowing what people do with there joysticks. Whether to hold while firing or not for example. I have one on the way and can’t wait. It’s going to be a long few months !

bruce moulds
Posts: 2658
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:07 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#11 Postby bruce moulds » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:32 pm

alan,
you were one of, of not the, originators of joystick use in oz.
I can remember you using one which appeared to be of your design and manufacture with great effect.
in those days most guys rejected such ideas.
now the worm has turned.
several things I dislike about them are that to hold the stick and maintain a constant relaxed body position is difficult for me, and many of them seem to need force to adjust, and can go past where you want them, or stopping short, potentially wasting time.
best ones are extremely expensive for someone who is not really sure they want to commit to the sport yet.
bruce.
"SUCH IS LIFE" Edward Kelly 11 nov 1880

http://youtu.be/YRaRCCZjdTM

DenisA
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: Mound Setup 101

#12 Postby DenisA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:41 pm

I hold my joystick firmly.
9 years ago I started out with a cheap Cadwell fire control which worked very well with some basic modifications. It was an education in the value gained from a coaxial front rest. It was a good place to start and convinced me I couldn’t go wrong buying a SEB NEO.
For a beginner Fclass shooter that doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, they’re a good place to start.

bruce moulds
Posts: 2658
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:07 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#13 Postby bruce moulds » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:49 pm

DenisA wrote:I hold my joystick firmly

:o :shock: :oops: :wink:
"SUCH IS LIFE" Edward Kelly 11 nov 1880

http://youtu.be/YRaRCCZjdTM

GSells
Posts: 556
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#14 Postby GSells » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:22 pm

For what it’s worth, I hold my Knob of my joystick ..... hang on this sounds a little sus ! Big knobs , rubber on barrels and orings !! Haha, sounds very suspect doesn’t it lol ?
Getting back to the question, I hold the knob of my joy stick lightly and between thumb and for finger and at times even let go .

Brad Y
Posts: 2057
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Mound Setup 101

#15 Postby Brad Y » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:31 am

Turning from shooting FO to FTR has been a real kick in the nuts in terms of making sure setup is perfect every time. I was pretty relaxed with my setup in FO. Then suddenly shooting off a bipod made me really see what you need to do. It’s all consistency, consistency, consistency. Not saying it’s not important off a rest, but it seems much more critical trying to tame heavy 308 bullets off a bipod in an 8kg rifle.

First and foremost i don’t use a spike plate so extra attention is placed selecting a location for the rear bag. Lumps of grass, divots, rocks or loose dirt that can cause unwanted movement needs to be avoided. Then make sure the bag is well bedded down. Then setup the front rest. I try to keep my front rest as low as possible and not pack up the rear bag too high.

It’s really important to get the mat in a good position that allows comfortable shooting as well. Watch out for ants nests!

Position needs to be taken into account as well. There’s no point trying to squeeze between people and not adopt your normal position. Not many people I know can shoot straight behind a rifle. And off a bipod it’s a darn sight more difficult to keep the gun from recoiling off target when your straight behind the gun.

Lastly, make sure you position your 60.10 rattler in the perfect spot to allow you to load, fire and reload without breaking position :lol:


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