Recoil & Stock Design

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

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Longranger
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#76 Postby Longranger » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:13 pm

He's flinching a fair bit.

williada
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Behind the Butt

#77 Postby williada » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:20 pm

I thought this old diagram modified from fullbore prone position may be helpful for new shooters in the positioning of their bodies to take advantage of a more square on control of recoil.

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IanP
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#78 Postby IanP » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:30 pm

Dave W, if I understand your diagram correctly, then the shoulder's of the shooter are square, (90 degrees) to the line you have drawn running thru the shooter's right leg and left shoulder.

I lie on my mat straight inline with the target. My body and mat are aligned in a straight line to the target with my legs apart similar to what you have drawn. In this position my shoulders are square to the rifle and the direction of recoil. So if we look back at your diagram then I would rotate the mat to point at the target and align my body with the mat to point directly at the target.

What strengths or weaknesses in this alternate position that I use? Appreciate any comments.

Ian
__________________________________________
A small ES is good. A small SD is better. A small group is best!

williada
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#79 Postby williada » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:07 am

Ian whatever position you adopt, it is essential that the height of the gunstock and your rifle’s inclination must match your head position so that you can see through the centre of the scope in a natural, relaxed position. Aside from parallax problems, moving away from the optical centre is not desirable in case of optical errors. (So I suppose theoretically, aiming off is better than winding on huge windage which may move your head away from the optical centre).

If you do not use free recoil, then you must position your cheek so its pressure on the gunstock is constant. Your goal is to position your head for a stable natural angle.

You don’t want a position that is too high or too low. If your shoulder is too high, your whole position becomes cramped. It needs to be limp and relaxed. On your trigger hand, it is your right elbow that must be pushed forward slightly for stability and comfort. If you move your elbow towards your body the unnatural angle cramps your control. Your final control comes back to your right hand which must pull the trigger directly backwards. I don’t think I use lateral pressure as such, but because I shoot rifles with more recoil, I tend to grasp more with my big and ring fingers with enough firmness to squeeze the trigger off with whole hand pressure.

Stocks come in many shapes and sizes but people come in more. So I MAKE THESE GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. If you adjust your length of pull from the butt as you can on some stocks because of say mound angle, then it should be moved to give you the required eye relief. Whatever body position you use, your backbone and shoulders should form a “T”. The “T” is used to form the basis of your length of pull when your shoulders are in a relaxed position.

I do not see anything wrong with your position Ian, so long as you consider what I have already said, because you must feel natural and comfortable to deliver shot after shot. Everything is a trade off. The square position might give a better muzzle lift with less defection but on the other hand it may compromise eye position. It is important that with any new style you choose that you practice so it does feel natural. That is the key.

I put the pre 1930’s square position diagram up to demonstrate the shoulder presentation to the butt so that muzzle jump is less inclined to have that sideways element. Of course sometimes anticipating the recoil you can lose them at 8.30 to 7.30 with the shoulder pushing forward and conversely with the relaxed shoulder after firm shoulder contact those little 1 o’clock errors can sneak in. The Estonian and the USA (T.U.S.A.M.T.U.) positions primarily take pressure off the tummy by bending the knee while shooting without the aid of rests as in F Class. Of course my own prone style for fullbore is different in that my body is stretched out at an angle of about 20 degrees from the target line and I bend my knee slightly.

It is not necessary to place more weight on the left side in F class Shooting to make breathing easier or to prevent pulse being transmitted from the abdominal area to the bone structure because the shooter uses a rest and rear bag. So the traditional style which went out in the 1930’s might be better suited to F Class theory. I am of the view, the bodyweight line parallel to the bore is less inclined to defect a shot and be more suitable for compensation tuning. The bodyweight line in modern fullbore positions is angled across the line of the bore and more inclined to deflect a shot as per new diagram.

As far as being directly behind the stock like your position Ian, there is a possibility that elbows too close in will cramp your position for stability and trigger release. There may be a problem of shouldering shots more unless you pay attention to your length of pull. If you have more mass behind the bore and your shoulder is not inclined inwards past where it joins the collarbone then the recoil pattern will have less deflection sideways as DaveMc discussed.

Also as DaveMc indicated that changing leg position will change bullet impact. The same goes for the positioning of your feet. How many times do you see people moving their feet into different positions during a shoot. You see people swivel on a right foot toe, inside then outside with their heal weight in a continuous fidget.

Now if you use your left hand to control a bipod or a front rest tiller, you might unwittingly be falling into the USA Prone position when shooting F Class.

Of course, if you do the same thing the same way each time you will get consistent results.

Others may contribute more ideas.

Good shooting. David.

I edited the extra "a" I put in Mc.

Image
Last edited by williada on Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Norm
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#80 Postby Norm » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:44 am

When riding a stock as apart from shooting free recoil, I find that if you do the same thing every time you will get a similar result.

If your shoulder is at a certain angle to the stock and this results in the muzzle pointing to the left after the shot every time then you will still get a good score because you are compensating for this every shot.
The problem is when you don't do the same thing every shot and the muzzle ends up pointing in a different direction after some shots.

Get two shooters with different holding techniques and get them to fire the same rifle. You will most likely get two different points of impact.

A common training drill in precision shooting courses, is to get a trainee to fire five shots, slow and deliberate over time to establish a zero. They then let the barrel cool and get then to fire five shots as fast as they can.

With this drill the trainee is under pressure and if there is any break down of his shooting his technique then this will result in a change in the point of impact of his group.

The instructor can then advise the trainee on methods to correct this fault in their technique so that both the slow and deliberate and fast groups have the same average point of impact.

F-Class shooting is slow and deliberate. As such a lot of shooters have a bad technique and don't even know it as it is masked by the fact that they mostly do the same thing every time.

With 6mm calibres this is less of an issue as the total recoil effecting the rifle is much less. This results is shooters with poor technique still shooting high scores with great X counts anyway.

Shooters who use heavy recoiling calibres may need to pay extra attention to their technique in order to avoid the odd "5" that is not due to the wind but is due to a poor or inconsistent technique.

IanP
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#81 Postby IanP » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:15 am

I agree that the key to consistent accuracy is consistent position. I do make one variation to having my legs straight back which seems to help and that is to bend the right leg at the knee to get better alignment with the butt on the bag. It seems to lift the belly on the RHS side slightly and gives a good solid feel for recoil.

Ian
__________________________________________

A small ES is good. A small SD is better. A small group is best!

williada
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#82 Postby williada » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:09 pm

Ian, I have a slight knee bend too. But I try to put weight on my right side to get everything close to bore centreline as different to my left side bearing the weight which tends to be an opposing angle across the bore centreline. This was the purpose behind showing two extreme positions. The problem in competition is often a lapse of concentration and any slight change in technique can lead to more mistakes.

For new shooters, using weight on the left side can often result in what looks more like a windage shot during a lapse in technique. So they immediately alter the windage and can compound the error which probably more often than not leads to further wind calculation errors or a sense they have a zero shift.

On the other hand, the traditional square position will tend to lose shots in the vertical or corners because of the recoil pattern and shooters are less inclined to fiddle with windage. They are more inclined to recognise the bum shot and not mistake it for wind and compound the error with future shots.

Because I want to enjoy my shooting these days, comfort is high on the agenda rather than competition.
David.

williada
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#83 Postby williada » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:52 pm

Norm, I look forward to working with you at the Moe City club so we can grow together in this great sport. Alan you have done a superb job in promoting rifle shooting and I look forwards to more positive contributions seeing I am re-invigorated after a long layoff. David.

IanP
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#84 Postby IanP » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:51 pm

Dave, thanks for your comments and input, its much appreciated and really is providing me with another perspective on what I do to shoot consistently.

Ian
__________________________________________

A small ES is good. A small SD is better. A small group is best!

Pete
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Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#85 Postby Pete » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:53 pm

Gentleman I was just wondering on peoples thoughts/insights in regards to the BR type stocks such as Bryan Litz recently seen to use in the US Nationals, and the ALMOST free recoil approach being adopted within the FTR ranks by some participants. Is this the future? Has F Class, considering our origins from TR wrongly, adopted a less effective type of stock......
Regards
Pete

Old Trev-39
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Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#86 Postby Old Trev-39 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:57 pm

Hi Pete,
It is called the evolution of sport. People take rules and bend them to the very limit. When one gets away with it others follow. One only has to look at "F" standard. First introduced as a standard target rifle with a scope attached instead of a peep, add rests and bags, so the older shooters with failing sight could still compete in the sport. Look at 95% of "F" standard rifles on any range to-day and they are nothing like what they were intended to be. Just rules being taken to the limit, and not being written properly in the first place. I may be wrong in this but this is the way I see it. I have done it myself in "F" open with my rifle.
Cheers.
Trevor.

Pete
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Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#87 Postby Pete » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:31 pm

Hi Trev, it certainly is "evolution" at work and I have nothing against this in the least. I just was wondered if our "evolution" of TR stocks to a certain degree has been the long road, and now are we going to start to see the beginning of the bench Rest style of stock edging its way into F class.

williada
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Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#88 Postby williada » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:42 pm

I have great respect for Brian Litz, his great intelligence and application and the work he provides to improve the lot of all shooters world-wide. He is a tremendous ambassador. He is a brilliant shot to boot which sets him apart. The achievements of the Australians are also up there too and are remarkable because we do not have the same resources at our disposal and the depth in our shooting ranks is thin by comparison for that competitive edge. Furthermore, gunsmithing is a recognised trade which requires formal schooling in it in the USA. Not so in Australia, although some have been schooled in the states. The work of Peter Smith and DaveMc is also at the cutting edge. Those guys are defending the World Championship in team FO which is the formula 1 of our shooting styles.

Stock design is the next frontier in terms of balance, barrel lift and ease of handling for sure. But whatever method you choose, free recoil or contact, you have to practice so it is second nature. Those in the know can get the most out of either method and it depends on what background you have come from.

It is understandable that people follow the leaders and the equipment they use if they have not mastered the finer arts or are aware of them. It is also true that it is technological advancement, whether it be barrel or bullet design; or relaxing the rules to allow reloading rather than use issued ammunition and lighter trigger weights that have allowed us to shoot tighter groups.

The marginal propensity to improve components is not great. But the skills of wind and mirage reading are areas that require mastery. This is something great shooters possess that sets them apart despite their gear.

If I was to pick something that has made free recoil and option to consider, it is the light trigger which “F Standard” cannot use. A light trigger can be more consistently released without a firm grip. However, the recoil and torque from very heavy loads and bigger calibres shooting at long distance probably calls for grip and a trigger set at a weight to suit. There are fewer variables to master with free recoil technique, but in some rough conditions, you have to master the pin technique of shouldering the butt in a buffet. This can be achieved with a BR stock. I have noticed a popular US stock used by clubmates that flexes with long barrels. So beware.

Market share these days depends on product differentiation, sponsorship and identifying a product use by recognised leaders. Corporate support is very different in the US compared to Australia and they have the technology to sort their components down to the “nth” degree in order to lead the market. Are you in a position to discard a barrel that was not up to scratch or have a few barrels whose twist rates have marginal differences to match prevailing conditions? Do you have pressure measuring devices, or comparative devices for the internal concentricity measurement of projectiles, their jacket hardness etc. aside from the usual gauges everyone else uses. Have you read Harold Vaughn’s book, The Accurate Rifle, where he illustrates an air spinner to detect bullet imbalance. Unfortunately, we do not work for a bullet manufacturer where the production bullet bullets could be sorted and not everyone owns a borescope.

This is important, because the free recoil method at the top level depends on component consistency for fine accuracy and a pedantic approach to load development. You have to ask yourself do I want to reflect in the glory of what others use who have more resources by copying them or are there other ways I can maximise performance with components that are inferior and sometimes not available. That answer might lie in utilising the barrel lift in a tune. Free recoil reduces the amount of lift and the downside is it reduces the number of opportunities within the lift which can be tapped into. All is not what it seems.

Pete
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Location: Penrith

Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#89 Postby Pete » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:58 pm

All very valid points and some very interesting technical insights. I do wonder about the "copying" thought process though......Without emulating what has given others success in various fields, wouldn't we be all left with re-inventing the wheel ourselves??? I mean honestly, is learning not just copying at its most basic form? As stated previously, I enjoyed the technical insight given.
Regards
Pete

williada
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Re: Recoil & Stock Design

#90 Postby williada » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:39 am

Yes Pete, basic learning is copying and not a bad thing. I do see copying as a confidence builder for some when better instruction is absent and that is necessary to develop learning. I do believe new shooters should not be given crap gear to learn to shoot because this slows their learning progress and often discourages them. But is a quantum leap to associate the gear a world champion uses with success when it is their knowledge base, resources and application that delivers the result. It is achieved from hard work, practice, and initiative over many years working on marginal improvement to get an edge that is rewarded by sponsorship for a few.

Proof of learning is an understanding of the principles involved, then being able to describe that to somebody else so that person can analyse their own results by comparison. If they can analyse things then they can put two and two together to accommodate a different situation. There is no shame in not knowing, but it is better to be informed to make better decisions then experience it to be awakened, then develop mastery.

At club level there are guys who buy the best gear but their results seem to be poor year in year out because they work in isolation and re-invent the wheel. Whether it’s a status thing, a need to belong, or to be independent, they copy gear but fail to copy the skills necessary to operate it to a high level. There are others who gain more from socializing and are not results driven. This movement needs everyone to be successful and to pass on the knowledge. Knowing where people are coming from and where they want to go to would assist in developing a program best suited to their needs. So perhaps the issue is not “basic” learning, but one of development. At the pointy end, this is high order thinking stuff that the World Champions apply and they are not just “trigger pullers”. At the grass roots we have to encourage and reduce the fear of failure by sharing knowledge to demonstrate how it can be done.

It is through such forums like this where technical knowledge can be shared that the quality of learning is increased. Another source of learning comes from participating in district, state and national teams where the knowledge is trickled down or self help groups where experts give talks to small groups as they do in the States. But that does not reach the grass roots in a timely way and new development is often embargoed with a view to gaining a competitive edge. It becomes a “Catch 22” for the quality of the whole movement, because people are excluded rightly or wrongly. Copying is not the answer, unless you know why and how because sometimes you are left wondering why, when the champions see and adapt.

Take for instance shooting over high mounds in a fishtail in the recent Nationals at Belmont. Those that group well copying USA reported velocities with 7mm in other conditions were found wanting when higher velocities were required to punch through the turbulence. Groups with higher velocities may well have been inferior in a crosswind but they held up better when the condition called for it. I think that was a judgment call based on knowledge of why things occur rather than having the best gear. Or it was their experience in managing a large group. It’s knowing why, what you have got and how to apply it that develops your motivation to succeed.

In my view, the challenge is to develop people’s understanding of why things occur and training programs in the finer arts are necessary to do that, so that basic learning is not repeated. A few highly motivated people are now developing a critical mass in this regard, with a few in a “Train the Trainer Program” and hopefully it will take off to assist others new to the sport which is in its infancy here. I have noticed that F Class shooters are so very willing to assist one another, but on the mound the friendly rivalry is at its highest as it should be in competition. May this continue.


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