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  #1  
Old 03-16-2010, 10:04 AM
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Default Free recoil VS tight grip?

I know we have all had this debate before but I'd like to go a bit deeper into the reloading aspect of this.

I'm a free recoil shooter. Just hold the rifle tight enough to stay on target and let her ride. I know more grip it and rip it type shooters who without a sling locking in their rifle can't shoot for bean. We both get nice groups with our own methods and to each his own right.

As I think back to all the times I have shot their rifles and they have shot mine I know that they we each shoot better with our own setups. My buddies rig with him behind the trigger shoots 1/4"groups. when I get behind it I can only muster a 1" and vise-versa with him and my rifles. Makes senses, its your rifle, so what? So my point is does the load you develop for you rifle depend on the grip you shoot? I know what my rifles like and I shoot them all the same way. If I try to get a heavy grip they shoot very poorly. If I were the change from the free recoil to a heavy grip could a second just as accurate load be developed to suit that grip style? Could it be that the only reason my rifles shoot well for me and my buddies rifles shoot well for him are because of the loads that were developed to our grip? This opens up a whole new dimension to reloading.

With that in mind what changes can be made to a load that reflect your grip type. For example, take one rifle and two shooters with different grip styles. Have them develop their own most accurate load using the same components and look at the differences. Will one shooter find their accuracy with a higher charge over the other giving them more FPS which could be very helpful for longer range shots? I suspect yes but which one? Might it be worth it for a shooter to change grips types for the FPS advantage?

Lets discus it.....

Last edited by Bug Splat; 03-16-2010 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:36 AM
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I used to hard hold the hell outta my 308's. Just couldn't get them to shoot any other way. When I switched to the 260 and later, the 243, I shot more free recoil. With different loads, I didn't notice any POI shift due to my hold, be it FR or hard hold. Same with my heavy 223's. So when I had my 308 rebarreled, I tried a couple different loads and for the heck of it, shot it free recoil. It shot great. It also shoots well with a hard hold. There wasn't a distinguishable advantage either way.

I still feel a little more comfortable with cold bores, dot drills, and such using a little lighter hold. For fast steel, multiple engagements, etc, I tend to hard hold.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:51 AM
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My 260 after only 75 rounds seems to like it anyway I'm holding it. I couldn't notice it favoring one hold more then another... More time will tell though. The 260 also has about 1/100000000th of the recoil of an unbraked 308. I'm sure that helps too. I'm gonna miss recoil.......




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Old 03-16-2010, 11:05 AM
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I shoot fine in free recoil and did it for the longest time.. but i've noticed I shoot more consistently with a firm grip. Just a couple lbs of force towards my shoulder seems to be the sweet spot.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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If by firm grip you guys mean preloading the bipod, then yes I shoot better with the bipod preloaded and my shooting hand relaxed.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:44 AM
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I have shot both ways and I do not notice alot of difference, but I like being able to see my shot hit, so that requires a firm grip....Also transitioning between targets would require a firm grip so +1 on Ryans comment....
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:11 PM
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I am still new but think the key is repeatability. I get good groups free and loaded as long as I stay with the same method for the string. If I switch thinks start to open up.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:27 PM
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A lot also has to do with the rifle and position its being shot in. I had one rifle that wouldn't shoot worth a crap unless you locked down on her, bench, prone - it didn't matter - shooting a 5 shot group would wear you out. Needless to say I owned the rifle about six weeks then sold it to Bob.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usdmgtr View Post
I am still new but think the key is repeatability. I get good groups free and loaded as long as I stay with the same method for the string. If I switch thinks start to open up.
I think you nailed it right there! My gun shoots anyway you hold it but you must be consistent with whichever method you choose. If half way through a 8 shot string you decide to change your technique, your more likely to see a POI shift from that point on.
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Old 03-16-2010, 3:16 PM
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I agree that consistency is key but that not really what I'm talking about. Not really looking for shooting advice or tips but wanted to talk about grip theory. I'm talking about either grip being capable of producing a different "best load" out of the same rifle. I can make a load that shoots one hole groups while free recoiling my rifle. I then hand the rifle to a buddy who puts a heavy grip on it and it shoot 1MOA or worse. Could it be that the load you develop is heavily dependent on the grip you used while developing it?

I've shot my buddies 22-250 rifle which is just a tack driving one hole shooter. He uses a solid grip. When I take that same rifle and use my free-recoil grip the rifle shoots much differently. This is not the first time I have noticed this. Over the years I have seen this over and over again. I even notice it when custom rifles get to the customers and they are not getting nearly the same results as the maker even with the same loads.

I have noticed that with my rifles they tend to like charges near the lighter side. Is that coincidences or a factor of grip type? Is it possible for the same rifle to have 2 different favorite loads depending on the grip? Could this be due to harmonics or the added weight you put on it?

Last edited by Bug Splat; 03-16-2010 at 3:18 PM..
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Old 03-16-2010, 3:34 PM
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I'm sure Randall will chime in when he returns.
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Old 03-16-2010, 3:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug Splat View Post
Could it be that the load you develop is heavily dependent on the grip you used while developing it?
Highly doubtful.

I understand your question. I noted that I noticed no POI difference at multiple ranges with many loads I've worked up for my current rifles. Groups have also been about the same regardless of how I hold the rifle. I've shot other peoples rifles the same way. Randall had me shoot some groups from a couple rifles he built. After a couple rounds I settled in and shot some great groups. He tends to hold the rifle a little bit harder than I do.

In the end, I really think its a familiarity issue. Trigger, stock LOP, cheek position, scope position, etc. I shot a friends 260 a month or 2 ago with a 6 oz trigger. Needless to say, I didn't shoot great groups right off the bat. He hard holds the hell out of his rifle. I shot it pretty loosely, and after maybe 5 rounds and some dry firing, ended up with some nice little bug holes.

I remember reading about a class at RO where they had guys get off of their rifles completely. They shot from all kinds of positions behind a stable rifle, just making sure they had a solid no-shadow view in the scope. From shooting weak side from a bench, next round prone strong side, prone weak side holding the rifle loosely, setting the rifle on bags and shooting it benched, etc. after some practice, they could do that and have no POI shift and little tiny groups. I'll have to look for that thread.

ETA: One thing I should mention, of all the higher-recoiling caliber rifles (above 223) I've shot and noticed little difference in hold affecting POI, all have been customs. Only exception is a 5r. My factory 223 bolt rifles can be shot either way with no noticeable difference.
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Last edited by rksimple; 03-16-2010 at 5:22 PM..
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Old 03-16-2010, 8:15 PM
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Great stuff RK. I'd love to do a side by side comparison but as you say it could just be familiarity of your rifle. Could be just as much a psychological thing as physical.

When does Randell get out on parole? I'd love to get his 2 cents.
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Old 03-18-2010, 4:39 PM
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How hard you hold the gun seems to be less important as the gun gets closer to perfectly true as well as when recoil energy goes down.

For example, remington factory guns are anything but true and are usually 308's.
They exhibit a definite preference as to hard/soft hold.
Custom gun's are usually much more straight/parallel/true and don't seem to have such strong preferences for a given style of hold.
Custom guns are sometimes 308's and sometimes lighter recoiling cartridges.
Many custom 308's don't care how you hold them so it's not purely a recoil thing.
This is why I believe action trueness comes into play here.

I think that you would have to stay with stock remington 308's to test the theory that a "hard hold" load and a different "soft hold" load could be worked up for the same gun.
I say this because I don't think you would have nearly as much signal-noise ratio when you get into soft recoiling custom guns.
The softer recoiling customs just don't seem to care how you shoot them.
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Old 03-18-2010, 9:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
How hard you hold the gun seems to be less important as the gun gets closer to perfectly true as well as when recoil energy goes down.

For example, remington factory guns are anything but true and are usually 308's.
They exhibit a definite preference as to hard/soft hold.
Custom gun's are usually much more straight/parallel/true and don't seem to have such strong preferences for a given style of hold.
Custom guns are sometimes 308's and sometimes lighter recoiling cartridges.
Many custom 308's don't care how you hold them so it's not purely a recoil thing.
This is why I believe action trueness comes into play here.

I think that you would have to stay with stock remington 308's to test the theory that a "hard hold" load and a different "soft hold" load could be worked up for the same gun.
I say this because I don't think you would have nearly as much signal-noise ratio when you get into soft recoiling custom guns.
The softer recoiling customs just don't seem to care how you shoot them.
Very interesting. So you feel the parallel trueness of the action and stock play a part in harmonics and how they flow through the rifle. I see exactly what you mean. Any bit of misalignment will cause a shift/twist or what you called noise when fired.

I wonder if this has ever been tested. I also wonder if finding the proper harmonics plays a role in accuracy. What if its just as important as bullet type or weight and when we hit the sweet in accuracy Its just finding the right waves using the bullet weight and powders we selected?

Last edited by Bug Splat; 03-18-2010 at 9:37 PM..
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Old 03-19-2010, 5:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug Splat View Post
I also wonder if finding the proper harmonics plays a role in accuracy. What if its just as important as bullet type or weight and when we hit the sweet in accuracy Its just finding the right waves using the bullet weight and powders we selected?
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/
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Old 03-19-2010, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug Splat View Post
I wonder if this has ever been tested. I also wonder if finding the proper harmonics plays a role in accuracy. What if its just as important as bullet type or weight and when we hit the sweet in accuracy Its just finding the right waves using the bullet weight and powders we selected?
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Old 03-19-2010, 5:05 PM
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