I know that this isn't the proper forum for this question, but I know the best shooters hang out here.
What is the proper technique for using a bipod or a rest?
I shoot well from a sling. I shoot okay from a rest or a bipod in prone, but I struggle when shooting from a bench.
One of my ranges has only one spot for shooting prone. So, shooting from the bench is really my only options.
Thanks for the input.
Are you talking about using a bipod on an AR Service Rifle, or some type of bolt action?
In the tactical competitions, bipods are allowed in some games.
The main thing to consider is to have the stock float worked out to minimize the effect of the bipod.
Don't expect the same zero when changing between support points of different types or locations under the stock.
Bags, sand bags, hands, bipods, etc., all have potentially different effects and are also based on the support point.
Practise like you intend to shoot for score....
Sorry. I should have specified. This is with my bolt guns and some ARs with smooth float tubes. The ARs seem to shoot well without holding tight, but the bolt guns seem to need to be anchored quite solidly.
Although I am not the best, I have shot from a rest on occasion and can share some of the lessons that I have learned. It's mostly just common sense, more than any "trade secret." First is to make sure that the gun is not canted. Some people put a cant on their gun (as a bad habit) when they shoot with a sling or unsupported. Changing the way the gun is held will make you think your zero has changed when it hasn't. Another thing that I have found is to make sure the gun is sitting on the same points after each shot. On a bi-pod this isn't a problem, on a rest or bag it is. If you use a bag for the butt stock, it also needs repeatability. I put my non-shooting hand somewhere that will add stability. Depending on what I am shooting off of I will move forward and hold the gun to the rest, or maybe move back and pull the stock into my shoulder. Just like when you shoot sitting, you need to pay attention to your breathing. Take a few slow deep breaths to imrove oxygen circulation, then exhale to some mid-point in your breathing. You don't want to have a full breath, and you don't want to have no breath. Also pay attention to your belly. If you wear jeans and a belt to the range, sitting forces even a slight belly to "balloon" over the belt. This is just like resting your gun on a balloon. You will see a difference between shots if you loosen your belt vs. not loosening. I also tend to get into a position that more leaning into the gun than leaning back. The rest of shooting from a bench or support is the same as all other shooting. Focus on the front sight, pull the trigger to the rear with a constantly increasing but smooth motion of the trigger finger, and follow through with your shot.
Since these are just my observations, I would like to know if they help or not. Good luck.
I would try concentrating on how I was supporting the buttstock. I usually use my non-firing across to support the buttstock and rest the end in the pocket formed by the thumb and forefinger. You make a fist sort of with the and pointing rearward.
Adjust the front rest height (I use whatever is on hand, small piece of plywood, book, ect.) so when you are in position all you have to do is gently squeeze/relax your fist and see the sight move up/down on the target.I can get into a rock solid bench position like this using only a sandbag for the front. Another way is to lay your hand almost flat, fingers outstreched.
Practice your hold before shooting every range trip by dry-firing till you see no sight movement when firing and be sure to follow through every shot. (hold the trigger back for a second or two before resetting it while looking at the sights still) Also, be sure when you build the position to check your natural point of aim by closing your eyes, relaxing muscles but as if firing a shot and open your eyes to see where the sights are. Move your non-firing support hand left-right for windage and adjust the front rest for elevation. The key is to get a solid position that stays put and needs no muscle tension to hold. Tightening your non-firing hand fist a little can help with fine elevation adjustments.
This may not be a text book bench firing technique but it is the most solid for me. Another variation to using your fist in the back is a rabbit ear type sandbag. You still use your non-firing hand to steady the buttstock but pinch the ears of the bag to fine tune/firm up the rear of the rifle.
Hope my long winded post helps.
I had the same problem years ago and had no one to give advice so I tried as many things as I could think of till I found one that worked consistantly. Ron