March 7th, 2011

Free-Recoil Benchrest Shooting Demonstrated

In our Shooters’ Forum one member asked for an explanation of the free recoil shooting method. This style, or some variant thereof, is used by many successful short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest shooters. However, we must point out that there is a difference between “pure free recoil” and what you may actually see on the firing line of a registered benchest match. Different shooters may employ a slightly different style — perhaps shouldering the gun a bit, or maybe laying a thumb lightly behind the tang. Technically speaking, that’s no longer free recoil. Remember, there is no “best” technique for every caliber and every gun. And to shoot with a “pure” free recoil method, i.e. touching only the trigger, and not contacting the stock in any way, requires a well-balanced rifle and a highly optimized set-up of front rest and rear bag.

Tony Boyer Video
In the video below you’ll see Hall of Fame shooter Tony Boyer shooting his gun at the Shamrock tournament in 2009. Tony only touches the trigger, but he does index his right hand on the side of the stock. Note: there are some audio problems with this video when you view it at 360p resolution and the playback speed seems slowed down slightly. If the audio cut-outs bother you, try viewing at 720p (HD), or just turn down the volume and focus on Tony’s technique. The slight “slow-motion” effect actually makes it easier to see what Tony is doing. The video does seem to run best at 720p, if you have a high-speed connection.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuyQaVi4mrc&feature=related[/youtube]

Introduction to Benchrest Video
Birgir Saemundsson IBS RecordIn this second video, Birgir Runar Saemundsson of Iceland demonstrates free recoil technique near the start of the video. If you watch carefully you’ll see that only Birgir’s index finger touches the trigger. The rifle’s butt is not contacting Birgir’s shoulder when he pulls the trigger. This 11-minute video is part of an introduction to benchrest shooting that Saemundsson offers through his BRS Custom Rifles website. Birgir is a skilled shooter who set a 10-shot 200-yard IBS world record at the Kelbly Range in 1988. At right is Birgir’s 10-shot record target.

[googlevideo width=”600″ height=”470″]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9194636798795391569#[/googlevideo]

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