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September 21st, 2021

Stabilize Your Shooting Positions — Techniques for Hunters

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 21st, 2021

How to Install and Adjust Competition Rifle Slings

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

The NRA High Power Over-the-Course (OTC) National Championship will be held at Camp Atterbury over the next 7 days. Firing will be done in multiple positions — prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing. Proper support and adjustment of the sling is vital for successful High Power competition. In this short article, Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion, explains how to set-up a sling on match rifles.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Dennis DeMille (past Creedmoor G.M.) explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

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January 13th, 2021

Shooting Sling Options and Sling Set-Up Explained

Creedmoor Sling

Creedmoor Sports has long been an important gear source for serious sling shooters, including Service Rifle and Palma competitors. Creedmoor has a wide variety of slings available, with features to suit particular disciplines as well as personal preferences. Chose leather, webbing, or synthetic materials. Here are some popular competition slings sold by Creedmoor Sports, along with some helpful videos that cover sling selection, set-up, and adjustment.

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion (and former Creedmoor Sports Gen’l Manager). Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and then how to adjust it to fit properly (second video).

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features

In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Creedmoor Sling

Jensen’s Deluxe 3.5 Cuff Sling

Creedmoor Sling

Creedmoor No-Pulse Sling

Creedmoor Sling

Jim Owens No-Pulse Service Sling

Creedmoor Sling

Ron Brown Heavy Leather Sling

Creedmoor Sling

Gehman No-Pulse Sling

Creedmoor Sling

Turner All Weather Sling (3 Colors)

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition

So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, former Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competing with the heavier-than-normal rifles.”

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

And Here Are Two Good Guidebooks for Sling Shooters:

Creedmoor Sling

Slings & Things
by Glen Zediker

Creedmoor Sling

The Leather Sling & Shooting Positions
by MSGT Jim Owens

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
May 27th, 2020

F-Class Champ Goes Dark-Side — Sling Shooting with Service Rifle

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU
The prone position demonstrated by two talented Service Rifle shooters. At top is SFC Brandon Green, multi-time High Power National Champion. Below is Tony Chow, a gifted match shooter. NOTE: Current Service Rifle rules allow the use of optics up to 4.5X.

Jay Christopherson, 2020 Berger SW Nationals F-Open Champion, is one of the nation’s best F-Class shooters. When shooting F-Class, Jay uses a Seb Mini front rest and a large rear sandbag to support his big 22-lb F-Open rifle. Though he loves F-Class, Jay is also interested in Service Rifle competition where no external supports are allowed. You hold the rifle with your arms and a sling. Some Service Rifle competitions involve three position (Standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone), while others are prone only. Even in the prone position, the sling is a vital accessory.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

Jay dramatically improved his Service Rifle “hard-holding” technique by enlisting the help of Emil Praslick III, former USAMU rifle coach. Emil’s guidance and advice resulted in an immediate increase in Jay’s scores on target, as recorded by his ShotMarker electronic target system. Jay noted: “These targets show the difference between hacking it on your own, and spending an hour with someone who knows what they are doing and can tell you that you are doing it wrong.” These targets show Jay’s “before and after” Service Rifle results shooting slung up prone at 600 yards:

Service Rifle, Prone with Sling at 600 Yards

Here is Jay’s target BEFORE training with Emil Praslick — a 194-3X with lots of vertical.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

And here is Jay’s improved target AFTER putting Praslick’s advice to work — impressive 199-8X with significantly less vertical.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

You can see on this second target much improved vertical. All 20 shots were in a vertical range much smaller than the vertical height of the 10-Ring. Had shot 16 not gone wide left, this would have been a 200. Shot 16 was OUT of the 10-Ring to the left, but note that vertically it has almost perfect elevation.

Jay stated: “I was pretty amazed at not only the difference on the target, but how much difference the changes Emil suggested made to how my hold felt. The entire feel was different and a ton less stress in my neck and arms compared to what I was feeling before. I was actually feeling pretty good about that 194 yesterday, because I hadn’t slung up in two years and that was my highest score (by one point) after doing some load fixing. But having someone explain what you are doing wrong and why makes a world of difference.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 29th, 2020

Practice with SCATT Training System — Trace Muzzle Movement

SCATT MX-02 rifle training optics trace tracking system

Our friend Dennis Santiago was doing some dry firing practice recently, using a SCATT sensing device. This electro-optical unit shows a trace of barrel/muzzle movement on a computer screen, allowing a shooter to improve his hold and aiming. With practice, you get steadier, and learn to break the shot more perfectly. Top position shooters worldwide use this system. Dennis tells us: “This is my dry fire practice set up. I’m working on my approaches to the target today. You need the SCATT’s traces to see the feedback of what’s going on.” Here is one trace from Santiago’s morning training session:

SCATT MX-02 rifle training optics trace tracking system

Dennis trains indoors at his house: “The set-up is in a room with the target about 15 feet away mounted on a scope stand at eye height and aligned. This morning, it’s focus and trigger control. My offhand form is gonna get there bit by bit. There are many details to turn into instincts.”

SCATT MX-02 rifle training optics trace tracking system

SCATT MX-02 Training System

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. FULL REVIEW HERE.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss demonstrates the SCATT MX-02 electronic training system:

The system traces and records valuable information such as hold pattern, shot hold duration, follow-through, recoil pattern, and much more. The latest SCATT MX-02 systems can be used both indoors and outdoors up to 300 meters (and possibly more). READ FULL SCATT MX-02 TEST HERE.

SCATT traces reveal muzzle movements during the aiming process.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Review Video Electronic Trainging system test

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September 20th, 2018

Sling Thing: Dennis DeMille Explains How to Set Up Your Sling

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 28th, 2018

Avoid Canting Your Rifle to Improve Your Long Range Shooting

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In a helpful NSSF video, Ryan Cleckner explains why you normally should avoid canting your rifle — rotating it clockwise or counter-clockwise. Cleckner explains that canting the rifle in one direction or another will change the point of impact: “When you rotate the rifle, not only does the [POI move] in the direction that you’re rotated, [but] it also loses some of its elevation as it rolls down.” This, Cleckner explains, can make you miss on one side or the other:

Cant to the Left — You’re going to miss low and left.
Cant to the Right — You’re going to miss low and right.

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In this video, starting at the one-minute mark, Cleckner shows the effect of rifle canting when engaging a 600-yard target. A few degrees of cant (either to the left or to the right), moves the shot POI completely off the steel silhouette target. The POI change occurs mainly because you are lowering (and laterally shifting) the scope sight-line relative to the bore axis, effectively changing your zero.

David Tubb has explained: “Every 1 degree you are off on a cant, is about six inches of difference laterally at 1000 yards”.

Position Shooting with Sling — Rifle Cant Considerations
Cleckner’s discussion assumes that the scope or sights are set to hit center with the rifle level and plumb. That works for most situations when shooting prone off bipod, front mechanical rest, or front sandbag. However, many sling shooters, including David Tubb and John Whidden, do tilt or cant their rifles slightly inward because this allows a more comfortable hold with sling, or allows better eye-to-sight alignment. Holding the rifle at an angle can work — but the angle of cant must be consistent for every shot. Canting the rifle is not a sin by itself. However, after you confirm your zero on your target, the degree of cant must be the same for EVERY shot. You must maintain that exact same degree of rotation on each shot or you will experience the shot POI movement Cleckner illustrates. Consistency is the key.

John Whidden
John Whidden, 5-time Nat’l Long Range Champion, holds a Palma rifle. John now shoots a match rifle with an Anschutz stock which he holds more upright, but still with some counter-clockwise cant. John also installed his iron sights at an angle so that the adjustments are correct (and plumb) even with his canted hold: “While it may not be obvious in the picture, the sights on my rifle are set up so that they’re straight vertical and horizontal while I hold the rifle canted. Making sure your adjustments (scope or sights) are vertical and horizontal is a critical piece of the pie.”

Inexpensive Dual-Diameter Scope-Mounted Bubble Level
The best way to avoid inconsistent rifle canting is to use a bubble level fitted to rail or scope. One very affordable and versatile product is the Jialitte Scope Bubble Level. This features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes. The Jiaalitte unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. This costs just $11.99.

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 6 Comments »
February 13th, 2015

Team Match at Berger Southwest Nationals

Thursday at the Berger Southwest Nationals was Team Match day. Teams of sling shooters as well as F-TR and F-Open marksmen competed at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Conditions on Thursday (Feb. 12) were much better than on Wednesday (Feb. 11) when strong, fish-tailing winds created big problems for the shooters. For the Thursday Team Match, the winds were variable, but generally the mirage was a good indicator of speed, and the flags were showing the angles. The wind coaches for the teams told us that the conditions “were quite readable”.

Here is AccurateShooter.com’s video wrap-up of the Team Match on Thursday. F-TR shooters should watch carefully — Ray Gross, captain of the F-TR USA Team. talks about the latest equipment used by the top shooters. In addition, Ray announced a Team Try-Out Session on Monday February 16, 2015.

In team competition, the shooter relies on his coach and spotter.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

This could be the most beautiful F-Open rifle we’ve ever seen. Look at the figure in that wood.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Nancy Tompkins dials wind for Anette Wachter (aka “30 Cal Gal”).
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Matt Schwartzkopf excels despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Tube-gun chassis-maker Gary Eliseo shot in the Sling Division. His company, Competition Machine, is now based in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Dan Polabel’s F-TR Rifle with Flex Bipod.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Walt Berger enjoyed the Team Match. “Seems like the wind’s a bit better today” he joked.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

It was just a warm, beautiful day at Ben Avery….
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

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