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Old September 17, 2015, 12:08 PM   #1
Danw
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Sand bag vs bipod

Have a new Ruger American .22lr with scope. Have been shooting 100yds getting shots within 2 1/2" group with a couple of flyers at 3 1/2" using a Cabela's front sand bag, and stock on my shoulder.

I tried a bipod for the first time and am placing 6-7" groups. Is this normal? I think I will stay with the sandbag support.
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Old September 17, 2015, 01:07 PM   #2
Catfish
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Pretty much. With practice you will do better from tripod, but sand bags are more stable. You can improve you groups from the sand bags if you use a sand bag under the stock also.
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Old September 17, 2015, 01:09 PM   #3
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Bipods don't really help much with a .22 for target shooting. More for hunting when you can't find something more solid. Plus they're inherently more unstable. Worse if the thing attaches on the barrel instead of the stock.
Don't buy sand bags. Sew 'em(cut off pant legs et al) and fill with rice, cat litter or range dirt.
Suggest you try more brands of ammo too.
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Old September 17, 2015, 01:26 PM   #4
Hunter2678
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The heavier the sand bag the better your groups will be assuming the platform your shooting on is just as stable if not immovable. Bench rest shooters understand that weight is a good thing when trying to shoot small groups. The heavier your bag the less it will move prior to, during and after the shot. Look up "heavy sand" if you want to maximize your bag stability...its 5x heavier than your standard play sand and its what I use in my bench gun bags. As for bi-pods, shooting great groups can come from them also but it depends on the quality of your bi-pod, technique and how much you practice with it. Here's a quick tip for shooting rim-fire...instead of gripping them like a full size center-fire rifle, try "pinching" the trigger instead by using only your thumb at the back of the trigger guard and trigger finger on the trigger. Pinch each shot off gently and see if that helps your groups. It usually does. Most if not all shooters in the rimfire club matches Ive shot in utilize this method with great success.
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Old September 17, 2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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If you are not loading the bi-pod, then you are not getting the most benefit from it. Also, a rear squeeze bag is what really helps the bi-pod give you the stability you need, provided you have a good bi-pod mounted correctly.

More point of "rested" contact is the formula to get the best accuracy. A good set of bags it easier than a bi-pod for sure. I primarily use bi-pods in matches with targets out far that are 2 MOA or less, and then only because there is a mobility and or time constraint. If there is no time or mobility constraint, I am using bags, front and rear.
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Old September 17, 2015, 03:15 PM   #6
Danw
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Wow, a lot of good information and suggestions. I had figured the bipod would be at least as stable as sandbags. That's why I bought one. guess I should have researched it earlier.
Some of the "fun" shooting contests our club has, you can rest the front of the rifle but not the rear. ( has to be on shoulder)

It was an eye opener for me to see the difference between the two. Now I will have to work on tightening my group.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old September 18, 2015, 12:13 PM   #7
T. O'Heir
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"...That's why I bought one..." Hi. They're way better than nothing when hunting. Just not as stable as a lump of dirt in a bag.
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Old September 18, 2015, 02:15 PM   #8
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Sandbags on bench and bipods for field !!

Quote:
I had figured the bipod would be at least as stable as sandbags.
In my book, not as good and can even get pretty bad. As others have stated, I save my Bi-Pod for hunting. Sandbags are pretty stable but there are all kinds of them as well as "fills". On a related note, sandbags are even more stable than most rested rests I have seen. Oh, there are some snazzy rests and they don't come cheap.

Bipods bounce and sandbags don't ....

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Old September 18, 2015, 03:39 PM   #9
Danw
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Hunter2678 - I'm anxious to get back to the range and try your "pinch" method.

Pahoo - I was in two gun big box stores today and saw many different kinds of bench rests, decided to stick with the sandbags for now. It sounds like I can't go wrong as long as I'm just shooting from the bench. I don't hunt so most of my shooting will be targets from a bench, or free hand.
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Old September 19, 2015, 09:59 AM   #10
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I have very good results using a bipod matched with a monopod on the rear. The point of impact using a bipod is different than the same rifle on a sand bag. Other than that, I see no difference is group sizes.
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Old September 19, 2015, 10:47 AM   #11
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Working as a stabile unit

There is a video on YouTube and it shows one of our snipers, shooting off the top of a wall. He has a .50 Barrett, equipped with a Bi-Pod. His right hand is on the grip and his left hand is holding onto the right leg of the Bi-Pod. The whole thing is working pretty much, as a stable unit. Perhaps there is a good reason for this... ....

As in most things, one should really try this out for themselves. ......

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Last edited by Pahoo; September 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM.
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Old September 19, 2015, 09:52 PM   #12
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DANW..the pinch will give you best results with the ammo that your rifle likes most...with other ammo..it might tighten your groups up a bit but not as much..but it usually makes your pet ammo shine...
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Old September 21, 2015, 05:53 AM   #13
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I think Mark nailed it on the use of the bi-pd. You have to load it which usually isn't much more than simply leaning slightly forward on it to remove any looseness. Least that is how mine are.

I use them for hunting quite a bit but we also shoot off of them prior to hunting to verify our sight in as well. Can I shoot as tight a group off of a bi-pod as a bag? That depends on the rifle and load. Usually I can but it isn't nearly as easy to accomplish unless you have been practicing with it for a while.

What I have found is that by using my left hand as that rear bag Mark referred to it is MUCH easier to control things. It does however take some practice to figure out what works best. My oldest grandson has been using one for quite some time. He started out sitting in the woods with the rifle in an almost ready position so all he had to do was raise it to his shoulder and shoot. Now he just accepts it as part of the rifle package and does with it what works best for him.

He used my rifle last year in a sitting position to reach out just over 300yds and drop his first trophy 10 point buck. He was VERY confident and held his left hand under the rear of the stock just like a pro, and when I told him to he squeezed the trigger, and that was that.

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Old September 21, 2015, 06:56 AM   #14
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I have had mixed results with bi-pods. Getting them "loaded" to get the springiness out of them is pretty important. If you want to shoot for groups, you probably want bags alone.

I shoot a lot of .22 and the single best thing I have found in improving accuracy is the ammo. Good ammo, SK,RWS,Lapua std, Rifle Match, Norma TAC, Wolf, Center X and some others are just head and shoulders above anything I have seen from American manufacturers. What they have in common is a sub-sonic bullet of about 38-40 gr. and some sort of heavy greasy lube. The domestic ammo that I shoot is all reserved for pistol or plinking with a Marlin 39a, Winchester 9422 or a 10-22 or pistols. I do have three bolt guns that have been worked on for bedding and triggers. A Ruger 77-22, CZ 452 Trainer and an Anschutz MPR64 and they will all shoot dime size 5 shot groups at 50 yards and the Ruger and the Annie have shot the same size group at 100 yards ( not often though ). The wind really causes problems at that distance.

If the rest of your rig is rock solid, good groups are pretty easy to shoot. Most .22 matches are shot at 25 and 50 yards and my test targets from Anschutz were shot at 50 meters. I can duplicate that target with all three rifles. I HAVE done it at 100 yards but it is VERY difficult. As I said, to much other stuff going on.

Hope this helps.
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Old September 24, 2015, 09:08 AM   #15
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I recently built a jack rest and it is pretty impressive step above bipods or bags (although I still use a rear bag).





It is the most solid shooting platform have used to date, these two videos are rifles sighted on target one before being fired (before being loaded in the first example) and still didn't move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng39ce3Ii_w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1L4EJAcnhY
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Old September 30, 2015, 04:29 AM   #16
Kbourqur3375
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Sandbag vs bipod

heres my take. I shoot mostly high power 556 & 308, I've shot both a lot, by "a lot" I mean several hundred a day, after years of this, I find no difference. They both have their pros and cons, but if you practice often, you'll notice those bipod groups start to close down considerably.

Good luck, and keep yer rifle clean & yer powder dry
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Old September 30, 2015, 06:23 AM   #17
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I had thought it was strange that I shot much better at one range than another. After many trips to each range, and reading on gun forums I think that I found the benefit of one of the ranges. I shot better at the range with carpeted, padded benches. I then started bringing a pad to put under my bipod at the range with the concrete benches. It did help. Sand bags always work better for me than bipods. I just like the bipod portability, as opposed to sand bags. Sand bags are not always available where I shoot as some people use a bunch of the available bags. Sand bags leak sand sometimes as well. I don't like a sandy shooting bench.
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Old October 1, 2015, 08:55 AM   #18
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I bench rest shoot only, Rear Bag & Harris fixed Bi-Pod. The most important is, everything must be the same with every shot. cheek weld, pressure forward on the bi pod & trigger control. And alot of shooting. Shooting 22lr. finding what bullets your rifle likes. My CZ452 shoots one hole with Wolf target match.
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Old October 5, 2015, 04:32 PM   #19
Danw
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Hunter2678,
Ive' been to the range a couple of time and have tried your "pinch" method against regular grip and it definitely helps the grouping.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old October 9, 2015, 07:59 PM   #20
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Not cheap, but I use a Wichita rifle rest with a leather sand-filled bag in the nest and a leather sand-filled bag under the buttstock for developing loads. Of course, at this point determining the accuracy of the load is paramount. For final scope adjustment prior to hunting I hold the rifle in both hands with both hands rested in sand bags. I try to find a natural rest for long shots when hunting.
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Old October 10, 2015, 06:52 AM   #21
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bipods are a little more tricky to use, but they are every bit as stable as a sandbag if your rifle can take them. So pointers...

-"load" the pods by keeping forward tension on them.

-bipods are best used in the prone on dirt. Hard surfaces such as benches, concrete, truck beds, etc. will be much more difficult to control the rifle because of the bounce.

-Your rifle stock must be stiff enough to take bipods without flexing into the barrel. If the stock flexes into the barrel when using bipods that will kill rifle accuracy.

-Bipods that mount or clip on the barrel are junk and useless, unless it's an RPK and you can achieve accuracy by volume. Even then, those Ruskies should have come up with a better design.

-A slight exception to the above... I have seen bipods used on AR handguards that were not free floating that shoot acceptable groups. The rifle usually shoots better from a rest or bag, but bipods don't open the group up drastically.


FWIW, I shoot almost exclusively from bipods and field shooting positions. I only use a bench if I go to a range that has one, and then I only use it if there is no prone station or the prone station is occupied.
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Old October 10, 2015, 07:48 AM   #22
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What's the best shooting sandbags? So you still put the rifle against your shoulder, right? Doesn't seem like it would make much difference but it must.
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Old October 26, 2015, 06:51 PM   #23
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I use a bipod and rear sand bags. Never really had much of a problem with it. The squeeze method works very well for me. I make my own bags using worn out trousers. Cut the legs out to the length you want, sew up one end, fill the bag with play sand and sew up the other end. Only takes a few minutes and allows me to have any size bag I find necessary.
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Old October 30, 2015, 11:05 PM   #24
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A .22 is, of course, a low recoil proposition. But, if you want the most precision you can get, short of a "machine rest"....then an adjustable forward rest, usually on a heavy tripod base, as opposed to a bag.....teamed with a rear rifle bag (under the stock), is your best bet. Makes an amazing difference over any sort of forward bag.

For mid to long range shooting, say 200 yards or more, I can't imagine being truly accurate with anything less.

I say this from experience. I used to try to get by with a forward bag rest and no rear bag (bracing the stock as best I could). I've now found that a proper set-up (as described above) is WORLD's better, even for a 22.

I routinely shoot my .308's at 200 and 300 yards. I can now achieve smaller than 2" groups at 200.....and a little better than 3" at 300. And I am NOT a great shot, by any means. This is using a sporter rifle, with no modifications. I was NEVER able to achieve anything like these results using a forward bag rest.

Can't really speak about bipods, because I've never used one.
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