The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 18, 2013, 11:40 PM   #1
Pops1085
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Posts: 208
Is cheek weld really that important?

Is it completely vital to shooting accurately? I mean what about handguns, they dont need a cheek weld and they can shoot fairly accurately. Granted i know there is a difference between a rifle and a handgun but the same fundamentals Still apply, as long as you get the same sight picture every time you squeeze the trigger. With my ar to get my 2 power scope to clear most of the front sight I can only get a "chin weld".
Pops1085 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:43 PM   #2
Captains1911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Loudoun County, VA
Posts: 281
To achieve a consistent sight picture, a consistent cheek weld is needed.
__________________
Your Mileage Obviously Varies
Captains1911 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:52 PM   #3
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
It's overall importance is dependent on the task at hand and the desired results. For many hunting situations, cheek weld is not overly critical. I have a couple of rifles that I hunt with that allow for virtually no cheek weld and for the places and ranges that I use them, there is no discernible consequence of that.
shootniron is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:25 AM   #4
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 2,105
Accuracy demands consistency. Consistent recoil attenuation, sight picture, and body contact with the firearm. A consistent cheek weld is imperative to all of these.
Mobuck is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:01 AM   #5
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,388
One's cheek weld force on the butt stock determines how much pressure there is on the stock. That effects how much the bore axis moves off its direction to the target when the primer fired and the bullet's going down the barrel. Different cheek weld pressures means the rifle's movement during the bullet's barrel time will be different. While the inheirent accuracy of the rifle and ammo are still intact, it centers at different places on the target with different amounts of pressure on the stock from us humans.

So does putting the butt pad at different places in ones shoulder from shot to shot. As does different sling tension.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former USA Palma Team Member
NRA High Power Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:50 PM   #6
timelinex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2011
Posts: 231
Quote:
One's cheek weld force on the butt stock determines how much pressure there is on the stock. That effects how much the bore axis moves off its direction to the target when the primer fired and the bullet's going down the barrel. Different cheek weld pressures means the rifle's movement during the bullet's barrel time will be different. While the inheirent accuracy of the rifle and ammo are still intact, it centers at different places on the target with different amounts of pressure on the stock from us humans.

So does putting the butt pad at different places in ones shoulder from shot to shot. As does different sling tension.
Bart hit the nail on the head. I would like to add that your cheek wield is very critical when shooting through iron sights, since it changes perspective. However with modern optics, as long as they are used correctly, they should be parallax free. Cheek wield is now more about maintaining consistent recoil. So it is not as important as it used to be, but it can still affect accuracy.
timelinex is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 01:09 PM   #7
sc928porsche
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2008
Location: now living in alabama
Posts: 2,433
Yes. Especially when shooting the magnums with a scope.
__________________
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
sc928porsche is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 01:20 PM   #8
allaroundhunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2012
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 1,670
When shooting a firearm, any type, for the best accuracy all points of contact need to be as consistent as possible.

Cheek weld is indeed one of these points of contact when shooting a rifle so it is important. Your cheek is not a point of contact when shooting handguns (unless you are doing something very wrong), so it is not as applicable to that situation.
allaroundhunter is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 01:26 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,696
Absolutely.

And, if you're shooting a hard kicker and you don't have a good cheek weld, you'll likely find yourself looking at a whole galaxy of stars, birdies, and other things people see when they've taken a hard shot to the head...

Years ago I had a .300 Weatherby jump up and bite me because I didn't have a proper seated position.

That was my object lesson for keeping my face down on the stock.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 02:22 PM   #10
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,388
timelinex, cheek weld has nothing to do with scope parallax; parallax is a function of the scope being focused at a different range that the target's at.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former USA Palma Team Member
NRA High Power Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 03:13 PM   #11
Strafer Gott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,118
The cheek weld seems to come natural to me. It's that sling tension thing has me concerned. Seems I have to shoot the rifle a bit to get comfortable with how hard I'm slinging. I always prefer the sling, but it can make problems.
Every part of the steady hold is important. I use a few shots to let the rifle get good and comfy on my body. Then I'm good for a couple of strings.
Strafer Gott is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 03:42 PM   #12
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,784
It depends on the level of accuracy you want. If you don't want to shoot a rifle any more accuately than a handgun then it doesn't matter so much. But if you want to take advantage of a rifles much better potential accuracy, then it matters.
jmr40 is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 07:58 PM   #13
timelinex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2011
Posts: 231
Bart,

While the parallax knob is often used to 'focus' the target at different distances. That is not the actual purpose of the function, and is actually an incorrect use for it. The parallax adjustment is meant to put the optics in the same plane as the target. Which in turn makes your sight picture parallax free.

With iron sights, the cheek weld is even more important than with modern optics because there is no way to make it parallax free. If your cheek is in a different position than your last shot, your looking through the sights from a different place and your not aiming at the same spot any more, even if you line up the sights correctly. You can test this by using your fingers as mock sights. Line them up in front of you so that one tip is directly in front of the other. Notice the spot that you are 'aiming at' in the background. Now move your head without moving your body. After you line them up again, you are not aiming at the same thing again. This is parallax.

With the parallax option in modern scopes, that is no longer an issue as long as you adjust the setting to where moving your head around doesn't move your cross hair on the target. Once this is done, no matter where your eye is in relation to the scope, as long as you have a full sight picture, you are aiming at the same spot.

As long as your target is clear enough that you can aim at it, you can be just as accurate with it out of focus. Parallax on the other hand can be the difference between a hit and miss. Just because you focus the image using the knob, doesn't mean your parallax free.. and vice versa. Those two optical properties are mutually exclusive. Being parallax free is the more important one.
timelinex is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:22 PM   #14
Cowboy_mo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 896
Pops, I agree with everyone about the importance ...

of cheek weld.

There is an easy fix to your problem depending on the type of stock on your rifle.

The fix is the same regardless of stock: raise the height of your comb on the stock. It is very easy to do on a standard stock. They make kits which consist of foam pads of different thickness and a nylon wrap that goes around the stock to hold them in place. I bought one from Cabela's and used it to raise the height of the comb on a shotgun that wasn't patterning the way I wanted.

If your rifle has a collapsible stock I am guessing you could do the same thing with the right thickness foam pad and duct tape or electrical tape.
Cowboy_mo is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:44 PM   #15
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,099
OK, I am about to be the oddball out, but cheek weld is not necessarily that important. One of my thousand yard rifles I shoot without contacting anything except the trigger. I set it up, look through the scope without my cheek touching the stock, move it to get my cross hairs on target, verify the rifle is on target without touching anything, then tap the trigger. No cheek weld. No shoulder contact. Just a very heavily powdered stock contacting very heavily powdered rests.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 09:46 PM   #16
allaroundhunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2012
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 1,670
Reynolds,

When shoulder firing a rifle, yes, cheek weld is important because it has to be the exact same every time for the best accuracy.

I will relate it to your situation. If instead of backing off of your rifle after sighting the target, if you were to keep your cheek on the gun you would slightly change the harmonics of the gun, and yes, the shot would be out of the group. It is important. For you, the importance of cheek weld is to not have it... odd, but still a consistent cheek weld (or lack thereof) is what you are doing.
allaroundhunter is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 01:38 AM   #17
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,406
No, cheek weld is not necessary at all. Unless you want to hit something.

And no, we weren't talking about unlimited benchrest.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 08:43 AM   #18
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,388
timelinex, I disagree with your premise in the following:
Quote:
While the parallax knob is often used to 'focus' the target at different distances. That is not the actual purpose of the function, and is actually an incorrect use for it. The parallax adjustment is meant to put the optics in the same plane as the target. Which in turn makes your sight picture parallax free.
But I'll address in in a new thread titled "Parallax Knobs; A Misnomer???" so this thread won't be hijacked.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former USA Palma Team Member
NRA High Power Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 03:13 PM   #19
timelinex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2011
Posts: 231
Quote:
OK, I am about to be the oddball out, but cheek weld is not necessarily that important. One of my thousand yard rifles I shoot without contacting anything except the trigger. I set it up, look through the scope without my cheek touching the stock, move it to get my cross hairs on target, verify the rifle is on target without touching anything, then tap the trigger. No cheek weld. No shoulder contact. Just a very heavily powdered stock contacting very heavily powdered rests.
Seems like you agree then... Your consistent cheek weld is no cheek weld.
timelinex is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 03:24 PM   #20
Sweet Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2011
Posts: 501
I think it's overblown and I glaze over when someone starts talking about it.
A perfect sight picture is a hundred times more important in my not so humble opinion.
-SS-
Sweet Shooter is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 03:28 PM   #21
Striker1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2004
Location: TX
Posts: 635
Is cheek weld important - YES.

Try shooting your rifle with out it and then with it then make your own comparison.
Striker1 is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 04:00 PM   #22
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,452
Quote:
Is cheek weld really that important?
Only if accuracy is important to you for all of the reasons noted above.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 08:43 PM   #23
rdmallory
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Location: Deltona FL
Posts: 952
You get chance take a apple seed shoot.


You will learn all about cheek weld, natural point of aim and other great lessons.


Doug
rdmallory is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 09:12 PM   #24
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,388
Sweet Shooter, a perfect sight picture is important in that it's what is desired when firing pin strikes the primer. But nobody hand holds a firearm perfectly still. The best rifle marksmen will hold a rifle slung up in prone under a 3/4 MOA area then try to break their shots inside a 1/2 MOA area.

But while the bullet's going down the barrel and the old physics law of equal and opposite reaction's gonna start moving the rifle's bore axis up, back and sideways. How much it moved while the bullet's in it determines where the muzzle points when the bullet exits. Even with a perfect sight picture for everyshot, the bore axis won't point to the same place for every shot; us humans can't hold perfectly still. . . .unless they're dead and rigor mortis has firmly set in.

Different cheek pressure on the stock's the same as different fore end pressure on the barrel. Neither's good for accuracy.

People have tested their 30 caliber match rifles for accuracy when they're clamped in machine rests and shoot sub 2 inch groups at 600 yards. But the best they can do shooting that stuff slung up in prone and calling all their shots inside a 2 to 3 inch area on target, they don't put all the bullets any tighter grouped than 8 to 10 inches on the average at best; sometimes a lot more. It's all due to how their inconsistant body position causes the rifle recoil for each shot to move the bore/muzzle axis to different places when the bullets exit.

Even handgun front sights are higher above the bore axis than the rear sight; that bore axis moves up from recoil while the bullet goes down the holes it's fired in.

And 50+ caliber double rifles bore axes cross at about 15 yards down range. That way they shoot to point of aim at 100 yards. The rifle moves sideways in recoil before the bullet leaves; left for the left barrel, right for the right one.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former USA Palma Team Member
NRA High Power Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master

Last edited by Bart B.; February 21, 2013 at 08:50 AM.
Bart B. is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 09:20 AM   #25
Picher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,719
I never liked the term "Cheek Weld" because it seems to give the impression that it's a heavy pressure applied by the face. IMHO, "cheek weld" doesn't have to be heavy pressure, but a very consistent feel that positions the eye perfectly behind the sights for each shot.

Cheek pressure applies transverse force to the bore and heavy pressure can cause strain in the neck muscles, resulting in variations in pressure.

I'm not a 3-P competition shooter and rarely use slings for support. That said, my shooting position philosophy is that positions should be as comfortable as possible and that most force applied to the rifle, (except for countering the forend weight) should be straight back to the shoulder. The stock comb should be configured to aid repeatable eye alignment.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
__________________
People are like rifles. Some are tried and true, having great eyes, personality, and fun to be with. Others never seem to hit the mark with you. Still others go off half-cocked. Still, it's nice to know most of them.
Picher is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13529 seconds with 10 queries