Kraigwy.. Every Sniper i watch in comp uses some form of a rest whether it be a bipod,the ground,a window sill,ect,ect. You use no rest at all?. You must be an awesome shot...
This is funny, sorry, I should have explained myself better. I believe you should sight in a rifle, develop loads, etc, the way you are going to shoot it.
I'm not in the game (sniping) any more, and yes I've use some sort of rest in the past, be it sand bags, door window, or hood of a police car,etc. That's not how I sighted in the gun. I do that, as mentioned in my earlier post.
Let me give you an example. Lets say I'm sighting in for a new high power load. I don't shoot a few 3 or 5 round groups. I like to shoot 10-20 rounds (the more the better) at a 300 yard rapid fire target (anyone can slope them in at 200, beyond 300 you're tested the shooters ability to judge wind and conditions).
What I do, is put my gun on its mechanical zero. Then shoot a string at the target. I then draw a line down the center of the target, then a line across the center of the target giving me 4 quarters (much like pattering a shotgun). I then deduct from wind (the wind was recorded before I shot), moving the vertical like over one way or the other depending on the wind call.
I then count the shots in each quarter, and make my adjustments accordingly. I then like to shoot again (10-20 shot strings) and to confirm or make any corrections. When I get an equal number of shots in each quarter, I'm sighted in.
In all seriousness, I want to add, when you take a good sling un-supported position, you get your natural point of aim. Closing your eyes, have someone work the bolt, dry fire, and when you open your eyes you should have your sight picture, A good sling position will allow you to fall back into position. I've never seen that with a bipod, sandbag, car hood, etc. You bounce had have to adjust for the next shot. Think about it, and if you are honest with your self, you'll agree. I don't expect or want an response to this paragraph, just think about it when you are shooting and see if I'm right.
Shooting 3-5 round groups tell me nothing about how a rifle or ammo will preform in a HP match. Shooting 300 yards, in the position the match calls for does.
I want to add, you need to do the above for what ever position you shoot. An example my Setting RF zero at 200 yards is two minutes different then my 200 yards off hand zero. My zero in RF Prone at 300 yards is different then shooting the same target slow fire prone. I think the main reason is that I tend to bleed into the black a bit in rapid fire, regardless, the zero is different.
I do the same thing for my hunting rifles, I'll either shoot prone, sitting (all too often in cactus) or offhand when hunting.
I believe you should sight rifle/ammo in like you are gonna shoot it. A perfect example is you see lots of talk about little bitty sub min. groups, but you don't see that many cleaned 600 or 1000 yard targets with a service rifle. The X-10 ring is about 2 MOA. I've seen quite a few rapid fire cleans, and have shot several my self, but again thats 2 MOA.
Got time to teach me???..
YOU BET, granted I don't shoot as well as I use to when I shot for the Guard, I don't take it serious anymore, but I'm still a pretty dern good coach. I could pretty much guarantee I can help anyone who is serious about learning. I'm more into CMP Vintage Rifle shooting now, but I still put on High Power and CMP GSM clinics. I don't charge for the clinics so its safe to say, I guarantee my coaching or I will give you your money back.