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Old June 22, 2019, 10:16 AM   #1
ninosdemente
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Shooting mat advice/help

I have not done prone shooting at all and found out that the range I go to does allow this. Being new to this, I just started looking into getting one. I found these online but don't know the pros/cons of these.

https://www.brownells.com/shooting-a...zz1zzClearance

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/93...l-shooting-mat

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/16...n-shooting-mat

As you can see, I went for on the "cheaper" side. At the range the area is covered with gravel/empty cases. No grass to lay on.

Do know will have to practice on this position as have no idea on proper technique but should have no problem looking videos in youtube.

Thanks in advanced.
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Old June 22, 2019, 10:57 AM   #2
pblanc
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The NcSTAR VISM roll up mat is surprisingly good for its cost, and can be found on Amazon for just under $25. My strong advice is to get a tan rather than a black mat, if you plan to use it for shooting in the summer. Black mats soak up the heat and can become miserable pretty quickly.

If you want to get by really cheap you can get a set of the Anti-fatigue foam mat sets from Harbor Freight. These sell for $9 but are often on sale for less. You get 4 2'x2' foam pieces that fit together like pieces in a jig saw puzzle. Hook three panels together end to end. Cut one panel in half down the center and use it to extend the side.

If you buy two sets of the foam mats, cut two pieces in half down the middle and you have enough pieces to make two complete 3'x6' mats which are quite comfortable. But you can't roll them up, and in a high wind they might tend to come apart if not weighted down.

If you have never shot prone, and shoot with a rifle scope, be aware that your scope may need to be repositioned a good bit farther forward to get the ocular lens in the right place for proper eye relief. Your head winds up a good deal farther forward on your stock when shooting prone than it does shooting off a bench or freehand standing, and unless you can telescope your neck in and out like a turtle's, there is nothing you can do about it.

You can find lots of good videos on prone rifle shooting on the web. Here is a link to one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UE8RDSyrJY

A key point is to get your support elbow (non-shooting elbow) as directly under the rifle as you can to maximize bone support and minimize the need for muscular support. A good loop sling really enhances your accuracy when shooting prone.
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Old June 22, 2019, 11:24 AM   #3
GlenF
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shooting mat

The second one down is exactly the one I have.

And I got it for the same reasons and ground conditions that you have.

It works great.

Good luck in your search.
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Old June 22, 2019, 11:27 AM   #4
T. O'Heir
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Don't get your training from YouTube.
Go buy one of those foam hiker's sleeping mats. Same thing as a Yoga mat. Whatever that is. Anything that has 'gun' or 'shooting' in the name will cost more for the same thing.
Like this.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Stansport...9-x-72/9856753
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Old June 22, 2019, 03:00 PM   #5
pwc
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Try a carpet store for remnants or used/removed carpet in not bad shape(dumpsters in back). Then if you want to pursue 3 position or prone smallbore you can get a "real" mat.
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Old June 22, 2019, 06:03 PM   #6
ninosdemente
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pblanc, thanks for the tip and for the link. good to know regarding the scope adjustment needed. did find the mentioned mat on amazon for $25.

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GlenF, curious as what you like and don't like about the mat you have.

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T. O'Heir, thanks for the link. sure is way cheaper than the other options I have above.

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pwc, that didn't cross my mind. I think I do have some carpet that was left from an install.
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Old June 22, 2019, 07:47 PM   #7
David R
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I bought the MIdway mat. Paid $100.00 a LONG time ago. Used it for shooting and as a bedroll under my sleeping bag when I went on trips on my motorcyle.

Good value, lasts forever.

David

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Old June 23, 2019, 12:31 AM   #8
surveyor
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https://www.midwayusa.com/product/93...n-shooting-mat

This is the one I have, with the web on the front to preload the bipod, (if one is used) I've been happy with it, and same cost as the other one you were looking at.

Last edited by surveyor; June 23, 2019 at 10:08 AM.
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Old June 23, 2019, 10:32 AM   #9
std7mag
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Seeing as i'm beyond cheap, i use a tarp, and a folded up shipping blanket.

Has worked for me so far.
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Old June 23, 2019, 10:55 AM   #10
pblanc
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There are some good articles written by members of the US Army Marksmanship Unit high power competitive shooters available on the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) website. Here is one such on the prone shooting position:

http://www.odcmp.org/0208/default.asp?page=USAMU_PRONE1

Note that the article is geared toward AR-15 service rifle competition in that it refers to the "pistol grip" that traditional rifle stocks lack, and the fact that the AR-15 magazine can interfere with getting your support elbow directly under the rifle. This article also describes the straight legged version of the prone position in addition to the bent leg or "Olympic X" position.

One thing that I have found to be the case with my prone shooting, and something that was briefly mentioned by former USMC Master Gunnery Sargent and sniper instructor Ken Roxburgh in the video I cited earlier in this thread, is that getting a little more upright with the head and upper trunk on the rifle seems to help with accuracy in the prone position.

Obviously, one can only learn so much from articles and videos but they can be extremely useful IMO depending of course on the source of the information. Hands-on instruction can help you analyze and correct fundamental flaws in your position and technique that might not be apparent to you.

A very cost effective option for hands-on training in positional rifle target shooting is "Project Appleseed". Appleseed has relatively inexpensive (look for a Groupon coupon if you are interested) 1 and 2 day clinics. Most are shot at 25 yard or 25 meter range which allows the use of an inexpensive .22 caliber rifle and inexpensive .22 LR ammunition. These use scaled silhouette targets to simulate Army D-style head and shoulder silhouette targets out to 400 yard range:

http://appleseedinfo.org/programs/

In Indiana there is a similar program called "Revere's Riders". In Indiana especially a number of excellent former Appleseed instructors broke off (for reasons I won't go into here) and formed this program which holds very similar clinics. There is a two day basic rifle clinic coming up near Bedford, IN in September:

http://www.reveresriders.org/event/2...22-bedford-in/

I know the director for that event and he is an excellent instructor.

Also check out the Indiana Gun Owners (INGO) forum if you are not yet a member. The "Tactics and Training" subforum will have information on other upcoming firearms training opportunities in the State:

http://www.ingunowners.com/forums/

Finally, if you are up for a road trip, the annual Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) for rifle is coming up at Camp Perry at the end of July. Camp Perry (near Port Clinton, OH) is only about 4 hours driving time from northwest IN. The rifle SAFS will be held on July 27-28, but you must register the day prior before 6 PM. An M16 service rifle and ammunition are provided. Fee for the course is $50. Some of the best pistol and rifle shooters in the world will be there, or assembling there at that time for the National Matches so maybe if you walk real close to some of them, a bit of their expertise might rub off:

http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-n...iring-schools/

Last edited by pblanc; June 23, 2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old June 24, 2019, 11:56 AM   #11
ocharry
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like std7mag,,,i have use a canvas tarp with a wool blanket for a long time,,i got one of those tan canvas tarps big enough to fold in half,,,and make about a 5x6 mat,,,it is water resistant too so it will help keep you dry if its damp,,,then folded a wool blanket to put on top of it,,,when i fold it i can then roll it up,,cross sticks inside and put leather belts around it and a sling to carry it ,,,looks like a bed roll,,,use it for the buffalo guns at the matches

i also have a soft side gun case--drag bag ( i think it is a blackhawk brand ) that folds out to make a shooting mat,,the pads inside fold out,,,it covers about 5x5 on the ground,,water resistant,,,has a place for your log book and other things ,,,shell holders,,,pockets,,,it works good too,,,lots of storage,,,,i like it alot,,,use it for the bolt gun matches

they both have seen the rain,,snow,,sun,,cold,,hot,,and both have held up for many years and rounds down range

my .02

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Old July 11, 2019, 10:54 PM   #12
ninosdemente
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Thanks guys for the replies. Well I definitely can't spend $100 on a mat. If I can save by using what I have at home, I will try it. So the shipping/wool blanket is used for the "cushion" part? Did see a shipping blanket between $4-$6 at Harbor Freight/Walmart.

-------

pblanc, I appreciate your reply. I did check out the links and very helpful. Very interested in the last link you provided. As well as the program at Bedford, IN. I have always wanted to attend/see those types of programs.
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Old July 12, 2019, 09:02 AM   #13
Bart B.
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Be sure there is enough friction between the mat and rifle support elbow. Any left/right position change will make shots go right/left of call.
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Old July 12, 2019, 07:34 PM   #14
ninosdemente
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Thanks for the advice Bart.
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Old July 13, 2019, 12:22 AM   #15
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I have the 3rd mat you have listed and it works very well with a 6.5CM or the BMG.
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Old July 13, 2019, 09:47 PM   #16
ninosdemente
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I checked the link again and it is on sale... sucks I have to spend $49 just to avoid shipping fees.
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Old July 15, 2019, 07:32 PM   #17
berettaprofessor
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I just bought, received, and used that very mat on sale. Big improvement over the cheaper one you linked.
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Old July 18, 2019, 11:49 PM   #18
ninosdemente
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berettaprofessor, you bought the mat that is on the bottom of the list?
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Old July 19, 2019, 12:09 PM   #19
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No, I bought the "pro" series. Now on sale for $39.99

This one:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/93...n-shooting-mat

I had the less expensive one before, but whatever idiot designed it put black vinyl where your elbows and knees lay; which the idiot that bought it found out is pretty uncomfortable in July on a sunny day. The pro series in olive drab is a vast improvement.
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Old July 19, 2019, 05:38 PM   #20
ninosdemente
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Thanks for the link. How is the padding on it? Guess what do you like about it and hate about it? If you don't mind sharing.
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