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Manage Recoil and Accuracy

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  • Manage Recoil and Accuracy

    I agree with a lot in this article. My comment is, make a good first shot and the importance of a second shot declines.
    Leaning into the rifle and a tight shoulder hold is paramount, especially as the caliber power goes up.
    Also, once sighted in practice off hand in shooting positions.

    How to Manage Recoil and Shoot Faster | Outdoor Life

  • #2
    This is pretty much of a public relations article for a Savage straight pull action which is not a bad thing but perhaps a little more than is necessary. We can all practice cycling the rifle we have for quick follow up shots. I was taught at an early age to practice that and automatically reload my rifle as soon as I heard the bang, just in case I needed another shot quick. Being a reloader, I was also able to seat bullets on sized cases that had no primer nor any powder to use for constant practice. That way I could run a magazine full through again and again until it felt automatic. Furthermore, I could practice improving the speed of reload mainly because it was such a well known and reactionary motion.

    I think the main improvement for me was making it a very quick and automatic response while hunting, pretty much like blinking my eye. I'm not saying I'm as fast as some but I've had numerous comments on my rapid rate of fire with a bolt action rifle.

    For example, even when I had six consecutive failures to fire, my nephew said I had almost half a dozen unfired cases hanging in the air at one time, trying to find one that would go bang as my antelope put on more distance like it was shot out of a cannon. When the last one failed, I simply lifted the bolt to re-cock the action as it was the last chance I had. It went bang and I got my antelope. When I asked my nephew why he had not fired at one in that unexpected herd, he said he was watching me reload and simply standing there with his mouth open in disbelief as good unfired bullets hung in the air and the clicks were coming faster than he ever imagined.

    In another unusual case, I shot a coyote once that was crossing full blast in front of me. Another hunter had scared it up south of me and emptied his rifle at it as it blasted away from him to the north. At about 200 yards on a straight crossing shot, I hit just behind it on the first shot, then shot it three more times in quick succession as it was rolling. It looked like it was struggling to get back up again after the first hit so I kept shooting until it was flat as a pancake. That hunter walked almost a quarter of a mile to where I was to see what I was shooting. He said that there were literally four shots in the same report for him and he saw three puffs of fur hanging in the air at the same instant. He thought I was lying about using a bolt action for the shots. He said he was certain that they came from a full auto rifle and he thought I was doing something illegal. He did verify that my barrel was warm though and just walked away shaking his head.

    I must admit that I do get much more excited and put a little more effort into it when game is at stake and time is of the essence. I shoot a right handed rifle left handed so reloading takes me a little extra time I think but it still goes plenty quick. I have noticed a slight improvement with a 70 degree bolt throw and I suspect I would also notice a slight improvement with a straight pull action.

    However, I have no doubt that you will be as fast as you need if you practice with what you have and above all, make reloading part of your firing regimen. I feel I get a little too excited at times. I once missed an 80 yard crossing antelope and shot right in front of her nose. I recycled my long action rifle so forcefully before she crossed a nearby rise that the bolt shroud on my M98 Mauser flew back too far with its momentum and rotated, locking the bolt up. I was skunked on that antelope but I did replace the bolt shroud retaining spring because it had weakened after over 40,000 rounds. I know I hit the back pull way too fast.

    Bottom line is, you don't have to be the fastest in the world. Just instantly reload as quickly as you can after every shot while hunting just in case you need it. And keep your rifle on the target until you know it is dead. Make it automatic with practice and you will do fine. I guarantee you, if you forget to pull the bolt back on a Savage straight pull, it won't be any faster than any other rifle.
    Last edited by DakotaMan; 05-17-2022, 06:38 PM.

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    • #3
      You must be the modern day jerry mucelik with a rifle.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
        You must be the modern day jerry mucelik with a rifle.
        Not even close jimbo. I have talked to Jerry personally and treasure a hat he signed for me. I've watched a lot of his competition film and video. That guy is FAST. Of course he is shooting a pistol that is ready to shoot when you pull the trigger. All I'm saying is that most guys I've met in the last 70 years or so have NEVER practiced reloading their bolt action rifles fast and almost all of them take their rifle down and gawk after the first shot.

        I'm not unique or even real fast but I've had a LOT of practice. I think that tons of quail, waterfowl and pheasant hunting has really helped me with making fast follow up shots. With that sport, even a perfect first shot means you will get several more if you keep your gun on target and reload quickly. My two younger brothers and I often practiced getting five shots off in less than a second while still hitting a 30 yard target with our shotguns. We were never able to do it with our 12 gauges but one of my brothers consistently did it in 1.2 seconds and the other always beat him in the field by getting his first shot off so fast. I was a plodder who was the slowest among us on the first shot and could rarely achieve 1.3 seconds with five.

        I've tried to balance patience with guaranteeing a shot in most of my hunting. Over the years I've found that wild animals seldom wait for you to shoot and many of them are on the dead run when you first see them, trying to escape. That is of course unless you bait them or shoot them from a tree stand. I feel comfortable getting my first shot off in less than a second most times when a quick shot presents itself and I think a three second ranging, aiming and firing is one of the longest hunting shots I've taken (other than when calling, in a stand or baiting animals) and that was on a 500 yard antelope that turned back to look for a few seconds at 500 yards.

        Most people don't understand that fast shooting is really possible though. We have a young man at our range who competes with fast shooting. He shoots a 9mm AR. In that competition, they shoot three IPSC targets at about 25 yards. They have to hit the first one twice, the middle one once and the last one twice as fast as they can. I've seen him get 'er done in 0.7 seconds with six shots (he missed the middle target on the first pass). You can move it right along with lots of practice.

        By the way, I guarantee you that you will not enjoy pheasant or quail hunting with any of my brothers. They rarely miss and by the time I get my shotgun to my shoulder the shooting is usually over. I like to hunt a LONG ways away from them in my old age. I do enjoy sharing a nice pheasant dinner with them though and they always have a lot in the freezer. I've seen hundreds of eastern hunters just shake their heads in disbelief when hunting with them. They are friendly guys though and will let you empty your magazine before they start shooting if required.

        I have noticed another phenomenon in the last 70 years or so too. That is that most people think that if they haven't done something, it can't be done. People that have not seen Jerry Miculec shoot will be shocked the first time they see it done.
        Last edited by DakotaMan; 05-17-2022, 07:37 PM.

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        • #5
          Agree that practicing leads to speed. About once a month I practice with my pistol empty of course. Left handed reloads. Eye forward on target, eyes closed, hurt left hand hurt right hand. All while having to get my extra mag out it’s holder on my waist. Wife thinks I’m a bit crazy but it may save my hers or some else’s life. I don’t practice much with a hunting rifle. I on occasions practice with my ar-15 but that is built in muscle memory. I do not think I will ever forget. But when a hunting gun I don’t drop the scope from my eye I shoot and cycle the action as fast as I can. I run a bolt gun the way it was meant to be run hard and crisp and if you don’t make any mistakes the speed is naturally built in.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Milldawg View Post
            A... But when a hunting gun I don’t drop the scope from my eye I shoot and cycle the action as fast as I can. I run a bolt gun the way it was meant to be run hard and crisp and if you don’t make any mistakes the speed is naturally built in.
            That is all that is required for hunting as far as I'm concerned. Practice can speed it up a bit but doing it right gets it done pretty fast. Little things like straight bolt pull, cock on closing, or <90 degree bolt rotation may reduce cycle time marginally, but just keeping your rifle up and cycling it fast is actually quick enough.

            I think it is interesting to note that in the 20th century, British military leadership insisted on "cock on closing" bolt actions to speed cycle time. No doubt, they were the fastest guys using a bolt action in WW1 and WW2. The Lee Enfield was the rifle. I'd suggest giving one a try to see what you think. They are faster for me as are the <90 degree bolt throw actions. Not enough to worry about but enough to notice a difference.


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            • #7

              One thing that speed up the cycle of Lee Enfield is they used middle finger for trigger. In actual competition the Lee was as fast or faster than the M-1.

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              • #8
                I used to practice shooting my Winchester Mod.'94 from the hip like the Rifleman. I could shoot 8 rounds as fast as a semi auto and hit a 12" target 8 times at 25yds. That was when ammo was $3 a box.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                  One thing that speed up the cycle of Lee Enfield is they used middle finger for trigger. In actual competition the Lee was as fast or faster than the M-1.
                  Yes, for sure jimbo... that was because there is very little bolt opening drag in that rifle. You can position your index finger just under the bolt and when you fire, your index finger is there in a split second to flip the bolt up and draw the bolt fully back with that same finger without hardly feeling it. They then use their palm (that is already up and facing the right direction) to get a solid push forward and down. The momentum of the bolt on a fast forward push pretty well overcomes the cocking force needed so you are ready to go quickly.

                  I haven't looked it up in years but the general idea was that British infantrymen had to qualify for the Lee Enfield by shooting something like 24 hits on a six inch disk in one minute at 300 meters. That is tough for either the Enfield or the M1 because the shooter really needs to know how to shoot. However, I found the Enfield faster and easier to cycle than a "cock on opening" bolt. The M1 and the Enfield both pack a bit of recoil though. If you want to shoot fast, the AR is your baby. You can put 10 rounds on a six inch disk in 10 seconds at 500 meters.
                  Last edited by DakotaMan; 05-19-2022, 03:40 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Agree the with the ar is the winner for fast shooting my completion rifle can run like scaled dog even with a rifle length gas system.

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                    • #11
                      Most people when hunting, pop their head up right after the shot (and sometimes come completely off the gun), instead of keeping to down on the cheek-piece. Then, if they need a 2nd shot they have to rebuild their foundation and find the animal in their scope all over again.
                      This one thing could make such a difference for many hunters.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ernie View Post
                        Most people when hunting, pop their head up right after the shot (and sometimes come completely off the gun), instead of keeping to down on the cheek-piece. Then, if they need a 2nd shot they have to rebuild their foundation and find the animal in their scope all over again.
                        This one thing could make such a difference for many hunters.
                        LOL! Had a buddy that was new to hunting that did that!
                        He blamed the rifle.
                        Once I talked him through watching for the deer's reaction through the scope, it clicked with him. He hadn't had the problem since.
                        Guess it was really my fault.
                        I have a rifle that has about a 3 ounce trigger pull*. When he started deer hunting, he didn't have a rifle.
                        I loaned him the rifle and explained AND demonstrated the extremely light trigger pull.
                        He got used to the deer being on the ground before he even realized the gun went off.
                        When I gave him a rifle with a 3 pound trigger pull, he hadn't completely pulled the trigger before he was looking over the scope to see his dead deer!

                        * - got that from shooting a T/C Hawken with a double set trigger.
                        Last edited by FirstBubba; 05-21-2022, 12:35 PM.

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                        • #13
                          With very little practice, a rifleman can cycle a bolt gun and get back on target just as fast as an auto loader with moderate recoil. You just have to condition yourself to cycle the bolt correctly and rapidly at the shot. It’s not rocket surgery. Aim small, miss small…

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WA Mtnhunter View Post
                            With very little practice, a rifleman can cycle a bolt gun and get back on target just as fast as an auto loader with moderate recoil. You just have to condition yourself to cycle the bolt correctly and rapidly at the shot. It’s not rocket surgery. Aim small, miss small…
                            ....and I know people who STILL believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT have time to fire three shots!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

                              ....and I know people who STILL believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT have time to fire three shots!
                              I wouldn't rank among them. I was shooting an Italian 6.5 Carcano (same as Lee Harvey Oswald) in the coyote story above. Most people just don't believe how fast a person can shoot a bolt action rifle accurately.

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