Outdoor Skills – Hunting Q&A

"I was given a varmint rest recently and noticed a difference in my accuracy--but not what I expected. I normally shoot while gripping a firm anchor (such as a tree) and resting the rifle's fore-end on my arm. I'm more consistently accurate using my arm than with the mechanical rest! I've been an accurate rifle shot for 40 years and am baffled by this. Certainly I can always shoot as I have, but I thought this rest would make a substantial improvement, especially for longer shots on groundhogs.

“The answer probably lies in your “”hunched”” position. While it’s desirable to use the steadiest rest possible when shooting a rifle, it’s also desirable to be as relaxed as possible. If you have to strain your body to aim, you’re probably straining against the rifle in a slightly different way each time, which affects point of impact, especially at long range. Also, because of the strained position, you may be relaxing slightly just as you pull the trigger, again affecting accuracy. Follow-through is as important in rifle shooting as in any other sport. If there’s some way you can raise the rest so that you can aim “”unhunched,”” without strain, your shooting will probably improve. Good luck on those groundhogs. “