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Author Topic: Aiming Point  (Read 3039 times)
RayS
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« on: August 22, 2012, 09:32:12 AM »

As a newbie to benchrest shooting I am wondering if there is a correct or preferred aim point.  I see the crosshairs on the home page set on the upper left of the target square.  I have been told that the lower left is the correct point as well as center hold or twelve o'clock high.  Is there a "correct" sight placement?  Second question, why the square at the top of the target?  As I said, I am new to the sport and have a lot of questions. Huh
Ray
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John VM
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 06:42:58 PM »

 There is no correct place to hold. The aiming square was used on days the mirage was so bad the circles disappeared for large parts of a 7 minute time frame.
 Personally I have done it several ways but always seemed to do best when I had my point of aim close to the impact. When conditions are tough and you have to pick or hold for conditions, it was always easier to calculate or estimate this way. They always said that you should not shoot out your aim point, but if your group is that bad it won't help much anymore.
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DanO
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 08:24:04 PM »

Ray, you really need to try some different holds to see what you are most comfortable with.
John listed a few ideas that you can implement.
I will give you my method as one possible way to approach your question.
I shoot cross hairs so I use the center of the mothball as my home position for aiming.
I am comfortable quartering the mothball and can move the cross hairs around this circle to establish a new aim point if I need to "hold off" for the conditions.
I make my point of impact just below the mothball as close to center as possible, this allows me to keep my aim point intact. By having the point of impact centered below the center of my aim point I can see how much the bullets are moving in any direction, this aids in calculating the amount of hold off when conditions change.
Using a dot reticule can be use in a similar fashion also.
Eye sight and reticule size can play a part in what will work for you.
DanO
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RayS
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 12:20:51 PM »

Thanks John and Dan.  I managed to get out to the range this a.m. and tried a couple of different holding points.  I must admit that holding on a corner of the box was very awkward.  Holding centre on the mothball or at twelve o'clock on the mothball was by far more comfortable.  Thanks for the suggestions and information.  I will keep trying different ones until I really feel comfortable with one.
Ray
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Fergus
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 10:50:28 PM »

I was told the black square goes back to the days when very low power scopes were the norm, and it was the only positive point of aim given the optics in use at the time. I was cured of any interest in shooting the black square early in the BR shooting. I was shooting sighters using the black square as the aiming point, and somehow I lost a shot vertically over the border, and almost into the record portion of the target. After that, I have never really been comfortable aiming at the square.

There are a few things to consider about point of aim, and also where you want the group to form. There are multiple opinions on this, with some preferring to have their shots impact at point of aim, and others preferring to have the shots impact above or below point of aim. I have tried both, and I prefer to have the shots impact below my point of aim. I find that having the shots impact on my aiming point is too distracting.

Deciding on a point of aim can be influenced by the scope reticle. A dot, especially the 1/8 dot in a Leopold scope centres up pretty well in the centre ring (mothball) of the target, whereas a fine crosshair can make bracketing the ring easier. You also want a point of aim that lets you use the rings for hold off (IE the black square gives you very little to work with in this regard).

Lastly, you need to think about the habits you form while shooting the BR target they can either help or hinder you. I like to use the mothball and hold on either the 9:00 or 3:00 position, depending on the wind (IE hold on the 9:00 position for a left-to-right wind which will let the group form around the centre of the mothball). I use this hold, unless there is enough push in the condition to move the bullet impact half or more of the target (more relevant at 200). In that case, I will hold on the 10 ring (outer most ring of the target) or even hold on the border if needed. This is what I mean about habits there is not too many different holds to remember.

To give an example of how habits can trip you up, another shooter was at a nationals match a few years ago, and shooting in bad mirage. He decided to hold on the black square for better visibility, and ran the group pretty fast. On the 5th shot, old habits kicked in, and he held on the mothball. Instant 2.00 inch group!

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