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Help with a sling please!

This is a discussion on Help with a sling please! within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; So I am trying to learn how to shoot irons well with a sling. Right now I shoot irons with my AR and both my ...

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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #1
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Help with a sling please!

So I am trying to learn how to shoot irons well with a sling. Right now I shoot irons with my AR and both my garands. I only use a .50 cal can for a rest and I can only get (small) pie plate sized groups. I know its me and not the gun. I am always looking for tips to improve my shooting. I just always see people putting up pics with half dollar and quarter sized groups with irons and I get confused on to how they do it? Is everyone using a lead sled or a ton of sand bags? I dont want to use sand bags or a sled because I feel that im not actually doing the work, the whole gun is supported and all I have to do is pull the trigger. Thats why I want to try for a sling.

Does anyone have any good videos/instructions/tips on how to improve my shooting with the use of a sling? My M1A is mounted up with a scope so I'll be doing most of my practice with a sling on my garands since I can get ammo for (relatively) cheap from the CMP. Any advice is appreciated!

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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Here is a power point presentation that I have used when teaching.

A lot of those groups are from people using a bench rest. But after you learn how to brace/rest the rifle, and get yourself braced to allow the proper follow through, proper trigger technique will help you more than anything.

Thanks from DavidinMD and Robert14

Last edited by BSalty; December 5th, 2012 at 01:49 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #3
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Hello, I just started shooting with a local Highpower club and am learning myself. I have shot sub MOA groups from the rest with my NM M1A but on the ground with the sling, I have trouble keeping them all in the 8 ring. Practice, Practice, Practice.
I attended a CMP Garand clinic, shot the included 30 shot A course match and found the instruction to be excellent. They usually have a coach for every shooter and went through everything. An appleseed shoot might not be a bad idea either, I need to break down and do one of those.

Thanks from BSalty
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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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Don't worry about the sling yet - that will come later.

Using a hard support (e.g. ammo can) is not best because it causes the rifle to 'bounce' too much as the shot is being fired - something a little softer but firm is better, so there isn't vibration between the support & the rifle.

Try a sandbag, rolled-up blanket, etc.
Just rest the forearm of the rifle on the bag, don't try to clamp it down, or press it into position.

From a bench, use your non-trigger hand under the butt stock for support.
Have a good grip on the rifle with trigger hand and pull the stock into your shoulder.

Trigger control and 'follow thru' are critical. Force yourself to not flinch. Don't relax your position or trigger finger until recoil is complete.

Force yourself to really watch the front sight (or scope crosshairs) as the shot is fired so you see exactly where they were pointed when the shot fired - it is very important to do this so you can 'call the shot'. Knowing where the sights were 'really pointed' and comparing that to where the bullet hits is necessary for making good sight changes. If you 'see' the sights pointed at the top edge of the black and that is where the bullet hits, then the sights are good.

Be careful that the trigger pull is 'straight back' - having sideways pressure is bad.

Try dry-firing - without the recoil you can really see whether the sights are still good when you pull the trigger.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

Thanks from Bamban, Grateful Lead and BSalty
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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:59 AM   #5
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If you are looking to improve in the non bench rest shooting world, I'd recommend getting a copy of David Tubb's "Highpower Rifle." In my opinion it's the single best book out there that is dedicated to perfecting the technique of shooting with a sling and also mastering the standing, sitting and prone positions. It has helped me tremendously with my Highpower shooting. Read it and then spend plenty of time at the range practicing what he says. "Slings and Things" by Glen Zediker is also good since is gives more sling-specific info and how to set them up properly.

As far as internet postings of dime size groups, almost all of that is done from a bench and even from a bench you wont be getting 1/2 or 1/4 MOA from a Garand. Nothing wrong with bench shooting if you are doing load testing or you are a dedicated bench-rest shooter, but not the same genre as shooting in the dirt on your stomach with only a sling for support.

Last edited by cacoltguy; November 28th, 2012 at 05:14 AM.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:07 AM   #6
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You can also look into an Appleseed course in your area for less than $100 bucks and a weekend you can learn to make hits out to 400 yards with nothing more than a sling and your rifle!

the fundamentals taught are based on what the military instructed in the the 1940s, and are still effective today.

AND while you're there you can learn about why April 19th 1775 is the most important day in our country.

This will help you get ready to take on any rifle sport you want to get into

The techniques are simple in nature, but mastering them is an art.
Come and be a part of your heritage!

PM me if you have any questions

Thanks from m1jerm

Last edited by triggernick; November 28th, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #7
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Find a CMP-NRA shooting club in your area and go shoot their Highpower matches. You'll get all the coaching you can stand and the other shooters will loan you what you need to get through a match, except ammo.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I have been wanting to do an appleseed and get my rifleman patch for a while but my work and school schedule are hectic. Im a full time student and work 30+ hours a week and my only free time to shoot is on Thursday mornings. Time should free up in January and February though.

I will try making sandbags tonight because im going shooting tomorrow morning. Any advice on how to make them or what fabric to use? Im assuming to just sew a bag, fill it with sand, and sew it shut.

I have been concentrating a lot on my trigger pull and forcing myself not flinch or move. I will be shooting at 50 and 100 yard targets tomorrow and will post pics of my results. JayKosta I will use your recommendation and put a sandbag or a blanket on top of the can im using for additional support and use my left and to support the butt of the rifle.

BSalty thank you for the links they are both very helpful!

Can anyone recommend a specific sling? Does a standard GI sling work as well as the commercial ones?

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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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When used properly the USGI web sling is quite effective and CHEAP! can be had for unde $20 shipped from most places.

it's all a matter of HOW you use the sling too. if it's going to be for carrying/toting the rifle, and thing will do. If you are looking for support in field positions the USGI is perfect (there are others that work well do, but most are 3-10 times more expensive).

I was looking for a good video of ow to use the USGI web sling, but I didn't find one that was very good....I think I found my homework for this weekend. I will post a video soon showing how to use the websling.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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For a WEB sling, the one you want for 'target shooting' is the WW2 CLOTH web sling with a clamp adjuster and a spring clip hook that attaches to the butt stock.

Don't get a slippery modern nylon material sling - they are fine for carrying and perhaps as a 'hasty sling', but they don't work well for target use.

I won't recommend using SAND unless you can sew it tight, and use heavy weight material. A big bath towel (or 2) rolled-up tight and tied with string will work fine - use boards underneath to get the right height.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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+1 on Triggernick.
Go to an Appleseed.

You will learn the kind of basics you need to begin shooting in standing, seated and prone.
They will teach you how to build your position, acquire a natural point of aim and shoot in time with your breathing.

People that shoot a rifle from the bench learn what that particular rifle can do, and there's nothing wrong with that as far as it goes. People that learn to use a sling in the above positions with irons learn what they themselves can do with any rifle.

It is important to note that it is a simulated 400 yds with a .22 (unless you are some kind of millionaire that can afford to just offload 500 rds in a day). But that's where you learn if you can hold your minute of angle on those tiny little guys at the bottom of the AQT.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bd111 View Post
Find a CMP-NRA shooting club in your area and go shoot their Highpower matches. You'll get all the coaching you can stand and the other shooters will loan you what you need to get through a match, except ammo.
this would be my recommendation also, it's how I got started in hi-power and learned everything from very good folks with tons of knowlege first hand.

I also would recommend a leather sling, but that's just my personal preference. Whatever the material, it will work provided you learn how to properly set it up and use it.

You'll have to adjust it between prone and sitting positions for length, but after a short while, you will quickly know exactly where to hook your claws up on the leather sling anyway, I marked mine for quick reference at matches.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #13
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Make sure after each shot you hold the trigger back... when you release the trigger the shot is totally over, your lined up for the next shot.

Then when you relax your finger and allow the trigger to reset you hear a satisfying click that tells you your doing things right.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #14
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Back in my day, which was a long time ago, we used a loop sling for prone, sitting and kneeling and a hasty sling for off hand. The key to whatever success I had was getting the sling as tight as possible so that it was quite difficult to force the butt plate of the rifle into your right shoulder using the palm of your right hand.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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+1 on attending an Appleseed event. Providing that you can "forget" what you already know, (it wasn't easy, but I did it) you will learn tons! Great way to spend a weekend, and about 400 rounds of .22! Most of what you learn on the .22 applies to centerfire rifles, but at lower cost. Appleseed teaches in a weekend what the WWII era army taught in ~2 weeks. It is drinking from a firehose, and it's effective.

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