Baby Powder

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Baby Powder

Post by Wm.Traynor » 06 Feb 2024, 11:05 am

During some rimfire testing at Belmont last Saturday, I had the Devil :twisted: of a time returning the rifle to battery, as they say. Getting it back into it's former position before firing gave me the Irrits. I was expecting to just push the rifle forward a bit to correct the position that was disturbed by recoil but the little gun fought me.
Later, at home, I gave the rear bag a liberal sprinkle with baby powder and that allowed much better freedom of movement, backwards and forwards. However, my shooting lasts a couple of hours and I anticipate needing to sprinkle BP on the front and rear bags from time to time and if the wind carries that stuff to a nearby shooter it is possible that I could be in trouble. Not only that but my hands would need washing because the stuff is slippery and gets on things.

So, is there an alternative to Baby Powder that will keep my gun running smoothly?
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by No1_49er » 06 Feb 2024, 1:21 pm

Teflon film. Brownells https://www.brownells.co.uk/TRU-KOTE-BE ... STOCK-TAPE
But you still need that powder to keep things super smooth
Proud member of "the powerful gun lobby" of Australia :)
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by rc42 » 06 Feb 2024, 1:28 pm

Return to battery is a term generally used with semi auto firearms and refers to the slide/bolt fully closing with a live round in the chamber, I'm assuming that you are using a bolt action rifle?

If you are benchrest rimfire shooting the recoil should be almost nothing, to recover from that tiny movement, when using a stable front support and a rear bag, your shoulder or upper body against the stock should manage left/right aiming and finger tip squeeze on the bag should manage up/down.

I've never heard of any need to make the outside of the rest/bag slippy, it's supposed to grip the firearm with the media inside the rear bag provising any movement.
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by No1_49er » 06 Feb 2024, 1:54 pm

rc42 wrote:Return to battery is a term generally used with semi auto firearms and refers to the slide/bolt fully closing with a live round in the chamber, I'm assuming that you are using a bolt action rifle?

If you are benchrest rimfire shooting the recoil should be almost nothing, to recover from that tiny movement, when using a stable front support and a rear bag, your shoulder or upper body against the stock should manage left/right aiming and finger tip squeeze on the bag should manage up/down.

I've never heard of any need to make the outside of the rest/bag slippy, it's supposed to grip the firearm with the media inside the rear bag provising any movement.

I'd suggest that you do a bit of searching (Google is your friend) and look at some of the benchrest shooters who make their own "return to battery" rail guns. Man, are those things heavy, but recoil they most certainly do. BTW, shoulder pressure will not do you any favours. It will not be consistant - all that is needed is a little squeeze of the bag and a touch of the trigger. We're talking parts of ounces here.
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by Wyliecoyote » 06 Feb 2024, 6:57 pm

Most BR rifle shooters these days use cordura front and rear bags and teflon tape on both the fore end and butt stock. I personally find these setups far too slippery and often contribute to vertical in rimfires because the projectile is still in the bore for a tenth of an inch of rearward rifle movement under recoil before it exits the muzzle and as you can imagine a lot can and does go wrong there. If you have a US IBS legal stock with angled butt, that is where the vertical can come from and not always from the ammo where i see so many on the line twist the threads off their tuners in an attempt to tune out the vertical. ARA often use straighline stocks that do not have this vertical climb due to stock angle issues. If you ever so slightly yank the trigger to help the stock on its rearward down the butt stock angle decline, that is a vertical shot every single time.
Not all vertical comes from the load as stocks and bags and the way they interact play a big part in this and is why 1000 yard light rifle stocks for quite some time now and now more recently Fclass run a completely different butt angle of a degree or less, or none at all as rearward movement shot to shot is very difficult to control consistently. Have a very close look at Erik Cortina's low rider stock in the video i posted up on the annealed cases thread or the next time you get out to a Fly match have a close look at my good friend Jacko Bending's straightline stocked rifles he uses to win so many Fly and Fclass matches with.

Broken back stocks and reverse angle stocks are now illegal in most all international short range benchrest which i find counterproductive to the evolution of the sport. I like what Larry Brown, the founder of BR50 in the 90s said, " let's see what works", ie let's see who gets the best winning aggregate and why they got it, but in the mean time, i ain't changing the rules because someone got their butt hurt. The sport just exploded from there until his passing in 1996 but carried on into ARA, but in its prime it led to radical new rifle development like the Anschutz 2013, the BR5O rifle itself, the Time Precision action with its single, dual or quad firing pins in any clock orientation as well as new ammunition like Eley Gold, Eley BR50 and the now long gone and sadly missed Federal Match 900A, B, 1000A and B Ultramatch. All long gone where Eley is now a shadow of itself at a ridiculous price where back in days Lapua was cheap and an also ran. SK was new and still is junk, and RWS R100 and R50 were last chance Harvey for a dud barrel but some batches were outstanding. The rests were off another planet and totally illegal for anything beyond ARA, but the scores were amazing in a time virtually no-one had tuners, but they did make their name solely because of this era and are almost mandatory these days because the ammo is just crap.

Anyway i digress, there are a couple of alternatives to leather and baby powder. One is as mentioned by the use of teflon tape, the other is dry silicon spray. The silicon spray lasts longer and doesn't dust everyone downwind. The other is teflon powder but this is horrendously slippery in my view. Funnily enough i still opt for the baby powder and deer leather bags as i find it not to slippery, but not binding in any way. The last major Fly shoot i attended, my first in 13 years, i was the only bum powder shooter, a dinosaur they said, on the line and only one of two that didn't have a joystick rest, yet won the LG, HG and two gun aggregate. So there is still a place for bum powder, leather bags, a straightline stock and a steady pedestal rest and until i see otherwise i see no reason to change and anyone who chooses to use baby powder is in no way at a disadvantage. It is always about function and never about fashion. So if a couple of the cool kids get their eyes dusted, so be it.

Return to battery is an artillery term but when referenced to BR shooting it is the rifle returned to its bump stop on the front pedestal rest ready for the next shot. It has nothing to do with the action condition. The other mentioned system is more commonly known as a rail, where the rifle is manually returned to battery but where the rifle is not connected to the rest itself and is not actually controlled by the shooter beyond the trigger, but is aimed in the rest by mechanical adjustment thus eliminating human error. Think of it as a train carriage on a track that comes to the end of the railway yard bumper stop. The carriage could be lifted off, but is totally controlled in its direction by the tracks and stopped by the bumper. These rifles are capable of insane accuracy in atrocious mirage as conventional aiming beyond getting on the target, is no longer required. Just watch the wind flags for any drastic change, load and pull the trigger once the rifle hits its bumper stop.

Speaking of artillery and mirage, a nameless friend and winner of a major international competition some years ago used an aiming method in some horrific mirage called the artillery method in what is today a rather archaic but a very refined and stable rifle rest set up. At the very longest yardages he used the first sighter to hit the target anywhere in the conventional aim rifle and shoot manner, then without moving the rifle that was placed back into battery, he adjusted his scope crosshair from the original aimpoint on the distant target to an object on a mound at a much closer yardage where the mirage was more kind. The second sighter was fired where he then again returned to battery with great care not to shift the rest in any way, adjusted for fall of shot, re-aimed on the closer target and continued to shoot the next fithteen record shots making slight adjustment on the scope if necessary, but without altering aim on the closer target which i believe may have been a distinctive small pebble or something akin to that. Sounds fraught with disaster, but it is not. Think of it like this, say at a 100 yards you want to hit the x ring but you are missing it, you adjust for it to hit in the usual MOA or MIL and then proceed as usual without altering aimpoint. The adjustment you make would be like you would have intended to hit the x at the 100 yards with very little to no mirage to impede your aim, but the actual bullet is flying to the 1000 yard target. Some of us may have done this by pure accident, but to do it on purpose is a gamechanger in long range shooting competition in very poor sighting conditions. The exact same aiming and SCOPE ONLY adjustment process is used to hit a target you are physically not aiming at at all and provided that the base platform, your entire rest setup, does not move in any way laterally or vertically, it all works fine. And i mean absolutely rock solid. So it's like trying to zero said gun to hit paper at a 100 yards, missing completely but flying well beyond the target and luckily just missing the neighbors cow at a mile beyond it. You know that you missed cow by 4 MIL left and 2 MIL low because mate on the bench beside you and spotting through his riflescope said so. This means that you could adjust the scope according to your spotter mates call, aim at exactly the same place on the 100 yard target, and if the wind held the same, you hit cow one mile away. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen, but not if it's all controlled.

Needless to say mate went on to win that yardage and the individual overall championship trophy without having to deal with that mirage and by others accounts is was dreadful. I often wondered where he got the idea from, could have been totally on his own, but it was well spoken of and commonplace at our 1000 yard range and we got it from artillery, mortars and machine guns on tripods that were used to engage in enfilade fire from a defilade position, often at night back in the days before GPS and computer controlled aim. Anyone familiar with the old C2 sight used by machine gunners and mortars knows exactly how this works by using a very simple aiming post, a compass direction and elevation for range usually marked off on a map to hit a target you cannot nor ever will actually see. The difference here being the FO is an electronic target screen sitting right beside you on the FClass mound with a target image marked off in known MOA rings and last bullet impact position making adjustment on the scope very easy where you don't have to rely on old mate to see a bullet impact disc through his spotting scope in a boiling sea of soup. Almost like playing a video game where you never even have to look at the intended target beyond the first shot, just align the crosshair on the more visible near target, look at the wind flags and fire and wait for bullet impact to show up on screen while listening to all the bitching and moaning on how bad the mirage is. When all is done the scope is returned to its natural zero for that or any other range and the process starts again hopefully with another nice standout object to aim at in close.
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by Wm.Traynor » 06 Feb 2024, 7:11 pm

Wyliecoyote,
Your dissertation re "Aiming Method", reminds me of a story about the late Percy Pavey, a fullbore champion shooter of yesteryear. It was in one of Jim Sweet's books, "Competitive Rifle Shooting". You obviously know all about it so I won't continue, however, thank you for your contribution. It will take some study.
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by Wyliecoyote » 06 Feb 2024, 7:54 pm

Put simply Wm, you are pointing a barrel but aiming somewhere completely different. Artillery aiming.
I recall Mr Pavey on numerous Target Rifle covers being chaired off a State or National Queens. Some are just smarter or just think outside the square a bit more than others and Mr Sweet is so underrated in his writing. Being around Bruce Scott for over 30 years since our military days is a very good reason as to why i shoot benchrest or Fclass. It is quite grounding to watch him shoot Vs all day wearing a straight jacket in soup but when the day comes that he retires and shoots Fclass, i will just play golf.
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Re: Baby Powder

Post by Wm.Traynor » 12 Feb 2024, 10:36 am

No1_49er wrote:Teflon film. Brownells https://www.brownells.co.uk/TRU-KOTE-BE ... STOCK-TAPE
But you still need that powder to keep things super smooth

FWIW
In my travels, I found that https://www.pmatool.com has an Australian retailer at Hoplon Precision www.hoplon.com.au
Wm.Traynor
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