Sniper's Hide Online Training Lesson, Bench vs Prone shooting

How does shooting from a bench vary from shooting from the prone, and what influence does the shooter have on this ? Sniper's Hide online training looks at recoil management from multiple position and the effect it has on, not only Point of Impact, but potentially muzzle velocity. The results may surprise you...

Bench Vs Prone Shooting Variations

Years ago we addressed this, but never with something like muzzle velocity. The question and the demonstration has sort of been wrapped up into Recoil Management, but since we had the question, I wanted to demonstrate it.

The issue, a different muzzle velocity from the bench vs when shooting prone. The answer can be reduced to recoil management as I said, but let’s look at some visuals as well as some numbers.

We tested this 3 different ways, from the Prone, from the bench with our ass on the seat, bladed, and from the bench, with our elbows on the bench, body squared up. One of these positions showed a variation.

Point of impact wise, the bench position has a bit of a vertical as the point of impact was a fraction of inch high. (actually resulted in a dead center hit, but the zero was slightly low) This also resulted in a muzzle velocity variation too.

The following 5 shot averages were recorded: 

Prone: 2717fps 

Bench Back: 2696fps 

Bench Forward: 2716fps 


That is a 20fps variation when the recoil is not properly managed. Huge in a lot of ways… 

The Point of Impact shift was not huge, but it was noticeable and something to consider 

Prone Shot, 

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100 yard Shot from the Bench, no recoil management 

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Recoil management not only tells us where the muzzle is when we zero the rifle, it effects how we zero the rifle. Letting the rifle control the movement usually requires more adjustment on the scope vs the shooter managing the recoil properly. Because recoil pushes the shooter back when sitting tall on a bench, we have the muzzle rising changing the point of impact. This movement also effects the muzzle velocity by moving the energy to the rear vs out the front. It’s essentially bleeding off muzzle velocity. In my case, 20fps. 

So, you have to either measure and account for this, or at least understand the changes and how that can effect our dope.

This is shooter induced, vs mechanical, which is weird because it has a measurable effect. But we put so much into the shot, the Human Factor is huge and this demonstrates it.

It’s why I can argue that some of the science we talk about does not apply to everyone. It’s the nut behind the bolt. 

Do your homework, especially if you shoot alternate positions because poor recoil management can have an effect on the shot not only at 100 yards, but especially at distance where these two errors stack up to one big error. 

Consider reviewing the recoil management videos 


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