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Thread: To Preload or Not to Preload?

  1. #1
    MrSurgicalPrecision
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    To Preload or Not to Preload?

    So I kinda think bipods are a necessary evil sometimes. I prefer shooting off of anything that's not attached to the rifle. But when you're shooting prone, do you preload your bipod or not? I have a set of Pod Claws on my Harris and I load my bipod up, but not really that heavily. Just interested to hear everyone else's thoughts.

  2. #2
    Rootshot
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    I used to preload but found it didn't make any noticeable difference. Having one less thing to think about helps me concentrate on other elements of my technique.

    --Rootshot

  3. #3
    warped
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    I was always taught to pre-load and it works especially if follow ups are to be made or a belt fed is being used.

  4. #4
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    If I don't load the bipod, POI is usually ~1 moa higher versus shooting from bags.
    Drifter

  5. #5
    mtn_shooter
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    I do. Much better for spotting hits on steel.

  6. #6
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    OK Guys:

    Some folks reading this don't know that you mean by 'preloading'. Although I know what it means, it isn't a term I have heard until now to describe putting force on the bipod.

    So, for the benefit of guys who don't know or only have a vague notion of what you guys mean, what type of force is applied, in what direction, how much, and why?

    LR1955

  7. #7
    MrSurgicalPrecision
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    Quote Originally Posted by LR1955 View Post
    OK Guys:

    Some folks reading this don't know that you mean by 'preloading'. Although I know what it means, it isn't a term I have heard until now to describe putting force on the bipod.

    So, for the benefit of guys who don't know or only have a vague notion of what you guys mean, what type of force is applied, in what direction, how much, and why?

    LR1955
    Good point, and I've always called it preloading. Wasn't aware of any other terms for it. I apply forward pressure on the rifle by basically inching my body forward until I'm applying a light force against my bipod legs through my shoulder against the buttstock of the rifle. I don't load up really heavy, I just apply enough force to get the feet to dig in, but that's probably much more force than you can apply to a set of standard bipod feet. I've found it to help a little bit in more rapid re-engagements, but haven't seen a shift in accuracy or POI.

  8. #8
    Mutt
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    I load my bipod, always have. Was taught taht way. You push forward on the rifle (if you can get traction or have something to push against) putting pressure against the legs of the bipod.

    By loading the bipod, it takes up alot of the possible movements. It keeps the legs from sliding and helps you get your buttstock tight against your shoulder. It also immoblilizes the front of the weapon. When firing, it takes out almost all of the jump of the muzzle and allows for a very fast follow up shot. This is very important when hunting or shooting at those who are shooting back. I've never been a fan of using sand bags. They just let the muzzle jump and you have to work at getting your rilfe back into position after the shot. Granted, you use what you can in given situations. If all I have is a tree limp or a sand bag to use then they are more than fine. But, if I have a choice I prefer the bipod and prefer to load up the legs.

  9. #9
    LRRPF52
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    Especially with the AR and auto-loaders in general, if you let them "free-recoil" from a relatively relaxed position, the groups tend to open-up quite a bit. The AR requires some definite muscling, without muscling your sight picture and trigger manipulation...a tough balancing act really.

  10. #10
    Chieftain Variable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warped View Post
    I was always taught to pre-load and it works especially if follow ups are to be made or a belt fed is being used.
    Me too.

  11. #11
    Chieftain Variable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    If I don't load the bipod, POI is usually ~1 moa higher versus shooting from bags.
    Sounds like a mild case of "pod hop". I get that with unloaded Harris bipods if I shoot prone on concrete. Depending on the rifle, mine go higher and the group opens up too. It really pisses you off until you figure out what the problem is.

  12. #12
    Rambozo
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    Yeah, this is something I have been learning to contend with when I moved over to shooting the .308 prone.

    To answer the question, yes, but it depends on the pod. Something like a harris is harder to control. A Sinclair F-Class pod is easy as pie. I'm using a home build that I made out of angle aluminum (18" wide x 9" tall). I think bounce is as much from the torque of the rifle as it is the recoil. In this way, I think a wide bipod helps a lot. Still, linear recoil is a factor, and loading the pod helps. Ultimately though, I think it's a matter of having good feet. Sliding feet are better I think.

    Still though, loading the pod makes a world of difference.

    Here is something to consider if you don't shoot F-Class. Make what I call a foot sling. It won't be competition legal, but it works damn well. Run a piece of 1" webbing from the bipod or front swivel stud back to a loop that loops around your foot on the shooting side, making the strap run straight back below the stock and under the knee. Then have it equipped with a slip buckle that you use to cinch the rifle into your shoulder with. Lean into it. This is incredibly solid. Below is a picture of me doing this.

    I got away from doing this though, as it's not competition legal. Have a PST on there now.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 10-30-2011 at 01:08 AM.

  13. #13
    rdsii64
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    I know this is a way old thread but Here is my two cents anyway. when I am shooting prone off a bipod, I alway preload. I got into that habit with my bolt action .308. Preloading the bipod does three things for me. 1, it helps with bipod hop. 2, it helps me keep the muzzle on target during the recoil pulse (driving the rifle). 3, it forces me to get strait behind the rifle ( its near impossible for me to load the bipod with a canted shooting position.)

  14. #14
    Warrior
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    I read this thread and I did not know what preload was. My father taught my brother and I safe gun handling and basic shooting skills when we were kids but no advanced skills. So I tried this new to me technique and what a difference this made.

    Thanks guys
    Eric

  15. #15
    Shots
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    OK, me also...load... Now what Bipod do you like best for these "Black Rifles"...????

  16. #16
    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    Found a decent article on prone bipod use...

    http://artoftherifle.blogspot.com/20...pod-prone.html
    LIFE member: NRA, TSRA, SAF, GOA
    Defend the Constitution and our 2A Rights!

  17. #17
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    Interesting new sling from LaRue:

    http://www.laruetactical.com/optimized-sniper-sling
    Drifter

  18. #18
    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Interesting new sling from LaRue:

    http://www.laruetactical.com/optimized-sniper-sling
    That looks interesting!
    LIFE member: NRA, TSRA, SAF, GOA
    Defend the Constitution and our 2A Rights!

  19. #19
    Armored Transport
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    I load forward and use a GG&G pod. I have them on a black gun and a 16lb. 300RUM and I think they are top of the line. I like the design of that LaRue sling. May have to look into one. Looks like a good way to load on a slick surface....

  20. #20
    Warrior Flyguy11's Avatar
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    Todd Hodnett from Accuracy 1st in the video, "The Art of The Precision Rifle" recommended to pre-load the bipod the same amount each time. Magpul produced the video series and Todd changed my mind on a lot of thing I though I knew.

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