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Course Outline

  1. Arrange your gear (see below).
  2. Place the target. Start at a closer range (about 10 yards away) to get your firearm on target, and then move your target to 50 or 75 yards away. This is an effective shooting range for most hunters, and differences in accuracy among loads become more apparent at these distances.
  3. Place the firearm on the sandbags so that the firearm’s forearm and butt rest on the sandbags. Otherwise, hold the gun as you would when shooting.
  4. Seat the firearm as you align the sights.
    • Make sure that the supporting pressure from the sandbags is even as you move the firearm back and forth.
    • Bags should be in a position that keeps your sights centered on the proper aiming point.
    • Periodically check positioning during shooting and adjust as necessary.
  5. Before shooting, wipe oil from the barrel; close the powder container (flask, horn, can, etc.); clear the bench of all debris, including any black powder (either traces or the powder container); and take any other safety precautions relevant to your situation.

Bench-Rest Testing Items

  • Owner’s manual
  • Firearm
  • Assortment of projectiles, patches, and lubes
  • Black powder and approved substitutes in recommended granularities, kept at loading station, away from the firing line
  • Percussion caps, kept at firing line, away from all powder
  • Ball starter, ramrod, powder measure, and other loading and cleaning materials
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Bench or other solid support, and sandbags or firearm rest
  • Targets
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Recoil pads
  • Binoculars
  • Chronograph, if available, to measure velocity
  • Unit 3 of 4
  • Topic 4 of 5
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