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How To Use a Shooting Rest

As a shooter and writer, I test many firearms. Some are pretty accurate, others are not, and accuracy is always relative to the type of firearm tested.

Sometimes I like to compare one firearm to the other. When you do this, it is best to eliminate human error as much as possible.

This is when the shooting rest comes into play. Firing from a benchrest begins awkwardly for some, for others it is second nature.

It is good to be able to fire the rifle off-hand and to understand off-hand firing positions using a sling.

But then, we also have to learn how to fire from a solid benchrest and eliminate human error.

Checking one load against the other for absolute accuracy and sighting in a rifle scope demand that we eliminate human error as much as possible.

I use the MTM K-Zone rifle and pistol rest. This is a versatile, well thought out, well made and very useful rest.

  • K-Zone Shooting Rest is a fully-adjustable rugged rifle and handgun shooting rest
  • Precision-dialed screw pedestal adjusts forearm level for exact positioning.
  • Front and rear shooting pads are made of non-marring rubber
  • Handgun pad can be adjusted for different sized pistols and removed for sporting rifle style firearms
  • Heavy-weight performance with lightweight design; Weighs four pounds; Made in USA

Assembly and Use

The MTM K-Zone rest arrived in a cardboard box. Assembly is easy. I am a fan of well-designed and well-written instructions with plenty of images!

It is simple enough to take the rest apart for storage.

The rest is easily adjusted for various rifle lengths, and it is also useful for handguns by using the supplied handgun pad.

The handgun pad also opens to store range gear such as cleaning rods and tools to adjust scopes and sights.

It only weighs four pounds. This makes it easy enough to transport. If desired, there is room to add weight if you are using a hard-kicking rifle.

If you get into the .30-06 class, perhaps a bit of weight for additional stability is desirable. The rest is plenty rugged for most chores.

The telescoping rear section features good adjustment and the rest is comfortable to use. There is nothing loose about the K-Zone rest.

Sometimes I use an old blanket over a wooden bench at a public range to make shooting more comfortable.

The geometry of the K-Zone rest makes shooting comfortable and easy enough.

When you get comfortable, you may want to place a small bag (a shooting bag filled with sand) at the toe of the stock to keep it level.

You may need this and you may not.

Shooting Rest Positioning

When you are ready to fire, carefully place the rifle forend in the groove of the rest.

Don’t put the hand under the rifle and then brace the rifle on the hand.

This will be uncomfortable and not nearly as accurate as a proper braced position.

You will shoot better than off-hand probably, but not as well as a true braced firing position if you use the non-dominant hand.

I use the benchrest to take the place of the support hand. I use the brace to carefully support the barrel, but don’t place the barrel on the rest.

Use the forend. Then I put the rifle hard into my shoulder and curl the support hand up and around my body, not touching the rifle.

The benchrest takes the place of the support side hand

Proper Eye Relief

Relax and properly align the sights or the scope reticule. Get a good aim and carefully press the trigger to the rear.

You will have a good understanding of rifle accuracy by using the proper technique and keeping the support hand folded and using good trigger control.

I sometimes see folks get way too close to the scope. The scope should be set for proper eye relief.

If you get too close to the scope, you are going to get a knock on the eyebrow and it isn’t pleasant.

Neither should you keep your eye so far back that you squint to look into the scope. You will not be doing that in the field.

The proper offset or eye relief is when you have a full field of view in the rifle scope.

Off-Hand Placement

When firing, keep the rifle held smoothly, not in a death grip, just firm, not too tight — allow the rifle to recoil and move to the rear smoothly.

Line the sights up properly and press the trigger smoothly straight to the rear.

Your rifle may not yet be sighted in, but you should be making a small group on the target.

This group will then be moved to the point of aim as you adjust your sights.

The end result will be high accuracy and confidence in your rifle.

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