Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Field Supports
Non firing hand support

Field supports:

Okay guys lets talk about something field craft related.

What is your favorite rifle support other than bipods? How many of you have experience
using camera tripods? We have been using them in the military for years now and they are
becoming SOP. How many of you guys practice with slings? THe canadian competition had
an excellent stage which required alternate firing positions other than the bipod supported

Gooch out.
gooch <>
Sherwood, AR USA - Wednesday, September 23, 1998 at 21:45:14 (EDT)

Gooch - crossed sticks with sling when possible. Use the middle three sections of a fishpole
antenne and join with 3/16 inch bungee. Repeat then tie together with gutted 550 cord.
You now have a bipod that reaches from 6" off the ground to a high kneeling postion. With
the sling added for extra stability, it works like a champ. Use the old cotton web sling witht
he slide adjustment keeper and figure 8 buckle. Sucker is lose until you need it then goes
tight with a tug. Works great and you can still feel your fingers after several hours.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Wednesday, September 23, 1998 at 23:11:43 (EDT)

Field craft topic; Hasty rests. Good call! Lets get into this a little. Ideas are most

The students at SMTC came up with a real winner. They saw the need for height and came
up with some Tomato stakes. These were aluminum rods about 4 feet tall with a green
plastic coating. They had small nubbs on them that when in contact, tended to make the
home spun tripod lock together very nicely. Tied with 550 cord, you have a great way to
get up in the tall grass or overcome a rise in the terrain. Best of all, they only cost 99 cents
each. My arrow shafts run $5.50 and are too short for a lot of situations.

Example: I spent 45 minutes cutting into the back of a bush to creat a blind to shoot
through at the observer. I finally cut a window, and got back about 15 yards from the bush
so I'd have some stand off to hide muzzle flash and movement. I set up the tripod, took a
look though the scope and it became obvious that the arrows were not tall enough!

The terrain dropped away just enough that my window was a no go. Worse, I couldn't
lower the window as the observer would have been out of sight as he was up hill in tall
grass. I needed those tomato stakes in a big way! As I only had five minutes left to make
the shot, I was out of decision and prep time. I hussled up hill, took the shot in the open and
got busted on the observers scan. Moral? Always think it through before you commit!
Scott <>
USA - Thursday, September 24, 1998 at 10:20:50 (EDT)

On field sticks, I made a set out of oak about 34" long with the pivot down about 6 or 7
inches. There about 1.25" wide and about .5" to .7" thick. There damn durable and you
can shoot from sitting down to prone or open them up for off hand shooting. I tried all kinds
of commercial ones but they don't hold up under field conditions. Coyote hunting is pretty
hard on things. They also work great as a walking stick and about anything else you could
think of. There esp steady if you loop your sling over the one side and suck it up tight. Both
Shawn and I were able to smack steel at 500yds while sitting with them out in Wyoming.

Isn't the camera tripod a little heavy to lug around??
Do you guys use some type of adapter to rest your rifle on it?? On your own personal rifle,
some guy just traded in a Jap rifle with a Douglas barrel on it in 308 at the local gun shop,
this weeks special is $150.00!!! It could be yours Buddy, then you could be in a class all by
yourself sort of and elitetest, you did say it was the man behind the gun not the gun(HA).
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, September 24, 1998 at 13:00:15 (EDT)

Field Sticks: I have had to adapt to different shooting methods in the field because of 3
fused vertebra in my neck (no prone) and many knee surgeries (no kneeling), I shoot
varmints in open country so fairly long shots. I have ended up with sticks very much like
those Pat describes adding target points for arrows to make them stay put. With practice
these provide a very steady platform and I find them much faster to use than bipods, in
fact with my back against a rest (read tree) can approach bench groups. Pat is right they
do make good walking sticks and with my knees that aint a bad deal either.

Dave in Ok.
Dave Martin <>
Ok USA - Thursday, September 24, 1998 at 17:23:32 (EDT)

Re: Field sticks
Field sticks are fine except for the problem of carrying them around. I don't know if
anyone else has tried this method but it works fairly well. Get a piece of thin rope which
has minimal stretch. I've used telflon insulated 20 gauge stranded wire with good results. It
needs to be about 15 feet long, depending on your height. Tie one end to any object on the
ground. A rock works best if it weighs over 20 lbs. You could also use a knife stuck in the
ground or the trunk of a little bush. If there's nothing to tie to, wrap it around your boot
and stand on it. Run it from there around the front sling swivel in such a way that it can
slide through but not very easily. Continue it back down and around the other foot or
another rock or bush. The idea is to make a triangle with the two ropes or wires and your
body as the third leg. Make one turn around that object and bring the end up and hold on
to it with your hand under the
forstock. You can adjust upward by just lifting the rifle and letting out slack, or lower it by
pulling up on the rope. Once your close you can trim it with body position. To use it just lift
the rifle sufficiently to put a slight tension on the ropes and fire. I find I can set it up in
about 15 seconds. It's probably not quite as stable as the tomato rods (a great find) or a
Parker Hale bipod, but it weighs only a few grams and fits in your shirt pocket. You can
always have if with you for an emergency and you can use it at any hight.

Lou Boyd <>
Patagonia, AZ USA - Friday, September 25, 1998 at 02:37:47 (EDT)

Shooting sticks for tactical work: Someone asked about carrying methods. Most of the
guys I have met stuff them into their drag bag along side the rifle. This limits the over all
length to the length of the bag but there is really no other otpion (tying it to the outside of
the bag?...ok, that'll work) as the sniper has enough to worry about with out having to
hand carry his sticks. For field shooting, as in a stalk test scenario, this can be a problem at
times as his sticks might be too short. In the woods it ain't no big thing to make a hasty rest
from branches or even in desperation, slinging some 550 between to hefty branches and
taking a "supported" offhand shot. Or just leaning into a full size tree. What ever you do,
ALWAYS carry 550 cord. This stuff is better than gold, particularly if you strip out the
core material.

Scott <>
USA - Friday, September 25, 1998 at 08:35:46 (EDT)

Back to rifle supports. A lot of our guys like using light weight camera tripods. The quick
release tripod head adapter is modified to support the rifle in a number of ways. My
favorite is to make a saddle out of a piece of pvc pipe cut in half along its length then
screwed onto the tripod head. The pvc saddle is then painted and lined with indoor/outdoor
carpet to give a non-skid surface. You can then use the tripod to shoot off of or get other
tripod heads for attachment to cameras, spotting scoes, lazer range finders etc.

The tripod is handiest when firing from sitting and higher positions. We mostly use either a
Harris bipod or Rucksack/asspack for the prone.

Gooch out.
gooch <>
Sherwood, AR USA - Friday, September 25, 1998 at 17:32:07 (EDT)

WOW FIELDCRAFT!!!! Again on the cross sticks, I like the fishpole antenna because
they are sectional and collapse to about 13-14 inches and can be carried very easily and
yet can be extended to any height the maker wants to contruct the little begger. If you
can't find the fishpole antennas then the sectional tent poles that are hollow so that you
can pass the thin bungee through works just as well. Camo for them is as easy as paint,
burlap, and elastic bands to add grass and our branches for camo.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Friday, September 25, 1998 at 21:33:14 (EDT)

RE: Field rests and rifle camo:

Field rests for seated shooting are two tripods made from 36" X 5/8" wooden dowels. The
dowels in each tripod are connected with a rubber bungee tiedown wrapped around the
dowel bundle and hooked together at the "s" hooks. This makes for a tight tripod, but still
allows the legs to be slid up and down to change elevation. The second tripod is used as a
shooter rest. I lean back on the second tripod and lock my right elbow in TIGHT over one
leg to get a really solid rest. Legs are painted and garnished.

I forgot to mention that about 10-12" from the bottom of each leg I attached a loop which I
strung a connecting cord through so the legs of the tripod do not splay out when I put
weight on the rest.

USA - Saturday, September 26, 1998 at 10:49:51 (EDT)

on field rests.
I have used breakdown aluminum tentpoles, and a piece of pvc material with two holes that
i stick the poles thru and let the rifle rest on the pvc material witch also holds them
They also come in handy when erecting a quick short term hide.

Haraldur Gustafsson <>
Egilsst., Iceland - Saturday, September 26, 1998 at 22:07:54 (EDT)

I just got a small camera tripod I want to try for more height adjustment. What is the best way to make a platform for the rifle to sit on? How is it best carried? so far I just roll it in my mat.
Calif. USA - Thursday, December 03, 1998 at 20:56:44 (EST) 
I still need help on what is the best platform to put on a camera tripod to make a rifle rest.

Calif. USA - Friday, December 04, 1998 at 18:28:09 (EST) 

On the camera tripod thing. Someone recommended aluminum U-channel a while back. I have used PVC pipe cut lengthwise. Pad whatever you use. Screw the "whatever" to the quick release adapter/shoe on the tripod (the part that comes off). You can then get other adapters/shoes for other devices and have multiple uses for the tripod.

gooch <>
USA - Friday, December 04, 1998 at 20:17:35 (EST) 

Someone was asking about tripod camera mounts and what to put on them.
Walmart has a front end rifle rest in some of the stores that is made out of foam rubber covered with cloth and has a strap on it for about 7 bucks. But also I might offer this..... I used a standard Weaver aluminum base (fairly thick one works best) and drilled a hole right through the center. If you have a RCBS stuck case remover the thread in the tap is the same as a camera thread. Simply use the drill bit and the thread to tap the base. Now you can mount your extra rifle scope and use if for a spotting scope if you want or you can grind off a weaver mount and put it on some kind of platform or turn it side ways and put a 1" piece of pvc in there for a platform depending on your imagination. It's hand for a lot of things.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Monday, December 07, 1998 at 11:18:42 (EST) 


Non firing hand support:

Hey guys.Thought I would ask a question and perhaps throw in my .02 Do you use/carry
any type of support for the non firing hand for prone supported? I rarely come across this
in any discussions. I know some of you military types have some information on this in your
manuals but don't know if the LE community uses it. Personally I like a OD sock filled to
the ankle with sand, knotted or sown shut. It makes a portable/stable butt rest (one that
can fairly easily be made up on the spot) and with slight opening or closing of the fist make
elevation adjustments. Or is this too elementary for discussion?
Bill Mohr <>
Utica, Ny USA - Tuesday, September 29, 1998 at 00:33:18 (EDT)

On the question over the non-firing hand support. Sand is pretty heavy, I prefer to use
plastic beads. You can get these at Walmart in the crafts section near the doll making
supplies. A couple of bucks gets you enough to make two happy socks. Fill a ziplock bag
with enough to make you happy, put a couple of wraps of duct tape around it for
sturdyness and put it in the sock. I'ts lighter than the sand and makes a good weapon to
bash your observer with when he's off on the wind. You can also put red beans and rice in
it just in case you are forced into a survival situation. (Seriously!)

Gooch out.
Gooch <>
Sherwood, AR USA - Tuesday, September 29, 1998 at 15:22:18 (EDT)

Bean Bags - We ban them at SOTIC. The reason is that many new shooters will not hang
onto the weapon properly when they first start out when the front and the rear of the
weapon is fully supported. They are afraid of disturbing the pretty sight picture. We give
them an old NRA style shooting glove. This gives them the same support but encourages
holding onto the weapon better. Without the proper tension on the weapon, it is subject to
free recoil and that destroys groups. By using the glove tension and support are maintained
and the elevation can still be adjusted through squeezing of the hand. Try it, you guys may
find it better than the glove and it permits movement with the glove on the hand and you
are not trying to drag a 5 pound bag of sand around. Gooch, watch the rice, if it gets wet
you will have one heck of a mess on your hands!

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Tuesday, September 29, 1998 at 23:02:37 (EDT)

Where are the proof readers!!! That sentence that makes even less sense than normal
should have stated to try it, that it may work better for you than the bag and the the glove
is easier to move around with on your hand. What ever. Been a long day guys with the
students in the woods last night and then a first light hit on a "Terrorist Camp".

Sorry guys, guess I'm getting punchy.
Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Tuesday, September 29, 1998 at 23:10:37 (EDT)

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