Stupid Questions about F-TR

Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by clunker, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. clunker

    clunker Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Messages:
    221
    I'm hoping to enter my first F-class TR competition next year. Never shot in any competition before, so I have no idea what to expect.

    I really like my basic Harris-style bipod, but it has hard plastic feet that slip easily on grass, smooth concrete, or wood surfaces. I want to modify the feet so they are more suitable for competition, but I honestly have no idea what surface I would be shooting from at those events. If it's grass, then I want some spikes. If it's wood or smooth concrete then I want soft rubber feet. Is the shooting surface always the same regardless of where the event is held? If it depends upon location, how many different surfaces might I encounter? Thanks
     
  2. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    870
    Depends on the specific range.

    Gravel, grass, concrete, mud, rubber, dirt, sand should cover the majority of options.

    Find a mat or board that you like to use the bipod on and use that. Then surface wont matter much.
     
    LGKLAS likes this.
  3. clunker

    clunker Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Messages:
    221
    Thanks for the great info. I haven't used a mat yet, but it makes sense to have your own surface to normalize varying conditions. Oddly enough, I shoot best in the mud.
     
  4. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,698
    Which is why spikes on grass/dirt and soft rubber on concrete is less than ideal.

    If you like to load your bipod somewhat, get a board and put some rough carpet or rubbery or non-skid material on - both sides. Or a different material on either side - experiment a little. If you like a looser hold, or like to let it 'slide', then go with something slick like the flexible plastic cutting boards you can get cheap in the grocery stores.

    One thing to be aware of is that there are some stipulations in the rules as to the max size for that 'board or plate'. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader to find out what those are ;)

    Probably because you're getting less 'bounce' with the more forgiving surface under the bipod. If you do a board like I mentioned above, you might try putting a pad or rug either under or over it to soften the bounce in a similar manner.
     
    LGKLAS and Taildrag15X like this.
  5. clunker

    clunker Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Messages:
    221
    To be honest, I don't see much difference in whether I load the bipod or not. Each seems to have a different trajectory, but both seem to be equally accurate as long as I am consistent in how I position myself. It has been a while since we have had mud around here, and that was before I got my bipod hop under control. Could be that the mud was a good buffer for an inexperienced shooter. I tried putting an anchored 2x4 in front of the bipod, but it seemed to be more of a handicap for my lack of skill. As long as the feet don't slip under mild pressure, I'm golden. Just trying to plan for a solid schooling from the far more experienced shooters I will encounter.
     
  6. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,101
    Take a look around at Home Depot, Lowes, or similar stores. In the flooring section, they usually have black rubber matting in rolls of various thicknesses that is commonly used underneath various pieces of exercise equipment. I like the type that is ~3/8" thick and is made from recycled tires. It is fairly "grippy", not super expensive, and is not so thick it can't readily be cut with heavy duty shears. These stores will also have alternative choices, such as door mats, stair tread covering, indoor/outdoor carpeting, etc. Just look around and see what might best suit your taste.
     
    LGKLAS and joshb like this.
  7. Taildrag15X

    Taildrag15X

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,797
    I use an older kitchen rug with a rubbery back upside down, I use a Harris with Pod Paws and Pod Lok......a shooting mat will help.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    LGKLAS likes this.
  8. Peebles24

    Peebles24 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    325
    Most i see shooting ftr are allowing the bipod to track with recoil rather than fix it in one spot. look at the feet on a seb joy pod, they are flat like rails for sliding back under recoil.
     
  9. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,101
    A Harris-type is not designed to work that way. Bipods with ski- or sled-type feet are designed to track with recoil. To use one properly, you also need some type of eared rear bag. In contrast, a Harris, or "traditional" bipod was intended to be pre-loaded by pushing forward into the rifle buttstock to some degree, specifically to prevent the feet from moving. They are typically used with some kind of squeezable bean bag in the rear for elevation adjustment. I have seen Harris type bipod feet with a large ball bearing-type roller instead of a rubber foot to allow them to track under recoil. They would be illegal in F-TR.

    Bipods with ski- or sled-type feet that track under recoil are simply a a means to mimic as closely as possible shooting off a front rest like F-Open shooters, but still stay within the F-TR rules. Either bipod type and shooting approach can be used successfully; as expected, each has specific and critical issues that must be observed. For example, one key to using a pre-loaded bipod/bean bag setup is to have very uniform force pre-loading the bipod for every shot. Otherwise, you'll likely see increased vertical. With a ski-/sled-type bipod and eared rear bag, it's very critical that the rifle track nice and straight front to back during the recoil impulse. So, you basically have two slightly different setups, and two slightly different approaches.
     
    LGKLAS and Peebles24 like this.
  10. boltman13

    boltman13 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    490
    I may be wrong, correct me if I am, but I don't think spikes are allowed on F-TR bipods. The bipod must not be affixed to the ground.
     
  11. rardoin

    rardoin Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,717
    No protrusions/leveling screws on a board on which the legs ride...if one uses a board. I saw no reference to the feet allowed on the bipod or language that would exclude it so it seems a spiked 'Harris type' would be legal. It does mention no protrusions from the rear bag into the firing line.
     
  12. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,698
    Way back when, the FTR definitions specified no longer than 2" spikes. Somewhere along the line, that was quietly deleted with no notice to the shooters - go figure.

    In theory you could probably try 6" spikes... though I think the local match director may take exception to you tearing up their firing line.

    Most people moved away from spikes because once you get off your home range that might have grass mounds... they kinda don't work the way you want any more. Some ranges with sand/gravel firing lines, they just sink. Others that have hard clay or concrete firing lines... they just skitter around.

    I used a set of PodPaws like in the picture above for a long time on my Harris bipod... but eventually I ran across a range (Raton) that had this really fine coal slag for the firing line, and even *those* started to sink in during a string. I ended up getting a thin flexible cutting board from the local IGA for it to 'float' on. Took the rubber booties off, and the metal pucks actually slid a bit on the plastic. Worked pretty good... kind of a pre-cursor to the modern 'ski' feet.
     
    damoncali, Taildrag15X and LGKLAS like this.
  13. SWRichmond

    SWRichmond

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Messages:
    161
  14. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,651
    I would add that a lot of folks seem to think spikes are illegal, so if you do feel like trying them, know that they *are* legal, and don't let them tell you otherwise. But like milanuk says above, it's better to not use them because they will likely not be consistent as you move from firing point to firing point, even on the same range. A patch of hard dirt isn't going to work like a patch of soft grass, let alone concrete.

    For concrete ranges, a $4 thin, soft carpet door mat from home depot does a great job without the hassle of the thick rubber or boards that a lot of people use. It doesn't work as well on a natural surface, though.
     

Share This Page