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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi, I shoot prone (coming up on 1 year now), and have had issues where after 20 or so shots my entire wrist/hand area is totally numb and dead, I almost drop the rifle when I get up out of position. I have recently been playing with sling and handstop position trying different things (I have the fully adjustable MEC hand stop) and have made it heaps better, but now my index finger is going numb. The numbness goes away largely after a few minutes rest, but as I type this it is 24 hours since I shot and it is still tingling, and probably will for another day or so. I am constantly amazed that most people shooting prone are not getting any numbness at all, so do I just need to keep adjusting things and trying variations until I find my sweet spot?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Location: WA, USA
I help coach youth shooters and my problem is my elbow. It feels like it is about to start on fire before the pain eases somewhat while on the mat in prone position. An elbow pad helped, but then my hold was less steady. For me it was a matter of finding the sweet spot on sling tension to ensure I had enough support without putting too much stress on my arm.

Ranb


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for joining the conversation, sorry to hear about your elbow issues. While we're at it can you explain sling "tension" to me? The length of the sling sets the angle of your arm, but how does this alter "tension" ? Is it a correlation between when your arm is lower (less angle) you are "holding up" more weight and thus the sling would have more tension, as opposed to a shorter sling and a higher arm will transfer more weight down your arm bone. I don't understand why this is referred to as "sling tension", and anyway other than trying infinite position variations I'm finding it hard to know what to try next. I feel that if I were to shorten the sling then it might help with numbness, but that will likely also generate lower back issues as I will be higher up (less flat).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT, USA
Check the position of the forearm of the rife on your hand. If the rifle lays in your palm, or out toward the fingers, it can hyper-extend your wrist and cause pain or loss of feeling.

Try having the fore-end on the meaty part of your support hand (you will have to rotate the hand farther under the stock to do this).

Hopefully this will help you.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:33 am
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Location: Taunton, Somerset
Modena,

Sling "tension" refers to how hard the sling pulls on the rifle and arm. It's a function of the length against the butt-handsome length. If your index finger is going numb, is it possible that the sling is too tight, i.e. it's to short to reach the handstop/swivel without putting excessive pressure on your hand and arm?

Together with tension, I'd look at the position of the sling around your arm. If it's a conventional design, not a self-centring one like the Centra, could it be pulling against the inside of the arm? The brachial artery and plexus run here, and pressure will be uncomfortable.

As Pat suggests, your support wrist should be straight. If your handstop can be adjusted sideways, moving it rightwards (edited for lefties) will help to locate the rifle on the heel of your hand. While on the hand, your glove does have enough padding, doesn't it? I've seen folks soldier on with the same glove for years, long after any padding wore thin. Gloves are a consumable item. If your glove has a top-grip coating, perhaps stiffer rubber would spread the force of the handstop better?


Last edited by Tim S on Mon May 01, 2017 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 2:11 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the detailed response. I am left-handed, noting your handstop movement suggestion, I have tried moving it laterally in both directions, moving it to the right maybe sort of helped, but I didn't leave it there for long as it had the knock-on effect of introducing cant to the rifle and the cant was in the opposite direction to what I actually find more comfortable overall. I have tilted the bottom half of the stop away (towards muzzle) which has also maybe helped.

My sling is the Sauer Exact IV single-strap. Glove is Sauer Strong Open, it's only 10 months of use once a week.

I do find it hard to decide where the sling should be on my forearm, either above the wrist knuckle or below it, I find it hard to find repeatability in this setting when getting in position also. A couple of people in my club are very helpful in such things, but their time is limited and I don't like to bother them all the time, it seems a lot of this is simply trying stuff out yourself and finding that elusive sweet spot.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:15 am 
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Location: Taunton, Somerset
Modena,

I've edited my post. Handstop direction should have read rightwards, towards you. It would be odd for this to induce anboutwards cant if your wrist was straight; if you wrist was bent, then shifting the rifle leftwards, would put the weightcfurther out on your palm, tipping it down. Do remember that moving the stop can alter sling tension; with some stops, lateral adjustment increases the distance to the swivel.

I would not want the sling to sit above my wrist knuckle. There it sits directly over the small bones of your hand; that's going to hurt quickly. The sling normally passes under (maybe only just) the wrist knuckle, and then over the back of the wrist/base of hand. I find it easier to get the sling laid properly by slinging up while kneeling in the mat, with the rifle but on my thigh. I find there is enough slack in the sling that I can easily slide in my hand, and position the strap. I do envy those who can sling up while lying down.


Last edited by Tim S on Tue May 02, 2017 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:13 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
thanks. I also position the sling/hand while knelling and rifle butt on my leg


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Location: Rapid City,SD
Might want to check out this article by Bob Foth. >>>http://vc4hss.com/_Coaches/BF_Slings/BFoth_Sling_How_To.htm


Scott


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:59 am
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Location: A new global Great Britain
numbness in thumb and next 2 fingers can also be a trapped nerve in the neck. I would get it checked out too.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:50 pm
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In order:
1. Turn your hand so that the index finger points more in line with the barrel. This may tighten the sling up a bit,but it will relieve the nerve pinch in your hand. Which brings us to...
2. Loosen the sling a bit. This can be accomplished with the sling itself, or by something as simple as bringing the hand stop back a 1/16 or 1/8 of inch.
3. Get rid of the hand stop. Keep the guts of the stop that attaches it to the rife, but eliminate the stop itself. Look at a photo Michael McPhail's sling setup to see what I mean.


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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:43 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
thanks for the input, on the handstop you're suggesting that the MEC is too large/complex, and better to go smaller/simple? Do you have a reference for the pic of McPhail that you describe? I tried to find one, can find heaps of pictures of him in position but nothing that shows his handstop setup?


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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 4:01 am 
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Location: Taunton, Somerset
Modena wrote:
thanks for the input, on the handstop you're suggesting that the MEC is too large/complex, and better to go smaller/simple? Do you have a reference for the pic of McPhail that you describe? I tried to find one, can find heaps of pictures of him in position but nothing that shows his handstop setup?


Mike McPhail uses an old Anschutz 4733 stop with the stop removed. I can't remember if he has also reversed it, to locate his hand against the swivel.

A handstop that's too large can certainly cause discomfort. The black horseshoe shaped Anschutz 4751 is one example; it's too wide for small hands. However the MEC is pretty slim, and not that complex. A smaller stop might work, but I wouldn't categorically say that a MEC stop is too large.

I'd look at the position of the sling around the arm, the tightness of the cuff around the arm, and the placement of the hand/wrist first. A straight wrist is desirable; the handstop and sling may need adjustment to accommodate this. The fit of the jacket at the sling arm, and padding underneath would also be relevant. Does the jacket crease inside the arm? Is the padding high enough? Often it doesn't extend high enough to cushion a high sling in prone, especially with off the peg jackets. Are you wearing enough padding underneath? A t-shirt isn't enough.


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