CROSS-STICKS
(ALSO KNOWN AS “CROSSED STICKS”)


 


If you already own a set of cross-sticks that you use when shooting in a Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette match, they will also work just fine for Long Range shooting.

As you may already know from participating in or attending other types of matches, cross-sticks come in all shapes and sizes. Each shooter has his or her own preference concerning how they are made and what type of material or padding they use to protect the rifle when it’s laying in the “V” nook formed by the crossed sticks.

Here is what the NRA rulebook for Black Powder Target Rifles says concerning crossed sticks:

“Crossed Sticks: Crossed sticks constructed of two wooden legs, no greater than 1 inch by 2 inches in thickness and width or 1 1/2” in diameter, and bolted or tied so that the two legs are hinged and capable of pivoting. The end of the legs may be equipped with spikes no more than 3 inches in length and no wider than the edge of the crossed stick.

They may be inserted into the ground by hand pressure only to aid in retention of an upright position. One layer of protective material may be suspended or inserted in the “V” of the crossed sticks to protect the rifle.”

It’s interesting to note, as I pointed out in my article entitled “Interesting Facts About The First Creedmoor Match — 1874” under the “History” tab on this web site, that the use of crossed sticks, or any type of artificial support for the barrel of the rifle, was strictly prohibited in the match that took place between the United States and Ireland in September, 1874.

Although crossed sticks had already been in wide use by Buffalo hunters for many years, they had not yet reached a level of acceptance among the Long Range target shooting community.

International-Style Rest

Another form of support that is allowed in most Long Range shooting matches is the International-style rest. Pictured below is a Wrist Rest offered by Buffalo Arms (www.buffaloarms.com):
 

This Wrist Rest is offered by
Buffalo Arms in their catalog.

It is Part #WR and retails
for $ 59.00 + SH.


Here is what the NRA says about this type of rest:

“A rest in the form of approved crossed sticks, or a forward hand support rest, such as sandbags or other rests built for that purpose may be used in the “Any” position, but may not be affixed to the rifle in any manner, and with the exception of crossed sticks, they may not contact the rifle in any way.”

Although that “V” in the sandbag shown above looks like an inviting place to rest your rifle barrel or the forearm of your stock, this type of rest is designed to be used with a heavy leather shooting glove worn by the shooter on his weak-side hand and placed under the forearm of the rifle for support. In this way, the rifle never comes into contact with the rest itself.

It takes some practice to get used to shooting from this position. Although you will see shooters using this type of rest, it is not used much for Long Range shooting in this country. However, it is my understanding that this type of rest is either required in International competitions or widely used.

By Darryl Hedges
 

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