The fact is that every rifle has a life cycle and peculiarities. These should be documented from the beginning. No matter whether you are a hunter or a shooter. In the best case, one notes all events with a rifle in a shooting logbook.
all4hunters/all4shooters.com had the opportunity to participate in an accuracy test. Invited by Jens Tigges from O.M.I. (Outdoor Marketing International), we wanted to find out what you have to do as the owner of a hunting rifle (or sporting rifle) to ensure that it hits the bull's eye. Accuracy has many sources of error. As a hunter, but also as a sporting shooter, you should be aware of them. To say it in advance: if you as a hunter want to get the most from your hunting rifle for a long time, you can't get around the topic of gun care and recording of events. You think we exaggerate? Okay, then please watch our 30-minute video and judge for yourself. It's worth it!
Video: how to achieve the best accuracy? Our 10 tips presented with a Savage 110 Tactical rifle, a Leupold VX 5 scope and Hornady Precision Hunter ammunition
But let's start from the beginning, with the expression "sighting in". What does this actually mean? From the gunsmith's or dealer's point of view, it usually means nothing more than that a control group (min. 3 shots) has been made with the gun, usually at 100 meters. With this control group, however, the rifle is far from being really sighted in. As a rule, it is only then that the work with the rifle begins, namely with the search for the right cartridge. And it is precisely at this point that many users make their first mistake. Instead of starting with match ammunition, the desired load is often selected immediately. If the group does not match at 100 meters, it is either due to the rifle, the scope or the ammunition. Or so one thinks. When it comes to the desired ammo, one should always start with the respective match ammunition of the corresponding brand. If the group fits at 100 meters with the match ammunition and the barrel has fired at least 40 rounds, it will also fit with the respective desired ammunition with great probability, or become better.
10 tips & tricks for accurate shooting
Tip 1 is the correct sequence when selecting ammunition. This is the only way to get the maximum accuracy out of any gun. So, please be sure to sight in the rifle and preferably start with match ammunition. When accuracy is achieved, then select the appropriate hunting ammo with further tests.
Tip 2 is the correct cleaning interval for the first shots with the new gun. Especially with high-quality barrels, professionals proceed as follows: for the first 10 shots, chemically clean the gun after every shot. For the second 10 shots, it is cleaned every two shots, and for the third 10 shots, it is cleaned only every 5 shots. The effort you put in at the beginning will be repaid by the rifle with extremely accurate groups and long cleaning intervals if you maintain the rifle correctly and regularly.
Tip 3 is the number of shots you need to fire in order to achieve good, repeatable accuracy. Experience shows that with button-rifled barrels this is the case from about 40 shots. With hammer forged barrels, even more shots are often necessary to achieve maximum accuracy. Being patient and working through this program pays off.
Tip 4 is the correct mounting of the riflescope. It is imperative that you listen to the manufacturer's instructions and, if in doubt, have the assembly installed by a professional gunsmith. Do not underestimate the issue of scope mounting in any case, especially if you remove the riflescope more often. You must pay particular attention to the proper mounting. Often, a screw that is not tightened to the correct torque is already the tipping point that leads to hit deviation.
Tip 5 is to use the right shooting rest. Use one that allows the rifle to slide forward and backward. This makes it possible to adjust the aiming point up or down by simply moving the gun.
Tip 6 is the correct position of the shooter behind the shooting rest. Here you should make sure that you can rest both elbows on the table and that both feet are firmly on the ground. The table (preferably three-legged) must be fixed and must not wobble – it must be really stable.
Tip 7 is the right clothing and the right eye relief from the scope. Here you should wear what you wear as a hunter during the hunting season. If you have a Picatinny rail on your rifle, you should make a second mark on the rail in case you move the scope further forward during the hunting season. This happens, for example, when you go hunting in the summer and use thin clothing when aiming. Take a look at our video and listen to the "Eye-Box" section. As always when the scope is removed or moved, 1-3 test shots should be taken afterwards so that you can be sure that the scope still fits correctly and the accuracy and point of impact are ok.
Tip 8 is the box test. Try to shoot a box test with rifle gun. The advantage of the box drill is that test you get more confidence in the gun and scope and secondly you control the accuracy of the scope. See the video for more details.
Tip 9 is dry firing. Dry firing simulates trigger pull. Here you can get a feel for the trigger pull and see any errors that would go unnoticed when live firing.
Tip 10 is the logbook. Even if it may sound exaggerated, but what the sports shooters use is also a helpful tool for the hunter. Especially when it comes to events that you have experienced with the gun, a shooting logbook definitely helps. In this book, cleaning intervals but also suddenly occurring hit deviations are noted. Anyone who makes this effort will get the most from his/her gun for a long time.
The equipment in our video:
Rifle: Savage 110 Tactical Here is an article about the Savage 110 TAC on all4hunters/all4shooters.
Ammunition: Hornady Precision Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor Read here how the 6.5 Creedmore beats against the .308 Win.
Scope: Leupold VX 5 HD 3-15x56 Here you can find more info about the scopes of the Leupold brand.