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Thread: Zeroing a moderated rifle

  1. #1

    Zeroing a moderated rifle

    How do you guys go about zeroing/target practice with a moderated full bore rifle? I've always zeroed by rattling off three shots in succession, checking the group and adjusting accordingly before firing another three. Well I did that last weekend and couldn't get a tight group, each succesive shot was higher than the last.

    I've read that the temperature of the barrel and mod can make a noticeable difference to zero, and my 270 gets incredibly hot after three shots. So I've been thinking that the next time I go to the range i'll fire one round, put it to one side for a few minutes to cool down, rattle off a few mags on the .22 to keep me occupied, and then squeeze another one off the .270. Does that seem sensible, or is there something better I could try? Seems to me that the zero with a cold barrel is the most important as it'll most likely be cold when fired in the field.
    Last edited by Steve29; 11-11-2010 at 15:27.

  2. #2
    What you propose is spot on. Also remember to Zero with the rifle as it is when you go stalking and also try and shoot it as close to your preferred shooting style as possible but att he ssame time get you body - particularly your elbows well supported.

  3. #3
    Thanks, that's useful advice, although I shoot at a tube range so can't shoot prone or standing as I would when stalking, I have to sit on a chair. It's good and stable though, and removes the weather factor which helps.

  4. #4
    I always think when checking my zero before stalking is a bit false, only in the sense that the style of shooting at deer or foxes will always be different than target practice.

    So this is what i do, I get my rifle set up as if i was stalking with mod and bipod on, set my target out to 100 mtrs, (obviously if this was the first time i had zeroed the rifle then i would start out at 50mtrs just to get me on the paper) and lay down and using the bipod, shoot a couple of rounds into the target. I go over and check out where they are and if they are anywhere near the bull i pack up and go home. You may think this is a little unusual, but the way i see it is this, if that had been a deer or fox, then both my shots would have killed it as it is always the first shots that matter. I always think too that if you start shooting more off, unless your a reloader then the chaces are you will get a flyer which then causes you to start questioning your ability as well as the bullets and rifle.

    Some may disagree, but it works for me.


  5. #5
    I zero with mod off if its gonna take a few shots, then let barrel cool down completely, slap cold mod on and then fire a three shot group with cooling in between to confirm mod on zero. I suppose I may be lucky as I have found my .308 and .243 shoot to the same poa with or without mod on a 100 mts.


  6. #6
    I like to practise a fair bit using different rests/holds/positions etc to mimic "real life" stalking. I don't worry too much about group size but concentrate more on bullet strike(as per wadashot) as this is what matters. I would be concerned if bullets wandered way off the mark when the barrel/mod gets hot but an inch or two here and there is not the end of the world. By all means let your gun cool between shots to get best performance but plenty of practise in different conditions will really pay off in the long run.


  7. #7

    Sounds to me like your barrel is touching the fore end of the stock with the moderator on. Could be that the extra weight is causing the lift. It is all to do with the heat and barrel harmonics. A bipod will only make it worse.

    what king of stick is it? Run a tenner (or if you are english a fiver) up the barrel to the reciever if you can. If not it has forend pressure or touching somewhere.

    I know some are not into free floating but moderators are new and it helped mine big style. The rifle used to drive me mad and I got it sub MOA after a few modifications the main one being free floating.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by dieseldan; 11-11-2010 at 19:58.

  8. #8
    Would have to agree with the last, Your moderator if fitted correctly should not make any significant difference if you rifle is in zero without a mod. The moderator has clearance so that when fitted correctly the bullet should not come into contact with anything inside it, it should essentially sail straight through regardless. The other thing if you have an overbarrel mod, is that it also has to be fitted so that it doesent foul at the backend of the mod with the barrel. When screwing an overbarrel on, if the mod seems to get 'tight; at one point of a rotation, then the mod and the barrel are coming into contact and it is not fitted correctly.

    Was speaking to an excellent custom rifle maker at the weekend and he said that personally he wouldnt even trust a brand new 'screw cut' barrel that has been done in factory, always get it checked.

    Just a thought.

  9. #9
    I've found with my moderated Sauer 202 .308 that zero is spot on for about three or four shots, then starts to shift upwards as the barrel warms up. I let it cool for a few minutes and it's fine. Caused me no end of headaches when I was first zeroing it in until I grasped what was going on.

    This is no problem when stalking but makes the thing usless for the annual club sporting rifle competition.

  10. #10
    A correctly fitted moderator should make no difference to a rifle! Problems normally arise due to bad (off centre) screw cutting, badly fitting rear bushes (if fitted), extra weight causing barrel 'free floating' problems, loose baffles in certain models.
    Increased temperature will eventually affect the accuracy of any rifle, but 3 shots shouldn't make any noticeable difference.
    I would check to make sure it is ok with the moderator off first, then work through the above until you hopefully find which of the problems is causing the issue.
    What sort of Mod is it?

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