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Thread: dealing with misses

  1. #1

    dealing with misses

    Hi All,

    I was out stalking last night by invatation. we saw lots of deer and came close but nothing stood long enough for a shot. on the way back we lamped for a fox.
    after a little while Charlie complies by standing looking at us from about 150yds away, i manage to get across the bonnet with the bipod down, hold on his chest squeze the trigger followed by charlie running off!!!!
    lots of muttering and swearing on my part.
    10 mins later the lamp lights up another pair of foxes about 150 yds away.
    this time i'm a bit more nervous as i definately don't want to mess this up so i ask the driver to range him. he was 140m away broadside on, stood still, I was PRONE off the bipod, hand tucked nicely under the heel of the stock, cross hairs straight on the shoulder, half a breath out, squeze, bang, off runs charlie and his mate. i'm to F*****ng shocked to even think about reloading. That fox should have been dead, no excuses.

    Right, before I left to go stalking i stuck half a dozen rounds through the 6.5 just to check it was still on, nothing went outside a small bean tin out to 150m.
    I've lost sleep over this so i've been out again this morning and tried it again and guess what? 9 rounds all in a small bean tin (never took the range finder but probably around 130-150m) I was kinda hoping it was out but nope, still smack on.

    I hate misses like this when your convinced the shot was good it makes me question everything, rifle/loads/bullet/incompitence on my part.

    The chap I was with made light of it which I was gratefull for but missing is bad enough but missing foxes in the lamp on someone elses ground is horrible especially when you don't know each other that well.

    How do you guys get over days like this (at the moment i feel like wanging my 6.5 up the garden by the muzzle)


    P.S to make matters worse i missed the turning for home and drove about 20 miles out of my way.

  2. #2
    Just wondering if you were up / downhill to any extent?, shooting off vehicles can bite you in the ass too, as I have found to my own cost when lamping fox, the tiniest movement of the vehicles body on the suspension can wreak havoc with the easiest of shots, a supressed sneeze from a partner behind the wheel or the merest breeze can do it! If your shooting your zero's as you claim, I couldn't put it down to anything else.

  3. #3
    We all miss and lamping is a real pain in the ass for judging distance and if it is some one Else's ground then Christ you could have been 50 mtrs out. But for me the fact you went back and zeroed your rifle and all is well would be enough for me to know my rifle was on and it was a bad night. To put it in perspective i took a chap out a few years back to a place i needed to get rid of foxes. He fired 20 rounds at about 18 different foxes all within 150 mtr and some as close as 80mtr.We got to foxes that night now for me that was a bad night and the chap phoned me the next day and said his gun was perfect. You just never know.

  4. #4
    The second shot was off the ground, prone.
    What does that leave? earthquake.
    I don't know what the answer is but it is obviously down to me.

  5. #5
    Just put it down to an off night.
    As the saying goes "a complete miss is the best miss" also, i suspect that a "miss" was already playing on your mind as being with a relevant stranger can bring those type of thoughts.
    You know your rifle was zeroed and you know you`re capable so get back in the saddle and put it down to experience.

  6. #6
    hi ezzy,i know what you mean about easy misses i was out last nite after a fallow buck or two,we came across two nice bucks in fairly thick wood and after a bit of manouvering about i managed to get a shot of only to miss completly it was only about 80 or 90 yards away and i was aiming for the engine room,i couldn,t believe i,d missed it ,probably the best buck i,d ever saw.
    well to cut a long story short i went over to another field to wait just as darkness was falling for the first 20 minutes all i saw were does then a single pricket came out and i got him with a shot to the boiler house.
    as basil says after a miss you just have to pick yourself up and get on with it.
    all the best the scudd

  7. #7
    What rifle are you using? I have had rifles before that shoot one hole groups, then put a bi-pod on and you start missing things. Do you have a moderator? If so, does the bush sit free of the barrel or is it a tight fit. You may have had something stuck between the barrel and stock.

    There are a miriad of things that could have caused this

  8. #8
    Ezzy, two problems. Man and machine
    On the machine side my guess is that the biggest problem could be put down to not properly fitting stocks. If you look at any disciplin in shooting competitions how much effort is put into the stock shapes.
    Especially factory rifles made for the american market with their low combs fitted with a high mounted european scope is not great. On the range a bad fitting stock can produce good groups because one has a huge level on concentration, in the field the concentration can be elsewhere. That is where a stock must just naturally mould into the shape of the shooter.
    I make my own stocks and enjoy chopping and changing the shape until it fits well for all shooting positions. The advantage is also that with testing a stock one gets a nice bit of practice shooting and confidence rises.
    One can often find a banged up walnut stock cheap, this can be shaped and pieces added until it fits perfect. Once finished it can be painted and grip areas added.
    Otherwise plenty practice can also compensate somewhat. I like off-hand practice because its closer to field conditions than the bench. Off-hand also teaches to point aim and shoot a bit quicker, which can translate to quicker target finding, aim and shot off the bipod later in the field. This 10min shuffling around on a bench till a shot gets fired is useless as practice.

  9. #9



    Just put it down to experience. I think foxing goes in phases. I am up to 51 for the year and go through phases where I feel I cannot miss. Last friday I got one at 249m. Last night I missed 2, at about 80m and 140m. Thankfully I then slotted one at about 120m.

    They were (I hope) due to shooting off the window with the engine running. Everyone else is right though, a clean miss isnt a bad result and everything will seem rosy when you hit the next one. I hate the empty feeling a miss leaves with you though.

    One thing worth checking if you have a wooden stock is if it is free floating all of the time. I have just had to sand mine as it was touching and sending misses 3" high, but only when warm. If everything got really cold it didnt quite touch. Had me scratching my head thats for sure.

  10. #10
    The most likely cause from what you have posted is the Ground to Stock Interface in other words **** happens.

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