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Thread: When the rifle is off zero!

  1. #1

    When the rifle is off zero!

    SO. Decided that I would head out this morning to a bit of ground I only go to half a dozen times a year, mainly because it is only 42 acres of tall grass for most of the roe buck season. It had been cut the other week though so thought I would check it out before heading to another bit a little further out. Got there just about 5.40am to see a decent buck with doe and kid in the neighbours crop. They didn't like me looking at them though so they legged it across the park. Driving round a little further I check my field out to see a couple of hares, which are starting to be a regular occurrence, and another larger brown shape sitting in the grass. Its a young buck I had seen a few times before but always left him. Freezer was empty this time though so thought sod it and parked the car up. To cut a long story short there is no cover between me and him except for a few bumps in the field so I crawled on my belly through the soaking wet grass until I was around 80 yards from him. There was no wind but he was pretty preoccupied thrashing at a thistle so I could get in quite close. Or so I thought. I needed another 10 yards to get a clear shot when he clocked me moving the rifle and that was him - gone! Feeling pretty displeased and soaking wet from the chest down. I stomped back to the car to go to the next place. Still early though so plenty of time.

    Got to the next place by about half 6 and had a quick scan of the area from the road. Only a doe that I could see at one side but there are a few hidden bits further down so I parked the car and got the rifle out. I only managed around 100yds down the track when a movement on the brow of the field caught my eye, around 250 yds away. It was a little button buck followed by a bigger animal. They were on course to come straight across me towards the wood so I managed to get to the only bit of cover which was a strainer post with some long grass near it and waited. They came in quicker than I would have liked but I managed to get on the twin sticks and as they crossed me at 90yds I took the bigger one, aiming for the shoulder. He dropped quickly and lay motionless while the other ran around wondering what was happening. At one point he came to within 10 yards of me before casually walking back to the wood. As I always do, I went over to the animal to do the usual checks and find where the bullet placement was. I must say I was a bit surprised to find an exit wound through the base of the neck! Certainly not where I aimed. That got me thinking though. Did I pull the shot. Surely I didn't but maybe............ Anyway a nice clean animal to take home but that still left me with a problem, was it me or the rifle, or both?

    Attachment 73816

    I had an old envelope in the boot so I stuck it on a spike out at 100 yards and started firing, giving a good few minutes between shots to let the barrel cool. These were the results.

    Attachment 73812

    Pretty all over the shop I thought considering I was aiming at the center of the 2" square. Still must have pulled the shot on the roe a bit too though unless it was a flier. Last I checked it was 3 shots in the space of my thumb nail. Feeling a little annoyed (and also I had ran out of bullets by then) I came home to give the old BRNO a good clean.

    Freshly wiped out (in fact I think that is the most I have cleaned it out) I went back out again to try and sort the issue. After the first few shots I wish I hadn't. All over the shop! Even worse than before as they are now spraying everywhere.

    Attachment 73813Attachment 73814

    If any 2 shots resembled a group I was trying to chase it on the scope settings and then the next shot would be no where near. Checked everything was tight, scope was fine, pretty sure I wasn't flinching though by now the .308 was making its mark on my shoulder! Frustration was getting to me also as I was waiting for the barrel to cool right off before shots. Decided I would go home if the next shot was off and rethink the plan. Moved the scope right 3 clicks based on the last 2 shots (as if that was a guide!?), put up a new bit of paper and fired. Great! Just above the center dot. Waited and fired again. Just to the right. Great! Thought I would leave it at that but then curiosity got the better of me and I had to try one more. Right in the middle of the two!

    I am now happy but something isn't right somewhere. Not sure how it went from the above to this with 3 clicks of the scope. (All these photos have come out sideways for some reason. Writing was always at the top.)

    Attachment 73815

    Anyone got any ideas. I know some people say they need a fouling round or two but ten?! And to so drastically narrow the group by doing nothing I find a bit off. I am wondering if the scope is playing up and not 'sticking' on a set position until that last series of shots? Don't have another scope to check against unfortunately.

    Any thoughts appreciated.


  2. #2
    What scope is it ?

    Have u got anything trapped between the stock foreend and barrel perhaps ?

  3. #3
    You did not say if you were using a moderator, if so check it is tight, i was shooting a comp last week an half way through started getting eratic, only found out at the end, so i played with the scope to zero it, after burning through the last of my ammo realised the mod was loose and that was throwing thins off

  4. #4
    When was the last time that you de-coppered your barrel?

  5. #5
    Scope is a meopta 6x42. Not sure of age but it does not look new!

    No moderator on the barrel. The BRNO ZKK601 is what I have. Still has the 'touching wood to barrel' at the fore end. Checked there was no crud in it before trying to re-zero.

    Last time I decoppered - probably this time! Was using wipeout + accelerator and putting patches through until no more black or blue was coming out. Maybe once before but never had it shooting as bad as that!

  6. #6
    Chris, de-coppering a barrel may take several hours? It may take 20 shots after that to get the rifle to group again. I'm not sure that you have done the job properly?

  7. #7
    Friend of mine had a similar problem, turned out to be the scope but he only found out after he replaced the rifle

  8. #8
    First check everything that can come loose is tight! Mounts, rings, action screws and anything else. I have had more than one rifle through my hands that won't group and a strip/clean and reassemble have sorted the problem.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by baguio View Post
    Chris, de-coppering a barrel may take several hours? It may take 20 shots after that to get the rifle to group again. I'm not sure that you have done the job properly?
    Ah right. Well in that case not since I've had it! A really good clean though it did get. It just surprises me that it suddenly all went right. Intuition says the scope is playing up. Would have to be complete luck to get the last 3 so close if the rifle itself was the issue. Everything is tight on the rifle itself. My thoughts are that the scope was bouncing all over the place and the last few clicks I gave it managed to 'stick it' in a favourable position. When the pennies add up I'll look to improve on the scope anyway. Hoping it was just an issue which rectified itself but realistically I think the scope may need an upgrade.

    Thanks for the replies guys.

  10. #10
    I would shoot some more groups to check consistency. One decent group can be misleading.

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