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Thread: Practical Marksmanship

  1. #1

    Practical Marksmanship

    I spent a couple of hours last night doing some zeroing and practice with the .243 after having the barrel screw cut and fitting a Mod. I have a Steyr Luxus with S&B 8x56 fixed mag scope and Atec mod and shoot factory ammo (usually Norma or Winchester).

    I was set up on the bonnet of my Navara, using a bipod. I was shooting slightly down hill in order to make it as safe as possible and there was quite a strong wind blowing from left to right. I am not an expert shot and have done next to nothing on the range. I usually fire one or two test shots and then go hunting. Usually hit what I shoot at and have had no real reason to question my technique.

    However, last night I put over 30 rounds through the rifle and tried out some different bullet weights etc. To be quite honest, the more I shot and the harder I tried, the worse my grouping seemed to get!

    It got me thinking about marksmanship techniques. I want to go back to the basics now (I'm never going to be interested in pushing the accuracy of my rifle to it's limits and any rifle i own will probably be capable of more than I am).

    I would like to see what you consider to be the best advice for consistent, reliable shooting accuracy so that i can apply the advice on my next practice session.

    I don't want this to turn into a thread about pillar bedding, load development, etc, just practical tips about how to shoot as well as possible within real life stalking conditions - grip, trigger control, breathing, etc etc.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Mark.

  2. #2
    "To be quite honest, the more I shot and the harder I tried, the worse my grouping seemed to get!"

    That's probably because the barrel and moderator heated up. We see it a lot on the range and shooters instead of taking a break and allowing things to cool down and return to normal start chasing the error and will often adjust ad re-adjust their scopes.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  3. #3
    Were you letting the barrel cool down between groups/shots?

  4. #4
    As it's usually the first shot that counts I wouldn't get to hung up on it,the harder I try and the longer I take over a shot the worse I get,just the way it is with me,my best shots are usually the ones I don't even have time to think about.

  5. #5
    Mark,

    some things I find useful to remember -

    1) Get as many ponts of contact as possible between you and the object you are resting on - on a bonnet i'd be insuring my leg/legs are incontact with the car and arms etc as this will naturally help stabalize you.


    2) Squeeze the trigger with the first line between the first and second pads of your finger, if you use the first pad you tend to "pull" instead of squeezing, the pressure on the trigger should come from compressing the trigger and pistol grip between the crook of your thumb/hand and the line between your first and second pad on your index finger.

    3) look for the bullet strike - a good friend told me this and to this day i still do it, it isn't about seeing the bullet strike but more the fact you train your brain to be looking for that and not concentrating on recoil etc.

    4) remember to breathe! a lot of time as you try harder you end up holding your breath and your heart thumps harder, take your time, and breath normally with a small pause (i prefer this on the exhale) and then let the shot go - most of my misses wiith foxes have been scrabbling out a window of the truck trying to get a shot off when in reality I probably had more time than I assumed I had.

    5) if you find you are working yourself up about it - walk away - no point trying to shoot the group in a tizzy, it'll be ok, you know the rifle can do it.

    a lot of the above hasd been stolen from various sources and it's what works for me - I am by no means any expert, i don't reload rounds - I frankly see no point - there were some big consistency issues with factory loads historically but this has obviously come on leaps and bounds as technology improves - most standard sporting rifles with factory ammo and a mediocre scope will produce 1"-1 1/2" groups with reletive ease nowadays - i would say even better! if the rifle is producing a 1/2" group with factory ammo why bother reloading??

    Hope this helps

    Gixer

  6. #6
    Just a thought and I do zero off my navara bonnet as well,but they do move around a bit on windy day.

  7. #7
    Bipod on a bonnet = DISAPOINTMENT!

    Invest in one of these for all your grouping tests and much more:



    Dog-Gone-Good Medium Bench Bag.

    K
    Last edited by Klenchblaize; 14-05-2013 at 09:14.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Terry View Post
    I spent a couple of hours last night doing some zeroing and practice with the .243 after having the barrel screw cut and fitting a Mod. I have a Steyr Luxus with S&B 8x56 fixed mag scope and Atec mod and shoot factory ammo (usually Norma or Winchester).

    I was set up on the bonnet of my Navara, using a bipod. I was shooting slightly down hill in order to make it as safe as possible and there was quite a strong wind blowing from left to right. I am not an expert shot and have done next to nothing on the range. I usually fire one or two test shots and then go hunting. Usually hit what I shoot at and have had no real reason to question my technique.

    However, last night I put over 30 rounds through the rifle and tried out some different bullet weights etc. To be quite honest, the more I shot and the harder I tried, the worse my grouping seemed to get!

    It got me thinking about marksmanship techniques. I want to go back to the basics now (I'm never going to be interested in pushing the accuracy of my rifle to it's limits and any rifle i own will probably be capable of more than I am).

    I would like to see what you consider to be the best advice for consistent, reliable shooting accuracy so that i can apply the advice on my next practice session.

    I don't want this to turn into a thread about pillar bedding, load development, etc, just practical tips about how to shoot as well as possible within real life stalking conditions - grip, trigger control, breathing, etc etc.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Mark.
    Sounds like the barrel is getting hot ,this can have a big influence on accuracy and why target shooters use heavy barrel rifles , they take longer to heat up and dont distort as much ,the down side is target rifles are usually too heavy for stalking ,if you want to loose off 30+ rounds in your stalking rifle take a flask of coffee and have a short break as soon as you can feel the barrel getting hot.

  9. #9
    bit obvious but after a few shots check the mods still tight, iv got one that for some reason shoots a bit loose after a few rounds and I used to have a t8 that shot better when it was screwed on tight and then turned back half a turn, on the technique front I think gixers covered all the bases for zeroing your rifle, I don't know whether its just me but for zeroing you go through all the correct procedures but who can actually remember going through it when shooting live quarry it seems like muscle memory and something in the back of your brain takes over

  10. #10
    Shooting off or from a vehicle or any other wheeled / sprung plant has built in disadvantages, & is a skill in itself, add any sort of wind from other than directly in front or behind...... Forget it for groups!
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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