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Thread: How accurate is the first shot?

  1. #1

    How accurate is the first shot?

    You zero your rifle at the range, take it home and give it a clean. The next time you go stalking you run a couple of dry patches through the barrel to remove any residue from your last clean.
    When you end up pulling the trigger in the field, how accurate will that first shot be vs the last shot you took on the range (all things being equal)? Is there a difference?

  2. #2
    It will vary from rifle to rifle and is something you really need to check with your own rifle. Running a patch with meths through before firing can help as it will remove any oil which is the main cause of inaccuracy of first shot. It is a very good question you raise though as I suspect many deer are shot with what is effectively an un-zeroed rifle after a good clean?

  3. #3
    From my own experience with range work the only variation appears to be how well focused and comfortable I am when taking the shot. Cold/clean barrels etc does not seem to make any difference. atb Tim

  4. #4
    I used to worry about tight groups with my .270 but then decided to concentrate more on a cold barrel first shot being where I want it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Spanker View Post
    .... I suspect many deer are shot with what is effectively an un-zeroed rifle after a good clean?
    Not strictly true, this will depend on what your acceptable 'zero' group size is.

    If it is to group within a 3" circle at 100m, and the rifle still does this after a clean (it is worth just doing this for piece of mind - shoot a group, clean, re shoot a group) the rifle is not 'out of zero'. If you group in a 6" circle it is even less likely to be off zero.

    What is certain is that the first shot, and probably the most important one for stalkers, should be from a clean barrel, which is where you started from when you first 'zeroed' the rifle; in this instance you are reducing the variables that affect zero to a minimum.

    Once you start aiming for 1" zero grouping at 100m then you are having to account for all the other variables much more, such as quality of the rifle, harmonics, windage, factory ammo difference, off the bipod, off the sticks, your application of principles of marksmanship etc.

    Like the meths idea, but have not used it myself - anyone who has?
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  6. #6
    Just my experience and may be different for others.
    After cleaning and using a very light oil patch my first shot, through a Tikka T3, would invariably be 1"high and 1" right. Cleaning with alcohol prior to shooting removed this variable.
    I didnt see this variation with a .308 but have seen the same with a .17HMR and a .17REM
    Last edited by limulus; 22-06-2013 at 15:51. Reason: stutter
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  7. #7
    Simples .....don't bloody clean the inside ...once a year if it needs it or not !

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by norma 308 View Post
    Simples .....don't bloody clean the inside ...once a year if it needs it or not !
    That's my theory also!
    If I have fired the rifle, it gets a pull through with a dry boresnake to remove the loose carbon. I don't even de-copper it now as I use lubalox coated heads which seem to work a treat. Even when I did try to de-copper, the patches came out clean. First shot is always the same as the last with this method!

  9. #9
    ask Attachment 29648this feller but snuffy has gone shy cold bore is best from my new toy

  10. #10
    I'm heading out into the field tomorrow night. Will give it a few run throughs with a dry patch and see how it goes.

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