Zeroing in my new .308


Well-Known Member
I'm not one for write ups but seeing as I bought the rifle and scope off here I thought I'd do a little write up of the zeroing and also as a big thankyou and recomendation for buying from this site.

It started back in September last year with the purchase of this scope from Gelert. Lovely little scope and perfect for the .308 stalking rifle I wanted to get. I wanted something purely stalking orientated in a scope as I've never really had the need to shoot a deer over 100m as all my permissions are either haevilly wooded or the open spaces aren't very big at all. It was a pleasure doing business with Gelert and after a quick bank transfer the scope arrived the following day in great condition, just as advertised.

Next up came the rifle, originally I had wanted something a bit more classic and had been looking at a Heym but they were pretty. Annoyingly I had just missed out on one by a few days that looked beautiful. Then this came up via OtisTheDog. Heavier than I had wanted and not quite the "classic" stalking rifle but the spec was good and it was in my price range so I jumped at it, justifying that if I ever got bigger open ground I could swap over my more powerful Zeiss with the ASV turret to this for some target fun too. Again this transaction was faultless from OtisTheDog just a bit of to and froing from the RFDs to sort out transfer then it arrived. This also was exactly as described.

The rifle came with optilock bases and rings but in 1" and I needed 30mm, it only took a couple of days and I had sold the 1" rings here and bought some 30mm ones. Again great simple transactions that went smoothly, another testament to the great members on this site. I mounted the scope and sat it on a chest of drawers on a bipod and accushot mono pod in my son's room looking out the window (far enough back so not to be seen and have the police called). I picked out the apex of the eves of a house a few hundred metres away and clicked in the scope until it alligned with the bore.

Next up was choosing a mod for it, after a fair bit of research here and elsewhere I had settled on the new Hardy Gen IV Stealth so I called up Rob from Riflecraft and had one put on order being told it'll be 4-6 weeks. After about 8 weeks I emailed asking for an update and was told "it'll be 4 weeks", after a few more weeks I emailed but heard nothing back. I then saw an advert for a sale on with Lawrence Titanium, I could get the Eclipse model for £25 more than the Hardy and it would be ready in a week. I asked Simon if the thread could be changed at a later date if I changed rifles as I knew the Titianium would last and he said it would be a quick job. That settled it I ordered it and had it sent to my RFD to be collected with a box of Geco 170gr soft points (as recommended by OtisTheDog).

It arrived and looked really well made and very light, I got home and like a kid a Christmas I had to test it on the rifle. It didn't fit!! At the time I didn't realise that the plastic bush needed to be machined to fit the rifle :doh:. So after some polite and patient emails from Simon I was satisfied I was an idiot and he had sent me the right bits. I thought I would take the bush off and test fit it anyway as I was very impatient to see how it would handle and feel. It screwed down about a full turn and then started to bind up :mad:. Oh man now I was gutted, it now took a number of emails to and fro with Simon where he convinced me that he made his moderators to the highest standards and exact tolerances and possibly the threads on the barrel were just a tad out causing it to bind. A quick search of the archives on here and I saw that Apache had a similar issue and had resolved it by running a die down the barrel. Oh man now I was contemplating hacking at an almost new Border barrel. After a few more emails and internet searching I figured it was worth the risk so I ordered a die (anyone who has tried to order anything in M17x1 will confirm how near impossible it is, m16 or M18 fine but most places hadn't heard of anyone using M17 for anything).

The die arrived and I nervously ran it down the barrel, it went down with a small bit of resistance and I could see a tiny amount of swarf created. I stopped half way and tried the moderator, it ran down a smooth a silk so I carried on with the die all the way down. Now the mod fitted like a glove and up tight to the shoulder.

Now it just came to finding the right weather to head out and zero. I had promised James off this site I would let him know when I was heading out and he could join me to zero his .308 too. Every time I had a day off and the Mrs was at home to babysit I was checking the weather in advance, typically it was either tipping it down or blowing a gale. Yesterday was forecast for rain, sleet and a 15mph wind so I had sacked off any idea of heading out and when I woke up I was not surprised to see exaxctly that. Suddenly about 09:30 the clouds parted, the wind died and the rain stopped. I grabbed the rifle, ammo and targets and ran out the house leaving the Mrs in her dressing gown holding the baby.

Firstly I must apologise to James as I didn't let him know I was heading out as it was such short notice. I got to my closest permission and got set up. I got the target off as they have a good selection and use either 1" grids or 1cm grids so ideal for metric and imperial scopes. This along with a rangefinder have revolutionised my zeroing, I'm sure others have been doing this for ages but previously I had just paced out what I thought was 100m and then spent ages misjudging the amount of clicks required to centre the scope and wasted loads of ammo. Now I range the target to exactly 100m and use the 1cm gridded paper (this came out slightly under 1cm due to the printer format) this way i know that one click on the dial will equal one square so very easy to fire one shot and move poi accordingly before firing a group.
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Typically at this point I was just getting ready to take my first shot at the target when I spotted a fox 90 degrees to my left, I ranged it to 108m and through the range finder I could see it was limping and it's front right paw looked to have been skinned/mangled and covered in blood. Now the dilema, try and shoot it to put it out of it's misery or not risk it due to the rifle not being zeroed. I decided that at the range it was I couldn't risk it, especially as the backstop was not huge so very little margin for error. I watched it for a while and saw it head into a large briar patch, somehwere I've seen foxes coming from on a number of occassions. I decide dI would come back in the eve and try and get it then.

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The top shot was the first shot at 100m (quite possibly would have sailed over the shoulder of the fox had I risked a centre broadside shot), followed byt the next 4 after adjusting the elevation down. The one off on its own was a bit of a snatch on my behalf that I can't blame on anything but me, even with that one the first group was still bang on an inch. More than happy with that for the Geco ammo at £53 for a box of 50.

I then practiced shooting some clays at various distances to keep me happy with field positions and the distances I would be likely shooting at.

Then the landowner came over and informed me that they were selling off a large portion of the grounds (which I knew) and so I could not use any of the parts that were up for sale anymore (part being the field I was in) :( looks like I'll be needing somewhere else in case the sale takes a long time and the new owners aren't pro shooting.

I have to admit I was expecting the rifle to a bit kick more than my .243 due to it being a larger calibre (I've only ever fired unmoderated .308 semi autos before) and a much smaller moderator than my P8. I was pleasently surprised as the recoil felt on par with my .243 and the shots sounded quieter, which was a bonus as I usually wear ear defenders when zeroing and I had forgotten them. All in all I love the new set up and would recommend the Lawrence Titanium moderators to anyone. Great customer care, great product in both build quality and execution of design.

Sorry It was a bit long but thought my first proper write up should cover all the great deals I've had on the SD and all the advice and help I've had too.