Zeroing problems


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I have recently brought a T3 Tikka and I'm getting on famously with it. That is 'was'. It is great when zeroing off the bipod at the range at paper targets, but with the bipod fitted but not extended and the rifle fired from sticks or high seat, the zeroing changes to about four inchs higher by two to the left! I've spoken to a gunsmith who says have the rifle rebedded at some expense or don't use the bipod. He reckons that I'm applying more weight to the rifle on the bipod than when I'm shooting off sticks or high seat. The Tikka lite's, light synthetic stock is twisting against the bipod and throwing the shoot off. Thankfully I haven't shot and wounded anything, the general reaction is for the deer or foxs to look over its shoulder and say "what the f**k was that!?"
Any thoughts on this?


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Chuck the bipod over a hedge. I carry two gro-bag type tomato canes with a bit of inner tube for a free-standing bipod if I expec a prone or kneeling expedition. Othertimes just a thumbstick.


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Short shot I think your right, I'm expecting too much of my T3. My old Carl Gustaf was beded at great expense and i never had any problems, but its a lot of money to throw at my new 'cheap and cheerful', I'd rather spend the money on fine malt whiskey and stalking!
The bipod also has a habit of catching the fleshy parts of my fingers in a vice like grip when deployed if I'm not watching what I'm doing, bloody hurts! Its like 'Arkwrights till in Open all hours'! :eek:

I read your post wrong first time, I thought you said that you carried two grow bags around with you. Blimey you must be a big bloke! :lol:


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Hi Beowulf

I get similar, yet not as dramatic issues, with the Finnlight-a point of impact change with a bi-pod. Thats why a lot of stalkers opt for heavy benchrest style stocks that have no flex in the fore-end and can be used with a bi-pod with no issues (its to do with barrel oscillations I think). I had a great Ruger VT in .308 with a heavy stock and it was perfect for this kind of work, but too damn heavy!

To be honest I dont use the bi-pod anymore and have some very good ajustable Pole-Cat sticks, and for prone shots a ruck sack usually does the trick.


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Hi James,
Thanks for your input, I'm glad its quality Sako's that can have the same problem. I'm expecting someone to say 'Tikkas are rubbish told you so'! I have come to rely on the bipod far too much, my first instinctive snap shot has never failed be. The "hang on a minute, got to get the perfect shot" has usually gone wrong. As I'm mulling over the shot I'm putting more weight on the bipod/sticks and the tunnel vison kicks in and bang! I've just killed a tree and not a deer!
I now carry a stigma that I won't get the shot off correctly and will injure a deer. Its a hard thing to admit to as I've been shooting for over twenty years! Rob Mac has advised me to get back on to the 22' and 'pratice, practice practice....' to get my confidence back and relax into my normal style of shooting again, its good advice.
If your willy goes droopy you can go to the Doc and get Viagra (i've been told), if your rifle does the same I suppose the only answer is to keep playing with it until you get it right! It happens to us all I suppose as we get older :cry: ;)


Site Staff

I have known a few people who have had problems with bipods throwing the rifle out of centre, especially if it is a free floating barrel. Sticks or a bag or rolled up coat is the best thing to use.

If you shoot with a Moderator on, keep it there, it will alter the point of zero if you take it off, not by a great deal, as far as I have experienced, but you will need to re zero if you shoot with it off.


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It is quite common to shoot to a different point of aim when moving from bipod to sticks to benchbag.
The chief difference is not barrel bedding but how you are holding the rifle and your follow-through. Possibly doing the sniper thing of not supporting the fore-end and using the non shooting hand to support the rifle butt.
Use the bipod but forget its a bipod and think of it as any old support and try to hold the rifle in a consistent fashion. I shoot 375 H+H and 458 Lott prone and any issues with hold/recoil/rifle rotation are very obvious when the scope hits you in the eye.
Support the fore end with you free hand but dont apply any excessive pressure just hold it firmly, release the shot and keep your eye on the POA until the rifle has settled. Repeat with bipod/sandbag/shooting sticks but keep you technique consistent and you will see the POA/POI start to improve shot for shot. Follow through is quite important here
Remember shooting is a skill not black magic, the major variable is the shooter not the rifle.

Regards :D



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Cheers Mark, I've noticed that I also tend to cant the rifle to one side whilst shooting. When I'm out hunting, in the excitement I tend to forget to correct this. I'm just going to have to spend some quality time down the range!


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Just as a foot-note is the barrel clear of the fore-end ie can you pass a thin piece of card under the barrel up to the action/recoil lug. If it binds then just sandpaper the tight area until you get even clearance and allow the barrel to float freely rather than rebed it. If the clearance is tight then any inconsistent pressure on the forend will change the barrel harmonic.
Another thing to try if you are brave is to stiffen the stock by filling the voids of the plastic with epoxy resin and a steel rod. This will also add weight
Have a mooch at this link

Enjoy :)



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Hi Mark, I'm going to take the bipod off first and re zero. Should there be any problems then I think that I'll go down the route you perscribe. I'll check that its still free floating, I had that problem before on other rifles.


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I think that Mark is getting close to the problem.
Are you still looking STRAIGHT through the scope when you change shooting position?
Cross your two index fingers in front of your eyes, and fix them on a target, then move your head slightly and see how far away from the original point of aim you are.
Just a few mil this end can be feet or inches by the time it's protracted to the target.
My friends guns are always slightly high and left when I shoot them but are fine when he shoots.
Might be a simple alignment problem and nothing to with rifle or bipod at all
Just thought it might be worth checking. Hope it helps


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Poddle that might be it! I'm struggling to get my eye lined up when I shoulder my rifle. I don't know why, the scope seems to be on straight and securely fitted but aiming just feels uncomfortable and awkward all of a sudden.


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i know this sounds a little silly but i had this problem with 22 mag so i put the bipod on with the legs facing the trigger so i could lean into my sticks which changed the pivot point slightly and gave me a bit more stablity


if you have a sporter weight barrel don't shoot cradling the but with non trigger hand, bi-pod hop will send shots high (moderators, muzzle breaks and heavy barrels can alieviate this some) grip the forarm instead.
a free float should have a good clearance under the barrel - if you can bash the underside of the stock with the heel of your palm and feel the tap as forarm and barrel collide it is not enough. at the sides it need not be more than a buisness card - underneeth my mc millan stocked Sako 75 hunter has approaching 1/8" - and a Mc Millan is a heck of a lot more ridgid than those molded plastic jobbies- sock change can be worthwhile
Free float is very easy to do - glass bedding won't help as that only effects action to stock uniformity. Glass bedding aint rocket sciense neither.
Unless i am laid up prone or expect to have to take longer shot in heather i rarely have bi-pods on myself for stalking - but it sounds like you could come unstuck with this one from yet untried posisions so best sort it.


Site Staff
Bipod + Bin = Happy Mr B,

Take it off and zero the thing out in the woods somewhere, using your normal shooting style, sticks, rolled up coat or whatever. I would suggest you get it zeroed under field conditions and see how that goes before you start too much tampering with your new toy.

Good thing we have some real big backstops up here :lol: :lol:



Site Staff
Thats right JayB, anything over 1000ft should do it for a back stop, especially if Mr B starts to get buck fever, you never know where the bullets might end up!!!

Spoke to Rob this evening, he is coming up for a night, and hopefully we can all meet up for a meal and beer nearby, hopefully not too far from Winkies if you get my drift. I will call you and see if you are up for it. Should be a good crack with everyone there.


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I'm leaving the 243 alone for awhile and concentrating on the 308 in preparation for Scotland. I'm out early tommorrow on the Muntjac. I know the 308 is okay because I zero'd it off the bonnet of my Land Rover, not the Bi-pod.
Yes Malc I'm up for a P1ss up! I might even get a round in. :eek: Although if Rob and Brian, JayB, Smithy and yourself are there, it will be an expensive night! :lol: