Diagnosing Hunting Rifle Accuracy, Part Three

The quest for accuracy began the day firearms were invented and hasn’t abated since. A loud noise and huge fireball means nothing if the projectile doesn’t find its mark.

by Wendell Dwight Deaner

In the first two parts I took to task the ability of most shooters to achieve good accuracy. I include myself in this group. I have read, studied, and practiced the art of bench testing rifle for many years and still don’t call myself an expert. I freely admit to never attending a formal benchrest match. How can your casual shooter do any better? I can’t shoot good groups all the time. Fatigue, conditions, equipment, and poor technique all have something to do with it. I love these gun writers who claiming the latest hunting rifle shoots half minute groups “all day long.” No it won’t! Very few rifles and very few shooters can shoot that well the live-long day. I’ve never tried shooting all day long, though I’m considering shooting a five shot group every thirty minutes for twelve hours to see what happens and will bet group size will increase as the day goes along. It might make a good article.

Enough crying about the shooter. Let’s assume we’re champion benchrest competitors and concentrate on the rifle, taking human error out of the equation. A gunsmith has steps to cure inaccuracy. That’s why your customer brought you his rifle. What equipment does your customer present to you when complaining about accuracy? A $29.95 rifle scope from a big box store doesn’t instill confidence. I’ll wonder who mounted it and how soon it will let go.

Read more in our June 2015 issue.

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