Well said Lefteye
j.chappell, sure won't disagree with a Summer long practice session, not at all, but unless you have a very fat pocket that will cost 2 arms and 3 legs if your shooting your chosen factory fodder!
Do I think you need/MUST spend a lot of trigger time with the rifle you'll be hunting with? Without question!
However, I also think you can get a lot of trigger time with other rifles of like action and make gains with much less cost.
Yes it is good to test and shoot at extended distances with your hunting rifle, but shooting at a SMALL target at a much closer distance will provide much of the same effect and results.
Example, a .22LF from a proven rifle, and shot at a dime size target - from hunting positions - at 25yds would be as good as shooting at a 1 or 2" target at 100yds with your hunting rifle.
Are you putting them in there or not? Are you consistanly hitting the point of aim or not? Are your groups looking like a shotgun pattern or not?
Remember to keep the target SMALL and the scope on the low power settings.
Then, indicating you reload, make reduced loads for your hunting rifle and use the same set up as above for your practice.
Many times you don't need to change the scope settings for the close in work with the reduced loads. If your hitting the dime size or smaller aiming point, OR consistantly grouping to the same point of impact even if not in/on the small target, your doing just fine!
Yes, shoot a group or more at the close range with the reduced loads just to make sure they group OK, but once beyond that point, the whole thing is YOUR consistancy and ability to hit consistantly.
Meaning if your holding on the aiming point but consistantly grouping 2" left and 3" high, group after group, Your doing your part correctly and hitting the aiming point is simply a matter of adjusting the scope. Not a big thing and not even needed.
I have used reduced loads - light bullet and small charge of the PROPER POWDER - for family and friends, and not only do the extended shooting sessions not beat the shooter with light bullet/reduced loads, but the lower pressure loads allow for lots more shooting between barrel cooling periods.
Recently load up almost a 100 rounds of reduced "06" ammo for use with a young hunter I'm in the process of mentoring. He needs lots of trigger time, but it needs to be fun and productive.
Clearly I am not suggesting you should not spend some time with your selected hunting ammo, but when talking a Summer's long practice session, you'll need a deep pocket or some alterative practice methods.
Keep us posted.
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Last edited by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot; January 28, 2013 at 01:27 PM.