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Old March 25, 2002, 08:36 PM   #1
Parke1
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Sighting in your new Savage in .223

Ok, I just got a new savage 112 and I'm mounting a scope on it. Here's the question: if you need to hold your bolt action rifle still enough to sight it in, do you use sandbags, or a rifle rest? I can get a nice set of bags for the same price as an el cheapo rifle rest.

Which should I go with? Wouldn't the movement of working the bolt make the rifle shake aroudn too much? I would buy a nice rest, but I don't intend to use it often enough to spend the money on a nice one.

Thanks!
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Old March 25, 2002, 08:58 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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I keep an eye out for cloth bags to put sand in. I've used those zippered plastic bank bags, also. And, if you have any old, worn-out jeans or such, the legs will make sandbags. Having various sized bags helps, as well.

I used to just put a piece of 4"x4" up front, with one bag on top of it. Then, whatever size is appropriate at the back end of things.

Now you know more than you wanted to.

Jiggling while reloading is meaningless. Heck, you can pick up the rifle and do whatever you need to--so long as you set it down with the bag under the forearm touching it in the same place as before. After that, all that matters is the sight picture, and not canting the rifle.

Bore-sighting: I just look through the barrel at a target out at 100 yards, and keep tweaking with the scope so it is centered along with the barrel.

I fire my first shots at 25 yards. Dead on at 25 yards is roughly a bit high (1" or 2") at 100.

My .223 is sighted in for 1" high at 100, since most of my shooting will be inside of 200 yards.

Hope all this blarney helps,

Art
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Old March 25, 2002, 09:01 PM   #3
Parke1
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It most certainly does, thank you. I just retired a pair of jeans today from daily wearing, it looks like they'll be going under the knife...

Thanks a lot!
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Old March 25, 2002, 09:58 PM   #4
Joe Portale
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Just as a heads up about using jeans or any cloth for a sand bag, make sure you trim all the loose threads. I made a bag out of the leg from a old set of jeans. I didn't think to trim off the freys. My wife was happily shooting away using the "new" sand bag with the Ar15. When out of the corner of my eye I say a whisp of smoke coming up from the bag. Bythe time I was able to walk over to her, the bag was showing flames.

I took the bag and put the fire out. My wife sitting there all wide asked me how that happened. I just said that she got the barrel too hot from all the shooting. She didn;t buy it.
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Old March 26, 2002, 11:30 AM   #5
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I shoot benchrest - my front rest cost in the area of $250 or so...

But for sighting in a varmint rifle, I'd recommend laying it on a backpack, or something similar that you'll be using to shoot in the field with - If you take a rest varmint shooting, use it. If you shoot off sticks, use 'em.

To bore sight:

Take bolt out of rifle. Look down bore of rifle, and line bore up with target. Look through scope. While holding rifle still, bore on target, dial crosshairs so that they're on target.

Fire one shot. Realign crosshairs, while holding rifle still (helps if you've got a friend), so that they are on the hole. Fire a second shot to check how you've done.
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Old March 26, 2002, 11:34 AM   #6
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All this talk tells me that I'm not the only one getting a chuckle out of the laser boresighters.
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Old March 26, 2002, 03:29 PM   #7
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Heck, one of those laser things would buy a LOT of rounds...
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Old March 26, 2002, 04:12 PM   #8
ronin308
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Don't forget to make sure you don't let hard contact hard, i.e., don't set the forearm on something hard. Only use soft/hard contact. Since the rifle is always hard its safe to say that for benchrest you should use a sandbag

Dan
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Old March 26, 2002, 05:25 PM   #9
Dr.Rob
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Also NEVER ever rest the rifle on a swing swivel stud.

I'd sand bag the front and rear.. remember you are sighting the RIFLE, not testing your ability to shoot.. though the two are related.

Shoot only premium ammunition in your varmint rifle, none of that GI surplus stuff. I suggest federal premiums or nosler ballistic tips for making gophers and prarie dogs dive for cover.

Practice your breathing and trigger squeeze.

Try shooting with your shooting thumb on the SIDE of the stock rather than wrapped around the pistol grip, this will prevent oversqueeze. Take your OFF hand and hold the butt of the rifle, basicly letting the entire front end of the rifle be free from any tensioning wieght. You will see your groups shrink.

Always use steel rings and mounts. Practice a lot. Most ranges of any decency will bore sight your rifle for a few bucks.. It's not rocket science.
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Old March 26, 2002, 06:00 PM   #10
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Parke1:

Don’t forget about BREAK IN! It’s important.

Read the break in articles at the following sites:

http://www.riflebarrels.com/centerfire.htm

http://www.shilen.com/frequent.htm

http://www.winchester-guns.com/faqs/firearms/fq06.htm

http://remington.custhelp.com/cgi-bi...duser/home.php

Regards, Shoney
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Old March 26, 2002, 08:27 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Shoney, you might do a search on "Gale McMillan". He had some ideas about breaking in a rifle that might be of interest to you. We've had several threads on that subject here at TFL.

A man with his track record at both bench rest shooting and rifle building is one whose opinions bear considering...

, Art
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Old March 27, 2002, 12:10 AM   #12
_YoYo_
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I also had a fire incident with my Armalite M15A2.. I was using my brand new Carhartt folded up as a rifle rest.. I found out in about 3 seconds that my jacket wasn't fire-proof... be careful man..
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Old March 27, 2002, 06:03 AM   #13
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Art Eatman:

I am familiar with Gale McMillan through his company, McMillan Stock's and Rifles. I had never seen any of his writings on barrel break in. A search in Google found nothing, in any combination. Ask Jeeves gave several very good articles. Thanks

Regards, Shoney
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Old March 27, 2002, 09:34 AM   #14
Art Eatman
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Shoney: Sorry, I meant a search of our archives here at TFL, and restricted to "Art of the Rifle".

The gist of his comments were that he'd never bothered to "break in" a barrel. A barrel-maker of his acquaintance told Gale that he always recommended a break-in pereiod, as that put more wear on the barrel and he could sell more barrels and sooner than for any normal usage...

I never heard of "break-in" before I came to TFL. I've been shooting and loading for the '06 since the summer of 1950. My uncle and father started in on centerfires and reloading in the 1920s. They never mentioned it, and I've seen them shoot many five-shot groups inside an inch. My uncle's 1949-vintage Gebby-barrelled Varminter regularly shot 5-shot 1/2" groups.

Thirty years ago, I didn't bother with "break-in" on two pets--didn't know about it, as I said. Those rifles still shoot inside one MOA, just as they always have. Ergo, why bother?

Another datum: The pet '06 got two four-shot, 4" groups at 400 yards. Then I shot a ten-shot string reasonably rapidly--two called fliers and eight shots in some six inches. This was last year, sometime. Maybe you can see why I don't worry a lot about "break-in".

That said, I'm certainly in favor of keeping a rifle clean. But after "messing" with some forty or fifty centerfires (haven't really kept all that close a count), I figure just shoot and enjoy.

NOW: For those who worry about this sort of thing and want to disagree with me, I can only suggest, "Go for it!"

Art
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Old March 27, 2002, 03:48 PM   #15
Shoney
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Art Eatman:

I read that article by McMillen. Did you read the sites I posted?

Shilen and Remington agree completely with McMIllen, and Winchester and Lilja give only short duration break ins, not the 100 shot no meaning break in that McMillen talks about.

Since the late 50's, I have broken in my rifles almost identically the same as Shilen recommends, using the break in as sight in and load development, cleaning every 5 shots. This was handy, as I always fired 5 shots with each load. The first 2 at the left target and 3 for accuracy at the right. After the first 25 rounds, I only cleaned between every 25 shots, firing 2 fouling loads, then 5 shot groups at the same target.

As a kid, I used to do yard work for a neighbor whose son owned a sporting goods store. This kind man taught me about this type of break in and about relaoading when I was 12 years old.

Best, Shoney
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Old March 27, 2002, 07:44 PM   #16
Art Eatman
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Yeah, Shoney. Cracked me up. Interesting comparison between the first site and Remington.

The Shilen answer had me envisioning some guy at Shilen, "Hey, Bob! Some guy wants to know about breaking in his barrel. What'll I tell him?"

Scratching his, er, head, Bob replies, "Er, uh, well, uh, tell'im to clean it after each shot, at first, and then, er, after every two shots...Sumpn like that."

And then comes the Internet and to save dealing with umpteen repeats of the same old phone call or email, they posted their break-in deal.

I dunno. I boresight the new toy, shoot two or three times at 25 yards to make sure I'm on the paper at 100, and then two, maybe three three-shot groups at 100 yards. That's usually enough shooting to suit me, anyway. So, clean it until it's clean. I guess that's "breaking it in".

But cleaning after every round for some period, and then worrying and fiddling through some next number of rounds is way to much bother for me--and I don't hear of folks shooting all that much tighter than I've done, or killing Bambi any deader.

As long as it's more fun than work, of course...

, Art
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Old March 28, 2002, 09:14 AM   #17
sleeping dog
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On bolt rifles, I always bore-sight the scope by looking through the bore, then the scope, then making them sight in on the same point at about 75 yards. That's the distance to my neighbor's porch light which I use for sighting from my dining room table.

On some guns, the construction makes it tough to see through the bore, like a Garand, so I just start at 25 yards with a big piece of paper, and start adjusting the sights (I don't have a scope on the M1). I imagine a laser bore sighter might be useful on these, but it only takes a few bullets to get it zeroed to within a half foot at 100 yards. Why pay for a laser?

Regards.
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Old March 28, 2002, 10:11 AM   #18
Art Eatman
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sleeping dog, you're obviously just too simple-minded and pragmatic for this modrun worldt of gadgetry and the fretting over it. Why would you want to stay with the KISS principle?

Welcome to the club.

, Art
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