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Old February 21, 2013, 04:36 AM   #1
Fire_Moose
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Rifle shooting tips

I'm surprised I couldn't find a thread like this....but I've had bad luck with forum search engines before.

So what are some tips you'd give a new rifle shooter? Read a lot about breathing control. Little about cheek weld. I think my trigger control is my biggest problem ATM. How should the rifle pull compare to handgun? I assume similar.

This is at about 80 yards. My reloads, so can't tell how much is me and how much is the ammo. I was able to get the scope zeroed(ish) with some factory ammo but its hard to find right now.

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Old February 21, 2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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OCW

Firemoose, there is some pertinent data you could glean from your testloads however there are some things you can do to be more productive, Google Dan Newberry's OCW, and read all that he recomends, this helped me an amazing amount and actually saved me time and money.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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What caliber you shoting?. Target # 2 is looking ok. When first building up a load POI as in relation to target bullseye is not important. I would take load #2 and maybe work with that one some more. 80 yards is not IMHO far enugh to work with,but it is a start. Load 10 more of #2 and then a few groups of 5 or so with tweaking powder 1/10 grain. Only change one aspect of your load at a time.
A chrony is real nice to have for load work up. Trigger pull is very important as is cheek weld. If you are not looking down the scope the same way each time you can't expect the bullet to go to the same spot each time. There are hundreds of things you can do to improve,but as i have seen many shooters not do--- Pay attention to each shot, Don't just pull the trigger over and over and over. Watch what you are doing with each shot. How tight you are holding stock to your shoulder,cheek weld,position of finger on trigger.
I see to many people out at the range that just sit and shoot all day paying no attention to what they are doing. I mean all you need to do to be the best shot in the world is to shoot a lot-Right. Just pay attention to all you do with each shot
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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4runnerman, he needs to load both 1 and 2, and maybe three again because we can't be sure of ydage, and his shooting ability.
Load # 1 has the least verticle deviation therefore it definetly needs another look, and # 2 Could be that all bullets should be in that hole.?! we really wont know until his shooting style and rest become more of a focus to us.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:44 AM   #5
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It looks like your next accuracy node will be at 36.0 grains... you can go there if you didn't see any pressure signs at 35.8 grains.

Lots of rimfire practice for trigger control will help. Shoot at 25 yards at tiny dots with a good .22LR, scoped, of course.

Dry firing your rifle won't hurt it (most designs, anyway)... so you can do some of that.

Shooting off a bi-pod works well, but from a bench you need to put a folded towel or cloth under the rubber feet, as they'll drag and jump on recoil, messing up your groups.

A good sandbag under the back of the stock is very important. They're easy to make from old blue jean legs, filled with sand.

Get your scope adjusted well... if it's a model with a focus adjustment, dial it until the target is clear, and there is no parallax, which means when you move your eye left to right the target doesn't "dance around" behind the crosshairs.

Focus your scope's reticle... that's done with the eyepiece, where you turn it (sometimes you have to turn it a lot, depending on the design) to sharpen the crosshairs. Do this while looking at a white, blank wall, or just up at the sky (not at the sun, of course! )...

Getting the trigger lightened helps a lot.

And there are many other techniques that others will share, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to learning here as well.

Dan
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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If you're trying to test your handloads, you need to take as many human factors out of the possibilities as you can. Sandbag the rifle solidly on a good bench. Don't "pull" the trigger, squeeze it. Hold it against your shoulder the same for every shot. That horizontal spread indicates a trigger yank or poor rest or both or a high crosswind.
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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Bench setup and rest type/setup are critical elements of evaluating loads. When you can dry fire on target and stay on target after dry fire you are ready to begin evaluating loads. When you dry fire and are now off target you are not ready to begin.

Evaluating loads and evaluating shooter can't be done at the same time. Eliminate variables as much as possibe when testing loads. Shooter is a variable.

Dry firing to evaluating test setup is first.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:43 AM   #8
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My tip for a new rifleman would be to attend an Appleseed event.
There you will learn how to properly shoot a rifle. Trigger control, sight picture, breath control, position shooting and much much more.
http://appleseedinfo.org/

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Old February 21, 2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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Re: Rifle shooting tips

Thanks so far!

This is .308. Shooting from a rig my buddy made up. Solid stand on a table that's lacking a bit. The table will move with recoil but not a whole lot. And there was a bit of wind that day.

I like that OCW system. Another tip I got was shoot 10 or so rounds before testing. To get everything in the groove. So I made up 20 of the 34.8's and will work the load up to 37 or so as no pressure signs have shown.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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You may be flinching from recoil. Use a magnum pad by PAST, or a small bank bag filled loosely with sand, placed behind the buttplate to minimize felt recoil.

Then, hold the rifle by the right hand only, pulling back against the pad/shoulder and pressing downward with the thumb. Squeeze the trigger slowly, so you don't know exactly when it's going to fire.

Next, get someone to load dummy rounds in your magazine mixed with live rounds, so you can see if you're flinching. You might be surprised to see what happens when the firing pin strikes the dummy. You might feel like a dummy when it happens, but it's a good way to see what you're doing wrong.
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Old February 21, 2013, 05:34 PM   #11
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A few things that can help anyone shoot a little better.

1. Find an instrutor. Since you are new a simple one hour session with a decent instrutor to learn the fundamentals is advised. It helps to have someone not only tell you, but that is there in person to show you.

2. Double up hearing protection. This helps to prevent a lot of flinching.

3. The practices of rifle marksmanship is the same. The guys that do well do the same thing over, and over every time. Then they do it again.

4. If you can get a .22 lr rifle, and a brick or two of ammo. Then find an apple seed event near you.


There is more though that is a good start.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:10 PM   #12
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I was looking on line to find a copy of the Army field manual for basic marksmanship which I trained under in the 70s. It was simple and very effective for me. I could not find one but I did run across this document from the western rifle shooting association. http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot...s-part-iv.html

It may help you.

Consistency in your hold, stock weld, breathing and position are critical for accurate shooting. Take the advice of most golf pro s work on one item at a time. Develop a routine for each part of the shooting process.

Outside of going to the competitive threads and asking your question to the competition shooters like Kraigway I have but one suggestion.

Shoot for groups. Do not attempt to adjust your sites at this point. When you can maintain consistent groups then adjust your sites.
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:19 PM   #13
Fire_Moose
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Re: Rifle shooting tips

Thanks for the link and thanks for that tip
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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I recommend reading Chapter 3 of Army Field Manual 23-10. It concerns the fundamentals of marksmanship for army snipers.

I learned a lot from it, and my shooting improved from its words.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita.../23-10/Ch3.htm
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:16 PM   #15
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My advice to new shooters is to simply get comfortable holding the rifle. If you aren't comfortable you aren't going to shoot well.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:02 AM   #16
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I have seen thin barrels string shots like target one as they heat up, though this may be trigger control. All but target two seem to indicate horizontal walking. On the suggestion of using a bag filled with sand between gun and shoulder to reduce recoil, that helps, but I would recommend that you use cheap, coarse cat litter as it tends to compact a great deal less, so will give more. (How is that for a run-on-sentence?) The magnum PAST pad works well too.

Have a friend load your rifle behind your back leaving out the cartridge from time to time. If you are flinching you will both know it. If that is the case go back to a .22, then work your way back up with mild loads.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:58 AM   #17
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The major steps to proper shooting can all be broken down into more detailed steps, but would need to be addressed by someone who could coach you in proper technique.
1- Properly address and mount the weapon.
2- Proper sight control (less of an issue with optical sights than irons, but still important).
3- Breath control.
4- Trigger control.
5- Follow-though.

If you can find someone to coach you in the small details, you can quickly become very proficient. If you do not get some instruction, you will struggle until someone corrects you. I assume there are still manuals in print on how to shoot a rifle. If nothing else, join a smallbore target club and get taught by their coach.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:31 AM   #18
Dan Newberry
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what powder and bullet are you using in the .308? shooting in the mid to high 30 grain powder area seems a bit strange... unless you're using too fast of a powder...
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:50 PM   #19
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Iron Sights?

If you are shooting with iron sights, I heard if you keep both eyes open and focus on the center of the double sights you will shoot a lot better. Also take a deep breath and pull the trigger on the exhale. Never yank the trigger, slowly roll it back, but you might want to consider getting a match trigger if the pull is too long. Also stand with your dominant foot in the back, and your hip at a 45 degree angle to your target if you are standing. Hope this helped!
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:04 PM   #20
Fire_Moose
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Re: Rifle shooting tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Newberry View Post
what powder and bullet are you using in the .308? shooting in the mid to high 30 grain powder area seems a bit strange... unless you're using too fast of a powder...
Bullet: 168 Amax
Powder: accurate 2460
Primer: Win LR magnum (hence the lower then usual powder.)

I'm using a scope and bench rest.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:24 PM   #21
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didn't read the replies....but I always think of something a Drill Sargent told me when on range with an M14 in basic training. Always thought it was good advice and have mentioned it to novice shooters at range I'm a member. Lol, I'd been shooting for quite awhile by time I was in army and was a pretty good shot. Always qualified as an Expert Marksman with a M14 or M16.

Anyway, Drill Sergent said, "remember your BRASS.....Breath (in), Relax (exhale), Aim, Slowly, Squeeze" the trigger.
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