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Old April 26, 2019, 07:43 PM   #26
Drm50
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I've owned and still own a lot of rifles and many more have went through my hands. I have never bothered with bedding factory run of the mill rifles. A sporter weight rifle that does a 1" at 100 yds / 5 shot groups is good enough. I do work with the loads it rifle looks promising. I've had several that didn't shoot well which is easy to tell when benched. I'm sure some of them could be tuned up by bedding, floating, ect. I had 7 rifles custom built with top quality components and they all ended up bedded. You expect better than 1" out of a custom rifle. Those rifles will out shoot me, more and more as the years add up. While you can improve a factory rifle if you are set on keeping it. I have found that factory rifles run everything from cherry to lemons with all shades in between in the same model like any
mass produced product.
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Old April 28, 2019, 11:44 AM   #27
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I've been with guys who were trying to sight-in their rifles and many of them are not skilled at it. More often than not, after a shot or two, some let the barrel rest on the front bag, some have lost the rear bag.

Experienced benchresters re-position their rifle perfectly for each shot and with hunting rifles, apply exactly the same grip pressure and shoulder pressure, etc., and apply straight-line trigger pressure. We're very fussy about our setup and know how to make every hold as close to the same as possible for each shot.

We also watch wind flags, usually at three positions, bench, mid-range, and target and try to get all three as close to the same as possible for each shot, and if not, compensate our aim point as we see the need.

Experience, experience, experience! Rimfire benchresters have to be very fussy and carry that care over to centerfire group shooting, even when not competing. Yes, we need to hold tighter, press against the buttplate more firmly and hold the forend more tightly for centerfire rifles, especially sporter hunting rifles that recoil pretty heavily and try to get away from us.

I almost never shoot rimfire and centerfire at the same range/day. If I'm shooting heavy-recoiling guns, I save the heavier-recoiling ones until last, so as not to introduce any chance of a flinch into my shooting lighter-kicking rifles. Yeah, I sometimes develop a slight flinch when getting belted around and know that if/when it happens, it's close to quitting time.

Last edited by Picher; April 28, 2019 at 04:20 PM.
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Old April 30, 2019, 02:51 PM   #28
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If there's wind, I can often shoot better than a rifle clamped in a vise, because I can compensate for wind/light on each shot, using wind flags. How much to compensate is a matter of practice/knowledge.

Light can cause heat waves that are particularly difficult to compensate for. That's why we sometimes use sighter targets to determine how much to hold off for the record shot.
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Old May 8, 2019, 07:03 AM   #29
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The worst shooting rifle I ever had was a Stevens Semi-auto, after I shot thousands of rounds through it.

When I got it and mounted a scope, I sighted it in and went hunting/plinking/rat-shooting, but never targeted it for many years.

Finally, I took it to the range and fired it at 50 yards and the best it could do was a 4" group. I couldn't believe how badly it grouped, so I traded it THAT DAY!

One of the best-shooting rifles I've had was a Marlin 39A. It consistently shot groups under 1" at 50 yards with various brands/types of ammo. I liked having a receiver sight on it for squirrel hunting because bullet impacts remained close to the sight setting for squirrels and other small game, out to 50 yards or so.

Scope-sighted rifles can impact about an inch lower than the crosshairs on 1" tube scopes around 20 yards, a distance common when shooting small varmints, especially red squirrels around the farm or camp. I loved the receiver sight without a screwed-in aperture for shooting small critters in the woods, or around bird feeders.
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Old May 10, 2019, 09:53 AM   #30
Bart B.
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All rifles shoot more accurate clamped in an unrestricted return to battery machine rest than hand held from any position. We humans are not 100% repeatable in the way we hold the rifle while it fires bullets.
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Old May 25, 2019, 05:18 AM   #31
Picher
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You're correct about rifles shooting better clamped in a rest Bart, provided there aren't other factors affecting the bullet's flight. Mirage and wind are two variables that must be compensated for on outdoor ranges, even at 50 yards and especially when shooting .22LR.

Mirage and wind don't matter as much if you're shooting 1" groups at 50 yards, but when shooting Rimfire Benchrest, they MATTER big time. Learning how to compensate for atmospheric changes makes the difference between a good shooter and a great shooter...at about any range.
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Old May 26, 2019, 08:18 AM   #32
Bart B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picher View Post
Mirage and wind don't matter as much if you're shooting 1" groups at 50 yards, but when shooting Rimfire Benchrest, they MATTER big time. Learning how to compensate for atmospheric changes makes the difference between a good shooter and a great shooter...at about any range.
Yes indeed. However, mirage doesn't displace target image as much as most think. Have you measured it precisely?

Remember winds closest to the firing point have more effect on bullet drift at target than winds near the target. And winds above the line of sight are faster than wind in the line of sight.
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Last edited by Bart B.; May 26, 2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old May 26, 2019, 08:42 AM   #33
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Rimfire Benchrest can be the most frustrating shooting game. You can win or lose a match by being out of the 10 or X by a hair's width. However, the big problem is finding the right brand/batch of ammo that shoots best in your rifle under the day's conditions.

Testing to find just the right brand/batch of ammo is expensive and frustrating. I've bought sample lots of my rifle's favorite brand of match ammo, tested them extensively, and when ready to buy a case of my first choice, there wasn't any left, nor was there any left of ANY of the 10 batches received the day before I tested!!! Talk about being ticked off!!!

The company I bought the test rounds from knew I was going to buy a case of the best ammo for my rifle, but they sold out of every batch they sold me to test.

Okay, so you found a batch that may have one flyer in a box. Not bad, until you're shooting a perfect target and you hit that one bad round, probably on the last row of a "perfect" target. Arrrrg!!!!
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Old May 26, 2019, 11:13 AM   #34
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Wow!!!
Did we ever under charge for hubcap balancing!!!
Talking to someone about balancing is like talking to forum members about cases and chambers. The art of balancing has moved to off vehicle balancers and that makes it difficult to balance with the hub cap.

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Old May 26, 2019, 11:25 AM   #35
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Okay, so you found a batch that may have one flyer in a box. Not bad, until you're shooting a perfect target and you hit that one bad round, probably on the last row of a "perfect" target. Arrrrg!!!!
Picher, I am with you, I would hate it if that ever happen to me. I have taken two new rifles to the range with the same chamber and used the same ammo. One rifle shot one hole groups and the other shot patterns like a shotgun. I took the Model 70 Winchester with the 300 Win Mag chamber into the warranty shop. I told him what was wrong with the rifle, he informed me he would hone, polish and or ream the chamber to correct the problem. I then asked him which one of his fixes was going to make the chamber smaller, the honing, the polishing or the reaming? When I checked back with him (over a month) he informed me the rifle was returned to Winchester. I asked why. he said the chamber was too big, long and too large in diameter. And I wanted to know when did that happened. And he said the rifle came in that way. And it never got better.

The other rifle is still shooting one hole groups.

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Old May 26, 2019, 12:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Picher View Post
Rimfire Benchrest can be the most frustrating shooting game. You can win or lose a match by being out of the 10 or X by a hair's width.
All matches on scoring ring targets are that way, not just rimfire bench ones.
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Old May 27, 2019, 09:11 AM   #37
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The only way you can verify the statement is to put a rifle in a fixture and shoot a statistically significant number of groups with a good quality bullet and powder combination that the rifle shoots accurately and record the results.
Then shoot the same rifle with the same bullet-powder combination from a rest with the shooter at the same distance and compare the results.

The only rifle that I own that has been shot from a fixture is my Les Baer Super Varmint .223 that came with two 5-round test targets shot at 100 yards with Federal Premium Gold Medal Match 77 grain SMK bullets. The two groups measured 0.051 and 0.123. Not a statistically significant number of groups but it is all the data I have. The Les Baer comes with a guarantee that it will shoot 5-round groups of factory ammo at 100 yards under 0.5 inches. The test target proved their claim.

I have proceeded to shoot 129 groups with the same bullets at 100 yards.
The smallest 5-round group that I have shot measured 0.176. The second best measured 0.200. The average of all 129 groups with 77 SMKs with all my shooter induced variations is 0.428.

Using a different Sierra bullet the 77 TMK with a higher ballistic coefficient, I shot 5-round groups at 100 yards, I have managed to shoot only one group of 0.159 and average 0.387 for 35 groups.

I have to concede that the Les Baer can out shoot me by a significant margin.
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Old May 27, 2019, 10:12 AM   #38
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It is interesting to me that the outdoor rimfire prone 40 shot records set in the late 1970's still stand today. As does some of the 50 yard records. Some attribute that to ammo nakers changed the primer chemistry shortly thereafter.

Barrel lives were then cut almost in half, about 50,000 down to 30,000 for competitive use.
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Old May 27, 2019, 11:10 AM   #39
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