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Old December 8, 2008, 06:14 PM   #1
Join Date: December 6, 2008
Location: Wyoming
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MY First Rifle!!

My *awesome* Grandpa just gave me his Remington 700 BDL .30-06!! Oh yeah, I'm so cool. It's the first rifle that I've owned, though I've shot many others.
Anyways, it has a Weaver scope. I don't know what kind, but I've never shot with a scope before. It's raised above the original sights on the rifle so I can still use them.
So, I'd really like some advice on how to use a scope. My husband has used a scope for a long time hunting, but isn't the best teacher. My Grandpa just told me to "look through the scope 'til you get it" and that doesn't seem to work. Any advice on techniques or just anything would be appreciated.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:41 PM   #2
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First, I would say practice is the key to great shooting and it's always easiest to practice your skills in a smaller calibre rifle because your not thinking about recoil, and you really get to focus on what it takes to make a good shot. I'll be honest, it will be tough at first to learn first on a 30-06.

Although, if thats what we are working with I'll start with some basics:
Trigger control has to be the most important thing to shooting. People jerk the trigger, pull it too quickly and simply think "oh its on the bulleyes, fire!". Pulling the trigger should be a gentle and smooth process. It should be as slow as possible really. When the trigger breaks and fires, the shot and recoil should come as a surprise... every time.

Breathing I'd say is next in importance. You can't make a perfect shot if you are inhaling or exhaling as you pull the trigger. I like to get my breathing going and get as steady as possible on the target, then take a deep breath and pull the trigger.

Having a comfortable rest/position when you shoot is also important. You want a rest to get yourself as comfortable and steady as possible. I shoot my rifles with bipods, and I'll use sand bags or whatever else is in the field to help make my rest as steady as possible when I shoot.

Also, ammo is important. Choosing the right bullet is also important when it comes to accuracy. A shooter could be perfect and poorly loaded ammunition could make them shoot all over the paper or miss a target. Find what works best in your gun and stick to it.

These are just some of the main tips I would say is a good start. Have fun!
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Old December 8, 2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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i would suggest getting rid of the see through mounts & mounting the scope as low as possible. you'll get a proper cheek weld & probably find the scope much easier to use. make sure the eye relief is correct for you so you have the full sight picture & you may have to adjust the focus for your eyes. other than that i would pick up or load some lighter loads so practice won't be a pain.
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Old December 8, 2008, 09:05 PM   #4
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If it's a variable scope, start with it at its lowest power settings (or close to it) and at a shorter range. Let's assume you've got a 3-9x. I would put it at 4 and shoot at 50 yards. You'll notice as you turn the magnification power up, the sides of the scope become blackened. The less you can see through the scope, the harder it is to get on target. So for starters, stay at low power.

You may ask people around you if the length of pull is correct for you if you do not know how to determine that yourself. If you have short arms, it may be too long.. or vice versa. If the length of pull makes the scope too far away, the eye relief would be the problem.

The other thing I would recommend is to practice a little with it away from the range. First, MAKE SURE IT'S UNLOADED. Once you've double checked that, leave the bolt open and try to look at stuff through the scope, holding it as you would on the range. Always keep it pointed in a safe direction, not at a neighbors house, a park, etc.. Keep the scope's magnification turned down for this, too.

Once you've become accustomed to looking through scope and how close your eye needs to be, a little dry firing might be in order. Get used to how much pressure the trigger requires to go off. When pulling the trigger, you want to use as little as possible. Again, can't stress enough making sure the rifle is unloaded and also always pointed it in a safe direction.

Congrats on the new rifle.. The BDL will give you many years of service if you take care of it.
The Jeep has been a lot of fun, but time to come back to my first hobby.. shooting.
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Old December 8, 2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Miss MeNoLike,

What part of Wyoming are you in. There are several Rifle Clubs affiliated with the Wyoming Rifle and Pistol Assn, and CMP. Most put on rifle clinics for little or not charge. I believe Lander charges a modest fee, I run one in Weston county for the Weston County Sportmans Assn. and we dont charge anything.

If you let me know what general area, I'll give you the information on clubs in your area. If you would rather, you can IM me for the information.


PS. You sound like my grandaughter, I let her use my 257 Roberts this year now it appears its automaticly hers.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:12 AM   #6
Join Date: December 6, 2008
Location: Wyoming
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Thanks, ya'll, for all your help.
I guess I wasn't very forthcoming with more information about my shooting experience, but I am, in fact, experienced. I was in the military, have been shooting many times with various different guns (from the M16 to my hubby's 7MM and AK47 to a Ruger Mark III to a Colt 45 revolver) and even took a pistol marksmanship class this semester to get an extra credit into my schedule.
So, as far as breathing techniques, trigger squeeze, good position and stuff goes, I'm pretty good. I know I'll have to get familiarized with my new rifle, but I have the basics understood.
I appreciate everyone's comments and help! THANKS YA'LL!!
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Old December 9, 2008, 07:47 AM   #7
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The hardest part of using the scope it seems to be (when teaching grandchildren and nieces and nephews to shoot) getting the correct eye relief. You can't be too close or too far away. The correct distance is usually around 3 inches. You should be able to see the compete sight window without a black shadowy ring. Try different distances from the scope until you get it down.

I agree with others that those scope mounts that allow you to use the iron sights are the hardest to get used to as you have to raise your cheek an awkward distance above the stock.

Good luck.
rifle & muzzleloader -- exhilarating
bowhunting -- obsession
reloading -- addicted
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Old December 9, 2008, 12:47 PM   #8
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Congrats on the new rifle!! I just found this forum today because I just bought my first rifle too....and its also a Remington 700 BDL with a scope with the raised mounts!! Thought that was a little ironic. I bought it from my boss and it is excellent condition, 4-5 years old. I shot a dozen rounds through it sunday and it was grouping awesome. It came with a fixed 3x scope on it though which will have to be upgraded. Too bad I'll have to wait til next year to go deer hunting with it.
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Congrats on your new aquisition. I would agree to get rid of the see-through mounts. they raise the eye contact to the scope above natural your cheek weld normally. I am not a fan of see through sight mounts. I have confidence in my scopes and if I DROP//DAMAGE them they come off and open sights are already sighted in so off i go. I think that once you are comfortable with your Natural Point Of Aim you will be ok. Look up Fred at Great program.
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:39 PM   #10
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i would suggest getting rid of the see through mounts & mounting the scope as low as possible
Wish my grandpa gave me guns...
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:46 PM   #11
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Get rid of the see through mounts yes but not as low as possible. Only mount the scope as low or as high as needed to get a full sight picture. You should be able to shoulder the rifle with your eyes closed open your eyes and be looking right down the center of the scope. If you only can see the top half the scope is too low if you can only see the bottom half the scope is too high. Not everyone mounts a rifle the same so what works for one will not always work for another. It is something that you will have to try out for yourself.

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Old December 9, 2008, 07:56 PM   #12
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Welcome to the world of rifles! You wont want to leave now that your in your hooked now.

Thats a fine rifle you got there. Post pics if you got em!
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Old December 9, 2008, 08:11 PM   #13
River Rat 1969
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My First Rifle

Congratulations! First, I would suggest that you get a few "snap caps".............dummy bullets that won't fire, so you can practice dry firing over, and over, and over, without damaging the firing pin. Dry fire at least 100 times a day, for a week, before you go out to shoot live ammo.

Second, fire light weight bullets, for less can get factory ammo with 125 grain bullets.

Third, if your husband is not the best teacher for you, find someone you feel comfortable with to show you how to shoot. Check out the local gun clubs.

Women can shoot as good as men.......perhaps better because you take time to learn the basics..........unlike most of us, we are "natural shots". (Yeah, right).

You'll find factory ammo is high priced. Learn to reload. Besides making lower cost ammo, you can make more accurate ammo, and hand load light weight bullets, for low recoil practice loads.

Last.........join the NRA. The NRA has shooting programs for everyone, all over the country. Good luck, and good shooting.
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Old December 9, 2008, 09:21 PM   #14
Join Date: December 6, 2008
Location: Wyoming
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Tophe: Congrats on the new rifle!! Like you, I'll have to wait until next year to go hunting! I bet I can get a bigger deer than you can!

Jakeswensonmt: Sorry that your grandpa isn't as awesome as mine. Don't feel bad, no one has a grandpa as awesome as mine!!

8y6gt: I'll post pics when I get them uploaded!

River Rat 1969: I agree! I especially agree with the women shooters part!!

Thanks, for all your comments and advice
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Old December 9, 2008, 10:01 PM   #15
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j.chappel, you are correct. i was assuming an older weaver k model & thought low mounts would be in order. not actually knowing what scope she has your advice is more spot on. i humbly stand corrected.
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Old December 12, 2008, 10:49 PM   #16
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Old December 12, 2008, 11:21 PM   #17
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I had a nice Remington 700 BDL in 7mm Remington Magnum for a while and I had the eye relief adjusted perfect for myself and in the way j.chappel explains.

What would happen was when I was at the range with friends who wanted to shoot it they would stick their eye right up to the scope and in every case when I was not watching them real close fire a round off with the scope about an inch away from their face.

Then they would show me the cut eyebrow they had just acquired from firing it off like that while also saying that rifle is just way too powerful for them and it bruised their shoulder LOL

That 30-06 will do the same as just about any high powered rifle would do also if that scope is not set up for you just right or you stick your eye an inch away from the scope and have it in the wrong place on your shoulder.

Do some research on line about eye relief for rifle scopes or take it by a good gunsmith who can set it all up just right for you and explain a lot about getting the proper eye relief and scope adjustment so it fits into your shoulder just right.

Other options would be find a good gun club and talk to other members who can help you learn how to make it all work for you so you do not end up with a cut eyebrow or a very sore bruised shoulder either way.

When you swing that rifle up to the perfect position on your shoulder and your cheek on the stock you should instantly be able to sight right thru the scope at that very same instant.
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Old December 13, 2008, 09:47 AM   #18
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i would suggest getting rid of the see through mounts & mounting the scope as low as possible
Make that +2.

You should be able to shoulder the rifle with your eyes closed open your eyes and be looking right down the center of the scope.
Great advice there!

Then get down on the ground and make sure you have enough eye relief to comfortably shoot it prone. If you don't, move it forward until you do.
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Old December 13, 2008, 09:59 AM   #19
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Another choice, and I know it's not what you asked....

take the scope off for now and shoot the rifle with the iron sights.... get as good as you can with them... then put the scope back on and see how you do.
I bet you will be surprised.

I do have to agree the the drop the scope down to the barrel.. I have several see through scopes on smaller caliber rifles (22lr and 9mm) and they don't seem to adjust well. I suspect on that hoss of yours it makes things worse.
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.30-06 , new rifle , newbie , remington 700

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