Need tips on improving my shooting


May 24, 2006, 12:06 AM
OK so I finally got my K-31 out to the range this weekend.

I have shot plenty of .22s at 25-100 yards. I pull 2 inch or less groups with my open sighted Marlin 981t all the time. But when I shoot it out at 100 yards the groups open up a lot (like 10-12 inches), and I am sure a lot of that has to do with wind pushing those little bullets around.

So this was my first time shooting a centerfire rifle at 100 yards, and I thought my groups would stay tight because there was little wind and I was shooting my K-31.

It is in great shape and the bore is like new with a perfect crown. So I know it is not the rifle's fault. But, I could not get consistent groups. Out of about 60 shots, all were on the target but kind of in an vertical line an inch or so to the right of the bullseye. Like this:

-- o

I recognize that I am not perfectly leveling the front sight with the rear, but even though I know that is the problem, I cannot seem to correct it.

Any tips?

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May 24, 2006, 12:31 AM
The .22 is in many ways a perfect training aid however the one feature that makes it easy to shoot (recoil) sometimes allows form to slip somewhat. I have found the K-31 to be a finely made rifle with a typical military stumpy buttstock. Although technically this doesn't prevent long armed folks from shooting them. It is my contention that being long armed with a short buttstocked rifle makes attaining a proper shooting position MUCH harder. I would guess that you are not getting a consistent position. By the way, were you shooting offhand, supported, prone, etc. Anything unsupported makes shooting accurately very difficult. Another possibility is that you heated the barrel up with shooting and it wandered in the stock. Slow deliberate fire frequently shrinks group size.

P.S. I would recommend Jeff Coopers book "The Art of the Rifle"

May 24, 2006, 12:35 AM
Are you using center hold (front sight aimed at the center of the black; aka point of aim) or 6 o'clock hold (front sight aimed at the bottom of the black)?

6 o'clock hold can result in these kinds of errors due to the way the eye percieves the black. Sometimes the sun can affect how 'big' the black is, thus changing where you are holding the front sight. Center hold eliminates this type of issue, but most people find 6 o'clock easier to use (as do I).

It's probable that this isn't the cause of your problems.

Make sure you have a good solid sight picture. Get a good consistent cheekweld which will lead to a consistent front and rear sight alignment every time. Get the natural point of aim on the target. Once natural point of aim is achieved and you have a good hold, make sure you are focused on the front sight when you fire.

Make sure you have good follow through. Dry fire a few times. Get a good sight picture then squeeze the trigger. When the hammer falls, check to see if the front sight moved. If it did, your follow through is bad.

May 24, 2006, 03:47 AM
Was the fore end resting on anything? If a rest was used, what was it, and at what point was the stock placed on it?


May 24, 2006, 03:55 AM
it looks like youmay be figure 8 ing your rifle a little bit, also you may be breathing a bit heavy , concentrate on good calm breathing habits, try to allways fire your rifle in the same point of time in your breathing. you did not mention if you are using any type of rests or not, so if you are not, get good and practiced and regular using sandbag rests or what not , until good bodyhold, cheekweld, breathing, etc. , become second nature to you, and you are shooting good groups. then move on to other types of shooting positions.

May 24, 2006, 06:23 AM
Let the rifle cool longer between shots. The K31 heats up pretty fast if you shoot much more then 3 rounds at a time. If I shoot 10 rounds quickly, my K 31 will heat up and string vertically, giving me the exact pattern you just described.

May 24, 2006, 06:53 AM
Try focusing on your breath control on your next trip to the range. Also, make sure you have a good, consistant cheek to stock meld.


May 24, 2006, 06:51 PM
To clarify:

I am using sandbags and the stock about 4 inches in front of the sights is where it rests.

I am shooting one round per >30 seconds. Slowly.

Now that you mention it, I do not even know if I shoot at POA or 6 o'clock. I will pay better attention to this next time.

I will also work on my breathing. I think I have a good cheek weld though, right against my thumb. And the stock is not too long for me, my arms are not very long at all. I am only 5' 11'' and my arms are proportional.

Thanks for the tips. I will be back with an update.

May 24, 2006, 09:06 PM
As was already mentioned, make sure you acquire your natural point of aim (NPOA). It really does make a difference in the results you'll see. Get into a good solid shooting position, close your eyes for a few seconds, when you open your eyes look and see where your rifle is pointing. If you're not on target adjust your position and repeat the process. After you obtain NPOA your front sight will still bob up and down, it should lower while breathing in, then rise when you exhale. At the end of your exhale the front site should be on target, this is when you pause and begin squeezing the trigger. Make sure only the pad of your finger is on the trigger, don't "drag wood". Lastly, keep your eyes open and try to call the shot.

May 24, 2006, 11:18 PM
Sounds like you need to let the barrel cool off more.
May 25, 2006, 12:53 AM
"Make sure only the pad of your finger is on the trigger, don't "drag wood". "
I totally agree!

What kind of pull weight are you dealing with? I've encountered some milsurps with good triggers and others that were not so good. If your trigger is kind of tough, you might consider what Jeff Cooper calls the "pinch technique" simply stated, you put your index on the trigger and your thumb on the rear of the trigger guard. When you're ready to shoot you pinch your thumb and finger together to compensate for a crappy trigger pull.

May 25, 2006, 01:04 AM
you could be doing a few things wrong. triger jerking might be the problem, but in my experience when you jerk the triger, the groups go diagonally from SW to NE. so the problem is likely a breathing problem.

there are many books you could read that would really help alot. but nothing is better than learning from a more experienced shooter. i have been so lucky to have such people as my papa and my dad. they always know what im doing right and what im doing wrong. if you can find a range buddy or one of those old-timers that seem to know everything that will help you, it would be of great benefit to you.

May 25, 2006, 06:00 AM
One thing you might try is ask a range officer or a gun shop owner if they know someone that might help you out a little. Having someone standing right there to coach you is really worth a million bucks when you are trying to learn how to shoot well. We do a lot of things wrong sometimes and we don't even know we're doing it. Having a coach, especially when we start at a later age, is really a big help.

Practice makes perfect, but only if you practice correctly.

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