Sighting in a rifle


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Phaethon
November 12, 2010, 02:30 PM
I've heard around of people not wanting to use sandbags to sight in their rifles, because it zonks up the barrel harmonics or something of that nature. To me sandbags seem like the most stable shooting platform on a bench, so how exactly should one sight in their newly bought or scope'd rifles?

Besides, are barrel harmonics still affected when a full length stock is involved, or when the barrel isn't free floating to begin with?

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USSR
November 12, 2010, 02:54 PM
The only way a sandbag is going to mess with barrel harmonics, is if you rest the barrel on it, which is a no-no to begin with.

Don

Furious_George
November 12, 2010, 03:08 PM
I'd say as long as you're not resting the barrel of your rifle on the sand bag (which I've seen many people do), it shouldn't have any affect on your barrel harmonics...especially if your barrel is free floating.

Furious_George
November 12, 2010, 03:09 PM
^ i was beat to it...

daorhgih
November 12, 2010, 04:08 PM
What I've heard, and seen, is to sight for a perfect bulls-eye, squeeze, note the actual spot hit, adjust the cross-hairs for that point, and squeeze again. Should be exactly on, for your distance. Is this wrong? Thanks.

Furncliff
November 12, 2010, 05:58 PM
How to Sight in a Hunting Rifle... Chuck Hawks

http://www.chuckhawks.com/sight-in_rifle.htm

Bill_Rights
November 12, 2010, 11:16 PM
REF "Furious George" and "USSR": FG said "as long as you're not resting the barrel of your rifle on the sand bag (which I've seen many people do), it shouldn't have any affect on your barrel harmonics" and USSR said "you rest the barrel on it, which is a no-no to begin with".

Whoa! What the hell is going on here? The whole point of a sand-bag rest is to damp out and remove our natural human jitter and variability, so we can see what the gun itself is doing.

Are you saying that, if we use sand-bag rest, it should contact the fore-stock, not the barrel? That I can accept.

Why not clearly state what you mean, hmmm?

flank
November 12, 2010, 11:42 PM
yes I think they were saying DON'T rest your barrel on the sandbags. so yes you put the front portion of your stock on the sandbags.

LoonWulf
November 13, 2010, 02:41 AM
LOL, I use sandbags to sight in. I also usually shoot a group with the rifle slung up and in my hand sitting atop the front bag and my arms resting on the table to make sure it dosent shoot somewhere else entirely afterwards.

justgoto
November 13, 2010, 03:49 AM
Why not clearly state what you mean, hmmm?

The only way the sandbag could "zonks up the barrel harmonics" is if they are "resting the barrel of your rifle on the sand bag".

They are answering the question directly and correctly.

22-rimfire
November 13, 2010, 09:26 AM
I use sand bags. Just don't rest the barrel on the bag. That goes for any rest and any firearm.

teetertotter
November 13, 2010, 10:00 AM
Sandbags if you want to have real accuracy, from the one's in the know, I know.

Art Eatman
November 13, 2010, 11:16 AM
As far as group size, ensure uniformity in having the front sandbag under the same point of the forearm for each shot. I put it at the same place as I hold my hand when in the field.

For sighting in with a bolt action, I first good-eye boresight. Then, one shot at a time at 25 yards until I'm adjusted as close to dead-on as makes no nevermind. That's usually three or four shots. Then, I go to 100 yards for three-shot groups. I move the group-center as necessary to (usually) be around two inches high. Set it and forget it, for every hunting rifle I've ever used, these last sixty years. I always recheck sight-in from time to time, on general principles, but I've never had any significant change over maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch at a hundred yards.

oldfool
November 13, 2010, 11:39 AM
yep, what the man (Art) said
eyeball boresight 1st, fire one round, then zero in at short range, always aim at the target X, that's why they put an X on the target

if you know (or can pretty good guess) your sight adjustments, can get close enough for tweaking within next 3 rounds, dead on in five or six, then move target on out there

forget that business about re-zero to 1st shot POI for 2nd round fired.. unless your have your gun clamped in a custom vise rest, you just wasted a round
(worse yet if you start chasing yet more holes in paper)

(dunno why folks seem confused about the difference between a barrel and a forestock, but if you can group sub MOA offhand at 100 yards unrested, shucks, just do it your way.. and color me envious)

Uncle Mike
November 13, 2010, 12:20 PM
If you cover the entire rifle with the sand while shooting it...you'll get pretty good groups!

The barrel should not touch....anything, nothing, nadda, zip. Just the forearm Only.

HKGuns
November 13, 2010, 02:50 PM
Art and I use the exact same process, works every time.

teetertotter
January 7, 2012, 10:53 PM
Art, how come the bench rest folks do just the opposite?

Art Eatman
January 8, 2012, 12:31 AM
Opposite? In what way?

Realize I'm not claiming that my way is the only way. It's just what I've done for eons, and I'm mostly a hunter, not a target shooter.

dmazur
January 8, 2012, 01:11 AM
Benchrest technique -

http://blog.sinclairintl.com/2009/01/15/shooting-non-benchrest-rifles-from-the-bench/

While most of the discussion is about shooting non-benchrest rifles, there is one paragraph that describes benchrest rifles -

Benchrest type rifles will usually weigh over 10 lbs and have wide, flat forends. Our definition of a benchrest rifle for discussion purposes would include any barreled action in a benchrest stock, hunter class rifles, and some varmint rifles. Competitive 100-yard and 200-yard benchrest rifles can have a maximum forend width of 3 and the bottom can be flat or convex. The bottom of the forend cannot be concave. This prevents stock makers from designing a stock with edge rails.

As far as I can tell, they are heavier and have forends designed to "ride a bag" in a straight line. As straight as possible without building a rail system. Other than that, I don't see a whole lot of difference.

The barrel still isn't supported.

teetertotter
January 8, 2012, 08:53 AM
I see BR folks rest their stock in the rear and pretty far forward on the front stock whether light or heavy weight, meaning 6-1/2 lb or 10+lb classes.

Art is saying he positions his front sandbag closest to his off hand hold or possible balance point which might be closest to the trigger, when sighting in. BR guys front rest is pretty far forward on the stock when sighting in or during competition. Perhaps too, if Art is right handed, he maybe holding with out stretched left arm and not close in next to his body like most off hand shooters.

Which will give the most accuracy in sighting in off sandbags for hunters, front sandbag close to trigger area or sandbag positioned far forward on the stock? Would both prove the same in accuracy? Any thoughts? Make any difference where front sandbag is positioned on front stock[not on barrel]?

Since BR guys front rest is way forward on the stock, I am inclined to do the same with the sandbag when sighting my .22LR. Who know's? Just my thoughts, if mean anything.

bhk
January 8, 2012, 09:46 AM
I think it depends whether we are talking about trying to shoot small groups or trying to get a hunting zero. When I do intitial sight-ins and load testing on a hunting rifle, I use generally accepted bench techniques. When finalizing my hunting/field zero, I place my hand between the sandbag and the stock, don't use a rear bag, and try to hold the rifle with the same pressures I would use in the field. The point of impact often does change a little when held that way.

Walkalong
January 8, 2012, 09:59 AM
For sighting in with a bolt action, I first good-eye boresight. Then, one shot at a time at 25 yards until I'm adjusted as close to dead-on as makes no nevermind. That's usually three or four shots. Then, I go to 100 yards for three-shot groups. I move the group-center as necessary
Exactly how I do it. I bore sight, as I suspect Art does (good-eye), the old fashioned way, take out the bolt and look down the barrel. Start at 25, move to 100. And yes, rest the stock on the bags, rests, whatever, not the barrel.

Yes, in Benchrest we had the front rest up toward the front end of the stock. A longer radius is steadier with a stiff stock and action (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=111387&d=1261261610).

This may not prove true with a thin wood stock hunting rifle. ;)

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