Most likely cause of horizontal flyers?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by wombat13, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I’ve noticed that when I have a flyer it is more often than not mostly horizontal dispersion than vertical. This suggests to me that it is a flaw in my technique. Anyone have an idea of the most likely problem? The target below is .338 WM with handloads. The bottom shot was the first, cold bore shot. The three at the top are shots 2, 3, and 5. Shot 4 is 2” to the right. These were fired with from rest and rear bags at 100 yards. 5 minutes between shots. I know I had the magnification too high. I had to get so close to the scope that the scope touched my eyebrow. Not enough to cut me or even really hurt, but it did touch.

    F747CDD2-BF15-4A42-AC1A-F0CB80D6E73F.jpeg
     
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  2. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    5 minutes between shots? Why?
     
  3. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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    What brand rifle ?
    Is the barrel free floated at all ?
    Scope mounts snug ?
    When you say 5 minutes between shots, do you mean 5 minutes between each shot ?
    Does your scope have a parallax adjustment ?

    It could be you. No offense intended... if you aren't staying in the exact same position at your bench for each shot.
    Your body movements could be causing your bullets impact changes.

    When shooting my AR's for accuracy, even the tiniest movement will fubar a great group. As in... even adjusting my cheek weld will alter the grouping.
     
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  4. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    When I see lateral stringing with a well developed load, fired from bags: 1) bad wind calling, 2) fighting the bags instead of letting the rifle lay in NPOA, 3) bad trigger management (lateral pressure).

    That really shouldn’t be happening, regardless of what scope you have. Most likely, you have your chest too high behind the rifle, or your bench height is too low so you are leaning too far forward and scrunching down onto the rifle, or your comb and scope too low such your forehead is tilted forward.
     
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  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    I’d put odds at 90% that you’re moving the rifle with your trigger finger.

    next time do two things:
    1 stay in position a while and watch the reticle movement. Is it still? Or wobbling about 1/2” on the target? If it’s moving, what does movement correlate with? Is it horizontal movement? Vertical? Circular?

    2 focus on pulling the trigger back perfectly straight. Don’t think about wind or anything else. Just think about the trigger moving back straight. Dry fire a dozen times before you shoot to see which grip and finger position on the trigger helps to pull it back straight. Then dry fire twice between each live round in the group
     
  7. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  8. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

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    Regurgitating some mantras of gun lore...

    Horizontal Stringing is classically attributed to poor (trigger) technique, as opposed to Vertical Stringing - which is somehow now associated almost exclusively with barrel heating (in online Forums!), to the exclusion of breath control and similar other issues...
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  9. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Ditto the other posts above re trigger technique, and taliv's recommendations to deal with it.
     
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  10. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    70+ grains of powder per shot tends to heat the sporter barrel quickly and the rifle is not free floated. I'm just trying to eliminate variables when testing a load.
     
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  11. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure the problem is me! Ruger M77, stainless, laminate stock. Not free floated. Scope mounts are snug with blue loctite. 5 minutes between shots so the barrel doesn't get hot and introduce a source of error. No parallax adjustment. My understanding is that parallax shouldn't make much difference below 10x mag and at relatively short range.

    There is sufficient recoil that there is no way I can keep my head from moving. I have to try to get on the same cheek weld/eye position for each shot. I'm not trying to benchrest accuracy. 2" to the right at 100 yards shouldn't be from a small change in position of my eye, I don't think.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  12. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    D?
     
  13. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    When I'm working on a load, I don't go to the range when there is noticeable wind. If I can see leaves moving, I don't go. It would have to have been a very high wind to push that bullet 2" in 100 yards. I did my best to adjust the bags so NPOA was on the bull, but snugging the rifle into my shoulder changes its position. Snugging the rifle to my shoulder raised the point of aim and I applied slight downward pressure on the barrel just in front of the scope. Bad trigger management seems to be the likely cause.

    The benches at the range are actually a bit high. I do have to climb well up the stock to get into the "eyebox" on that scope when it is on 9x.

    Btw, it is a Ruger M77, stainless, laminate, in .338WM with a Leupold VX-II scope. The rifle is capable of 4-shot groups like the three at the top of the target.
     
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  14. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Reticle is quite still while on target before squeezing trigger. I will definitely try the dry-firing. Thanks!
     
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  15. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    My targets many times looked like yours for the first five shots (using a proven rifle with proven hand loads). In my experience, it took me about five rounds to settle in; I simply do not relax enough, I tend to grip the rifle too tight, I tend to release the round too quickly, etc - again, I am simply not relaxed enough for everything to come together. Then after what I call my warmup string of shots, the rounds will start touching each other. In other words, it was (mostly) me.
    One other thing I had noticed is that I may have been guilty of cleaning my barrels too aggressively (meaning when not needed) - I stopped that cleaning sequence and began leaving the barrels fired/ dirty. Then upon my return trips, it only took two or sometimes three rounds for “me” to settle in and start grouping.
    I have no idea if my challenges are related to your target, it was just my experience. My suggestion would be to shoot 10 (or more) round groups and see if things settle in, see if there is improvement. It is difficult to analyze the causes of a shooting pattern because there may be more than one acting on the rifle group at the same time. In my case when I eliminated the need to foul squeaky clean barrels, I found that the only factor left was me relaxing, then everything came together faster.
     
  16. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    What Steve S said is what I found out was causing me issues. I just have to relax and settle in. I had to break a bad habit of cleaning after every range session. My Dad being a military guy always had me cleaning after a range session or a hunt. Leave that barrel alone and you will spend less time with foulers on each trip is what I finally got through my head.
     
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  17. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Is this a hunting load? If it is, what distance are you typically hunting at? That’s the only time I would include my cold bore, clean rifle, shot into the group. If the load shoots good at your hunting distance, I would zero the scope on your cold, fouled bore, at distance, call it a day. Shoot another shot on a cold bore at the same target, start building a group. Unless your barrel is free floated, your shots will wander as it warms up. Another way to build a load is using the OCW, round robbin method, maybe you have not found that optimal load yet. Good luck:)
     
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  18. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Thanks for the comments. Yes, it's a hunting load. That's exactly how I plan to zero the rifle. Also, that's why I waited 5 minutes between shots. I'm not really concerned about all that at the moment, though. It seems unlikely that barrel heating or fouling would cause shot #4 to be 2" to the right of shots #2, 3, and 5. Even more so since I made sure the barrel didn't get hot and I hadn't cleaned the rifle since the last trip to the range. I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Above comments indicate it is likely how I press the trigger.
     
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  19. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Started dry fire practice from my kitchen table. I have rather long fingers. I noticed that it is most comfortable when I wrap my finger around the trigger and my second bone is resting on the trigger. I know this is not conducive to consistency. I've started practicing making sure the pad of the tip of my finger is pressing the trigger.
     
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  20. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I also have issues with long fingers, and my natural trigger press with most rifles is NOT perfectly rearward. It's something that I'm also trying to groove a muscle memory to fix.

    I have found that different stock styles make it easier to do this, by increasing the distance from the grip to the trigger.
     
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  21. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I decided to not get involved and deleted my post.
     
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  22. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I laughed when I read this because I don't know how many times I've wished I'd done the same. However...the great thing about this board (and it's a huge plus) is that no matter what the topic there's always someone who knows a whole lot more about it than I do, and though sometimes I end up feeling like a fool I'm always the better off for learning something I needed to know. And if I had deleted something I said that was dumb I wouldn't have learned anything.
     
  23. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Just got involved with rifles after years and years with shotguns only . A world of difference. My Savage 110 Storm .223 is the first rifle I`ve ever owned. Only real experience with rifles was with 14`s and 16`s back more years ago than I care to think about while working for the " government"! I`m learning that there`s apparently a gazillion things between me and a tight group! It`s not easy but it sure is fun!

    Also, new to the High Road!
     
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  24. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Welcome!
     
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  25. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Now you've got me really curious.
     
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