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Question About Checking Rifle Accuracy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Phydeaux642, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    I'm new to shooting rifles and really don't know what I'm doing but I'm having a little fun...along with getting somewhat frustrated at times. Anyway, my question is this...When checking a new rifle for accuracy, how do you go about it? Do you put it in a rest? Do you have it on a bipod while shouldering the stock? Do you shoot offhand?
    I'm asking because I've been shooting a Ruger 10/22, from now on affectionately known as Money Pit, and I'm trying to figure out how best to check it for accuracy. I've been using a bipod and I shoulder the stock. I put a higher power scope on it last night so that I could better see the target and to try and tighten up the groups, but now every little twitch and heartbeat is seen. I know there are a lot of things I need to work on, but I'm not sure how good the gun is on its own.

    EDIT TO ADD: This is how the rifle is set up. Magpul X-22 Hunter stock with added Magpul cheek piece, Feddersen 18" bull barrel, Blackhawk bipod, Volquartsen Target Hammer kit and the Volquartsen trigger to gain the overtravel stop and a little different trigger profile, Volquartsen auto bolt release and a Vortex 6-18x44 BDC scope with AO and Vortex rings. Shooting five shot groups with CCI Standard Velocity 40 gr ammo because I just can't spend thirty cents a round for stuff like Center X.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  2. KsSkaEnthusiast

    KsSkaEnthusiast Member

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    I put mine on bags when testing for accuracy. Then depending on the caliber and rifle for 3, 5 or 10 shot groups.
     
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  3. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Sitting in bags (fore and aft) on a bench minimizes (but does not eliminate) the shooter's inabilities. If I wish to know what a rifle will do, I shoot bagged on the bench.

    Now, my technique at the bench has more than halved my capability (from 1+MOA to <0.5MOA) over the first 3 years of serious rifle shooting, so there is definitely a shooter contribution.

    Someone who has learned to shoot slung up prone might do better that way with a some rifles, but that's a very steep learning curve.
     
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  4. z7

    z7 Member

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    Ruger 10/22’s are good guns, but they are often not tack drivers - they are accurate, but not a benchrest gun

    is it a heavy barrel, wood stock, nice trigger gun? Or standard off the shelf 10/22? Is the trigger custom or standard, is the gun made without the last 10 years or is it old?
    Many of the newer triggers are pretty bad from the factory,

    and this doesn’t include ammo. Rimfire guns are picky and will have some ammo they love, other ammo they hate. What ammo are you shooting and what is your testing process?
     
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  5. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    Magpul X-22 Hunter stock with added Magpul cheek piece, Feddersen 18" bull barrel, Blackhawk bipod, Volquartsen Target Hammer kit and the Volquartsen trigger to gain the overtravel stop and a little different trigger profile, Volquartsen auto bolt release and a Vortex 6-18x44 BDC scope with AO and Vortex rings. Shooting five shot groups with CCI Standard Velocity 40 gr ammo because I just can't spend thirty cents a round for stuff like Center X.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  6. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    10-22s are good about eating anything you feed them.
    That means they go bang.
    It doesn't mean it will group.

    I have 3. All will shout a nickel sized group at 25 yards WITH THE RIGHT STD AMMO. All 3 are with a different ammo.
    1 loves Thunderbolts, the other 2 shoot baseball size groups.
    1 loves CCI and the the last loves Rem Golden Bullets or Win Super X.

    Put you gun on bags or vice. Try as many different ammo types/brands, as you can find.
     
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  7. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan member

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    You can try dry firing with a snap cap , With that scopes power you should be able to see what the crosshairs are doing when the trigger breaks . That's only one variable but it will tell you a great deal . Don't let the 10/22 accuracy thing beat you up , they can be a lot of fun and frustrating at the same time . You are not alone in the "money pit" department , it's hard to say when to stop . I am a slow learner when it comes to that .
     
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  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It depends on what you're testing. To figure out the rifle and ammo's true potential you need to eliminate as much human error as possible. That means some sort of rest. I have used bipods at times, but normally just use sandbags. I find it works out about the same, but some shooting locations are easier to use one or the other.

    It is almost impossible to get the rifle correctly zeroed if you don't use some sort of support. The vise type contraptions work, but aren't worth the hassle to me. I can do just as well with bags of bipods.

    Once you determine the rifles potential, and have it zeroed then you can test how accurate you are. It is a good idea to learn how to shoot offhand. But in the field it is always best to use some sort of improvised support.

    Ammo is huge. Most of the cheap bulk ammo isn't going to be very accurate in any rifle and as they come out of the box 10-22's aren't the most accurate rifle anyway. You may need to experiment, every rifle is different, but I've found CCI Mini-Mags to be the best compromise between cost and accuracy. I have a drawer full that I paid $8 to $10 for a box of 100 rounds. It is up to $14 for the same 100 rounds now. I can shoot slightly better groups with true target ammo, but it is really pricy.
     
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  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a bipod and rear bag. However I’ve been shooting rifles a long time. For a new shooter, front and rear bags are the way to go unless your money pit includes a fancy front mechanical rest that can easily run the cost of a 10/22.

    don’t be in a hurry
    Work on your position until the sights are where you want them and are not moving. If they’re bouncing around due to your shoulder or head pressure or pulse, keep adjusting your position or try just not touching the rifle.
    Keep in mind you will have to recreate the position for each shot in the group so try not to do anything too crazy.
    And dry fire twice before each live round. With a rim fire, you may want to throw a snap cap in the chamber so your firing pin doesn’t get damaged.
     
  10. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    Remove your sling first of all. Make yourself some sandbags out of old(or new) heavy socks. Line them with plastic and fill with aquarium rocks. These work great and you can make a bunch of them for a fraction of the cost of the mechanical hard rests with the cheap bean bags they often come with. Adjust the bags until you can look through the sites and see the picture you want without touching the rifle. Then touch the rifle as little as possible adding just enough pressure to keep it stable and gentle squeeze on the trigger. You SHOULD be surprised when it goes "bang" if you've done this right. Oh and if you have to go out on a windy day, try and make it a "full value"(at your back or in your face) day. It's nice knowing your no wind zero for sure!
     
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  11. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
    I have one of those too.:D
    But to answer your question, I suppose it depends on what you call "accurate." I use some homemade "sandbags" on the hood of my truck, and shoulder the gun. But "accurate" for me is all 10 shots on a quarter at 40 yards with my "money pit" 10-22. That might not be "accurate" enough for you.;)
     
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  12. Archie

    Archie Member

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    For 'new' rifle (or if changing ammunition, either by hand loads or brand if store bought) I shoot from a bench rest. That removes most of the weaknesses of one's ability. I also use a bench rest for sighting in a zeroing my point of aim.
    Doing this gives one the best results one is going to have with a particular rifle (and load) combination.

    Then begins the work of the shooter. Practice and learn how to put all your shots where they should be. It does take time. Perhaps one might use a 'halfway' aide such as a standing rest or shooting sticks. But one's goal is to shoot offhand - standing on one's own two feet - as one can from a bench. No. One will likely not do it, but still strive for the goal.
     
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  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If I want to test a rifle for ultimate accuracy, I tend to remove as much of myself as possible. “To err is human”, as you can see with the addition of magnification you made.



    I realize that target being easily seen by the naked eye at that distance isn’t that small but the stability and repeatability of breaking the shot are the same from one to another.



    That said, I always test a rifle under the conditions I intend to use them. A 2oz trigger on a 21lb bench rifle, with a 40+ power scope may make a tiny hole at 200 yds from a bench, I would still be better off with something less capable but more suitable for hunting, the only way to know that is by shooting under less than ideal conditions. In other words, for many hunting situations, it doesn’t matter if it can shoot a hole in a hole if it can only be done from a bench after a few minutes of setting up and acquiring the target.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  14. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I use bags, or bipod and rear bag. I do have a lead sled and it has its uses. But I find it forces an unnatural shooting position and does not remove all of the movement that the shooter can induce. It can help you shoot better than just resting on a bench, but not as good as bags in my opinion.
     
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  15. Boomholzer

    Boomholzer Member

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    IMO Pick a reasonable compromise in how you intend to shoot the rifle longer term with support mechanisms you can take with you or will be available to your goals. Your task isn't just to characterize the rifle. Make it more personal, fulfilling, & worth while. Keep a practical mindset against your own goals.
    I'm decent at prone with a bipod and a rear support, I would, and have, taken that [prone] dirt position in open shoots given a bench opportunity. Including BR guys becoming friends with their trucked in tables. That's my crutch or what I am best at or what I chose to focus on. Offhand is another skill set to build, here one can sub packs and etc in the field.
    Whatever or however you setup in repetition, if what you are doing loses the target upon firing and you need to move around and reset, you need to stop and figure it out. With any supported situation, there is more feedback to be gained in position then the short-term improved group/accuracy. Even with rimfire.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  16. BWS

    BWS Member

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    First couple "mechanical rests" were made here. I passed them along to other shooters. Heck,you can take an auto scissor jack and make one...... too loose as issued so work on that.

    Then I made a very heavy,much more classic,or typical BR style. And still have it,very nice with ALL the bellsNwhistles.

    Around 10 or more years ago started using X bags. Very affordable and stupid easy to use. They aren't very friendly towards true BR work where return to battery,having the rig slide back exactly the same,reducing rifle upset. But for typical sporting arms,they come impressively close. The X bags travel well,and you can leave a set in your vehicle and not be too dang concerned about it.

    Next,within the last year was an all American made,Protektor brand,slingshot style aluminum rest. Also snagged their camo,cordura front,rear,and elbow bags. It is what I use now. Really nice,and 1/2 the weight of the heavy rest. The Protektor lives on a cookie sheet right inside the shop door. Bags and all,just grab the sheet and go outside to shoot. VERY convenient.

    An honorable mention;

    Made one rest that is still hanging around as a cleaning station. Took a piece of,honest to goodness 8/4 X 12" W X 32" L mahogany(sp) that was a drop from a milling job. Welded a Y where the upper legs were covered with clear tubing. The bttm leg is all thread 5/8". This threads up/down through a coupling style nut. The nut is epoxied into the wooden base. The whole Y can spin out,a jam nut locks it in place. I still use this as a work station. But it works really well as a rest.
     
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  17. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I like shooting prone with a bipod and a rear squeeze bag, but sometimes I'll use a bench with a sandbags front and rear.

    Accurate shooting, especially with a light and low recoil firearm like a .22, is about impacting the gun the least amount possible by your body. So light pressure to the shoulder, I don't wrap my thumb around the grip and instead let my 3 fingers rest on the front of the grip with my thumb basically pointing in the same direction above them. If I'm prone I'll gently lean into the bipod to put slight pressure of the butt into my shoulder, if I'm at a bench I'll gently pull the gun to the rear with my off-hand. Gently squeeze the trigger.

    But it sounds like you've dumped some money in this gun and you aren't doing yourself any favors by sticking with cheap ammo. I used to love CCI SV, but I haven't been impressed with any I've bought in the last 5 years or so as far as rifle accuracy. Aguila Super Exrtra SV is my go-to cheap accurate ammo now, but you really should buy several boxes of different types of SK and Eley and whatever other target ammo you can find to better understand your gun's potential. I recently had my CZ 547 At-one (target style gun) at the range, certain types of target ammo it loved and others it shot horribly. Out of the 9 types of ammo I had that day CCI Standard Velocity and Mini Mags were the only one that went over an inch at 50 yards, just about everything else was giving me 1/2"-3/4" groups with just a couple (SK Plus and SK Long Range) going into the .2-.3" range. You've dropped money on the gun, now feed it quality ammo.
     
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  18. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I shoot off of a front rest with a rear bag. As odd as it sounds, shooting off of a bench has a learning curve. The rest that I used when I was benchrest shooting cost as much as a decent rifle. But for everyday shooting a rest priced in the low to mid range from Sinclair and a couple of Protector bags will serve you nicely.

    Don't despair, shooting from a bench is a learned skill. You will learn how to deal with the heartbeat that you see in a higher magnification scope and you will learn how to set up the same way for each shot. You just have to burn some powder while sitting at the bench. Can't just everyone sit down and shoot a 1/8th inch group without practice.
     
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  19. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Use bags. Not resting any part of the face on the high comp, may help accuracy? Or at least very lightly. Screenshot_20210917-093409_Chrome.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I mostly shoot off a bipod and good rear bag.
     
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  21. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I shoot best with bags front and rear. I still haven't mastered the bi-pod yet. When using a scope over 12X I use a foam pad on my shoulder to cut down the heart beat. Like jimr40 said, try several different brands of ammo. Rifles are like women. Every one is different.
     
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  22. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    Well, hopefully this rifle isn't like my ex-wife and leaves me for another shooter.
     
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  23. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    i consider that an Accidental Discharge, but the rest of your post is great advice

    keep in mind with super low velocity rounds like 22, "follow through" is much more important than it is with 3200 fps PRS rifles. if the rifle is moving in recoil, you may want a harder hold

    this is true. i shoot much better prone than from a bench. it takes me a while to find a natural resting spot, where prone i just get NPA super fast
     
  24. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    All of the above advice. My 10/22 likes Norma Tac-22, CCI standard velocity, and Federal Auto-match in cheaper ammo. Usually under nickel size groups at 25 yards sometimes dime size. Have you had any training on how to shoot. relax hold your breath and squeeze. I teach my student to start with a air pistol to master trigger control and sight alignment. And good shooting takes practice. I think you will get it.
    I was trained in the classic shooting positions, I like to have firm control of my weapon unlike some other advice. But not tight control or high pressure.
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I started my seriously accurate rifle/serious acurate shooting in Benchrest shooting registered matches when I was a young man, so I tend to shoot well from a bench. Old habits die hard. I had to learn to shoot well prone and shoot well off of a bipod much later in life.
     
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