Trying Small Bore Rifle

DMW1116

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I was just trying it out with some of the targets with 2 bullseyes on each page at 50 yards. I have used both a 10/22 with Tech-Sights and a Henry H001 with the factory sights, though they were sighted in and filed down to suit me. My groups are all over the place, so it's a good thing I started practicing. Ultimately, this is practice for my M16A4 copy, and the 10/22 was set up with Tech-Sights with the idea to mimic the sights on the centerfire rifle.

Anyone know why my groups wander all over, even though I'm not changing the sights? Today my first group with the Henry was about perfect in terms of centering, but the next group was high and left. Both were shot sequentially off my elbows on the shooting table at the local range. Last time, I shot the 10/22 from a rest and it was hitting right, left, and center, depending on which target you looked at. The Henry sights are what they are. Drifting and filing the rear and front sight respectively doesn't lend itself to fine adjustments every session. I'd like to keep this one stock, but if I must, I'm not against adding something like the Williams FP AG Aperture sights. Changing ammo types might be the most effective way to alter/lower the POI. Practice on my part wouldn't hurt either and I have at least 2 more sessions before I'd be confident changing anything other than ammo. The 10/22 sights are adjustable in both front and rear for elevation and the rear adjusts for windage, so no problem there.
 
I'm not against adding something like the Williams FP AG Aperture sights
I was not able to use the factory sights on my H001 all that well, but I did discover that the mos200 tech sights will work on the more recent H001s (front sight held on by a screw rather than barrel band) with a little filing of the front sight. Big improvement for me.
 
I have a spare Tech Sight I used in a Marlin 60. I also have a barrel band with the front sight at the height for a 22 Magnum. I’m sure I could get them set up to work. I do ok with the sights as they are, but those Henry rifles are are accurate enough I don’t think I’m doing it justice. It’s just so trim I hadn’t put them on yet.

I had a scope on it for ammo testing and it likes the HV stuff like Auto Match and Aguila Super Extra and Hollow Point. When I was sighting it in with a file, Thunder Bolt was what I had, so it’s a little off elevation wise with other stuff. The factory notches line up with most ammo types close enough out to 100 yards.

The 10/22 is more picky. It really only shoots well with standard velocity stuff like Aguila SV, CCI, and Norma Tac Target. I’ll try it again with the hotter stuff just to be sure. I plan to try one or the other at a local silhouette match next weekend.
 
I was just trying it out with some of the targets with 2 bullseyes on each page at 50 yards. I have used both a 10/22 with Tech-Sights and a Henry H001 with the factory sights, though they were sighted in and filed down to suit me. My groups are all over the place, so it's a good thing I started practicing. Ultimately, this is practice for my M16A4 copy, and the 10/22 was set up with Tech-Sights with the idea to mimic the sights on the centerfire rifle.

Anyone know why my groups wander all over, even though I'm not changing the sights? Today my first group with the Henry was about perfect in terms of centering, but the next group was high and left. Both were shot sequentially off my elbows on the shooting table at the local range. Last time, I shot the 10/22 from a rest and it was hitting right, left, and center, depending on which target you looked at. The Henry sights are what they are. Drifting and filing the rear and front sight respectively doesn't lend itself to fine adjustments every session. I'd like to keep this one stock, but if I must, I'm not against adding something like the Williams FP AG Aperture sights. Changing ammo types might be the most effective way to alter/lower the POI. Practice on my part wouldn't hurt either and I have at least 2 more sessions before I'd be confident changing anything other than ammo. The 10/22 sights are adjustable in both front and rear for elevation and the rear adjusts for windage, so no problem there.
Do you mean that the point of impact changes between groups? Yeah, I have this problem too. Shooting open sights takes real skill and a set of sights that lend themselves to consistency. I've always done best with an aperture rear and thin front sight. I tried filing the front sight to sort of a chevron on one of my rifles. It helped with the actual shooting, but it also became a very vague aiming point in some lighting conditions.
 
I thought I needed to move things left, but now the groups are centered or need to move right. I think it’s an issue partly with these paired targets. I think I move away from the edges of the target unconsciously.
 
Just a few pictures to catalog the starting point. These aren’t winning targets by any means, but I’m good with them for stock rifles and iron sights with bulk 22 ammo. 70DE3C3C-58C0-4EA6-8792-ADA5202E6716.jpeg 2A09B87A-A2CD-41F8-B083-CA8645F1111C.jpeg 4CEB493A-D16E-4870-9F08-EA3136EDE0DA.jpeg I have them numbered to track progress.
 
DMW, for stock rifles and HV ammo, the group size is about what I'd expect. That combo may not be capable of shooting all 10s on that target.

For group movement, are you sure you had a good natural point of aim? I know you said you shot off a bench of your elbows, but NPA is still a factor.
 
:rofl: Am I sure he says. Not at all. Especially off my elbows. Once the 10/22 was sighted in I’m pretty happy with how it shot and the consistency. The first group from the Henry was beyond what I expected. I need to try some SV rounds to see if they maybe shoot a little tighter. I expected better from my 20” AR but that load wasn’t optimal for that rifle and I don’t intend to shoot it very often for this purpose.
 
Maybe the barrels of 10/22's have gotten better since my first one. When I removed the barrel, I could drop in a 22lr round, and rock it by pushing on one side of the rim. By necessity, the chamber was large, because it was a semi auto, built for rock busting enthusiasts who never clean their rifles, and use the cheapest ammunition they can buy. I did have Volquartsen install one of his barrels on my 10/22 but I could not extract an unfired round! So Volquartsen reamed the chamber larger. That Volquartsen barrel was leagues more accuracy than the factory 10/22 barrel.

I am going to tell you, it takes work to learn how to shoot well enough, to put them all in the ten ring. I have been doing this for decades, and am still working on it. But I have gotten better. The more you shoot rimfire, the more you will see your own shooting errors of sight alignment, trigger pull and position. It takes rounds downrange to discover your own human source of errors. And the better shooter you become, you will start seeing that ammunition makes a difference, and of course, the wind.

Centerfire shooters are spoiled by the high ballistic coefficient of center fire bullets, and therefore become slovenly over wind reading out to something as close as 50 yards. But the wind, will push those 22lr bullets all over the place at 50 yards. Can't count the number of times I have been shooting in a match, at a 50 yard target, on a day where there was no running mirage, the flags dead, only to have one flag flip up just as I pulled the trigger. I have seen my flag flip up and drop dead just as the bullet went by. The affect was that the bullet was pushed out in the nine or eight ring. It is mind blowing to see how far one little puff of wind will move a 22lr. And, of course, never see where the wind came, nor see it move to the next flag. I don't understand how that can be, just my flag puff, no other flags puff.

It is essential to use wind flags as a guide to what is going on between the muzzle and target. But you also have to look at the mirage.

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Many times the mirage moves in opposite direction to the flag, only to see on target, the bullet move in the direction of the mirage. This makes no sense at all, and seems a physical impossibility, and nobody, neither me, nor none of my fellow shooters, can explain how this can be. So we shut up, and keep cranking the knobs.

Remember, the wind close to you moves the bullet more than the wind near the target. Pick your best benign predominant condition, and shoot in it. Cease fire in pick ups and let ups. I also distrust boils and hate fish tail winds.
 
To be sure I'm just starting in this endeavor. It's mostly a way to practice for my M16A4 without spending $0.40 per round for even reloaded ammo. I wasn't aware of how much wind would affect 22 rounds at even 50 yards. I wasn't expecting all 10-ring hits at this point with these rifles. I'm pretty surprised I got them all in the aiming black most of the time once things were sighted in. Shooting once a week or so, and dry firing at home, if I can keep shots in the 9-ring, I'll be tickled. I look at it like I do my bullseye pistol endeavors. If I can keep all the shots in the aiming black at the prescribed distances, that's about all I can reasonably expect for the amount of time, effort, and money I can put into it.

As for the 10/22, I've heard accuracy was all over the place. For the one I have, which is a stainless barrel/poly stock standard model, I feel I got pretty lucky. These groups were all shot with Tech-Sights aperture sights. With a 4x scope and standard velocity ammo, it shoots under an inch at 50 yards. I may put a little money into it and upgrade the trigger, but for now, it's stock. The Henry will do the same, but it seems to prefer Aguila and Auto-Match high velocity ammo. There will be a point, hopefully, when it becomes clear the rifles are limiting me, maybe I can upgrade. Much like my pistol shooting, I'm a long way from that, particularly with my 22.
 
My 10-22 was pretty ordinary. It has a gunsmith trigger adjustment and shop made magazine release, nothing fancy or expensive, just Improved Plinker stuff. But a takeoff barrel came along from a shooter who had gone aftermarket. So I put it on. It shot a good bit more accurately than the original. For a while. I can't imagine it wearing out, must have been a good lot in that first case of ammo.

So I did a little practice and shot a bolt action when my club was holding CMP Rimfire Spotter. Five shots in 30 seconds isn't THAT rapid.
 
With a 4x scope and standard velocity ammo, it shoots under an inch at 50 yards.
FWIW I use 2" black sticker dots for 50 yard shooting with irons. Gives a more precise hold point and from the sound of it your rifle(s) are capable. The black on your pictured targets is quite large and I'll bet you can't make out the 10 ring at any great distance unless your eyes are a whole lot better than mine.
 
When I bought my Rem 40x for Smallbore (prone) I mentioned I was buying the rifle for all prone Smallbore because I can’t shoot 3 position Smallbore any more.

The old boy I was buying if form said he was selling it because he could not get off the ground anymore after going prone.

Time stops for no man.
 
I wasn't expecting all 10-ring hits at this point with these rifles. I'm pretty surprised I got them all in the aiming black most of the time once things were sighted in. Shooting once a week or so, and dry firing at home, if I can keep shots in the 9-ring, I'll be tickled. I look at it like I do my bullseye pistol endeavors. If I can keep all the shots in the aiming black at the prescribed distances, that's about all I can reasonably expect for the amount of time, effort, and money I can put into it.

As for the 10/22, I've heard accuracy was all over the place. For the one I have, which is a stainless barrel/poly stock standard model, I feel I got pretty lucky. These groups were all shot with Tech-Sights aperture sights. With a 4x scope and standard velocity ammo, it shoots under an inch at 50 yards.

So I did a little practice and shot a bolt action when my club was holding CMP Rimfire Spotter.


The SB target is a pretty high bar with your setup, IMO. If you intend on eventually shooting it 3-position, it'll get even tougher. Check out the CMP Rimfire Sporter targets @Jim Watson mentioned. RS is designed around minimal everyday gear, so the target is more generous. You might just be practicing and keeping score for yourself, but you'll see more improvement with the RS target which would be more likely to keep you motivated. Once you can consistently clean the RS target from a bench, get off the bench and go 3P. Once you consistently score 590 (out of 600) or better from 3P and regulation time, try going back to the SB targets for a new challenge.
 
There are a number of variables that will give you results like you have on your targets. First, inconsistent sight picture. Regardless of where the bullet impacts your sight picture should remain the same that way you know how to adjust and move the groups. The cheek weld you hold can be down or up or left or right after each shot so groups will be high or low and so on. Second issue is breathing and trigger control. There should always be a constant squeeze on trigger and you should not know when it goes off. If you are anticipating the shot one has a tendency to jerk the trigger especially if the sights are moving according to your breathing. I always exhale and just before I shoot my breathing stops no more than a second delay. Just practice. Third issue will always be the wind, learn to read it. Fourth issue will be the type of ammunition used. Cheap ammo will be inconsistent when shooting it. Some rounds you will notice if you use a chronograph there will me a great disparity in velocity. In the same box you could have rounds that are 50 fps slower or faster maybe even more, so the slower rounds will impact lower from your point of aim and the faster ones will group higher. This is why competition shooters spend a ton of money buying premium bullets because premium bullets are more consistent. Final reason is your rifle simply does not like that ammo. Allow the rifle to decide what it likes and when you find a round it likes buy as many cases of that round that has the same lot so that you may practice proficiently, this way you know it is you messing up and not the rifle. Know that the rifle may only like a certain lot too.
 
These targets are pretty tough to see over the open sights of the Henry. They’re better from the aperture on the 10/22. Orange dots are way easier to see. I used a 3” orange dot out to 100 yards when I was checking the sights on the Henry. I wanted to see where each notch (of 3) would hit with both SV and HV ammo. Either Henry are geniuses or I got super lucky. Notches 1 and 2 take HV all the way to 100 yards and 2 and three for SV ammo.
 
I tried the 10/22 again today with CCI SV ammo. The first group was at the right target and pulled a little off center. The second was better, fired more slowly. I pulled 2 shots high and 2 low, but the others were pretty spot on. This was done off my elbows on the bench.

Looks like I need maybe another click up in elevation and it will be dead on. That said I have to practice and figure out how to consistently hold my sights on the target. The aiming black is crystal clear until it sits on top of the post. Then it gets blurry and consistent holds are difficult. I may have to try a frame hold at the bottom of the page. F86953E4-CE13-446F-A00F-71273E27431C.jpeg
 
I tried another round with the 10/22 today. The same target had both the worst and one of the best groups on it. I also tried my latest rifle build in 5.56. It shot about the same as the 10/22 in terms of group size. It has a front sight block and the rear sight is currently a Magpul MBUS.
 
off my elbows on the shooting table
They’re better from the aperture
My Lyman front sight inserts tighten up groups. The round circle is what i like. As eyes get older, increase the hole size. 3201165_mjt_inserts.jpg

Helps if my cheek is on the stock, with eye same distance from the rear sight. A tiny hole in tne rear aperture, help group size.
 
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The round hole front apertures would probably help a lot. My biggest issue is the distortion of the target as it gets closer to the top of the front sight. I haven’t heard anyone else talk about that so it might just be me and my eyes.
 
I have a front post with a tiny pyramid on it. How do those work for other people? I went back to a 0.052” front post on my 10/22 and 20” A4 AR.
 
My biggest issue is the distortion of the target as it gets closer to the top of the front sight.
I tried the post type. Getting the same amount of white on top of the front sight, each time, hard to do. Gives me vertical stringing.

From prone, groups are close to the same, aperture vs 12X scope @ 50 yards.

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