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How do you confirm the zero on your hunting guns?

knitepoetknitepoet Senior MemberPosts: 21,093 Senior Member
When none of my loads have changed,(like this year) I normally take multiple rifles to the range with me, fire 1 fouling shot from each (I clean them after the season) and let them cool back down to ambient temperature while I am fouling the next.

Once they're all fouled, I sit back, have a cig and wait for the first one to finish cooling. Then I fire one round, if it hits where I want it too, I know nothing has changed from the last time I zeroed it, and that the cold/fouled bore shot should be right where it needs to be when "hair" is in the scope. If it's off, I fire a second to see if it was me, or the rifle's scope, adjust if needed and let it cool again. Next gun, repeat etc etc until all have either been confirmed to being good to go, OR any that had to have adjustments have cooled and then be confirmed.

My AR Grendel is the only rifle I have that "throws" the first shot from a clean, cold bore. It's consistently 1.25" low and 0.75" left. HOWEVER, from a cold, fouled bore, the first shot is "right there" with the rest of them. So I prefer leaving the bore fouled on my hunting rifles until the end of the season (unless I get caught in a rain shower, then I'll clean and dry it, and plan on firing a fouling shot at my earliest opportunity.

So with hunting season rapidly approaching, how do you confirm the zero on your hunting guns?
(I didn't say "rifles" because I know I'm not the only one here that hunts with a specialty pistol)
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


Replies

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,939 Senior Member
    You're supposed to do that?????

    Dang! Now you tell me.

    Kidding aside, if I've been working up a load, zeroing is pretty much already done by the time season rolls around. Otherwise, I'll do something like you describe or just shoot three from a cold, clean barrel. Shooting three from a cold, clean barrel often produces a flyer, but it gives me a good indication of whether or not zero has changed.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,093 Senior Member
    Do you clean the bore after those 3?
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,238 Senior Member
    I have never noticed enough change from a clean bore to a fouled bore to worry to much about it....95% of my hunting is done under 200 yards also. I take them to the range every year, shoot a 1/2 box a shells or so through them, just because it's fun and make any adjustments if necessary, although on my "main" hunting guns, I haven't needed to make any kind of adjustments in a very long time thankfully.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,988 Senior Member
    I zero the gun when all the load work has been completed.

    D-U-N
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,713 Senior Member
    I go shoot it.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,110 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I zero the gun when all the load work has been completed.

    D-U-N

    Same here. I will sometimes take my hunting guns to the range just to get trigger time but cos we don't have seasons for deer etc they get used regularly enough that any shift in zero would be noticed.

    I will confirm zero however when I run short of that particular load and have loaded up some more.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,258 Senior Member
    The primary for the last 3 years has been a Remington 700 XCRII - Trinyte (whatever that is) coated stainless steel in a synthetic stock. It's done wonders for reducing my weapon care anxieties normally caused by weather or just sitting.

    Season ends: pull from stock, clean barrel, clean out any dust, leaves, and twigs, wipe down, reassemble, re-torque action screws. Dry out bore with alcohol and verify 200Y zero. Re-clean and put away.

    Between seasons, if it gets shot at all, it will usually be with cast bullets (them Barnes TTSX's are pricey!), after which it just gets a Break Free scrub and a dry patch.

    Season looms: Dry out the bore with alcohol and re-verify 200Y zero with the hunting ammo. If it's good, this takes three shots. Leave bore fouled until season close.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...haul everything out...

    playtime_zpsropiyfjd.jpg

    range%20day%20ammo%20cans_zps4gaxtqlu.jpg

    ...shoot a couple foulers w/ the 'practice loads' going thru the 'rotation', shoot a couple 'hunting loads' to check the 200yd. 'zero'...

    300wsm165grSBT200ydcoldbore_zps46ecfa84.jpg

    165grSHPBTGK200ydcoldbore_zps457948c1.jpg

    ...shoot a couple @ 300yds. to verify 'drop' (.325 WSM)...

    325WSM300ydsjpg.jpg

    ...double check 'em...

    200zero300L-325R.jpg
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    As long as I'm shooting the same batch of ammo I used last year, I take whatever I'm using to the range and shoot three to ensure it's still shooting the same place it was when I put it up with a fouled barrel....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I'm gonna say this once and you can read it and weep, because I know I will get some flak for saying it. But like the late great Dan J told me, if you have a good smooth bore, you don't need any fouling shot. I clean my bores, go to the range, shoot about 10 rounds to varify everything is still copacetic (and get a little practice), If not, I make adjustments along the way while shooting. I may need to shoot a few more rounds than 10 until it's on target. Then I go home and clean the rifle. I don't notice any difference so much in clean or dirty rifle bores (I know this because I've cleaned at the range and it made no difference). I think warming the barrel has more to do with any Change in POI than the barrel being fouled, IF it doesn't have any rough spots which are usually in the throat. That's where your fouling shots smooth things out. I won't mention how to get those rough machine marks out of the throat.

    (OK Jayhawker, you can get the Chimpmonks out of their cage now! And I'll start the camp fire :jester:)

    I hope seeing a few naked grown men won't offend you guys. You know the drill, we may have to dance naked around the camp fire, OMG I hope it's a full moon tonight, :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    I got a tub of bear grease you can slather on yourself.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I got a tub of bear grease you can slather on yourself.

    Bear grease in the moonlight!!! Sounds kinda exotic don't it?

    but only iffin you'll join us in your nakedness,

    :vomit::nono::yikes::buff2:

    :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Once I clean, go to the range, fire a few rounds to check zero, I don't clean again until after hunting season. I normally won't fire more than 10 rounds through any of my hunting guns after that.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    I'm gonna say this once and you can read it and weep, because I know I will get some flak for saying it. But like the late great Dan J told me, if you have a good smooth bore, you don't need any fouling shot. I clean my bores, go to the range, shoot about 10 rounds to varify everything is still copacetic (and get a little practice), If not, I make adjustments along the way while shooting. I may need to shoot a few more rounds than 10 until it's on target. Then I go home and clean the rifle. I don't notice any difference so much in clean or dirty rifle bores (I know this because I've cleaned at the range and it made no difference). I think warming the barrel has more to do with any Change in POI than the barrel being fouled, IF it doesn't have any rough spots which are usually in the throat. That's where your fouling shots smooth things out. I won't mention how to get those rough machine marks out of the throat.

    (OK Jayhawker, you can get the Chimpmonks out of their cage now! And I'll start the camp fire :jester:)

    I hope seeing a few naked grown men won't offend you guys. You know the drill, we may have to dance naked around the camp fire, OMG I hope it's a full moon tonight, :tooth:

    With all due respect....it depends on the rifle...I can tell you predictably and exactly the difference between a clean cold bore shot and a cold fouled bore shot with the Savage Sisters... a clean cold bore shot with the .300 WM will be 1" right and 1" high as soon as the barrel is foul, it will return to zero and stay that way until I clean it again. The .308 has it's own variances....and no...there are no "rough spots" in my barrels....

    I do not see the same phenomenon with the Sharps or the High Wall....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Bear grease in the moonlight!!! Sounds kinda exotic don't it?

    but only iffin you'll join us in your nakedness.
    Nekkid? No way. I am not into that kind of stuff! I have found that I get better groups when I wear the loin cloth.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,093 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    But like the late great Dan J told me, if you have a good smooth bore, you don't need any fouling shot.
    I disagreed with Dan about that, and I disagree with you.

    Even with guns that don't change POI with a clean, cold bore, a cold bore shot from a clean barrel has, in EVERY rifle I've tried it in, has had a MUCH lower MV, than the same gun, same ammo, from a fouled cold bore.

    I don't have a proven reason as to why, but my speculation is, that the carbon from the previous shot almost acts as a lubricant for the following bullet, reducing the friction some as opposed to bare guilding metal against bare, dry steel.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    ...another thought that needs to be considered is the range at which you shoot...if you're consistently doing your shooting at 100-200 yards, that clean cold bore variance may not mean much to you....but when you are shooting a rifle that's meant to take game out to 500 yards, that variance can mean a miss or even worse....a bad hit...This is the reason at (with these rifles at any rate) I insist on sub-MOA groups...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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