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Old 07-17-2019, 11:35 AM
Moreland Moreland is offline
 
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Default Sighting in a hunting rifle??

What's the best way to sight in a hunting rifle?? Should I be shooting it off of my bipod, on a sandbag or on my lead sled?? I've sighted in lots of rifles before but just want to make sure I'm doing it the best way possible for those longer range shots while in the field.

Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:01 PM
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Going with your bipod and shooting from a sitting position sounds best.

Iím assuming you arenít shooting from a bench in the field with a lead sled or sand bags. They will all work to get you close, but you really need trigger time with the load you will use, in the conditions and at the ranges you will use the rifle at.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:36 PM
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Are you practicing with a proven load, or are you doing load development?

Practice how you hunt. Bipod, or sling, or tree etc.

Remove all or as many human variables if developing loads, or finding a ďbestĒ load. Bags and a sturdy bench.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:52 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is offline
 
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I sight in off of bags and a rest, and then practise using my Trigger sticks tripod.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:26 PM
45-70sapper 45-70sapper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I sight in off of bags and a rest, and then practise using my Trigger sticks tripod.
Thatís the way to go. Sight in in the most stable way possible. Usually off of a bench or in the prone with bags etc. Once your point of aim matches your expected point of impact, practice shooting from different positions you could be required to use in the field.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:10 PM
Moreland Moreland is offline
 
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Thanks for the info guys. I was shooting at the range trying to get it sighted in off of my bipod and I was groping good, just not as tight as I would have liked (that's my own human error), maybe next time I'll take out the lead sled and see what it'll do like that but I'll continue my practice for hunting season how I'll be using it.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:34 PM
West O'5 West O'5 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I sight in off of bags and a rest, and then practise using my Trigger sticks tripod.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 45-70sapper View Post
Thatís the way to go. Sight in in the most stable way possible. Usually off of a bench or in the prone with bags etc. Once your point of aim matches your expected point of impact, practice shooting from different positions you could be required to use in the field.
This and this^^
For strictly sighting in,you want the most rock solid stable rest possible to help eliminate the human error factor.
Once youíre satisfied that the gun itself is on target you can work on your own shooting skills.
Itís amazing(and a bit disturbing) how many guys Iíve seen over the years go out to gravel pit to ďsight-inĒ a new rifle or new scope,take a knee and fire 3 shots offhand into a 4Ē group and declare their rifle ďbang on/good to goĒ......kinda makes me cringe!!
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:38 PM
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We have a great spot to shoot out to 250 yrds if need be out at our go to crown land zone. Dead end road with an empty camp site berm along the trees.


I like to sight in from a good rest/table and my lead sled, squeeze off a couple shots. Walk up and check the target, mark holes and walk back to let the barrel cool. Try again. If the group is good, I stop as it only gets worse the more I try lol. At least I know the rifle is doing it's job. The rest is up to me depending on the situation I find myself in out in the woods.

I don't reload, off the shelf box of shells for me and I don't expect great groupings from the over the counter shells but the ole savage lever has a tough scope and keeps a good group year after year. If i miss, it's almost always me, not the rifle.

Last edited by Sooner; 07-17-2019 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:32 PM
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lead sleds can give you a different zero because they are stopping the rifle from recoiling freely
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:57 PM
Redneck 7 Redneck 7 is offline
 
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I use a rear bag and bipod. Works for me. My load development or even just zeroing a rifle, thatís all I use. On my pump rifles I use bags up front because bipods donít work.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:02 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is offline
 
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Quote:
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lead sleds can give you a different zero because they are stopping the rifle from recoiling freely
Exactly!
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:19 PM
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try shooting off of bags then put a bipod on
unless your preloading it and the legs arent sliding/skipping
Your zero wont be in the same spot
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:41 PM
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How accurate do you need to be? I always wear a back pack or fanny pack when Iím hunting and normally shoot off of those in the field. When Iím sighting in at my cabin I usually use a bag to sight in. In the field thereís a thousand different scenarios that could happen, but the majority of the time I can use my pack so shooting off of bags is a good bet for me.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:42 PM
270person 270person is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marky_mark View Post
lead sleds can give you a different zero because they are stopping the rifle from recoiling freely


Not a bunch if you don't weight them.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:50 PM
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270person View Post
Not a bunch if you don't weight them.
Whatís the point of a lead sled if your not adding weight?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marky_mark View Post
Whatís the point of a lead sled if your not adding weight?

Steady consistent rest that takes away a lot of the human error. I'm not looking for recoil suppression and thats really the only reason to weight one. I wouldn't use one weighted with my larger bores due to the torque created and risk of stock damage. I use bags and other rests too but theres nothing wrong with a supported front and rear with mechanical elevation adjustments. It's not like the rifles are locked into place.

I have yet to find a front rest I'm not constantly adjusting, fluffing up, squeezing for height and generally comfortable behind. Will be going to something similar to what 260 uses in the near future so I maintain the front elevation consistency but get more natural positioning at the back end.

Plus it makes a half arse vice for cleaning and other tinkering and I got it used for a song.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:26 AM
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Bags and a bench. Then practise the same way you shoot out in the field.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moreland View Post
Thanks for the info guys. I was shooting at the range trying to get it sighted in off of my bipod and I was groping good, just not as tight as I would have liked (that's my own human error), maybe next time I'll take out the lead sled and see what it'll do like that but I'll continue my practice for hunting season how I'll be using it.
Throw your lead sled in the garbage.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:09 PM
dave99 dave99 is offline
 
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Default Sighting in a hunting rifle??

Confession time: I use a non-weighted lead sled for load development. I then confirm my zero shooting off my backpack, prone. Nothing beats lots of trigger time in field positions. I also find it more fun to practice and hone my skill, rather than parking myself on the bench.

I have yet to notice any appreciable POI change between lead sled and the field position shooting, in ranges up to 600yds.

There is a lot that I like about load workup with a lead sled. The main thing that I dislike is the containment of the recoil pad, such that the lead sled sits between the recoil pad and my shoulder. This makes me lose the feel of the rifle, if that makes sense. I have toyed with the idea of using a hacksaw to cut away this part of my lead sled.

As many have mentioned, a weighted sled can ruin a stock, so beware.

To the OPís original question on sight in for a relatively inexperienced shooter. Here is what I recommend (other than lots of practice):

- buy or load at least 40 rounds of the same lot and type of ammo
- practice dry firing from various positions until you consistently know when the trigger is going to break
- find a comfortable and steady position at the shooting range and dry fire some more. Position may be prone off bipod, backpack, seated at bench with bags, bench with lead sled, etc. The point is that the position should be steady enough that the crosshairs move less than, say, 2 inches at 100yds. Ideally 1 inch or less.
- Fire a 5-shot group at whatever range you would like as your zero range. I shoot 200yds. Mark any known fliers, and disregard them. Mark the average POI based upon the 5 shot group
- correct your sights accordingly. Fire another group 3-5 shots to confirm zero
- Shoot a few other groups from field hunting positions to confirm again
- go hunt!




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Last edited by dave99; 07-18-2019 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:23 PM
roper1 roper1 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270person View Post
Steady consistent rest that takes away a lot of the human error. I'm not looking for recoil suppression and thats really the only reason to weight one. I wouldn't use one weighted with my larger bores due to the torque created and risk of stock damage. I use bags and other rests too but theres nothing wrong with a supported front and rear with mechanical elevation adjustments. It's not like the rifles are locked into place.

I have yet to find a front rest I'm not constantly adjusting, fluffing up, squeezing for height and generally comfortable behind. Will be going to something similar to what 260 uses in the near future so I maintain the front elevation consistency but get more natural positioning at the back end.

Plus it makes a half arse vice for cleaning and other tinkering and I got it used for a song.
^^^
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:14 PM
lyallpeder lyallpeder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moreland View Post
What's the best way to sight in a hunting rifle?? Should I be shooting it off of my bipod, on a sandbag or on my lead sled?? I've sighted in lots of rifles before but just want to make sure I'm doing it the best way possible for those longer range shots while in the field.

Thanks.
No question you should be sightings in from the most stable position possible. If you have a slead use it if not use a sand bag. Youíre trying to take your human error out of it. After that itís a good idea to practice from your hunting shooting position.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:21 PM
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I use a Hart front bench rest and Bald Eagleb rear bag to work up loads and zero my rifles but then shoot them from the sand positions I would use in the field - probe of s pack, using a walking staff as a rest, etc.
For my big game rifles I zero at 200 meters then check the point of impact at 300 and 100.
Cat
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:57 PM
Sogseal Sogseal is offline
 
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Can someone explain the issue with using a lead sled for sight in? Perhaps i used it wrong; the rifle is just resting on and against it, not strapped down or anything. The recoil against the supported butt end is too high in some cases or what? Thx

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Old 07-19-2019, 01:23 PM
ceedub ceedub is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sogseal View Post
Can someone explain the issue with using a lead sled for sight in? Perhaps i used it wrong; the rifle is just resting on and against it, not strapped down or anything. The recoil against the supported butt end is too high in some cases or what? Thx

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I've never had an issue, and have used a lead sled (no weight) for years to sight in all my rifles and for load development.

Craig

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Old 07-19-2019, 01:39 PM
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Wood stock rifles tend to break at the wrist, especially heavy kickers. Rifles are not meant to be locked down and fired...Newtons law.. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction...the recoil has to go somewhere.. if not into your shoulder then it goes into the stock, the action screws, the recoil lung or....
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:08 AM
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I've never had an issue, and have used a lead sled (no weight) for years to sight in all my rifles and for load development.

Craig

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Seems some people have difficult time with tools. Only stocks I have personally seen that are broken, were caused by a fall.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:00 AM
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I sight in all my rifles from the bench with a solid rest. You want the best possible results when sighting in, then once you know your rifle is bang on the mark practice with different "hunting" shooting positions, that way you know what your rifle is capable of and also what you are capable of in real field situations.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:54 AM
270person 270person is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.5 shooter View Post
Wood stock rifles tend to break at the wrist, especially heavy kickers. Rifles are not meant to be locked down and fired...Newtons law.. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction...the recoil has to go somewhere.. if not into your shoulder then it goes into the stock, the action screws, the recoil lung or....


Lead sled isn't locked down and if you don't weight it there shouldn't be any issues. I really like mine for zeroing my 22's and hmr's and there's zero risk there.

Used it up to 7mm non weighted and again zero issues. Don't expect any with my larger bores either.

The only thing I don't care for is the padding can't be firmly secured to the frame and they harden up pretty good as well.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:13 PM
calgarychef calgarychef is offline
 
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I broke a stock on a lead sled. Someone earlier said ďthrow it awayĒ I concur.
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