5 Tips for Rifle Accuracy
Every rifleman strives to be an accurate and consistent shot, whether for competitive shooting, prairie dog hunting, or simply for a day at the rifle range, but we can tend to lose sight of the steps necessary to make us the best shot possible. Here are 5 tips to keep you on your A-game and get the tightest group possible:
1. Test and Use the Most Accurate Ammo
The first step to accuracy is choosing the most accurate load for your rifle. Check different brands, and remember that cartridge exceptions for each individual rifle do exist, so test each at the range to get a feel for what you prefer. Choosing the proper load is crucial before moving on to zeroing your rifle.
2. Proper Mounting and Zeroing
There will never be an alteration to the rifle itself that will seriously change where it fires a bullet, but the scope can be adjusted accordingly so that you can see exactly where the bullet will be.
Check that the rings are the correct fit for the base, and set the base as close to the rifle as possible without obstructing any mechanics. Align the reticle to the center and tighten the screws to fully mount the scope.
Next zero the sights. Keep in mind if you change the type of load you fire with after zeroing, your shots could be significantly off. Use a boresight if you have one and adjust sights for 100 yards, being mindful of your scope’s minute-of-accuracy. (Some rifleman adjust for 200 yards, but adjusting for 100 yards can help to reduce human error and correction for wind.)
3. Be Conscious of the Basics
The bane of every rifleman is forgetting the foundational techniques behind each and every shot. This includes holding the rifle with the lightest possible touch, calm breathing technique with a steady exhale, focusing on the crosshair, and maintaining a controlled pull on the trigger during the exhale so as not to jerk the rifle back. Getting caught up in the shot or focusing on any anxiety can ultimately ruin a shot grouping. Don’t let that be you!
4. Remember to Follow-Through
Shooters can similarly fail to follow through on shots, sometimes resulting in slight jerks or movement of the firearm causing inconsistent shots and fire groups. Rifleman always need to keep themselves “stuck” to the rifle several seconds after firing a shot in order to be consistent and thorough with their follow-through.
5. Keep the Barrel Cool
Barrels can heat up fairly quickly and ruin a group if you continue to fire. One way to minimize barrel heat and maintain accuracy is to fire in groups of 3-5 and then wait for the barrel to cool, and repeat this. You could also utilize a product like the Original Barrel Cooler to keep your barrel cool consistently and save time on waiting on the range or in the open on a hunt. By using the Original Barrel Cooler, you can reduce your waiting time between shots by 60% with its quick and easy use. An overheated barrel is one of the largest detriments to a rifle’s accuracy, so using the barrel cooler will keep your shots centered, allowing you to focus more on the shot at hand.