There are a million (or more) things that can cause your shot to hit anywhere except for where you were aiming. Before you start thinking about your shooting form, the wind, how you are breathing when you shoot, or squeezing the trigger rather than pulling it, you need to check your weapon.
As you are probably well-aware of, there are several components that make up a rifle: the barrel, the stock, the optic, the optic mount, the trigger, etc. You not only need to be aware of these components, but you need to insure that the various components are maintained and in proper working order.
Ok, so you have insured that all of the various components of your rifle are in tip-top shape, just how the manufacturer created them to be. There are still several other attributes that pertain specifically to your rifle that you need to be aware of. They include:
- Methods of Cleaning and Cleaning Equipment – To make a long story short… use high quality equipment. It’s worth the few extra bucks to be sure your weapon is getting properly cleaned. Use a high quality “coated” cleaning rod that has a handle that will allow you to rotate it as you clean your weapon. Use a high quality brass or bronze brush. In terms of which solvents to use, your guess is as good as mine to which is “the absolute best”.
- The Length of Trigger Pull – When firing your weapon, the trigger pull should be straight back. The key to finding the “right” length of trigger pull for you is to get out and shoot until find what is most comfortable for you.
- The Scope you Use – Scopes are an extremely complex piece of equipment, with high quality scopes consisting of around eleven lenses throughout the body of the scope. Again, I would preach for spending the extra money to get a high quality piece of equipment. Your rifle’s scope is not where you want to try to cut costs. Your scope can either be your rifles greatest asset or your greatest headache.
- The Scope Mount you Use – It always pains me to see someone with a really nice rifle, a custom stock, a high-dollar scope etc… but they are using a cheap scope mount. Same with the scope, a scope mount is not the place to try to save money. Your scope mount must: Your scope mount must: 1) Be tough. 2) Lock down to hold the zero retention and accuracy. 3) Provide proper rearward positioning to meet critical requirements of short eye-relief optics (if applicable). 4) Return to zero when removed and remounted.