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Mar 25th, 2012
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Checking your rifles Zero before season #6863431
08/21/17 12:45 PM
08/21/17 12:45 PM
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Stephens county
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It's that time of year again when most of us pull our hunting rifle out of the safe and take it outside to check and see if the correct Zero held over the year.
I was curious after shooting your gun do you clean it? Do you run a dry patch through it? Or do you just put it back in the safe for November as is with the current carbon build up inside?

I know there's people who never clean there guns and then there are the people who clean them all the time !
I was just curious what most of you do.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863435
08/21/17 12:53 PM
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My guess would be that many people shoot their gun throughout the year. If I clean my gun its at the end of the hunting season. You should never shoot your rifle to check zero and then clean it unless you clean it all the time.

Ill shoot next month and probably twice in October. 3-10 rounds a trip


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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863445
08/21/17 01:04 PM
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I check my zero with a cold, clean bore. The same way it will be when I'm hunting.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863585
08/21/17 03:01 PM
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I shoot almost every weekend, so if something went awry like losing my zero, I'd quickly notice. I'm also among those who say don't clean your rifle's barrel until accuracy starts going downhill. I know all of my rifles pretty well and can usually anticipate when they'll need cleaning. On some, it's well over 200 rounds and on others like my 7 mag it may be as low as 50 rounds.


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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863593
08/21/17 03:09 PM
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One of my rifles stays put away most of the year, though I'm about to change that. The 7 Rem Mag.

January 2016 it was placed in the safe. Nov. 2016 I got it out, and mounted a scope on it. It zeroed in two shots, and shot great until February of 2017. It sat in the safe until last week, and again, it zeroed in 2 shots. Yesterday it held exactly where it should at 500, 600, 700, and 800 yards.

H-Retumbo and Berger VLD-H.

This is on a Rock Creek cut rifled barrel. Everyone else may not have the same results, of course, with a different barrel type, and different load type.



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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863620
08/21/17 03:45 PM
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I hunt year round and generally will clean the guns a few times, and check zero about once a year.
The cleaning is more for the mass of dust that gets on the guns from constant trips in the Gator more than the barrel needing cleaned. The most any of the guns need is a click or two of correction, they are generally right on.



"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark
Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863637
08/21/17 03:56 PM
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I will take it to the gun range and check zero. If it doesn't group as well as it should I will clean it foul it and start again. Ive been going on 4 years without cleaning the bore and it has shot great and been scope has been on every time.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863640
08/21/17 03:59 PM
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Stephens county
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I shoot year around however I'm shooting different rifles normally!
I was just curious what most of you do.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: FiremanJG] #6863707
08/21/17 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
One of my rifles stays put away most of the year, though I'm about to change that. The 7 Rem Mag.

January 2016 it was placed in the safe. Nov. 2016 I got it out, and mounted a scope on it. It zeroed in two shots, and shot great until February of 2017. It sat in the safe until last week, and again, it zeroed in 2 shots. Yesterday it held exactly where it should at 500, 600, 700, and 800 yards.

H-Retumbo and Berger VLD-H.

This is on a Rock Creek cut rifled barrel. Everyone else may not have the same results, of course, with a different barrel type, and different load type.


Funny I have always had my hunting rifle and my precision rifles in which I use for long range targets.
I honestly never thought about using the precision rifles for hunting ( crazy I know ) I guess the weight and
What I normally use them for has my mind set haha.

Did you build your rifle around the VLD-H bullet or did it just work?

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863719
08/21/17 04:56 PM
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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863792
08/21/17 05:43 PM
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I clean my rifle bores the first time I take them out to sight them in, generally to get rid of the packing oils. After that one cleaning I'll put 7-10 rounds through and run 2 dry pads through the bore. I won't clean them again until I see accuracy start to drop off, even if its off a little bit I'll shoot 3-5 rounds prior to making adjustments. I always start with the scope as far as adjustments if I'm off target by small increments.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863816
08/21/17 05:53 PM
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I will make at least 5 to 7 trips to the range before hunting season and I hate dirty guns so yes I clean my rifles after every other time to the range. However when I shoot it the day or 2 before the actual start of the season I will not clean the barrel until after a trip. But dirt debris and sand will be removed after every day in the field.


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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6863862
08/21/17 06:23 PM
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I shoot and clean mine regularly and I never but them back in the safe unless they're cleaned

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: Bigfoot] #6863869
08/21/17 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bigfoot
I will make at least 5 to 7 trips to the range before hunting season and I hate dirty guns so yes I clean my rifles after every other time to the range. However when I shoot it the day or 2 before the actual start of the season I will not clean the barrel until after a trip. But dirt debris and sand will be removed after every day in the field.


You boys are hunting a lot harder than me I guess.

Never had dirt or sand inside my barrel I'm fairly certain confused2



Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6864092
08/21/17 09:38 PM
08/21/17 09:38 PM
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Whacked a jackrabbit at 90yards the other day with the 6.8. I assume that means it's still on. Will verify POI on paper in a few weeks, and am putting the finishing touches on my .308 enhancements, which will also be shot and ammo ordered from Chad.




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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6864102
08/21/17 09:44 PM
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Clean gun before I shoot. First shoot blows the residue oil out. Next three to group. Once group and zero are achieved I leave it alone.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: huntwest] #6864286
08/22/17 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted By: huntwest
Clean gun before I shoot. First shoot blows the residue oil out. Next three to group.





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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6864335
08/22/17 12:58 AM
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After sighted in I clean it when season is over. 3 shots and let it cool, then 3 more if needed.


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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: titan2232] #6864346
08/22/17 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted By: titan2232
Originally Posted By: Bigfoot
I will make at least 5 to 7 trips to the range before hunting season and I hate dirty guns so yes I clean my rifles after every other time to the range. However when I shoot it the day or 2 before the actual start of the season I will not clean the barrel until after a trip. But dirt debris and sand will be removed after every day in the field.


You boys are hunting a lot harder than me I guess.

Never had dirt or sand inside my barrel I'm fairly certain confused2


Not necessarily inside the barrel but all over it. Action, stock, etc. I may run a snake through it if needed. I do hunt a lot in bad weather and most of last year I hunted from a self made ground blind sitting under a tree.

Last edited by Bigfoot; 08/22/17 01:14 AM.

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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: rickym] #6864603
08/22/17 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted By: rickym
My guess would be that many people shoot their gun throughout the year.


Based on my personal experience and the replies posted in past threads, your guess would be flat out wrong. The words "check your zero" that so many throw around just before the season opener points to it being extremely common for hunters to fire nothing more than two or three practice shots between entire seasons. The cost of ammo, not to mention the discomfort of shooting a large bore rifle that kicks the crap out of them, are likely the primary drivers behind such behavior. It's nothing short of humorous how guys somehow view shooting as vastly different than any other sport where they would be laughed at for somehow believing they can perform at a competent level with practically no practice at all. But oh the fun of watching them cuss and stomp around camp on opening morning after missing the buck of a lifetime. Don't waste your time trying to convince him that "You play the way you practice" applies to shooting as much as it does with any other sport. Just call them "one shot wonders" and be done with it.


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Spring, Texas
Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6864707
08/22/17 12:00 PM
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Here is another sight in tip.
Working for a major rifle company for the past twenty four years has taught me how to not get beat up on the bench with large caliber rifles.
When sighting in rifles I wear a tan life vest. It eats up virtually all of the recoil on big calibers. Can shoot some of the biggest calibers there are comfortably. Looks like a shooting vest to onlookers.
Recoil is what causes most shooters to have to shoot too much when sighting in. The longer you shoot the more you flinch.
I won't use a lead sled because I don't believe that you get a true sight in with one. They are also really hard on your rifle stock, especially if it is wood.

Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: StephensCnty308] #6864711
08/22/17 12:05 PM
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I clean the red dust off the outside of my guns after each trip with a cloth and shop vac, que tips.

I clean the inside about 2 times a year as needed. I shoot year round so I will know immediately if my gun needs sighting in.

For those that only shoot a couple rounds before the season; Turn off the TV, get up off the couch and go shoot! Lol. rifle


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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: huntwest] #6864783
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Originally Posted By: huntwest
Here is another sight in tip...

When sighting in rifles, I wear a tan life vest. It eats up virtually all of the recoil on big calibers. Can shoot some of the biggest calibers there are comfortably. Looks like a shooting vest to onlookers.

That is a really good tip, thank you.

I shoot a lot, this has been my "lightest" year in decades, because of family health issues and projects on the ranch, but it is still a lot more than most people. Most of my shooting is with leverguns and cast bullets, and the big bores with heavy bullets will pound the heck out of you on the bench. I don't like using a Lead Sled because no matter how careful you shoot, the "zero" (I prefer POI - point of impact), will always be different than shooting from the shoulder.

As far as cleaning a bore, most cast bullets are lubed, so I don't clean them once I have an established load, or at least it will be hundred's of bullets between patches or a brush.


Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: Texas Dan] #6864788
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: rickym
My guess would be that many people shoot their gun throughout the year.


Based on my personal experience and the replies posted in past threads, your guess would be flat out wrong. The words "check your zero" that so many throw around just before the season opener points to it being extremely common for hunters to fire nothing more than two or three practice shots between entire seasons. The cost of ammo, not to mention the discomfort of shooting a large bore rifle that kicks the crap out of them, are likely the primary drivers behind such behavior. It's nothing short of humorous how guys somehow view shooting as vastly different than any other sport where they would be laughed at for somehow believing they can perform at a competent level with practically no practice at all. But oh the fun of watching them cuss and stomp around camp on opening morning after missing the buck of a lifetime. Don't waste your time trying to convince him that "You play the way you practice" applies to shooting as much as it does with any other sport. Just call them "one shot wonders" and be done with it.


The most I've ever agreed with one of your posts.



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Re: Checking your rifles Zero before season [Re: huntwest] #6865060
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Originally Posted By: huntwest
Recoil is what causes most shooters to have to shoot too much when sighting in. The longer you shoot the more you flinch.


That's another reason why many guys refuse to practice. Flinching due to recoil can be overcome but the mind and body must be conditioned not to anticipate it, much like a baseball catcher who becomes conditioned to ignore the batter's bat.

When you're driving tacks at the range after shooting 20 or 30 rounds, you're on your way to being over the hump.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
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