American Rifleman - August 2017 - 70
merican rifle shooters are a picky lot. We
worship velocity and thirst for accuracy.
Some of us, varmint hunters and those who
pursue long-range shooting, actually have
a need for both high velocity and extraordinary
accuracy. Most of us, realistically, have more modest
needs. We rarely shoot our deer beyond 200 yds.,
just like we always have-many of us, typically, at
less than half that distance.
Whether our normal shooting distances are 100,
200 or even 300 yds. and beyond, even small deer
have relatively large vital zones, and the bigger
the animal, the larger the chest cavity. One could
theorize that, at least for big game, "paper plate
accuracy" at whatever maximum distance you're
comfortable shooting is plenty good enough. Of
course, many serious rifle shooters are not hunters,
but it doesn't matter. Unless we're talking extreme
distance, paper plate accuracy doesn't offer much in
regards to bragging rights. We want more accuracy.
Some of us go to extreme lengths trying to find it,
others accept frustration and settle for less. Still
others give up, pass the disappointing rifle on to
someone else and start over. All three can be sound
options, and I've exercised all of them, for sure.
If things aren't going well, first eliminate as many variables
as possible. If the barrel is supposed to be free-floated, run a
piece of paper from fore-end tip to action and make sure the
stock isn't bearing on it. Check the action screws and make
sure they're tight. Scope mounts are often the culprit, too.
Photos by author