Jim Zumbo - Everything Outdoors

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Where Is Your Rifle Shooting?

Posted by on in Hunting
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DSC02514 1Elk season is here or about to start, depending on where you hunt. Most hunters traditionally head to the range to insure their rifles are still zeroed. Having confidence in your firearm is all-important. Before I hunt, I want my rifle to be as accurate as possible, as we all are. We should demand the best performance possible. My sweet-shooter is a Mossberg .308 equipped with a Timney trigger and topped with a Swarovski scope. With that combination, I'm ready to hunt.

The typical routine for many hunters is to take three shots at a 100-yard target, and if you have a decent group you call it good, go home, and await the season opener. But there's an inherent danger that you might not anticipate. While your rifle is a sweet shooter at 100 yards, do you know where your bullet will hit at 300 or 400 yards? I'm referring to conventional firearms here, not specialized long range rifles, which are another story.

sightHere's a scenario that occurs far too often. You spot an elk across a draw. Your range finder shows him to be 378 yards away. Your bullet will kill that elk -- if you can hit it in a vital, but do you know where to aim? Most hunters will assume what they think is a correct elevation and take the shot. But the problem with this is the word assume. If the shot is off, you'll miss, or worse yet, wound the animal.

The solution is to fine-tune your rifle at the range so you KNOW where your bullet will hit at 300 yards or farther. That doesn't mean to deduce the ballistics of your gun and scope by adjusting your hold. To me, it means actually firing at that 300 and 400 yard target. I think that's the way to build confidence and to perfectly understand your firearm's performance.

Most gun ranges in the west have long range targets, but some in urban areas offer only 100 yard options. Nonresidents who travel to elk country can solve that problem by setting up targets on public land when they arrive in the west. Millions of acres of US Forest Service and BLM lands are available in every western state where you can set up a temporary range in a safe and legal spot. Having the mental confidence in your firearm's ability is mandatory. Take the time to fully understand your gun. You won't regret it.

Win a Mossberg FLEX 500 With All the Fixin’s! CLICK HERE to ENTER before Wednesday, November 1st!


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