Shooting Slump!!!

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by BARTFRNCS, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    I go to the range 2 times a week but today off sticks i was only getting a 4 inch group at 100 meters. I mean thats SCAREY. I Cant for the life of me figgure out what the hell happened to my shooting in 4 days since my last session. Somebody save me I want my 2 inch groups back!
     
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Bart,

    The same thing has happened to me twice and to two friends of mine also. The problem for all of us was scope related. My two friends suffered from bases, specifically the rear base being loose. One was using a .300 Weatherby Mag and the other a .300 WSM. Both were using the Leupold rear base that you use a screw to tighten down the rear ring. These types of bases just don't work well for those bigger calibers.

    For me the first time my scope reticle was not holding. This was rather difficult to discern because there wasn't anything jiggling that I could tell. But after switching scopes my groupings immediately returned.

    The second time was just a couple of months ago. This time it was much more apparent. One of the lenses inside my Leupold VX3 let go. I didn't notice it at the range, but when I got home and started checking things out, I heard something go clink when I pulled the rifle out of it's case. After removing the scope and shaking it, the clinking was very apparent.

    You didn't mention if you were using a scoped rifle, but if you are that's the first thing I'd check.
     
  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Do you keep a journal on each outing? I will say you are not do this...
    in order to sustain your current level and then improve you need to do many things to be on track...and a daily shooting journal is where you start...every time you shoot a round it should be recorded...

    It could be a number of things: and do not be offended.

    1. is your rifle clean?
    2. Are you using the same ammo? as prior sessions.
    3. Weather conditions? Have they changed? time of day, Light, wind, temp, humidity and so on?
    4. your mental condition...were you tired. Rushed...things on your mind...
    5. Trigger pull change?...
    6. Lose screws and or screws that are to tight?

    There is a list that Lanny Basham has put out for shooter to record each session to see what you are doing and not doing to make sure everyting is going according to plan...

    I have provided a short list on things to look at...
     
  4. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    Well it was two differant rifles. A 30-06 and a 375H&H I dont think that a ziess and a lupy went south at the same time. Im the only factor thats changed.
     
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I wouldn't think so either though it is kind of funny the other scope that went bad on me was a Zeiss, but no not at the same time as the Leupy.

    Perplexing problem. Do you know what kind of grouping you were getting off the bench? If so, I think I'd go back to the bench and see if you can duplicate your results. If you can then at least you could narrow it down to shooting off the sticks.
     
  6. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    My first thought was also scope related. I have had this also but it looks like that has been ruled out .

    My next thought would be (do I dare say it) a flinch. I got one years ago sighting in 3" slugs to hunt in Iowa. I would rather shoot my 375 RUM or Rigby prone any day to 3" slugs out of a 6 1/2# shotgun. I couldn't hit a fox or coyote the rest of the winter.

    Try having someone else load your gun (may or may not put a round in the chamber) then you shoot. I hate this game with big guns, hard on the nerves. It will tell you how much you flinch. Good Luck and God speed. I hope I'm wrong.
     
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    JamieD

    With a flinch you will not get a 4 inch cluster.

    Again if you flinch you will move the gun in the same direction about 90 percent of the time and you would have a cluster in that spot...

    none of the items mentioned above have been answered by BART...

    Bart probably knows what he did to get the erratic patterns however he is searching for a quick fix instead of doing self analysis to correct his shooting style.
     
  8. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    1.It wasn't a flinch
    2.It wasn't optics
    3.It wasnt mounts
    4.I keep all my tagets to get a better idea of grouping because I handload.
    5.I keep records of all my sessions because I handload.
    6.It wasnt eratic it was a 4 inch group centered on point of aim.
    7.James Grange If? you read my post its a statement not an invitation to get bashed.
     
  9. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Bart,

    Were you calling the shots? If the shot hit high left did it feel that way?

    If not I would put both rifles on the bench and shoot five shot groups. That takes most of the human element out of the equation.

    If your shots were on your call and you normally shoot better I would just forget about it. You had an off day no big deal.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Bartfrancs, I'm with Mike. If you have all the issues controlled you had an off day

    or mysteriously burnt your barrel out on both rifles.

    or it's a phobia of sticks.
    I developed one on a windy day. I am going to look for a tree to shoot from, if I get the choice.
     
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    BartFrancs

    Brickburn, Mike, Phoenix Phil, have covered very good items that they have experienced to help you.

    I left my posts out of the equation, seeing as they are offensive to you.

    You asked for ideas or help or both on what you could do to correct and issue you have developed.

    Every one on here has given you ideas that have developed and we have run into over the years. We have provided you information or a checklist to look into to rule out steps in your equipment or shooting errors.

    All good shots know what they have done to pull a shot and make the needed corrections for the next shot. You learn this in competition and in the field, if you did not learn from every miss you would go home a bummed individual...

    Bert, it appears that you want a rifle with a built in laser and not have to think about the shot and you want the bullet to fly true for every shot. When you find that rifle let us all know.

    The thickness of your clothing will change the flight of a bullet. The simple miss mount on your shoulder will change the point of impact. The location you place your barrel or stock on the shooting sticks will make a difference. The firmness of your grip on the stock will change the flight of the bullet. The regulation of your breathing and when your heart pumps will affect your bullet placement. Knowing your rifle trigger pull poundage is critical and knowing how to restore it. Do you pull your trigger or slap it really affects accuracy. Making sure the trigger finger is in the same place every time, if not you will pull your shot...But again you did not want to know any of these things.

    Shooting off stick is best practiced in your den, game room with caps made for your rifle. Just putting your rifle up and learning to get your sight picture, gently squeeze the trigger and not move the rifle.

    The list could go on and on...

    Is the trigger pull the same for both rifles?

    Can you shoot a release and pull trigger with the same accuracy? If you can do this your proficiency and accuracy will improve.

    By the way Bert i do sign my name to my post and that is more than i can say for other on this forum...so you need to learn to read and check your spelling..

    Have a great day...
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  12. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I'd say that either you had a bad day or it was wind related. A 5 mph breeze can open up a group a half inch at 100 meters and a 10 mph breeze can open it up 1.10 inches. Some serious shooters use wind flags because of this.

    If it wasn't the wind, then I'd say you had an off day. Either you were too excited, weren't focused, or something. I'd reccomend trying again on a calm day and seeing if you have different results.
     
  13. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    humidity
     
  14. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I don't know how frequently you shoot off the sticks but I know by putting more or less pressure on the sticks can make things erratic very easily. When I'm having a bad day I try to do a mental checklist of things I could be doing wrong first then i quickly check screws etc.. I don't have to try to hard to make mistakes as I don't get to the range near as often as I use to. Humidity like your last post was can raise a lot of problems. Keeping a shooting journal & a collection of targets is a big help. It is a pain at times but everything you record from weather to differences in loads, components etc. will help you especially when problems may arise. The memory doesn't always hold up that well a few weeks down the road!!
     
  15. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Maybe I missed something but the question seems to be about a skill related issue off of the sticks not a rifle or optics issue. I am assuming you bench fired the rifles to insure they are not the issue.

    The next part that comes to me is the mental aspect. A bad day shooting happens, it's what you do with it in your mind that may be the problem, at least that is the way it is for me. I have to stay positive in my shooting, not get too uptight, stay relaxed and enjoy the day. If I get into the obessive part of "What am I doing wrong here?" that can be more destructive than the errant skill issue.

    Anyway, shooting slump and baseball hitting slump require continued time in the cage. Oh, darn, more reasons to go shooting. Good luck and hang with it.
     
  16. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Enthusiast

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    Here's the good news: so long as the 4 inch group is centered on the point of aim, you limit your shots to 100 yards, and you aim at the center of the vital triangle, all animals bigger than a woodchuck will be dead.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't work on improving, but a sure way to worsen your shooting is to get worried about it. You'd start yanking trigger, forgetting about natural point of aim, muscling shots, or holding your breath.

    Many people think a 1 inch group at 100 yards is important. It is nice, but not important. What is important is knowing at what range you can make a shot and having the maturity not to push it. You know that on your worst day, off sticks, you can hit a cocktail napkin at 100 yards. Aim right and the animal will not know the difference.

    I've got a rifle that I have never, under any circumstances, on my best day, with my best ammo, gotten to shoot less than 2 inches at 100 yards, off bags. Someday I may get something more accurate to replace it, but I'm putting it on the plane Friday for Namibia. It didn't let me down last year, so it's going again this year. I've got more accurate rifles, but this one is light and comfortable and gets the job done, so it goes.
     

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