SIGHTING IN — 19 Comments

  1. I’m not a hunter Mas, but thank you so much for caring enough to write this. You may well save an animal from a terrible death with the words you share here.

  2. A timely heads up for those who are so anxious to get out there that we ignore the basics.

  3. Mas, The only hunting that I have ever done has been Pheasants, Ducks and Geese but I agree with Paul on his post that your advice is spot on in being able to make a kill with the first shot which I understand is critical having a son and numerous friends who do hunt deer and elk. Also I remember being taught as a child that alcohol and guns do not mix PERIOD! That seems to be a problem in this day and age which is too bad as it spoils the art and sport of the hunt as well as creating horrible accidents.

  4. I’ll make a small addition to the article. Sight in with the ammunition you’ll be using on the hunt. If you have to change your ammunition, check your sights before the hunt.

    A friend suggested I try some of his .30-06 ammunition once. The point of impact at 100 yards was 14 inches vertical difference from that of my ammo(165 gr ammo vs my 180 gr ammo). That may be an extreme example but it’s best discovered on the square range.

    • Mr. Moore – A good point. What’s also nice is if you can find relatively cheaper “practice” ammo that shoots to the same point-of-aim as the “premium” hunting stuff does. My go-to deer rifle in beautiful Minnesnowta (where it’s always balmy weather during deer season) is a stainless/synthetic Savage in .30-06. I’ve found that Federal’s cheap soft-point 180-grains print to exactly the same point-of-aim as do their premium Nosler partition 180-grains. Sighting-in is usually 3 rounds of cheap stuff to verify zero followed by a single round of the high-buck-stuff to confirm same impact.

      I bought that rifle long before Savage came out with their double-blade trigger thingy, and the original pull was so horrendous that I bought a Timney and had a gunsmith drop it in for me. His trigger scale only went up to 8 pounds so I never did know exactly where the original broke, but he set up the Timney at 3-1/2 pounds and it’s been great.

      Call me cheap (I prefer “frugal”) but the last whitetail I took was a one-shot that went exactly where I wanted and crossed both lungs and the heart. It being MN where the woods are thick and long shots rare it was only 125 yards but with my deteriorating eyesight that’s a long shot for me.

  5. But, if you Forget/Don’t Bother too, verify your sight in,
    It would come in Handy, If you ARE Good at “Compensating On The Fly” for Unexpected Shot placement, especially if the Critter Has Claws & Fangs, is Large,Viscous, & Will KILL YOUR ASS, If You Don’t KILL IT FIRST!

  6. This is good advice, Mas. I have a hunt planned for the end of this month. I’ll be heading out to the range to double-check and, if necessary, fine-tune my scope settings prior to my hunt.

    It is off-topic but I would like to also briefly comment on the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh to the SCOTUS. As I predicted back in July, the Leftist fanatics performed a viscous smear campaign and character assassination job on Brett Kavanaugh. They tried to blacken his good name and drag his reputation through the mud. Fortunately, President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh fought back and beat back the lies of the Left in the end.

    The result for gun rights is very positive. I think that we now have five (5) solid supporters of the 2nd Amendment on the SCOTUS today. In the past, because the SCOTUS was deadlocked with 4 pro-2A, 4 anti-2A and one uncertain “fence sitter”, the court was very reluctant to take on new 2A cases. They really have not touched the 2A since the McDonald Case back in 2010. They turned away several cases that they could have taken.

    Now, I think this deadlock is over. I predict that the SCOTUS will be much more willing to take on new 2A cases in the future. Furthermore, these cases will likely be decided with 5-4 decisions that favor Gun Rights. Today is a Good Day! 🙂

    • Typo correction – I meant “visious” in the second paragraph rather than “viscous”. Although, the depth of leftist lying did get pretty thick for a while there! 🙂

      • TN_MAN,

        I think you meant “vicious.” Oh well, we knew what you meant. If I am not mistaken, English is the only language which has spelling bees, because the other languages are spelled the way they sound. Hmmmm, let me give it a try……….vishiss.

      • @Roger Willco – You are correct. I am such a terrible speller. I can’t even get my corrections CORRECT! 🙁

        Being a retired engineer, I can say that this seems to be common fault among members of my profession. Almost every engineer that I have known, over my career, has been a terrible speller. I used to joke that, for engineers, God has to take out most of the spelling circuits in order to make room for the extra math circuits! 🙂

      • TN_MAN,

        You are right about engineers. I can spell, but I can’t do higher math, like algebra and above. You are better off with your math gift than I am with my spelling gift. Since I am not good at math or science, I really don’t belong in this modern world. At least engineering jobs pay enough money to live on. Oh well. I could have made better career choices. Either way, English is a whacko language. I’m glad so many people speak English so I don’t have to learn their language.

  7. Thanks Jon. For whatever reasons hunting never really appealed to me, at least not for any of game that walks. However, I do enjoy fishing, and have never tried my hand at birds although my middle son in Virginia has been after me for years to give it a whirl; the jury’s still out on the latter. It seems to me that you raised your boys well, and I absolutely agree with you that alcohol and firearms do not mix at all.

  8. Just back from hunting with my son in the Southwest Desert spike elk only unit. We were both successful. Me, Saturday with a 248 yard shot on opening day in overcast, grey low light. Kevin, today with a 230 yard shot in only slightly better light but heavy gusting winds.

    Fortunately, we can find places to shoot long range near his home in St George. Selecting a flat shooting cartridge helps. I used my father’s Model 700 in .338 Win Mag. My son, a 6.5 Creedmoor. His scope is a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5x25x50 scope. I used a Burris Eliminator III 4×16.

    Knowing & shooting your gun at distance is fun and helpful. I would post a picture of the 8 inch steel we shot at at 466 yards a couple days before the hunt if I could.

    Last year, I was with Kevin and his rifle took a relatively minor tumble on a rocky prominence. He was not concerned. I insisted we waste a day and a half getting to where we could verify zero. Good thing. 3 days later he took a 230 yard shot, same as this year. He would have missed that elk last year if we had not taken time to verify the zero.

    A miss would have been better than wounding or maiming it. Do it right to the best of your ability or don’t do it at all.

  9. PS – Two of the 3 elk mentioned were heart shots. The third, today, was a liver shot & dropped quicker than either of the heart shots.

    PPS – Thanks Mas, as usual. Spot on.

  10. Before you take your firearm to the range for sighting-in, give it a diagnostic once-over.
    Is the barrel clear of obstruction? Does the action work properly? Does the safety keep it from firing? Are the screws tight?

    We ran a sight-in day at our range. One shooter couldn’t keep his shots on the paper. When I checked his rifle, I tightened the big screw that held the action into the stock by a turn and a half. His eyes got real big, and his groups got a lot tighter.

    • Yes, LarryArnold. My uncle and I got into discussion that turned competitive. His German pellet gun v my old 860. I won with my pump action tack driver much to his dismay. A but later we discovered his sights had loosened up (in his plane?) On the flight from oH.

      This year before the hunt mentioned below, I tightened my son’s rings a lot. I do not recall specifically but it seems like 3 quarters turn or so each.

      And let’s not forget maintenance after a hundred or visit to the range. The Model 700 got soaked this year. We took it out of the stock to dry, clean and oil it. And new toy to help (oops, adding to the collection)? A VersaCradle made it easier … almost fun to work on the guns.

  11. I am not trying to promote products but if you use a smoke pole and have not tried it, give Blackhorn 209 powder a look. Be sure to read their recommendations regarding type of primer and regarding breech plugs and other information if you do decide to try it. I have given it a workout but to in the colder weather (below 40 degrees F yet). They are knowledgeable and helpfull by phone if needed including helping me find some powder for our UT hunt (if the rifle season was not productive.

    I do not sell or have any affiliation with Western Hills (Blackhorn 209) or Berry’s (VersaCradle) mentioned in my previous post.

  12. It is off-topic but Zimmerman is in-the-news again. see this story:

    I don’t know if this is caused by “stalking” by the media or whether Zimmerman is so filled with resentment, because of his past treatment, that he can’t leave it alone. In any event, it is plain that, while Zimmerman was cleared at his trial, his life was ruined nonetheless.

    The legacy media is relentless at pushing their left-wing narrative. Notice that they still use Zimmerman to attack Florida’s Stand-your-ground laws. In the referenced story, they link Zimmerman to Stand-your-ground for disparagement purposes. This is a bald falsehood. The Zimmerman case had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Stand-your-ground. It was a straightforward case of self-defense, pure and simple. However, truth does not matter to the legacy media. Only the ideologically-driven narrative matters.

  13. You can get pretty darn close by boresighting with a new scope installation with this method: Bore Sighting: You can get very close if you can look through the bore with the rifle in a steady position. I cut V’s in a cardboard box, and set the rifle so I can look downrange through the barrel. (Rifle is in position as if it is shouldered.) Pick out a vertical line (fencepost, tree, power pole, etc.) at 100 yards or so, and line up the reflection on the bottom of the bore. Turn your windage adjustment so it is on your vertical line. Check your reflection again and make sure that is right down your barrel. Now, turn the rifle on its side and line up on your mark so the reflection comes right down the barrel again. Look through your scope and adjust the elevation so it coincides. Now, check your reflection again and pause to think. Your elevation crosshairs will be looking downward through a straight line extending from your bore. The bullets will be curving downward, making your hits a bit low. Turn your elevation up a minute or two, depending on caliber and the distance to the boresighting target. Cap your turrets and go to the range. You will be very close.