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Sighting-in question

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Sighting-in question

Old 02-22-2017, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 70
Default Sighting-in question

Hey, I'm fairly new to this and last year when I sighted in my Muzzleloader I sighted it in for a dirty barrel. Clean barrel was high and to the left, don't remember exactly how far off it was. When I went hunting I didn't have the guts to leave a dirty barrel even though I was shooting BH.

How do you guys sight your guns in??

do you split the difference in spread or

do you sight in for a clean barrel and hold for a 2nd shot on a dirty barrel or

do you sight in for a dirty barrel and adjust for the first shot.

The scope I'm using has adjustable turrets so I've thought about sighting in for a clean barrel and adjusting for a dirty barrel.

Is there a bullet/powder combo that will shoot the same from a clean barrel as a dirty barrel?? I'm planning on getting started early this year with my muzzleloader shooting to get more range time in. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:42 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Location: Eastern PA
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All my muzzys are sighted in on a clean, cool barrel. When I'm sighting in a rifle I usually have a couple guns with me. (usually do anyway as long as I'm going to be cleaning one I may as well get a couple dirty). This way I can load my rifle and keep it loaded for a week or two and not worry about corrosion setting in.
The one that needs sighting in gets fired then cleaned and dried and allowed to sit while I shoot something else. If you don't have that option, just wait a couple mins. and shoot it again after your sight adjustment. Doing it this way doesn't leave much room for error though so be very conscious of your shots. Make sure everything is the same including how you hold the rifle, cheek weld, etc. Also make sure your rifle likes that particular load and can shoot it well before you go making 1"-2" scope adjustments.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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when you clean your rifle between shots do you just swab the bore with a windex/wet patch or do you scrub it with a couple patches?

what about if you have to shoot again when you're hunting. I usually have more than one tag, or If I miss.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:57 PM
Dominant Buck
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Location: Wisconsin
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When I sight in I do on a dirty barrel. Usually my first shot is not that far off, and all my shots are close anyway. So an inch or two will not make a difference.

I found that with BH209 my rifles shot better on a dirty barrel. In fact the gun seemed not to settle down unless there were two or three shots through it. Otherwise the first three were spread out.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:49 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Near a lake with no fish
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At times, your hunting and maximum shooting distance can be the determining factor. Multiple tags and a second animal should be considered.
For instance, if your maximum hunting shot distance is 90 to 100yds and your first shot(clean barrel) isn't that far off (1-2"), then starting with a clean barrel that's zeroed when fouled probably isn't a major issue. However if your hunting over agricultural fields where the first and/or second shot/s may be 150, 175 or 200yds, then it makes a huge difference.
In the Encore platform rifles I've owned, all SS and shooting BH, all required fouling for the type of hunting conditions presented to me. My last Pro Hunter shot approximately 4" high, 2" right with a clean barrel and I understood that. However my first shot when hunting could be at 200, so it required me to foul the barrel.
If you pay attention to moisture, don't take it from the cold to warmth and don't fall in a creek, I see no reason a SS barrel loaded with BH can't be fouled and loaded for a week. I've left them loaded for up to two weeks with no corrosion issues.
If in doubt, shoot it out and reload it.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:36 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: southwestern va
Posts: 753

i sight in on a dirty barrel........first shot to foul and i run a seasoning patch in between each shot so the buildup isnt excessive
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:44 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Illinois
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I primer foul only with my Inline. Pop 2 caps and she is dead on at 150 yards. My sidelock is dead nuts on a cold clean barrel for 3 shots then it starts to climb. My OCD won't let me leave a firearm of any sort dirty. If it goes out of the house, it is cleaned when brought back in. Even if I didn't shoot it. Well, my OCD and fear that my old man will climb up from his grave and kick my butt! It's how I was raised.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:50 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Location: Comance county, OK
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My muzzleloaders are sighted in with a squeaky clean bore. Any gun that shoots bullets to different points of impact with a clean and dirty bore soon go away.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:30 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
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To get my guns sighted in, I start with a perfectly clean gun, pop 3 primers and swab the barrel. I then load the gun and fire the shot. The gun is then fully cleaned and start over for the next shot after it has cooled. This is the only way I have found that consistently gives me accurate feed back changes in my routine (scope adjustment, powder adjustment, change bullet, change sabot, etc...). This is the way I am going to load my guns for the actual hunt, so I want to be sure where that first shot out of a 3 primer popped barrel will hit consistently and accurately.

After I have completed the above routine, I will load on a dirty barrel to see how the Point Of Impact (POI) changes from the first shot. 90% of my shots are under 100 yards (most under 50) and the POI shift is minimal.

I like many here simply cannot leave a dirty gun, so popping 3 primers then dry swabbing cleans out the oils and puts my mind more at ease about not damaging my gun from leaving a dirty barrel.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:39 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Originally Posted by falcon View Post
My muzzleloaders are sighted in with a squeaky clean bore. Any gun that shoots bullets to different points of impact with a clean and dirty bore soon go away.

Wow - how many guns have you gotten rid of over your life time ??

Isn't this why competition target shooters always fire a few "fouling shots" before they shoot for group size ??

Last edited by Sheridan; 02-23-2017 at 02:01 PM.
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