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Grouping Problem

Old 09-28-2009, 02:45 AM
Nontypical Buck
elgallo114's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sierra Nevadas., Ca
Posts: 1,050

I hate to say this, but I've seen this a few times and it's always been the shooter.

There are a couple of possibilities here. Rememeber, I don't know you, so I'm just throwing it out there. Not trying to slam you.

1. Most likely... You are positioning yourself different in relation to the scope at different magnifications. I myself have done this. Confused me till I figured it out. You will see one sight pic at 9x and a different one at 4x with your head in the exact same spot. The natural tendency is to adjust your cheek weld to mirror the image you think you should have. This is a mistake. You need to sight in at a lower magnification to eliminate some target movement, and then switch to a higher magnification if you want. But you gotta keep your eye relief and cheek weld the exact same to achieve the same results.

2. probable... You're flinching. You've already said it bothers you. Gotta fix that no matter what the problem turns out to be.

3. possibly... Your scope is not tightened down enough and is moving just enough to not visibly notice, but enough to throw the shots.

4. least likely... Your reticles are loose and adjusting the scope is slightly moving them. This is highly unlikely because the recoil would cause more movement than you touching it, but stranger things have happened.

If I were you, I'd reset the scope mount, reset the scope, and start all over. Sight in at lowest magnification. If target aquisition is a problem for you at the lowest mag, then sight in at shorter distances. Like 50 yards. Know the trajectory of your bullet, put a sticker where it should strike if you sight in dead center, and adjust to the sticker. You can then test at 100 yards. Should be dead on. Then you can test at higher mag, should still be dead on. Practice dry fire at home until you are dead certain that your eye relief and cheek weld are perfect. Then move on to the range. You just gotta get over the recoil thing. Dry fire can help you here, but a lot of shooting (correctly) will cure it. You could just be flinching. Flinching can account for quite a bit of drift. Some people flinch more the more they shoot due to shoulder fatigue. If that's a huge problem, get a shoulder pad to help and a better butt pad. Make shooting as comfortable as possible so you practice good habits.

Good luck. Post any results. I'm interested to here what it is. I could be totally wrong and if anyone sees any problems with what I've suggested, chime in. I don't want to make his situation any worse, that's for sure.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:22 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 679

you wrote that "gun kicks like a mule so it's hard to shoot " [1] get a LIMBSAVER RECOIL PAD 2 boxes of amo of the same make and grain ..put your rifle on sandbags at the range ,scope on 8x at 100yds and fire a group of 3 to see how it groups ..other posibility cheap bases ,rings and scope if they move u will never get good groups ..also if u fear the recoil and anticipate the recoil you will always FLINCH ..get a .243 rifle for deer hunting it has almost no recoil ..
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:19 AM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 119

I bought two boxes of Remington yesterday. Will get back out there this week & see what happens. I bought a good recoil pad and was using it. I know I flinch some, but when I used the last two of the Remington shells I had, they weren't 1/2" apart at 100 yards and near the center. Same with the Nitrex. The first two were within 1/4" of each other, but off to the left 9".
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:27 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 321

With regard to recoil... You must convince yourself.... There is no spoon.... Squeeze and follow through.

Unless you nuzzle your eyeball right up to that scope that thing isn't going to hurt you...

First rule of Design of Experiment... Change only one variable at a time. Thus, same ammunition to sight in with, hunt with, etc. If this means shooting various ammunition in order to find which one groups the best then so be it. Once that is established adjust POI to that ammunition... practice with that ammunition and hunt with that ammunition.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,408

Yeah, no way to tell what's going on if you switch ammo. It can make a really big difference.

Flinching should manifest itself as large groups or fliers, not consistent small groups at different POI.

I have, rarely, seen this happen when people change their eye position behind a scope without parallex adjusted correctly. But that is not common and not 9" at 100 yds.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:01 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Spokane Washington
Posts: 1,042

I would (and have) follow what elgallo114 said. Make sure that your scope is good and tight. You said in the first post that you hadn't shot the gun in years. Next is to make sure that your rest is firm and puts you in a comfortable position to absorb the recoil. Also, have the scope on the lowest power that allows you to see the target clearly. Too high of a power gets you moving too much. Shoot the same brand of ammo till you get the gun sighted in where it hits consitantly at the same point of impact. Switching brands or types of ammo and bullet weights is going to change the poi but it shouldnt be off by more than a couple of inches. Also make sure that you clean your gun after several shots and let the gun cool every few shots as well. Remember that a cool barrel is what you will be shooting game with so that is the point of impact that you want going where you know its going to hit.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:31 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 294

Your scope is junk. The fact that your shooting smaller groups but exactly 9 inches to the left or right seems to be the giveaway. Only way to figure it for sure is to hit the range again but till you get a new scope I would sight in at the lowest power and leave it there. Alot of older variable scopes had this problem where they didn't hit the same point of impact at different magnifications which is why older shooters were always so fond of fixed power scopes where such problems didn't crop up. A new quality scope or leaving it at a single power should eliminate this problem. Most major scope manufacturers eventually solved this problem which is why the bottom dropped out of the fixed power scope market. Alot of newer scopes still have the same problem but it is so small that no one recognizes it except target shooters which is why fixed power scopes still are a significant force in the target shooting market. IMHO. Hope it helps.
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