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Rifle Drills to Shoot Better

common rifle drills to shoot better

The off-season isn’t the time to rest on your current skills. It’s the best time to improve. Here are three common and easy rifle drills to help you improve your skills before hunting season starts again.

Three Common Rifle Drills to Shoot Better

1. Hit the can. Most of us have done this a time or two, and it is incredibly simple. The goal of this drill is to hit the target without anything to rest your gun on. All you need is several soda cans and string. Hang the cans at different heights and distances, and then have your competitor call out a specific can and start the timer. Give yourself five seconds to find the can and shoot it.

2. Learn your gun. This next drill is all about learning your gun. The goal is to know exactly where your gun is going to land the bullet all the way to 400 yards. To perform this drill, shoot your gun at 50-yard increments from 100 to 400 yards. Create a cheat sheet that shows exactly where the bullet hits and the necessary compensation as well. With your cheat sheet, practice shooting targets alternating from short to long. Repeat this until you don’t need your cheat sheet anymore.

3. Practice with stumps. Finally, anyone can shoot well in the best conditions, but when you’re out in the woods, you don’t have a bench to rest your weapon on. To do this drill, start by taking a hike in the woods with your rifle. When you see a stump, get in the best field position, aim at a piece of moss or bark, and shoot. After your shot, assess your choice, and with enough practice, you’ll be able to pick the best rest without thinking about it.

Hunting season isn’t the time to start improving your skills. The best time to improve your skills is while you are resting during the off-season, and these three drills can help you be a better marksman when hunting season starts again.

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Joining a Gun Club

Joining a Gun Club

No matter where you live, there is probably a gun club nearby. The gun club may specialize in long range rifles, or it may extend to pistols and more. Regardless of what kind of gun club you have access to, joining one does offer several advantages.

Three Benefits to Joining a Gun Club

1. Connection with a community of like-minded individuals. The greatest part about a gun club is that you will instantly be connected with like-minded individuals interested in gun safety and protection. You can rest assured that the people attending the club have similar views to you when it comes to handling and using firearms.

2. Information on the training course schedule and a place to practice. No matter what your goals are, you will have access to training courses and a place to practice. A gun club will either have upcoming courses or be able to direct you to the appropriate courses you are looking for.

3. Access to a wealth of experience with a variety of guns. Finally, you will have access to a wealth of information and expertise on a variety of firearms. There’s no possible way for you to shoot every type of gun, but in a group, you will all have different experiences. You will also have the opportunity to learn new tips and tricks, or you may even be able to teach somebody else!

Joining a gun club has many benefits, including instantly connecting with a group of like-minded individuals that share your interest in firearms. Along with the connection you will make with these individuals, you will also have access to a training course schedule, a place to practice, and you will also be able to learn from the people who also attend the club.

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How to Get Into Rifle Shooting

Precision shooting has grown in popularity over the last couple of years in the United States. If you have been interested in shooting a precision match, it may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you have never shot at anything past 150 yards.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get into precision rifle shooting because all you have to do is find a one-day club match that you can join. They usually cost under $100, and even if you haven’t practiced, there will be plenty of more experienced shooters there that can help you at every stage. The community is very welcoming to new shooters, and because a new person is unlikely to win, most seasoned shooters do not have a problem helping them.

Plenty of YouTube videos and podcasts talk about technique and equipment, and they can help prepare you for what to expect from your first match and beyond.

When it comes to equipment, you tend to get what you pay for. Up to a point, the amount of money spent on your rifle and optics do make a difference. Some people even spend $3000-$5000 on custom-built rifles.

If you want to get in some practice before going to a rifle match, practice dry firing from various locations. Precision rifle matches require you to shoot from multiple positions, so the best practice is to prepare for the unique positions you may encounter. Otherwise, the next best way to get better at precision shooting is to enter as many matches as you can.

When you go to a match, you will get a book that tells you how far away your targets are, so you will know how to adjust your scope for each station. However, what separates a good shooter from a great shooter is being able to make wind calls and knowing how to shoot from different positions. All of this comes with practice, so whether you choose to dry fire or fire with ammunition, it’s going to take plenty of time spent with your gun to become a great precision shooter.

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How to Choose a Rifle Case

One of the most important accessories you’re going to need after you purchase a gun is a quality rifle case. Purchasing the right rifle case is incredibly important because it will protect your firearm while making it easier to transport. Several factors may be important to your decision, such as the case’s weight, dimensions, security features, and if it is waterproof.

When it comes to purchasing a rifle case, you must consider what’s important to you. The most important question starts with weight. A lightweight rifle case is easier to carry than a heavy one, but it may also offer less protection for your gun. It’s important to purchase a rifle case that has the perfect balance of protection to its weight.

Next, your rifle case will need study straps that will not tear or break off. We also want to consider straps that have a padded, adjustable strap, so it is easier to carry a rifle over long distances if necessary.

Water resistance isn’t a necessity for everybody, but if you need it, then you need it. If you’re not sure whether to get a water-resistant case or not, then it is probably best to go ahead and get one that is. You never know what you’re going to encounter out in the field, so having a waterproof case is better than neglecting to get one and needing it in the end.

Lastly, consider the extras. Many rifle cases feature side pouches, padded carrying straps, and nylon webbing for use with different accessories. Other cases may have backpack straps, additional components, and tie down systems that can keep the rifle secured in its spot. When it comes to extras, it’s all about what you want in your rifle case, which can vary greatly from person to person.

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How Long does Ammo Last?

The most common response to the question of how long ammo lasts is that it is good forever. Technically that may be true, especially if the ammo is stored properly. However, if the ammo isn’t stored properly, it may not last for a very long time.

How long does ammo last?

Most ammunition manufacturers do not give an exact expiration date for their ammunition. Some may say that their ammunition is good for about ten years if stored properly, while others will leave it open and say it all depends on how the rounds are stored.

Ammunition should be stored in a cool, dry location away from solvents and other chemicals, heat sources, or open flames. The reason it must be stored this way is because centerfire rounds are not water or airtight. An average round can probably fall in a little bit of water without too much issue, but rounds that get wet should be used up at the next target practice.

Ammunition that is stored next to solvents will eventually erode, and the solvents will ruin the casing. Moisture or other solvents will make your rounds fail. If you find that you have dud rounds in a box of ammunition, then the whole box should be under scrutiny. It could just be one bad round, or the entire batch could be compromised in some way.

The industry standard for ammunition is ten years, so if you feel that you may be storing ammunition for that long, make sure that the ammunition is stored in a dry place away from cleaners an open flame. If some rounds get submerged in water, you should use them as quickly as possible at a firing range, but if too many of the rounds fail, that it may be best to throw the whole batch away.

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How to Adjust Open Sights on a Rifle

An open sight or an iron sight is the default sight you receive when you purchase your rifle. This is a basic sighting instrument where the rear sight is a flat piece of metal with a U- or V-shaped groove cut into the center, while the front sight is a post. While this sighting method has fallen out of favor, it can be an incredibly accurate method for shooting targets medium to close range.

How to adjust open sights on a rifle

The first step to adjusting your open sight is to understand how to use it. The open sight is two parts, with a rear sight and a front sight. The front sight is a post at the end of the barrel of the gun. The rear sight is on the other end, and it is a flat piece of metal with a U- or V-shaped groove cut out.

The goal is for the front sight to be aligned in the middle of the rear groove with the top of the front sight post level with the top of the rear sight. Once the sights are aligned correctly, the bullet should hit the target wherever the front sight post is directed.

While open sights are typically installed by the gun’s manufacturer, they still sometimes need adjusting. For most rifles, adjusting the open sight is a universal process. Because your front sight is stationary, you’re only dealing with the rear sight. Some rear sights are finger adjustable, while for others, you may need a tool to turn the screw. For the rear site, you are adjusting for windage and elevation. You will adjust left and right for the windage, and you will adjust up and down for elevation.

Once you have tweaked your rear sight, take a few test shots to see if you are hitting the bull’s-eye correctly, and if not, readjust accordingly.

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How to Choose a Rifle Scope?

Most people use some type of optical sighting device on their guns, whether they’re using a shotgun, handgun, or rifle. The major reason for using a sighting device is for simplicity. However, if you are new to firearms, then you can be overwhelmed by the large selection of scopes on the market.

Here are three tips for choosing the right rifle scope for your needs.

How to choose a rifle scope

1. Don’t go overboard on the magnification. Rifle scope magnification is similar to the magnification on a camera. There is fixed power and variable power. Fixed power is when the scope only has one magnification, while variable power allows the user to choose from a range. If you are shooting something that is less than 100 yards away, go for 1-4x magnification. If it is less than 200 yards away, select 5-8x, and if it is greater than 200 yards, then 9-12x is best.

2. Get the right objective lens for your needs. The more objective lens you have, the clearer and brighter your image will be. When looking at your scope numbers, the first number is the magnification, and the second number is the objective lens. If you strictly hunt close range, you can go with a 28 mm or less. If you are doing medium- to long-range, 30-44mm is best, and if you are a long-range exclusively, then 50mm and above is best.

3. Select the right scope reticle. The last thing to be aware of is the scope reticle. The reticle is the crosshair you see, and it can make shooting easier or harder. If you are a hunter or target shooter, a duplex reticle is the simplest. If you only use your firearm for life-and-death situations, you want to go with the Mildot reticle because it can help estimate the target’s distance. Lastly, the BDC reticle is for a long-range shooter, and it helps adjust for bullet drop.

Other things to be aware of our focal planes, turrets, and eye relief. Get second focal plane. Make sure the turrets on your scope are loud and reliable. You can find that in the reviews of the rifle scope you’re considering. Also, don’t forget to consider eye relief, which is the distance between your eye and the lens you look through. The best amount of eye relief is 3.5-4 inches.

These are just some of the things to consider when purchasing a rifle scope for your firearm.

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How to Boresight a Rifle

Boresighting is a method for sighting your rifle’s scope or iron sights before you even fire a shot. This is a method of getting your first shots “on paper” and allows you to save time, ammunition, and money.

The basic premise of boresighting is aligning the scope’s crosshairs with the points the barrel is aimed at. The simplest way to do this is to look down the barrel and match the picture seen with the scope’s crosshairs.

However, there is a specific technique that makes this easiest.

How to Boresight a rifle

1. Position yourself to point your rifle in a safe direction with a target that is about 50 yards away. You can use a closer target, but the closer the target, the less accurate your sight will be, and visibility becomes a problem when it’s further away.

2. Set your rifle up on a bench on the ground and point it down the range at the target. You must have a way to hold the gun steady, such as using a gun cleaning rack, sandbags, or shooting rest.

3. If you are using a bolt-action rifle, remove the bolt. For single-shot rifles, you only need to open the action.

4. Now, peer through the rifle’s barrel from the breech and move the rifle until the target is centered on the bore.

5. Finally, once the rifle’s barrel is pointed directly at the center of the target, adjust the scope so the crosshair is aligned with the exact point that you centered on the bore picture. It is important to make sure you do not move the rifle while you are doing this.

At this point, the rifle is boresighted at whatever distance you chose. This is not a stand-in for being sighted in, so you will still need to fire some rounds on paper and adjust your scope as needed, but at the very least, you should be able to hit paper when you fire your initial rounds.

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How to mount a rifle scope

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Many people get their rifle scope mounted by professionals, but with the right tools and a lot of patience, you can mount your rifle scope at home as well.

How to mount a rifle scope

To make the process easier, it’s best to work in a well-lit area with quality hand tools, including a torque wrench and a level. Assuming your gun is unloaded, the first step to mounting a rifle scope is to stabilize your gun. Secure your firearm and a gun vice, bench vise, or a homemade method that will keep your gun stable. You also want your firearm roughly parallel to the ground.

If you are using a rail mount, proceed to torque the screws using manufacturer specifications with your torque wrench. If you’re using a base/ring combo, follow the steps to the manufacturer’s specifications but only mount the lower half of your ring/base combo, so you have the horizontal part of your bases to set your reference level on.

Next, you need to level your scope. When you level your scope, you’re making sure the rifle scope is on the same horizontal plane as the action of your gun. This is important because even if the scope is a couple of degrees off, you may be aiming left or right without even knowing it. There are many ways to level your rifle scope, but the main goal is to adjust your rifle scope left or right until the bubble on the level is between the two lines.

Finally, once your scope is aligned properly, it’s time to adjust the reticle focus if your scope has one. This focus impacts how the reticle image appears when you look to your scope. The instructions on doing this differ based on the manufacturer and will take a few minutes of playing around, but once you have your reticle focus adjusted, looking through the scope will be crystal clear.

The benefits to mounting your own rifle scope are endless, but the first time can feel daunting. The process gets easier the more times you do it. However, if you find yourself stuck in the process, don’t hesitate to contact more experienced gun owners to help you along the way.

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How to Clean a Rifle

One of the most important things about owning a rifle is making sure you keep it maintained. Regardless of your rifle’s age, cost, or action type, it’s important to clean it regularly.

How to clean a rifle

To clean your rifle properly, you need a cleaning rod, cleaning patches, solvent, rust protector, a rifle holder, and a set of tools. You also need a clean and easy place to work because some of the solvents used when cleaning your gun can be toxic to breathe in or touch.

The first step to cleaning a rifle is making sure it’s unloaded. You should point the gun in a safe direction, open the action, and visually inspect it before partially disassembling it. You can take your rifle completely apart, but during the season, you don’t have to.

Once your rifle is disassembled, inspect your rifle to see if anything looks off. If screws are loose or something looks cracked or broken, it’s important to repair those things before moving forward. If there are no issues, then the next step is to use a clean paper towel to wipe down your rifle and remove loose dust and grit.

For the barrel, make sure you clean it from the rear. Attach a clean patch to the end of the jib on the tip of the cleaning rod, soak it with cleaner, and then push it through the barrel. Next, use a bore brush with a few drops of cleaning solvent inside the barrel as well.

Finally, you want to clean all the metal parts, including the inside of the magazine box, the bolt face and bolt, and the trigger guard. It can be useful to use a toothbrush or a device with small bristles to loosen gunk and truly get the metal portions of your gun clean.

The last step in the cleaning process is adding rust prevention and lubrication. You don’t want to spread the oil directly onto the metal. Instead, spray it onto a paper towel and then wipe all of your parts down. Once you have properly lubricated your gun, it’s time to reassemble it and dry fire it a few times to ensure all is well.