Cold Bore Shot 3 and Followup Group

This year my intent is to post most of my shooting on the blog. These posts are not intended to substitute for content, and not representative of my efforts to become a better shooter, but just to allow you to follow my attempts at getting and keeping my zero as close to perfect as I can get it. There is one cold bore shot that I don’t currently have a photo of to post, so I’m skipping it.  I also apologize for my less than normal promptness in posting.  I have just been very busy, and still don’t have an internet connection at the new place.  Back to the topic at hand. 

Based on the previous two cold bore shots and one 10 round group, I decided to shift my windage 0.1 left. I had run short of my own targets and don’t yet have my printer moved to the farm, so I had to use the Storm Tactical printable targets.

I have another load I have available, and also need cold bore data on. The goal is interchangeability with the primary load, so the hope is that it will work with no sight adjustments. This load is not expected to be quite as precise as my normal load.

On my first shot I couldn’t see the impact. That’s always kind of nerve racking. You figure it’s in the black, but hope that it’s on paper.


As for the subsequent 10 shot group, it was a lot more satisfying than normal.

1-6-14 10 Shot FGMM 100

The uniformity was better than my previous group, as its shape is more indicative of a normally distributed group. I’m not really hanging my spirits on the outcome one way or the other, so it’s not that big a deal. I always remember that the next time could go worse or better. What I like to see is that the windage appears to be right on, and that the precision is better than before, estimated by the On Target program at 0.939 MOA. I had a difficult time plotting the hits, but after really zooming in, cross checking with the paper target, and through process of elimination, I think I got it narrowed down pretty well. I only had to guess on 2 shots, and being that the center of the group was shot out, it wasn’t that hard to guess.

What I find a little strange is that the group now appears to indicate a slightly low zero as compared with the previous one. Of course, what could be to blame is that the rifle’s potential group over the long haul is just larger than the 10 shot groups, and the groups that I’m seeing are just pieces of that larger group. That’s pretty likely, and that’s why I hesitate to make zero changes based on one group, although the windage adjustment seems to have been the right choice. I cringe that I used to make zero adjustments based on 3 shot groups. Confidence in one’s zero is not an easy thing to establish, but it can be achieved.

What I noticed is that I seem to be having better success with more pressure with the firing hand pulling the stock into the shoulder pocket. I had been pretty relaxed on this, because when I learned rifle marksmanship I picked up the bad habit of letting the sling do most of the pulling for me. Anyway, the bipod is sitting on ice, which makes it impossible to load. Even then, I’m not seeing nearly the jump I was a few months ago. It’s a work in progress.

These 10 shot groups are just an administrative thing. The plan is to find interesting places to shoot from that demand improvised positions and to do case studies in each one. It’s important to keep my zero as well tuned as I can. More on that later. For now, the amount of daylight in each day limits how often I can do this, so it’s still mostly dry fire, but I can do it outside now.


Total 2014 shots fired from the Rem 700: 23

4 thoughts on “Cold Bore Shot 3 and Followup Group

  1. The more shots you put into a group, the more statistically significant they are. However, 10 rds really is a lot to ask (good on you!). 7 rds has been found to be pretty significant, so its something to think about, even from the ammo conservation standpoint. With a 2moa M4, I can very easily get and maintain confidence in my zero. The more precise the gun, the less confidence I have because small changes (like you’ve noted) can be hard to account for. Its a tough job, but someone has to do it:-)

    • 10 rounds is definitely plenty for a group to go south. Some work out better than others. I’m taking this as an opportunity to get a firm grip on the limitations of this system, and how those interact with my ability to shoot under more realistic conditions (whenever I get a spare moment to do that!). I will probably have a new barrel for this rifle by the time I start getting that sorted out.

  2. “…when I learned rifle marksmanship I picked up the bad habit of letting the sling do most of the pulling for me.”

    I’m curious, why do you think that is a bad habit?
    My take has always been to be as relaxed as possible with as little muscle work as possible. Muscle input can change not only from one shot to another, but within a given shot. Relaxing into the sling should produce greater consistency. Now there are times I’ve had to pull in with my hands, because I had the sling set a little too loose or it slid down my upper arm and I had no time to re-adjust, but I would prefer not to do so if possible.

    • Pete,

      I only think it’s a bad habit when it carries over to venues where it isn’t appropriate. When I was using something other than the sling for support, and the sling was no longer there to provide that back pressure, I was not filling that need because of the habit that I had picked up on when sling shooting was my entire rifle shooting universe.


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