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A Stern Warning: Never Assume Your Rifle, Scope Will Work

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October 24, 2011

A Stern Warning: Never Assume Your Rifle, Scope Will Work

By David E. Petzal

Now that hunting season is here, many of us are tempted to grab our trusted smokepoles and head for the fields and forests. But what your trusted smokepole may hand you, rather than a dead animal, is a sharp rap in the nuts, metaphorically speaking, of course. You never, ever, assume that a rifle/scope will work.

This was brought home yet again by a friend of mine whom I met at the range a few days before he was to head for Canada. The trigger of the rifle he had planned to bring had gone weird; the sear would not hold, and he had to send it back to the maker for repairs. So this morning he had brought his backup gun, a veteran of 25 years’ flawless service. Lo and behold, the first shot was not even on the paper. We boresighted the gun and the crosshairs were 8 feet off to the left. Unbeknownst to my friend, someone had dropped the rifle or otherwise screwed with it.

Then the bolt would not pull cases far enough back so the ejector could kick them clear. All told, a useless firearm. He is going to his second-tier backup gun, which will probably work. The point is, had he not had the sense to take his rifle to the range before he left for Canada, he would find himself in the boonies throwing rocks or pointed sticks instead of firing bullets.

As they say in the military, be advised.

Comments (56)

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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Always a good reminder. If you aren't 100% positive about where your projectile will go, you aren't ANY bit sure about where it's going to go. Kinda like "If you ain't first, you're last."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

My father-in-law has a rifle he pulls out of the safe once a year, pulls the trigger on an animal then he places it back in the safe til next year. As you say, he is asking for a kick in the nuts.

Myself, I enjoy the practice.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I always take a back up (in the same caliber, same ammo, sighted in the same as the primary) unless i am back pack hunting and then I only use rifles with iron sight backup in case my scope were happen to fail. On said backcountry hunts only use fixed power scopes as they have performed more realibly for me than variables.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Murphy's Law I guess. You also don't have a guarantee the rifle/shotgun will work when you arrive at your destination. If I am going out of state I do take a back up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

DEP, does your friend live or work near the Bermuda triangle? Those occurrences are not on the common side of things.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cody5 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Dave,
A similar scenario happened to my dad a couple of years ago. He hasn't shot a deer in quite a long time and had an opportunity to harvest a buck. When the deer came into range he pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He cycled the bolt, figuring he hadn't loaded a round in the chamber. He pulled the trigger and again nothing. He brought the gun into camp and removed the bolt. What he found was that his firing pin had frozen up. A couple of raps on the bolt and it was functioning fine. But he missed out on the chance to harvest a buck. I asked if he wanted to go to the range a shoot his rifle. He replied "Naw, I fired it last year." I guess he's headed for another "kick in the nuts." I would have to agree with buckhunter, I to enjoy to practice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

It happens.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

That's wny I stopped using a scope. A peep sight works just fine for me where I hunt. By a half hour after sunset I can't see anything anyway, even with a good scope. Killed my last deer at 130 yards using a peep sight however I must admit I thought I was taking a bog doe, but it turned out to be a cowhorn buck. The horns blended into the background and I never saw them. A scope would have let me see the horns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

whitefish

My backup rifle for any rifle including my 338 Win Mag, is my trusty Old 03-A3 30-06 my Father Custom built for me when I was 12. It has never let me down and still has the original Weaver K-6 scope.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I'll pick,

someone screwed with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I rode my bicycle 3 miles into a closed logging area on openning day. Wrecked on my bike and put new scars on my rifle and its scope... Probably a good thing that I didn't get a shooting opportunity at a deer. Getting back out to the range is 1st on my "to do" list when my schedule lets up.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

how about the ammo? have we reached the point where we don't have to worry about duds anymore?

If you read WDM (Karamojo) Bell's logic for choosing the 7mm Mauser, it was mainly because the German-made, 173-grain full metal case ammunition (Dynamit Nobel) was very reliable, going bang every time. But in terms of performance, Bell also liked the heavy bullet loads in 6.5 (160 grains) and the .303 (215 grains). It's just that the 7mm Mauser had higher quality control at the factory.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,
John Barsness shares the same idea, his extreme weather rifle a decade back (before he started downsizing due to his decreasing tolerance for recoil) was a .338 built on a military Mauser 98, including the original military trigger. Your 1903-A3 should be damn near bulletproof.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay, I'm sure this had not happened to the gentleman Dave spoke of before, your trusty 03 may just experience the same oneday....Because it is 03 or someone custom built it for you, things can happen....I think so even if you have just checked it out before going...Same as an Auto, airplane or boat.... even your airconditioner on the first really hot day here in the South..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay, I'm sure this had not happened to the gentleman Dave spoke of before, your trusty 03 may just experience the same oneday....Because it is 03 or someone custom built it for you, things can happen....I think so even if you have just checked it out before going...Same as an Auto, airplane or boat.... even your airconditioner on the first really hot day here in the South..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

My fun thing was when I got a 1905 vintage restored Drilling back from my Gunsmith...and at the first firing at some Blue Grouse on Rattlesnake Mtn., both barrels
(12 gauge) went off at the same time. I had heavy Fiocchi
loads...the gun had a Biesen steel buttplate & I had a light T-Shirt on. When I broke the gun open, both barrels
had empty shells. I continued firing, loading only 1 barrel until I got my limit of Blue Grouse. It was the heaviest, most painful recoil I had ever experienced!
Tom from Cody (the gunsmith remedied the problem later)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fordman155 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Hope is not a plan. Experience is a great teacher, especially when you or I never even thought about something going wrong that could have been avoided. I failed to verify the scope settings three years ago with my 25-06, likely causing me to miss a mature white tail badly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay,

I like the sound of that Springfield of yours

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Basheer Benhalim wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

This is just another great lesson in why shooting your rifle regularly keeps your equipment operating properly. My favorite are the guys that go and shoot throw dirty guns back in the case and wonder why things don't operate as they are "supposed" to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The wisdom of Finn Aagaard shines forth. A simple and rugged rifle, like a 98 Mauser sporter, with quality optics and backup iron sights. And never lend out your favorite rifle or hunting dog.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kimber708 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

@ DuckCreekDick - One of the pearls of wisdom from my Father that I will forever cherish is "Never lend anyone your gun or your chainsaw". I keep a "loaner" rifle for just those occasions. I will lend out the old Ruger .44 carbine: anyone can handle the recoil, it is light to carry and quick to point - it is not beautiful, nor a ballistic juggernaut, but it has put venison in the freezer before.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

O Garcia, I was at the range yesterday. In 20 years of rifle shooting, I had my 1st misfire with factory ammo yesterday. I was surpised to say the least. So it still does happen occasionally. Gave me a lot of confidence too knowing that was my last tune up before my trip to Maine.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I honestly DON'T enjoy sighting in, target practice yes, but slow and methodical sighting in is too close to work for my liking!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

fordman155, there is no way to miss a deer 'well'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Two stories about the importance of checking to make sure everything’s working like it should. Several years ago, I was working in an outdoor sports store in Helena. I had a gentleman ask me what we charged to bore sight rifles. When I told him it was a free service, he brought in a Weatherby rifle with a Swarovski scope on it. What I REALLY wanted to ask him was if he was going to go make sure he was hitting where he was aiming, but if I were a betting man, I’d say ‘No’, because this was the night before Opening Day! Bet he blamed his EXPENSIVE toy when he didn’t hit anything!! The other story happened to me. I have an old surplus ’06, and I had some work done on it. When I tried to sight it in, I couldn’t hit the same place twice, even at 25 yds!! I took it home, and noticed the scope seemed a little canted, so I went to straighten the crosshairs, and that’s when I discovered that one of the scope rings hadn’t been tightened down. It’s AMAZING what 2 little screws can do to affect your accuracy!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Oh, by the way, I have a mule deer rack hanging on my wall, because my Brother got a SERIOUS case of 'buck fever', and FORGOT to use the rear sight, so even open sights are the absolute answer, either. In case you're wondering, no, I DON'T 'remind' him of this...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

if this person or any other person for that matter spent more time at the range, none of this would happen!!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

if this person or any other person for that matter spent more time at the range, none of this would happen!!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CJ wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

All of you who admit to being so lazy or uninformed about firearm maintenance deserve a swift kick in the nuts!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ol Krusty wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I had something simaler happen to me once coyote hunting. I had set up and called a dog in that stopped 50 yards from where I was. I pulled up the trusty 223 and let er rip, but it ripped 2 feet to the right of the dog. Upon sulking back to the truck I heared rattling on the rifle and upon inspection found that the scope bases were loose. What really made me mad was that not three days before that I had shot the rifle and had a good enough group of about 1 1/2 at 100 yards. Now whenever I go in the field I always check my scope, I hate training dogs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The other day my neighbor gave me a scope with the lighted crosshairs, so thinking it would be good for late evening coyotes I put it on my .204, removing a scope that was dead on. After boresighting, off to the range aai went. I could not get the scope to hit within 12" of the bullseye. upon examining the scope I noticed the crosshairs would move when you moved my head. I know about scopes with adj. obj. lenses and that this happens when shootig at longer ranges than sighted in, but nothing would correct this. So back with the original scope, bore sighting and two more boxes of ammo I have a jig to check scopes before mounting but I didn't use it,being in a hurry to mount this scope, never will happen again...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The other day my neighbor gave me a scope with the lighted crosshairs, so thinking it would be good for late evening coyotes I put it on my .204, removing a scope that was dead on. After boresighting, off to the range aai went. I could not get the scope to hit within 12" of the bullseye. upon examining the scope I noticed the crosshairs would move when you moved my head. I know about scopes with adj. obj. lenses and that this happens when shootig at longer ranges than sighted in, but nothing would correct this. So back with the original scope, bore sighting and two more boxes of ammo I have a jig to check scopes before mounting but I didn't use it,being in a hurry to mount this scope, never will happen again...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

sorry about the double post, itching trigger finger....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I always shoot all of my big game firearms before taking them to the field.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Thats what I tell my wife,If you don't work I'll get one that does.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Sarg,

Keep in mind that you will always notice parallax in a scope if you are shooting closer that what the set value of the scope is (usually 100yds; or 50 on a muzzie scope or .22 scope) or whatever value the adjustable objective is set.

As long as you have a good cheek weld, it shouldn't amount to 12" at normal sight-in ranges. Maybe it was just a bad scope?

Good luck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

All of my Rifles have always worked perfectly,,,well maybe not. Iv'e had bad mounts that went to hell, bent and came loose, and bad scopes too. I won't mention the brand, Ba***a. I still have 2 to sight in out of 30.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redbone wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I always check my equipment all the time. Need to trust it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Murdoc32, How did you know My scope was a Ba***a? That's what it was, I didn't care about the scope being bad, I got upset because I didn.t take time to check it out fist, Now it's back to the range,two boxes of ammo .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Oryx, you are correct, On my .308,Rem700 I always use na scope with an adj. obj.lense and familar with the workings. I was just wanting to try the lighted crosshair for late evening coyote hunting. I knew it was a less expensive scope ,but it must have been a "Senior moment" to remove the scope off a .204 that was right on the week before, but shooting is a fun game and I will enjoy putting it back on. As I reload my .204 it's not expensive, and I got to try some 45gr. loadings to see if they would stabilize. They did quite well. As Dave was trying to get acrosswas that things can go wrong when not expecting it.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Since no one wants to mention the name brand of the lousy scope(s) I will-Barska-However, I have one Barska scope that works fine (at least out to 200 yds)had two others that came with package deals from Gander Mtn. for nieces and nephews that were junk.

Just proves that it's never a good idea to put cheap glass on any rifle, or you just increase the chance of something going wrong.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Ohiodeerhunter, good post, sad but true....By the way, what part of Ohio do you hail from?I'm just across the river between Portsmouth and Huntington WVA.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Honestly, when you think about the mental, physical, meteorological, chemical and mechanical elements that have to come together to make a successful shot, it's surprising that anything ever goes right,rather than wrong!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Never assume anything when it comes to guns. I put a synthetic stock on a rifle and the first time I worked the bolt it fired off a round by itself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Some people would say that I'm a little obsessive compulsive about my guns, but whenever I use them, I want the to work properly.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

My beloved older brother, who would make Scrooge McDuck look like a drunken sailor on payday, never checks his rifle before deer season. Wasting bullets on paper is not in his getting ready playbook even though he reloads. (I told you he is tight.) His chickens came home to roost 3 years ago when he missed a potential record book whitetail in a wide open wheatfield five consecutive rounds. The deer was running only on the last 2 shots. Yup, three misses on a standing still deer at less than 200 yards. I offered him $200 on the spot for his pre-Garcia Sako Finnbear deluxe 7mm magnum and he damn near took me up on it. Moral of the story is, he ended up shooting a box and a half before we got it back 2" high at a 100. Ol' Murphy (who loves hunters, clay target shooters, and fisherman) had worked his malicious evil while the rifle was in the safe between seasons. Me, I like to pull the trigger and smell a little powder before the first day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Gotta give ya one more; Reading the history of Purdey a month ago I learned of an embarrassing incident with the distinguished shotgun makers. It seemed during the tenure of Athol Purdey as general manager a client ordered a matched pair of guns for the opening of Scotland's red grouse season. However, on opening day, neither gun would fire! The irate client sent the guns back to London on a train and made a scathing phone call to Athol regarding the mishap. It seems in the final assembly of these fine shotguns, the actioner had neglected to install the firing pins and no one caught the mistake. The ass-chewing of the entire staff of Purdeys ended with Athol declaring "When a man pays this kind of money for one of my guns, he damn well expects the bloody thing to go bang!"
Nuff' said

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

sarg,

You should have known it was a POS if he just gave it to you! Barska? Right up there with a Centerpoint from Wally-world!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

You might add Rangefinders to the list of rifles and scopes that are assumed to work correctly but sometimes don't. Not ensuring all your gear is working correctly definitely adds to the woulda, shoulda, coulda file of alibis and excuses. One of my most inspiring characters in the US Army, a Sergeant Major, once told me that the maximum effective range of an alibi or excuse is zero meters. You know what they say about frogs....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bwana Hunter wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Reference "Never assume your rifle ( any gun..) will work", etc..

Open up a FaceBook page, type in the window >Stupid People And Guns.WMV< without the brackets - and see a truly stupid moron who despite himself learns a lesson the really hard way..!!!

Avoid these types by a country mile Partners.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pkinstle wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I have a relative, that paid big money to hunt a Nebraska hunt, who was sure his fire arm was in good working order. After missing three shots at a 170 class deer and much prodding from his wife (smart lady, I might add) sighted his scope in. It was off by more than three inches, he did not take a deer on this trip! After the plane ride and all the hustle and bustle, how long does it take to fire a couple of rounds down range to be sure?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pkinstle wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

You know what they say assumption, makes an A** out of you and me!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

A very long time ago I learned my lesson about trusting equipment to be the same as when you last used it. I had dismounted my scope and left it on my book case at my mother's house. My sister and her two daughters had stayed with my mother briefly - the girls were using my old room and, you guessed it, found the scope and were playing with it.

I came back from college, remounted the scope and took it to the range to get ready for deer season. The shots were all over the target even at 25 yards. I went home and found out that the girls had left the scope on the floor where my mother had stepped on it by accident. I then noticed that the adjustment screws were very loose. I now keep the scopes locked up as well as my firearms!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

i'd love to shoot mine enough to make sure its always dead on, but i don't love paying 30 bucks for a box of 20 shells. I usually only test my deer rifle a few times a year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Just looking around in older blogs and came across this one. I have two comments to make on the subject. Always carry two of all the essentials you thing you will need and then add one more.
Put the right scope on the right gun. Like do not put a scope made for a rifle on a sluggun or an air rifle. I have had two very good redfiels that went south from shooting them on a sluggun.
Bippity, try taking up re;oading your own ammo. The cost of a decent outfit is around $300.00 but it will pay for itsself very quickly. It is not all that hard to reload and it is still cost effective. I can load around 100 rds for $30.00 and so can you.

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from Mr_Hunter wrote 16 weeks 1 day ago

so true. I've been caught out by this and learnt the hard way. ALWAYS make sure your scope is zeroed before taking a no-fail shot www.bestriflescopereview.net

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I always take a back up (in the same caliber, same ammo, sighted in the same as the primary) unless i am back pack hunting and then I only use rifles with iron sight backup in case my scope were happen to fail. On said backcountry hunts only use fixed power scopes as they have performed more realibly for me than variables.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

My father-in-law has a rifle he pulls out of the safe once a year, pulls the trigger on an animal then he places it back in the safe til next year. As you say, he is asking for a kick in the nuts.

Myself, I enjoy the practice.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from cody5 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Dave,
A similar scenario happened to my dad a couple of years ago. He hasn't shot a deer in quite a long time and had an opportunity to harvest a buck. When the deer came into range he pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He cycled the bolt, figuring he hadn't loaded a round in the chamber. He pulled the trigger and again nothing. He brought the gun into camp and removed the bolt. What he found was that his firing pin had frozen up. A couple of raps on the bolt and it was functioning fine. But he missed out on the chance to harvest a buck. I asked if he wanted to go to the range a shoot his rifle. He replied "Naw, I fired it last year." I guess he's headed for another "kick in the nuts." I would have to agree with buckhunter, I to enjoy to practice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

whitefish

My backup rifle for any rifle including my 338 Win Mag, is my trusty Old 03-A3 30-06 my Father Custom built for me when I was 12. It has never let me down and still has the original Weaver K-6 scope.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

how about the ammo? have we reached the point where we don't have to worry about duds anymore?

If you read WDM (Karamojo) Bell's logic for choosing the 7mm Mauser, it was mainly because the German-made, 173-grain full metal case ammunition (Dynamit Nobel) was very reliable, going bang every time. But in terms of performance, Bell also liked the heavy bullet loads in 6.5 (160 grains) and the .303 (215 grains). It's just that the 7mm Mauser had higher quality control at the factory.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

My fun thing was when I got a 1905 vintage restored Drilling back from my Gunsmith...and at the first firing at some Blue Grouse on Rattlesnake Mtn., both barrels
(12 gauge) went off at the same time. I had heavy Fiocchi
loads...the gun had a Biesen steel buttplate & I had a light T-Shirt on. When I broke the gun open, both barrels
had empty shells. I continued firing, loading only 1 barrel until I got my limit of Blue Grouse. It was the heaviest, most painful recoil I had ever experienced!
Tom from Cody (the gunsmith remedied the problem later)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fordman155 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Hope is not a plan. Experience is a great teacher, especially when you or I never even thought about something going wrong that could have been avoided. I failed to verify the scope settings three years ago with my 25-06, likely causing me to miss a mature white tail badly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

That's wny I stopped using a scope. A peep sight works just fine for me where I hunt. By a half hour after sunset I can't see anything anyway, even with a good scope. Killed my last deer at 130 yards using a peep sight however I must admit I thought I was taking a bog doe, but it turned out to be a cowhorn buck. The horns blended into the background and I never saw them. A scope would have let me see the horns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I rode my bicycle 3 miles into a closed logging area on openning day. Wrecked on my bike and put new scars on my rifle and its scope... Probably a good thing that I didn't get a shooting opportunity at a deer. Getting back out to the range is 1st on my "to do" list when my schedule lets up.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay,

I like the sound of that Springfield of yours

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Basheer Benhalim wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

This is just another great lesson in why shooting your rifle regularly keeps your equipment operating properly. My favorite are the guys that go and shoot throw dirty guns back in the case and wonder why things don't operate as they are "supposed" to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The wisdom of Finn Aagaard shines forth. A simple and rugged rifle, like a 98 Mauser sporter, with quality optics and backup iron sights. And never lend out your favorite rifle or hunting dog.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kimber708 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

@ DuckCreekDick - One of the pearls of wisdom from my Father that I will forever cherish is "Never lend anyone your gun or your chainsaw". I keep a "loaner" rifle for just those occasions. I will lend out the old Ruger .44 carbine: anyone can handle the recoil, it is light to carry and quick to point - it is not beautiful, nor a ballistic juggernaut, but it has put venison in the freezer before.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Two stories about the importance of checking to make sure everything’s working like it should. Several years ago, I was working in an outdoor sports store in Helena. I had a gentleman ask me what we charged to bore sight rifles. When I told him it was a free service, he brought in a Weatherby rifle with a Swarovski scope on it. What I REALLY wanted to ask him was if he was going to go make sure he was hitting where he was aiming, but if I were a betting man, I’d say ‘No’, because this was the night before Opening Day! Bet he blamed his EXPENSIVE toy when he didn’t hit anything!! The other story happened to me. I have an old surplus ’06, and I had some work done on it. When I tried to sight it in, I couldn’t hit the same place twice, even at 25 yds!! I took it home, and noticed the scope seemed a little canted, so I went to straighten the crosshairs, and that’s when I discovered that one of the scope rings hadn’t been tightened down. It’s AMAZING what 2 little screws can do to affect your accuracy!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ol Krusty wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I had something simaler happen to me once coyote hunting. I had set up and called a dog in that stopped 50 yards from where I was. I pulled up the trusty 223 and let er rip, but it ripped 2 feet to the right of the dog. Upon sulking back to the truck I heared rattling on the rifle and upon inspection found that the scope bases were loose. What really made me mad was that not three days before that I had shot the rifle and had a good enough group of about 1 1/2 at 100 yards. Now whenever I go in the field I always check my scope, I hate training dogs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redbone wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I always check my equipment all the time. Need to trust it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Always a good reminder. If you aren't 100% positive about where your projectile will go, you aren't ANY bit sure about where it's going to go. Kinda like "If you ain't first, you're last."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Murphy's Law I guess. You also don't have a guarantee the rifle/shotgun will work when you arrive at your destination. If I am going out of state I do take a back up.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

DEP, does your friend live or work near the Bermuda triangle? Those occurrences are not on the common side of things.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

It happens.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I'll pick,

someone screwed with it.

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from O Garcia wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,
John Barsness shares the same idea, his extreme weather rifle a decade back (before he started downsizing due to his decreasing tolerance for recoil) was a .338 built on a military Mauser 98, including the original military trigger. Your 1903-A3 should be damn near bulletproof.

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from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay, I'm sure this had not happened to the gentleman Dave spoke of before, your trusty 03 may just experience the same oneday....Because it is 03 or someone custom built it for you, things can happen....I think so even if you have just checked it out before going...Same as an Auto, airplane or boat.... even your airconditioner on the first really hot day here in the South..

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from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Clay, I'm sure this had not happened to the gentleman Dave spoke of before, your trusty 03 may just experience the same oneday....Because it is 03 or someone custom built it for you, things can happen....I think so even if you have just checked it out before going...Same as an Auto, airplane or boat.... even your airconditioner on the first really hot day here in the South..

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from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

O Garcia, I was at the range yesterday. In 20 years of rifle shooting, I had my 1st misfire with factory ammo yesterday. I was surpised to say the least. So it still does happen occasionally. Gave me a lot of confidence too knowing that was my last tune up before my trip to Maine.

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I honestly DON'T enjoy sighting in, target practice yes, but slow and methodical sighting in is too close to work for my liking!

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

fordman155, there is no way to miss a deer 'well'.

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from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Oh, by the way, I have a mule deer rack hanging on my wall, because my Brother got a SERIOUS case of 'buck fever', and FORGOT to use the rear sight, so even open sights are the absolute answer, either. In case you're wondering, no, I DON'T 'remind' him of this...

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from coachsjike wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

if this person or any other person for that matter spent more time at the range, none of this would happen!!!!

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from coachsjike wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

if this person or any other person for that matter spent more time at the range, none of this would happen!!!!

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from CJ wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

All of you who admit to being so lazy or uninformed about firearm maintenance deserve a swift kick in the nuts!

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from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The other day my neighbor gave me a scope with the lighted crosshairs, so thinking it would be good for late evening coyotes I put it on my .204, removing a scope that was dead on. After boresighting, off to the range aai went. I could not get the scope to hit within 12" of the bullseye. upon examining the scope I noticed the crosshairs would move when you moved my head. I know about scopes with adj. obj. lenses and that this happens when shootig at longer ranges than sighted in, but nothing would correct this. So back with the original scope, bore sighting and two more boxes of ammo I have a jig to check scopes before mounting but I didn't use it,being in a hurry to mount this scope, never will happen again...

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from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

The other day my neighbor gave me a scope with the lighted crosshairs, so thinking it would be good for late evening coyotes I put it on my .204, removing a scope that was dead on. After boresighting, off to the range aai went. I could not get the scope to hit within 12" of the bullseye. upon examining the scope I noticed the crosshairs would move when you moved my head. I know about scopes with adj. obj. lenses and that this happens when shootig at longer ranges than sighted in, but nothing would correct this. So back with the original scope, bore sighting and two more boxes of ammo I have a jig to check scopes before mounting but I didn't use it,being in a hurry to mount this scope, never will happen again...

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from sarg wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

sorry about the double post, itching trigger finger....

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from 007 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

I always shoot all of my big game firearms before taking them to the field.

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from hutter wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Thats what I tell my wife,If you don't work I'll get one that does.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Sarg,

Keep in mind that you will always notice parallax in a scope if you are shooting closer that what the set value of the scope is (usually 100yds; or 50 on a muzzie scope or .22 scope) or whatever value the adjustable objective is set.

As long as you have a good cheek weld, it shouldn't amount to 12" at normal sight-in ranges. Maybe it was just a bad scope?

Good luck.

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from murdock32 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

All of my Rifles have always worked perfectly,,,well maybe not. Iv'e had bad mounts that went to hell, bent and came loose, and bad scopes too. I won't mention the brand, Ba***a. I still have 2 to sight in out of 30.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Honestly, when you think about the mental, physical, meteorological, chemical and mechanical elements that have to come together to make a successful shot, it's surprising that anything ever goes right,rather than wrong!

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

My beloved older brother, who would make Scrooge McDuck look like a drunken sailor on payday, never checks his rifle before deer season. Wasting bullets on paper is not in his getting ready playbook even though he reloads. (I told you he is tight.) His chickens came home to roost 3 years ago when he missed a potential record book whitetail in a wide open wheatfield five consecutive rounds. The deer was running only on the last 2 shots. Yup, three misses on a standing still deer at less than 200 yards. I offered him $200 on the spot for his pre-Garcia Sako Finnbear deluxe 7mm magnum and he damn near took me up on it. Moral of the story is, he ended up shooting a box and a half before we got it back 2" high at a 100. Ol' Murphy (who loves hunters, clay target shooters, and fisherman) had worked his malicious evil while the rifle was in the safe between seasons. Me, I like to pull the trigger and smell a little powder before the first day.

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from Bwana Hunter wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Reference "Never assume your rifle ( any gun..) will work", etc..

Open up a FaceBook page, type in the window >Stupid People And Guns.WMV< without the brackets - and see a truly stupid moron who despite himself learns a lesson the really hard way..!!!

Avoid these types by a country mile Partners.

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from pkinstle wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

You know what they say assumption, makes an A** out of you and me!

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from Mr_Hunter wrote 16 weeks 1 day ago

so true. I've been caught out by this and learnt the hard way. ALWAYS make sure your scope is zeroed before taking a no-fail shot www.bestriflescopereview.net

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from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Murdoc32, How did you know My scope was a Ba***a? That's what it was, I didn't care about the scope being bad, I got upset because I didn.t take time to check it out fist, Now it's back to the range,two boxes of ammo .

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from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Oryx, you are correct, On my .308,Rem700 I always use na scope with an adj. obj.lense and familar with the workings. I was just wanting to try the lighted crosshair for late evening coyote hunting. I knew it was a less expensive scope ,but it must have been a "Senior moment" to remove the scope off a .204 that was right on the week before, but shooting is a fun game and I will enjoy putting it back on. As I reload my .204 it's not expensive, and I got to try some 45gr. loadings to see if they would stabilize. They did quite well. As Dave was trying to get acrosswas that things can go wrong when not expecting it.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Since no one wants to mention the name brand of the lousy scope(s) I will-Barska-However, I have one Barska scope that works fine (at least out to 200 yds)had two others that came with package deals from Gander Mtn. for nieces and nephews that were junk.

Just proves that it's never a good idea to put cheap glass on any rifle, or you just increase the chance of something going wrong.

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from sarg wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Ohiodeerhunter, good post, sad but true....By the way, what part of Ohio do you hail from?I'm just across the river between Portsmouth and Huntington WVA.

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Never assume anything when it comes to guns. I put a synthetic stock on a rifle and the first time I worked the bolt it fired off a round by itself.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Gotta give ya one more; Reading the history of Purdey a month ago I learned of an embarrassing incident with the distinguished shotgun makers. It seemed during the tenure of Athol Purdey as general manager a client ordered a matched pair of guns for the opening of Scotland's red grouse season. However, on opening day, neither gun would fire! The irate client sent the guns back to London on a train and made a scathing phone call to Athol regarding the mishap. It seems in the final assembly of these fine shotguns, the actioner had neglected to install the firing pins and no one caught the mistake. The ass-chewing of the entire staff of Purdeys ended with Athol declaring "When a man pays this kind of money for one of my guns, he damn well expects the bloody thing to go bang!"
Nuff' said

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

sarg,

You should have known it was a POS if he just gave it to you! Barska? Right up there with a Centerpoint from Wally-world!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

You might add Rangefinders to the list of rifles and scopes that are assumed to work correctly but sometimes don't. Not ensuring all your gear is working correctly definitely adds to the woulda, shoulda, coulda file of alibis and excuses. One of my most inspiring characters in the US Army, a Sergeant Major, once told me that the maximum effective range of an alibi or excuse is zero meters. You know what they say about frogs....

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from pkinstle wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I have a relative, that paid big money to hunt a Nebraska hunt, who was sure his fire arm was in good working order. After missing three shots at a 170 class deer and much prodding from his wife (smart lady, I might add) sighted his scope in. It was off by more than three inches, he did not take a deer on this trip! After the plane ride and all the hustle and bustle, how long does it take to fire a couple of rounds down range to be sure?

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from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

A very long time ago I learned my lesson about trusting equipment to be the same as when you last used it. I had dismounted my scope and left it on my book case at my mother's house. My sister and her two daughters had stayed with my mother briefly - the girls were using my old room and, you guessed it, found the scope and were playing with it.

I came back from college, remounted the scope and took it to the range to get ready for deer season. The shots were all over the target even at 25 yards. I went home and found out that the girls had left the scope on the floor where my mother had stepped on it by accident. I then noticed that the adjustment screws were very loose. I now keep the scopes locked up as well as my firearms!

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from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

i'd love to shoot mine enough to make sure its always dead on, but i don't love paying 30 bucks for a box of 20 shells. I usually only test my deer rifle a few times a year.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Just looking around in older blogs and came across this one. I have two comments to make on the subject. Always carry two of all the essentials you thing you will need and then add one more.
Put the right scope on the right gun. Like do not put a scope made for a rifle on a sluggun or an air rifle. I have had two very good redfiels that went south from shooting them on a sluggun.
Bippity, try taking up re;oading your own ammo. The cost of a decent outfit is around $300.00 but it will pay for itsself very quickly. It is not all that hard to reload and it is still cost effective. I can load around 100 rds for $30.00 and so can you.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Some people would say that I'm a little obsessive compulsive about my guns, but whenever I use them, I want the to work properly.

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