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A Cautionary Tale

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October 12, 2012

A Cautionary Tale

By David E. Petzal

This past weekend, at my shooting club, I helped run an event we call the Running Deer, in which a more or less life-sized deer silhouette travels 30 yards at 12 miles an hour, and the shooters, who are 100 yards away, get five shots at it. A perfect score is a 50; qualifying is 34. There are very few 50s, and there are a great many shooters who dishonor themselves with 20s and lower, but no one shoots a zero.

But by crackey, on this Saturday, there I was, looking at a zero.

“Who the hell shot that?” I asked on the radio.

“Tony M.,” said the range officer.

“Lizard s**t,” I said, “he wouldn’t shoot a score like that if you chopped off both his arms.”

But it was true, and the reason I tell the tale here is because Tony M. is a Distinguished Rifleman, and the most careful, meticulous, and hardest-working shooter I know. The reason for his zero is, he had trouble with his scope, re-mounted it, bore-sighted it, but forgot to actually zero it in.

So take away two lessons from this: First, bore-sighting does not mean lizard s**t as far as being able to hit anything is concerned. Second, if something like that can happen to a rifleman as competent as Tony M., it can happen to any of us.

Comments (40)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No, you're wrong there. I would never put a bore-sighted-only rifle into action in either the field or competition (but, of course, I never compete anyway).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Yeah, thats a pretty egregious. I guess if you are constantly fiddling with rifles and have lots of them; you could loose track. I don't have financial means to have that problem.

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from jay wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

*egregious error.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have had a rifle fall and hit the scope and knock it out of whack during the season on year. Solution: Pull the scope and go open sights. For a running deer open sights probably have been more accurate anyway.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Onatario,
I saw your spot on Outdoor Channel, congrats. The hat you'll get is cool.

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from fishead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

always an excuse

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Uncle Dave;
I know you would not bird-terd us, but something here just does not ring right.
what's up ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What wuz dat ol'saying?

Not a question of if, but when....

If it haven't happen to you yet, you haven't been around long enough!

Hey Dave, how many shot the wire?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

100 yards? I remember the good ol'days during a Tucson Arizona Gun Club Turkey Shoot, we did it at 200 yards "MOP".

“When tyranny hits the fan and the 'Firearms Control Section Gestapo' stops by to confiscate your firearms, do the right thing...give'em the ammunition first.”
-the Tucson (Arizona) Rifle Club newsletter, 1999-Sep

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Hats with guns on them are not legal in Canada....

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What are you guys talking about? I don't have cable so don't get the outdoors channel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Guy shows up at a public range with a refrigerator carton in the back of his truck. He drags it out 35 yards from the bench, pulls a rust caked Mossberg thutty-thutty out from under his truck seat and proceeds to punch two holes in the carton off hand.
He tosses the gun back under the seat, turns to the gang at the bench and says, "That'll kill a deer!" and drives off!
There's no excusing some folks.
BTW, the two holes? About a foot apart.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I've done some real boneheaded stuff myself but forgetting to zero the rifle after mounting a new scope and boresighting it, isn't one of them , YET, So I will pass no judgement on poor Tony M. Besidesa, he is sure to get enough lizard s**t from his fellow club members.

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from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am guilty of once having a gunsmith mount a scope on a Marlin 30-30 and taking it out to shoot with friends who were all zeroing their rifles. I could not even get "on paper" even at 50 yards. I made the mistake of trusting the gunsmith to align the scope and boresight it. All he had done was mount it on the rifle. Lesson learned.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Dale Freeman: What are you talking about? There's no subtext here. Also, turd is spelled with a u.

To Clay Cooper: No one shot the wire, but a great many shots went into the berm 10 feet below the deer (flinches) and some others parts of the mechanism were hit, so unlikely that it left us all scratching our heads.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I feel for the shooter, my first year deer hunting after a few years away at school I had a 10 point buck which had to be at least 250 on the hoof (we grow em big in Canada)I fired a shot from my dads open sight Model 94 30.30 and missed him by a mile....silly inexperienced me grabbed the gun from the closet and assumed it was bang on, it wasn't. When I got back to the camp, no less than 4 of us missed a target at 50 yards...turns out the gun was shooting a foot left and 18 inches low at 50 yards, rest assured I have never made that mistake again and as I have forever ticked the hunting Gods off, I have never again had a chance at a deer period, let alone a brute like that.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I've never and never would go hunting with a rifle that had only been bore-sighted and would never expect to hit paper or game at 100-yards with a bore-sighted rifle, but I think you'd be surprised how many once-a-year shooters think they're good to go with a bore-sighted gun. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that most people who head to the deer woods each fall are pretty indifferent about the technical (and I mean that in the most basic sense) side of shooting.
Bore-sighting should put you on the paper at 25-yards and that should get you on the paper at 100. But bore-sighting doesn't account for barrel vibration, bedding, Satan's minions or any of the other dozens of things that make bullets go where they go. Yet I remember plenty of times overhearing people at various deer camps and sporting goods counters declaring themselves field-ready because their rifles has been bore-sighted. Once in a dozen blue moons a bore-sighted rifle may be right on the money, but you could win a large stack of coins betting against it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have another cautionary tale to add for those hunting with muzzleloaders.

If you have any doubts about the condition of you gun or the powder in it clean it and load it with a fresh charge.

Two years ago during the last week of muzzleloader season in VA a hunting buddy of mine shot a nice doe in the snow and reloaded his gun right after the shot in the woods. That night my friend asked my opinion on whether or not he should clean his rifle. I said its up to you and what could go wrong. Well he did not clean and reload it and the next day he had another doe stand in spitting distance and the only thing that went off was the primer. At lunch we learned an interesting thing about tripple seven pellets; they turn into bearing grease when wet. Somehow my friend had gotten snow in his barrel and it cost him a deer.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

In all my years of shooting, only one Fella was dead on at 100 yards and 2 ½ inches high with a boresighter. As for everyone else, they'll pass for a somewhat decent group of "OO" Buchshot!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I get far better results by removing the bolt, benching the rifle and looking down the bore in relation to the scope.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What would happen to us, the zero score or forgetting to actually sight in a scope?? Yeah, maybe one of those is true but its definitely not forgetting to sight in my rifle all the way. I've know since I was a wee lad that bore sighting doesnt mean jack. I haven't forgot to do it in the 22 years I've been shooting.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Yep, Clay, I have done that myself many times out the back window of my house sighting on a fence post at the end of the yard - preferably with all lights in the house turned off so no neighbor can't see what I'm doing. However, that technique doesn't work so well with my 760 pump. :-)

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from Marion Johnson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have at least two pounds of lizard s**t on my screened-in back porch right now should anyone need any.

Lizards come in for the insects and protection from road runners. Cat used to give them hell until he caught a copperhead & lost interest in reptiles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from micko77 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have next to zero experience with modern boresighting, but as has been mentioned, pulling the bolt and aligning bore and crosshairs usually gets me with 4-5 inches at 100 yards, a fair place to start. Here in Illinois it's mostly shotguns, which I've killed a few with a Mossberg 500 that likes a particular lot of Federal 1oz.'s I picked up after getting beat to heck sighting it in! Now it's mostly bow or handgun for me.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Good lesson. How about some comments on the many new laser bore sighting devices on the market today. Anybody use these?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When I worked at a local sports store, I bore sighted a a number of rifles and shotguns for people heading out for opening day of firearms deer season the night before! No sighting in for zero for most of these great hunters. Man did I get the complaints after they came back to the store to complain about how my "Bore sight job made them miss their deer!"

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sounds like we are all piling on boresighters. I love boresighters and never sight in a new rifle without one. First, they help you make sure your scope crosshairs are level; second, they have always gotten me on the paper at fifty yards. Then you go to the screwdriver. Ammo is too expensive to squander and boresighters save ammo. Tony M. probably sighted in a couple of guns that day and had a brain bubble. No problem.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Pending on equipment, while running the Base Range for recreational shooting, it's impossible not to turn down a fellow Shooter/Hunter who can't take the recoil on the bench to sight there rifle in. I've had better luck without using a boresighters and generally had the rifle ready to hunt within 7-10 shots at 200 yards. Speaking of this range it reminds me of two Clowns who sighted there 300 Mags in at 400 yards. There Ram was at 175ish (as usual) and walked away. While in Cabelas last Friday evening, a Fella wanted a scope to shoot out to 300 yards and nothing more. Of course the Employee was showing him all the Extraterrestrial Scopes with more knobs than than my HAM radio but I asked the Fella, what are you shooting? 270 WSM. I use a tad bit of holdover, place the crosshairs just on the back of the critter perhaps a bit higher pending on cartridge and load. What ever happened to know your equipment??? But this weekend hunting it reminded me today's ability just to find open land yet alone a place to shoot. Yes, a bit of hyperbole and rant, but the message is clear!

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sounds like a lot of fun!
dumb questions...
1) are these standing off-hand shots?
2) is the target moving perpendicular to the shooter?
3) do all hits on the target count equally?

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

All . . .

I made a mistake late last night that was about as boneheaded as any I've made with a rifle and a scope over the years. I mention it here to keep anyone else from doing the same thing.

Yesterday, even though it was a Saturday, was a long day. I had a million things to do, not much time to do them, and I also needed to handload some .257 AI and 7x57 Mauser ammo for my range session today. I also needed to mount and borescope a new-to-rifle scope to the 7x57 Mauser, since the scope I originally had on the rifle crapped out and went south. (Never buy really cheap optics. You get really cheap performance.)

The handloading yesterday went well. I was incredibly meticulous. Mildly conservative. I even used a full length sizing die. But it was late last night--near midnight, when I was already tired--before I found time to mount a replacement scope to my 7x57.

I thought the scope mounting on the 7x57 went well, too. I'll bet I spent twenty minutes fine-tuning the horizontal adjustment of the crosshairs on the Leupold Vari-X II scope. By golly, those crosshairs were perfect by the time I tightened the hex screws in their rings.

(Naturally, and of course, I left the hex wrench on my loading bench when I went to the range today. I mean, why would I need it at the range?)

My shooting with the .257 AI went really well this morning, even though I only got a few hours sleep last night. But after lots of coffee, a sight-in shot and a couple of zeroing shots, I buckled in and focused and hit the next five shots in .533/inch at 100 yards, with the first three of the five in .377. Even with the sight-in shot and the zeroing shots, which were not intended for group purposes, my overall eight-shot group was 1.04". I felt pretty good.

But my first sight-in shot with the 7x57 was weird. I had to walk to the 50-yard target to verify what my spotting scope told me, which was that I was barely on paper on a 2' x 2' target. I thought a lot of things. Might have said a few bad words.

Cause I know I did a good job boresighting the rifle.

And by golly, I know the crosshairs on the scope were perfectly aligned and level and even.

And the scope rings were properly tight, too, but not too tight.

And a Leupold Vari-X II is a decent scope.

Then I noticed the R/L adjustment knob and the U/D adjustment knob on my scope were exactly 90 degrees off. To the left. There is no parallex knob on the scope, but somehow I mentally (idiotically) rotated the R/L knob to the parallex knob position, and the U/D knob was where the R/L knob should have been.

There is a parallex knob on the Nikon Monarch scope on my .257 AI.

I would not have thought it remotely possible that I could so incorrectly mount a scope--any scope--on any rifle--but there it is. I did it.

Please don't do it too.

(Maybe I should have mounted the scope on backwards. At least I could claim a Halloween Trick or Treat gimmick.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Ripper III: Here's the way it works. The deer runs left to right and then right to left at right angles. There are five exposures, and you get one shot per exposure, which gives you time to cycle the action. It's offhand, scope no more than 4X, cartridge no smaller than .243. The shooter has to take each shot starting from the low gun position with the toe of the stock touching his belt. Scoring is 10 points for a hit in the heart-lung area, 7 for the guts, and 0 for the ear or lower leg.

There are two parts to mastering the event. First you have to figure out how much to lead you need. I shoot it with a .30/06, MV 2,700 fps, and found that I need to hold about 8 inches ahead of the body. The second part is remembering that it's essentially a shotgun shot, and you have to keep the rifle moving as you aim and pull the trigger.

Usually, the event is won by someone who can shoot four or five 50s in a row. The club record is, I believe 12 50s in a row by a shooter who just plain went into the Zone on that day.

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

@davidpetzal, thanks Dave, that sounds awesome, wish we had something like that down here.

I've made two running shots, on a pair of small hogs running through a swamp, hit the first hog behind the eye at a distance of 65 yds, the second hog broke hard to my left, I had to reach around the tree to shoot him, caught him behind the near shoulder at about the same distance.
I shot purely on instinct.
Like you said, it was just like wing shooting.

As to the boresighting issue, My bushnell 4200 has only had one adjustment in 6 seasons, and that only 1 " of windage, I did however miss a doe at 125 yds with a smooth bore shotgun under the mistaken notion that just because i hit a pumpkin at 100yds, I could repeat the shot at 125...should have taken a few more shots at the pumpkin parts.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Thanks for the stories and advice. Good stuff!

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

focusfront,
Re. "Sounds like we are all piling on boresighters. I love boresighters and never sight in a new rifle without one."

I didn't know if it was just me, but it sounds like you translated the same thing I did from some of the other comments. To me, "bore-sighting" is bore-sighting, whether you're using one of the mechanical gimmicks or just looking through the barrel to align your crosshairs with a stationary object. I own one of the laser bore-sighters that I picked up primarily to bore-sight my muzzleloaders. I still go the old-fashioned route with my bolt action rifles, simply because it's easier for me and I know it works. Either way, it's still bore-sighting, and all I ever figure that's worth is getting me on the paper at 25 yards, so that I can get on the paper at 100. At that point, I start making real adjustments.
Incidentally, I'm still one of those people who sights in .270/30-06/7mm-class rifles three inches high at 100 yards in order to be on the mark at from 250 to 275. Up to 300 I don't have to do any guessing. Anything much more than 325 and I'll do my damnedest to get closer. Offhand, I'd say 95-percent of all the mammals I've ever shot have been a good deal less than 200 yards away, with most of them well under 100.
If I ever need another hobby maybe I'll buy a multiple reticle/electronic/range-finding/computer-programmed scope with built-in stereo to fiddle with, but until then I think I'll leave them to astronomers and Swiss bankers.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Back in 1972 bought my first rifle a used Marlin 30-30. The store owner assured me the rifle was sighted in at 200 yd with it's open sights. A few days later took a shot at a deer standing broadsided about 150 yd out and my bullet hit the deer between the eyes. My aim was at the shoulder. Later at the range the rifle shot over a foot high left at 100 yds. Since then I ALWAYS shoot to check my sights every fall before going hunting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I like to shoot mine the DAY before a hunt if possible.

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from SARC1991 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A competent shooter wouldn't have forgotten to zero his scope....BUT for a 100 yards why would you need a scope?

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr.T.W. Davidson; Too Late. Been there done that. And when I figured out what I had done, the first thing I did was look around the range to see if any one noticed.

I may have 1 better. I saw guy once, with a muzzle loader, put in the sabot, and then the pellets. And wonder why it wouldn’t fire. He just got rattled.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I think some Moose country officials require a test similar to that before you proceed on your moose hunt.I wonder how many "shot that deer at 800 yds" hunters would be sitting on the couch come opening day if you had to pass such a test to hunt whitetail?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave, that running deer game sounds like fun. However, they need to add the male organ to that target. I hit two bull elk through their pride and joy. It's a killer shot but not right away (would you want to live like that?) I'd score it seven. Pretty small target though. Unless it's a Texas whitetail. I hear that stuff is bigger down there. At least that's what every Texan I have known tells me. :-)

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have had a rifle fall and hit the scope and knock it out of whack during the season on year. Solution: Pull the scope and go open sights. For a running deer open sights probably have been more accurate anyway.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I get far better results by removing the bolt, benching the rifle and looking down the bore in relation to the scope.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

100 yards? I remember the good ol'days during a Tucson Arizona Gun Club Turkey Shoot, we did it at 200 yards "MOP".

“When tyranny hits the fan and the 'Firearms Control Section Gestapo' stops by to confiscate your firearms, do the right thing...give'em the ammunition first.”
-the Tucson (Arizona) Rifle Club newsletter, 1999-Sep

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Guy shows up at a public range with a refrigerator carton in the back of his truck. He drags it out 35 yards from the bench, pulls a rust caked Mossberg thutty-thutty out from under his truck seat and proceeds to punch two holes in the carton off hand.
He tosses the gun back under the seat, turns to the gang at the bench and says, "That'll kill a deer!" and drives off!
There's no excusing some folks.
BTW, the two holes? About a foot apart.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Dale Freeman: What are you talking about? There's no subtext here. Also, turd is spelled with a u.

To Clay Cooper: No one shot the wire, but a great many shots went into the berm 10 feet below the deer (flinches) and some others parts of the mechanism were hit, so unlikely that it left us all scratching our heads.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I've never and never would go hunting with a rifle that had only been bore-sighted and would never expect to hit paper or game at 100-yards with a bore-sighted rifle, but I think you'd be surprised how many once-a-year shooters think they're good to go with a bore-sighted gun. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that most people who head to the deer woods each fall are pretty indifferent about the technical (and I mean that in the most basic sense) side of shooting.
Bore-sighting should put you on the paper at 25-yards and that should get you on the paper at 100. But bore-sighting doesn't account for barrel vibration, bedding, Satan's minions or any of the other dozens of things that make bullets go where they go. Yet I remember plenty of times overhearing people at various deer camps and sporting goods counters declaring themselves field-ready because their rifles has been bore-sighted. Once in a dozen blue moons a bore-sighted rifle may be right on the money, but you could win a large stack of coins betting against it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Yep, Clay, I have done that myself many times out the back window of my house sighting on a fence post at the end of the yard - preferably with all lights in the house turned off so no neighbor can't see what I'm doing. However, that technique doesn't work so well with my 760 pump. :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marion Johnson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have at least two pounds of lizard s**t on my screened-in back porch right now should anyone need any.

Lizards come in for the insects and protection from road runners. Cat used to give them hell until he caught a copperhead & lost interest in reptiles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

All . . .

I made a mistake late last night that was about as boneheaded as any I've made with a rifle and a scope over the years. I mention it here to keep anyone else from doing the same thing.

Yesterday, even though it was a Saturday, was a long day. I had a million things to do, not much time to do them, and I also needed to handload some .257 AI and 7x57 Mauser ammo for my range session today. I also needed to mount and borescope a new-to-rifle scope to the 7x57 Mauser, since the scope I originally had on the rifle crapped out and went south. (Never buy really cheap optics. You get really cheap performance.)

The handloading yesterday went well. I was incredibly meticulous. Mildly conservative. I even used a full length sizing die. But it was late last night--near midnight, when I was already tired--before I found time to mount a replacement scope to my 7x57.

I thought the scope mounting on the 7x57 went well, too. I'll bet I spent twenty minutes fine-tuning the horizontal adjustment of the crosshairs on the Leupold Vari-X II scope. By golly, those crosshairs were perfect by the time I tightened the hex screws in their rings.

(Naturally, and of course, I left the hex wrench on my loading bench when I went to the range today. I mean, why would I need it at the range?)

My shooting with the .257 AI went really well this morning, even though I only got a few hours sleep last night. But after lots of coffee, a sight-in shot and a couple of zeroing shots, I buckled in and focused and hit the next five shots in .533/inch at 100 yards, with the first three of the five in .377. Even with the sight-in shot and the zeroing shots, which were not intended for group purposes, my overall eight-shot group was 1.04". I felt pretty good.

But my first sight-in shot with the 7x57 was weird. I had to walk to the 50-yard target to verify what my spotting scope told me, which was that I was barely on paper on a 2' x 2' target. I thought a lot of things. Might have said a few bad words.

Cause I know I did a good job boresighting the rifle.

And by golly, I know the crosshairs on the scope were perfectly aligned and level and even.

And the scope rings were properly tight, too, but not too tight.

And a Leupold Vari-X II is a decent scope.

Then I noticed the R/L adjustment knob and the U/D adjustment knob on my scope were exactly 90 degrees off. To the left. There is no parallex knob on the scope, but somehow I mentally (idiotically) rotated the R/L knob to the parallex knob position, and the U/D knob was where the R/L knob should have been.

There is a parallex knob on the Nikon Monarch scope on my .257 AI.

I would not have thought it remotely possible that I could so incorrectly mount a scope--any scope--on any rifle--but there it is. I did it.

Please don't do it too.

(Maybe I should have mounted the scope on backwards. At least I could claim a Halloween Trick or Treat gimmick.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No, you're wrong there. I would never put a bore-sighted-only rifle into action in either the field or competition (but, of course, I never compete anyway).

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from jay wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Yeah, thats a pretty egregious. I guess if you are constantly fiddling with rifles and have lots of them; you could loose track. I don't have financial means to have that problem.

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from jay wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

*egregious error.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Onatario,
I saw your spot on Outdoor Channel, congrats. The hat you'll get is cool.

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from fishead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

always an excuse

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Uncle Dave;
I know you would not bird-terd us, but something here just does not ring right.
what's up ?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What wuz dat ol'saying?

Not a question of if, but when....

If it haven't happen to you yet, you haven't been around long enough!

Hey Dave, how many shot the wire?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What are you guys talking about? I don't have cable so don't get the outdoors channel.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I've done some real boneheaded stuff myself but forgetting to zero the rifle after mounting a new scope and boresighting it, isn't one of them , YET, So I will pass no judgement on poor Tony M. Besidesa, he is sure to get enough lizard s**t from his fellow club members.

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from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am guilty of once having a gunsmith mount a scope on a Marlin 30-30 and taking it out to shoot with friends who were all zeroing their rifles. I could not even get "on paper" even at 50 yards. I made the mistake of trusting the gunsmith to align the scope and boresight it. All he had done was mount it on the rifle. Lesson learned.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I feel for the shooter, my first year deer hunting after a few years away at school I had a 10 point buck which had to be at least 250 on the hoof (we grow em big in Canada)I fired a shot from my dads open sight Model 94 30.30 and missed him by a mile....silly inexperienced me grabbed the gun from the closet and assumed it was bang on, it wasn't. When I got back to the camp, no less than 4 of us missed a target at 50 yards...turns out the gun was shooting a foot left and 18 inches low at 50 yards, rest assured I have never made that mistake again and as I have forever ticked the hunting Gods off, I have never again had a chance at a deer period, let alone a brute like that.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have another cautionary tale to add for those hunting with muzzleloaders.

If you have any doubts about the condition of you gun or the powder in it clean it and load it with a fresh charge.

Two years ago during the last week of muzzleloader season in VA a hunting buddy of mine shot a nice doe in the snow and reloaded his gun right after the shot in the woods. That night my friend asked my opinion on whether or not he should clean his rifle. I said its up to you and what could go wrong. Well he did not clean and reload it and the next day he had another doe stand in spitting distance and the only thing that went off was the primer. At lunch we learned an interesting thing about tripple seven pellets; they turn into bearing grease when wet. Somehow my friend had gotten snow in his barrel and it cost him a deer.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

In all my years of shooting, only one Fella was dead on at 100 yards and 2 ½ inches high with a boresighter. As for everyone else, they'll pass for a somewhat decent group of "OO" Buchshot!

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What would happen to us, the zero score or forgetting to actually sight in a scope?? Yeah, maybe one of those is true but its definitely not forgetting to sight in my rifle all the way. I've know since I was a wee lad that bore sighting doesnt mean jack. I haven't forgot to do it in the 22 years I've been shooting.

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from micko77 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have next to zero experience with modern boresighting, but as has been mentioned, pulling the bolt and aligning bore and crosshairs usually gets me with 4-5 inches at 100 yards, a fair place to start. Here in Illinois it's mostly shotguns, which I've killed a few with a Mossberg 500 that likes a particular lot of Federal 1oz.'s I picked up after getting beat to heck sighting it in! Now it's mostly bow or handgun for me.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Good lesson. How about some comments on the many new laser bore sighting devices on the market today. Anybody use these?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When I worked at a local sports store, I bore sighted a a number of rifles and shotguns for people heading out for opening day of firearms deer season the night before! No sighting in for zero for most of these great hunters. Man did I get the complaints after they came back to the store to complain about how my "Bore sight job made them miss their deer!"

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sounds like we are all piling on boresighters. I love boresighters and never sight in a new rifle without one. First, they help you make sure your scope crosshairs are level; second, they have always gotten me on the paper at fifty yards. Then you go to the screwdriver. Ammo is too expensive to squander and boresighters save ammo. Tony M. probably sighted in a couple of guns that day and had a brain bubble. No problem.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Pending on equipment, while running the Base Range for recreational shooting, it's impossible not to turn down a fellow Shooter/Hunter who can't take the recoil on the bench to sight there rifle in. I've had better luck without using a boresighters and generally had the rifle ready to hunt within 7-10 shots at 200 yards. Speaking of this range it reminds me of two Clowns who sighted there 300 Mags in at 400 yards. There Ram was at 175ish (as usual) and walked away. While in Cabelas last Friday evening, a Fella wanted a scope to shoot out to 300 yards and nothing more. Of course the Employee was showing him all the Extraterrestrial Scopes with more knobs than than my HAM radio but I asked the Fella, what are you shooting? 270 WSM. I use a tad bit of holdover, place the crosshairs just on the back of the critter perhaps a bit higher pending on cartridge and load. What ever happened to know your equipment??? But this weekend hunting it reminded me today's ability just to find open land yet alone a place to shoot. Yes, a bit of hyperbole and rant, but the message is clear!

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sounds like a lot of fun!
dumb questions...
1) are these standing off-hand shots?
2) is the target moving perpendicular to the shooter?
3) do all hits on the target count equally?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Ripper III: Here's the way it works. The deer runs left to right and then right to left at right angles. There are five exposures, and you get one shot per exposure, which gives you time to cycle the action. It's offhand, scope no more than 4X, cartridge no smaller than .243. The shooter has to take each shot starting from the low gun position with the toe of the stock touching his belt. Scoring is 10 points for a hit in the heart-lung area, 7 for the guts, and 0 for the ear or lower leg.

There are two parts to mastering the event. First you have to figure out how much to lead you need. I shoot it with a .30/06, MV 2,700 fps, and found that I need to hold about 8 inches ahead of the body. The second part is remembering that it's essentially a shotgun shot, and you have to keep the rifle moving as you aim and pull the trigger.

Usually, the event is won by someone who can shoot four or five 50s in a row. The club record is, I believe 12 50s in a row by a shooter who just plain went into the Zone on that day.

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

@davidpetzal, thanks Dave, that sounds awesome, wish we had something like that down here.

I've made two running shots, on a pair of small hogs running through a swamp, hit the first hog behind the eye at a distance of 65 yds, the second hog broke hard to my left, I had to reach around the tree to shoot him, caught him behind the near shoulder at about the same distance.
I shot purely on instinct.
Like you said, it was just like wing shooting.

As to the boresighting issue, My bushnell 4200 has only had one adjustment in 6 seasons, and that only 1 " of windage, I did however miss a doe at 125 yds with a smooth bore shotgun under the mistaken notion that just because i hit a pumpkin at 100yds, I could repeat the shot at 125...should have taken a few more shots at the pumpkin parts.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Thanks for the stories and advice. Good stuff!

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

focusfront,
Re. "Sounds like we are all piling on boresighters. I love boresighters and never sight in a new rifle without one."

I didn't know if it was just me, but it sounds like you translated the same thing I did from some of the other comments. To me, "bore-sighting" is bore-sighting, whether you're using one of the mechanical gimmicks or just looking through the barrel to align your crosshairs with a stationary object. I own one of the laser bore-sighters that I picked up primarily to bore-sight my muzzleloaders. I still go the old-fashioned route with my bolt action rifles, simply because it's easier for me and I know it works. Either way, it's still bore-sighting, and all I ever figure that's worth is getting me on the paper at 25 yards, so that I can get on the paper at 100. At that point, I start making real adjustments.
Incidentally, I'm still one of those people who sights in .270/30-06/7mm-class rifles three inches high at 100 yards in order to be on the mark at from 250 to 275. Up to 300 I don't have to do any guessing. Anything much more than 325 and I'll do my damnedest to get closer. Offhand, I'd say 95-percent of all the mammals I've ever shot have been a good deal less than 200 yards away, with most of them well under 100.
If I ever need another hobby maybe I'll buy a multiple reticle/electronic/range-finding/computer-programmed scope with built-in stereo to fiddle with, but until then I think I'll leave them to astronomers and Swiss bankers.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Back in 1972 bought my first rifle a used Marlin 30-30. The store owner assured me the rifle was sighted in at 200 yd with it's open sights. A few days later took a shot at a deer standing broadsided about 150 yd out and my bullet hit the deer between the eyes. My aim was at the shoulder. Later at the range the rifle shot over a foot high left at 100 yds. Since then I ALWAYS shoot to check my sights every fall before going hunting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I like to shoot mine the DAY before a hunt if possible.

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from SARC1991 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A competent shooter wouldn't have forgotten to zero his scope....BUT for a 100 yards why would you need a scope?

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr.T.W. Davidson; Too Late. Been there done that. And when I figured out what I had done, the first thing I did was look around the range to see if any one noticed.

I may have 1 better. I saw guy once, with a muzzle loader, put in the sabot, and then the pellets. And wonder why it wouldn’t fire. He just got rattled.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I think some Moose country officials require a test similar to that before you proceed on your moose hunt.I wonder how many "shot that deer at 800 yds" hunters would be sitting on the couch come opening day if you had to pass such a test to hunt whitetail?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave, that running deer game sounds like fun. However, they need to add the male organ to that target. I hit two bull elk through their pride and joy. It's a killer shot but not right away (would you want to live like that?) I'd score it seven. Pretty small target though. Unless it's a Texas whitetail. I hear that stuff is bigger down there. At least that's what every Texan I have known tells me. :-)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Hats with guns on them are not legal in Canada....

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