Hunting Rifle Maintenance

Your hunting rifle is your most valuable tool while pursing game.  If it fails, all the time and investment spent in your season is lost.

I’ll admit I have seen a guy buy a rifle setup with a factory zeroed scope from a big box store and bring home a deer with his first round out of the barrel.  It was only a 40 yard shot, but he really owes a thank you letter to the manufacture for getting the rifle setup well enough for him to do such.

The rest of us realize that you need to put a little effort into your hunting setup.  As the video above will detail there are several things to check before and during season.

First, check the tightness of the rifle’s stock, optic mounts and rings.  If any of these are loose no amount of ammo will ever properly group as you will be chasing random holes all over the target.

Zeroing your scope isn’t near as hard as some people make it out to be.  With a solid rest you should be able to bore sight your scope well enough to get rounds on paper at 100 yards.  I simply remove the bolt, look through the center of the barrel, then adjust my scope.  From there, one round on target (assuming we already took care of the fouling shot as described in the video) will show us how far to adjust our scope.  If you have a quality optic you can trust your turret’s adjustment to click into the bullseye.  If you don’t have confidence in your optic, you can either clamp your rifle onto a solid rest or hold it steady while a partner makes the appropriate clicks for you. Start by holding the reticle on the bullseye (not the bullet hole), then adjust the scope turrets until the reticle is on the bullet hole without moving the rifle.  If the rifle shifts while you are doing this, you will need to start over.  Confirm adjustment with a final shot.

And as the video shows, avoid cleaning your rifle during hunting season.  And if you need to do such, make sure you fire at least one round through the barrel to take care of the fouling shot.

Shoot straight and have a great season!

Story by Dustin Ellermann

TF&G Staff:
Related Post