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Last Day...Missed the Buck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 09:42
garyalarson View Drop Down
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Looking for some tips/advice on how to prevent me from having to share another story like the one at the bottom of this post. But basically I need some advice on:

• Day of hunt - Laser Boresighting rifle 10-20 yards, then making adjustment to elevation to make sure I’m on at 100-yard zero. (Current scope height 1.5 in.) Will like to be done at home, shooting not an option.

• What rings/rail would you recommend for short action .308 Remington  SPS Varmint – Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44 (1-inch tube).

o Currently have UTG picatinny rail, and Weaver rings on it.

Background (Not critical to read…but gives context)

Last day of rifle season and I take my 19-year old son (AJ) out hunting (his first time hunting). He is getting ready to enlist in the Army and working on getting a Ranger contract, so I know we may not have many moments like this for years.  I really wanted him to put a buck/doe on the ground. We were just about to call it a day and get out of the ground blind, when a yearling (4-pt) stepped out of the brush and started walking our way into another part of the forest. AJ is a great shot, and this was within 100 yards. I called, and the buck stopped at about 70-yards. AJ shot, and the buck just looked around like…”What was that noise?” As he started to quickly walk toward the forest. I assumed AJ just had Buck Fever and blew the shot. The buck was not longer in a spot where AJ had an angle, so I quickly took the rifle and put a follow-up shot right in the boilermaker. Nothing.  Buck continued walking. I put a 3rd shot on the buck. No luck. Buck made it into the forest and the season was over. I was heartbroken for my son, that MY SCOPE being off caused him to miss a chip shot.  Not sure when he will get that chance again. Since this was weighing heavy on my heart; I have been trying to think of a way to prevent it from ever happening again.  I double checked to dials, and they were both set to zero. Rings and scope was tight, but obviously it got bumped and was off.

I will eventually head to the range and put a shot on a large board to see where it was missing.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:06
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Did you every shoot the rifle to confirm zero or rely only on the laser boresight?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:13
garyalarson View Drop Down
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Yes, I was at the range a couple weeks before and confirmed zero. Set the dials at that zero. Assuming cold bore was even 2"MOA off, that would still be a dead deer.
 
I've never laser bore sighted it. Would like to buy one and wonder if laser bore sighting it would give a a zero, or do I still need to adjust 1.5 up for scope height?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:24
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I wouldn't touch a thing on it and shoot it to see where it prints with a cold bore at the range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:26
garyalarson View Drop Down
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Any recommendation on rings/rails (budget) that are known for holding scope snug?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:36
Kickboxer View Drop Down
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First… laser boresighting 10-20 yards… there is a LOT, A LOT of difference… which is it?  Doing this, you must be EXACT in your measurements and KNOW your ammo performance.  If you are guessing or estimating, you are most likely to guess wrong.  

An AVERAGE 308 load zeroed at 20 yards will be about 4in high at 100.  Zeroed at 10 yards will be almost a foot high at 100.  You can interpolate between the ranges for a SWAG.  If you miss distance estimation by just a little, it will make a dramatic difference downrange.  With shortrange bore sights/zeroes, 1 yard can make a significant difference.  
I, personally, do not recommend ever performing this type of boresight/zero without having a lot of DOPE on the rifle and ammo already and having great confidence in your laser boresighter.  Small variations in laser placement can mean big differences downrange.  

When I "rough" boresight with my laser, I use a 4x8 foot backstop at 25 measured yards for my first zero shot.  When I spend a lot of time and effort setting up the laser, I use an 8x11inch target at 25 yards for first zero shot.  Then I move out to 100, 200, or 250.  Sometimes I zero at 300, but normally for that range, I zero at around 25 (based upon ballistic calculations) and confirm 300 yard performance.  

This methodology works for me because I've made it work… I like it and I do the homework upfront.  I, early on in working up this methodology, made a number of laser adjustment mistakes and was way, way off.  I don't ever trust it without shooting… 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:36
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That stinks.

 
I'd toss the Weaver rings - but that doesn't mean the rings are the problem.
 
I am not a fan of laser bore sighters (have one, but the batteries die at the worst times.)  I do have a mechanical bore sighter and all rifles have a "set" spot for zero, maintained on a piece of paper that stays in the box. I ALWAYS verify the gun before it goes out to shoot for real after a long sit in the safe or after a fall.  I also check occasionally against the mechanical bore sighter.
 
Best of luck to your son, Ranger is a demanding and honorable pursuit.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2014 at 10:56
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Ouch. If the rifle was only boresighted there's no verification that it was actually on at 100. No offense, but lower end scopes will tend to wander more when being adjusted. I used to run into this all the time with similar Leupolds. I'd adjust up 4 clicks and instead of moving 1" high the next shot would be 1.5" high and 2" right. You can, IMO, get them dialed in, but only by real trial and error.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2014 at 15:51
Sgt. D View Drop Down
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Laser bore sights are a pain and unless your diehard set on learnin em like Dan did there are far better ways. I know you know bore sighting is only for getting on paper for actual set for zero. For bore sighting bolt actions the best way is to actually pull the bolt out and sight down the bore. You need a good sturdy adjustable shooting bench to do it best. Set up 50yds from target and visually center the 1" dot on the target in the bore. Then without moving the rifle turn the cross hair to the dot. This will get you on paper at 100yds. I don't know of any boresight method that will get a rifle ready to hunt. I really hate that the hunt didn't go well. I suspect that when you shoot it again on paper you will find the rd hitting 6 to 12" low. But, Whatever it is, it is a lesson learned for the future.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2014 at 08:51
hydra7 View Drop Down
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune as well and hope that you never have to share a story like that again. I share Sgt.D's sentiments in how I set up my bolt action rifle for hunting season. I pulled out the bolt and targeted at 25 yards then moved to 50 then 100 and made sure I was dialed in by verifying the bore sighting on each step. I bore sighted it at 25 then moved my crosshairs, shot, aimed at 50, pulled the bolt out to veryify that the bore was where it was supposed to be now that my crosshairs where at 50 and shot, and repeated for 100. My last shot of the day was a 200 yard perfect center and 1.5" low shot. Suffice to say that I was very pleased with my setup going into hunting season, which I tagged my first deer! Good luck
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