Sunday, February 26, 2006

Trigger Time

I got out of the house and went to the range today. All last week, it has rained and it rained like the dickens yesterday, but today was 50ish, sunny, with a mild breeze. And I needed some trigger time.

I started with the Savage 10 in .243 Winchester at 100 yards. I shot two different loadings and the results were similar and frustrating. The rifle would fire two seperate and distinct groups, an inch apart. It shot like that with both ammo choices. It shot like that repeatedly. Frustrating. I'd get two or three shots touching each other, then an inch apart, two more shots in the same inch. Gaarrgh!

Thinking maybe I was having a bad day, I moved the target stand in to the 50 yard mark and got out my Winchester 94. Not a particularly accurate rifle, but one that I have confidence in. As you can see from the picture below, it isn't scoped, but carries reciever sights. It's my truck rifle. It stays under the seat all the time and thrives on neglect.

Yet, it gave me this target at 50 yards.

Not terribly shabby for an iron-sighted .30-30. I use a 6:00 hold with the bead sight, and the X ring is 2 inches above the sighting point. My ballistics program tells me I should be at point-blank out to 150 yards, which is the maximum range I would attempt to take game with the rifle.

So, confidence restored in my modest shooting ability, I've been thinking about those frustrating groups with the .243. Something ain't right with that rifle. It is a package deal from Savage, and came with a low-end Simmons scope already mounted on it. My problem may be the scope. Yeah, the rifle will fire into Minute of Deer, but I may have a shifting reticle. Sometime this summer I'll find a better scope to put on it, and invest a little money in good mounts. We'll see how it does then.

I've got a sneaking hunch that the little Savage will be a shooter if I can get the gremlins out of it.

Update** Before composing this post, I emailed my buddy Junior about the performance of the little Savage, and I sent him a link to this target:

Junior replies that I complain too much: "Hell, you put 4, 100 gr 243 hunting bullets in ~1 1/4" at 100 yards and you're complaining? Drop the bullet weight to 80 or 85 grs, and I bet they'll damn near all touch at 100 yards."

Maybe the .243 will do that with smaller bullets. I don't have any experience with smaller bullets, but I know that some calibers have standard bullet weights that they tend to shoot better than others. I'll order some lighter bullets and see what happens.

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