Sometimes your rifle starts shooting so bad that you want to start pulling your hair out! But then the problem becomes how to figure out what is causing it to misbehave the way it is. Below we look at a few easy (and reasonably logical) tips for diagnosing what is causing your rifle to shoot inaccurately.
1. Know what your gun is capable of
Not all rifles are made equal when it comes to accuracy. So before anything else, make sure what your rifle is realistically cable of and what it is not capable of. The best way to do that, if you are not sure what your rifle is realistically capable of, is to ask around. Phone the manufacturer, ask around on gun forums or ask the pros at your local gunshop.
2. Make sure its not the scope
If you are using a scope, it might actually not be the rifle that is the problem, but rather the scope! Scopes can get damaged from excessive recoil or perhaps even from getting a hard knock somewhere. To check if your scope is working fine, you can try the “squaring the circle” technique. It works as folllows: fire a shot; then, aiming at the same point each time, move the reticle 12 clicks (3 inches) up; then 12 clicks right; then 12 down; then 12 left. You should end up with four shots forming a square. If it does not form a square, then it is likely that your scope is the problem!
3. Make Sure The Barrel Is Clean
This one seems pretty obvious, but yet we are sure this occurs more frequently than most folks would like to admit. Copper fouling can start to build up in the barrel, which can greatly affect the accuracy of your rifle. For a rifle to be accurate, the barrel must have absolutely uniform dimensions (to the ten-thousandth of an inch) for the length of the bore in order to be accurate.
4. Try Different Ammo
Sometimes even just trying a different brand of ammo with perhaps a different weight will make a difference in the accuracy of a rifle. So experiment and see which ammo your rifle likes best.
5. If all fails…
If you tried everything you could, but the rifle still keeps shooting inaccurately, it is probably best to take it back to the manufacturer so they can check to see what could be wrong with it. If you do go that route, be sure to let them know everything you did to verify the problem yourself so they know that you are not just some quack wanting to complain about nothing.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope the few quick tips above helps you to avoid a lot of frustration and possible costs! An inaccurate rifle can be a real pain and perhaps even dangerous! So be sure to get to the root of the problem asap to get it fixed.