We're honored to present a guest post from Jim Gilliland of Shadow 6 Consulting today. Remember this newspaper story from a few years back? Anyway, Jim remains on active duty but does run Shadow 6 on the side. He's an excellent instructor, an excellent shot and most of all an incredibly humble and loyal friend. It's a big deal for us to have him on here (and for the great chow we've been sharing at Jim and Melissa's house!).
Lets talk zeroing. Once you have a baseline on your rifle and your pre-fire checks are complete, You can get out to the range and get that rifle zeroed. If you will notice the shot group in this picture, the holes are all over the square. Now this may not be all that bad of a shot group for your hunting rifle however, you can also bet that this was completed with a center square hold.
What that means is that the shooter placed the cross hairs on the center of the black square and tried to shoot the center of the square. Doing this gives the shooter some issues. The shooter using this technique will have to try to center their cross hair every time without having a definable aiming point. This will cause the shot group to open up due to slight variances in the "hold". (Aim big hit big).
If this shooter would have used the tip of one of the corners of the box as the aiming point,it would have given them a very specific and tiny point to aim. Using this technique also allows the shooter the "line up" their vertical and horizontal cross hairs with the side and top of the box. Now you have a VERY small aiming point that you can easily repeat thus giving you a tighter group. (Aim small, miss small).
Once you are satisfied with your grouping, you should to what is called a "box drill". This is where you keep one aiming point and dial your scope up 2 MOA, fire one round, left 2 MOA fire a round, down 2 MOA fire a round, and then Right 2 MOA and fire a round. If you have performed this correctly your last round should make your point of aim be your point of impact and you should have a perfect "square" of holes in your target. If you do not, something is wrong with your equipment. Either you scope is not tracking, you have loose rings or mounts, or you are having some other shooter or equipment malfunction. After you are Zeroed and you have shot your "box drill" you should be confident that you are ready to hit what you aim at.
Now.... Go get some range time in and make it count!