I live on a farm in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is very mountainous, with various flat sections, divided by gorges and valleys. We farm apples and pears. We have a variety of wild life, which we thoroughly enjoy having. However, one of our frequent visitors and borders, are baboons. In summer these baboons can cause considerable damage to fruit trees, as well as decimate crops.
Our only significantly effective management is to shoot selected baboons in the visiting troops, to ensure that they understand the "No go Zones" clearly. It is very effective, and since we have a dedicated professional hunter employed to manage the troops during this time, we experience great success.
Obviously, this form of management is frowned upon by various groups, but we can honestly say that their alternate management styles, fail dismally, with some having short term effect, if very little at all. These range from monitors, electric fences, trenches etc.
However, I also often shoot specimens out of season, when they start using my apple trees as a jungle gym, and youngster training grounds. With obvious damage occurring. So, I remind them of the boundaries set in summer.
I shoot a Remington 700 Varmint SF, with a CHOATE "John Plaster" ultimate sniper Stock, and a MTC Taipan 6 x 24 x 56 Scope. (I know! Not a fantastic scope, but all I can afford, while saving for a NFX zero stop). I have a rifle level fitted, and load my own 168gr Sierra Match King in Lapua Brass, with match primers, at almost full power load. I do Ogive measures and recently started Molly Coating the heads. I have an exbal balistic shooting chart, which I have tested and adjusted up to 800 yrds.
I have some trouble with grouping at 100 Yrds, with the first shot (Cold Barrel) being about 1/2" high , consistently. This is without Molly coated heads. I am hoping that the Molly will help reduce the variance in placing of the first shot. I can now adjust for this reasonably well, but it still an "Unknown Variable" which reduces my confidence on a first shot. Especially, when many shots are beyond 300 Yrds, and often up to 700, and on a reasonably small target.
I am trying to find some good reading on this "Cold Barrel" shots, and how to overcome it, if it is at all possible, or is it just my rifle? I have a friend highly experienced and trained in long range shooting, who shoots without having this problem.
I would greatly appreciate any advise, or directions to good reads, on this topic.
Thanks to you all who put valuable information on this site. I have learnt much from all your pains and successes, which I know often come hard by. I appreciate it very much.
Regards from the RSA!