Originally Posted by Bullet bumper
3 Exhale half and hold , tweak the cross hairs again and gently squeeze the trigger using the pad of the index finger not the joint . Make sure only the finger moves at it's joints not the whole hand . If the wind does not cooperate or suddenly changes back off the trigger and start again . ...
If you find your cold bore shot is off after cleaning the barrel you will have to fire a fouling shot or two and then let it cool down before you start group shooting. Sniping is a bit different to group shooting in most circumstances .
In sniping you are mostly trying to deliver that first cold bore shot on target each time not so much the following shots but there is still many circumstances that you will want to fire more than one accurate shot on multiple targets or when trying to walk the POI onto a target which is the way it mostly happens at extreme ranges.
So a good sniper rifle has to have both capabilities , accurate cold bore shot and put the rest of the shots close by that , in addition to hold it's zero in extreme climates and a bunch of other traits .
Thankfully many fairly cheap modern sporting firearms are also capable of good accuracy .
A lot of good points in this thread that I have come across during the course of trying to develop accurate loads...all important considerations.
First shots, etc...
Now, there's a difference in a "cold bore" and a "clean bore" and even a "clean bore" and a "fully decoppered bore". And this is especially important for any situation where the first shot counts big; for most of us that means hunting.
Always shooting from a cold barrel or barely warm seems to produce tighter groups, from sporter a barrel anyway. So I usually take 2 shots maybe a minute apart, then wait however long it takes to get the barrel down to the same temp as the first of those 2. I always note the order of shots on targets. Always looking for patterns.
After reading several posts on the subject and talking to shooters, I've been experimenting with not decoppering the barrel very often but only doing light cleanings to get powder fouling out between visits to the range. This has resulted in more predictable...meaning same POI as last time out...first shots. If I don't clean the barrel out at all, the first shot POI is the same, given air temp and other conditions the same... I hit within .1 or .2 MOA of the expected POI on the first shot if I do my part. After that, the bore is not "cold" and next 2 are often within .2 MOA of that.
We have been discussing the idea that a stasis is reached with copper fouling, meaning that after a certain number of rounds, copper is no longer building up thicker in the barrel. I can't measure it physically, but judging by chrono and initial shots' POI on targets does seem to be support for that idea. After a complete decoppering, the first several rounds chrono lower velocities by as much as 40+fps.
Back to stringing...
Breathing! I was taught the same "let half the air out, pause, final targeting, squeeze". Last year, talking about vertical stringing, a guy at the range who said he had military sniper training told me to let the whole breath out and relax before squeezing. That's the first time I heard that. Has anyone else heard that method?
Bore temp. - discussed above.
All of the advice on holding and the mount/rest is great, thanks for detailing, and there's more in that accurateshooter article. But 1 thing that was mentioned in another thread here is, somone said that if you're using a bipod, there should be something under it to dampen the vibrations or bounce if its on an otherwise hard surface. So lately I've put a sweatshirt or folded towel under the bipod and I think it might have helped. Any thoughts on this?