Frequency of Sighting and cleaning hunting rifle?

Bigeclipse

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Aug 10, 2012
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Hey everyone. I am sure this has had many topics before but I just wanted a few thoughts in my case. I bought a new X-bolt 300WSM with a bushnell elite 4200 scope 4 months ago. broke it in and sighted it in. By the way, I am a believer of shooting with a dirty barrel, i.e. I will shoot my gun up to 7 times before recleaning, but once I clean it...I will shoot at least one round and then put the gun away for hunting. My guns always seem to shoot differently with a clean barrel....seem to be much more consistant with a dirty barrel, but consistancy/accuracy deteriorates after about 7 shots. My question is this...My rifle has been sitting in its case since I sighted it in about 4 months ago. Obviously since then the weather outside has changed "colder and dryer". Will that make a huge difference? Should I go to the range and check its zero? I will be hunting maximum 300 yards. The reason I ask is the range is far away (1 hour drive) and also I have 10 shots of that box left. I would like at least 5 shots for hunting so I would only have about 5 shots to check the zero of the gun before I would need to buy another box of ammo. What do you all think?
 

Bigeclipse

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so how about the weather change. It was 70's when I sighted it in a few months ago. Now it is 30's and dry?
 

Joe King

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Depends, if you have synthetic stock I would be surprised if it shifted, with a wood stock and being a browning I would be surprised if it shifted, but if it isn't sealed well then yea changing conditions can effect it. Browning makes some pretty good stuff and it should be sealed well from the factory. You obviously have some concern so just to satisfy and ease your mind I would make a trip to confirm that it is infact on, nothing worse than having doubts about your equipment I've been there, it's no fun.
 

Bigeclipse

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Depends, if you have synthetic stock I would be surprised if it shifted, with a wood stock and being a browning I would be surprised if it shifted, but if it isn't sealed well then yea changing conditions can effect it. Browning makes some pretty good stuff and it should be sealed well from the factory. You obviously have some concern so just to satisfy and ease your mind I would make a trip to confirm that it is infact on, nothing worse than having doubts about your equipment I've been there, it's no fun.
Funny you should say that... I never used to doubt my equipment until three weeks ago on a bow hunt. Bow was shooting perfect one week, and then two weeks later....I miss a NICE deer, only to find out in the two weeks my bow sat from the last time I practiced the cams came out of tune. Now, because of that, im worried about my gun having been sitting around for 4 months since I shot it. Maybe you are right and I need to just make the trip to the range.

Second question....from 200-300 yards to you all see great variations for zero with factory loads box to box of same type ammo? For example...
My rifle likes Fusion, but I only have 10 rounds left...if I go grab another box of same weight fusions...probably a different batch though...do I need to worry at 300 yards. I know it makes a huge difference for long ranges....not sure about 300 yards though.
 

brentc

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Apr 3, 2009
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Funny you should say that... I never used to doubt my equipment until three weeks ago on a bow hunt. Bow was shooting perfect one week, and then two weeks later....I miss a NICE deer, only to find out in the two weeks my bow sat from the last time I practiced the cams came out of tune. Now, because of that, im worried about my gun having been sitting around for 4 months since I shot it. Maybe you are right and I need to just make the trip to the range.

Second question....from 200-300 yards to you all see great variations for zero with factory loads box to box of same type ammo? For example...
My rifle likes Fusion, but I only have 10 rounds left...if I go grab another box of same weight fusions...probably a different batch though...do I need to worry at 300 yards. I know it makes a huge difference for long ranges....not sure about 300 yards though.
You should be ok at 300 yards, but I'd still verify with a new box and a milk jug full of water at the intended distance. At the very least you'll gain confidence.
 

Enzo

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Jan 22, 2012
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I was told by a few people on this site stop cleaning and just shoot . Your gun will tell you when it needs cleaning, by groups opening up and that should be at 75-125 rounds. I would clean every 5-7 rds also . I have not cleaned my gun for about 60 rnds now and still punch a 3'' group at 600yrds
 

COBrad

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Jan 4, 2004
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Western Colorado
Depends on the barrel, to some extent. I had a factory Ruger 7 mag action that had been bedded into a heavy, ugly, aftermarket synthetic stock, back when they really were fiberglass. One fouler, and it would shoot the next dozen in the .4's. At shot 13 the groups would open up to 1" or so. Great for big game, not great for the prairie dogs I was shooting with that rifle.
I am currently shooting 3 different rifles in 3 different calibers, with 3 different custom barrels. I have not yet hit a point where they stopped shooting. They are all sub-moa barrels... and I clean them regularly, usually after a day in the field, which could be anywhere from 20 to 100 shots.
 

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