Hunters or target shooters who miss their shots never...

TexasSportsman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
92
Location
Houston, Texas
...take the blame. I have been on these internet forums, campfire and gun store counter discussions for years. Every story that I hear about a missed shot was blamed on the scope, rifle, ammo, whatever and the story teller never admitted it was their fault. Never. I have missed shots and made poor shots. I have missed my share of shots.

I worked at a full service firearms retail store. One story about a customer who wanted to bail on his Zeiss scope because he felt the product failed him.

This man cussed his Zeiss scope because it wasn't bright, couldn't see the target. He missed a 'buck of a lifetime'. I asked him to bring the rifle/scope in for an inspection. After I inspected the scope I wished I could have smacked the guy upside his head. The objective lens was covered in a thick layer of dust. He never used the supplied lens caps. He leaned the rifle/scope against the wall behind a door for a full year. When the season opened he grabbed the rifle and went hunting. When he couldn't see the target and was so angered he said he would never buy another Zeiss again and told all his buddies not to buy Zeiss.

I used compressed air to remove the dust and a Zeiss branded lens cleaner to finish the job. After a good cleaning he was totally amazed at the difference. I asked him if he still felt the same way about Zeiss that I'd give him $50 for his scope. He said no thanks.

Then I asked him when was the last time he had his eyes checked. He didn't answer so it had to have been a few years. So I recommended an eye exam and corrective lenses if needed. He didn't say a word.

A few months later he came back to the store with new glasses. I didn't comment on his glasses. I did show him several scopes; Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold and Vortex.

The combination of new glasses and even a new Leupold Rifleman out of the box surprised him with the clarity and brightness. He was surprised at how clear the low end Leupold Rifleman was and how much clearer the high end scopes are over the low end.

Before he left he thanked me for suggesting a trip to the eye doctor and for cleaning his scope. Since then he's had so regained his confidence in his equipment that I told him that just might see another 'buck of a lifetime'. He quietly told me that it was the combination of a dirty scope and his vision that he missed the shot. I told him all of us miss shots and anyone that doesn't miss a shot is a liar or never shot a gun in his life. Its when you're first at the range and the last one to leave and you practice shooting your rifle or handgun enough that your missed shots become fewer and fewer.

Before guys trash a product on the internet have it checked out at the store where you bought it or send it back for service. If you don't get reasonable action on your product or the service then its time to vent a little. Every product has an owners or operators manual. If the manual is misplaced or thrown away a copy can be found at the manufactures website and they are FREE.

One customer complained that his Springfield Armory 1911 was crap and he knows how to shoot and rarely misses but the 1911 was all over the paper. I asked him if he read the manual. He bluntly told me that he doesn't need a manual to shoot a gun. I asked him if he knew what a 6 o'clock hold was. He gave me a blank stare. So I pulled a new SA 1911 from inventory and showed him the manual that explained the 6 o'clock hold. I asked him about Hickok45, he knows his videos and he's familiar with Hickok45s accuracy with all forms of firearms and that he can hit the gong at 70 yards with everything from a .22LR on up. But when he picked up a SA 1911 he consistently missed. After going through three magazines he thought it was the gun then decided to try the 6 o'clock hold. After a couple of rounds he was able hit nearly all of the targets. He briefly commented on the 6 0'clock hold.

If the customer and Hickock45 had read the manual and practiced the 6 o'clock hold things could be very different. To my knowledge SA is one of the few firearms that are designed for the 6 o'clock hold.
 

lancetkenyon

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
3,513
Location
Arizona
I have my share of misses. Sometimes it was my error (99.75%), but it has been equipment error as well. That leaves about .25% of my misses as equipment error.
Wind calls are my major contributor. Some were turrets not adjusted correctly, suppressor not tight, incorrect zero distance, inaccurate yardage call, adrenalin, etc. I am not counting damage caused by falls or drops either.

I can count how many misses were due to mechanical issues. 3. #1 & 2 were on game, #3 was at the range.
1. Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x50 that quit tracking correctly after about 12 years. Repaired and sold when it came back.
2. Vortex Viper HST 4-16x50 that tracking went out the window after 2 years. Repaired and sold when it came back.
3. Athlon Ares. Biggest *** I ever had the misfortune to mount on a rifle. NIB, would not track or RTZ. Sent in and got a new one. Same issues out of the box. Sent in and got a 3rd, returned it to the person who supplied it to me for testing and told him NEVER sell one to anyone except maybe his enemies.
 

wv270wsm

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
687
All but one of my misses was my fault . Actually had a crosshair broke loose from the tube of the scope one time . 2 shots fired and that buck walked off with not a care in the world. And I was left scratching my head until later that afternoon when the sun came out and I was checking everything over and was able to see it in the bright light
 

TexSavage

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
241
Location
Amarillo, Texas
I will say without hesitation and knock on wood every single miss and poor shot was 100% my fault. First year, 2006, I hunt with my Nightforce and Savage 12 in 300 WSM, I kill a nice 10 point just barreling right at me, dropped like a rock at 60 yards. Next three deer I shoot from 200-350 yards I never get close enough to spook them. Even had a buddy spot for me. Get back to camp, gonna sight it in, just PO’d like nothing. Dang’d if I hadn’t forgot to return my elevation to zero when I did the box test just before heading to the lease. That was before zero stops. Hit 24 straight hits on 600 yard target last October at Whittington and then miss that dang doe at 100 after I killed a nice buck at 75 yards. Same rifle, same Nightforce same everything. Never been the rifle, scope or ammo, every time ME! I absolutely love to shoot and hunt!!!
 

Jon Bischof

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Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
438
Location
Paragould, AR
I'm the opposite of the "Joe once a year hunter" I claim all my misses. I hate missing and it doesn't matter to me what I am shooting at. Every shot is serious; it is a discipline to constantly maintain. I have never shot a deer with a gun and failed to recover it. 46 years so far.
I have lost deer with a bow and it made me quit bow hunting for years. But after finding a more effective broadhead I had success and God willing, will never lose another.
 

1Mtnman

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location
Southwest Virginia
Well said, In my opinion most people just want to blame something other than themselves for a poor shot. I deal with a lot of folks missing deer and blaming a scope or rifle, I ask how often they shoot and if they had any issues at the range when zeroing and shooting, how familiar they are with their rifle and scope, and the result I usually get when Im cleaning the dust, dirt, and film off the scope glass is a blank stare and finally the response of it shot fine last year or year before when they shot it and they haven’t fired a shot since last season..... but of course that has nothing to do with their missed shot, lol
 

TexasSportsman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
92
Location
Houston, Texas
So, are you saying that if I dust off my lenses and buy some spectacles, I'll never azzshoot another deer?

I'm saying that a good inspection of all your equipment and you're sure your vision isn't blurry before you go to the range or out to the field could save your trip. Once your equipment checks out it all on your shoulders whether you can hit a barn at 100 yards or not.
 
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Bravo 4

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Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
4,003
Location
The South
I get guys blaming equipment for misses quite a bit, especially if they fail a qualification that can get them dropped from the course. 99% of the time it is operator error. When a student says his rifle isn’t shooting worth a crap I will have one of my instructors shoot it and then I will, usually things are fine. If not we will check action screws and mounting hardware, sometimes something is loose (operator error for poor maintenance). Then we will sit there and clean the crap out of the barrel. Often times there will be lots of carbon/copper build up, they shoot a lot and often halfass cleaning (again operator error for poor maintenance). Most common problems are misreading wind, not seeing/misreading trace and giving bad corrections when re-engaging (those two go hand in hand a lot), and just poor fundamentals. Always an excuse. However I bet we have a scope or rifle go down every class.
 

TexasSportsman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
92
Location
Houston, Texas
I will say without hesitation and knock on wood every single miss and poor shot was 100% my fault. First year, 2006, I hunt with my Nightforce and Savage 12 in 300 WSM, I kill a nice 10 point just barreling right at me, dropped like a rock at 60 yards. Next three deer I shoot from 200-350 yards I never get close enough to spook them. Even had a buddy spot for me. Get back to camp, gonna sight it in, just PO’d like nothing. Dang’d if I hadn’t forgot to return my elevation to zero when I did the box test just before heading to the lease. That was before zero stops. Hit 24 straight hits on 600 yard target last October at Whittington and then miss that dang doe at 100 after I killed a nice buck at 75 yards. Same rifle, same Nightforce same everything. Never been the rifle, scope or ammo, every time ME! I absolutely love to shoot and hunt!!!
Those zero stops have saved the day more than once.
 

LanceK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
177
Location
Amarillo, TX
When I first started hunting big game, I would miss because I would rush to look over the scope after a shot. Now I’m very focused on making the shot and force myself to calm down first. I could really use some professional training to be honest.
 

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