Cold Shot Accuracy

by RD

Moose Antler Shed

Moose Antler Shed

I have used .308 with 165 grain Core Lokt bullets on Moose, .270 on African game and now own a 30-06 SAKO Bavarian (wood stock.) Which has been to the range a lot but not in the woods as yet.


There are grizzlies and black bears where I hunt (BC) so I am always loaded with 165 or 180 grain controlled expansion bullets and a 2 - 10 power scope.

What I am interested in is first (cold)shot accuracy. If you shoot at the range, you probably shoot groups and may not pay a lot of attention to where the cold shot goes.

My cold shots are generally 2 inches off target at 100m and 3 inches or more at 200m. The rifle seems to come onto the target better from the second shot onwards and my groups shrink to 1 to 1.5 inches.

When you are hunting, of course, you are most interested in the accuracy of the cold shot. It has to be accurate in order to stop and drop your target as cleanly as possible.

So the question is: What do I have to do before I go hunting to make sure my first shot is going to be as accurate as possible?




Great question RD. Having done a fair bit of competition shooting myself I'll share a little known secret with you. This may or may not help you but I'll give it a shot!

By cold shot do you mean first shot of the day? Or only after the barrel has completely cooled down?

If you are talking just the first shot of the day, it is entirely possible your bullets path is being altered from the cleaning you did. Try cleaning you rifle at the range and then fire a fowling shot (yes, leave your barrel dirty). This will sometimes make a difference.

If you are saying your group changes as the barrel warms up. I would check for tight spots against your barrel. IE: You don't want your barrel touching your stock... anywhere! This practice is called free floating and there are lots of gunsmiths around that can do this for you.

Something else you can try is having your action glass bedded and or pillar bedded.

These are a few of the methods target shooters tweak their firearms for competitions.

I can give you names of some reputable gunsmiths if you like. Just reply to the confirmation email you received.
~ Mark

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