January 2nd, 2010

Simple Zeroing Procedure Gets You Centered in 4 shots

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero for a hunting rifle in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire one shot. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. In other words, you use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the second shot. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a third shot with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Now shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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January 2nd, 2010

Violent Crime Declines While Gun Ownership Rises

Preliminary statistics released by the FBI for the first half of 2009 show that violent crime continues a downward trend that began in 2006. The figures show crime falling in all categories — robbery, aggravated assault, motor vehicle thefts, etc. — with murders down a remarkable 10 percent from the previous year.

The FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that “more guns equal more crime,” especially when you consider that the decrease in violent crime from late 2008 through the first half of 2009 occurred at the same time that firearm sales were surging.

The most popular firearms selling at that time were handguns and modern sporting rifles (AR-style rifles)–two types of firearms that anti-gunners never miss an opportunity to demonize. Law-abiding handgun owners have been filling concealed carry classes across the country, and AR-style rifles–long a favorite of target shooters–are growing in popularity among hunters as new calibers are introduced for small and big game.

People across the country continue to exercise their Second Amendment rights. National Instant Criminal Background Check statistics showing an increase of 25 million background checks from a total of 75 million to 100 million initiated by Type 01 FFLs between April 5, 2007, and April 4, 2009 . (Background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing either newly manufactured or used firearms from federally licensed retailers. The checks serve as a gauge of sales but do not reflect the actual number of firearms sold.) So … Crime is down. Gun ownership — by law-abiding, responsible citizens who pass a mandatory FBI background check at retail — is up. Don’t let anyone tell you that “more guns equal more crime.”

EDITOR’s NOTE: To understand how firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens can deter crime, we recommend you read Professor John Lott’s important book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws

This report courtesy Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation Blog, Blog.nssf.org.

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