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February 3rd, 2021

Expert Advice from Savage — Good Tips on Triggers and Optics

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

The SavageArms.com website offers much more than products for sale. Savage has an extensive Expert Advice area. This section of Savage’s website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters. Many of the Expert Advice articles provide very valuable insights.

You’ll find 32 Expert Advice Articles on the Savage Arms website. Below are FIVE of our favorites. Click each item to view the full text and linked VIDEOS. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. All Savage owners should learn how to adjust the AccuTrigger. And definitely check out the Advanced Optics selection. This features a good video covering mirage and light refraction.

1. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

2. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. Advanced Optics — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Light refraction can wreak havoc on your ability to connect with a target at extreme long range. Stan Pate offers some good advice concerning mirage and refraction.

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. Boresighting Your Rifle

Before you can zero your rifle, you first need to do a basic boresighting so your scope reticle center is aligned close to the point of impact. Then you can get your exact zero. This video covers three easy Boresighting Methods.

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August 13th, 2020

Bargain Boresighters — Laser Boresight Systems $15.99

Sportsman's Guide laser boresighter bore sight chamber lazer
With good factory rifle ammo costing $1.00 per round — a Laser BoreSighter could pay for itself in just a couple range sessions.

Laser BoreSighters — fitted to your chamber — help you get on target more quickly, particularly with factory firearms. Just activate the unit, slip it into the chamber and look for the red dot on the target. The laser dot is about 2″ in diameter at 100 yards, and is visible even in full sunlight. Right now you can get HQ Issue BoreSighters starting at $15.99 at Sportsman’s Guide (member price is $14.39). These units have a durable brass metal body and the battery will run an hour.

Boresighters are offered for many popular rifle cartridge types including: .223 Rem, .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win family, and .30-06 (full list below). Sportsman’s Guide also offers Pistol Laser BoreSighters for $17.99 (member price): .38 SPL/.357 Mag, .40 SW, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP.

Sportsman's Guide laser boresighter bore sight chamber lazer

In-chamber BoreSighters are much safer than the kind that you insert in the end of the barrel (or attach to muzzle). If you forget your laser bore-sight placed in the end of the barrel, and then fire a round, you can blow up your barrel and/or suffer serious injury — it HAS happened.

This video shows how to use in-chamber Sightmark laser boresighters. The HQ Issue boresighters work the same way:

Rifle and Shotgun Cartridge Types:
.223 Rem
.22-250
6.5 Creedmoor
7mm Mag (also .264 Mag, .338 Mag)
7.62×54
.30-30
.303 British
.308 Win (also .243, .260, 7mm-08)
.30-06 (also .25-06, .270 Win, .338-06)
.300 Win Mag
20 Gauge Shotgun
12 Gauge Shotgun
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February 17th, 2019

Don’t Kill the Chrono! Setting up Chronos to Avoid Stray Shots

chronograph placement, shooting chrony, chrono, advisory, tech tip

There is nothing more frustrating (or embarassing) than sending a live round into your expensive new chronograph. As the photo below demonstrates, with most types of chronographs (other than the barrel-hung Magnetospeed), you can fatally injure your expensive chrono if it is not positioned precisely.

When setting up a chrono, we always unload the rifle, remove the bolt and bore-sight to ensure that the path of the bullet is not too low. When bore-sighting visually, set up the rifle securely on the sandbags and look through the bore, breech to muzzle, lining up the barrel with your aim point on the target. Then (during an appropriate cease-fire), walk behind the chronograph. Looking straight back through the “V” formed by the sky-screens, you should be able to see light at the end of the barrel if the gun is positioned correctly. You can also use an in-chamber, laser bore-sighter to confirm the visual boresighting (see photo).

Laser boresighter chronograph

Adjust the height, angle and horizontal position of the chronograph so the bullet will pass through the middle of the “V” below the plastic diffusers, no less than 5″ above the light sensors. We put tape on the front sky-screen supports to make it easier to determine the right height over the light sensors.

Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.

chronograph set-up

Alignment of Chronograph Housing
Make sure the chrono housing is parallel to the path of the bullet. Don’t worry if the unit is not parallel to the ground surface. What you want is the bullet to pass over both front and rear sensors at the same height. Don’t try to set the chrono height in reference to the lens of your scope–as it sits 1″ to 2″ above your bore axis. To avoid muzzle blast interference, set your chronograph at least 10 feet from the end of the muzzle (or the distance recommended by the manufacturer).

chronograph laser sky screens

Rifles with Elevated Iron Sights
All too often rookie AR15 shooters forget that AR sights are positioned roughly 2.4″ above the bore axis (at the top of the front sight blade). If you set your bullet pass-through point using your AR’s front sight, the bullet will actually be traveling 2.4″ lower as it goes through the chrono. That’s why we recommend bore-sighting and setting the bullet travel point about 5-8″ above the base of the sky-screen support shafts. (Or the vertical distance the chronograph maker otherwise recommends). NOTE: You can make the same mistake on a scoped rifle if the scope is set on very tall rings, so the center of the cross-hairs is much higher than the bore axis line.

Laser boresighter chronograph

TARGET AIM POINT: When doing chrono work, we suggest you shoot at a single aiming point no more than 2″ in diameter (on your target paper). Use that aiming point when aligning your chrono with your rifle’s bore. If you use a 2″ bright orange dot, you should be able to see that through the bore at 100 yards. Using a single 2″ target reduces the chance of a screen hit as you shift points of aim. If you shoot at multiple target dots, place them in a vertical line, and bore sight on the lowest dot. Always set your chron height to set safe clearance for the LOWEST target dot, and then work upwards only.

Other Chronograph Tips from Forum Members:

When using a chronograph, I put a strip of masking tape across the far end of the skyscreens about two-thirds of the way up. This gives me a good aiming or bore-sighting reference that’s well away from the pricey bits. I learned that one the hard way. — GS Arizona

A very easy and simple tool to help you set up the chronograph is a simple piece of string! Set your gun (unloaded of course) on the rest and sight your target. Tie one end of the string to the rear scope ring or mount, then pull the string along the barrel to simulate the bullet path. With the string showing the bullet’s path, you can then easily set the chronograph’s placement left/right, and up/down. This will also let you set the chrono’s tilt angle and orientation so the sensors are correctly aligned with the bullet path. — Wayne Shaw

If shooting over a chrono from the prone position off a bipod or similar, beware of the muzzle sinking as recoil causes the front of the rifle to drop. I “killed” my first chronograph shooting off a gravel covered firing point where I’d not given enough clearance to start with and an inch or two drop in the muzzle caused a bullet to clip the housing. — Laurie Holland

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
August 18th, 2018

Zero Your New Hunting Rifle in Just Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Hunting season is around the corner. We know many readers will be zeroing their hunting rigs in the next few weeks. Here is a very simple but effective way to zero any scoped rifle in a few minutes, with just four shots.

Follow this simple procedure to 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.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair on the first shot location.

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 SHOT ONE. 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, use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

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. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, 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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May 19th, 2018

How to Zero A Hunting Rifle in Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

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.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair on the first shot location.

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 SHOT ONE. 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, use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

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. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, 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.

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 15th, 2017

Bright Bargain: Laser BoreSighters Under $15.00

Sportsman's Guide laser boresighter bore sight chamber lazer
With good factory rifle ammo costing $1.00 per round — a Laser BoreSighter could pay for itself in just a couple range sessions.

Laser BoreSighters — fitted to your chamber — help you get on target more quickly, particularly with factory firearms. Just activate the unit, slip it into the chamber and look for the red dot on the target. The laser dot is about 2″ in diameter at 100 yards, and is visible even in full sunlight. Right now you can get HQ Issue BoreSighters for just $14.99 at Sportsman’s Guide (member price is $13.49). These units have a durable brass metal body and the battery will run an hour. Boresighters are offered for numerous popular rifle cartridge types including: .223 Rem, .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win family, and .30-06 (full list below). Sportsman’s Guide also offers Pistol Laser BoreSighters for $17.99 (pistol chamberings: .38 SPL/.357 Mag, .40 SW, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP).

Sportsman's Guide laser boresighter bore sight chamber lazer

In-chamber BoreSighters are much safer than the kind that you insert in the end of the barrel (or attach to muzzle). If you forget your laser bore-sight placed in the end of the barrel, and then fire a round, you can blow up your barrel and/or suffer serious injury — it HAS happened,.

Rifle and Shotgun Cartridge Types:
.223 Rem
.22-250
6.5 Creedmoor
7mm Mag (also .264 Mag, .338 Mag)
7.62×54
.30-30
.303 British
.308 Win (also .243, .260, 7mm-08)
.30-06 (also .25-06, .270 Win, .338-06)
.300 Win Mag
20 Gauge Shotgun
12 Gauge Shotgun
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