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Thread: how do you practice

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    Default how do you practice

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post

    On another note- failure to feed on the hunt is more symptomatic of hunters not shooting enough in the off season from field positions...shame on makers for putting out bum rifles, but shame on US for not catching it in JUNE.

    First...Hodgeman I hope you dont mind me borrowing your quote from the "new rifle" thread but my experiences with clients in the field matches your statement... I have seen hunters lose it so bad at times that they actually dumped the cartridges on the ground... Also had a hunter jam a gun with in 50 yards of a grumpy old sow that I had to fix while he was watching to make sure she was being reasonable..

    Second this is in NO way shape or form a company bashing thread as i have seen jamming guns rom multible guns...

    So the question or questions I put up for discussion are do you practice fast feeding or cycling rounds at the range prior to hunting season.. Next have you ever had a jam on a hunt and if so what do you think the cause was..

    Me well when I first started guiding I used to be a freak about cycling and making sure I could get off fast shots and it has always served me well.. I used to even polish my bullets... I freely admit as the years went by I dont practice like that any longer but I know my gun well enough now that I am confident it will never jam.. I have had a gun jam before but detected it prior to hunting and finally got it worked out.. also have a 375 in the safe that james quite a bit if you hesitate in the least...

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I always cycle rounds through my guns at the house(yeah I know not the safest thing to do). Every time I buy new ammo or load some up I cycle some from that batch and make sure they are working in whatever gun they are going to be used in. If any give me problems they all go through the process to see if it is the entire lot or something I screwed up along the way.

    One constant I have heard from people is short stroking a bolt action rifle. Never had been a problem for me but I have heard of it happening to enough people that it is always in the back of my mind. I have taught my girls to always draw the bolt completely to the rear, then throw it all the way forward, and to fully lock the handle before trying to fire the rifle. I have some dummy rounds that I make them practice with at the house under my direct supervision. I really think that helps a lot as well as lets them work on sight picture and trigger squeeze. Sometimes I tape a target to the wall and other time I have them pick a spot on the wall, like an outlet or what not.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    As broncoformudv stated about cycling rounds is a good idea. Since I reload, sometimes I don't get it right so cycling rounds actually to be used is a good idea. Only gun though is a 7600 pump, Encores and Contenders. So cycling is not such a problem. But mostly I bow hunt anyways.

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    I try to practice at least 200 rounds with any & every firearm I plan on taking afield, before it leaves the house/range. Starting on the bench to get a zero then various shooting ranges and positions to see if the firearm will feed canted, sideways or even upside down. Scopes, mts.+rings,sights usually either let go before the end of this cycle or are rigid at the end of this cycle and remain on the gun. Guns that fail the test go afield with someone else if the problem isn't correctable. I've had jams, failure-to feed/extract, and frozen bolts, but not afield while hunting; I try to check and catch problems at the house/range. Most of my problems seem to be ammo or magazine related.
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I always cycle rounds through my guns at the house(yeah I know not the safest thing to do). Every time I buy new ammo or load some up I cycle some from that batch and make sure they are working in whatever gun they are going to be used in. If any give me problems they all go through the process to see if it is the entire lot or something I screwed up along the way.

    One constant I have heard from people is short stroking a bolt action rifle. Never had been a problem for me but I have heard of it happening to enough people that it is always in the back of my mind. I have taught my girls to always draw the bolt completely to the rear, then throw it all the way forward, and to fully lock the handle before trying to fire the rifle. I have some dummy rounds that I make them practice with at the house under my direct supervision. I really think that helps a lot as well as lets them work on sight picture and trigger squeeze. Sometimes I tape a target to the wall and other time I have them pick a spot on the wall, like an outlet or what not.

    LOL no worries I would do the same in the house too...it will be our dirty secret..

    I think short stroking is the problem with the gun in my safe...its all or nothing.. My wby I have tried everything to get it to jam and cannot and that sure is a good feeling... Yeah Dave I do suppose cycling is not so important in those single shots...

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    I mainly been hunting with my #1's since I've been a kid and can load it almost as fast as any of my bolt guns.Practice sure helps!But I have had a jam that haunts me still to this day,missed a gimme shot at a broadside moose.Biggest one I've seen in the field yet.Dang bullet wouldn't eject after round fired. Still can't get that image out of my head as he stoped and looked back 3 times to see what just made that loud noise.If it would have been a mad bear it would have not turned out so well.Got home and took the gun apart.On a goat hunt earlyer that season I pinched my thumb in the action and got some blood in the falling block.Cleaned and thought it was good but boy was I wrong!Somehow the caked up dry blood didn't let the block all the way down to eject the spent shell.Never leave home without checking how it ejects anymore!

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    I spend a lot of time just working the bolt to make sure I "learn" the stroke feel of the rifle. And then work rounds through the action like bronco. However, I did not do this recently and paid a price for it.

    This last June I got a wake up call with my new to me Model Seven 300 SAUM. At the range during lots of load development I never spent time working the rifle in field mode. Just one round at a time down range. Everything worked well. Being a true short action it is real easy to have full bolt throws.

    Then comes late June and as a huge black bear walked across the work site during lunch I learned that my Model Seven will allow for three fat rounds in the magazine but you can't close the bolt. It is a 2 +1 in the 300 SAUM and I did not know this until that moment. I also learned that having a handload built to fit the max OAL of the magazine box can lead to loading issues. The tip has to go in first and then slide the round back into the rear of the box. Needless to say the largest black bear I had ever seen in that area safely walked across the field and into the coastal jungle. Did not see him again until after the season closed. His tracks were the same size as a 500 to 600 pound sow brown bear out on the same beach.

    During caribou season this fall I found that even with two rounds in the magazine and the bolt closed on an empty chamber that when putting the rifle into battery the pressure from those fat rounds wants to hang onto the bolt as it is drawn back. I had only the slightest stumble when putting the second round into the caribou, but it worked, just not as smooth as I would like or am used to with my old M77 338WM or newer MKII M77 30-06.

    Don't get me started on fail to fire issues with rotating bolt inertia driven semiauto shotguns. There is no amount of practice to over come those issues.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    AK Ray you bring up a good point about checking the magazine capacity and bolt feeding at the same time as well as overall length of cartridges and the issues handloading can bring up.

    When you only use one rifle for everything you know that rifle inside and out, but when you are switching back and forth between rifles this becomes a serious issue. Add in kids or a spouse and you start having a lot on your hands.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I practice quite a bit with my rifle. Once I get the rifle pretty well zeroed I never shoot it off the bench again. I make final adjustments to the zero from prone, supported over my daypack.

    I only fire three shot groups from a full magazine- not single loaded.
    I generally fire 200-300yds from prone, 100-200 from sitting while looped up in the sling, 100 yds offhand and 50yds snap shooting. I more or less try to fire three rounds faster the closer I get. I occasionally practice snap shooting at 15yds over the top of the scope for obvious reasons. I also dry fire practice at home quite a lot too.

    I've never had a jam or misfeed in the field. I've had several on the range and replaced a couple of mag boxes and ejectors and ditched a couple of entire rifles due to ill fit or some other undesirable feature.

    I don't particularly consider shooting off the bench (as in load development) practice because it doesn't really mimc any shooting I do in the field.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I practice each time at the range with fast cycling offhand shooting. This year, shooting at a Griz, I, for the first time, short cycled my rifle. I was shooting my .338 Xbolt. I was resting on a large rock, behind it, but on top of it. The rock was in the way of my hand opening the bolt fully for some reason - or maybe it was the way I was sitting combined with how fast my heart was pumpin... I did get 3 shots off, but missed with each. Went into the bush to hunt him up as I did not know he was missed clean and I didn't want a wounded Griz around my meat pile and tents for that night. He found me, I put one into his chest face on at 75 yds, then rapid fired another into him without issue.

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    Two modes of cycling a cartridge into a chamber: 1. slow/quite/stealth for the moments you don't want to be heard. 2. Abusively fast repeats that make one wonder......will I break this rifle?

    If a rifle exhibits unreliability in either event, it doesn't stay in my gun cabinet. With that said, You'd be hard pressed to find a standard cartridge that doesn't function reliably in a bolt action or lever action rifle, but you'll find an occasional WSM and belted mag that does jam.

    20 degree shoulders(or less), and a bit of case taper is a good thing: 6.5x55 Swede, 260 remington, 270 Winchester, 7mm-08, 7mm Mauser, 280 Remington, 30-06, 308 Winchester, 8mm Mauser, 338-06, 338-308 (338 Federal), 35 Whelen, 358 Winchester and the 9.3x62 mauser.

    You'd be hard to find a rifle chambered in the above mentioned cartridges that would ever jam.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    To me, working the action DIRECTLY after the shot is an important habit, as is learning to work a bolt from the shoulder. I rarely watching hunting videos, but it always seems like the hunter shoots.... looks...looks.. buddy/guide says "shoot 'em again"......THEN you hear the bolt worked.

    I also find the majority of the people I have hunted with will dismount a bolt action to work the bolt, no matter how fast things are happening. No big deal on a caribou, but on critters in the brush...

    I was in on two grizzly kills this year. The first one we had tracked to a kill site, so we (myself and two other guys) knew it was camped on the moose carcass and went in "hot" with round in the chamber and safety's on. When the alder patch came alive 40 yds away, the safety's came off, guns were shouldered and we were all ready to rock when that bear came flying out and gave us a crossing shot. In the very short distance it took that bear to die, I got off four rounds to the cousins two each...

    The second bear was a similar situation, with the same two guys, except this time we were already on the moose, and the bear was coming too us. I let the other guy shoot first at about 50 yds (since I had already tagged out on the first bear), and then hit him three times in the time it took him dismount, work bolt, find the bear in his scope, and shoot again.

    I'm hardly an awesome shot, and have never been accused of being high speed or having good coordination... The ONLY difference was that in a time of stress I had "work the bolt from the shoulder" ingrained in my head, and they did not. To get in that mental groove requires shooting live rounds that way at the range IMO. Dry fire isn't bad, but the mental trigger to working the bolt in my mind is the recoil.

    Yk

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    This last June I got a wake up call with my new to me Model Seven 300 SAUM..
    Is this a synthetic/stainless rifle? For over ten years, I have exclusively hunted with my Model 7 in 300 SAUM. I know for a fact that my rifle will hold three in the box with the bolt closed. It requires putting a little down pressure on the three rounds when closing the bolt, but no big deal to me.

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    Member tbone131's Avatar
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    Default how do you practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    To me, working the action DIRECTLY after the shot is an important habit, as is learning to work a bolt from the shoulder. I rarely watching hunting videos, but it always seems like the hunter shoots.... looks...looks.. buddy/guide says "shoot 'em again"......THEN you hear the bolt worked.

    I also find the majority of the people I have hunted with will dismount a bolt action to work the bolt, no matter how fast things are happening. No big deal on a caribou, but on critters in the brush...

    I was in on two grizzly kills this year. The first one we had tracked to a kill site, so we (myself and two other guys) knew it was camped on the moose carcass and went in "hot" with round in the chamber and safety's on. When the alder patch came alive 40 yds away, the safety's came off, guns were shouldered and we were all ready to rock when that bear came flying out and gave us a crossing shot. In the very short distance it took that bear to die, I got off four rounds to the cousins two each...

    The second bear was a similar situation, with the same two guys, except this time we were already on the moose, and the bear was coming too us. I let the other guy shoot first at about 50 yds (since I had already tagged out on the first bear), and then hit him three times in the time it took him dismount, work bolt, find the bear in his scope, and shoot again.

    I'm hardly an awesome shot, and have never been accused of being high speed or having good coordination... The ONLY difference was that in a time of stress I had "work the bolt from the shoulder" ingrained in my head, and they did not. To get in that mental groove requires shooting live rounds that way at the range IMO. Dry fire isn't bad, but the mental trigger to working the bolt in my mind is the recoil.

    Yk
    Well said. Good stories too. Makes me feel better when I always carry my gun in my hand and a round in the chamber while walking through alders or any other thick brush. 3 in the magazine and one in the chamber is a must for me. I as well have to push the magazine down and load and shell in the chamber by hand but its worth it to me. I shoot a .300 win mag.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in AK View Post
    Is this a synthetic/stainless rifle? For over ten years, I have exclusively hunted with my Model 7 in 300 SAUM. I know for a fact that my rifle will hold three in the box with the bolt closed. It requires putting a little down pressure on the three rounds when closing the bolt, but no big deal to me.
    Yes to the stainless model. In the "heat of battle" when loading the rifle for going after the bear I could not get the third round in the magazine. After that I found that I could get a third round down into the magazine but it locked the bolt up making it really hard to work, and cut large gouges into the top piece of brass when the bolt was worked. The damage to the brass - you know how costly it is now - and the stuggle with my weak left hand (torn muscles in my fore arm that cut my grip strength by more than 50%) trying to get the third round down just is not worth it.

    I may have also caused this issue by using an HS precision stock and not the factory tupper wear stock. It shaved a pound and a half off the total weight of the rifle, but I might have lost a small fraction of magaizne depth that makes it too tight for three rounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    To me, working the action DIRECTLY after the shot is an important habit, as is learning to work a bolt from the shoulder. I rarely watching hunting videos, but it always seems like the hunter shoots.... looks...looks.. buddy/guide says "shoot 'em again"......THEN you hear the bolt worked.

    I also find the majority of the people I have hunted with will dismount a bolt action to work the bolt, no matter how fast things are happening. No big deal on a caribou, but on critters in the brush...

    Yk
    Yk I'm gonna highlight your quote cause it is **** good and important.. I STRESS this on every hunt especially bear not that that should make a difference.. The action of taking the gun off the shoulder and reloading simply takes too much time IMHO and in the case of a bear that is gonna do a little spin in most cases before running off keeping the rifle shouldered may mean the difference between one or two extra shots...good stuff YK

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Yk I'm gonna highlight your quote cause it is **** good and important.. I STRESS this on every hunt especially bear not that that should make a difference.. The action of taking the gun off the shoulder and reloading simply takes too much time IMHO and in the case of a bear that is gonna do a little spin in most cases before running off keeping the rifle shouldered may mean the difference between one or two extra shots...good stuff YK
    well i take mine down from the shoulder.. as i am normally walking or have in some cases.. Ran towards the bear while working the bolt.. aim fire, run reload.. but.. as soon is she says bang.. the bolt is working
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    well i take mine down from the shoulder.. as i am normally walking or have in some cases.. Ran towards the bear while working the bolt.. aim fire, run reload.. but.. as soon is she says bang.. the bolt is working
    well Vince I think its common knowledge that how do I say politely...you are cut from a different mold..

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