7 Common Mistakes that affect Your Rifle Accuracy


Shooting a rifle isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t as simple as pointing the barrel at the target and pulling the trigger. At the bare minimum, effective shooting requires proper technique and proper equipment. Without both of these components, you won’t shoot accurately. There are many ways that equipment or techniques can fail. When you experience rifle inaccuracy, consider the following reasons:

Poor quality scope

Rifle scopes, like any other product, have different levels of quality. Low quality scopes are harder to mount correctly and more likely to break. This doesn’t mean that you have to purchase the most expensive scope available, however; it just means you have to do some research before you buy. Many websites have guides on finding high quality rifle scopes.

Using the wrong ammo

When you are using a factory rifle, you need to test several kinds of ammunition to determine what type will work best. During these tests, be as consistent as possible when reloading; if your reloading procedure is irregular, it can reduce your accuracy. This means that you won’t get an accurate impression of how each type of ammo affects your shots.

Unstable Rest

If you want to shoot accurately, you will need a rest that provides solid support. When shooting from a prone position, a stable tripod is perfect for keeping your rifle still. Shooting from the standing or kneeling position, however, requires a strong bench rest to ensure accuracy.

Improperly mounted scope

If your rifle isn’t firing accurately, check the scope to see if you mounted it correctly. While mounting a rifle scope sounds like a straightforward procedure, making even a small mistake can cause your accuracy to suffer.

Too much heat

It’s common knowledge that shooting heats up your barrel, but most people don’t know that a hot barrel is often the reason for inaccurate shots. You should wait 30 seconds between shots in order to give the barrel time to cool. Shooting in the shade or with a portable fan also help reduce barrel heat.

Inconsistant Shoulder Pressure

Since every shooter is different, there is no “right” amount of shoulder pressure; it’s just a matter of experimenting until you find what works best for you. When you do find your ideal pressure, keep using it; inconsistent shoulder pressure can affect accuracy.

Inconsistant Trigger Pull

Pulling the trigger should be a slow process with minimal movement muscles. When pulling the trigger, you need to move it straight to the rear of the rifle without moving your rifle, which can cause inaccurate shots. Make sure to do this with every shot, and make an effort to pay attention to the way your rifle moves when you pull the trigger.

This article is written by Tim Sandle a freelance writer based in the U.K, Contributor Editor for this Rifle scope blog and a Member of Man at Arms “Panel of Experts”.