1. Changing the type of bullet you are using such as going from a Nosler ballistic tip to a Sierra Game King Boattail Hollow Point will change your bullet path, even if the starting muzzle velocity is the same.
2. The height that your scope is mounted will change the relationship of your rifles sightline to its boreline. As a general rule you should always buy your scope mounting base and rings that will allow you mount your rifle as close to your barrel without touching it.
3. When zeroing your rifle remove as much human error as you possibly can using a sandbags or an adjustable shooting rest. This will allow you have confidence that your rifle is sighted in properly and any error is in your routine, which you can practice on to improve.
4. Remember that shooting uphill or downhill will extend your point-blank range. You will hit high if you hold directly on your target. Aim low. It is best to zero in your rifle with on level shooting range with your target and shooting bench at the same elevation, known distance to your target and preferably no wind.
5. Know your distance to your target. As the distance becomes greater it is even more critical. Invest in a quality rangefinder or shoot at range that has marked distances.
6. You may find that your groups may improve at 200 yards over your 100 yard groups. Bullets tend to settle down and find their path as the distance increases. An example would be that your 100 yard groups are 2″ apart and your 200 yard groups are 3″ apart.
7. Do not rest your barrel against anything hard as it may cause the barrel to bounce away from the rest and throw your shot off course. Make sure you are resting the forend only and that it is supported by a soft surface such as jacket, sandbag, hunting pack or your hand.
8. Always check to make sure your barrel is floating and not in contact with your stock. This can cause pressure on the barrel and send your shot off target.
9. Your elevation above sea level has little effect on the flight of your bullet except at very extreme elevations or distances.
10. The bullet groups that matter most are the ones from a clean cold barrel. They will most closely symbolize your shots in the field when that bull elk comes out in front of you and its 0 degrees out. When zeroing in save one target for a cold barrel group. One tip that works well to keep your barrel clean in rain, mud or snow is to take some electrical tape and wrap it around the end of your barrel.
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