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Accurate sighting arrangement on a shotgun will help zeroing problem.

Accurate Sighting Arrangement On A Shotgun Will Help Zeroing Problem

I recently described a method of installing a higher front ramp and bead on a field grade shotgun that was delivering its pattern much too high with its standard front sight. Hunters are also harassed by another often encountered shotgun zeroing problem. This places the pattern too low, along with the possibility of left or right error.

Many owners of ordinary non-ribbed field grade shotguns of "low budget" varieties, go through a lifetime of inefficient hunting unnecessarily, blaming the gun or ammunition, instead of taking up the problem with a qualified gunsmith, who can usually correct this for a reasonable charge.

During my youthful days and long before acquiring some worthwhile firearms knowledge, I recall owning a Marlin slide action 12-gauge shotgun, with a slightly loose-fitting barrel, which allowed the muzzle to droop and shoot low. I did so much missing with this old pelter that it ended up being traded to a friend who was having good luck whenever he used it.

At that time, I didn't know why it worked great for him. Since then I realized that this short fellow was not getting the long stock all the way up onto his shoulder, so was automatically getting a higher muzzle pointing.

My next shotgun was a Stevens double barrel with a solid rib and single trigger. Of course, this had been factory aligned. I did better with it.

However, had I been blessed with early age gun wisdom, or the advice from someone who knew, I could have had a gunsmith work on the old Marlin and tighten the barrel, test it, and, if necessary, install a rear notched ramp or proper height to give centered pattern delivery around the front sight aiming point.

I recently acquired an M-97 Winchester repeating 12-gauge shotgun which belonged to an aging shooter friend of mine. When I first saw this gun I became immediately aware that he knew about the value of an accurate sighting arrangement. Although his rear sight notch build-up amounted to a crudely soldered-on notched piece of metal, that was visibly to the left side of center on the receiver ring, a few targeted test shots proved his line-up was perfect.

That "to-the-left" installation was necessary for sighting-in, just as is the case with rifles, when a rear sight or sometimes even the front and rear sights must be adjusted out of center in order to achieve proper zeroing. The solid frame nature of this shotgun gave it a tight barrel, yet it still had obviously shot low.

Gunsmiths equipped with a barrel bending press (available through B-Square) can easily bend such barrels slightly to achieve perfect alignment, via trial and error shooting.

Zeroing Hint

One of the first things to do when preparing to zero in a rifle is to check those guard screws, to see if they are fully tight. You'll be surprised to find that the average customer seldom does this, and a rifle that performs poorly might need only a thorough cleaning and its loose guard screws tightened.

Vibration from travel in rough terrain, plus the fluctuations from damp, rainy weather to warm, dry conditions can change stock-to-barrel action tensions and contracts, and can be responsible for your rifles inconsistent performance.

After removing a barreled action from its stock and retightening the guard screws before firing, don't forget to re-check them after firing about five shots. Often they'll need additional tightening. Also, at the conclusion of all firing, tighten guard screws completely.

The guard screws tightening program is also very important on all target rifles, especially spring piston air rifles which vibrate quite severely. In conjunction with guard screw tightening, don't forget to thoroughly clean the rifle barrel before firing again at completion.

Wire Wheel Matte Finishes

Metal finishing is the key to excellent gun blueing work. Sure, the chemical applications must be handled properly too, but the greatest chemistry available is going to look sloppy on poorly finished metals. Brownell's matte and carding wire wheels are indispensable for metal carding the hot water rust type blueing surfaces. Reihl .005-inch wire gives a soft wiping action at 500 to 600 r.p.m.

Monitor (.006-inch) wire with maximum r.p.m. of 6,000 can be used for harsher action required to remove rust, scale, grime, etcetera, from abused guns. Although never use the same wire buffing wheel for steel, aluminum, brass, as residual deposits on the wheel cause spots, discoloration on blueing or plating, and can leave rusty specks embedded in brushed stainless steel.

Tape Aids Glass Shaping

When filling small break-outs of wood gunstocks, it is often difficult to shape the soft epoxy fill-in properly, as it can run, move, sink and sag during hardening. It helps to add a little extra material, then cover it with masking tape. Affix tape in a manner to hold plenty of material where it is needed or might settle. As the glass commences to harden enough, to hold its shape, you can work it into proper contours through the tape without creating a sticky mess. The tape pulls off easily when the glass is fully cured.

PHOTO : 1/8-inch higher backwoods rear shotgun sight centered pattern
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Schumaker, William
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Previous Article:Hercules offers new powders: all in the Weatherby jugs.
Next Article:Getting a grip on handguns.

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