An accurate rifle can make the difference between a down animal and a missed shot. Though there are many factors that can make a rifle as accurate as possible, here are five tips that will maximize your rifle accuracy.

Whether it is a brand new precision rifle or an old rifle that you inherited, these tips will have you shooting tight groups and bringing meat to the freezer every time.

sighting in

Needless to say, a rifle needs to be sighted in as precisely and carefully as possible. This is rarely an easy task. I like to sight in my rifle at before any season starts, and especially before any big trip. Even if I bump my rifle on a hunt or change something on the rifle or barrel itself, I will put a round down range to be sure that it is on.

RELATED: 5 Easy Steps to Sighting in Your Hunting Rifle 

If adjustments need to be made, I do so as soon as possible. Depending on the hunt, I zero my scope to the range I think I will be taking the most shots at – usually this range is either 100 or 200. Calculating a range card, for variable distances, is also extremely helpful with this. A ballistics calculator can be found on the Hornady website.

trigger pull

A customized trigger I extremely helpful when attempting to maximize your rifle accuracy. This can be done a few different ways, but the easiest is to purchase a trigger with a pull weight that fits you. A lighter weight trigger pull will allow for less effort – thus less movement in your shot.

If a trigger pull weight is too high, then there is a possibility of jerking the trigger when attempting to pull it back. Though a light pull is excellent, be weary of a pull that is too light – this may cause an accidental discharge or an unexpected shot on an animal.

consistent loading

Shooting hand-loaded cartridges is not always necessary or possible for every shooter, however it can be an extremely worth-while practice for anyone. Rifle accuracy is a product of consistency. Every bullet will be much more likely to fly the same way as the one before it, if everything about that load is the same.

This is one reason why I prefer to load my own rifle cartridges. Another route of consistent ammunition is to purchase high-performance loads. There are many excellent ammunition companies that do this – one of which is Nosler. A company that is renowned for its high-performance loads.

rifle weight

Having a heavy rifle can be tough. Most hunters often gravitate to a lighter weight weapon, but truth be told, a heavier rifle will make for much more accurate shots. The extra weight, especially when in the barrel, will allow for a much steadier shot.

As for a lighter rifle, more movement will likely occur due to the difficulty in steadying it. For the hunter on the move, I suggest carrying a rifle that is somewhere in the middle. Not too light, but not unbearable to carry up the mountain. Also, be sure to carry a bipod or shooting sticks on every hunt.


The final and most important factor of rifle accuracy is a familiarity with your weapon. It doesn’t even matter if it is a rifle, pistol, bow, or even a spear. If you are familiar with your weapon, and have practiced with it a thousand times, then you will be more proficient with it. No matter how much you bought that custom state-of-the-art rifle for, put a few rounds down range and have superior confidence behind the trigger.