Rifle Shooting

Elements of Accuracy: The Elements

Rifle ShootingBuilding a rifle for accuracy comes down to several elements. This series of articles will discuss each of the elements in moderate depth and refer you to resources that will allow you to further your studies and, if you want, improve or upgrade your shooting equipment. This first article will discuss the outline and the basics such as choosing a caliber for the results you want and introduce the basic ways to improve accuracy.

Choosing a rifle and caliber comes down to many things for different people. I find it most useful to start with the end in mind. What will the rifle be used for? Will the rifle be multipurpose or very specialized? Here are some of the basics to guide you through the selection process.

Rifle types:

  • Plinker
  • Small Game
  • Target Rifle
  • Long Range Target Rifle
  • Deer Rifle
  • Elk Rifle or Multi Purpose
  • Long Range Hunting Rifle
  • Rail Gun

Of course these are just my classifications. Your sport or hunting style is what really matters. Once you have decided on the gun’s purpose, the viable calibers for your use depend on practicality and personal preference. Spend some time researching the calibers if you are starting from scratch.

Once you have the caliber picked out, choose a model that can be readily improved for accuracy. If you are improving a plinker, a Ruger 10-22 might be the gun of choice. For deer, elk or long range hunting you might consider the newer Savage models or a Remington 700, or even something more custom (expensive). Take into consideration what modifications you want.

The basic improvements for accuracy are:

  • Scope
  • Custom Hand Loaded Bullets
  • Custom Trigger
  • Custom Barrel
  • Custom Stock
  • Muzzle Brake

Each one of the listed components can make BIG gains in rifle accuracy, however for the sake of this series we will take a look at each component individually. Most rifles built for extreme accuracy have most or all of the listed components. It wouldn’t make much sense to hand load bullets and feed them into a precision barrel and then yank on the factory trigger or sight through a low power scope. As with any system, your gains are only as good as the weakest component.