Factors that Affect Accuracy in Rifle Firing

A man firing a rifleRifles are guns that are especially crafted for power, range and accuracy. With long barrels that have spiral rails inside, they make bullets spin as they travel at high speeds over long distances. The spinning motion keeps bullets in straight lines for longer periods, making rifles ideal for taking out targets from afar.

Of course, having a good rifle is no guarantee that you’ll hit the mark each and every time. Rifle accuracy is determined by several different factors. Some of them you can control, while others you’ll just have to compensate for.

Here are the most important elements that you have to be aware of when trying to shoot with precision using a rifle:

  • Shooter Skill – If there’s no mechanical issue in the rifle, accuracy can depend largely on the shooter’s skill level. Familiarity with the firearm type and model play important roles in accuracy. The shooter’s stance and the correctness of the firearm’s position at the time the shot is fired also matter.

Even with experienced shooters, physical conditioning is vital in shooting well. Staying cool, composed and hydrated will help you focus more, increasing your chances at scoring direct hits.

  • Barrel Temperature – Rifle accuracy falls as the barrel gets hotter. Make sure to let the firearm cool down before taking another shot. If you’ve been noticing better shooting performances on colder days, the barrel temperature may be the factor that’s making the difference.
  • Wind Strength – Wind is the most common environmental reason why rifle shots miss their marks. Over 1,000 yards, just wind blowing at just 1mph can set a bullet off course by as much as 15 inches. That said, 10, 15 and 20mph winds can send a shot off course by dozens of feet.

Experienced shooters can often compensate for wind by determining the speed and direction, then making the necessary adjustments. However, gusty and unpredictable winds can befuddle even the most skilled of shooters. When faced with strong winds, use heavier bullets and higher-caliber rifles that are able to resist the influence of adverse atmospheric conditions.

  • Bullet Quality – The quality of your ammunition and its compatibility with your barrel are essential in accurate rifle use. Load your weapon with the type of ammunition prescribed by the manufacturer. This ensures the right fit with the barrel rails, making for faster and more stable spins while the bullets are in flight. Whenever you have the choice, choose heavier bullets as they tend to resist wind influence due to the combination of their weight, the explosion’s power and the stability of the spinning motion.
  • Shooter Position – Elevated and visually unobstructed spots are ideal positions to shoot from. For best results, find a place where you can see your targets clearly so you can better gauge distance, compensate for wind and make adjustments based on target movement.

As you can see, the accuracy of the shots you fire is a combination of many things. For best results, do the right amount of research before purchasing a weapon and put in the time for shooting practice to increase your skill level. Doing your homework on both ends won’t help you hit all your targets every time, but it sure will maximize your chances of doing so consistently.