Lead Sled for fine sighting?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by SubZero, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Up to now with my 300wsm I've been sticking to Bore Sighting, just for getting used to the rifle and all on the range.

    There seem to be a lot of variables involved, such as flinch, how much caffeine I've had that day (grin) and how cold it is outside, but generally even with Bore Sighting I get 20 shots in a 5"-6" range with half a dozen bullseyes with 180 grain Winchester X.

    But I've been wondering, would it be worth using a Lead Sled to help provide some fine sighting for that rifle?

    Or would that not really help much given the punch the rifle has when fired?

    Thanks
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    I like to use a sled just to take all of the variables you mentioned out of the equation. Once I know for sure the bullet hits where I want it to, I switch to just sand bags for practice. I deer hunt quite a bit in shooting houses, so shooting off a sand bag is closer to actual hunting condition.
     

  3. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    When shooting rifles with a fair amount of felt recoil,a Lead Sled will really help you sight in your scope.Your rifle may or may not shoot that particular ammo well,sometimes you have to find what the gun likes to shoot.It may be a different brand/type of bullet/or weight of the bullet.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    As long as first shot is on paper, I can usually zero in 3 shots max, using the sled. First shot, come back to initial point of aim, check point of impact, adjust, fire (usually on), adjust if needed, fire to confirm.
     
  5. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I don't think the led sleds help that much other than confidence (except for maybe a gun that kicks the snot out of you)? I use to question my results when shooting and like most I would wonder how much of my group spread was me and how much was the gun. I finally got a couple of guns really dialed in and my groups were outstanding off sandbags. That gave me confidence in my shooting and let know that if the gun is the big variable and not my shooting. I still pull one every now and then but not often.

    I don't think of myself as anything other than an average shot. That being the case, most others would also shoot great groups if their gun is right. :)
     
  6. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    I think I would want to use the Lead Sled to make it easy to accurately sight-in, then not use it again for general shooting.

    I might want to know the gun is actually spot-on, so that I can then determine just how bad a shot I really am. :)
     
  7. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I do not see any use for the sled. It's not you shooting. I have a 300 Weatherby, sighted in 50yrs ago, been on planes, horseback, still dead nuts on. Minor adjustment for ammo.
    Also a little of your blood dripping on the scope is a good learning experience.
     
  8. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Never saw any need for a lead sled. i install a lot of scopes and sight in a lot of rifles. Luckily, i'm nearly impervious to recoil, and that helps greatly. See a lot of folks sight in their rifles using lead sleds and never fire the gun from their shoulder. Some of those guys have come back to the range for help after missing or wounding deer and elk because the gun was not properly zeroed. Saw quite a few stocks ruined by lead sleds too.
     
  9. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    At the range I shoot with the front stock in the sandbagged cradle and the rifle against my shoulder. The butt end is not touching sandbags or anything else, except me.

    Regarding the Lead Sled, in my mind, it would seem a very good way to help provide pin-point accuracy for the initial sighting in, using the same ammo that I would use for general shooting.

    If I'm using Winchester X 130 grain for the .270, I take the bore-sighted rifle, place it in the Lead Sled and sight-in for that particular ammo.

    I'm not going to have as steady of a hand as a stationary base would, so figured if the rifle rests snugly in the Lead Sled, I have a better chance of getting off a consistent / true shot each time with less variance, which is what I would want for accurately sighting in the rifle, correct?

    Once the rifle is sighted as accurately as possible using my preferred ammo, I can feel pretty confident that any variation from target is My doing and not the rifles.

    From that point I can work towards improving my technique until I'm able to get a good grouping on a consistent basis.

    Again, I'd only use the Lead Sled for initial sighting. After sighting is complete, that Lead Sled is tucked away in the garage and only brought out if for some reason the scope becomes off, or I change ammunition, say to 150 grain and maybe a different brand.

    Hope that makes more sense.
     
  10. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    I sight in any gun several times. Weather, mood, caffeine intake, and many other factors can affect your shooting on a given day. Once the rifling is worn in on a new gun point of impact can change. I want to check scopes several times to make sure I don't have a POS. Have several sessions with a 22 after shooting your 300 to avoid flinching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  11. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    I think that's my biggest problem with the 300WSM. I flinch. I can't seem to help it. I have that Limb Saver so I'm not sure if it's recoil or just the power of the rifle itself.

    Perhaps with a .270 130 grain I'll develop better habits.

    Might need to get a .22 plinker to help instill those habits. Sounds like a smart idea.

    I know with my .357 handguns, I occasionally pop in some .38 rounds to help me out, so the theory sounds pretty good.

    Thanks much for the tip.

    Appreciate all the comments as well.

    I might be over-thinking all of this - but I just feel that it can't hurt sighting-in the rifle as accurately as possible - at least as a starting point / foundation for becoming more accurate unsupported shooting.
     
  12. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    I feel if your a good enought hunter/shooter to kill a deer at any nomal distance a lead slead is a waist of money and time needed to use it unless you have a pile of maga mags to set up. I sight bore a bolt rifle for 25 yards. Fire one shot to check and adjust and move to 100 yards. One 3 shoot group and adjust, one more three shot groups to check then move on out to what i zero for. If you can't do it off sand bags or adjustable front rest and rear bag you might not be a good shot anyhow. You can place a folded towel between your shoulder and stock and it will absorb a large amount of recoil. Thats what I use to check my slug gun and buddies slug guns.
     
  13. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    It sounds like one of the best things to do is just keep practicing. All that range time and ammunition should help keep the economy moving forward in my area. At least I'll be doing my part. :)
     
  14. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    @Subzero you likely already have a 10/22. The 10/22 is very scope friendly. I would just get a scope that is similar to your hunting scope. I use the 25 foot regulation air gun targets to simulate long shots with only 35 or 40 yards of space.
     
  15. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Just out of curiosity why are you shooting a 300 WSM?
     
  16. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use sandbags, front and rear for zeroing. The sled seems like a good idea, and I'm looking around my club for someone that uses one to allow me to try it.

    I don't use wooden stocks, so I'm not concerned about damage.
     
  17. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Bigger impact, longer distance. Looking for a solid spread, so from a .270 up to a 300 WSM, I thought I would be well covered for just about anything I might normally encounter, including varying distances at the range.

    Also, when I bought my Tikka T3 Lite some years back, they had the specific gun I wanted in stock and ready to go.

    In the years since, GI Joes was bought and then went out of business (bad new management group) and then we had 2 Cabela's open up in our state and I can go there to make purchases. They have a much, much broader selection and can order just about anything you want.

    So, all this to say, I would have perhaps made a different choice had Cabela's been an option. But I have what I have. And I am accurate with the 300WSM, just not as consistent as I would like to be. Gotta work on that Flinch problem I have. Part of it may because I'm shooting at a range to sight it in and other rifles are going off all around me. Not sure.

    But I will keep working on it. That's half the fun of gaining experience and becoming a better, more mature shooter. Practice. :)
     
  18. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Our range has a 50/100 hard public area and a 300 yard member area for rifles. So I've been working at 50 yards.
     
  19. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    I think using sandbags in the rear is definitely worth trying. It could end up being all that I need in order to do an accurate sighting.

    I'll give it a try at the range and post with the results.

    For some reason I had the Lead Sled concept stuck in my brain, but if I simply use bags to stabilize the butt, it may well work itself out.

    Thanks a lot. Appreciate the tip.
     
  20. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Just got back from the range with the new 700 Rem .270. Shot Winchester SuperX 130 grain.

    Used just sandbags and the provided front rest. First 12-15 shots of the day seemed sort of all over the place, though almost all within the 8" black circle. Started to settle in and by shot 20, I had it pretty well sighted in.

    Next box, same ammo, 16 of 20 within the 1" to center ring, 3 within the 1.5" to center ring and one errant nearly 3" out to the right (flinch I think)

    So, seem to do okay without the Lead Sled, at least with the .270.

    Thank you all again for the comments, feedback and tips.

    I'll just keep on practicing and having fun.