September 2006- Casper, Wyoming.
I was scratching my head as I watched a 13″ antelope disappear behind a gulley at top speed.
He was only about 125 yards away when I fired and my rifle was zeroed for 100 yards. I had made this shot several times before and every single time it resulted in a dead critter. This time, I watched dirt kick up over his shoulder.
I had attached a bipod to my rifle.
He wasn’t the only buck I shot over that day. I won’t tell you the exact number, but shot opportunities are plentiful in Natrona County.
At about 1pm, I finally removed the bipod and brought down a decent buck at 490 yards. With that one simple change, I went from missing easy shots to hitting my longest shot ever.
As long as you sight in with a bipod -and always shoot from a bipod- this is a non issue. I have known for a while that a variation of your type/composition of rest can make a significant difference in point of impact, but haven’t actually put it to a test.
Your type of rest can be more critical than you think.
The group on the left was shot on a flat, hard, unforgiving surface- a rubbermaid tote. The group on the right was fired from a bean bag chair (ghetto perhaps, but supremely effective for prone shooting).
The group from the beanbag chair impacted about .125″ above point of aim. In the field, it’s hard to tell the difference.
The group on the left impacted almost half an inch above point of aim. That doesn’t sound bad at first, until you realize it is 2MOA. At 25 yards this could mean a wounding shot versus a clean kill. At 50 yards that would correlate to 1 inch difference. At 100 that would equal 2 inches. Either way, at distance it’s a clean miss on game.
So remember this next time you zero your rifle. Alternatively, if you’re missing targets you should be hitting, think about this theory and put it on paper for yourself.