August is often the worst of summer’s heat but it’s also time to get bows and guns ready for fall hunting seasons. I’ve been flinging arrows for a few weeks but needed to get a family muzzleloader tuned in case somebody decides to use it on deer in late September.
I tried Sunday morning after church. Even prayers couldn’t get any kind of accuracy.
The barrel was returned dirty after I loaned it to a friend last fall so I spent the first 10 minutes getting the barrel swabbed clean of old black powder. The first two shots were decent. I couldn’t even hit a 12-inch target at 100 yards after those. At the time I figured the barrel had become too hot to be consistently accurate.
I cleaned the rifle and headed home frustrated.
I’ve never gotten a great explanation as to why a hot barrel doesn’t shoot accurately but I know it’s a fact. Our centerfires that’ll group 1-inch at 100 yards when cool will open up to 4-5-inches if the barrel gets hot. Blackpowder rifles are notoriously worse.
Hank and I headed out at 6:30 this morning. Bingo! With four shots, good cleanings between shots and a little tweaking with the scope and the rifle was dead-on at 100 yards.
I still need to check the point of impact at 50 and 150 yards but I’ll wait until the weather cools a bit and do it at the coolest part of the day.
Intense heat and accuracy never mix.