ACCURACY- WANDERING GROUPS
In the past, I have shot groups almost exclusively, seldom for score. Lately I have been trying to learn to shoot score, for the 50-yard rimfire matches at the club. The targets have 25 bulls, 1 shot per.
The group center moves relative to the aiming point as I move the rifle from target to target; with no relationship between rifle movement direction and group center movement direction that I can detect. This has happened for as long as I can remember, but doesn’t matter in group shooting.
I have no guns with "bench rest" 3" wide forends.
I began with my ancient and reliable Hoppes front rest, with a Stoney Point Universal Front Bag, (4.75" L X 2.5" H X 2" W), and a Protektor rear bag. The front bag is attached to the Hoppes rest with double-sided tape and the Velcro holder straps. The front rest is free to turn left and right, the top piece is free to rotate on the shaft. Everything else is locked down. Coarse elevation adjustments are made on the Hoppes front rest; fine elevation adjustments are made by sliding the gun forward and backward. Windage adjustments are made by moving the rear bag left and right. I put baby powder on both front and rear rests frequently, to eliminate friction and stickiness.
After a lot of experimenting and several contraptions, it looks like the front rest/bag is the culprit. I went to the Don Baker front rest. With a sled on some rifles, a half sled on others, and tilt eliminator and a brass screw/acorn nut on the Ruger Charger; most of the wandering group problem seems to be gone.