Why on some days to I shoot two close groups while aiming at the same point??

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Steel Guitar

32 Cal
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
24
Hello all,
Why on some days do I shoot two close groups while aiming at the same point?? The groups are usually about 4" apart horizonally. The hits in these two groups are random, not the first 3 to the right then the second 3 to the left. I can be shooting standing supported by a pole or from the bench. From the bench I try my best to do it the same way for every shot and use bags on front and back. The same load on a different day will put them all in one nice group.
What am I doing wrong?
 

freedom475

40 Cal.
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
157
Reaction score
62
You may be shifting your eye's focus between the target and front the sight. It is easy to let your front sight focus (correct way) shift to the target (wrong)... This focus shift will change your bullet's impact point fairly consistently, giving you 2 groups.
 

Bob McBride

54 Cal.
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
1,724
Reaction score
3,268
Location
Short Mountain, TN
Concentrate on exactly the same cheek weld every time. That’s a big consistency killer if you’re not very conscious of that.
 
Last edited:

deermanok

32 Cal.
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
1,434
Reaction score
817
Location
Oklahoma
I know I'll never win any marksmanship awards but I'm not terrible either.
Some days I can't hit for beans. Sometimes the light and shade at the range throws me off or my form and follow through are off a bit.
Wind can make a difference too.
 

dave951

45 Cal.
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
745
Reaction score
806
How you hold the gun can make a change. Canting, cheek weld, grip, trigger pull can all have an effect that you might not be conscious of. Moving your head while shooting can move the group. My bet is on how you hold the gun with the trigger hand and how you're pulling the trigger. You need to have someone watch this closely for changes.
 

ZUG

Pilgrim
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
291
Location
CA
The time of day has a lot to do with it as the sun light is reflected off of your sights and this changes your sight picture. If you are shooting under a roof where the sun light is not shining on your sights then what I said before has no validity - it's your eyesight.
 

Steel Guitar

32 Cal
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
24
Hmm, how I hold the gun with the trigger hand and cheek weld. Thanks, but what is cheek weld??
 

BS

50 Cal.
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
1,411
Reaction score
118
Sun location......do you swab between shots?
 

FiremanBrad

40 Cal.
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
453
Reaction score
266
Inconsistency in your form.
could be where and how you place your feet, or where your trigger finger lands on the trigger, or anything in between!
 

SDSmlf

40 Cal.
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
3,414
Reaction score
2,562
Location
Western North Carolina
Hello all,
Why on some days do I shoot two close groups while aiming at the same point?? The groups are usually about 4" apart horizonally. The hits in these two groups are random, not the first 3 to the right then the second 3 to the left. I can be shooting standing supported by a pole or from the bench. From the bench I try my best to do it the same way for every shot and use bags on front and back. The same load on a different day will put them all in one nice group.
What am I doing wrong?
What distance are you shooting at? Any chance you are left eye dominant shooting right handed (or right eye dominant shooting left)?
 

oldwood

50 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
1,262
Location
Pa. , USA
When shooting from a bench , offhand , or whatever , any shooting coach will ask you to lock the gun into your shoulder by raising your arm with elbow at right angle to your body . That's a "cheek weld" description. That will help with consistency. There's always a "but". I find too many folks trying to shoot m/l stocks and crawling up on the stock comb with their cheek and neck in an unnatural position. This bad habit will cause recoil to strike the cheek/face , causing the shooter to readjust his hold and possibly causing a new point of impact. Most open iron sight shooters should know how light penumbra changes sight pictures , giving a different point of impact.......oldwood
 
Last edited:

Throwdown58

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
276
Reaction score
140
Besides all of the great ideas here, it could be that your mold is out of round. Try putting a caliper on the ball and turning it in all the different ways. Obviously if you are using swaged purchased balls this would not be an issue.
 

Mark Herman

45 Cal.
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
777
Reaction score
306
I agree with Zig. Without a roof or shaders your group will follow the sun every time. You probably had a break between group 1 and 2 and the sun moved to one side causing the second distinct group.
 

Canute Rex

40 Cal.
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
308
Reaction score
100
I agree with Zig. Without a roof or shaders your group will follow the sun every time. You probably had a break between group 1 and 2 and the sun moved to one side causing the second distinct group.
He says it isn't 3 of one and *then* 3 of another, but randomly alternating.

Aside from the cheek weld and sight picture advice, I'd say try to wiggle your sights. If one is loose in its dovetail it could knock back and forth randomly. My first rule of troubleshooting is to pick the thing that would be most embarrassing for someone else to point out.
 
Top