Here's what i do before i go hunting.
Clean rifle real good at home before going to the range.
At the range I shoot clean rifle average 15-20 rds til i get zeroed perfect like i want it.
When rifle is zeroed and dirty i pack up and go home.
I don't clean the rifle at home cause i know it's shooting exactly where i need it.
Rifle sits in safe til next week then i take it out hunting expecting it to shoot like the last shots i made at the range.
I was talking to a precision rifle shooter at the range today and he told me to always zero my stuff clean. He even said bring cleaning stuff to the range when zeroing. He was saying clean clean clean and always shoot clean.
So I have a few questions.
How many rds is considered dirty?
How many rds does it take to make zero change from clean to dirty?
Do you guys zero clean or dirty?
I just figured in the field hunting, specially on a multi day trip, there wasn't going to be any cleaning going on.
How many rds do snipers fire in the field before they clean??
I hope what i'm asking is making sense. Please give me some feedback.
Two schools of thought on this.
One is to clean the bore, shoot a "clean" shot, then clean it again and shoot another "clean" shot. Repeat until you have a 5 shot group. In theory, they should all be printing at the same location - and there's you're "cold shot" with a clean bore.
The other school of thought is to take a couple fouling shots before putting the rifle away, making sure the last one is on target, and the barrel isn't hot. Then, you're on target with a "cold shot", albeit with a dirty bore.
I have done it both ways, and I remain loyal to the dirty bore. For one, I don't get a good consistent shot from a clean bore, and second, I don't leave my guns where rust would be a problem with a dirty gun.
Do it both ways and see what you come up with - experience is a better teacher on this than a range expert. YMMV
I do pretty much the same as you. Take it to the range, sight it in, go home, go hunting, come home at the end of season, clean. Works for me.
In my experience, the first shot after cleaning has a different point of impact. The rest of the shots go the same place, whether it is the second, third or tenth shot (assuming the barrel is allowed to cool). So I clean after sighting in, and then fire a fouling shot the day before the season starts.
I've found that it depends on the rifle. My Remy 788s (22-250 & .243) love to be dirty. I'll shoot 3-5 fouling shots after cleaning before I use them in the field. Twenty rounds later they're still "on". My Armalite and Remy 700 ADL like to be clean so I'll shoot only 1 shot after cleaning before use. I'll then give them a good cleaning after 10-15 rounds.
Very rarely will the first shot from a clean cold barrel end up where you think it should. Successive shots will eliminate the worry that has entered your thoughts.
Every rifle tends to be a little different. You'll have to let yours tell you what it likes.