QI missed a few rabbits the other night with my .17 HMR. When I checked zero the following day, I had a couple of real flyers. Is this likely to be a problem with the ammunition or the rifle?
AANDY CROW replies: Okay, first things first. Rimfire ammunition is obviously mass-produced to be as cheap as possible. The .17 HMR calibre does also have a reputation for throwing in the odd flyer out of nowhere. However, there are a few other things to look at.
If you had a few misses and then a few ‘flyers’ while zeroing, are these instances really anomalies or are they relatively regular? You mention the rifle and the ammunition as potential causes, but what about the shooter? Are you shooting from bag or bench or bonnet or bipod? Have you tried shooting large shot strings or just three-shot groups?
Have you recently cleaned the rifle? Have you recently changed optic or moderator? Be scientific in your approach. Assess every possible variable and try to eliminate them one at a time. If, at the end of it all, you are still having lots of flyers then you need to be honest enough to check if you are a contributing factor, too.