Now that I’ve had a moment to think about it, it seems logical to break up Monday’s test group into 3 smaller groupings.  (Click to enlarge.)

Those three circles in the chart each have a radius of 24 feet.  The fact that the shots inside these circles are all consecutive in the order in which they were fired, is very significant.

Here is what I observe about these shots:

Shot # 1 came out of the gate pretty darn fast, as shot #1 very often does.  We discount it as an enthusiastic anomaly.

Shots # 2, 3 & 4 plunked down conveniently inside a 24 foot radius.

Shots # 5, 6 & 8 also fall inside a neat 24 foot radius. (My field notes confirm that shot #7 was performed during a period of gusting winds.  Actually, it is that same shot we provided a pull back video of yesterday.  Wind was quartering over the starboard side as I remember.  This probably explains why it is so far out to the left of the middle circle.  And so, we discount it too.)

Shots #9, 10, 11 & 12 all hit inside another 24 foot radius.

It is clear, that when viewed as consecutive shots, these groupings indicate a classic  case of  “wandering zero”.

Cases of wandering zero are tricky little buggers.  I have a British Jungle Carbine that suffers from this same condition.  Take it out on Monday and it’ll shoot a nice tight group right in the center of the bullseye.  Take it out Tuesday and it’ll still shoot a nice group, it’s just that the group has strayed several inches out of the bullseye.  Another day, another movement of the group.  This is wandering zero.  The Brits never did cure their jungle carbine of this annoying tendency.  But, guns ain’t catapults, and I’m still optimistic about our chances here.  In Firefly’s case it could easily be that we just need to shoot her some more until the bundles fully stabilize after the installation of the new limbs.

If the wandering zero issue can be resolved it is likely that Firefly can put a substantial majority of her 12 matched bolts into a single 24 foot radius at 800 yards.   This is going to be interesting!


The all time king of “wandering zero”,  my Dad’s .303, Mk.V, Lee Enfield, “Jungle Carbine”.

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