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Less Ammo on the Range


Using a gun cradle helps steady the shooter and limits the use of costly ammo.

Photo by Jeff Kurrus, Nebraskaland

By Jeff Kurrus

Some of us like to shoot guns. We look forward to the activity, save money for it, and we definitely don’t see dollar signs disappearing every time a cartridge is ejected. Yet there are others who pay attention to the rising cost of ammo prices, sweating each time a bullet leaves the barrel.

If you fit in the latter group, pay attention to these tips when getting your scopes locked in for hunting season. Sighting in a firearm quickly and accurately will conserve ammunition.


This an age-old, do-it-by-eye method that calls for centering a target through a rifle’s open bore while simultaneously centering the same target through the scope. Laser bore sighters can help.

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There is no need to line up a rifle at 100 yards to start. Twenty-five yards makes much more sense, both for speed as well as saving a few bucks on ammo in the beginning.

Make a Cradle

While leaning against a vehicle or even resting the rifle on a table will help a shooter line up a rifle, creating a wooden cradle is an easy DIY project. When shooting with your rifle in the cradle, this device keeps you and the gun steady, which ensures maximum accuracy.

Making the Cradle

1. Using ¼ to ½ plywood or strand board, create a stable base.
2. Cut two vertical boards and create two grooves so that the gun you shoot will rest comfortably with the trigger housing outside of the boards.
3. Use L brackets to connect the base to the vertical boards.
4. Glue carpet or use self-adhesive rubber strips for the notches. Add carpet or rubber strips underneath for even more stability. You can also use a couple old socks filled with sand in the notches to raise or lower the front or back of the firearm.

Depending on the rifle’s dimensions, the spacing on the slats can be adjusted. You’re simply looking for stability when lining up a rifle, both for the game you’re pursuing as well as the pocketbook you’re carrying.