Lets just forget about fancy rifles for a minute because the fact is that a good shooter with an average rifle is likely to out-shoot an average shooter with a good rifle. So, what is it that makes one person shoot better than another with the same rifle?
In essence, it comes down to three things:
Ok, so this may be a little over simplified but it does get a across the importance of attention to detail and ensuring every shot is released the same as the last. So, to expand those first three rules a little:
1/ Consistency of shooting position:
There are any number of "best techniques" propounded by different shooters and disciplines but the one common element they all aim for is the most steady, reliable and consistent shooting position possible. What ever position you choose to use is must be stable, comfortable for you to maintain for an entire shoot and as close to exactly the same from shot to shot as possible. If you are continually changing position then you will more than likely find that your POI (point of impact) continually changes as well. This does NOT equate to a good string of bullseye. Related to this is your equipment; rests, mat, etc. You need to be able to establish your shooting platform as close to exactly the same each time you prepare for a shoot.
2/ Consistency of trigger release:
While "pulling the trigger" may seem the simplest of tasks, if you do not achieve the trigger break the same as you did for your last shot, your POI is like to change. This might not be noticeable at 100yd or when you are out hunting but when you are attempting to place round after round into a 1/2 MOA 'X' ring at 500yd or even much further, every change in the way you approach that trigger can translate to lost points.
3/ Consistency of wind:
With out a doubt, once that bullet leaves the barrel, the biggest influence over its final POI is the WIND. Wind reading in long range precision shooting is probably the hardest thing to master and the biggest difference between an expert shooter and someone who can shoot well in good conditions. Being able to read wind changes from flags or environmental cues is key to high score at extended range. If a shooter can pick the average wind for current conditions and choose to break the shot wind that wind is blowing as close to the same as the previous shot, then it is likely (all other things taken care of) that POI will be very close to the previous shot.
This little article isn't intended as an instructional, rather as food for thought for novice and intermediate shooters as to what needs to be researched and practiced for them to improve their shooting. There is a tendency to want to buy a good score by upgrading gear but if you can't focus down on the small things, all you gear changes will simply keep you well outside the 'X'. Research, practice, find what works for you and keep it consistent!