Clay: How to Set Up Your Rifle for Accuracy Testing

Editor’s note: When it comes to testing the accuracy of your rifle, what exactly (what features and accessories) do you need to get the job done?

In the (NSFW) video above, GunsAmerica’s resident War Chief Clay Martin discusses how he runs his “system” to test a rifle’s accuracy.

For many of you seasoned shooters who have developed your own workable system over the years, Clay’s approach may conflict with your own.  That’s okay. There is more than one way to skin this cat.  

Yet for new shooters, hopefully, this video provides you with a sound tutorial on some of the considerations you will need to ponder before you head to the range.  Sandbags or bipod?  Precision rifle stock or basic adjustable stock?   Iron sights or scope?  Etc., etc.  

Also, to view Clay’s thoughts on pistol accuracy testing, specifically, why he believes it’s overrated, check out this post.  

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

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  • Gage B May 23, 2023, 1:04 am

    Hello clay. I was wondering what product you use to make a slip mark on your sight. Thanks.

  • Will Drider December 24, 2016, 2:27 am

    Reticles vary but you have intersecting crosshairs and these are sometimes thicker then the lines on a grid type target. Regardless of crosshair thickness, I mount these targets 45° offset. Using the crosshairs and the grid lines (unobstructed), you will now have a more precise aiming point and visual clues to center on.

    After you mount or check scope mount fasteners: Slip mark them. If they back off you will see the slip mark broke or misaligned.

    Soft bags work better then a bipod on guns without free floated barrels due to barrel harmonics. IMHO

  • USMCVeteran December 23, 2016, 8:49 am

    Great vid. Good advice. In the Marines we use the sling and “lock” ourselves into the prone position @ 500 yards, it wasn’t uncommon to place the bullet through the same hole every time.

    • Randy H December 23, 2016, 1:21 pm

      I didn’t realize y’all put the crayons down that long……lol ^5 for the service…

  • TXMechEngr December 21, 2016, 11:51 am

    Sorry for the double post. It takes a while to post and I thought I didn’t click the submit button.

  • TXMechEngr December 21, 2016, 11:44 am


    Thank you for sharing. Us, non-gun nazis appreciate the information. I know that some one here will post that you can’t do this and you can’t do that or that we shouldn’t shoot on one leg, while riding in the back of a pickup, during a snowstorm, while being driven by your one-eyed pet cat, who’s fighting with the neighbors dog, over who should eat the four day old enchilada. Thank you for serving our country and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Looks colder than a witches in Idaho; stay warm dude.

    • clay martin December 23, 2016, 10:09 am

      thanks brother! Merry Christmas to you too! And damn, yes it is cold.

  • TXMechEngr December 21, 2016, 11:17 am

    Also, it seems that it’s colder than a witches in Idaho.

  • TXMechEngr December 21, 2016, 11:13 am

    Thank you for always sharing your knowledge. I know that some people will comment about how their style is better and how you should not shoot on one leg, while riding in the back of a pickup during a snowstorm, uphill, while your one-eyed pet cat is driving and all sorts of blah, blah, blah. Thanks again for serving our country and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year.

    • David McGee December 23, 2016, 8:51 pm

      Who had the nerve to place a thermometer between a witches breast? For that matter, a welldiggers buttocks. On a more serious note, do we really believe that science can so accurately determine the earths core temperature? Science concludes the core is one degree cooler than a century ago. Really!!!! Just how long is the thermometer that is used to penetrate to the center.


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