Mike Morton discusses whether you should remove your moderator for storage and what happens if you shoot without…
Q. I like to take off my moderator for storage. Am I doing my rifle any harm by doing this? And what will happen to my shots if I forget to take the moddy with me the next time I shoot?
A. You are asking two very different questions here. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with taking your moderator off on a regular basis. Centrefire shooters do this all the time. The only potential issue here is if you cross the threads when screwing it back on.
The way I like to install a moderator is to rest the rifle on its butt, muzzle up, then gently turn the moderator anti-clockwise. You will feel or even hear the threads go click when they engage. Then you can gently screw the moderator on clockwise. It helps to grease the threads, too.
Point of impact (POI) may be affected or completely unaffected by shooting your rig with or without a moderator. This is due to two factors: the weight of the moderator and barrel harmonics. A heavy moderator may reduce muzzle flip, meaning shots go lower. Alternatively, using a moderator may change the harmonics, upsetting the tiny vibrations that run through a barrel when a pellet is being fired. This could also affect POI.
Neither of the above should make your rifle any less accurate. It’s all about consistency. However, you will have to shoot your rifle with and without a moderator in controlled conditions to ascertain whether POI shifts or stays the same. The results will not be the same for every rifle/moddy combo.