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cant get my gun to group

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Unread 07-17-2011, 09:31 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
cant get my gun to group

Hi Guys,
I have a Ruger M77 300 Win Mag. I am going mule deer hunting in mid September, I Don't know what to do or what to think about this gun i have tried alot and just can't get a good group. I started out with 168 VLD and tried anywhere from 72-77 grains of RL22. Not one was under 3" then i tried several with H4350 not one grouped any better. then i Tried partitions and still could get nothing with the same powders. then i tried Plain Nosler BT and at 76 grains got a 1" group so i went to 76.5 and managed a great .435" group. i adjust my scope and shot and it wouldn't group. left and right was dead on but elevation was no good. so we went and cleaned it and it did the same thing went to like a 2" group with the elevation being off. So i put a differnt scope on to see if that was it. It shot ok but still was about a 2" group. Any idea what could be wrong i've shot so much this weekend i'm ready to throw the gun in the trash.
Any help would be great.
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Unread 07-17-2011, 09:53 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 8,652
Re: cant get my gun to group

I would carefully inspect with a magnifying glass the crown of the muzzle to see if a cleaning jag or something has scratched or nicked it.

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Unread 07-17-2011, 09:56 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,400
Re: cant get my gun to group

Well Chad you may be rushing it a bit. First off lets start with a few questions ok? Can you give us the specs of the gun ie. what scope are you using? Did you install the rings and bases and has there been any work done to the gun?

Did you shoot a ladder test? Whats the twist rate of your barrel? What range are you load testing at? I use H1000 and a 185g VLD in my 300 win mag. Please read the artical below

Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets

Here is a short list of things to check on your rifle
Action screw tension 65" pounds for piller bedded actions, 35 for all others( thats my personal rule)
Are you bases and rings torqued to manufactures spects and did you apply blue locktight?
Is you box magazine binding? You should be able to move it a small amount with your hand.
How does your crown look? Take a patch and run it around the crown look for any threads of material caught on a burr.
When your testing your loads how long are you waitng between shots? I wait 10 min before firing the next round.

I know its alot and I realy didnt hit it all but check the rifle first and then we will start with your handload.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
If you want to shoot Bergers start here!
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Unread 07-17-2011, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N. Texas and S. Africa
Posts: 8,097
Re: cant get my gun to group

I'd back you up even further.

Has it been free floated and pillar bedded or does it have a full length aluminum bedding block?

That is the first place I'd start.

Are you sure your scope mounts are properly aligned and torqued?

Has your trigger been tuned/adjusted? What is it's pull weight?

Are you shooting free hand, off of bags? Off of rear bag and bipod?

There's a million things that can affect accuracy.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 01:03 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 44
Re: cant get my gun to group

Sounds like something is loose..ie, your action screws, scope mounts, etc. I wouldn't suspect a nicked crown or something seriously damaged on account that your groups are not consistent in size. What is a viable indicator is that you said your groups tend to be tight regarding windage, but your elevation shows variance. Check your screws and scope mounts for proper torque, check to ensure the forearm of your stock isn't under stress with the barrel, etc... then worry about the serious problems.
Good luck.
Run as fast and as long as you can... my little friend will catch up and set you free.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 06:32 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 1,192
Re: cant get my gun to group

How many rounds down the barrel ? Is it new ? Has the barrel been broken in ? When last was the copper fouling removed from the bore ? Do you know if you have copper fouling ? Magnums generate a lot of heat and can vaporize and then re-deposit copper in the throat. If the barrel was broken in and cleaned properly, some fouling shots will need to be fired before it will shoot consistently (I'm referring to "factory" barrels, as opposed to exotic hand lapped barrels, which have a much better finish).

What scope do you have ? Do you know that it is repeatable in elevation ? A bad scope is a shortcut to a nervous breakdown....

Usually, trigger issues cause more horizontal stringing. For me, shooting from the bench my breathing tends to make the muzzle climb towards 2pm and down towards 8am in a line.

The rest under the fore stock needs to have some give or the muzzle can be "whipped" upward in a way that is also subjectively recognized. I take a sheet of that rubber foam stuff that you line tool drawers with and fold it a couple of times and put it under the fore stock. Try also to be consistent with the position of the rest under the fore stock.

Sorry, since we are piling on the questions, but in all that range time, did you shoot anything else ? I never take only 1 gun to the range. If I think I am doing badly with something, I take another rifle and have a go with that. If my groups are fine with the second rifle (given its own traits), then I know my technique is not off the map. If a rifle just doesn't fit you well, one can try to compensate by continuously changing the grip, where the left hand is placed, right hand position relative to the trigger (if the trigger does not fall right and the finger cramps). This kind of subconscious "adjustment" will play havoc with the ability to be consistent.

What about ammo ? Did you shoot any store bought ammo or was it all reloaded ? Milsurp ammo nearly drove me crazy until I tried some commercial stuff. Since then I reload and some of my reloads are great. Others I am still battling with (not having a case trimmer, using different brass, some bullets needing to be crimped, others not etc etc).

When one has paid money for a new weapon it can be hard to objectively say that it doesn't fit right and that more money will need to be spent to make it fit right. But typically that is how it is and ones performance will not be consistent until the deficiencies are addressed.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 10:26 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: alabama
Posts: 125
Re: cant get my gun to group

I had a familiar problem with a Remington model 770 that I had. I was pushing 130 grain factory ammo through it and the bullets were dancing around all over the target at 100 yards. I checked the scope, mounts and everything from the end of the barrel to the end of the stock. No matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn't get that rifle dialed in. Then I started researching everything I could find about rifles on the web. I then learned the definition of twist rate and what it meant. I found out that for a fast twist (which is what the barrel of my rifle had), a heavier grain bullet would stabilize through the barrel better when fired. I bumped the bullets up to 150 grains and magic happened. The point of impact improved greatly and I wasn't pissed as much. I ended up selling the rifle anyways because I had the itch for something better. There are a lot of factors that come in to play when trying to get a rifle to improve and I had to eat a hole in my pocket, just to learn that one.

Last edited by hatfield954; 07-19-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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