hi guys, been lurking around this forum for quite a while now, but now need some help.
I shoot a 7mm Mag (remington) and every time I shoot lately my first shot is way outside of where it should be (4-6 inches from the center of group after I shoot shots 2-6). Shot #2 and subsequent shots all make a nice group in the center of my target. It's that first shot out that has me scratching my head. I have shot it with a cold fouled barrell and altough the first shot isn't as far out there, it still impacts far from where it should. As long as I can get that barrell warm with one shot the gun shoots great. I have ruled out operator error as I have had had several friends who are good shooters, shoot the gun and the same thing happens when they shoot it.
is this every group that you shoot or only after cleaning it and your first group of the day? It may just need that first fouler shot to get in the groove. One of mine likes to be really dirty before it groups well, 5 or 6 six shots in and it starts to really tighten up.
First thoughts would be that if it's been free floated, pillar and glass bedded, something is out of square in the action/barrel mate up.
If the former hasn't been done, that's where I'd start.
I had a similar but even worse problem with my original 700bdl 7 mag and we never did get it to shoot right. Remington finally replaced it after five trips back to the factory. Note this was over 20 years ago.
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When you say your friends tried to shoot it and also got a first shot flyer, was it after a cleaning and on a cold bore too?
I would suggest dry firing 5 - 10 times before you shoot your group. Setup and prepare as if you were actually going to shoot for your group. Pretend as if it's the real thing, but only a dry firing. When everythings good to go like natural point of aim, sight picture is clear in the scope from edge to edge, pulling straight back on the trigger, and breaking the shot at the bottom of your breathing cycle, then load a round and fire a group.
Most of the time its mental or shooter induced. If its the temp of the barrel that affects the shot, then you would expect every shot to be consistently different because the barrel in always getting hotter. After the first shot is fired and the round goes 4-6 inches off target, lets say high, and then the second shot is fired and hits the bullseye, you would expect the third shot to be lower because of the barrel is still heating up. All subsequent rounds would follow in a line.
Not trying to say you're a bad shooter but my experience is that dry firing helps.
Have you glass bedded your action in to the stock?
This sounds like an old 270 Win Featherweight that I had.
The barrel was touching the stock just a little, but after the first shot the barrel warmed and warped just enough to clear the stock.
With my hunting rifles,I usually bed the first 2" of barrel, the recoil lug and 3or 4" of the action. The easiest bedding compound to use is plumbers epoxy type putty. I'm sure Devcon makes a better finished product, but the twist and apply stuff is so easy to use.
Be sure to get some mold release for your action.
Both of my hinting rifles are bedded. In my experience a bedded rifle with a free floated barrel always shoots better .
Good luck with this.
thanks for all the advice-no, I have not glass bedded the barrell into the stock, and I have had several people say I should do that. I have run a dollar bill between the stock and the barrell when the barrell is cold and after shooting and the dollar bill runs freely in either scenario-does that tell you anything?
The past week I have been shooting a 5 shot group each day without cleaning the barrell at all. Each day I do this that first shot gets closer and closer to the rest of my group. Yesterday I did this and my first shot was still my farthest left shot, but was part of a 2.5" group at 300 yards.
I have heard guys say their guns shoot better after running 20-30 rounds through-is that an old wives tale, or is it possible that this is what I am experiencing.
Thanks for the shooting advice Outlaw-I definately know that it could be me that is the problem. I have been dry firing twice before that first shot (I will try 5-10 times as you suggest) and have been shooting to make that shot part of my group, but becasue I know it could be just a mental thing that is why I had several other people shoot the gun and their results were the same as mine. I guess the next step is to hand the gun to a good shooter without telling them what I am deaing with so that it doesn't affect the way they pull the trigger on that first shot.
With the gun shooting better after running 30 rounds through it I am not sure if I am closer to a solution or farther away.
Thanks again for your help and any other idea's are welcome. I will check with a gunsmith on the glass bedding (don't trust myself to do it).