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Cold Bore Shot

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Unread 08-07-2007, 04:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 175
Cold Bore Shot

I just wanted to get some others advice and experience on a cold bore shot. It seems that my first shot out of 338-300 ultra is always out of the group. I have a 30" super match barrel that will shoot consistently in the .2's. It's very rare when a bullet from the group does not touch others. I normally clean my rifle before I go out shooting and have always chalked the first shot as a fouler and did not pay it any regard. Here recently I was shooting the rifle with a slightly fouled barrel and the first shot has been out of the group often opening it up to .75 moa or so. The following shots are always on mark. does anyone else have this problems and are there anyway to get around this?
Earl Fouraker
NRA Life Member
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Unread 08-07-2007, 04:47 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 11
How long has the barrel been sitting outside?

I have experienced problems with people having their guns in a very cold vehicle on the way to the range and then shooting right away.

I doubt that's the problem but has been in texas with the high humidity. Those barrels immediately start sweating when the come out of the cold A/C
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Unread 08-07-2007, 05:43 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871
First tho't is that you only have to worry about your problem if you are shooting at ground squirrels beyond 200 yds. (That's supposed to be funny)

However that problem would drive me nuts:mad:

Here's what I'd try.

There should be no need to clean the rifle prior to shooting 15 to 20 rounds (unless your experience with that rifle indicated more frequent cleaning is appropriate)

You mentioned "slightly fouled" bore. If that means 3 shots and not partially cleaned, fire say 5 in a session to foul the barrel then don't clean. When you come back or when you have duplicated the environment from storage to the range, see what that first shot does.

If It's in the group the rifle likes more fouling.

Second thing as suggested above is let it set at the range, in the shade, for at least 30 minutes before shooting.

If it isn't in the group I wouldn't do any thing to the rifle until after this season. You're only off 0.5" on the first shot which is 5" @ 1000yds which isn't noticeable in the wind and mirage especially in Idaho.;)
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 08-09-2007, 09:33 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Cambria, PA
Posts: 71
In my opinion most problems like this are caused by the actual cleaning more so than the bore temperature...what I usually do is shoot and clean as much as you like in the summer and early fall.. find your load and play as much as you'd like..and sight it in a close as you can..however when the season near..I stop cleaning or if I do I'll shoot 5-8 shots to dirty it up some and then let it cool off for a few hours...then I'll fire my cold shot to see where it is..remember, if the guns on capable of 1 inch groups the shot can be anywhere in a two inch circle..it might be the top, bottom, left or right side of the group..I use stainless barrels only and have never had a problem with rust by not keeping the bore oiled, also keep a balloon over the end of your barrel...cold bore, only as good as the rifle will shoot..remember your shooting at a volleyball sized target not a ping pong ball on big game vital zones..
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Unread 08-09-2007, 11:10 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 230
Bed it tight

I had the same dilema with a 30-378. First shot out, then group. A fellow on here about six years ago told me to bed the lug, sides tight.

The theory is that torque and or heat from the first round tightens things up. then it shoots. Carrying it around and or cleaning, riding around in the car, this fit relaxes before the next time you shoot, fouled barrel or not.

Bed the action, no tape on the sides or back of the lug, just a couple of thicknesses in the front and bottom. High torque rounds don't like slop.

Since learning this tidbit of info I have done this on all of my rifles. One shot kills large game 486, 450, 350, 660, 771, 864 half 300 ultra, half 30-378.

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Unread 08-10-2007, 12:06 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,189
Cold bore shots


If you are using this rifle to hunt big game with it is the first shot
that counts .

Clean the rifle and dry patch well ,then shoot a fouling shot repeat
the process until the fouling shot is zeroed then clean and dry patch
and you are ready to go(the first shot will always be predictable)

If you want accurate follow up shots then clean and dry patch,shoot,dry patch and shoot 3 or 4 shots for group if you are happy with zero then
clean ,dry patch and shoot one fouling shot then dry patch only and
your ready to go hunting.

The problem can be many things as Roy mentioned some rifles like some fouling. bedding could be another. oil or cleaning solvents left in the
barrel will allmost allways cause the first round to fly off low or left.
of the group.

Also check the torque on the bedding screws (65 to 75 inch/lbs)

So try and leave the rifle in the ready to shoot mode.

When I used to shoot matches the first siter was allways a fouling shot
and the second siter was the one I used to adjust the sights with,

This is not a problem that cant be solved so dont give up.

I hope this helps
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Unread 08-10-2007, 09:43 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 175
Thanks for all the reply's guys. It might be a humidity problem. I'm located in florida and the temp this time of year is in the high 90's and humidity of 100% most of the time. When the gun is brought out of the house it immediately sweats and the lenses fog. I bedded the rifle with Devcon Steel Putty. I bedded the action and first 3 inches of the barrel which has worked great for me in the past. I really don't think it is a bedding problem. I might let the rifle sit outside before I shoot it. I shoot here at the farm so it normally makes it out of the house and on the bench about 5 minutes. Thanks again. Rock
Earl Fouraker
NRA Life Member
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