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Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

 
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 90
Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

I picked up a used gun chambered in .280 AI. It's a Yost-Bonnitz custom that they told me is around 8 years old. I called the maker, one of them anyway, and he told me a little about it and also researched their work, which seems to be top notch. It's got a 1:10 twist, a fluted bbl, McMillan Stock, very crisp trigger. Appears to be in excellent condition and my smith gave the chamber and barrel his seal of approval.

I finally got a brand new Leupold MK4 4.5-14 mounted on it with a picatinny rail and MK4 rings. Since brass is impossible to find, I ordered 2 boxes of Nosler Trophy Grade 140 Grain bullets, and bought 4 boxes of Remington 140 grain in .280 Rem. I put 60 rounds through it today. I also put some rounds through some other weapons at the same time. At 100 yds, with either ammo, I am all over the map. No stringing, sometimes touching 2 out of 3, but then one landing like 3" away. Out of 60 3 shot groups, never was there one inside 1 MOA, usually more like 1.5 and sometimes bigger. It was extremely windy, and it kept changing directions, but it wasn't like I would have 3 all lined up in a row like you might expect from wind drift.

I paid $800 for the gun, knowing that a rebarrel might be necessary, and still feel good about it. Do you think there's hope for better groups w/handloads? What's the best rags to riches story you've seen with handloading vs. factory garbage? I know one way to find out, and I will post up how it goes, brass is going in the tumbler now.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:44 PM
ATH ATH is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
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Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

You were shooting .280 in a .280AI? I'm not sure how much judgement I would pass until you reload that fireformed brass.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:19 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 208
Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

I have a Savage 12fv in a 223, the first 50 rounds I fired through it where factory ammo. I was lucky to get 2" groups from these. I was very confused because this was a low recoil, heavy barreled Savage. My experience has always been sub MOA with all Savages, especially with the varmint style. Once I received the reloading dies and worked up a load, the rifle all of a sudden became a 1/2 MOA shooter. This rifle has actually been the most consistent sub MOA rifle I have ever owned. It just needs tuned hand loads. Oh and by the way I have not done a thing to the rifle except adjust the accutrigger. I'm not saying that you might not have a problem, but before you do a thing, work up some hand loads. Granted this has been a real head scratcher for me. I have never seen a rifle wake up so much from hand loads.

You might already know this, but also check to see if there is any places where the rifled action is binding or stressed, check to make sure the action screws, scope mounts and rings are all tight. Shoot slow, some barrels will really through bullets once it heats up even a little. If this does not help then switch out the scope for one that you know is good. It doesn't always take money to get a rifle to shoot!

Good luck!!!! Hope it all works out
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2010, 09:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 203
Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

I have a remington stock 30-06 rifle, nothing done to it, factory it was lucky to shoot 2 moa, now with handloads i am around .5-.75 moa groups.

i also had a sendero in 300 rum only tried factory core lokt, and sciroccos, and could not get 2 anywhere near each other all over a just normal sheet of paper... then used a load with ballistic tips that seems to work in every gun we shoot it in, and was getting .5 moa then, i was having brass issues, and thought the chamber was messed up, which it was and they replaced it for free even tough it was out of warranty, so their cs was good but they had lost my confidence with the above 2 guns needing handloads

which on another note, took me to savage i had heard good things regarding accuracy, and on the first day with the gun, first 5 shots out of it, 2 different factory loads 3 different shooters, all made the same hole slightly bigger, i was sold, on that savage anyway, load development gets boring for it, i barely have to shoot for groups, just look for pressure signs and ES, everything just shoots the same with just about any bullet and powder i have used, although rl 17 was all over the place ES wise.

sorry for rambling just wanted to share my experience
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2010, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Potters Hill, NC
Posts: 1,509
Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

Troutslayer2,
When you were talking with one of the makers did you ask them by chance what kind of, if any, accuracy guarantee they used to give. Why did they go out of business? Hopefully for your sake it wasn't inaccurate rifles! Alot of the custom riflesmith's furnish load data. Did this company?
I have always heard that most people see pretty good accuracy even when fire-forming loads for an AI chamber. Not sure whether that is factory fodder or reloads. I don't have faith in factory ammo, unless it's pistol ammo for self defense or home protection. That's just to keep me from getting my ass caught in a legal ringer because I used handloads to shoot an attacker. I have four rifles that have never shot a factory round, since I've had them.
I can only imagine your groups will get better once you "roll your own". It may just be that you only recognize medocre accuracy, say 1MOA, but that would be better than what you have. Good luck and keep us posted. JohnnyK.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 208
Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

Troutslayer,

Give us an update. How's things going, any progress?
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2010, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 90
Re: Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

I haven't had time to mess with it. I have all the materials I need to try out 160 AB, 168 Berger VLD, and Sierra bullets pushed with RL22. Going to try ladder testing first, then work up. It's going to be a while since it's a very busy time of year for me.
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