Today, I had an interesting trip to the range. I got some practice in with my .308 Ruger Hawkeye and also got to shoot a .303 British, which was pretty cool. Unfortunately I noticed something very disturbing, all of my cold bore shots were extremely inconsistent. To test this out, I cleaned the barrel after every shot and waited 15 minutes between each shot, and it was a relatively cold day too. After three shots it was confirmed, a 6 inch group at 100 yards. I'm no master shooter, but I can easily shooy 1 1/2 inch groups with all of my families other m77s, never had this issue. We were using handloads using 150 speers and H3031 out of a. 308, not exactly the best setup I know. Still, after mysteriously having a bullet fly off my point of aim deerhunting I think this could be a serious enough problem to have to send it to a smith or to Ruger to see if they can find out what's wrong. To top it off, my grandpa, who is a better shot than I could hope to be, also shot way off on the coldbore shot. Anybody have any idea what's wrong?
That is a hard one. Something is out of alignment when it's cold and changes when it gets hot. The cold bore shot is very important as it's the one we mostly use in hunting. Bore could be oversize and gets tighter when it's hot . Barrel could be full of stress . Barrel could be badly fitted and is under some kind of warping until it gets hotter . There could be a bedding issue that gets better when hot but most gets worse when hot.
Barrel could be experiencing flip that gets less as it gets hotter .
Combination of all .
I have heard of a few Rugers that have a bad cold bore shot .
If you can get it fixed on warranty then good but if not my advice is sell the Ruger and by a gun with a hammer forged barrel like Sako , Howa , Weatherby V .
Also you should swap to some better bullets like Sierra or Berger just to confirm results.
Post 18 in the first link makes a lot of sense to me. A lot of good places to look for a remedy. I know from personal experiance that a bottomed out mag box,or bad bedding will cause inconsistancy problems. My 338 tang safety red pad Ruger was a piece of crap. that is until I had a bench rest buddy (and riflesmith) of mine go over it. He bedded and floated it. Corrected a mag box problem. And lapped the rings. From then on it was a 3/4 MOA hummer that shot handloads of 200,225 and 250gr equally well. Ruger had some barrel issues from time to time,but more often than not it was the funky bedding. If yours is a synthetic,you might want to go ahead and upgrade to a quality aftermarket stock. Or could be that it needs a fouler or two. I never liked the idea of having to foul a barrel to get suitable hunting accuracy. When I was a lad,everyone would go out on Thanksgiving and foul their rifles. It was taboo to head for the woods with a clean barrel. I think most accuracy issues have a mechanical fix if you look aroud a bit. But,whatever works is most important.
There are many factors so it will be difficult to figure out your problem.
You said you cleaned after every shot? Ever hear of fouling shots? Some rifles require several shots to foul the bore then they begin to shoot more accurately. Did it shoot more accurately after shooting 5 or more rounds through the gun? Did it only shoot accurately with the barrel warm?
It is also possible that the load you used isn't optimal for the rifle. On several occasions I have worked up a load I thought was an accurate only to find out with more range sessions that the load wasn't accurate. Try tweaking the load.
Be certain the rifle is sound. Good bedding, all screws tight, clean bore, good crown and a decent trigger.
Do some testing and report back. Maybe with the combined knowledge found here we can figure it out together.
First, I think your problem needs to be more clearly defined. From your description, it doesn't sound to me like you have a cold bore shot problem. If you are cleaning between rounds, you are not actually shooting cold bore. You are shooting clean, cold bore. That is entirely different.
Very few factory rifles shoot their best on a clean, cold bore. You need to do some testing to establish how many shots it takes for your rifle to settle down. Once it settles down, you need to continue to shoot it (letting the barrel cool between shots or between 3 shot groups) until the groups start to open up again. Keep track of your round count at each stage.
This will establish for you how many fouling shots you need after cleaning and how many total shots you can fire before you need to clean again.
You should only attempt to evaluate cold bore performance on a fouled barrel, not a freshly cleaned barrel.
Even on a fouled barrel, there may be a difference in point of impact between the cold bore shot and the follow up shots. As long that difference is predictable and consistent, you still don't have a problem. You simply need to note and remember how your rifle behaves.
The way I read the post is he fired normally and noticed the inconsistent cold bore shot then he decided to shoot while cleaning after every shot .
So to me the problem was there before cleaning after each shot.
Not a good idea to clean after each shot unless running in a new barrel.
Clean the gun fire two fouling shots then fire your test group.
Leave the gun to cool then fire a cold bore shot at the same group .
Leave it to cool again and fire another one . If you have the two cold bore shots away from the group substantially then you may have a problem.
I have a Ruger No.1, 300 Wby Mag and I've had numerous issues with it as far as incoinsistent grouping. I found a lot of the issue was the forestock and how it contacted the barrel. There are some home brew fixes out there that work, I used one. It's still not a tack driver but at least I don't worry about the bullet making a 'U' turn anymore.....
An AK is more accurate but not as pretty......
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........