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Inconsistent A-bolt

 
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  #1  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:06 AM
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Inconsistent A-bolt

I have a Browning A bolt 1 stainless synthetic stalker .270win that groups about a 1.6" @ 100yds on average. Today my first group of three shots on a cold/clean barrel was not consistent. My second group of three measured .070" which I consider super for a stock hunting rifle/sporter barrel with factory ammo. At 200yds my groups average 3.44" with some as small as 1.80" and as large as 4.45". I was shooting mostly Winchester PowerMax, along with some Hornady BTSP 140gr. and Winchester Ballistic silvertips.
I'am resting the forend and butt stock on sandbags and getting a nice steady hold with a slow trigger pull, but my groups seem to dance around. I'll be the first to suspect human era plays some roll in this to a small degree, but this rifle as never been a tack driver even with trying various ammo. It seems like this rifle groups much better when it gets warmed up.
My scope is a Leupold VX3 10X with Leupold two piece mount and rings.

I would like get this rifle consistent and shrink the groups down a little bit. MOA or better? Please advise...
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:29 AM
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Posts: 578
Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

You need to find which ammo shoots best in it, then stick with that ammo... or start reloading. I never imagined how well my rifles would shoot until I started reloading.

At least that is what I conclude from the limited information in your post. There may be something wrong with the rifle itself.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2010, 10:00 AM
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Location: NC, oceanfront
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Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

1. Accuracy is rarely a given with factory ammo.
2. The gun isn't bedded.
3. Your scope is not for precision, but for hunting -up close.
4. The stock is not designed to shoot off sandbags.
5. The trigger is not for precision, but for hunting -up close.

When you say 'clean barrel', is it really?
Or does it have oil in it?

A-Bolts are nice guns but like any mass produced, there are plenty of things that can be done to suit them to your needs. If you had BOSS, you could tune your barrel to the ammo desired for better results.
The best gunsmith I know with A-Bolts(which are special to rebarrel) is
Jim Kobe
10841 Oxborough Ave. So. Bloomington, MN 55437 USA
Voice: 1-952-884-6031, Jkob60@aol.com, Jkob60@msn.com
He is 'Jkob' over at 24hourcampfire.com

This guy does as good of work as anyone I've seen & his prices are so low you'll feel guilty(LOL).
Have him rebarrel with a non-brake BOSS(from Browning) & bed stock, & true up your rings, & upgrade your trigger to an aftermarket. Pick up a ~25" Harris bipod for field use. And dry your clean bore out with alcohol so that the first shot has atleast a chance of hitting what you're aiming at. Oil takes a dozen shots to burn out..
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

Thanks for the help fellas. I pulled the stock off the gun for the first time and the factory recoil lug "bedding job" looks like crap. There is also glass bedding material along the left side of the receiver inlet itself. I had no idea how little material is in the forearm of this stock as well. I'm thinking that a proper full bedding job along with some forearm reinforcement would help a lot. What do you think?




Last edited by Minnow; 09-19-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2010, 09:22 PM
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Location: La Plata NM
Posts: 355
Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

That is a crappy looking recoil lug bedding job. I am surprised, Browning is usually better than that. I would sand down/remove those high spots and shoot it again. A-bolts do have adjustable triggers if needed. The newer A-bolt stocks are plastic and for the most part are junk. Only the Mountain Ti has a decent stock on it. My A-bolt is a 1988 model and came with a fiberglass stock and it is still on it today. You might want to look into a McMillan or Bell and Carlson replacement stock, well worth the money. As far as help off the bench check the link below for article on shooting non benchrest rifles off the bench.

2009 January | The Reloading Press
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2010, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotezapper View Post
That is a crappy looking recoil lug bedding job. I am surprised, Browning is usually better than that. I would sand down/remove those high spots and shoot it again. A-bolts do have adjustable triggers if needed. The newer A-bolt stocks are plastic and for the most part are junk. Only the Mountain Ti has a decent stock on it. My A-bolt is a 1988 model and came with a fiberglass stock and it is still on it today. You might want to look into a McMillan or Bell and Carlson replacement stock, well worth the money. As far as help off the bench check the link below for article on shooting non benchrest rifles off the bench.

2009 January | The Reloading Press
Thanks. My model is an original A Bolt as well. 1992-1994 there or abouts. I already adjusted the trigger weight down per the manual and its fine for now at about 3lbs with no creep. That bedding job is pretty shotty and I'm very unimpressed on what is a 850.00 rifle in todays dollars. I took my finger nail and the bedding material on the receiver inlet fell right off. The actual "bedding job" is very flexible by pressing on it with my finger nail and I believe it is compromised. I will locate a smith here in DFW and see about getting a complete bedding job done properly, along with any stock reinforcement options. I found this link where reinforcement has been done with success at minimal cost.
Glass Bedding a Sporter Rifle
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 3,233
Re: Inconsistent A-bolt

Well, I'll go ahead a break it to you:
You're not going to have a lot of luck getting anyone to completely fix your gun for $850, much less build you an entire gun.

$850 doesn't buy much anymore, and bedding alone will not resolve all the 'issues' that add to provide your disatisfaction. So you really need to hesitate and put together a plan.
Beginning, middle, end..
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