Took my Sendero SF II chambered in 300 win mag out for this sunday to seriously take a look at how I could group with it at 100yd. I put a leupold vx-3 6.5-20 LRT with the varmint hunters reticule on top of it and leupold mounts *what the smith recommended*. I also had him put a jewell trigger in it as well. Other than the trigger the rifle is completely stock.
Got this rifle last year got her set 4 3/4 inches high at 100 yds *was able to shoot a few times at 300 the weekend before season opened and it was reasonably close to where I wanted it at that range, just a bit high and blam! hunting season was here before I had a chance to actually see how well she would Group. Took three whitetails off my stand all three within 10 yards of the same spot that I had lasered at 351 yds. I also took 2 coyotes within minutes of each other on the side of the hill just to the east of my stand across the draw. We had lasered the hillside's farthest point I could shoot *because of vegetation* at 420 yds.
I had never been in an area that had much of a coyote population in it that would move in the daylight so didnt have much experience with hunting coyotes, durn if they arent like smoke on the water, appearing out of nowhere in and instant and never stopping.
First coyote appeared halfway up the hill out of NOWHERE just looked like it materialized out of the grass about what looked to me about 20 yards shy of the woodline we had previously lasered. The sucker never stopped moving as I scrambled to get my gun moved over *Shooting off of a fallen down tree trunk*. It was running straight down the hill at about 400 yards and I had about a 45 degree (downward) shot, just guessing, figured my bullet wouldnt drop as much as it would normally on a level shot so I put the crosshairs right between his shoulder blades and squeezed one off. No coyote in sight and I think "Dadgumit! I missed".
Aggravated at myself for missing I dejectedly chamber another round and notice movement out of the corner of my eye! There he is again running up the hill! I'm excited now and get the scope on him and put it right on his head this time thinking surely I wont be shooting high at this range according to the numbers the Online ballistics calculator has been telling me (pretty much a level shot close as I could tell), I touch another one off and no coyote visible on the hillside. I'm thoroughly dejected at this point, dreading having my shirt-tails cut by my dad
but after the sun goes down I drive over there and comb the hillside with a flashlight just in case I just wasnt able to see where they fell because of the thickness of the grass and to my happiness I found one laying right where I squeezed off my second shot at the coyote heading up hill *the one I thought i had missed on the first shot*.
I head down the hill just to check the spot where I had shot at the first one and HOOYAH another one down! I found a den halfway between where both of these rascals fell. No wonder they seemed to appear out of nowhere hah!
So I thought I had myself a reeeeal shooter, after all I had never attempted to shoot anything but milk jugs at even 200 yards before with any of my rifles, yes I was truly your proverbial redneck who thought that was good enough.
So I was rather surprised when I couldn't for the life me I could not shoot any better than a 1" 5 shot group at 100 yds. I shot 40 rounds total on sunday out of my rifle and accuracy didnt seem to get any worse or any better just pretty consistent 1" and never any worse than 1.5". I was taking breaks after every 5 round session and playing with my Cz,Marlin, and savage rimfires for a while in an effort to avoid unnecessary heating and throat erosion that I have read about occuring if you shoot magnums too fast and too long.
Ammo- Nosler Custom 300 win mag with 180gr Accu-bond-the 90 doller a box "hand load" ones that come in the Plastic ammo ?carton? not the normal factory ammo type cardboard box.
As soon as I got home I ordered the Speer #14 reloading manual and the Sierra reloading manual in preperation of entering the hand-loading world.
At this point I just want to try and Eliminate ammo as my accuracy flaw and narrow it down to-
A. ME and my most likely abysmal bench technique
B. The rifle
C. The scope
I dont have too much money to put into this at the drop of a hat so I will be working my way into it.
I would like to ask would any of you guys just go ahead and have some smithing done on the gun at this point such as- Lap lugs,trueing bolt face, blue-printing action, bedding of the aluminum bedding block on my sendero, re-crown barrel? Or would you go ahead and attempt to eliminate ammunition as a factor first?
Remember I am pretty much a nublet and will be learning from ground zero on the more technical aspects of shooting long (er)
ranges. I just want to get my rifle shooting 3/4 moa at 100 or better before I dive head first into the 500-1000 yard range, because I'm assuming I am shooting no where near good enough to ethicaly engage game beyond 400 yards. Im figuring I got very lucky with those coyote's.
Any thoughts/conversation is much appreciated.