I have been using sweets for a long time in my 243. When it threw 1st shot flyers 5-6cm away at 200 yards I just assumed it was the rifle(it is a bsa monarch which is 20+ years old with a featherweight barrel)
I got a secondhand 17 remington built on a tikka action with a tobler barrel yesterday and it is doing pretty much the same thing(which given the build of the gun is unacceptable)..............the only thing they have in common is the bore solvent so that is the only thing I can think of. Im about to change over to tetra gun to see if that makes any difference but I just thought I would ask to see if anyone has had similar experiences????
Your probably getting your barrel too clean believe it or not. Use a good quality powder solvent first, then Sweets. Sweets is meant for removing copper. Your first shot flyer is not un-common. I've seen a 10-12" difference at 1000 yards when shooting the first shot or two out of clean bore compared to fouled one. You can do one of 2 things. One, foul your barrel before hand or with the first shot and it sounds like the rest will group. Two, test and see if the 1st shot is always flying around the same spot and compensate.
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I clean untill there is zero sign of copper on the patches. Lighty oil the bore then dry patch till patches look like new. I practise for a cold bore 1st shot hits. I am very pleased with my results using Slip 2000 first for powder then Boretech Eliminator for the copper. You might want to give it a try.
Outside of blind luck, cold bore shooting requires even more consistency than hot benchrest shooting -if taken to those standards.
-If you use a Bipod, always use it. Get good with it. Develop a cold bore routine that you will always use whether at the range or in the field.
-There are no sighters in hunting. No warming up the barrel before things 'count'.
-The scope will need to be right on the money for your first shot. We're talking accuracy here, and not grouping. So evaluate your accuracy from center of mark and stop fiddling with further 'hot shots' for group. They will never matter...
-Your load will have to be tested and prove reliable for this, from that barrel.
-Your bore must be dry and so exactly as it always has been for the best CBS. So you need to pre-foul in a way that is very, very consistent.
Many moly shooters have learned this, and I'm sure they do well with CB shooting.
I've found that I can take a barrel to bare clean after each use, dry out with alcohol, and pre-foul with WS2 with excellent results. If I pull the gun from a safe tomorrow, or 6mos later, it will nail the mark.
-There is nothing wrong with Sweets, I promise you. This product is not causing your problem.
Hey a Chronograph is a eye opener. When your bbl is clean like yours is, the first few shots will be lower in velocity the when you have at least 3 fouler fired through it. So that means sight your gun in with your hunting loads at range,clean your BBL at the range and then fire 3 rnds and leave it alone,NO OIL ! . Bullets need some resistance going down that bore for consistency. Ask your self do our brave snipers on front lines shoot with a perfectly clean BBL ? When a battle and soldiers lives are at stake? No. That 1st shot might have to be back up by a whole bunch of well aimed shots before the enemy gets a zero on you. A Humans kill zone is smaller then a Big game animal......
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It is my recommendation that any rifle that has just been completely cleaned should have a quaility bore oil applied to the bore and they fired at least once and better yet twice before the rifle is used for serious precision work.
Here are a few givins:
1. Any bore, even the smoothest match grade barrel, WILL foul if the first shot is fired from a perfectly clean, DRY bore. Always lube the bore on the first shot.
2. Most rifles, if not all rifles will throw the first shot from a freshly cleaned barrel, in fact it really should be that way, remember the lube that should be applied to the barrel.
3. It is my opinion that Sweets 7.62 should never be used on a match grade stainless or any barrel for that matter. Its far to aggressive and will cause problems even if used correctly.
To this point, I used to have a 6-284 that shot amazingly well, fast twist, long range set up. I used Sweets 7.62 on that rifle. Over time, I noticed that the barrel started to get a bit of a rough feeling when I pushed a patch down the bore. I could not figure out what caused this as it was through the entire length of the bore, not just at the throat end.
When I scoped the bore, you could see a very fine dull color to the bore steel, not the shiny smooth color or even heat cracked finish that is common with a barrel of this amount of shooting down it. The bore also started to foul dramatically more, and again the entire length of the bore.
I suspected that it was the Sweets but had no way to know for sure. I had used the solvent exactly as the instructions stated and neve let it sit in the bore.
To find out for sure, I had another barrel that was about ready to be replaced. The throat was very worn but it the rest of the bore was very shiny. I used the Sweets from that time on and within a year, that bore was also etched by the solvent. I know it was the solvent because I only put around 120 rounds down the barrel over that entire year. Would just shoot a few times and then clean as the instructions listed.
My conclusion, even if you use Sweets correctly, it will eventually etch the bore surface of any stainless steel barrel. I have not tested on Chrome Moly but simply will not recommend using it on any quality barrel for that matter.
I do have some uses for Sweets. When something comes in that has an extreme amount of fouling, like an old 1903 thats been shot 3000 times and never cleaned, I will break it out and use it so I do not have to clean the bore for a month straight.
Simply put, don't use it!!!
Instead, I would use Tetras copper solvent. Not as aggressive but it will also not etch your bore if used properly.
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What a difference between shooting UNTIL hitting something, -and shooting TO hit something..
It doesn't make sense to leave a bore with solvents/oil in it, but hunt with it full of corrosive fouling, because a wet bore throws shots.
Only then to see a degrading bore condition as a cleaning product problem?
Here's a tip;
Use Sweets first for cleaning(especially for pre-brushing), followed by a soaked patch of hydrogen peroxide -pushed so slow as to react it away. Your barrel should foam at the mouth here. A couple dry patches, and finish cleaning with any other product if desired. Then you might take the bore to squeaky clean, dry metal, with the best ethyl alcohol you can get. Then prefoul with graphite(DAG or Lock-eez) or a dry tungsten(WS2) burnishing.
With this, you won't have to shoot until you've burned off the wet in your bore (until you can hit something). And because you've worked up a CBS load with a bore like this, you'll be ready(to hit something) when pulling a gun from the safe.
Try it, & let us know if your hitting where expected on the first shot.