Shooting my 280AI last week with my handloads, my groups went from consistant .3 to .8-.9. I started going through all the things that could be wrong(never once really thinking it was me!). Thought about cleaning procedures.....brass....bullets.....etc. I suspected heat as it has jumped up to 90-100deg here in TX.
Decided to drop my load .4gr and would retry today. Get out there today and it was calm, cloudy, and about 83deg. I thought perfect. My first 5 shot group was over an inch!!!!! Then the second group was just under an inch.....so you can see me there scratching my NEWBIE head wondering what was wrong with the gun....then I thought about cheek weild and shot again but the group was about the same.
Convinced myself it was the load (did I mention I am a newbie to precision shooting?).
So pissed off and realizing I was not making progress, I grabbed the rifle for one more group but with the frustration and tension, I pulled the gun into my shoulder....snug not hard and fired two rounds that were in the same relative hole.....DING DING DING...the bells went off and I realized I had been very soft on the butt by trying to keep me out of the equation holding soft. Once again I snugged the butt and let her rip.....then repeated for five rounds total and here is the best group of my 100yd targets. It measures .258" center to center.
So the lesson is/was SUSPECT myself before any other variable.