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How I found my rifles accuracy!

 
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:11 PM
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How I found my rifles accuracy!

First let me say I feel pretty stupid. Before I got into long range shooting, I bought a Ruger Hawkeye all weather in a 308 winchester. I loved this rifle right from the start (I am a control round feed guy). However, I just could not get the darn thing to shoot. I didn't expect a tack driver right out of the box, but I was hoping to get at least a consistent 2 moa rifle. I've been shooting close to 40 years and handloading for 25 plus, so I have some idea on how to get a rifle shooting, but to no avail.

I usually shoot 4 shot groups, and what would happen was I'd get 2 or 3 shots close but always had flyers that would open the group to 3-3.5" at a 100 yards. The first thing I did was free float my barrel myself (no differenc). Next I took my rifle into the gunsmith and got the trigger done (no help, but made the rifle more enjoyable to shoot). Next I figured I had a bedding issue, so back to the smith (again no difference). I started to question everything, my reloading equipment,supplies, and technique, my shooting technique, my scope, my scope bases, etc. etc. I tried different powder bullet combos, bullet in the lands, just touching, out to 20 thou. I shot of a bench with a rest, just off bags, prone off a rest, and with my Harris bipod. Same results, a couple in tight and the rest all over the place.

So today I just got back from shooting this rifle again, trying to work up a load that would work and guess what, not on group over an inch. What did I finally figure out after all this. MY BARREL HEATS UP FAST!!! I was shooting to fast. This rifle will only group the first 2 shots, sometimes the 3rd will stay in there but not always. What I do now is shoot one shot then let the rifle cool for 5 min. or so, then fire the next. I do this till I get through all four shots, then I let the rifle cool for 10 min or more (usually switch over to the 10/22) before shooting my next group. Best thing is I was ladder testing my load, and not one load went over moa.

What did I learn. Well, you want to get good equipment right off. I tried all sorts of shooting techniques, trying to figure out if I was the problem, I questioned myself, all my equipment, and spent money I may not have had to. You don't need a heavy barrel to get great accuracy, but you may need one to maintain that accuracy for multiple shots. I got spoiled shooting my 223 varmint rifle (heavy barrel savage). I got in the habit of shooting faster with this rifle and just did not think that the Ruger wouldn't perform the same. All this changing things doest not promote consistency, so my skill in shooting and reloading probably suffered some. I know I sure was frustrated!!! Also I now wonder if a lot of the talk I hear about Rugers (or any rifle for that matter) not being accurate, are just something so simple. I am glad I stuck with this rifle till I figured it out.

Why am I sharing the egg on my face. I hope I can save even one person from the frustration I have gone through on this one. If your rifle won't shoot, try slowing down first.
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2011, 01:59 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
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Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

I think you are correct that alot of light barrel rifles will heat up and not group past 2 or 3 shots. Perhaps even some heavy barrels that aren't stress relieved properly would do this..??
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:48 AM
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Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

SBruce, your comments made me wonder, is their anyone out there that has tried any form of stress relieving method that worked? If so what difference did it make, what type of stress relieving did you have done and who did it? This maybe something I would be interested in.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
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Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

I used to think that it was a difference between sporter weight and bull barrels. That's certainly one factor.

But, I later got my first Shilen sporter weight barrel on my Mod 70 25-06 and you can shoot a 20 shot string one right after the other and maintain sub-MOA at 100yds.

From what I've read, it all comes down to proper stress relieving and the manufacturing process.

I'm not sure about the best way to fix one (other than rebarrel) if it's improperly done. But, it sure helps if it was made right to begin with.

Waiting 5 min between shots sucks! A good barrel is a pleasure to shoot.

-- richard
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:25 PM
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Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by straightshooter View Post
SBruce, your comments made me wonder, is their anyone out there that has tried any form of stress relieving method that worked? If so what difference did it make, what type of stress relieving did you have done and who did it? This maybe something I would be interested in.
The only aftermarket stress relieving I remember hearing of is Cryogenic treatment, or 300 below. Never personally done it though. I also have it on fairly good authority that it's sometimes better to have the barrel maker flute the barrel than to do it aftermarket. I dont remember the exact reasoning, but it had something to do with "undoing" prior stress relieved steel....?? Sorry, I may even be mis stating that, but that was my understanding of what the guy was saying.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:07 PM
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Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

I don't know this company or their pricing... Firearms (Cryo-Barrel)

Your money may be better spent just having it rebarrelled.

-- richard
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2011, 11:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 208
Re: How I found my rifles accuracy!

Kind of sad that I can shoot sub MOA with this rifle, and my first thought leaving the range is I need a new barrel.
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