I doubt that it will drop off. Also I should warn you that poor cleaning techniques or equipment is worse than not cleaning at all. Get a good cleaning kit that won't harm your barrel. There are a lot of good bore scrubbers on the market but a lot of the long rangers use Sweats 7.62 solvent. See if you can find a bore guide built for your rifle, if you can't, you may opt for a universal bore guide.
You've gotten some really good advice so far. As far as your groupings are concerned... I would wait until your brother starts loading for you to see if he can zero something in for your rifle. If you find that groups get larger the more you fire two things can be happening. Just the barrel heating up is causing the groupings to open up or... due to the heating of the barrel it is starting to push on the pressure points causing your point of aim to change or the harmonics in the barrel against the pressure points.
Wait until you try some different loads and see how them work. If you can't get them under and inch, then try filing the pressure points out and start loading again.
P.S. Have your brother try IMR4064 with either the 87grn Hornady V-max or the 95grn Hornady SST. I have a good load using the IMR 4064 out of a Model 7 Remington and the 95grn SST's.
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Rookie needing advice!
OK guys. I have been hunting 6 times, bagged 2 deer, and this past year, started plinking, at longer and longer distances, just for fun. I am hooked, and on a budget. (I know, bad combo.)
I have always borrowed a gun to hunt with (i know, you can't take an ethical shot with a gun you don't "know" but hey, I'm a rookie).
I started saving for a gun (4 kids under 7 restricts your budget). Before I could buy, I won a Marlin XL-7 scoped combo in .243 at a church raffle for $10. Better than a sharp stick in the eye!
Anyway, I haven't even shot it. I have been reading for the past month about sighting, shooting, cleaning and care.
Here is what I have : .243 Marlin XL-7 with Nikon Buckmasters 4-12X50 *Never Been Shot*
I have my CHL, carry daily, and am very comfortable and familiar with SA handguns, but other than plinking with an old .22 Marlin 60, I have only fired about 10 rounds out of a rifle. Hopefuly I am stepping into this a bit ahead of the average rookie.
Here are my questions:
1. I read an article about cleaning the bore after each of my first 5-10 shots. Do I need to do this, or is this just for high-dollar super-accurate rigs?
2. I was going to sight in and set my zero at 200 yards using 2 boxes of Federal 115g rounds that I won with the gun. Is this a reasonable range for that scope, gun, round (and rookie)? My brother-in-law will be reloading my brass with 80g hunting rounds. Will I need to re-sight with those?
3. The synthetic stock has 2 raised "points" that apply pressure to the barrel at the forward end of the stock. I have been advised to sand these off to fully "free-float" the barrell. Should I do this?
4. I was told that I should fire 3 shots, adjust my sights, then fire another 3 at a fresh target. Is this enough to show where my groups are off?
5. I have also been told to fire around 15 shots, then let the barrell cool before shooting any more. Is this correct? If so, how long should I let it cool.
6. After many-many rounds of practice, What will the efective range of this gun be (when I am no longer a rookie)?
7. If taken well care of, how long will this gun last? How many rounds should the barrel last?
8. Knowing that the XL-7 is of nominal value, Is this going to be something that I can pass on to one of my boys as a "heritage gun" or will it be a worn out piece in a few years?
I have 100 more questions, and am doing this on my own due to budget constraints, so any advice and response is greatly appreciated.
Im unfamiliar with the XL-7. However, with any new rifle I own, I take the time to clean it thuroughly BEFORE I ever shoot. Breaking in a bbl is a debatable subject, as each person has his or her own idea how to do it properly. This is what I do;
1.Clean the rifle
2.bore sight the scope, shoot 1 bullet. (leave scope alone for now)
3.clean bbl and shoot again
4.repeat steps 2&3 until my first 10 rounds are gone
5.shoot a group of 3 shots with 1minute minimum between rounds, 2-3 IS BETTER
6.adjust your crosshairs from point of aim to point of impact of your 3 shot group
7.clean bbl and repeat steps 6&7 then adjust your crosshairs to be aproximately 1 1/2'' high at 100 yds. shoot to confirm your 200 yd zero.
As far as re-sighting in, ya probably not gonna be the same, but it should be minor scope adjustment to get you back on 0 again with handloads. One more thing, some bbl's are finniky, and take a while to ''settle''. I dont fully trust my zero untill my bbl has had 50+ rounds thru it to sellte it. (50 is a bit excessive but its a confidence thing). Thats just my way. Other opinions range from more extreme to less than mine.
***Dont ever shoot that many rounds through your bbl one after another*** Cooling your bbl is a MUST if you want it to last! I prefer to keep mine clean as well.(no more than 3-5 rounds before cleaning, but again thats me)
As to the effective range of a .243..............Depends on the accuracy of the rifle, and the personal ability so the shooter, and the game your after. Youll have to answer that on your own.
Keep your bbl cool and clean, and ANY fathers son would be proud to own his dads huntin rifle, no matter the brand. If it was my dads it would have a place of honor with me, cause he used it, and fed the family with it. Besides, youll own 1 and learn real quick how addicting it is and soon have alot more to pass down. Good luck
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The 85 gr Speer SPBT is a very good whitetail bullet. I have killed a lot of them with it. It is reasonably accurate and reasonably tough.
Secondly, I would tend toward a 300 yard zero but 200 will be OK.
I would not do very much to the rifle until it gave me a reason to do so. Fire your groups slowly letting the barrel cool between shots. I am currently working with a bone stock gun and the last trip to the range to test loads for accuracy saw it shoot two consecutive 0.4 MOA groups. I suspect by playing around with seating depths I can get it a little tighter. But even if that is the best it will do, I now know what my baseline accuracy is before doing any work on the gun itself.
Finally, I would say that you are welcome to come to this forum for advice but I do not think it is wise to get caught up in the quest for long range hunting until you have mastered short range hunting. At long range every thing gets to be very expensive and very difficult. Once you have gained enough knowledge of deer and their habits to believe that each and every year you will be able to kill multiple deer at 100 to 300 yards then you should contemplate increasing the level of difficulty. Being a good rifle shot is no substitute for hunting skill. A couple of years ago I took my daughter who had never hunted big game out west to hunt. I supplied the hunting skill and she supplied the shooting skill. It worked out well because both skills were present.
So, that is my advice. Keep things relatively simple and take things slowly. You do not need to spend much money to be able to load the truck up with deer every year.