I am interested in learning to shoot at longer ranges than I am capable of now. I've recently gained access to an area where I will be able to shoot to 400 - 450 yards. Up until now I've only shot at the standard 100 yard range. I've recently purchased a Winchester Model 70 .300 Win Mag and topped it with a 2.5 - 8 scope. I have a couple questions that I hope you can help me with. Number 1) What kind of initial cleaning should I perform on this rifle... specifics to include types of solvents, oils, etc., Number 2) Are there any rifle improvements that I should make prior to even shooting my first round through this rifle? (bedding, trigger work, etc.) Any help is greatly appreciated.
If this is a new rifle you may want to follow some breakin procedure, this is a topic of debate and IS often debated.
I clean the bore of my rifles with a mixture of 66% Shooter's Choice and 33% Kroil (a penetrating oil) the remaining 1% is lost in the math. Somewhere on this site is a long post about cleaning I believe.
I clean the action and recoil lug area with this same mixture and for this I use a Sinclair action cleaning tool.
The bolt, bolt face and recoil lugs are cleaned also and the rear of the recoil lugs are lubricated with high pressure grease to prevent galling.
The rifle should be looked over for obvious defects and known trouble spots.
The barrel must be in such a condition as to have the same amount of pressure at the same location for every shot. This can be equated to being "free floated" with no pressure anywhere when shot from any position or shooting style, OR is could mean that the rifle barrel is completely bedded for full contact the entire length (a very uncommon option).
If you elect to "free float" the barrel it sould be check for any rubs when placed in the elected shooting positions (prone from a bipod or from a bench etc).
The action should be glassed in place but the bedding should NOT touch on the bottom, sides and front of the recoil lug (my interpretation). The action should be tightened into the stock with equal pressure each time it's removed and replaced (I seldom remove my rifle from it's stock and I use a torque wrench for replacement). You may want to pillar bed the stock if it's not already done and certainly should be done if it's a wooden stock. Make sure the action screws don't touch the sides of the holes in the stock, in other words the holes MUST be large enough so that the screws don't touch the sides of the scew holes (if the screws touch the screw holes the action may/will recoil on the screw holes instead of the recoil lug as desired, sometimes this problem will even split the stock at the grip).
These bedding and action tightening hints should be accomplished AFTER you fire a few rounds through the rifle. This is to establish a baseline as the rifle may shoot very well right now and without shooting it how is one to know unless it's tested.
Seldom can a new shooter outshoot a rifle but there's always the problem of becoming frustrated when a shooter CAN outshoot a rifle.
You'll get a few more informative posts in this thread because of the many variations on accuracy tuning and personal preferences.
The main requirement for long range shooting is consistency and confidence. You MUST be consistent and keep records, the confidence component will sneak up on you very quickly.
Glad to have you with us.
I assume that you're talking about a new rifle. DK's comments are very good, and he has way more experience than I.
I normally clean the bore and chamber after checking the function of the action and a through (sp) visual inspection of the bolt. I clean with Hoppe's #9 until it appears clean on the patches, then I load it up with the solvent and let it sit for about 15 minutes. If the patch has ANY blue on it, then I get out the Sweet's 762 (copper solvent) and scrub somemore. When clean, I wash the Sweet's out with more Hoppe's, and patch dry. I then start my break-in proceedure, which I do if the gun is new OR used.
I always break-in a new barrel even though I have no way of determining any benefit to this ritual. Some very knowledgeable shooters question performing this task at all. Either way, it can't hurt.
I am interested however, in why you would "break-in" a rifle that is not new and would have essentially been broken-in already. Maybe not by the technic that you prefer but broken-in none the less.
Just curious. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
The main reason that I do it is because the person that owned the gun (or barrel) before may not have believed in barrel break-in. They also may not have cleaned the gun as often or as well as I do. This seems to be particularly true of the "6 rounds a year" crew. What you wind up with is a layer of copper in the tooling marks in the barrel, and a barrel thats never been broken in. I believe that a smooth barrel is more accurate and consistant.
And, besides, what can it hurt?
Did that help?
I have always done this to used rifles I buy, becasue I don't know how the rifle was intially broken in. Most meat hunters I know, have never even heard of Breaking in the barrel, so I'll completely clean the rifle and ensure that all the copper is out of the bore, paying special attention to the throat area. Then I'll Break in like it's new.
The way I look at is, the guys who shoot 6 or 7 rounds a year are not going to clean after each shot, so the copper is building up and getting re-covered each time. Now, they clean until the powder fouling is gone, but leave copper in there so when I aquire the rifle, it has many layers of copper and powder built up, and the original bore is nicely covered,, kinda preserved if ya will.
I may be FOS, and just wasting my time, but it gets me to the range [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]