Re: Masters of Reloading......my 300WM is not shooting good.
I have a Sako 85 Finnlight in 300 WSM that is "guaranteed" to shoot sub MOA 5 shot groups. It doesn't. It's been to the factory once and came back with a "computer generated target" that said it fired a .9 MOA, 5 shot group. I have tried numerous (dozens) of handload and factory combinations in this rifle and my results are close to what you are posting. The rifle just flat out does not shoot much better than my Ruger Redhawk. And it's not me. I have shot tight groups out of other rifles that cost a lot less and I had freind who is a fairly good shot shoot the rifle with the same load as me. His 5 shot group with the same ammo was about 0.15 better than my group and still over the 1 MOA Sako guarantee. Bottom line... this rifle just does not shoot. And "maybe" that's the problem with yours?
One very important thing to remember in this game is that, not every rifle shoots the same as another with a particular load. The Nosler/Barnes/Hodgden.... etc., loading manuals and guides are nothing more than relative references. When developing a load you should always start at a conservative low beginning point. From there, you should work up to your max.
So here is where things get interesting... What is max? Some people migh tuse a chronograph and some might use other signs. My concern with chronographs and velocity is that there a many variables that play into it. Not the least of which is what particular chrony are you using and how accurate is it? If you spend all day at the range, shooting one load through the same rifle you will et varying velocites, guaranteed. This is because of different light and heat conditions... not ot mention the difference between different makes and models of chronys... and what I recently found out, as in the last week, battery strength and life. When I switched batteries, my velociteis jumped 50 fps. I personally use indicators like bilt stiffness, cratered primers, etc... however, these are not completely reliable indicators either, but so far I haven't blasted my face off yet.
Reloading is a complex game and there are a lot of variables in it.
IMO, your groups dont look like you have a problem with recoil. They look very similar to mine but after shooting dozens of groups in my rifle they have been even more sporadic, and that is trying a number of powder, bullet, seating depth combinations, along with factory ammo.
Again, the manuals and online ballistic chats are only guides. Dont forget, the lawyers of these companies will encourage hem to be as "safe" as possible.... but on the other hand, dont blow your rifle and your face up.
Oh yeah... I broke my barrel in. It didn't foul as much, but it didn't shoot any better.
Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 05-24-2009 at 03:10 AM.