243 target rifle problem

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by geneinnc, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. geneinnc

    geneinnc Active Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I need to run this one by more minds than mine! I have a new Remington 700. Before I start here are the specs per Remington: [​IMG]
    243 cal 26" heavy barrel 9 1/8" twist weight with scope over 11 lbs laminated stock

    The rifle has the following:

    SCOPE: New Leupold 8.5 x 25 AO with 2 piece Leupold Rings & Bases[​IMG]

    STOCK: glassed & headspace by the best gunsmith in NC. 18 oz trigger

    Gun was given standard break in, oil after first 10 rounds then every 5 rounds with Hornady Custom SST 95 gr

    BENCH SET UP: Farley co ax rest with custom front rest bag to fit the stock. Golden Eagle rear rest.

    TEST CONDITIONS: 100 yards off concrete table. Scope was reset rearward because I was chasing the scope. then re leveled using my Level Level. Wind variable, per my wind meter 5 to 10 mph & wind flags. NO shots taken unless wind was under 5 mph. Barrel cooled after 3 shots.

    PROBLEM: My 22 M4 grouped as well with a 4 x scope. Seriously, were talking 3" groups! The scoped seemed to be working fine. It was bore sighted and tool 2 minor clicks to put it dead on at 25 yards. As expected, the impact point was 8" high at 100, I dialed it down 4", and it moved 4". Another 4" adjustment put it on the 3" orange dot I was using.

    After that I went through 20 rounds, with minor adjustments on the scope. There was no rhyme no reason to the groups. It was simply all over the 3" dot.

    I don't claim to be an expert, but I have been doing this close to 40 years and I won't own even a hunting rifle that isn't sub moa. I shoot a good bit of competition, so I don't think it was me. I do have horrible vision but I recently was re fitted for glasses & shooting glasses, and were talking the best money can buy.

    MY OPINION: I normally reload everything I shoot. In the past I used Hornady Custom when I was breaking in, and to be honest their ammo was equal to Federal Premium off the shelf. I have mated loads to MANY 243's and always had best results with 95 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips.
    I realize the SST is not boat tail ammo, but the BC is very close to the Ballistic Tip.


    Bullet weight. is the 9 1/8" twist for lighter bullets? That dawned on me when I noticed Remington lists this rifle as a VARMINT gun.

    The gun just does not like that factory load?

    Scope Trouble? Even $1000 Leupold scopes can be faulty, although it would be the first in 40 years.

    Get off my but & get back to reloading? I simply have not been able due to health problems.

    Find a box of factory 45 to 50 gr Ballistic Tips?

    If that fails I guess I need to stick another scope on the gun & send mine back to Leupold?

    I AM OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS! I usually overlook the minor details.

    Thanks to you all!


  2. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Hey man where you from in NC? I'm from Duplin Co., SE of Raleigh, about an hour and 15 minutes. Who's the best gunsmith in NC?
    My suggestion: (1) try a different ammo. Reason being, I recently tried sighting in my boss's 280 Remington with Hornady 139gn SST Moly Interlocks and I had to use a 16x22" desk calender as a backer for my target to see where it was hitting. I thought it may have been low, high or right or left. It was all over the place! Out of 10 shots I only hit a 8.5X11" piece of paper three times @ 100yds. "Patterns" are runnng 6-8". Reloads are definately better.
    I took those fired cases and loaded it up with 140gn Nosler Ballistic Tips and it was a little better. I then loaded some 120gn Ballistic Tips and wa la. Groups size shrank down to an inch. At least it is something I can work with.
    I think that's a fine looking rifle you have there. I have always wanted a VLS and was looking one in .243 when I ran across a Win 70 Heavy Varmint Barrel (HVB) out in Washington state. Boy, what an accurate rifle it has turned out to be.
    The scope seems to be tracking right from the description you gave with the adjustments you made. I've had erector systems go out and you're right, there is no rhyme or reason, but the groups could hardly be contained on a 3" square when it happened in my case.
    Good luck and let us know what happens! JohnnyK.

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    My most accurate rifle (and I mean it is scary accurate) shot 1 particular load in the 4-4.5" range at 100 yards. Sometimes a rifle just will not like a given load. My advice is to try another scope. Preferably one that is proven on a bigger caliber. While the scope is off the rifle, double check the bases and rings etc...If the results are the same I would double check the parallax. Check and see if the barrel is 100% free floated. If it is not make it so. Another trick I use is I hold the rifle barrel with one hand (you may have to try different locations ie: high, mid point and low) and knock on the stock with your knuckle like knocking on a door. You should feel a vibration on the barrel kind of like a tuning fork. If you don't feel that then either the barrel is not free floated or the action screws are touching the stock. Either should be fixed. If you don't feel that vibration or 'node' the rifle will most likely never shoot well. You will need to clean it up. If you trouble shoot all that and still no luck, then I would try as much different ammo as possible if you cannot reload. If you can reload then try as many powders and bullets you can with as many charges as possible.

    Just a few suggestions (not in any particular order).

    Hope that helps.
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    make sure the scope mounts are secure. load 37.5 of I4064 and an 85 sierra bthp. while 210m and br-2 would be my frist choice for primers. what ever primer you have should shoot under an inch( rem 9 1/2; cci 200 ; wlr ect) .
  5. geneinnc

    geneinnc Active Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    thanks guys. the bases are rock solid, ditto the rings, checked at the range.
    as stated the gun was completely glassed & floated as soon as it came out of the box, by AC Burgess in Wilkesboro, NC. I talked at length with AC today and he has encountered the same problem with the Hornady SST with his custmomers. His opinion is this bullet is built for hunting only, and highly frangible. The SD is very light, and AC has a theory that the bullet is just not as stable in construction as the Ballistic Tip. He said most of his 243 shooters ended up with 95 gr ballistic tips or 100 gr Bergers in their 243. If that doesn't work I'll send the scope back while AC goes over the rifle AGAIN. He has too much pride to give up, and said every rifle of this type has ended up a .5 gun.
    Last resort will be a new barrel. AC builds a ton of rifles for the 1000 yard guys, and he has been able to solve any problems with the 6mm crowd.

    I'm not giving up yet. That rifle just naturally fits my weird body, which just doesn't happen off the shelf. I dang near gave up skeet until I tried a Perezzi with an adjustable stock & comb. What a world of difference a correct fitting gun makes.

    More to comegun)
  6. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Consulting with a 'smith...you're on the right track. Hopefully you will discover the problem.

    I had a Rem700 that no matter what I did, it would not shoot. I started with the small stuff and by the time I was done, I had pretty much built a custom rifle. It's a .5moa rifle now.

    Keep us posted. It will be interesting to hear the resolution.
  7. geneinnc

    geneinnc Active Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I'm in Hickory. Were a longs ways off. IMO AC Burgess is the best gunsmith in NC. He's in Wilkesboro. Not that far from you. You can take 40 west & take 421 close to his front door. Email me if you need any info.