Accuracy vs. Speed when bench rest shooting

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by LRHChinook, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    When I take my Wby Accumark 300 win mag or Mark V 257 mag to the range to test new hand loads, I usually fire 40 rounds (10 times 4 different load combinations). But this is not a reloading question. It's how much time do I need to let my barrel cool as I shoot to maintain accuracy?

    I shoot 5 shot groups and usually take 2 minutes per shot (after setup). I usually wait 15 minutes between groups to change target and let the barrel cool somewhat.

    Is this enough cool time? Should I take longer between shots?

  2. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    There is probably not one answer to your question, but I will generally use a similar approach to the one you are using for my basic load work. Barrel cooling time will be different with temperatures of 35 vs 85. The lighter the barrel, the more I tend to focus on barrel temperature. Using this approach is how I get the best load. Once I establish this, cold bore accuracy takes a front seat since this is the situation that is encountered when hunting. Once I get a good load I will learn how the rifle performs cold, hot, clean or dirty, and each rifle can be different depending on barrel type, bedding, etc. With my target/competition rifles I'm looking for a rifle that will shoot consistently under a wider range of barrel temperatures. The Weatherbys I have owned were particularly sensitive to barrel temperature because of the lighter barrel weight, and the stock pressure on the barrel at the forearm tip. Impact points would change when the barrel would got warm/hot. I would let the barrel cool well. This has been my experience.

  3. X-man

    X-man Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2007

    I feel a surge of hope! :)