Browning X bolt 25-06 accuracy problems

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by HNDLDR, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. HNDLDR

    HNDLDR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    I'm new to the forum. I've done several searches on various topics and seem to end up here a lot so I thought I might as well join the ranks. My wife bought me left handed Browning 25-06 after hearing about my fondness for the cartridge as a kid. I primarily want to use the rifle for hunting deer and maybe the occasional prairie dog and coyote. I've hand loaded since I was a teenager and know the ins and outs fairly well. The rifle wears a Nikon Monarch 5-20x44 held in place by Leupold bases and rings.

    Now for my issue. I've spent considerable money on bullets, Speer 87 and 120 GR Nosler Bal tips 115, Accubond, Partitions 115 and 120. Powders include RL 19, 25 Retumbo, IMR 7828 and soon to be IMR 4831. Primers were CCI 250 and Winchester WLR. Brass has been the same lot of Hornady. I've experimented with seating depths from .015 to .060 off the lands. I'm not a fanatic about cleaning but it has been cleaned regularly. Most of my loads have been on the warm side of things. (I don't mind sacrificing 100fps or so for accuracy if I wanted a 257 Bob I would have got one.)

    After all of this I am the proud owner of a rifle that will throw a very impressive group once in a while but then throws the exact same load into 1.5 to 2.0 inches at 100 yards.

    What's everyone's experiences with the X bolt, reloading, gun smithing and anything else I might be overlooking that May help me get things under an inch consistently with a good hunting bullet. My wife's X bolt 7mm-08 is a 1/2 inch gun easy with loads it likes. Do I just need to accept the fact that my 25-06 is a 1.5 inch gun.
     
  2. jjmp

    jjmp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    cleaning goes a long way and it never stops,accuracy depends on cleaning,did i mention cleaning your rifle. welcome to our Forum

    its a great place to learn . Rember who bought you this rifle, do you own a 1 piece cleaning rod and a bore guide?? if not buy them , use them, get back to cleaning and your rifle,it will pay you back with better groups.

    your rifle is one of the BEST made any where, imho.... try some 100 grainers,

    your rifle is showing you it whats to shoot,even gun writers find they must clean more often .

    regards jjmp
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I have an A-Bolt II 7mmRM that was shooting sub-½ MOA groups with handloads, and overnight it wouldn't hit the broad side of crap... So I did the only thing to do....Took it to the smith for a re-work and a new barrel. :D

    Also, Browning seems to have a 1/2" slower twist than everybody else.... For example, Remington .25-06: 10" twist, Browning .25-06 10.5" twist. This mean that the Browning cannot handle the same weight bullets the Remington can.

    I would try some Nosler Ballistic Tip 85gr bullets, and some Nosle 110 Accubonds. 100's might even be better.
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    A clean bore is not necessarily a happy bore. As long as it's not gunked up with copper, it should still shoot fine.

    I find that most of my rifles can go several hundred rounds between cleanings once you get the barrel broken in properly.

    Also, have your smith hand-lap the barrel (especially a factory bore)...That should help smooth out the tooling marks which will significantly reduce your copper-fouling issues.
     
  5. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,694
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Before I spent anymore money with a smith I would try different brass,primers and powder weight, especially something different than Hornady brass. I haven't had very good results from their components as far as consistency. I don't know if its softer or harder brass but I think it has different neck tension on each load or something I'm not sure but its something......
     
  6. HNDLDR

    HNDLDR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Thank you for the quick replies. I've been using Bore Techs Copper Remover to clean all my guns with. I do have a one piece fiberglass rod for cleaning. If anything else I've noticed the groups gets tighter after about 20 rounds or so and also tighten up some when the barrel is warm. Any thoughts?
     
  7. HNDLDR

    HNDLDR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Oh! And the bore is very quick and easy to clean and seems to have little or no discernible tool marks. Maybe I will have to go lighter on the bullets. I tried really hard to get the 110 GR accubond to shoot. Haven't tried any 100 Gr yet. The Speer 87 gr shoot a great group over RL 19 but that's only one three shot group and since then I'm out of all of my RL powders including 19. RL 25 showed promise with the heavier slugs. Unfortunately the reloader powders are made of unobtainium in my neighborhood lately.
     
  8. HNDLDR

    HNDLDR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Gohring3006 that is one aspect of the whole equation that's been bugging me. You may be right, time to change brass.
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    That's because your barrel needs to foul itself. Just because you go shoot your rifle, doesn't mean you need to clean it as soon as you get home. Some of my guns have gone years between cleanings (don't shoot them as often), and they pick right back up where they left off the last time I was shooting them. The barrels should be perfectly fine, because the high-tech powders we have today, majority of them are non-corrosive (unlike back in the day), and should not harm your barrel. Not all powders are non-corrosive, but majority of the big brand names powders are.

    Some barrels like to be squeeky-clean, some like to be slightly fouled, and some like to be filthy. For example, my .308 LOVES a dirty bore. It hates a fresh clean bore and it takes me 20-30 shots to foul it back again. But it lasts me several hundred in between cleanings before it starts throwing shots.

    A good indicator of when your barrel needs cleaning is when your gun is grouping perfectly fine, then it starts to throw shots from a cold bore or a lightly warm bore.

    MOST sporter barreled rifles I've seen the barrels heat up extremely quick, and you can only get 3 shots out of them before they get too hot and need to cool back down. And if you let one get too hot, the molecules that compose the steel will get to moving around more and the steel will get more malleable (flexible). And when you shoot those bullets down a flexible bore, the barrel is going to whip alot more violently than a colder less-flexible bore will. Think of a blacksmith heating iron to work it with a hammer... Which is why bull barrels are inherently more accurate because they are thicker, absorb and release heat better, and are less susceptible to barrel whip.
     
  10. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I've shot LOTS of Hornady brass and ammo over the years. Absolutely nothing wrong with their products. I've had Hornady brass outlast Federal brass on quite a few occasions.

    The best brass is Nosler and Norma. The next best, I would honestly say Hornady & Winchester in a tie for 2nd place. Then Remington. Then Federal. In that order.
     
  11. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,694
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    I'm very happy that you have had good luck with hornady but I am saying that I have not, that's my opinion on his situation, he should try different brass. I rate brass, norma/nosler, lapua,fed,win.and rem. In that order....
     
  12. HNDLDR

    HNDLDR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Mudrunner All very good points. My limited mileage has given me similar results with with some barrels shooting better on the dirty side. I've always gone hunting with a barrel that's had at least 5 to 10 rounds through it since the last cleaning.

    I'm not trying to take anything away from Hornady brass, just wondering if it's not agreeing with this particular rifle. It is one constant throughout the whole load process. With the exception of the one very nice group mentioned earlier with 87 GR Speer and RL 19. That group I sized and trimmed some old Rem nickel plated 30-06 brass. I'm a big fan of the Nosler brass and use it in my old 7mm Rem, wife's 7mm-08, and my 300 Rum. Hopefully my local shop still has some Nosler in stock when I can scratch up some extra scratch.
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I forgot about Lapua.... I'd put them up ahead of Nosler/Norma, honestly...But they're all about on the same page.

    Lapua is the only stuff I'll run in my .308 Win, although I've also had excellent results with Hornady Match brass.
     
  14. jjmp

    jjmp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    sorry for being to tuff on you Hndldr, brass is one I forgot about, and its a biggie Great idea guys.

    john barsness the gun wrter,talks up ultra bore coat,and its been on the market for

    more then a few years, ive not coated any of my bbls but I here very good things about it , something to consider?

    my 25-06 likes 100 grainers sierra MKings and NBT'S , with imr 4350 and rl-22, had such good luck i never tried any other powders, as far as brass Remington worked great as well as Winchester,never tried laupa,norma ,nosler, hornady.primers f210's and fgm 210's, never used a mag primer.

    played with nbt 115 gn and sierra's 117 bt's but still undesided which one is better in my rifle. never shot any 87's or 120's, I mainly shoot paper or rocks or steel.

    my 25-06 is built on a remy blued action,ch/moy Shilen bbl 26 inch 1-10 tw sitting in a laminate stock. my cousins new 7mag x-bolt with a green bbl bugholes with my reloads, I still think they Great like Tony the Tigger would say!!! regards jjmp