Diagnosing Issue still- advice please

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BrentM, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I went out yesterday and shot the rifle to get a zero at 200. It was not shooting well and kept giving me flyers. This is after I took the scope and base off and red loctited, torqued, etc. I also tried a box test again after just to ensure all was fine. It seemed fine so....

    1. I took all my reloading stuff to the field and shot my main load first at 100. 57.5 grs. I had 2 that were ok then a little verticle flyer. I reloaded 3 at 56.5 and they all hit the same area as the 57.5, so I had a 6 shot group that were all together.

    2. Since the 56.5 seemed to work I loaded up and shot a 4 shot group that stacked up well. Yay.

    3. Decided to give 57 a try and they strung out vertically. No go.

    4. Took it to 200 with 56.5 and it shot terrible.

    5. I was frustrated so I loaded up 58.5 to test pressure and shot at the left target. It was high, ok, more powder more speed right?

    6. Went back to 56.5 and shot 2 x 2. WTH. It went from being low to high?? No adjustments made.

    7. Adjusted turrent up and down and back to orginal, shot low. I give up.
     

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  2. dakota1tn

    dakota1tn Active Member

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    IF your not useing a bullet comparator to measure each bullet depth that could be your problem. Bullet depth is more important that grns of powder. When you find the right bullet depth by ojive it will most likely shoot the same even with one grn higher or lower. That is at 100 yrds. Still lots of things besides that... that it could be but thats where I would start.
    IF you are using the comparator I would make sure the barrel is floated properly and also that my cases were from the same lot. Also if they have been fired more that 4 times they should be annealed which will give them a more even tension. Another question is do you know where your gun shoots best as far as how clean the barrel should be? Most guns have a sweet spot as far as how clean they should be to shoot best. Also make sure you have a really great rest!!! When you move to longer distances it really matters!! When trying to get a gun to shot the best groups... dot move the scope untill you find what it likes best (as long as its on paper).
     

  3. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Ok the fact that the same load shot well at 100 and then a move to 200 caused a problem then I think your shooting techniques and rest system is no good or at least not consistent .
    Stop all the powder and load changes and load up the 56.5 loads that shot well at 100.
    Stop playing with the scope and concentrate on firing one 3 shot group on each target center .
    It would be real helpful if you told us exactly how the gun is fired , like from a bench rest , what type of rests , bags or bi-pod used , free recoil , not free recoil ,etc etc ?
    When moving the guns elevation from 100 to 200 you should try to preserve the rest positions and tracking as much as possible .
    A photo of how you shoot is worth a thousand words .
    You will have to watch the wind and either shoot when the wind condition is very low or at a consistent wind speed and direction .
    Once you consistently get three shots close together in a group .
    Then you can step up to 5 shot groups.
    3 shot groups save ammo and if you can't group 3 then what is the point of wasting another two shots on an already bad group.
    3 shots also cuts down on barrel heating , shooter fatigue , wind changes and cost .
    3 shots tests the gun 10 shots tests the shooter .
     
  4. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    "Ok the fact that the same load shot well at 100 and then a move to 200 caused a problem then I think your shooting techniques and rest system is no good or at least not consistent ."

    BINGO! Whats it group at 50 yards? If you dont have 3 shots dammed near touching....you wont have jack squat at 200.

    Get a ballistics calc done on your load and shoot at 50 yards. If you dont have 3 holes touching...keep practicing till you do. Move to 100 yards and do it again and you should at least have a 3 shot group you can cover with a quarter..?? On to 200 yards and you are locked and loaded for the group you want.
     
  5. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    Shot from a bench rest. It was clean and shot the tighter at 7 thru 10 rounds. 15-19 were at 200 on right side, and 20-25 on the left side.

    Lapau brass (same lot, shot 2x), neck sized with .002 bushing, concentricity corrected, berger VLD hunting 140, .075 off lands, retumbo powder. Action screws torqued properly, etc.

    The fact that the rounds moved up 4.5" at 200 yards with exact same load doesn't surprise you guys? I am very surprised it started shooting high all of the sudden. rounds 15-19 are by a ruler 4.5" lower. That is just weird. I didn't touch the scope settings yet, not even the power, just the parallax.

    Before I suspected the scope issue or some other issue I could group this rifle fine at 200 with less than .5 MOA. However, I kept having a verticle flyer issues here and there and point of impact changes that made no sense. This is after a scope bump.

    Another thing that surprised was the last round (25) impact that was 2.25" lower than 20 and 21.

    I have talked to Night Force and their customer service so far has been very good. It will be 4 weeks before any repair could be made so I am still trying to figure out if it is my base, mounts, scope, rifle, me etc. before sending it in. I am not sure I see any issue from shooter point of view but you never know I guess. Put it this way, I have never had a POI issue changes of 4.5" in my life based on technique. When I was shooting this rifle at 800 yards I consistently grouped .5 MOA....4x4 groups from a bipod and rear bag. A bench would have been better.
     
  6. 4bycamper

    4bycamper Well-Known Member

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    I'll bet you have a bedding issue.
    Definitely some wierdness going on.
    What kind of action? Remmy? Savage?
    I'm thinking either the scope or the action or both are slightly tweaked.

    If you have any bedding material under the barrel, try removing it.
    Do you think the action could be twisted in the stock?
    You could try taking a quarter turn tension off the rear action screw and almost no tension on the center action screw if you have one.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    Savage model 116, accustock. This model has two screws instead of the wedge style. I torqued front and rear to 40" lbs like the manual says. I did remove the base and reinstall with loctite etc, mounts rechecked.

    I will remove the action and bbl from the stock and look it over again. This rifle has been shooting lights out until lately. Now has 250 rounds through it. Barrel cleans up well and I confirm zero copper with CL or CR 10, whatever it is, with a 10-15 min soak time and patch it. If it is not colorless I keep cleaning until it is. I checked for a carbon ring as well, bore is smooth and consistent. No black comes out after a good initial scrub with a nylon brush. After that it is just blue until that is gone.

    Anyway, thanks for all the replies. I am just trying to ensure I have not missed something simple and I am considering all input. Several weeks back my scope was bumped and was off 6" to the right at 100. I re-zeroed but NF has me convinced it is not the scope. I was convinced as well with the 56.5 4 shot group at 100. Thought I hit a nice node and took it to 200. I thought about form and all that but if you can shoot .5 at 100 you can usually shoot that at 200. I can not imagine myself shooting a 4.5" spread at 200 with any rifle that can shoot .5 or less at 100.

    I have a aluminum weaver picatinny 1 piece base. It seems to be built fine enough, it is my first base of this sort. It does not have a recoil lug, no moa, and does not show signs of wear from the mounts etc. Mounts are Leupold PRW steel. I DID NOT check the base last night to see if the screws were loose.
     
  8. 4bycamper

    4bycamper Well-Known Member

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    6 inches off?? That's a good bump.

    What do you suppose got bent to give you 6 MOA error?
    PRW rings?
    Aluminum base? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. :D

    Not all rifles can get by with aluminum scope rings and base.
    Some rifles are in for a severe duty kind of life.
    My coyote rifles get babied and stroked. No problems.
    My elk rifle gets beat with a stick. No aluminum on this one. :D
     
  9. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    Actually the scope never hit anything it was the barrel. The rifle was in my back pack and I knocked it over in the dark while getting ready to hike up the mountain. The barrel smacked the pavement! Yeah, irritated at that little moronic move for sure. I liken it to whacking the barrel from the side with a hammer. Pretty jolting I would imagine but I wouldn't think enough to damage a night force. Unfortunately there are no NF rails in town. I have to order it on line. In fact there are no steel picatinny style basis anywhere around here for a long action savage.

    I bought this scope used off LRH from a guy in MT. He said is was safe queen and it looked like it. I will have to install another scope and see what happens. I ran out of time and light to swap last night as I thought I had a working load and 2.25" of drop from 100 to 200. That all got thrown out with my last group that wound up being 2.5" higher. good grief.

    The drop works out to be right around 2975 to 3025. Of course I can't rely on that at this point since elevation is all screwed up.
     
  10. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    The fact that it started shooting higher could be the change in how you shoot at 200 , moving the gun in the rest or whatever . It just seems strange that you can produce a no vertical group at 100 and then the gun goes crazy at 200 . Sure it could be bedding but it could also be something simple like you are digging the sling studs into the bags or the rear bag system is no good .
    Or you are not controlling recoil.
    The only way to rule things out is to only change one thing at a time.
    I tend to agree with Sully2 when he says practise at shorter range and perfect a good style and when the three shot groups get nice and tight branch out to a longer range , but keep the same technique going .
    I once helped a guy In Germany took months and dozens of emails but in the end a photo of his gun setup at the range told me what the problem was .
    Rear bunny eared bag backwards , Makeshift wooden bench was useless , sling studs still on the gun and digging in .
    It is usually what they don't tell you that is the problem.
    Changing the scope is always a standard check that you can do just to be sure it's ok . Scopes can do some weird things for sure. I would be surprised if a NF is not holding zero but you never know .
    Did you dial the elevation knob to shoot at 200 ?
    For the zero to move 6 inch off at 100 after a bump then something had to give . Maybe the erector tube springs are gone in the scope .
     
  11. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Brent, I have been reading your posts for quite some time and the results you have gotten out of this rifle right out to 1000 yards has been very consistent with sub MOA performance. I think occasional flyers are generally due to uncontrollable, or random factors and usually not significant. The results you show seem to indicate either a mechanical issue, or less likely, a sight/target acquisition issue. I would look first. to the effects of the drop that knocked your POI off by 6" at 100 yards.
    The hit to the barrel in pavement could very well have effected the bedding system, or even the barrel alignment, possibly the scope or mount, but that's usually is a result of a direct hit to the scope. I would check the axial alignment of the barrel to the scope, and the alignment of the action to the bedding system. This can be done a few ways but the easiest is to use a EXD Verticle Reticle Alignment device that fairly inexpensive and available from Brownells. This device will show barrel alignment, not bedding/ receiver alignment. If this is the problem, it seems to accentuate at longer ranges. The barrel on the LRH is not a very heavy barrel, and the bedding design, not the most secure. A heavy blow can knock it out.
    The other cause of the type of target results you show a less likely in your case but I have seen it happen even with very experienced shooters, specially those that hunt more then paper shoot. Make sure that your eye is focusing on the crosshair and not the target. It's easy to put both in the same plane. This can definitely cause groups to erode at longer distances and it can happen subconsciously particularly when frustrated. This is the most common cause of poor scores during egg shoots when the rifle produces excellent results at 100 yards.
    Just some thoughts.
     
  12. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    All good suggestions here. I only have two.

    1 being that the LRH barrels are not that heavy. Did the rifle attached to your pack possibly hit with enough force to possibly have ever so slightly bent the barrel? Even a tiny bit not noticeable to the eye could have terrible effects

    2 if you still suspect the scope. Set up a target at 50 yards. Any hand load should shoot somewhat decent at that range but the 56.5 seemed promising. Now do a 20 MOA box test. The load and rifle should be accurate enough at 50 yards to take the gun and shooter almost put of the equation so you are only testing scope tracking
     
  13. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    Brent, I'm just throwin this out there, did you look the crown over and make sure it wasn't damaged in any way? Also you might try just taking it out of the stock completly and then reinstall.
     
  14. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    Greyfox I agree that the shooter is still part of the equation. I did not shoot any paper this weekend as we were out wolf hunting. On the way off the mountain today I ranged a rock target at 942 yards. I wanted my buddy to shoot it and see how it performed for him. I dialed the scope, left wind at zero for now, and squeezed. Sent a second round. Both rounds impacted within 3 inches of each other, verticle was dead on, and a foot right.Wind was left to right. I had him shoot and he pretty much repeated my strikes but with larger grouping. It was his first time past 600.