How I found my rifles accuracy!

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by straightshooter, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    First let me say I feel pretty stupid. Before I got into long range shooting, I bought a Ruger Hawkeye all weather in a 308 winchester. I loved this rifle right from the start (I am a control round feed guy). However, I just could not get the darn thing to shoot. I didn't expect a tack driver right out of the box, but I was hoping to get at least a consistent 2 moa rifle. I've been shooting close to 40 years and handloading for 25 plus, so I have some idea on how to get a rifle shooting, but to no avail.

    I usually shoot 4 shot groups, and what would happen was I'd get 2 or 3 shots close but always had flyers that would open the group to 3-3.5" at a 100 yards. The first thing I did was free float my barrel myself (no differenc). Next I took my rifle into the gunsmith and got the trigger done (no help, but made the rifle more enjoyable to shoot). Next I figured I had a bedding issue, so back to the smith (again no difference). I started to question everything, my reloading equipment,supplies, and technique, my shooting technique, my scope, my scope bases, etc. etc. I tried different powder bullet combos, bullet in the lands, just touching, out to 20 thou. I shot of a bench with a rest, just off bags, prone off a rest, and with my Harris bipod. Same results, a couple in tight and the rest all over the place.

    So today I just got back from shooting this rifle again, trying to work up a load that would work and guess what, not on group over an inch. What did I finally figure out after all this. MY BARREL HEATS UP FAST!!! I was shooting to fast. This rifle will only group the first 2 shots, sometimes the 3rd will stay in there but not always. What I do now is shoot one shot then let the rifle cool for 5 min. or so, then fire the next. I do this till I get through all four shots, then I let the rifle cool for 10 min or more (usually switch over to the 10/22) before shooting my next group. Best thing is I was ladder testing my load, and not one load went over moa.

    What did I learn. Well, you want to get good equipment right off. I tried all sorts of shooting techniques, trying to figure out if I was the problem, I questioned myself, all my equipment, and spent money I may not have had to. You don't need a heavy barrel to get great accuracy, but you may need one to maintain that accuracy for multiple shots. I got spoiled shooting my 223 varmint rifle (heavy barrel savage). I got in the habit of shooting faster with this rifle and just did not think that the Ruger wouldn't perform the same. All this changing things doest not promote consistency, so my skill in shooting and reloading probably suffered some. I know I sure was frustrated!!! Also I now wonder if a lot of the talk I hear about Rugers (or any rifle for that matter) not being accurate, are just something so simple. I am glad I stuck with this rifle till I figured it out.

    Why am I sharing the egg on my face. I hope I can save even one person from the frustration I have gone through on this one. If your rifle won't shoot, try slowing down first.
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I think you are correct that alot of light barrel rifles will heat up and not group past 2 or 3 shots. Perhaps even some heavy barrels that aren't stress relieved properly would do this..??
     

  3. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    SBruce, your comments made me wonder, is their anyone out there that has tried any form of stress relieving method that worked? If so what difference did it make, what type of stress relieving did you have done and who did it? This maybe something I would be interested in.
     
  4. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I used to think that it was a difference between sporter weight and bull barrels. That's certainly one factor.

    But, I later got my first Shilen sporter weight barrel on my Mod 70 25-06 and you can shoot a 20 shot string one right after the other and maintain sub-MOA at 100yds.

    From what I've read, it all comes down to proper stress relieving and the manufacturing process.

    I'm not sure about the best way to fix one (other than rebarrel) if it's improperly done. But, it sure helps if it was made right to begin with.

    Waiting 5 min between shots sucks! A good barrel is a pleasure to shoot.

    -- richard
     
  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    The only aftermarket stress relieving I remember hearing of is Cryogenic treatment, or 300 below. Never personally done it though. I also have it on fairly good authority that it's sometimes better to have the barrel maker flute the barrel than to do it aftermarket. I dont remember the exact reasoning, but it had something to do with "undoing" prior stress relieved steel....?? Sorry, I may even be mis stating that, but that was my understanding of what the guy was saying.
     
  6. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know this company or their pricing... Firearms (Cryo-Barrel)

    Your money may be better spent just having it rebarrelled.

    -- richard
     
  7. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Kind of sad that I can shoot sub MOA with this rifle, and my first thought leaving the range is I need a new barrel.
     
  8. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    QRF rifles with tight chambers and trued actions can be shooters. But if the action is out of true especially the bolt in relation to the chamber things get harry.
     
  9. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    What is a QRF rifle?
     
  10. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    I meant CRF or control round feed.
     
  11. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    Heat treating does work, as well a cryo treating. In fact i plan to have my mini 14 cryo treated. I have had another mini 14 cut it's group down by 75% by getting an ATI stock, cryo treating the tube and re-torquing the gas block to proper spec.

    CryoPlus Inc. - Cryogenic Processing
     
  12. JOSE A. MARINE

    JOSE A. MARINE Well-Known Member

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    MANY years ago I bought a m77 in 3006. the rifle would not shoot. after all you did, the rifle kept on doing his things...

    after a lot of polishing and cleaning the barrel, the rifle would shoot 1moa, never better never worst.

    after 400 shots the rifle earned a burris ballistic plex scope and when sighted in properly the rifle shoots very acurately even to 500 meters, with factory winchester ammo. scope had nothing to do with acurracy btw..

    I assemble my own rifles, and this one will never be touched.

    I even bought a ruger no.1 in 3006 just to play with. I like rugers.

    even though mine took 400 shots to settle and smooth out the barrel and shoot as any decent hunting rifle.

    Joe from Mexico
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011