Inconsistent A-bolt

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Minnow, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Minnow

    Minnow Member

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    I have a Browning A bolt 1 stainless synthetic stalker .270win that groups about a 1.6" @ 100yds on average. Today my first group of three shots on a cold/clean barrel was not consistent. My second group of three measured .070" which I consider super for a stock hunting rifle/sporter barrel with factory ammo. At 200yds my groups average 3.44" with some as small as 1.80" and as large as 4.45". I was shooting mostly Winchester PowerMax, along with some Hornady BTSP 140gr. and Winchester Ballistic silvertips.
    I'am resting the forend and butt stock on sandbags and getting a nice steady hold with a slow trigger pull, but my groups seem to dance around. I'll be the first to suspect human era plays some roll in this to a small degree, but this rifle as never been a tack driver even with trying various ammo. It seems like this rifle groups much better when it gets warmed up.
    My scope is a Leupold VX3 10X with Leupold two piece mount and rings.

    I would like get this rifle consistent and shrink the groups down a little bit. MOA or better? Please advise...
     
  2. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    You need to find which ammo shoots best in it, then stick with that ammo... or start reloading. I never imagined how well my rifles would shoot until I started reloading.

    At least that is what I conclude from the limited information in your post. There may be something wrong with the rifle itself.
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    1. Accuracy is rarely a given with factory ammo.
    2. The gun isn't bedded.
    3. Your scope is not for precision, but for hunting -up close.
    4. The stock is not designed to shoot off sandbags.
    5. The trigger is not for precision, but for hunting -up close.

    When you say 'clean barrel', is it really?
    Or does it have oil in it?

    A-Bolts are nice guns but like any mass produced, there are plenty of things that can be done to suit them to your needs. If you had BOSS, you could tune your barrel to the ammo desired for better results.
    The best gunsmith I know with A-Bolts(which are special to rebarrel) is
    Jim Kobe
    10841 Oxborough Ave. So. Bloomington, MN 55437 USA
    Voice: 1-952-884-6031, Jkob60@aol.com, Jkob60@msn.com
    He is 'Jkob' over at 24hourcampfire.com

    This guy does as good of work as anyone I've seen & his prices are so low you'll feel guilty(LOL).
    Have him rebarrel with a non-brake BOSS(from Browning) & bed stock, & true up your rings, & upgrade your trigger to an aftermarket. Pick up a ~25" Harris bipod for field use. And dry your clean bore out with alcohol so that the first shot has atleast a chance of hitting what you're aiming at. Oil takes a dozen shots to burn out..
     
  4. Minnow

    Minnow Member

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    Thanks for the help fellas. I pulled the stock off the gun for the first time and the factory recoil lug "bedding job" looks like crap. There is also glass bedding material along the left side of the receiver inlet itself. I had no idea how little material is in the forearm of this stock as well. I'm thinking that a proper full bedding job along with some forearm reinforcement would help a lot. What do you think?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  5. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    That is a crappy looking recoil lug bedding job. I am surprised, Browning is usually better than that. I would sand down/remove those high spots and shoot it again. A-bolts do have adjustable triggers if needed. The newer A-bolt stocks are plastic and for the most part are junk. Only the Mountain Ti has a decent stock on it. My A-bolt is a 1988 model and came with a fiberglass stock and it is still on it today. You might want to look into a McMillan or Bell and Carlson replacement stock, well worth the money. As far as help off the bench check the link below for article on shooting non benchrest rifles off the bench.

    2009 January | The Reloading Press
     
  6. Minnow

    Minnow Member

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    Thanks. My model is an original A Bolt as well. 1992-1994 there or abouts. I already adjusted the trigger weight down per the manual and its fine for now at about 3lbs with no creep. That bedding job is pretty shotty and I'm very unimpressed on what is a 850.00 rifle in todays dollars. I took my finger nail and the bedding material on the receiver inlet fell right off. The actual "bedding job" is very flexible by pressing on it with my finger nail and I believe it is compromised. I will locate a smith here in DFW and see about getting a complete bedding job done properly, along with any stock reinforcement options. I found this link where reinforcement has been done with success at minimal cost.
    Glass Bedding a Sporter Rifle
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'll go ahead a break it to you:
    You're not going to have a lot of luck getting anyone to completely fix your gun for $850, much less build you an entire gun.

    $850 doesn't buy much anymore, and bedding alone will not resolve all the 'issues' that add to provide your disatisfaction. So you really need to hesitate and put together a plan.
    Beginning, middle, end..
     
  8. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    If the bedding is soft then it probably has been exposed to bore cleaner or such. I would try to re-bed just the recoil lug as it is now. Mine shot great for 20 plus years bedded just like that. I have since re-bedded the whole action because I put a new barrel on it. As far as bedding material try Devcon 10110, it is indestructable.
     
  9. bb204

    bb204 Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to pay someone to rebed and stiffen your stock, you would probably be money ahead to get a B&C Medalist from Stockey's for ~ $200- 250. They have the full aluminum bedding block. They are really a pretty good stock for the money. Then you could bed the recoil lug only, or skim bed the action if it is still needed. It weighs about 5-6 ounces more than the factory stock.
     
  10. 405win

    405win Well-Known Member

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    The bedding material looks like that thermoplastic stuff win used to use, just a stiff form of a hot glue.
    Most rifles will benefit from a properly bedded action and a professionally adjusted trigger.
    Handloading may help as you can adjust your (COL) but are still constrained but your magazine length.
    Having your barrel borescoped may prove ineteresting as well.
    How much do you want to send to fix your browning?
     
  11. Minnow

    Minnow Member

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    I didn't mention that the rifle IS left handed. I don't see how anyone can say a new barrel is in order without even seeing the gun, but I will have it borescoped for any possible flaws. I believe the primary issue is the lack of bedding. I would be willing to consider a new stock like the B&C, but I don't see a left handed version. I don't want to spend 400.00 on the stock alone. My goal is not a six hundred yard hunting rifle. My shots are limited to much closer ranges. What I'm looking for is consistency more so than accuracy. If the gun will print 1.5" at 100, that is ok. Any accuracy increase will be a nice bonus. I might pick up a home bedding kit and give it a go myself, then see where I'm at.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  12. 405win

    405win Well-Known Member

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    Do what you can as you can. I had an A-Bolt, liked it alot. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  13. Minnow

    Minnow Member

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    Good news to report. I bedded the recoil lug and the little hump in the stock where the first part of the chamber rests. Much better now with consistently better groups. I also installed the 2lb Timney trigger spring which actually turned out at 2.5lbs. With Hornady 130gr Interlocks, it is now shooting MOA consistently and to the same point of aim. Today had 3 three shot groups measuring .90",.95", and 1.15" consectively. gun)
     
  14. 405win

    405win Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Its great when things go together and work out like their suppose to.