Is my scope giving me large groups?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Gota6.5, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Gota6.5

    Gota6.5 Member

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    I was hoping someone with more experience than me could help with this one....

    I have a .260 that I'm struggling to get to shoot well. It is custom made with quality components and the smithing has been checked over. The gun is in theory "good to go" I've been reloading with match dies and components, fired cases and loaded rounds checked for concentricity- all good there too.

    So I sent it to someone else to try out. They couldn't really beat the MOA that I was geting with their loads and the 3-5-10 VXIII that is on top. They tried their own 6.5-20 leupy and then started shooting 1/2 MOA. His reasoning for the improvement was he could now see the movement of the gun on the target and could place the shots better. He also commented that a jewell trigger would help my group size too.

    I was talking to a local guru about it, and he seems to think it is the scope at fault. He thinks that you should still be able to shoot 1/2 MOA at 10x as well at at 20x.

    My questions are:
    1. could the scope be faulty?
    2. Do I need a larger scope and new trigger?

    I'm also not doubting the fact that it could all be the fault of the "nut behing the butt"

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. rinodods

    rinodods Well-Known Member

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    Yes and No. lol Kinda doubt the scope is the true problem as long as it isn't shifting. Higher magnification might help with your placement though. You might also try a different target. If your reticle covers up the entire black then of course you won't be able to hold consistently. You need something to shoot at that will allow you to easily keep your reticle centered on your target. Perhaps shoot at a square and just frame an outside corner of the target with the reticle. If you can just touch that corner each time you just might see a smaller group come out of it. Shooting at a .25MOA target with a reticle that covers 3MOA isn't going to be very productive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

  3. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Rhilnodods is correct - higher magnification generally shoots better groups, and if the reticule covers your aiming point, it will not be spot on. How does it shoot since you put the VXIII 3.5-10 back on? Could there have been some looseness in your mount or rings? What distance you shooting at? I would try 100 yds. How is your bench set up? Good front rest? how about rear bag? Are you holding consistently each shot? How is your reloading technique?

    If all else fails, return it to Leupold for a free check up.
     
  4. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    I don't think 20X is the entire solution. Maybe the perception of a finer crosshair, because of the power is what helps in the placement. Understanding your sights, and knowing the point you want to send your projectile to, can over come this.

    My eyes don't necessarily see the black on the 600yd target, but I can make out where the target is, and put my bullet in the center. (iron sights)
     
  5. Gota6.5

    Gota6.5 Member

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    It still shoots the same at around 1moa with the 3.5-10 back on. I've checked the mounts and are all secure. Testing has been done at 100yds so far, off a Sinclair front rest and bunny ear rear bag. Reloads have been tried from two diffferent relaoders, bith using redding match dies and match components. Lots of time spent on prep, so hopefully not the problem. It achieved 1/2 MOA with these loads and the 6.5-20 scope.

    I think that it may be the shot follow through..... The gun is quite lively to shoot off the bench probably due to it being quite light (7.5 lbs all up) I think if it weighted 10lbs it would be a lot easier to shoot good groups. Trouble is, here in NZ we walk a long way and climb som damn big hills so that's not really an option at the moment.
     
  6. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    check your rifle with another scope of a known reliability and see if the groups are the same.

    That will tell you if you have a problem with your scope and your shooting it.

    BH
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Make sure that the scope does not have parallax.

    This could make the POI change.

    Place the rifle on sand bags or a good rest and aim at the center of the target.

    Without touching the rifle look through the scope and move your head up and down
    (Bobble you head) and watch the Point of aim on the target. If it moves, you have Parallax
    and it must be adjusted out to get a consistant impact.

    Just another thing to try without spending money.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

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    Its a Leupold, you paid a premium price for their customer service. If it is in doubt send it back and have it checked out. It will be cheaper than wasting ammo, barrel life, and save some frustration.

    Yes, higher magnification will help, but 10X is fine for 100yrds.

    Lastly, it sounds like you have lost confidence in the scope..Every time you pull the trigger you will second guess if the scope is bad..Been there..Send it back have it checked out. They should have it back quickly.
     
  9. MarkA

    MarkA Well-Known Member

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    Yes what he said.

    I sent a VX3 back that was doing the same thing and no rhyme or reason to where it would shoot next. Problem was that groups were not real bad just not as good as the 7STW had performed before putting the VX3 on it. Was about the same power range scope as I had taken off.

    I was sure that it was the scope so I went back to the first old (and cheap) bushnell that you could barely see thru in low light and groups came right back, now that aint good when you have spent money on a scope of this cost.

    Sent it back to Leupold and they told me they had checked it extensively and there was nothing wrong with it and sent it back to me. It went the way of Ebay.

    Gun now wears a Sightron Big Sky.
     
  10. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Mark - What power is your Sightron, and how does it perform? I had a Sightron 36x on a 6ppc shot in IBS some years ago, and it was terrible. I have stayed away from them. I might be convinced to try a new one. Thanks, Gene
     
  11. lever-hed

    lever-hed Well-Known Member

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    one thought - check all notions above, then you could bring a target in to 25 yds and see how the scope tracks. Print a square moving clockwise with your turrets and see if it tracks correctly.. if not, you found out
     
  12. MarkA

    MarkA Well-Known Member

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    Currently been setting up a 4.5x15x50 big sky on a Savage Muzzleloader. I have been very happy with it. Non AO on this model cause probably will not shoot over 300 or so with it.

    On my 7STW Sendero using the SIII 6x24x50with side focus, glass is exceptional as are turrets, basically really like everything about the scope except the reticle. Have just always been a duplex type guy and not a real big fan of the dot.

    On 243 coyote gun using big sky 3x12x42, again it has been flawless.

    On 7WSM savage gun using big sky 4.5x14x44 side focus also and is a great scope but as stated before would sell it and buy the same scope again with duplex reticule.

    On kids 6mm rem using SII 3x9x42 that is an excellent scope also but not the glass quality of the big sky or SIII........but IMO it is the best $200 scope on the market and has been for couple years now. I know it take the recoil of my oldest sons smokeless muzzleloader shooting 300gr bullets at 2500fps, this gun trashed a Conquest when we first set it up and was testing loads.

    My biggest reason for staying with them is pure tough solid tracking. Or at least they have been for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  13. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    If the scope is bad as suspected by the groups, the issue is not tracking. It is probably POI shift, which a box test will not show.

    As mentioned, could be parallax also.

    You confirm by shooting with the same rifle with a different but known quality scope and seeing if the groups shrink .

    BH