need a "won't shoot anymore" checklist

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by goose, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the great ideas on the "usefull info from factory loads" thread, now that I have done some more shooting, the factory loads will not shoot well either.

    I though it would be great to have a checklist of things that loosen up, wear out, or any other factors that would make a rifle no longer shoot well.

    My rifle is a browning a-bolt 300wsm. It has seen less than 100 rounds. It once shot .750" to 1" groups at 100 yards very often. Recently I have shot several groups averaging 2.25"

    I checked scope rings and mounts, everything seems to be tight, as well as the stock.

    One thing I suspect is that I spent much more time and effort getting copper fouling out of the barrell before this all started. It was something I knew about vaguely, but learned about since using this site. I tried several methods and got slow but steady progress with sweets. It took aprox. 30 repetitions of the process described on the bottle. This was done after about 60 rounds fired through the rifle since new. I cleaned from the action toward the muzzle with a one piece coated rod and bore guide, however the bore guide was somewhat soft plastic.

    When I bought the rifle several years ago, I also had "vague" knowlege of barell break-in. I "cleaned" the rifle several times in the first box of ammo with the bore-snake rope type cleaner, and no solvent. I imagine it was better than nothing, but highly double the barell was actually clean.

    Any ideas? Has a checklist ever been made on this subject?
  2. rhouser

    rhouser Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Check your bedding and your action screws for tightness. If you are double grouping or horizontal stringing it could be your bedding has changed or your action screws have changed their tightness. Are you shooting a wood stock?

    Is your barrel clean? I know you have addressed cleaning it, but, did it work? My opinion is that there is no "demon possesion". If the rifle "used to shoot" then, it should still shoot. Something changed. Switch out your scope to check for parallex issues or defective optics. If you are reloading, check your load data, try a fresh batch of powder and primers, try some new cases. Recheck the load by moving up or down some .xx grains and reshoot.

    Lot runs of primers and powders may have changed something. are you mixing brass? Rule out everything. There is a cause.

    my 2 cents... rc

  3. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    My A-bolt did the same thing. It turned out that I was cleaning for copper but not for carbon fouling. Try using a brush and some carbon solvent like GM Top Engine Cleaner (TEC). Also, look closely at your crown with a magnifying may have gotten dinged.
    Good luck!
  4. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    What about not cleaning it?

    My factory barreled Savage wouldn't shoot clean. It needed 10-15 fouling rounds before the groups would drastically tighten up.
  5. Timberbeast7

    Timberbeast7 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    Is it a wood stock? I have a Kimber w/wood stock that normally is a tack driver. Went out to do some shooting and it was shooting like 3" groups at 100 yds...almost threw the gun downrange! Remounted the bases, rings, scope...all good. The problem was the stock had warped just enough at the forestock to touch the barrel. We hunted during some pretty ugly weather the fall before and the stock must have gotten enough moisture to move. Needless to say it was an easy fix...220 grit, a dowel, and some tru-oil...all better. Point being, maybe (if it is a wood stock) the stock has warped slighly.
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I will make a feeble attempt to list the things in order that I would do. and if these things have
    already been done move on to the next item.

    1=Check the chamber and the bore for fouling ( the chamber can sometimes get dirty and have
    an adverse effect on accuracy.
    2=Check action screws for tightness.
    3=check scope base and ring screws(and windage screws on some bases.
    4=Look for stock contact or pressure at tip (Walnut stocks will move and push on the barrel.
    You can use a thin piece of cardboard or a dollar bill to see if it will slip between the barrel
    and the stock.
    5=look closely at the crown for signs of wear or nicks and dings.
    6=shoot 1 round and crank in 8 or 10 clicks on the windage first and fire 2 or 3 rounds (if the
    first round stays near the zero and the next one moves a couple of inches you have a scope
    problem. next go back to original setting and repeat the process with vertical adjustment.
    7=If all of these things check out then it is time to look at the reloading components for changes
    or differences.

    In your post you said you did not break the rifle in when you bought it so if you cleaned it back
    to bare metal clean then now is the time to break it in. fouling will prevent the barrel from
    breaking in properly so shoot 1 round and clean and repeat until the bore feels greasy
    smooth. This could take 10 to 20 shots depending on how good your barrel is.

    I hope this helps you and if anyone has anything to add , Please Do !!!!!

  7. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the good ideas, it does have a wood stock, something I will check out. I'll check things out one at a time, I am getting some help from a friend who does a lot of shooting and reloading. Another set of eyes and a different shooter sometimes helps.
  8. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    If the stock is wood, over time it may compress and the front action screw will bottom out on the barrel thread tennon, (some brownings have the screw tapped hole under the thread tennon, (unlike a remington or savage)

    Check this to make sure your not putting pressure on and deforming the barrel threads.