Real Poor Shooter w/factory ammo, how much can I really expect?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Troutslayer2, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a used gun chambered in .280 AI. It's a Yost-Bonnitz custom that they told me is around 8 years old. I called the maker, one of them anyway, and he told me a little about it and also researched their work, which seems to be top notch. It's got a 1:10 twist, a fluted bbl, McMillan Stock, very crisp trigger. Appears to be in excellent condition and my smith gave the chamber and barrel his seal of approval.

    I finally got a brand new Leupold MK4 4.5-14 mounted on it with a picatinny rail and MK4 rings. Since brass is impossible to find, I ordered 2 boxes of Nosler Trophy Grade 140 Grain bullets, and bought 4 boxes of Remington 140 grain in .280 Rem. I put 60 rounds through it today. I also put some rounds through some other weapons at the same time. At 100 yds, with either ammo, I am all over the map. No stringing, sometimes touching 2 out of 3, but then one landing like 3" away. Out of 60 3 shot groups, never was there one inside 1 MOA, usually more like 1.5 and sometimes bigger. It was extremely windy, and it kept changing directions, but it wasn't like I would have 3 all lined up in a row like you might expect from wind drift.

    I paid $800 for the gun, knowing that a rebarrel might be necessary, and still feel good about it. Do you think there's hope for better groups w/handloads? What's the best rags to riches story you've seen with handloading vs. factory garbage? I know one way to find out, and I will post up how it goes, brass is going in the tumbler now.
     
  2. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    You were shooting .280 in a .280AI? I'm not sure how much judgement I would pass until you reload that fireformed brass.
     

  3. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    I have a Savage 12fv in a 223, the first 50 rounds I fired through it where factory ammo. I was lucky to get 2" groups from these. I was very confused because this was a low recoil, heavy barreled Savage. My experience has always been sub MOA with all Savages, especially with the varmint style. Once I received the reloading dies and worked up a load, the rifle all of a sudden became a 1/2 MOA shooter. This rifle has actually been the most consistent sub MOA rifle I have ever owned. It just needs tuned hand loads. Oh and by the way I have not done a thing to the rifle except adjust the accutrigger. I'm not saying that you might not have a problem, but before you do a thing, work up some hand loads. Granted this has been a real head scratcher for me. I have never seen a rifle wake up so much from hand loads.

    You might already know this, but also check to see if there is any places where the rifled action is binding or stressed, check to make sure the action screws, scope mounts and rings are all tight. Shoot slow, some barrels will really through bullets once it heats up even a little. If this does not help then switch out the scope for one that you know is good. It doesn't always take money to get a rifle to shoot!

    Good luck!!!! Hope it all works out
     
  4. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    I have a remington stock 30-06 rifle, nothing done to it, factory it was lucky to shoot 2 moa, now with handloads i am around .5-.75 moa groups.

    i also had a sendero in 300 rum only tried factory core lokt, and sciroccos, and could not get 2 anywhere near each other all over a just normal sheet of paper... then used a load with ballistic tips that seems to work in every gun we shoot it in, and was getting .5 moa then, i was having brass issues, and thought the chamber was messed up, which it was and they replaced it for free even tough it was out of warranty, so their cs was good but they had lost my confidence with the above 2 guns needing handloads

    which on another note, took me to savage i had heard good things regarding accuracy, and on the first day with the gun, first 5 shots out of it, 2 different factory loads 3 different shooters, all made the same hole slightly bigger, i was sold, on that savage anyway, load development gets boring for it, i barely have to shoot for groups, just look for pressure signs and ES, everything just shoots the same with just about any bullet and powder i have used, although rl 17 was all over the place ES wise.

    sorry for rambling just wanted to share my experience
     
  5. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Troutslayer2,
    When you were talking with one of the makers did you ask them by chance what kind of, if any, accuracy guarantee they used to give. Why did they go out of business? Hopefully for your sake it wasn't inaccurate rifles! :) Alot of the custom riflesmith's furnish load data. Did this company?
    I have always heard that most people see pretty good accuracy even when fire-forming loads for an AI chamber. Not sure whether that is factory fodder or reloads. I don't have faith in factory ammo, unless it's pistol ammo for self defense or home protection. That's just to keep me from getting my ass caught in a legal ringer because I used handloads to shoot an attacker. I have four rifles that have never shot a factory round, since I've had them.
    I can only imagine your groups will get better once you "roll your own". It may just be that you only recognize medocre accuracy, say 1MOA, but that would be better than what you have. Good luck and keep us posted. JohnnyK.
     
  6. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Troutslayer,

    Give us an update. How's things going, any progress?
     
  7. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had time to mess with it. I have all the materials I need to try out 160 AB, 168 Berger VLD, and Sierra bullets pushed with RL22. Going to try ladder testing first, then work up. It's going to be a while since it's a very busy time of year for me.
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Didn't you say the barrel has a 1 in 10 twist? That may not be enough RPM for 160/168g. VLDs. The standard seems to be 1 in 9 twist. On most of my customs, in 7mm cal., I like a 1 in 8 twist for long/heavy bullets. Also, many used rifles have copper fouling/build up problems. Give the bore a good cleaning with Sweets 7.62 bore solvent. Follow the directions, it's strong stuff!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  9. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

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    This has crossed my mind, but even the Berger box reads "for rifles with 1 in 10 or faster". Most everything I read seems to point to not much advantage or disadvantage between 1 in 9 or 1 in 10 for the 160 gr. range of bullets.
     
  10. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    If you check the web sites of some of the custom barrel makers, those that recommend twist rates for bullet weights recommend a 1 in 8 for bullets above 140g. (I'm thinking Shilens' web site). Seems there's a discrepancy, sometimes, between what bullet makers and barrel makers recommend. I'd try some bullets weighing 140g. and less and see what happens. I'd make sure I didn't have that copper fouling, too. I see many barrels the owner says are 'shot out' and when I run a strong copper solvent thru them until the patches come out clean they go back to shooting. Ammonia based copper solvents will turn copper the color blue, so it's easy to tell when all or most of the copper has been removed. You may need to find a 'smith that has a bore scope for a good look-see. I have, also, seen dramatic changes by changing propellants or primers. Just because some say this is the best for that cartridge or load doesn't make it so. Every barrel is an individual and should be treated as such. Sounds to me, though, either the barrel is badly fouled or worn out, or you are shooting the wrong weight bullet. Any of those will make for a rifle that shoots 'patterns' instead of 'groups'. From this distance, all I can do is speculate.
     
  11. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya. I'm determined to get it to shoot 160s or have it re-barrelled. A couple of smiths are recommending 1:10 twists for 160, so hopefully it'll get them spinning fast enough. Going out to shoot tomorrow if nothing comes up. I loaded up 2 ladder tests and we'll see what happens.

    Going to try a couple of loads with the Berger VLD. Reference material is scarce on that one so I'm going off what Walt Berger sent me for the .280 REM, and going above the max a bit.
     
  12. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good article about calculating for proper twist rate.

    Calculating Bullet RPM — Spin Rates and Stability « AccurateShooter.com Bulletin

    And, a calculator. Works good if you've got a good idea what your velocity is going to be (ball park) and have some info on the bullets you plan to shootl

    http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmstab-5.1.cgi
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010