Stevens 200 accuracy problems

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by lucasgreff, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    I started handloading for my Stevens 200 in .308 w/ 165 gr gamekings and 47gr of BL-C2. Its getting 2675FPS at the barrel. What concerns me is that I can't get a group inside 2MOA at 100 yards. I love the rifle and its knocked down 3 deer this year alone. But what can I do to bring that group in? Or is the Model 200 not meant to be a MOA shooter?

    ANy help would be appreciated.

    thanks

    Lucas Greff
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Did you typo the velocity? It should be in the range fo 2600-2700fps or a little more depending on barrel length? If it's not a typo, can you trust the chrono?

    AJ
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Lucas,

    That's a bummer! Do those deer have powder burns on the hides..;)

    There are plenty of Savage/Stevens shooters on here that have done much work with those rifles. Hopefully they will chime in and give some advice.
     
  4. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    Sorry yes its firing at 2675. Very consistetly too.
    thanks for noticing. That would have been an easy question to answer at that point.
    thanks
     
  5. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    First things first.

    Have you cleaned (really cleaned) the barrel? Completely down to bare metal, then an oil patch , then some fouling shots?

    #2) How is the crown? A small burr can really make a difference, use a Q-tip and see if it hangs up at all when dragged out each land.

    #3) How close to the lands are you seating your bullet? Some bullets I use need to be really close (like .003" from the lands) others need to be further (like .020") to shoot well.

    #4) Cases, are all your cases the same? Same number of shots, same length, all been trimmed square etc.

    Thats just a few things that are easy to check to start with.

    AJ
     
  6. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    I spent 8 years in the Military. It was broke in properly and cleaned after after every 30 rounds since then. 200 Total rounds through Barrel.

    I had a muzzle Brake installed so the crown is protected from damage. A q-tip does not stick

    I seat the bullet so its just touching the lands. I used a match to blacken the tip and kept seating further out until I had a small ring on the tip of the bullet and then backed it out just a bit.

    All cases are once fired winchester rounds with winchester primers. A cases were full length sized when I got them and are length checked with my LEE set and the chamfered inside and out.

    If you see any flaws in my system please tell me. I only started reloading this year and am using advice from Local and internet sources. Except for the breaking in and cleaning of my rifle. I take great pride in that.

    thanks

    Lucas
     
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    How does it group without the brake?

    I'd also try seating them a little deeper. If you are really close to the lands, some of the bullets may actually be touching while others are not (not good for accuracy).

    Those are the 2 things I'd try right off the bat.

    Also, what copper remover do you use on your barrel?

    How much are the cases growing after firing? How much are you pushing the shoulder back during FL resizing?

    AJ
     
  8. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Did you have a small ring, or the individual marks from the lands? The throat can wipe some of the black off a bullet and you might be a long way from the lands.

    AJ
     
  9. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    I never fired it without the break so I don't know about previous groupings

    It is a perfect ring at the widest part of the exposed bullet
    I will try to seat them a little deeper next time I reload. The match trick was from a Local Reloader who is a heck of a shot.

    I use Sweets Copper FOuling Remover and Hoppes Solvent. FInished with a damp patch of gun oil.

    My cases required almost no trimming after the first firing and the shoulder is taking no obvious damage. I only FL sized when I recieved them. I only neck sized last time I reloaded them.

    So the Model 200 can get much better than 2MOA? I thought so. I was hoping 1MOA.
    thanks

    Lucas
     
  10. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    The match trick is fine (I use a candle), just saying that you saw a 'ring' instead of the individual marks from the lands made me wonder, as the throat can wipe some of the black off and you won't be close to the lands yet.

    Have you measured the cases before and after firing from the base to a point halfway up the shoulder? (headspace length, not overall length). If you haven't headspaced the barrel, it could be setup overly generous and you could be pushing the shoulder back too far when resizing (this will lead to short case life and can be a cause for poor accuracy).

    A brake that isn't setup and reamed straight, can also cause poor accuracy (just like a bad crown). Thats why I'd shoot a couple groups without the brake, just to remove that from concern.

    Also, have you bedded the action and free floated the barrel? (will a couple dollar bills slide under the barrel freely from the front of the stock back to the action?)

    Which stock do you have on the rifle?

    Are your groups circular, vertical or horizontal?

    Sorry for so many questions.

    AJ

    ps: yes the Savage/stevens has excellent accuracy potential (1/2moa or better).
     
  11. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    THe Stevens is completely stock save the Brake. Factory Stock comes free floating. 5 shot groups are circular and all fit within 2".
    The Brake was installed by a local gunsmith who does great work Although I suppose its possible he goofed it up.

    The cases from the first loading the the second barely lengthened at all and the shoulder shows no sings of wear. I also measured to shoulder between once fired and twice fired casing and there is no difference.

    I don't mind the questions at all. Thats why I asked. I thought that the 200 was a better rifle than that from everything I read before I purchased it. I just assumed I was doing something wrong in the reloading process since everyone says there 200 shoots MOA out of the box with factory ammo.

    thanks again

    Lucas

    p.s. I tried 165gr Factory Winchester and still got 2MOA groups
     
  12. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    OK, its all stock. Have you verified that it is free floated? Have you ever removed the action to see that everything is as it should be (everything clean under action, no mfg junk left un trimmed etc.

    How are you shooting the rifle? Bipod, bags (front and rear).

    Has someone else shot the rifle?

    The plastic stock is very susceptible to slight pressure differences and can easily open a group because of its flex.

    AJ
     
  13. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

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    I read through this tread twice and I haven't seen anyone question the scope or did I miss that?

    Scope/mounts is where I would start. Do you know your scope is able to produce better than 2 moa? Those two screw windage rings/bases have been known to have problems. I've also had the front dovetail move especially if you've twisted the front ring in and out a few times.

    The second on my list would be bedding.

    Inspect everything from the outside in. If you don't you're chasing your tail.

    Do your lugs have the same wear on either side?

    Have you checked the neck run out on a fired case?
     
  14. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

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    Verified that it is Free-Floated over Lunch. I shoot for groupings off of a 16x32" sandbag and a rear sandbag. My Scope is a 2-7x Leupold Rifleman in Weaver bases and rings. All screws are tightened and have threadlocker on them.

    I couldn't see any real wear on either lug as the gun is pretty new. The Bedding is Stock Stevens but I did take it apart and it was clean.

    And you will have to enlighten me as to what neck runout is before I can check it. The cases have no shoulder problems after being fired twice and are barely stretching as I am not using maximum loads.

    SHould I look into better mounts? The scope is brand new as I also suspected that the cheap scope I had on the rifle was the culprit. But my groups are still 2".

    Lucas