BIG Ruger Issue

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BagABuck, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. BagABuck

    BagABuck Member

    Dec 8, 2012
    Today, I had an interesting trip to the range. I got some practice in with my .308 Ruger Hawkeye and also got to shoot a .303 British, which was pretty cool. Unfortunately I noticed something very disturbing, all of my cold bore shots were extremely inconsistent. To test this out, I cleaned the barrel after every shot and waited 15 minutes between each shot, and it was a relatively cold day too. After three shots it was confirmed, a 6 inch group at 100 yards. I'm no master shooter, but I can easily shooy 1 1/2 inch groups with all of my families other m77s, never had this issue. We were using handloads using 150 speers and H3031 out of a. 308, not exactly the best setup I know. Still, after mysteriously having a bullet fly off my point of aim deerhunting I think this could be a serious enough problem to have to send it to a smith or to Ruger to see if they can find out what's wrong. To top it off, my grandpa, who is a better shot than I could hope to be, also shot way off on the coldbore shot. Anybody have any idea what's wrong?
  2. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2009
    That is a hard one. Something is out of alignment when it's cold and changes when it gets hot. The cold bore shot is very important as it's the one we mostly use in hunting. Bore could be oversize and gets tighter when it's hot . Barrel could be full of stress . Barrel could be badly fitted and is under some kind of warping until it gets hotter . There could be a bedding issue that gets better when hot but most gets worse when hot.
    Barrel could be experiencing flip that gets less as it gets hotter .
    Combination of all .
    I have heard of a few Rugers that have a bad cold bore shot .
    If you can get it fixed on warranty then good but if not my advice is sell the Ruger and by a gun with a hammer forged barrel like Sako , Howa , Weatherby V .
    Also you should swap to some better bullets like Sierra or Berger just to confirm results.
  3. 25 Otter

    25 Otter Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2010
    Post 18 in the first link makes a lot of sense to me. A lot of good places to look for a remedy. I know from personal experiance that a bottomed out mag box,or bad bedding will cause inconsistancy problems. My 338 tang safety red pad Ruger was a piece of crap. that is until I had a bench rest buddy (and riflesmith) of mine go over it. He bedded and floated it. Corrected a mag box problem. And lapped the rings. From then on it was a 3/4 MOA hummer that shot handloads of 200,225 and 250gr equally well. Ruger had some barrel issues from time to time,but more often than not it was the funky bedding. If yours is a synthetic,you might want to go ahead and upgrade to a quality aftermarket stock. Or could be that it needs a fouler or two. I never liked the idea of having to foul a barrel to get suitable hunting accuracy. When I was a lad,everyone would go out on Thanksgiving and foul their rifles. It was taboo to head for the woods with a clean barrel. I think most accuracy issues have a mechanical fix if you look aroud a bit. But,whatever works is most important.

    Need accuracy help for my M77 - Ruger Forum
  4. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    There are many factors so it will be difficult to figure out your problem.

    You said you cleaned after every shot? Ever hear of fouling shots? Some rifles require several shots to foul the bore then they begin to shoot more accurately. Did it shoot more accurately after shooting 5 or more rounds through the gun? Did it only shoot accurately with the barrel warm?

    It is also possible that the load you used isn't optimal for the rifle. On several occasions I have worked up a load I thought was an accurate only to find out with more range sessions that the load wasn't accurate. Try tweaking the load.

    Be certain the rifle is sound. Good bedding, all screws tight, clean bore, good crown and a decent trigger.

    Do some testing and report back. Maybe with the combined knowledge found here we can figure it out together.
  5. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    First, I think your problem needs to be more clearly defined. From your description, it doesn't sound to me like you have a cold bore shot problem. If you are cleaning between rounds, you are not actually shooting cold bore. You are shooting clean, cold bore. That is entirely different.

    Very few factory rifles shoot their best on a clean, cold bore. You need to do some testing to establish how many shots it takes for your rifle to settle down. Once it settles down, you need to continue to shoot it (letting the barrel cool between shots or between 3 shot groups) until the groups start to open up again. Keep track of your round count at each stage.

    This will establish for you how many fouling shots you need after cleaning and how many total shots you can fire before you need to clean again.

    You should only attempt to evaluate cold bore performance on a fouled barrel, not a freshly cleaned barrel.

    Even on a fouled barrel, there may be a difference in point of impact between the cold bore shot and the follow up shots. As long that difference is predictable and consistent, you still don't have a problem. You simply need to note and remember how your rifle behaves.
  6. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2009
    The way I read the post is he fired normally and noticed the inconsistent cold bore shot then he decided to shoot while cleaning after every shot .
    So to me the problem was there before cleaning after each shot.
    Not a good idea to clean after each shot unless running in a new barrel.
    Clean the gun fire two fouling shots then fire your test group.
    Leave the gun to cool then fire a cold bore shot at the same group .
    Leave it to cool again and fire another one . If you have the two cold bore shots away from the group substantially then you may have a problem.
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I have a Ruger No.1, 300 Wby Mag and I've had numerous issues with it as far as incoinsistent grouping. I found a lot of the issue was the forestock and how it contacted the barrel. There are some home brew fixes out there that work, I used one. It's still not a tack driver but at least I don't worry about the bullet making a 'U' turn anymore.....:)

    An AK is more accurate but not as pretty......:D
  8. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    Unless you'd like to dry prefoul, as part of your cleaning, you need to stop cleaning between cold bore test shots. Any oil based cleaner can take 5-8 shots to burn out of a bore. This before a bore can be considered stable in fouling.

    I dry prefoul and my 1st cold shot is as good as any of the day -with some guns(not all).
    But I can't think of any reason to clean continually. Why did you do this?
    If it was to cool the barrel quicker, that's not the same as actual cold bore shooting(where the entire system is allowed to cool).
    With cold bore testing, there is a point where the barrel shifts around most while transiting in temps. With probably a dozen guns now that I've cold bore load developed with, ~10min shot rate has produced the very worst in performance. 5min or less has been ok for a few shots. 1/2hr(for small cartridges) to 3hrs(for large cartridges) has been fine for many shots.
    So my goal is 1/2moa accuracy at 300yds at a 10min shot rate, given that other shot rates are better.

    Any grouping capability is irrelevant to cold bore accuracy.
    I've had guns that hot barrel grouped very well, and yet found no potential in them for cold bore use. Well that was not in their design.
    As well I've had guns that were very accurate in cold bore, but couldn't produce a hot bore group I'd want anyone to see. That's ok too,, I don't group shoot on game.
  9. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    How did it shoot when you sighted it in before deer season? The extreme cold temperature could affect ignition. Many guns settle down after 3or 4 shots. Have you checked the scope and mounts?
  10. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2009
    A Ruger Hawkeye is a conventional bolt action in a conventional stock . A Ruger No 1 is a single shot with two piece stock , the forend fixed to a hanger system . Two different kettles of fish.