Grouping help needed

Snowbird

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I have a factory Tikka T3 lite in 270 WSM w/ talley rings, level & viper pst. this rifle has around 250 rounds fired and i used frog lube as my break-in cleaner between each shot for 15 rounds.

I have been unable to get consistent grouping with either factory rounds or my reloads. i've shot from rests, bags and bipod (no sling yet). my results are spotty. i typically have 2 shots touching and one shot 1-1.5" away in any random direction. lately the groups have opened up to no longer touching at all. rate of fire doesn't appear to have much on an impact on the groups either.

i'm no gun smith but am mechanically inclined:
the scope mounts and action screws are torqued appropriately.
the barrel appears to be free floated without contact.
the action is not bedded and has the factory recoil lug.
the stock is the flimsy factory one, which seems to shoot well for others.

i'm thinking of having the action pillar bedded as a start.


what i'm doing wrong:
i am having a hard time getting good downward pressure at the comb. each time i can watch the crosshairs drift from right to left as i mount the stock.



any ideas? what typically causes tikkas to need work?
 

Dosh

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Bird, you said the stock is the flimsy factory one. Perhaps a sturdier bedded stock would help. Many a groups have been tightened this way.
 

Snowbird

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Bird, you said the stock is the flimsy factory one. Perhaps a sturdier bedded stock would help. Many a groups have been tightened this way.
yes, it likely would. i had hoped to keep the light setup for backpacking though. i'm surprised so many factory models can shoot .5" groups with this stock. many tikka owners seem to be fine with it. i may try to isolate a few variables with another factory rifle and swap parts until i find the issue.
 

engineer40

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Bedding an action is not hard. I don't consider myself "mechanically inclined" and I was able to bed my first action last month. Minimally it helped at least 1/3 of an inch groups at 100 yards. I did my first bedding with JB Weld because it was a cheap gun with a cheap stock and I was experimenting anyways. After seeing my results I would use JB Weld again without hesitation, unless I really wanted the bedding compound to be clear.

There were 2 particular YT videos that helped me a lot. I watched them both 3 times all the way through while I had the stock in my hands so I could compare how mine looked to how theirs looked.



I also hold lightweight hunting rifles different than I hold heavier rifles when shooting. People say that muzzle jump from lightweight rifles doesn't affect POI because the bullet has already left the barrel... but it sure does seem like muzzle jump affects POI to me.
 

Snowbird

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I also hold lightweight hunting rifles different than I hold heavier rifles when shooting. People say that muzzle jump from lightweight rifles doesn't affect POI because the bullet has already left the barrel... but it sure does seem like muzzle jump affects POI to me.
i was noticing that good form was even more important on these lite weight rifles than my heavier ones. i could get away with more using my bull barrel on a bipod than i could with the sub 8lb rifles.

as for bedding, i think the tikka is a special animal itself. with a recoil lug that is not attached to the action, it kind of leaves me scratching my head. That's why i was thinking of pillar bedding.
 

Snowbird

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i do believe i've found some of my issue. one of the ribs in stock appears to be making contact at some point in the recoil process. it is light but enough to notice rub marks in both the stock and transfer to the barrel.

somewhere down the line the recoil lug has been marred on top. i'm not sure if it was improperly installed, which looks probable, or just worked loose during firing. i've never noticed the screws loose before. maybe it's time for a steel recoil lug?
 

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Dr. Vette

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Based on the thread marks in the hole plus the scraped recoil lug I suspect the entire action is sliding front-to-back with recoil. The lug isn't doing its job.
 

RoBear556

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The magnum caliber Tikkas tend to dent up the aluminum recoil lug, I've been reading on that very issue lately as I am going to get a T3 in .300WM. Swap it with a steel aftermarket one and that will take care of it.
 

Topshot

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Not all Tikka's shoot. The recoil lug system is prone to fail as you can see with yours.
When you tighten the action screws it forces the lug downwards and it then has less contact with the action as the stock flexes under recoil.
Magnum T3's are prone to this more due to the heavier recoil. Not much you can do with the factory stock once the lug has started to wander in its slot.

With a laminate or timber stock, you can raise the lug a bit to get full contact with its recess. Glue the lug into this position. This then gives room under the action for bedding compound. Bed the action right up to and beyond the recoil lug, but keep the barrel free floating.

This should help.
 

Snowbird

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I ordered a steel lug and will attempt to bed the action. Do you recommend stopping at the barrel/action interface or continuing an inch or two? Also, how high to you float the lug and should I use the same glass to bed under the lug? Thanks
 

Topshot

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I ordered a steel lug and will attempt to bed the action. Do you recommend stopping at the barrel/action interface or continuing an inch or two? Also, how high to you float the lug and should I use the same glass to bed under the lug? Thanks
The lug needs to be glued firm into the stock so that it can not move. Floating the lug is no good. Raise the lug by placing some material under it.
The factory stock is no good for bedding. The bedding will come loose in time. They are no good for anything once the recoil lug recess is damaged, it opens up and the lug can move about under recoil of a magnum. Its just a bad situation.

You need a factory laminate stock or an after market stock made from a material that accepts bedding compound. Then glue the new steel recoil lug into the stock at the proper height.
On the ones that I have done, I bedded action and the recoil lug together. The bedding material to glued the lug into place.

Although I bed the action into the lug, I still keep the barrel totally free floating past this point although you can run some bedding up the barrel channel if you like.

Here is one in the process of being bedded and prior to clean up. In this case the bedding stopped at the end of the action.

 

Snowbird

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Thanks a bunch. I'm considering the boyds thumbhole feather weight to bed for bench and most hunting. I'll keep the plastic stock for a lightweight setup and probably put on a smaller scope. Hopefully the boyds will serve me well. It would be my first thumbhole stock and I'm curious if that would make accessing the safety harder?
 

Snowbird

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Also wondering if anyone makes a stock with an internal magazine for the T3? I'm not very fond of the factory detachable mag.
 

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