How do I tighten my groups?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by upacreek, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for my lack of knowledge. I have been playing with my 7wsm in win 70. Barrel is free floating, plastic stock, trigger as light as I dare, vortex 6.5x20 scope, ect. The barrel was pretty copper fouled and has been good lately. I load in batches of 3 rds and shoot through a chronograph regularly. The best velocity I have is 3050fps with 63.5gr r22 and 162 SST's. Best group is .87", and average is 1.23" of a cabelas sled at 100yrds. I have moved the seating depth in roughly .020" increments to acheive this. .020 up or down makes 2.25-2.5" groups. I was considering making smaller adjustments to seating depth. What do you suggest? Am I on the right track? Rotumbo and r25 do not break 2950, and grouping sucked.
    I have only done in the past what was taught and read or experienced. Since reading this forum I realize I have a lot to learn. What would you guys suggest?
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    It kind of depends on what your goal is. Simple stuff, I'm curious as to how much spread in velocity you're getting from high to low. Sometimes a primer change will tighten things up. Case prep, how many firings per case are you getting etc. Change bullets.

    You're getting some decent groups and some not as good I don't know what to expect from a lead sled as far as consistency goes, but are you getting well set up each time.

    The rifle itself. A little fore end pressure added or removed can sometimes make a difference. I've seen a little fore end pressure, help light sporters chambered in magnum calibers more than once. Some folks will grimace, but it doesn't take much to find out. If it's free floated take strips of tape until you have light contact then one at a time from there. If you've got contact relieve those points.

    It's all trial and error. What happens at 200 yards? Could be you're getting out of the rifle what its got.
     
  3. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    I think your biggest problem is using a leadsled. Unless you get the rifle to be exactly in the same position for each shot, it will impact on POI.
    You would be better off shooting with a bipod on the front, or a solid rest, and a soft bag at the rear under your shooting hand. Using your left hand to squeeze the bag to alter point of aim. If recoil becomes too much, get yourself some 3/4" high density foam rubber and cut it to fit under your shirt to dampen the recoil. No matter what anyone tells you, no one likes recoil, I can handle very heavy recoil due to conditioning, but I don't like it and will do what I suggest to you because recoil is accumulative. If I have to do some testing off the bench with my 416Rigby, I will use a piece of foam under my shirt, and I don't care about what other macho types think, because when I offer them a shot of my 416Rigby, most decline!! I actually sight in my rifles off the bench, then check off sticks or just offhand in field like positions, kneeling or sitting.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers.
    gun)
     
  4. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    GET RID OT THE SLED.

    I have seen so many people using those things to zero their rifles in and then go hunting and MISS their game because the rifle shoots to a different point of impact when they shoot it from the shoulder than it did from the sled.

    You did not mention if your rifle was a factory rifle or if it is a custom rifle with a good barrel etc. For a factory rifle you are shooting some REALLY good groups. For a custom rifle you might be able to do a little better. Consistency in everything is the name of the game for accuracy. Proper case prep really has helped me tighten things up lots of times. De-burring the inside the case flash hole REALLY has helped accuracy. It lets the powder get lit consistently and not from one side or the other where the burrs direct the primer flame. Keep digging you will get there.:D
     
  5. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    I have been reloading for 17 years with pretty good luck being accurate. Now I am trying to refine and improve things. I have always used my bipods and just this weekend picked up the sled. I thought it was better than bipods. Thanks for the input, the sled is very uncomfortable.
    The rifle is factory everything. I picked it up a couple years ago for $200. The stock had pressure at the barrel until I clearanced it last week groups tightened up 1/2". My elk hunt is in 3 weeks. Powder is hard to come by and I have a boatload of SST's. I have prepped the cases, primer pockets, changed primers and powders. Sounds like the check list is dwindling. Would seating depth in .005" increments be the next step? Any other ideas? Might be all I get with these bullets. Thanks again.
     
  6. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention, velocity spread has been 12-20 fps depending on batch. The r22 has been the best to duplicate consistently. Cases were once fired. Now they are gonna be twice fired as I only have 60 to work with. By the way my factory loads flatten the outer edge of the primers FLAT! Mine are barely getting flattened. The factory loads shoot 3150-3190 fps. Do I dare up my powder to get similar pressure signs? I chickened out .5gr above max in the book. I am unfamiliar with the wsm. I have much more experience with 7rm. The wsm books higher pressures so I am nervous going too far over max.
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i get great group out of my 300 short with varget and re-19. i do not shoot ever with a sled or a bi pod. rear sand bag and a front pedistal.
     
  8. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    With the full information you have given all you need to do IS QUIT TINKERING AND GO HUNTING. You are shooting well within minute of elk heart to waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out there. Good luck and good hunting.
     
  9. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Ya, it may seem okay. The guns I have all shoot within 1/2" or they just collect dust. I hunt in the 200-500 yard range. Many more at 400 plus than less. Its just the terrain and spot and stalk technique. Spot from opposing hillside, get as close as possible and drop em. My old reliable was falling apart on accuracy so its in getting rebarrelled. This is my fill in gun. In the past I didn't know about seating depth. I always worked different powders and charges until I got under half inch. I don't have access to powder like I used to. Now that I have played with seat depth and have seen a wide variety of patterns it was thinking of playing with that more. i I just didn't know if anyone is gettin better results or if I should call it good. I have only tracked 1 elk I shot at and it sucked. The way this gun is shooting I don't trust it past 300yrds. I will go back to my bipods. If there are any other suggestions I am open. I will try a differnt contact point for the barrel and see if it helps.
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Given your goal look at it another way. Where is your first shot relative to your point of aim? I've hunted with a lot of rifles that weren't consistently sub moa. From what you're describing I'd hunt with it.
     
  11. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Upa, I am in the same boat. My elk hunt starts in 11 days and my backup rifle is going with just 5 test loads tested. My 30/378 is waiting for bullets which will not arrive in time. My backup 270 Weatherby will make the trip with the best test load and I am happy to barely break sub MOA with it. I look at it as a challenge to be closer for the shot. Go hunt and good luck.