medium/short range rifle accuracy not to my expectations...next steps

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    All,
    I purchased my wife a backup rifle which is not giving me the accuracy I hoped for. It is a Savage Ladyhunter (very similar to Savage lightweight hunter). It comes with a wood stock that has pillars installed from factory. It originally came with plastic bottom metal which I have changed to real bottom metal. It is a 7mm08. Right now it is giving us 1.25-2.5 inch 3 shot groups at 100 yards with trying 4 different factory loads 3 of which are considered to be "premium". The rifle will be used to 400 yards so we do not need crazy good accuracy but we were hoping for sub 1 MOA 3 shot groups. Now that being said, the factory tube only has about 30 rounds through it so it could still be wearing in. What would your next steps be as far as trying to keep costs as low as possible. Would you work up reloads as the rifle sits and hope to find a load the rifle likes? Do you bed the rifle first before working up loads...yes it has pillars but my thought is the recoil lug area may benefit from bedding. Again, the goal is not something crazy accurate...but I think most factory rifle's these days should be able to hit 1 MOA (especially with hand loads).
     
  2. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you would want to bed before load work or more than likely you need to start over after. Have you cold bore mapped it. Those have very thin barrels. They can do crazy things on shot strings. I have an uncle who could never get a good group out of his norma. Then we sat one after noon and let cool between each shot and cold bore shot each one like when hunting and he got good groups.
    I would start with double checking your action screws for trq then do cold bore shots and see. Then move on from that. That is the cheapest route to start with.
     
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  3. CTK

    CTK Well-Known Member

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    Make sure your barrel is not contacting the scope in a spot or two. Obviously scope mounts and action screws need to be tight. Like the comment about letting the rifle cool. I cannot shoot an ultralight rifle worth a flip. How you hold it on the bench matters. I would handload prior to bedding. Bedding will not hurt it just may not help much with the factory loads. I was able to get my son's Savage Axis Youth to shoot MOA with handloads. I used IMR 4895 and 120 Ballistic Tips.
     
  4. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Bedding the recoil lug is always a good idea. Eliminates one potential problem. Are you seeing round groups or vertical stringing?
     
  5. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Round groups. Sometimes 2 close with a flyer as the third
     
  6. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    The scope is a few millimeters above the barrel so definitely no contact there
     
  7. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    The factory ammo may just be outside the node. When you have a lightweight barrel the node is very small.
     
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  8. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    My wife had one in 243. Never shot factory ammo very well. Handloads would do 5 on 3/4 MOA pretty easy. This is with no bedding.

    Like Canhunter said, the factory ammo may be out of the node.
     
  9. CTK

    CTK Well-Known Member

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    Sorry meant stock
     
  10. Joefrazell

    Joefrazell Well-Known Member

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    U would take stock off action and make sure there's nothing stuck between like stock material. Then I'd re torque the action screw with a torque wrench. Then take the scope off and base and re torque them as well. What factory loads have you guys tried?
     
  11. JTB

    JTB Well-Known Member

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    Couple of questions. What scope did you put on the rifle? Did you use a brake-in procedure? Did you add a bipod? It takes a fairly decent scope to be able to shoot tight groups. If it has parallax adjustment make sure the reticle is stable regardless of the focus or yardage set on the dial. I see this overlooked regularly even by experienced hunters and can be a major frustration (kicked myself a couple of time for not checking this closely). I remember well the days I used to get by with a cheap 4x scope. Had to tap it with my pocket knife after each turret adjustment and hope by luck it was right (very tight budget back then). A couple of good good barrel cleanings in the first 10 round seems to help in my experience (some rifles more than others). I know this can be controversial but a new factory rifle barrel can be rough and build up copper fouling quickly, affecting accuracy. A quality bipod will save a lot of headaches chasing accuracy. I believe it should be capable of a 1.5 inch or better groups at 100 from the factory with factory loads but if you are planning on further bedding you should complete this process prior to sighting-in. As you are aware there is a never ending list of reasons for inaccuracy, e.g., everything tight and not moving, environmental conditions, trigger pull, technique, bullet and load selection, but I mentioned a few thing I would focus on first.
     
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  12. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    sorry should have included more details. It is a long story so didn't want to waste people's time but here goes. I did the intitial 10 round break-in routine. Shoot one..clean...repeat. Then started shooting 3 round groups and cleaning. The groups initially were atrocious (5inchs or more) with Hornady American whitetail ammo. This was off an adjustable front competition style rest with rear bag. I tried it with two different leupold VX3 scopes. I immediately sent the rifle back to Savage as I have NEVER experienced 5 inch groups, even during break-in. They sent it back stating with their premium ammo they got a 1.2inch group at 100 yards. They included the target. I replaced the plastic bottom metal with real bottom metal, torqued to 45inch pounds and shot. Again I was getting 3-5inch groups. My wife was present and noticed the barrel was jumping up VERY high off the front rest (like 5 inches high). So I then decided to shoot off bags with my frint hand holding the fore-end of the stock and the groups shank to the two inch range. I have used this rest for all my other rifles and never experienced this. So I decided ok...maybe it is not the rifle. I went to the store and purchased 3 other types of ammo Hornady SSTs, Winchester Powerpoints, and Federal fusions. I will admit I was a bit rushed but I shot a couple groups of each type. The Hornady SSTs gave us the best group at about 1.5inches. Mind you, I was letting there be about 2 minutes in between each shot during the groups and also letting the barrel completely cool between brands of ammo. I do not like shooting off bags (My groups are always better off that other rest with my other rifles) but for some reason this rifle bounces like crazy off that rest. So you can see my frustration. This was why I decided to myself...I want to rule out ALL chances for issues before I start load work up and was wondering if the rifle being ONLY pillar bedded and not fully bedded could be causing issue. I have never shot off a bipod but have heard you could potentially get the same "bounce" effect. Why type bipod could you recommend that wont break the bank but also is not junk and also what size? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  13. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I think bags or front rest are going to give you more repeatable accuracy than a bipod.

    I have a load for my daughters 7-08 with our 131g Hammer Hunter that I would certainly pass along. Also I will give you the same guarantee as always. If you can't get our bullets to shoot we'll give you your money back.

    Feel free to contact me. 406-261-0010

    Have doc appointment this morning but will be available this afternoon.

    Steve
     
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  14. Hatrick

    Hatrick Well-Known Member

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    That is an amazing offer Steve.