I had a strange thing happen Monday at the local firing range and need some ideas.
I took an old Ruger 77 tang safety in 243. It has always shot good groups but has been in the safe for quite a long time until I decided to wake it up. To test the rifle because it has been put up so long I tried it first at 25 yards and had two shots touching. As usual the rifle shot at the three inches high at 100 yards that I have it set for. But the shots would string from right to left and never two in the same place back to back. It moved at almost every shot without any scope adjustment. Later scope adjustment did not help either.
My first thought was a loose scope but all of the screws are tight according to the inch pounds and I cannot notice any scope movement by hand. The scope is old and was bought when the gun was new in 1977. It is an old Redfield 3x9 Accu-Trac Widefield with Bullet Drop Compensator. It was also called the tombstone sighting system or something like that. Factory Ruger rings are being used. Maybe the scope has just gone south. Or the rifle.
The barrel seemed to heat up very quickly compared to the 30-06 and the 375 H&H I was also shooting. I was not rushing my shots but giving the rifles a few minutes to cool between rounds. Neither of them had the problem that the 243 did. The 243 is not free floated or bedded and the other two are so that could possibly be the problem. However the rifle has never done this in the past. I was firing Remington 100 gr Core-Lokt factory loaded ammo.
I am out of ideas and hoped someone might have had this same situation come up. Any suggestions or ideas are very welcome.