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Thread: grouping problem

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    Default grouping problem

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    Ok this is a new winchester SS 300wsm I got about a year ago new. It has been having this grouping problem since I got, its just not getting the groups i think a $1200 rifle should get. I have only been handloading for it and have tried a few different load this one happened to be 180 tsx with RL 17. I would understand if the group was consistant that it was just not a good load for the gun but ever load seems to be somewhat like this. this last testing of load I even checked the run out with the hornady tool and it was very good .001 -.002 runout and I am using norma brass. I am think their is something wrong with the rifle just not sure what it would be. looking for ideas on different things to try or look at or if someone knows a really good gun smith that could look it over.

    this rifle makes me a little mad as it cost 2X what my tikka cost and the tikka way out shoots it.
    thanks for any help

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Have you checked all the mounting screws and made sure they are tight? What type of stock is on the rifle? Are your scope mounts tight. Could be a number of things. Do you scrub your barrel after each range session? I have a remington that skatters shots until it is fouled pretty good. After a thorough cleaning it takes about 5-6 rounds before it tightens up. I only scrub it completely clean at the end of the season. I can pull a lightly lubed bore snake thru it after each outing or range session and its holds its accuracy, but if I completely scrub it with copper solvent, it skatters rounds until its fouled again. Fouled, it is a sub-MOA shooter.
    Last edited by OKElkHunter; 12-27-2013 at 12:59. Reason: typo
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    I have not used any copper remove cleaners on it just mpro 7 and hoppes. the scope mounts should be tight I torqued and lock tighted to the 20 in lbs for tally rings I even check to make sure each lined up to it self. it has the bell and carlson stock it came with and leupold vx-3 scope. I have been shooting it out of a lead sled to help eliminate any shooter induced problems.

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    When I am having 'issues' with a new load and I think that there might be something wrong, I break out a box of factory ammo and shoot three rounds. Usually these are right where they are supposed to be. I have also found that just because the book shows a good load, does not mean that my rifle likes it. I have had to play not only with the powder but also the over all length.
    Another thing, since this is a new rifle, how many rounds have you shot through it? There are some stainless barrels that need to have lots of rounds shot through them before they 'settle' down. That is one thing that reloading allows as I can shoot more for less.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Bell and Carlson stock, most likely a bedding issue. When you tighten the screws do the turn in freely then come tight all at once or slowly get tighter as you turn them? If the latter its very poorly fitting the stock and the screws are drawing them together. If they come tight all at once place your thumb (a dial indicator on a mag base is better if you have one) on the barrel resting on the tip of the stock as you tighten and loosen the screws . . . Should feel no movement between stock and barrel.
     
    Most of these stocks are very flexible so if it’s a floated barrel it needs quite a bit of room or the barrel will smack it in recoil. They need to be ether wide floated, full length bedded or quite a bit of up pressure at the tip . . . If the stock is lightly touching of just contacting in recoil they do odd things. These are a good quality light weight stocks but they are tricky things because they just aren’t very ridged things.
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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Good point about the stock. If its touching the barrel somewhere it could be throwing the accuracy. I free float all of my barrels, but have read that some barrels like a little upward pressure at the fore end. If the stock and barrel aren't aligned properly, which can happen with a flexable stock, as the barrel heats up the stock puts pressure unevenly and could cause scattered bullets. Usually a touching stock causes stringing bullets not scattered. On the other hand, a loose or poorly fitted stock will certainly cause scattered bullets; thus a bedding problem at the recoil lug and mounting screws.
    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Bell and Carlson stock, most likely a bedding issue. When you tighten the screws do the turn in freely then come tight all at once or slowly get tighter as you turn them? If the latter its very poorly fitting the stock and the screws are drawing them together. If they come tight all at once place your thumb (a dial indicator on a mag base is better if you have one) on the barrel resting on the tip of the stock as you tighten and loosen the screws . . . Should feel no movement between stock and barrel.
     
    Most of these stocks are very flexible so if it’s a floated barrel it needs quite a bit of room or the barrel will smack it in recoil. They need to be ether wide floated, full length bedded or quite a bit of up pressure at the tip . . . If the stock is lightly touching of just contacting in recoil they do odd things. These are a good quality light weight stocks but they are tricky things because they just aren’t very ridged things.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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    I had a grouping problem recently that I just couldn't figure out. After eliminating all of the scope/gun/stock interface variables (and going thru a lot of ammo and frustration) I came to the conclusion that maybe it was the scope. While mounting the scope, I think I inadvertently loosened the power selector screw, either that or it was a factory lemon. Anyhow, I sent it in to Leupold and after a couple of weeks they returned it completely serviced and free of charge. I remounted the scope and much to my relief, I started to get consistent groups!

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    Change the scope I was at the range one day shooting my groups were pretty good two touching one 1/4 from the two. Next thing few groups got bigger and bigger. The leupold took a dump on me, i picked it up used and was made in the 70's. Anyhow put another leupold on it and problem fixed.

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    For starters is it throwing the first rd or the third rd every time? If it is the first round is it with a cold bore? If you shoot say 9 rounds in a 30m time frame is it always the third rd or the first rd.

    Generally if you can group two rds and the third is off is most likely the shooter. Bare in mind there is only one target to assess a problem and there could be a number of factors causing this.

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    thanks for the input it gives me some ideas to try and I will go from their.

    How do you guys think shooting in the cold weather below zero from a warm shed will effect the accuracy of a rifle ?

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    When I lived in Fairbanks, I worked on the military range. We had a range shack that we kept warm, around 70* and used to use it to shoot from in the winter. I had a Ruger M77 Stainless in 300 WM and shot from the shack quite often. I do remember having some minor accuracy issues shooting from the warm shack when it was really cold. I believe it was because the barrel was getting too hot in the shack and cooling unevenly from the cold air streaming in the door. It could have been the rifle; I never really like that rifle and sold it about a year after moving.

    Temp, altitude, and barometric pressure all have a effect on trajectory, but shouldn't cause scattered shots; but extreme temp changes from muzzle to target and along the trajectory path could have an affect, I suppose.

    That particular rifle had a crappy trigger with a lot of creep and a heavy pull, which reminds me that a bad trigger could cause you to pull shots if its too heavy and/or doesn't have a crisp break. Most trigger issues can be fixed by a good smith or replaced with a quality match grade trigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by skipper View Post
    thanks for the input it gives me some ideas to try and I will go from their.

    How do you guys think shooting in the cold weather below zero from a warm shed will effect the accuracy of a rifle ?
    Last edited by OKElkHunter; 12-28-2013 at 12:29. Reason: grammar
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    Have you tried any 5 or 10 round groups? Might be interesting to see, I tend to shoot 5 round groups when 3 round groups appear "inconclusive" to me.


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    I have that same rifle only in 325WSM,, mine has never likes TSXs and I tried several loads and many look just like yours. I kept trying different loads and found mine likes Accubonds, after hunting with them, I have found no need to use TSXs anymore. The triggers are not the greatest from the factory on these, Timney makes a replacement now, I swapped mine out.

    Good Luck









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    thanks for the other input.

    stid 2677 thanks for your input that's one bullet I have not tried that bullet yet. your input is always so detailed thanks for that.

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    Some good suggestions already made. I'd maybe try some different projectiles and see what happens after trying a couple of the easier suggestions.

    I have the same rifle as Stid. In switching back and forth between my .325 M70 EW and my Tikka T3 308W, it is really obvious that the factory trigger on the Tikka is much better. Nice crisp break. So far the Tikka shoots alot nicer groups as well, but I'm only getting started with the Model 70, and havent even adjusted the factory trigger pull yet.

    I'm having a bit of a challenge getting the groups to really tighten up with 195 gr Hornadys with both RL17 and IMR4831. Inch and a half groups, but should be better and I'm still working on it. The bigger problem I'm having is that I get cratered primers with all loads, min to max. I guess I'm going to have to send the dam rifle in to Winchester to get the bolt/pin looked at.

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    Cratered primers could be a headspace issue, or it could be an oversized firing pin hole. Are you full length resizing? Try neck sizing only and see if that fixes the problem. You could have the chamber checked and make sure its to spec, but I can't imagine Winchester letting an out of spec rifle make it out of the factory. Headspace issues usually cause occasional misfires. Do you have occasional misfires? Any smith should be able to check headspace and the bolt and firing pin hole. If either are the issue, Winchester should fix the rifle at no charge.

    [QUOTE=The bigger problem I'm having is that I get cratered primers with all loads, min to max. I guess I'm going to have to send the dam rifle in to Winchester to get the bolt/pin looked at.[/QUOTE]
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    OP, in looking at the last target, it appears that the loads with 66.5grs and 67.5grs of RL17 are doing good. Is there any reason that you have not re-tried these two? What type of primers are you using? Some type are made from a softer material then others and will show pressure signs earlier. What about OAL and getting back off the lands more? I know that when I was playing with Barnes bullets, I needed to seat them off the lands more then other bullets.

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    Yes I am going to try some different bullets to see if that changes thing.

    That is interesting you are having primer cratering problem because I have been seeing the same thing to with my rifle.. I have been using winchester primers as that is what I have a whole bunch of currently.
    the cratering is kind of a pain for getting them back in the shell holder.

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    Many many yrs ago I was told by an old timer if your gun won't shoot speer bullets send it down the road. So drive on down to your favorite store buy some 165 or 180gr Speer bullets use some RL19 or 4007 with a cci250 primer. Go shoot, those old fashion cup and for speers will do you just fine. I have the same rifle as stid it's a 325 as we'll I tried 1load 200gr Speer hot cor with imr 4007. Also shoots 220gr hornady with 4007 pretty **** good.

    Also so take a formed case then take a dremel with a cutting disk cut 4 slots in the neck, take your preferred bullet put in the rifle case half way down the neck then chamber in rifle then extract case and that will be your max overall length do this 2-3 times to make sure.

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    Here's another forum thread on primer cratering. It appears to be common with the Model 70: http://www.longrangehunting.com/foru...uestion-31030/

    Quote Originally Posted by skipper View Post
    Yes I am going to try some different bullets to see if that changes thing.

    That is interesting you are having primer cratering problem because I have been seeing the same thing to with my rifle.. I have been using winchester primers as that is what I have a whole bunch of currently.
    the cratering is kind of a pain for getting them back in the shell holder.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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