I went to the range today to check zero on a couple of rifles and to sight in a couple more.
I started of with my CZ 452 Silhouette. It took five rounds to find zero at 50 meters. Then the next five went into a little dime sized cluster. Then I checked zero on a Ruger American 223 and a Remington 783 in 243. Both were right where they belonged at 1.5 high at 100 meters. The 8 inch gong @ 200 was no challenge for either. Next up was a brand new Ruger 77 Hawkeye in 7mm-08 sporting a Leupold VXII 2x7. Since I bored sighted the combo before heading out I expected it to be close. The first round at 50 meters landed at the bottom of the 1 inch dot. So I went to the 100 meter mark and let one fly that landed 1.5 high. The next round went 1.5 higher than the previous round without waiting I fired the third round. It landed inline but 8 inches high. My hold felt solid for all three rounds. My first thought was this scope isn't holding zero. I fired three rounds in quick succession at 50 meters and they were inside of 3/4 of an inch which Translates to a 1.5 inch group at 100yards or 3"s at 200. I let the gun cool for while(cool to the touch) and then shot 3 rounds at the gong and tje last 2 shots never touched it. I stood the gun at the side of the bench and headed 4 miles to town for a bite to eat. While in town I grabbed my Ruger American in 7mm-08 scoped with a straight Leupold 4x and a can of orange spray paint for the gong. Back at the range I took three rounds of the same fodder that I was feeding the Hawkeye and stuffed them into the American and fired at the gong. It clanged on all three shots. My spotting scope indicated 3 shiny spots in the new orange paint making a nice triangle in the middle of the gong. I grabbed the Hawkeye and said out loud you've had an hour to cool down the first one better land true....and it did. It landed right in the middle of the three new shiny spots on the gong. The next round minus any cool down time missed the gong entirely. I removed the VXII and replaced it with the scope that had been on the American when it shot the nice little triangle shaped group on the gong. I zeroed it in at 50 and once again three rounds went way under an inch. I let the gun cool while I fired 50 rounds each through my FNS-40 and S&W model 65/ 357. I then repainted the gong again. The Hawkeye was cold to the touch so I gave the gong another go. The first round smacked the 8 inch gong just below the middle. The next 2 missed the gong altogether. So I found something to do for a half hour while the barrel heat dissipated 100%. The next round hammered the gong just below the last rounf by about an inch. Another half hour of cool down and I let the third round go....it split the difference of the previous 2 rounds. A 1 inch group @ 200 if the gun was allowed to let all heat dissipate from the barrel yet would not land 2 rounds in fast succession inside of 8 inches.
It's the rifle plain and simple. The action screws are good and snug. The bases are locktited on solid. The barrels muzzle does not appear to be recessed at all and is flat across the end. The lands and grooves come all the way out to the flat end. The barrel fits tight in the channel and sliding a dollar bill between the stock and barrel is not possible anywhere along the entire length of the stock.
My first step will be to glass the front lug and float the barrel. If that doesn't fix the problem then I will recrown it myself.
This "IS" a light weight hunting rifle and I don't need or expect target rifle accuracy but I do expect it to hit an 8 inch kill zone every single time at 200 meters.