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Thread: Cool barrel vs Hot barrel on a mountain rifle

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Cool barrel vs Hot barrel on a mountain rifle

    I was playing around with my Rem M-700 Titanium Mountain rifle on Sunday. I free floated the barrel a while back since it did not shoot so great out of the box.

    I was shooting up some regular Winchester Power Points (silver box stuff) just to get the brass. The 150 grain stuff was actually pretty accurate, even though the velocity was jumping all over the place.

    The first group is with cooling periods. The second group was with a hot barrel. Just an interesting experiment for folks thinking about buying a light-weight rifle.

    By the way, the WW Power-Point 180 grain slugs had much better velocity tolerances, but they shoot a 1.5 inch group with cooling... Go figure..
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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Interesting...

    Looking at the group, I'd not guess that you were shooting a hot barrel, or even a heating up barrel, but rather a rifle with loose bedding somewhere, as evidenced by the lateral stringing rather than vertical. Just a thought.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    It shot just like the first group after it cooled off for 15 minutes.

    After being free-floated the groups go from left to right and slightly up as it heats up.

    Once it is hot it goes all over. Some of the grouping problems are just me and the big duplex on this particular scope.
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  4. #4
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    Default hot versus cold

    The initial vertical stringing is heating. The second one.... well... all over the place and I'd also look at the bedding... but hard to put both together.

    Most shot groups with thin barrels start to warm up too much after 3 shots.

    Stress relieving a barrel can help cut down on stringing..

    I agree... check the action screw tension. But don't expect more than a few shots before it strays.

  5. #5
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    I was just thinking about this yesterday at the range. When letting a barrel "cool" how long do you normally let it set? Obviously it depends on air temp, etc. but, what is a "cooled down" barrel? Same temp as before the first shot was fired? Slightly warm? How do any of you determine when it's cool. I just kind of wing it. Shoot, let it set 5 minutes or so, see how if feels and go for it.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    If I let it cool down until it is cool to the touch and run a patch thru the barrel between shots, this rifle will make little cloverleaf groups with Federal Premium 165 grain boat-tails.

    To make it really hot for the one photo I fired 5 shots as fast as I could and then fired the others with only 10 seconds between shots. I swear you can see the barrel move closer to one side of the forearm stock.

    Thats what I get for having a barrel as stiff as a fly rod..

    There is not much to the factorty bedding, just a couple of pillars and thats it.
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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Yer doin' good!

    How many times does a fella really have to empty a rifle at game, reload, and shoot a magazine-full again? Unless I was in the thick of a battle with really bad guys, I wouldn't worry about it.
    If the rain will gimme a chance, I'm ready to take a new stainless Mini-14 Ranch Rifle and start the stame process you're going through.
    I've often wondered if it wouldn't be more indicative of a rifle's repeatable 'accuracy' to fire one shot from a cold barrel, come back a few hours later, and put one more downrange, and again, and so forth, until a group was fired. Really, after all, isn't it that first one out of a cold barrel that really counts if the stalk and the shot are good?
    Amazing group from a lightweight rifle, by the way! I've got a little CZ 527 in .223 in the 'Lux' European version that does the same thing. Not one for a hot afternoon in a prairie dog town, but plenty of rifle for Song Dogs and Great Hoary Marmots where the shots are likely quite a ways apart......
    The only rifles in my battery that I really HAVE to have shoot well from a hot barrel are my M1, AR match gun, and the M1A and 03's that I use in competition. Nothing like having a shot string go vertical out of the X ring and start making 8's in a rapid fire string!
    Last edited by Darreld Walton; 06-10-2008 at 06:00. Reason: .

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Yeap, I was just making brass. No need for more than a couple rounds for four legged critters.
    But it is kinda interesting. An illustration of why that rifle would not be all that great during a long range rifle match.
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  9. #9

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    I have a Remington 700 VLS in 308. Obviously a heavy barrel and a VERY heavy gun topping out at about 13 pounds with scope and this thing takes a very long time to heat up but when it does I get similar results as you do. I'm glad you posted those pics because the only thin barrel rifle I have is a 375 H&H which is just way to expensive and brutal to shoot to gather data like you posted and I was actually curious to compare it to a thin barrel thats hot. Doesn't seem like there would be much difference except that it take a few more rounds for my gun to heat and a lot longer for it to cool.
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    I took her out again today and it kept getting worse no matter what ammo I shot.

    I took her home and pulled the action. REMINGTON had pillar bedded the thing. BUT the tops of the pillars are flat. They mate against the round (cylinder) bottom of the action. So very little of the action is supported.
    In fact I could see little scuff marks where the action is slidng across the pillars.

    It looks like they originally left a little plastic on the sides , but that has worn away after 200 rounds and made things not-so-bedded. They also put in a slot for the recoil lug (more of a plate) but it is pretty roomy.

    So now I need to goof around with the darn bedding...Man I am getting tired of crappy workmanship.

    Just to make myself feel better I shot my old (1907) m/94 Swede carbine with issue iron sights and I out-shot this Remington.
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  11. #11

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    If it makes you feel any better Float Pilot, I have a 700 mnt rifle in 270 that I've had for years. It will shoot the first 3 rounds into 1 1/4 inches the next three rounds (without cooling) will more than double the group size. I have never had to shoot anything more than twice with it so in my mind it doesn't much matter.

    In the end there are things that can be done to help this to some degree but the bottom line is that it is the nature of the beast with any buggy whip barrel regardless of manufacture.

    In your case, I would glass the rear lug and the first couple inches ahead of the lug then relieve the barrel channel from that point forward. My experience tells me that all skinny barreled guns should be free floated! Then when you go back to the range limit your shooting to 3 shot groups then let the barrel cool, cuz anything more than that will just screw with your confidence.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I've herd this complaint from lots of freinds who have newer "mountain" rifles. Especially the remington 700's, I had a 700 in 270 many years ago that was a real tack driver so I find this really surprising. 2 things come to mind 1) is there a quality control issue at Remington? 2) has the whole "ultra light" thing gone too far. (thinking back too the M1 tank and its too ultra light sagging barrel, or freinds who drilled so many wholes in there silverware it was unusable) Personally my savage tactical is in the big, ugly, heavy beastie category and ya it bites carrying around 15 pounds of rifle even on flat ground but I know exactly where every round is going, hot barrel or not. Really though as has been pointed out groups opening up like this are more of a mystery to chase than a problem too solve.
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