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Thread: Having trouble getting my 7-08 to shoot

  1. #1
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    Default Having trouble getting my 7-08 to shoot

    Hello, currently have a semi custom, remington 700, 21 inch shilen barrel. The barrel was fitted by a gunsmith, other than that I've done the rest of the work, gun comes in at 6lbs with scope

    Currently running a close to max load of H414 using nosler 140 partitions. But have tried other powders and bullets (this thing wont shoot barnes for anything)

    While I'm getting decent groups at 100 yds something like 1-2 (I was expecting more though out of my shilen match barrel though) I start extending my range and at 200-300 this thing becomes a shotgun, groups of 8 inches plus. This will happen with similar loads with other powders, but all near max.

    This is off a 2 bag setup on a bench and can shoot nice small groups with my 300 win mag at these ranges all day.

    Any thoughts? I'm starting to loose confidence in this gun, I wanted to take the gun on my sheep hunt this year but as its looking the slightly heavier 300 win is taking the trip so far.

    I'm going to start from scratch with load developement and shoot it at 200 instead of 100 to see if lesser powder charges tightens things up. Also, the barrel is freefloated, I was going to put some upward pressure on barrel to see if that helps any as well.

    Any other thoughts? Something I'm missing or not looking into?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Are the bullet holes at 200-300 perfectly round? Sounds like a stabilization issue.

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    No tumbling that I can see, or just not that obvious, no key holing.

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default I was thinking stabilization too...

    Is your twist rate normal for 7-08? Not sure what is normal, but that sure sounds like the problem to me.

    The only other thing I can think of is something with your loads. Are the groups at longer ranges stringing vertically at all? Also, how does the rifle shoot with factory ammo at those ranges?

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Sounds like harmonics to me, make a paper shim test front pressure and see what that gets you. Also sometimes they just want to be full length bedded to stop the wandering. What is the barrel contour you are working with?
    Andy
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    Default bedding issue

    I too would expect better groups, at 100 or 300 yards, from a semi-custom gun like you describe.

    I'm thinking if your hand-loads are without any major flaws, the first place I would check is the bedding. You don't mention if or how the bedding was done, and if your stock to action contact is moving or slipping (ie different from shot to shot) your groups would definitely open up.

    Has the rifle been bedded? How about barrel contact with the stock? Is it free-floating, or bedded too. What kind of stock is on the rifle? Have you checked that the action screws are torqued to a reasonable tightness? Too loose or too tight could both cause issues.

    After that I would check into the scope and/or scope mounting. Maybe even check that first. Have you tried a different scope on it? Have you tried the scope you have on it an a different gun? Things like that.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Scope mount or scope is also a good suspect, very good point.
    Andy
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    Default

    Thanks guys

    The barrel is free floated, and 21 inches long. It does not seem like there is a rythm or reason to the groups, other than they open up.

    I'll check the twist but was a shilen match barrel purchased from midway that started life as a 7-08.

    Additionally I'll go over all the mounts and screws to check that out.

    Unfortunately it will be a few days before I can shoot again, I'm going to just full bed with some upward pressure, see if that starts to clean things up.

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    Member shirtr's Avatar
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    Default

    Always check your scope first. Have you used the scope on another rifle? Also make sure the bases are secured to the rifle with loc-tite (blue). Being that the rifle is fairly light the added recoil may be just enough to allow the bases/rings to move a touch. What kind of scope is it? What kind of stock? some of the cheaper (sps) model stocks are garbage and should be discarded off the get go.
    Most free-floated barrels in a good stock will shoot just fine. Did you go with a mountain contour or regular sporter contour barrel?

  10. #10

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    Check the muzzle crown. Not to badmouth your 'smith but I have seen some bad one's[crowns] Also just for fun try some 160's-guns sometimes have a personalty.

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    Default same problem here... sorta

    Working up loads in my 338WM .5 grain below max gave me amazing groups from 1-300 (far as the range goes)

    bumped up to max charge and sadly the groups went to H3LL. Blew them all the way out to 1" at 100 and 3.5-4" at 300....

    Check everything already mentioned, then start playing with your powder charge. Drop off your current load by 1/10th of a grain at a time 3-5 shots each time. I run this down to a full grain below max. Usually if there's a sweet spot to be found, it'll be in there somewhere.

    If you find something that shows promise but want more, play with your seating depth. Mine happens to love Nosler 225 partitions seated to equal max overall length. I measured the distance from the lands 15 years ago, but have sense lost it in my memory banks..... it's in my notes, so I guess I don't need to remember it anymore. HA HA


    If you have a chronograph, you can ballpark accuracy potential of a loading by how small your ES & SD are. There's much much more that goes into an accurate load/rifle combination.... and I'm only speaking for what I have seen in my load development efforts. (how's that for a disclaimer??) lol

    There is something to be said for a tiny point of pressure on the barrel at the very end of the stock. My featherweight shoots like crap without the pressure point. 3 pieces of credit card thickness material (good use for them!!) and I'm punching single holes all day long.

    Good luck. Hope she shoots

  12. #12

    Default Loads

    Before you do any adjustments to your rifle; clean & shoot a box of factory Remington Core-Lokt ammo and see if the groups don't improve.
    Your problem may well be that your rifle doesn't like Barnes Bullets. Some rifles don't, not a great loss there are many quality bullets available.
    Also H-414 may not be the best powder for your rifle/loads.

    GOOD LUCK !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  13. #13
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    Default

    Thanks guys, all real great advise. To answer some of the questions, the barrel is the shilen lightweight sporter, sure wished I would have shot it at 25 inches before I chopped her, just to see.

    Free floated and bedded in a high tech specialties stock, mounts are solid, screws are solid.

    I have a leupold compact 3-9 on it, second hand, and bought the scope for the rifle, first thing I'll do is mount something else and take her to the range.

    Second, I'll full bed with with some upward pressure, my mentor always did that and my first rifles thats what I did before going to the free float so I'll give it a go, nothing some sandpaper down the road cant fix.

    Crown looks looks good, dont know how I'd measure it

    This is my 4th shilen barrel and maybe to, I was just due for a dog. I had a 280 AI I could feed anything and get good groups at my ranges. similar results with others. Then you could dial in seating depths and charges to find just a tack driver load.

    But never have I had to fight a 6-8 inch 200 yd group, sure have not changed how I reload. I'm hoping for a bad scope or something.

    I'll take this on as a project but ones things for sure, a rifle that doest shoot will be culled!!

    I would love to take it on my chugach sheep hunt but times limited and right now the 300 is looking better each day, dont know if I'll ever pull this tag again

    thanks again

  14. #14

    Default Patience

    Try one correction at a time. I've owned over 24 Shilen barrels (in 35 yrs) and still haven't had a bad one yet; Kinda hope you didn't get mine !
    In a rifle this light your trigger pull should be @ or just under 3 1/2 lbs.
    TRY a factory Remington ammo before you change anything but the scope !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  15. #15
    Unbridled Beast
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    H414,140NPT's and the stock are all very poor selections.

    That less mention of the scope,bases or rings.

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    Default Parallax

    Good groups (or at least acceptable groups) at 100 yards opening up beyong what geometry would suggest at 300?

    Not a stabilization issue? (My first thought)

    Barrel heating has been controlled?

    Parallax in your scope. The first thing to check and the last to be thought of.

    That would perfectly explain every problem you describe (except the 2" groups at 100 yards) Oh, wait. If your scope is focused for zero parallax at 50 yards (or badly out of adjustment), it could cause that, too.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep.
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 05-16-2009 at 23:13. Reason: 100 yards, not 10 yards

  17. #17

    Default 7mm-08 load might fix it

    I had same issue with my 7mm-08, tried several things but didn't help, then changed loads and that fixed the problem. Using RL-19, 47.5 gr, Accubond 160gr bullets (or Sierra 160gr GKBT). This tightened up my results considerably. Hope you get it fixed in time for sheep hunting!

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