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Thread: rifle grouping like @&%*!!!

  1. #1

    Default rifle grouping like @&%*!!!

    I've got this handy customized mountain rifle that weighs about 5.5 lbs in 284 winchester. It has a custom barrel, Bansner stock, and timney trigger on it. I've got leupold dual dovetail rings with a leupold 2.5-8x vx3 scope mounted on it. I love the rifle, but I am having difficulty getting it to group. I handload 140 gr ballistic tips and TTSX's over RL15. No matter what I do, the groups are always spread out horizontally about 2.5-3.5 inches at 100 yards, but only .5 inches vertically at the same range, whcih trells me it's probably not the handloads. Initially I thought it was me, but I don't get the same results with other guns at the range. I thought I was pulling/flinching, so I tried various bench techniques, caldwell lead sled, etc, all with similar results. Is it that different shooting a lighter gun than a slightly heavier one? COuld it be the rings? COUld it be the scope? what should I do or try? any advice out there is appreciated

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneck doctor View Post
    I've got this handy customized mountain rifle that weighs about 5.5 lbs in 284 winchester. It has a custom barrel, Bansner stock, and timney trigger on it. I've got leupold dual dovetail rings with a leupold 2.5-8x vx3 scope mounted on it. I love the rifle, but I am having difficulty getting it to group. I handload 140 gr ballistic tips and TTSX's over RL15. No matter what I do, the groups are always spread out horizontally about 2.5-3.5 inches at 100 yards, but only .5 inches vertically at the same range, whcih trells me it's probably not the handloads. Initially I thought it was me, but I don't get the same results with other guns at the range. I thought I was pulling/flinching, so I tried various bench techniques, caldwell lead sled, etc, all with similar results. Is it that different shooting a lighter gun than a slightly heavier one? COuld it be the rings? COUld it be the scope? what should I do or try? any advice out there is appreciated
    1st I'd check all the obvious things(you probably already have). Are the base screws tight? Are the ring screws tight?

    2nd I'd try a different scope. VXIII are usually good but I've seen them go bad.

    3rd Check the stock! Are the tang screws tight? Take a dollar bill and and slide it between the barrel and the stock. With a custom stock the dollar should slide freely from the tip of the stock all the way to a few inches in front of the receiver. If it binds up you could have pressure from the stock that is messing with the harmonics. A dowel and sand paper can be used to remove wood in the area where the wood is touching the barrel(where the dollar bill bound up).

    4th Inspect the barrels crown. Look closely for a burr or deformation that could affect the bullet as it exits.

    My money is on the scope!
    Last edited by elmerkeithclone; 02-19-2010 at 15:26. Reason: can't spell for crap!

  3. #3
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I'm 100% with ElmerKeithClone. With a good vertical distribution, I don't think much else besides the scope would do that. After doing everything he recommends, and don't tighten down too much on all the screws, if it still is giving you fits, switch the scope to one of your other more consistent rifles. That ought to isolate it.

    Everything else should give you a bigger "cone" of distribution of your shots. It would seem to me that something loose inside the scope could give you shifting horizontal points of aim without you knowing it.

    Always interesting. Let us know the results.

  4. #4

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    The last post has some good information in it. In addition to that I will add that this gun may not like what you are feeding it. Try another bullet and powder combination. You did not say how many rounds have been fired through this gun. If this gun has been fired a lot with hot loads you may have a problem with copper fouling. You usually do not have much problems with this until you get into the hotter calibers and magnium rounds. I had copper fouling in a 7mm Rem Mag several years ago that robbed all the accuracy from it. I was about ready to trade this gun for something else when i found out what the problem was. It took two or three nights to get all the copper out of the bore, then the gun settled down and went to shooting again. I had always cleaned the gun on a regular basis, just was not using copper solvent and it just continued to build up and shoot worse each time I shot it. If none of this helps let us know and we will try to think of something else. If you find the problem also let us know what it was.

  5. #5

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    I was referring to elmerkeithclone in my last post the next one had not been posted when i posted my other post. All of the other posts has good information.

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Sounds like a bedding problem. Remove the barreled action from the stock and see if there are any areas where the stock looks to be scuffed up.

    I've yet to see a scope or scope mount problem produce the horizontal stringing you are getting, but an improperly bedded action certainly can cause that stringing.

    I personally would change to talley lightweight ring/bases, as they are well suited to a lightweight rifle.

  7. #7
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    Some good information given here and I would like to add something for you to consider.

    Are you holding the forearm while you shoot? Lightweight rifles are more difficult to shoot, especially from the bench. Consistent holds on the rifle and repositioning it on the rest/bags is very important. Try a couple of groups without holding the forearm and then try a couple holding it the same way every time.
    Tennessee

  8. #8

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    It could be any one or a combination of things. It couild be the scope (easy to check)... It could be mount or acion screws... It could be bedding... It could be the barrel... It could be the load and how it acts with the barrel. You might try some factory ammo just for some comparrison and one or two other hand loads. I know of a couple of guys that tightened their groups just by letting the barrel cool between shots - if you haven't tried that already. I dont think it ever hurts to get a good bedding job done and I would always have either a pillar bedded or full aluminum bedded stock for a good platform. Wood and synthetics will compress and may eventually lead to problems. Another very easy thing to do is try a pressure point btween the barrel and the stock at either just infront of the reciever or down the barrel farther near the sling stud. Use some cardboard for a test and just put a little pressure betweent the barrel and the stock.

    I also have a rifle that wont shoot and know how frustrating it is. Keep us posted on your progress.

    -Mark

  9. #9

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    Thanks for oyur input. I think i will try talley light weight rings and bases along with another scope. I have tried alternating holding the forearm with some groups and not with other groups and still get the same result. I think looking at the crown would be a good idea, too. Is that something that I can see myself or do I need a gunsmith to check it out? One other thing, since it's a bansner stock, the dimensions seem a little "thicker" in the grip and forearm. Could that effect cheek weld that much???

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Sounds like a bedding problem. Remove the barreled action from the stock and see if there are any areas where the stock looks to be scuffed up.

    I've yet to see a scope or scope mount problem produce the horizontal stringing you are getting, but an improperly bedded action certainly can cause that stringing.

    I personally would change to talley lightweight ring/bases, as they are well suited to a lightweight rifle.
    We sent a brand new VXIII back a month ago for horizontal stringing. You could rap on the side of scope and move the impact by several inches, rap it again and it would move a few more inches. Rap it on the other side and it would move it back in the opposite direction. That scope should be back any day now. I hope it has a note explaining what they found. This scope was on a H&R 45-70 and the problem showed itself on the initial sight in!

  11. #11
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    My Titanium Mountain rifle in 30-06, did all sorts of weird things before I figured out it needed lots of TLC.

    1. Mine was very load picky. Eventually I figure out what she liked.
    2. They heat up after two shots and need to cool for a LONG time.
    3. Mine had a bump in the barrel channel which made the groups change more with barrel heat.
    4. I used a lead sled on my light weight rifle and eventually the stock failed. Be careful. Those rifles are only made to be shoulder fired where they can move backwards.
    5. I re-bedded mine and it help by a huge amount.
    6. Check your mounts and rings. or try another scope. I have another rifle that is now shooting two distinct groups if I fire ten rounds. It turned out that the scope mount had loosened up over the years and it would shift whenever it felt like it.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Default Wind?

    I dont mean to offend anyone and this is not calling anyone dumb but here is something simple to think about. Is the wind blowing I know 3 inches is a lot at 100 yds but it could be something simple thats being over looked.
    My guess if the wind is not blowing is that your stock is hiting the barrel somewhere. I had a remington with a synthetic stock and it was rubbing only on the side of the barrel causing the exact same problem, with a dremel tool and some sand paper it straightened it up nicely.
    Try the doller trick mentioned earlier to see if anything is touching.
    Also if you have a scope with an adjustable paralax make sure it is set on the right yardage if it is set wrong a little movement can make a big difference, make sure your cheak weld is the same for each shot

  13. #13
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    My Titanium Mountain rifle in 30-06, did all sorts of weird things before I figured out it needed lots of TLC.

    1. Mine was very load picky. Eventually I figure out what she liked.
    2. They heat up after two shots and need to cool for a LONG time.
    3. Mine had a bump in the barrel channel which made the groups change more with barrel heat.
    4. I used a lead sled on my light weight rifle and eventually the stock failed. Be careful. Those rifles are only made to be shoulder fired where they can move backwards.
    5. I re-bedded mine and it help by a huge amount.
    6. Check your mounts and rings. or try another scope. I have another rifle that is now shooting two distinct groups if I fire ten rounds. It turned out that the scope mount had loosened up over the years and it would shift whenever it felt like it.
    I hate to say it, but, based on your description, I don't think I would want one of those.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0321Tony View Post
    I dont mean to offend anyone and this is not calling anyone dumb but here is something simple to think about. Is the wind blowing I know 3 inches is a lot at 100 yds but it could be something simple thats being over looked.
    No offense taken and none intended, but you would need a 30 mph wind to get 2 1/2" inches of drift @ 100 yds, and a difference of 30 mph between shots to get a 2 1/2" spread. It sounds like something with the rifle or scope to me.

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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Post try factory ammo then..

    as said below,scope.....an add the screws that hold the barrel to the stock,the 1st one on the reciver (nearest the barrel end ) TIGHT ,the rear one/after the trigger guard .."just" snug ,and she will come around...02cents
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  16. #16
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Post this guys has trouble too..the kind we all want...

    May 5, 2009

    Ken Brucklacher Sets 1000-Yard Score Record: 100-8X

    Ken Brucklacher, current President of the Original Pensylvania 1000-yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport), joined the immortals this Sunday, May 3rd. Shooting a .300 Weatherby Mag with 240gr Sierra MatchKings, Ken set a new 10-shot Heavy Gun World Record score of 100-8X. The group size was pretty amazing too. A measured 3.137″, Ken’s ten shots also set a new group record at the Williamsport range, besting the previous mark set 13 years ago by John Voneida (3.151″ and 100 score). Brucklacher’s group is just 0.089″ larger than the 3.048″ all-time, 1000-yard small group shot last month by Joel Pendergraft.
    Conditions were good when Ken set the record. It was cool, with overcast skies, and the winds were calm with “the flags still hanging down”. Ken said he “took his time, made sure he was on for every shot.” He pretty much held “on the center of the white patch” in the 1000-yard target. The result was spectacular, as you can see below:

    Ken has been shooting 1K benchrest for 9 years, and in the past year his big Heavy Gun has been awesome. This new 100-8X record was not a fluke. Ken’s gun has already shot two 100s in competition. In fact, Ken set a 6-match, Heavy Gun 1000-yard World Record for score with his .300 Weatherby, averaging 98.333. In 2008, Ken’s Heavy Gun shot a 100.0 score in the 8th Williamsport 1K match, a 99.0 in the 9th Match, and another 100.0 in the 10th match of the year. That’s consistency.

    Gun Specs: Aluminum stock, Lawton Action, Krieger Barrel
    Ken’s record-setting Heavy Gun features a Lawton action in a John Buhay machined aluminum stock. Gunsmith Mark King (Duncannon, PA) built the gun and chambered the 34″ Krieger, 10-twist barrel as a .300 Weatherby Magnum with 0.339″ neck. The record group was set with a windage-adjustable rear rest. Elevation is set with the front rest. Interestingly, when shooting the record group, Ken was “holding dead center on the white patch”.
    Record-Setting Load: .300 Weatherby Mag, 240gr SMKs, H4831SC, Fed 215Ms
    Ken set the record with a .300 Weatherby Mag shooting 240gr Sierra MKs, seated 0.028″ off the lands. His load was 72.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831sc pushed by Federal 215M primers.
    Brucklacher used Norma .300 Weatherby brass “right out of the box”. You read that right… Ken set the record with brand new Norma brass with no case prep whatsoever. He didn’t touch the flash holes or primer pockets — in fact Ken didn’t even chamfer the case mouths. This was brand new brass, not fire-formed. According to Ken, he “just added a primer, filled the cases with powder, and shoved in a bullet.”
    While Ken does not point his bullets or trim meplats, he did weigh and measure the 240gr MatchKings (base to ogive) before loading. Ken has not chronographed this load so he doesn’t know the velocity. Ken didn’t do any special load tweaking for this record group. However, he explained that he changed his seating depth last summer, going from .018″ jump to .028″ jump. That minor change, Ken noted, “really seemed to close up the groups”.


    4 Comments »

    1. I bet he was trying REALLY hard not to hit the new target frames! Seriously-great job Ken,after all the hard work you did in the pits id say you deserve it.


      Wow! No case prep at all? That’s mind-blowing.


      WAY TO GO DAD! I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOOT WITH YOU IN A COUPLE WEEKS!!!

    2. Congratulations Ken, Your a legened mate, a magnificent attempt by anyone’s standards, you should come out to Australia & show us how it’s done… Cheers from down under!

    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  17. #17
    Member High Country's Avatar
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    Float Pilot,

    Is your rifle a Remington Titanium?

  18. #18

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    yes it is. It started life as a 260 rem until I got bored of it and it wasn't shooting to my specs. then I had it customized (to my specs) and now it is a thing of beauty- except for the accuracy thing.

  19. #19
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Float Pilot,

    Is your rifle a Remington Titanium?
    Yep one of them is. The original Remington stock had a flaw (bubble) inside the stock near the bolt cut-out. The replacement stock from Remington shoots great as unmodified. I have three light weight rifles.

    Here is a photo of the groups the Remington M-700 Titanium in 30-06 did when it had the original stock, right from the box. Then what it did after I adjusted the pressure point in the barrel channel.
    Then the stock started to crack... this one without being in a lead sled.

    The replacement stock from Remington (FREE) shoots great with no modifications...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  20. #20
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Photo 1

    This is how the new factory stock from Remington shoots right out of the box.

    Photo 2.

    This is what happens when you rapid fire a hot super light weight barrel.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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