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Old March 15, 2009, 05:30 PM   #1
Telgriff
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Need opinions advice on target results

I've been looking at this week and last weeks targets from my weekly time at the range. They seem to be following a pattern on how they space out, but I cant seem to figure out what I am doing wrong. If anyone has an idea on what I am doing wrong please let me know. I initially thought it was a stability issue, so I took the bipod off and fired from bags.

All shots were fired using Tikka T3 Lite with 64g Federal PowerShok .223 rounds, from a bench at 100m.

Target 1. Fired from Bags. First 5 on the left target (clean cold barrel), next 5 on the right target with an extremely hot barrell.


Target 2. Same as above, 1st 5 on left, 2nd 5 on right. Barrel was reasonably hot (was a hot sunny day with no shade)
[URL=http://img8.imageshack.us/my.php?image=seconddetail.jpg]

Target 3. Same deal. But with two shots overlapping in the centre box on the left target.


Target 4. Shot off bipod with rear bag. (to see if stability change made any difference)


It seems to be strangely consistent. Up and to the left to me says I pulling the trigger instead of squeezing, but the difference between the two good groups (First target, right square measure 1.2" from side to side) seems like a very very big difference. Meaning I am definitely doing something wrong, and doing it frequently. Considering the just over 1MOA group was shot with a scalding hot barrel, off bags, its obvious I am doing something during the firing process that is throwing things off so much. But I cant seem to figure out what it is.
A hunter/long time shooter mentioned it might be the loads I was using. The 1in8" Twist tends to prefer heavier than 55g. With 69g HPBT being the seemingly perfect bullet for it. Problem is its $52 a box and useless for hunting. I had figured 64gr might be a good middle ground and was the heaviest I could find in SoftPoint ammo.

Any suggestions?
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Old March 15, 2009, 05:47 PM   #2
jpwilly
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So the question is why your rifle prefers to be hot tighten groups up. Metal expands when it warms up. Does the action loosen or tighten up when hot in the stock? Barrel touching anything? Also, seems to me you should get into handloading so you can play with different bullets at an affordable cost.
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Old March 15, 2009, 06:07 PM   #3
Telgriff
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Barrel is free floated (I checked to confirm as well).
I haven't noticed much change in the action when it is hot, possibly a bit tighter to open and close the bolt but nothing overly excessive. I will keep an eye on that next time at the range.

As for expansion of the metal, that makes sense, but then I have no idea how I would be able to make allowance for that on cold bore shots.
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Old March 15, 2009, 07:33 PM   #4
Ulrice
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your rifle might need some pressure exerted on the barrel by the end of the forend of the stock. You could try wedge a thin piece of cardboard between the barrel and the stock and see if that changes consistancy. The only other thing I can think of is that you may have a flinch. Good luck.
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Old March 15, 2009, 07:43 PM   #5
Jimro
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Take this with a grain of salt, but since you are getting more consistent results with a hotter barrel, the question is "why"? And the answer is that your barrel isn't more consistent when it is hot, it is more consistently hot.

To explain further, your barrel has a wider thermal range from cold bore to shot five, and a much smaller thermal range from shots six to ten.

My advice is to SLOW down, five minutes between each shot. Do two shot groups that way (will take you a minimum of 50 minutes). If the shot groups between the two are the same then your shooting is fine. If the shot groups between the two are different, then we can talk about your technique.

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Old March 15, 2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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I too notice that I have 'days'. The last time out, perfectly zeroed rifles from a previous session were a hair low and to the left. Notice that I say 'rifles'. My thought is that it varies with your stress level, mom had just died and I was trying to burn off emotions.
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Old March 15, 2009, 09:57 PM   #7
Telgriff
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Jimro: Will be following this option next range visit, I usually shoot 10 rounds in two 5 shot groups in 35 minutes or so. So I will halve that and only shot 5 or 6 rounds, wait for cool down inbetween shots and see how it goes. Keeping the barrel cool down here is tricky, the sun is scorching hot still, was around 34 Degrees (93F) all day at the range this week, with no shade (open outdoor range)
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Old April 6, 2009, 01:34 AM   #8
Telgriff
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Update

Resurrecting this thread to save making a new one. This is mainly in response to Jimro's suggestion, but any and all feedback is welcome.

This is from last weekend. Shot off bipod and rear bag, off bench, 100m.

Detail one. **EDIT** 3 shots fired in 20 mins. About 5 minutes between shots. 2 shots into the same hole (hole at 9oclock of centre square)



Detail two. 6 shots - 5 mins per shot.


Detail three. 3 shots over the 30 minute period


The groups seems to be getting a bit more consistent, but they are still all over the target itself. There was a 5-10 knot wind (which I tried to wait out and fire between gusts), but I didn't think that it would have that much of an effect on trajectory at such a short range.
The vertical stringing on the left side of the 2nd detail was puzzling also.


Projectiles were 55grain Nosler Ballistic Tips, Federal Premium.
I did notice that I have been squeezing the stock into my shoulder, essentially flexing the muscles when preparing to fire. I made a concious effort to not do that this week and it seems to have made more consistent, albeit all over the target, shots.

Any feedback would be appreciated!

Last edited by Telgriff; April 7, 2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Didnt count 3rd shot
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Old April 6, 2009, 02:11 AM   #9
N00b_Shooter
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Hey Telgriff, sorry I dont have any input on the topic, i just wanted to ask what range you shot at...Don't have to answer if you dont want to, just curious
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:24 PM   #10
skinewmexico
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You're shooting minute of deer with factory ammo, from a stock rifle. Nothing wrong with that. You could always replace your trigger, and try shooting free recoil. And I'm working really hard not to throw a Savage comment in here.
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Old April 7, 2009, 01:06 AM   #11
Jimro
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Telgriff,

Your barrel likes the heavier 64 grain projectiles a little better than the 55 grain pills. Swapping out bullets makes it hard to read the target, but here is what I see.

Your rifle is shooting fine for now since time doesn't make a huge difference in group sizes. To help you get tighter groups here are two things:

First lean into the rifle and preload the bipod. This will give you the proper pressure against your shoulder that your "tightening the muscles" does. Learn more about Froggy's technique here http://www.6mmbr.com/TacticalFroggyA1.html

Secondly, stop using the intersection of the crosshairs to aim to point of impact. Offset the point of impact at least an inch so that the cross hairs stay on a part of the target that isn't getting destroyed. One of the benefits of using a mildot scope is that you have so many additional aiming points aiming points, but if you set your zero to one inch above point of aim that works out just as well.

You'll still want to try different loads, there are a ton of 223 loads to choose from, so don't get discouraged if you haven't found the one your rifle likes just yet.

Good luck and good shooting,

Jimro
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Old April 7, 2009, 01:57 AM   #12
Telgriff
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Thanks for the feedback Jimro will try it out next range trip. I'm still unsure about the 55gr being an issue with the faster twist. With the exception of the 69gr being perfect for targets, i've seen similar accuracy with both 64gr pills and the standard 55gr stuff (the week before I managed two shots overlapping, and a 3 shot group at just over an inch, even the most recent one which I just realised I marked wrong, is actually 3 shots, two were in the same hole). I am fairly convinced its me, so will have a read through the link you sent me and try the two methods you have described.

Oh and skinewmexico, if Savages weren't $1800 here, I'd buy one. Even the Stevens is $750 for the base rifle. I've considered that I am hitting my accuracy ability (without a few thousand rounds more practice to improve at least), but considering I want to go hunting with this, i want at least a recurring 1MOA before I go into the field, I dont want some rabbit or fox bleeding to death because I cant shoot properly.
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