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Old June 24, 2011, 06:15 PM   #1
Join Date: November 14, 2007
Location: Roseville, CA
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New Model 70 help, please?

Well, I just returned from the range where I was breaking in a newly manufactured Model 70 30-06 Featherweight. This was the maiden voyage for this rifle and I am concerned about the following: I was just trying to get my scope close while getting accustomed to the trigger. I had a factory box of Super X Power Max Bonded 180 grainers. This was also going to provide me with brass for future reloading. Right from the start this rifle was all over the place; more like patterns than groups. I eventually pulled the front rest position back to just under the scope object bell and the horizontal stringing settled down and left me with 3 inch vertical stringing shooting only 3 shot groups. At that point I was about finished with the first box of ammo when I noticed that the fired brass was showing heavy sooting on the necks and a black ring around the fired primers. What’s up with that? Isn’t that classic high pressure sign? Anyway, I was feeling kind of dopey for not noticing these signs sooner. What say you folks? Any suggestions? Thanks…
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Old June 24, 2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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I'd try a few different types of ammo first. Most new Winchesters are proving to be good shooters. If it does not improve with another type of ammo I'd be calling Winchester.
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Old June 24, 2011, 07:06 PM   #3
Right to bear arms
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seems like there might be 2 issues here. The failure to group adequately and the high pressure signs. Since you were using factory rounds, I am stymied. A couple of weeks ago my mildly loaded 7mm mag. was showing soot and high pressure signs. Following the advice on the this board I rechecked my OAL and brought the rounds into spec and the problems disappeared. The variant groups could be due to so many things like bedding problems, loose or incorrect scope mounting, crown problems or poor barrel. As the previous poster noted, you might want to try a different brand of ammo before sending the gun back. Good luck, keep us posted so we can all learn.
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Old June 25, 2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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I spent some time with the folks at Sierra Bullets (Robert). Long story short, of course we spoke at length about possible rifle/rings/mounts issues, but really settled on a couple of avenues of concerns to investigate. One is the rifle itself. According to them Featherweights are just plain finicky and it takes time to find rifle chow it likes. 3 shot groups make real sense with this type of hunting rifle. Let the barrel cool down between groups. Shoot some moderate H4350 loads with a good bullet that has been handcrafted with care and set the shoulder back .001 on brass that has been fired in that rifle. Use CCI large rifle primers; they are actually a little larger in diameter and have been known to offer a better seal when brass has become stretched or work hardened after a bunch of firings. We’ll see: what say you?
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Old June 26, 2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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I would try several different bullet weights. I would venture a guess that the thin barrel of the featherweight will like something a little lighter, maybe 165 or 150 grain bullets. Also might help to free float the barrel if it isn't already. If it helped to move the rest back further on the gun this could be part of the problem. Wrap a piece of paper or a dollar bill around the barrel and slide it down into the stock to see if the barrel is touching the stock. Good luck and I hope you solve your issues quickly.
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Old June 26, 2011, 10:55 PM   #6
.300 Weatherby Mag
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What bases and rings do you have on the rifle?? Also what scope is on it??

I would try several different bullet weights. I would venture a guess that the thin barrel of the featherweight will like something a little lighter, maybe 165 or 150 grain bullets.
The thickness of the barrel has nothing to do with how it shoots a particular weight bullet... The rate of twist is what's important...
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Old June 27, 2011, 01:37 PM   #7
Tim R
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I have a older Winny F/W '06 push feed and it's my favorite hunting rifle. It's easy to carry in the field. It will put 4 loles touching, about the size of your thumb nail @ 100 yards with the fifth as a flyer slighly high and to the right. But life wasn't always so grand. I had a cheap scope which I found was changing zero after every shot. As you well know the F/W boots, alot! Step one, I got a new scope, Starts with a "L". This made the groups a liitle ( well alot better) better, Step two, The front sling screw was putting pressure on the barrel so I trimed it on the grinder. Step three, I free floated the barrel and adjusted the trigger to a nice clean break at about 3 pounds.

I found the rifle likes IMR 4350 and CCI primers. I had to learn how to work through the recoil. Now it shoots good enough.ont't ask about rings. It's been awhile. Seems like they might be Burris.
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Last edited by Tim R; June 27, 2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old June 27, 2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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Barrel thickness has considerable effect on performance.
#1 problem "Featherweight" , not designed for target shooting. Designed for carry with very few rounds fired.
For sighting in, the rest, or sandbag, should be at the spot your extended arm will be holding the stock when shooting offhand.
Let barrel cool for several minutes between rounds.
Are you planning on hunting something that requires 180 gr. to kill? That is a substantial round and you may be flinching, that Featherweight won't protect you much from felt recoil. Personally, I would be willing to use, and I do, 150 gr. for anything less than elk and moose.
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Old June 27, 2011, 04:51 PM   #9
Tim R
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#1 problem "Featherweight" , not designed for target shooting. Designed for carry with very few rounds fired.
I agree a box of 50 lasts a really long time. But my F/W shoots well. I don't shoot it in rapid fire like my National match 308 M-1 or NM AR's. I found my F/W likes 165 gr BT bullets.
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Old June 29, 2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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I would definitely check the scope mounts first, then move on to the ammo.
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Old June 29, 2011, 08:45 AM   #11
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Been here/done this.....

Worse: M70/Feather-weight barrel/heavy bullets do not mix.
(BTW: the throats are also cut unusually short on these new M70s)

First: Get some commercially-loaded Hornady 150 SSTs and report back.
Second: Pull the action and bed the barrel under the chamber/float the rest.

And if it doesn't at least "settle down" from throwing wild rounds by that point, pull the hot glue bedding and start over w/ real epoxy.

Last edited by mehavey; June 29, 2011 at 08:55 AM.
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Old June 29, 2011, 03:05 PM   #12
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Thin barrels on light rifles do require different methods of shooting for groups. As some have stated, wait between 3 shot strings; I wait 15 minutes ... what is the rush to sight in and do it right? This is not convenient, but it is even less convenient to carry a heavy rifle if you are hunting the mountains of Colorado ... trust me!

If you shoot anything like Elk or Moose, choosing one bullet weight is a good thing. It is better to shoot heavy bullets for smaller game, than smaller bullets for bigger game! I shoot everything with 180 grain bullets with my ought-six, because I know this load and where it goes! I shoot 300 yards or 20 and know the rifle and the load. Recoil is negligible in an Ought-six. If a 180 bothers you, get a 25'06! If you switch back and forth with bullet weight ... 150 to 180, you have to re-zero, and relearn that load. Pick one and be the master of it! The master of one load is who I count on bringing home the bacon!

In my ought-six I shoot 180, but 165 will bridge the gap between 150 and 180, and is more efficient for longer shots than both. In my .300 Weatherby I shot everything with 180 grain bullets for the same reasons, but it is faster and is efficient with the 180 at long range.

Good Luck, try other ammo, and take your time letting the barrel settle down and cool. If you are unsure of using a rest for shooting, take along someone who is to assist you. I am sure that new Model 70 will be a fine rifle. I looked them over carefully at the NRA Convention this year, and they are truly a nice rifle. I wish I were there to have a go with your rifle!

REMEMBER, a Monster Buck will only give you ONE SHOT at best! The rest of the group won't matter!

I have attached a photo of such a buck that I shot near my old house in Colorado, Divide Colorado that is. It was not in season though!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Monster.jpg (226.4 KB, 12 views)

"If Ands and Buts were Candy and Nuts, everyday would be like Christmas"

Last edited by WildBill45; June 29, 2011 at 03:21 PM. Reason: ADD PHOTO
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