The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 20, 2012, 12:21 AM   #1
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
Do Swarovski scopes ever go bad?

I have a new Weatherby Accumark .300 Win Mag that I moved a Swarovski 3-12 from my .257 Weatherby to. The gun is not shooting worth a flip (8" groups). I've broken in the barrel using Weatherby's recommended method. I'm shooting reloads with new Norma brass and Berger bullets (several weights). Powder is weighed on an electronic scale. Shooting is from a bench rest. I'm pretty experienced.

Can it be the scope? It worked fine on the .257. I can't believe a new Weatherby barrel could be this bad

It would be a pain to change out scopes at this point but I will if necessary.
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 12:38 AM   #2
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,427
I don't know the name of these contraptions, but perhaps it would help.

Rather than changing and re-zeroing another scope on a rifle where a dodgy barrel could be one of the contributors (making even the re-zero process suspect in reliability), why not put the rifle into one of those bench rifle-vice thingies, that essentially support and immobilise the rifle over a suquence of shots?

That way, regardless what the scope is doing, you'd know that the barrel is pointing at the exact same spot.
Groups would then show if the rifle is holding a good degree of accuracy.

You could also have a peek through the scope between shots and see if the reticle is moving about in any discernible way.

A possible solution?
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 12:45 AM   #3
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
It would be if I had one. It would take a pretty substantial device to hold this gun rigid enough...
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 12:50 AM   #4
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,427
I'm trying to think of a way where you can examine the barrel's performance and the scopes independently. The vice could allow you to do that, without seperating the two.

Are there no ranges, gunshops, or smiths that could rent one to you or better still, lend?

Alternatively, you could put the scope on another gun and see how it performs there.

What about the ammo?
Reloads gone a bit wrong or a bad batch of factory?

The only other variable is the shooter!! Now, if it were my gun, I think I'd know where the 8" groups are coming from, but then I'm a rifle noob....

BTW 8" at what distance?
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 01:13 AM   #5
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
Sorry. 100 yards. Using H1000 powder. Not likely to be that. The scope did work fine on my .257; same shooter, by the way

I'm sure it's the barrel. I'll call Weatherby on Monday.

I did notice a few rounds for which the bolt had a hard time closing. I noticed that during barrel break-in for which I used some old Federal brass and assorted bullets. That's why I loaded up a new batch using new brass...
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 01:27 AM   #6
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,427
Quote:
The scope did work fine on my .257; same shooter, by the way
I never really expected your shooting to contribute to the problem; at most only a bit of "new gun" variation, but I had to at least mention shooter input in the interests of scientific thoroughness!!

Quote:
I'm sure it's the barrel. I'll call Weatherby on Monday.
On the one hand it's a shame: few things more frustrating than buying something and having the new gun feeling trashed by an out-of-the-box problem.

On the plus side, between the scope and barrel, at least the barrel is the part most likely to be fixed for free, without any hassles/arguements
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 03:41 AM   #7
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
I just realized my H1000 powder may be as old as 10 years. It has been stored in a humidity-controlled gun safe.

Is it possible for powder this old to give erratic performance? What is the storage life of this powder?
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 04:31 AM   #8
bacardisteve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2006
Location: maryland
Posts: 371
Modern smokeless powder if stored properly can last for a very long time. Look at all the people shooting old 30-06 surplus from the 60s and still getting decent accuracy. Just to eliminate some variables I would grab a box of factory ammo and try that. What did the factory test fire target look like?
__________________
Kill em all and let God sort em out! USAF
bacardisteve is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 05:34 AM   #9
Rembrandt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2002
Posts: 1,845
Quote:
Do Swarovski scopes ever go bad?
Yes, they are a mechanical instrument that can fail....had a Swarovski scope that needed sent in and redone, wouldn't zero consistently, came back like new. Have also had 10X42 Swarovski binocs repaired. They're service is some of the best.
Rembrandt is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 09:38 AM   #10
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
The factory ammo used for the break-in (Federal Fusion) fared no better but I was not so concerned as I wasn't taking great care ( it was just the barrel break-in)...

I'm going to put this scope back on my .257 for a re-test. I think I re-tore my right rotator cuff yesterday so that re-test may be out there a ways...
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 09:54 AM   #11
geetarman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,683
It might not be the scope at all. Did you follow the Berger guide on seating depth?

When I started loading for .308, I got a load of Berger bullets and found a popular load and loaded 10 in the lands, 10 more -.02 off the lands , 10 at -.04. and kept doing that until I had had some all the way out to -.12 off the lands.

You would be AMAZED at the groupings. I could see the groups diverge and come together and then diverge again.

Once I got to that sweet spot, I started varying the powder charge.

What I found was the sweet spot on my rifle was at -.065 off the lands.

I would look for something similar in your rifle. I am betting you have not found that spot yet.
__________________
Geetarman

Carpe Cerveza
geetarman is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 10:16 AM   #12
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
Quote:
I would look for something similar in your rifle.
That's a very interesting idea. I've read the Berger process and experimented with it a bit but the magazine in my Weatherby only allows me to lengthen my cartridge length by about 0.18" and that's not enough for the bullet to reach the lands (at least, the bullet doesn't stick). At the end, I've tried two lengths and neither change the almost random look of my targets.

I understand the accuracy of Berger bullets can be affected by cartridge length but can it change groups from 1 MOA to 8 MOA? I doubt that.

Is it possible Berger bullets are just inherently a bad fit for my Weatherby? The two sizes of Bergers I have recommend barrel twists of 1/12", 1/13" or faster. My barrel is 1/10".

I could get some Nosler Accubonds (with which I have experience) and try them but I really can't get my head around the idea that bullet design could cause such poor performance.
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 03:52 PM   #13
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,111
I had a decent scope go bad on me last year (wasn't a Swaro), and it went bad slowly. My groups started opening up, even with loads that had worked nicely in that rifle. It was a relatively new rifle, and I somehow ignored the fact that it had been shooting quite well with certain loads, so I started trying to develop new loads. That didn't work too well, but I just kept loading and shooting. I burned up a lot of several powders and boxes of bullets and primers, and vast quantities of bore cleaner and patches and I got nowhere. I would not even consider that the scope could be bad. I switched out the stock and that didn't help. Then one day I had to just see if maybe the scope was bad, so I swapped it out with an old Bushnell I had that I knew was still good. The rifle, with several loads started shooting great. Geez...the scope was bad. Bottom line...just go ahead and swap out the scope and you can eliminate one significant variable (or solve your problem). Don't be like me and not want to swap them out because it's a lot of trouble and a pain in the tail. Just do it.
603Country is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 05:35 PM   #14
Clifford L. Hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Southern Californis
Posts: 795
Flchinook:

Put the scope bacl on your 257 an see if it still groups accurtely. If so you can blame the rifle.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired
Clifford L. Hughes is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 11:18 PM   #15
bshefa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 151
The repair department has one of my Swarovskis now. The recticle canted compared to the scope a week ago after only 40-50 rounds. It wasn't the mounts or the gun either. Customer service has been helpful so far.
bshefa is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 11:34 PM   #16
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
I moved my S back to my 257 today and prepared a new batch of rounds using Barnes TSXs. I may be able to report the results Monday night...
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 03:47 PM   #17
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
Oh no, it is the Swarovski

Here's the test target:

Swarovski Test.jpeg

The good news is Swarovski will fix it for free; the bad news is it will take 6-8 weeks!!!

I need to buy another scope tonight... anyone have a suggestion as to what and where???
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 04:40 PM   #18
Clifford L. Hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Southern Californis
Posts: 795
Buy a Leoupold and put your head aches behind you.


Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired
Clifford L. Hughes is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 04:44 PM   #19
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
Quote:
Buy a Leoupold and put your head aches behind you.
Probably good advise. I've never been under the gun to make a decision so quickly. A quick scan of reports shows about an equal number of devotees for Leupold, Nikon and Zeiss.

Where is the best place to place an order today??
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 06:12 PM   #20
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 964
one thing for sure if a leupold goes bad(not many do),they will fix it free of charge and have it back in under a month. i had one that was abused and it was fixed and sent back in 17 days. eastbank. ps,any good sporting goods store can fix you up with one.
eastbank is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 10:43 PM   #21
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
To close this out; I learned from my call to Swarvoski that they provide an unlimited number of free "tune-ups" for their scopes. All you have to do is pay postage and insurance to ship it back. When I asked about mine, the agent expressed surprise that my scope, manufactured in 2001, had not been back for a tune-up ever. She said that a few of their customers actually send their scopes back after every hunting season "and then put them back in their safes until the next year."

She said the springs in my scope were weaker than the ones they use now and that any scope coming back for a tune-up automatically had the springs updated. That almost certainly was my problem. I only wish they would have sent me a recall email...

With this little hick-up aside, I still think Swarvoski is the best scope out there if price is no object.

When I do get my restored scope back, I'll put it back on my 300 Win Mag, resurrect this thread from the archives, and give a final report on how the gun shoots.
FLChinook is offline  
Old October 24, 2012, 01:34 AM   #22
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,427
Did you still buy that Nikon (IIRR)? Or are you just going to wait?
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old October 24, 2012, 10:57 AM   #23
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 318
I ordered a Zeiss 4.5-14 x 50 with #4 reticle.
FLChinook is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11903 seconds with 10 queries