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Old May 14, 2013, 07:02 AM   #1
fairview mick
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Weatherby Vanguard accuracy

I have a Weatherby Vanguard, .338 cal. It will shoot fairly tight groups, then send a flier, or two. Then it will not group tightly again. I've had the barrel professionally free floated, it has a great Swarovski z-3 and I use a lead sled from a bench. I had a Ruger 77, and using the same loads, it would group less than an inch consistantly. Any Ideas. And, ye, the barrel is pristine, no throat erosion and it's cleaned properly. I use Hornady 225 and 250 grain bullets, and various powders, trying to find the best load. Usually IMR 4831 and H 4350, not at max at any time.
Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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The barrel is NOT meant to be free floated on these rifles.

I have had many Vanguards including some S2s, stainless models, blued, 30'06 (x2), 270, 223, 300wm.

All shot WELL under sub-moa. I regularly use them at the 300 yard berm.

The rifle is designed to have a pressure point. I have heard that free floating only hurts accuracy.

These are some of the most accurate rifles I've ever fired, and I've fired a lot.

I don't know what to tell you except maybe to buy a replacement stock and return it to factory condition to see how it does.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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I've had excellent results with every Vanguard I've ever shot or worked up a load for, but found they DID like to be free floated. I might suggest you look at how well the recoil lug is bedded and perhaps try shooting off of bags. Some rifles are also sensitive to where or how they are held.

I also saw (using lead free bullets) that they seemed to benefit from loading at the hotter end but that could simply be the projectiles I was using. Maybe a slower powder like RL22 or H1000.

Really; they are great shooters.
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Old May 14, 2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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Weatherby fan, my Vanguard is floated and there is no problem with flyers.. You heard free-floating hurts accuracy? No sir it increases accuracy, one caveat, it has to be done correctly.. some rifles do not respond well to floating but overall the floated barrel has proven to repeat its harmonic vibrations more repeatitive than unfloated barrels, like I said over 8 out of 10 rifles will shoot with more repeatabilty and precision when they have been floated....
To the OP, might try a better copper fouling remover... Bore Tech Eliminator.
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Old May 14, 2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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I might be reading to much into your post but the gun shoots good for a few shots when starting with a cold clean barrel then starts throwing flyers, and you have done this on multiple range trips? If this is the case have you tried to let the barrel cool completely and tried shooting again before cleaning? I'd do this to try and see if this is a barrel heat issue or a barrel fouling issue. If none of this helped I would look for a bedding problem as stated above.
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Old May 14, 2013, 06:02 PM   #6
fairview mick
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Weatherby

Thanks for all the help.
Mickey
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Old May 14, 2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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my 300 wby mag vanguard(first gen) is sub MOA but only cold bore. the difference between a first shot and quick followup shot is nearly 2 inches vertical string but if you take a shot, let the barrel cool for a while take another shot and let it cool again your groups are less than an inch. the cold bore shots always hit 2 inches high at 100 yards and hot bore always hit dead center. I don't understand it but I think that the barrels on vanguards are just not heavy enough to accommodate the great amount of heat generated by the larger magnum cartridges. they just get too hot, too fast and the groups open up.
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Old May 14, 2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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It's extremely rare for a barrel to not shoot better when free floated. Especially with standard weight or heavy barrels. Sometimes a thin Mt rifle contour barrel shoots better with a pressure point, but not always with them. I've owned Vanguards in the past, they all shot better floated.

How far are the flyers from the rest of the group? Some rifles just shoot worse after they heat up. If it puts the 1st 2 where I want them, and #3 isn't too far off it wouldn't be a concern to me.
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Old May 14, 2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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I have a Howa 1500 (essentially the same rifle as the vanguard) in .25-06. I floated my barrel as well. I shoot some pretty warm loads in it and the barrel heats up FAST. If I shoot 3 shots in a row without letting the barrel cool, the third shot usually flies about an inch and a half high. If i let it cool between shots I get 1/2-3/4 MOA groups. So before you change anything, you might try letting the barrel cool completely after each shot. I usually open the bolt and lean the rifle up against my bench with the muzzle pointing straight up, to let the heat rise out of it and let the barrel act as a "stovepipe". I'm not sure if its all in my head or not but it seems like that helps it cool faster. Not saying that barrel heat is your problem for sure, but its something that can be easily checked.
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Old May 15, 2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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You heard free-floating hurts accuracy? No sir it increases accuracy
Myth.

A properly bedded action and barrel can be just as accurate as a free floated one. Neither method is more accurate than the other, inherently. It all comes down to the quality of work for each.

All of my vanguards have the factory pressure point and all will shoot sub MOA. hell, some of them shoot less than an inch at 300 yards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a pressure point.

Free floated barrels started as a manufacturing shortcut to get good accuracy without having to worry about properly bedding your rifle. Free floating does NOT give better accuracy than a properly bedded barrel.

It's become quite the commonly accepted myth...
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Old May 15, 2013, 08:39 AM   #11
Bart B.
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Weatherby Fan,

Check post #6 and #9 in the following:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524399

There's two reasons why a rifle will start walking point of impact as the barrel heats up. Neither has anything to do with how stiff, thick or length a barrel has.

* The barrel bears hard at only one point around the receiver face; the face ain't square with the barrel tenon thread axis. As the metals expand from heating up, more pressure on the barrel's at that point. That causes the barrel to whip more in that axis when the bullet's going through it and the bullet exits a bit off the direction needed to strike point of aim.

* Poor heat treating or metalurgy in the barrel causes it to bend as it heats up.

Well made barrels fit properly to receivers never change point of impact even after firing 40 to 50 shots once every 20 seconds or so starting with a cold barrel. Too many well built match rifles have proved this.

If you think a barrel that touches the stock forend will not change point of impact for the bullets it shoots as different amounts of pressure from the way it's held transfers through the fore end to the barrel that changes the amount and direction it wiggles, you need to get in touch with some mechanical engineers specializing in vibration analysis whom you trust, then ask them to verify your reasoning.

Why do you think competitive rifle shooters producing the best results have their barrels totally free floating and touch nothing except the receiver?

There's a very easy way to see exactly how much that fore end pressure point bends the barrel pointing it different amounts and directions from the line of sight as the rifle's held differently when shooting it.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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I love my old .270 vanguard and have taken many deer with it. That said for tack driving groups i have to let the barrel cool between shots as others have stated.
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Old May 15, 2013, 01:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
You heard free-floating hurts accuracy? No sir it increases accuracy
Myth.

A properly bedded action and barrel can be just as accurate as a free floated one. Neither method is more accurate than the other, inherently. It all comes down to the quality of work for each.

All of my vanguards have the factory pressure point and all will shoot sub MOA. hell, some of them shoot less than an inch at 300 yards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a pressure point.

Free floated barrels started as a manufacturing shortcut to get good accuracy without having to worry about properly bedding your rifle. Free floating does NOT give better accuracy than a properly bedded barrel.

It's become quite the commonly accepted myth...
That's interesting, because I'd say that pressure points are a crutch to cover up poor bedding. Individual rifles may vary, but a properly bedded action and a free floated barrel are the most likely way to get good accuracy.

I'd suggest that you attend a benchrest competition and count the number of rifles that DON'T have free floated barrels.
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Old May 15, 2013, 01:15 PM   #14
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As long as the pressure point is consistent and rigid, there will be no affect on accuracy whatsoever.

Hell, I've fired rifles with barrel bands that shot consistently under 1 MOA. Well under, in fact.

Whether the pressure point is at the receiver as in a free floated barrel or at the end of the stock as in one with a pressure point there, it makes no difference. The key, is the quality, strength, and consistency of the pressure point.

Further, a quality stock will not flex at all depending on where or how it is held.
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Old May 15, 2013, 01:19 PM   #15
Bart B.
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As long as the pressure point is consistent and rigid, there will be no affect on accuracy whatsoever.

Hell, I've fired rifles with barrel bands that shot consistently under 1 MOA. Well under, in fact.

Whether the pressure point is at the receiver as in a free floated barrel or at the end of the stock as in one with a pressure point there, it makes no difference. The key, is the quality, strength, and consistency of the pressure point.

Further, a quality stock will not flex at all depending on where or how it is held.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing. This video must therefore be a fake:

http://www.varmintal.com/amode.htm
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Old May 15, 2013, 02:14 PM   #16
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Weatherby fan are saying the stock on a factory Vanguard is high quality?? I worked mine over a little, now it consistantly shoots well with Five different loads, and I'm currently working on #6 for this rifle.
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Old May 15, 2013, 02:55 PM   #17
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I love my 243 weatherby. With 100 grain factory ammo, it makes a 1 inch ragged hole at 100 yards. But it is what it is... an affordable hunting rifle that is accurate enough that it can serve double duty as a varmint rifle.... but it aint no target rifle.

-- Weatherby Fan: Generally, when Bart B. (or Kraig Stuart) shares his thoughts on rifle shooting, I try to listen, rather than argue.... even if what he is saying seems counter-intuitive or contradicts what I believe. I have learned a lot of very useful information from Bart and Kraig by just reading threads like this one.
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Old May 15, 2013, 04:32 PM   #18
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Experience is the best teacher and my experience says that a well done pressure pointed barrel will shoot every bit as well as a free floated one.

Is 1" at 300 yards not accurate enough?!
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Old May 16, 2013, 06:36 AM   #19
natman
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As long as the pressure point is consistent and rigid, there will be no affect on accuracy whatsoever.

Hell, I've fired rifles with barrel bands that shot consistently under 1 MOA. Well under, in fact.

Whether the pressure point is at the receiver as in a free floated barrel or at the end of the stock as in one with a pressure point there, it makes no difference. The key, is the quality, strength, and consistency of the pressure point.

Further, a quality stock will not flex at all depending on where or how it is held
I'm hearing a lot of "because I say so" and "a pressure point is just as good" and not a lot of reasoned explanation or any shred of evidence why a pressure point is better.

The fact remains nobody has used a barrel band in benchrest for the last half century or so, more or less since the invention of epoxy bedding. Perhaps a "quality stock" won't flex depending on how you HOLD it, but the subject of the discussion is the Weatherby Vanguard and I'll bet the stock on one of them will flex some if you use a shooting sling.
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Old May 16, 2013, 08:18 AM   #20
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Experience is the best teacher
One of my pet peeves, so you will excuse me if I am a bit argumentative. When one of my young engineers says this to me I always correct them.... Experience is the WORST teacher. It is far better to learn from someone elses experience than to go through all the effort and pain of learning yourself.

Imagine if humans were not capable of observing others and learning from their mistakes. We would all still be living in caves, rubbing sticks together to make fire, and making primative tools from stone.
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Old May 16, 2013, 09:41 AM   #21
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Wby Fan, yes, 1" at 300 yards is accurate enough; if that's the worst it does with at least 10 shots in it. If it's only what happens some (or only the smallest percentage) of the time and with less than 5 shots, the real accuracy one can count on all the time is larger. How much larger is often hard to find out.

btmj, I agree with your "experience" issues. I'll take good reasoning, skill and knowledge over experience anytime. Some people's experiences have all been pretty bad.

natman, note that Winchester had a barrel band of their Model 52C and earlier rimfire match rifles claimed to improve accuracy. It was not used on their 52D.

For the same reason, Remington took the two bedding screws in their 40X match rifles out as their claim that setting them to some pressure level on the barrel at the fore end tip would make the rifle shoot more accurate. To many good shots tried them finally removing them completely and left the barrel totally free floating.
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Old May 16, 2013, 10:01 AM   #22
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btmj,
In a perfect world, of course you are correct... But, I will not remember this post in a year.
I will always remember the electric outlet I stuck the Bobby-pin into.. I would argue that
The psychological effect is in fact a better teacher. Then again, There are Shop Teachers missing More than one finger.

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Old May 17, 2013, 01:44 AM   #23
natman
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natman, note that Winchester had a barrel band of their Model 52C and earlier rimfire match rifles claimed to improve accuracy. It was not used on their 52D.
I'm aware of that. (I own a 52C ). Note that Winchester dropped the barrel band with the introduction of the 52D in 1961, 52 years ago. Hence the statement:

Quote:
The fact remains nobody has used a barrel band in benchrest for the last half century or so
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