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Old October 5, 2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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1st shot, cold fouled barrel, 3 inch high

I normally clean my rifle (marlin xl7, 30/06) after every range session. Thought I would try the "shoot till groups start to open" method and kept the barrel dirty between sessions. On the second and third session(different day), the first shot would be 3 inches high from aim point, but all follow on shots are near point of aim. About 40 rounds per session. Thoughts?
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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So you're saying you have gone 120 shots without cleaning? If that's the case then you need to go back to cleaning more often. I run a few patches through every 15 rounds or so. All of my guns lose accuracy within 20 shots or so except my .22lrs.
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Old October 5, 2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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Most rifles will shoot to a diffrent POI with a cold bore. 3" is a bit much and it could be simple as using diffrent ammo to bring that down some. Still if this is a hunting rifle just sight it in dead center at 100yd and your cold bore shot will be close to center at 200yds the deer will never know.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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I take a couple "fouling shots" (clean barrel) before shooting. Cold barrel or warm barrel doesn't matter (my rifles are free floated). And the fouling shots aren't much off the others.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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Every rifle I own shoots differently cold bore clean or dirty. The majority are free floated. My M40, my SPS, my .338LM ,even my competition rifle (6.5) will vary 1" or so from a cold bore shot. That is normal. I am one of those that will not remove copper fouling until it starts to affect the POI. I do like others have said, run a patch or two down to get rid of residue and powder. It usually takes a few hundred (400 or more) shots before the copper affects it. After cleaning it takes my rifles a few shots(8-12) to settle back into their groove.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:01 AM   #6
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I've seen rifles throw a cold,clean bore shot that far out but none of my current hunting rifles throw a cold, fouled bore short more than 1" out of a 3 shot group. I sight my rifles in and drag a bore snake through them. Next day, I fire 1-2 shots and drag the snake again. After 3-4 days, I know exactly where shot 1 & 2 POI's are going to be in relation to POA. Since we have unlimited antlerless tags here, I may fire 1-2 shots several times throughout the day.
During hunting season, unless there's a big problem, the only thing I do to the rifle(s) is wipe the outside and drag a snake in case I'm out in the rain/snow. If a major problem arises, I just put that rifle aside until time allows a resighting and shoot a different rifle.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:23 AM   #7
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The thing that's different about Marlins is the quality of Barrel that you get from them...which is to say Higher than Average!!

The X-7 series is Button-rifled...something you used to only see on much more expensive rifles...
which in Marlin's case gives you a better barrel for low cost

Add to that the facts that the X-7 is pillar-bedded from the factory, fluted bolt, adjustable target trigger, and NICE recoil pad...
which equals one heck of an inexpensive rifle that is Sub-MOA from the box if the shooter can do their part!!!

The predecessor to the X-7 line was the MR-7...which is a freakishly phenominally precise rifle...
they learned from their experience with the MR-7 and created the X-7 seres to do something simple...
be less expensive, yet more precise than the Savage Axis & Remington 700 offerings...which they did.

Once you've shot an X-7 with a good scope on it, you'll never go back to a Remmy 700.
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Old October 6, 2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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You can have highly accurate barrels that have been cut-rifled, those that have been button rifled, and those that have been hammer-forged.

All depends on the quality of the manufacturing process, and whether the stress in the barrel steel is properly relieved.

This discussion is like barrel cleaning... none of them definitively results in a more accurate barrel.

Try telling Sako that hammer-forging can't produce a highly accurate barrel...
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Old October 6, 2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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Cleaning every 15 shots or so is way too often. I usually go 200-300 before I see any accuracy issues. I need 10-15 shots just to get the accuracy back after a cleaning.

A fouled barrel should be more accurate. A 1st shot from a cold fouled barrel that far off sounds more like a bedding issue. I've never had a rifle throw the 1st shot off. Some with thin barrels like a Remington Mt rifle will start to have larger groups with 5 or more shots, but will always put the 1st 3 into nice small groups.
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Old October 6, 2012, 03:00 PM   #10
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Thanks all for your replies.

FiveinDime: Yes, currently 120 shots without cleaning.

Interlock: I do pause at least 5 min between every 5 rounds.

JMR40: If it is a bedding issue, wouldn't it affect shots 2-40 randomly?

Mobuck: On the third session, I did drag a snake through the barrel before the first shot but the result was the same, 3 inches high.

Is there that much of a difference in barrel temperature after only 1 shot? That's what got me so confused. I can't feel any changes in temperature by feeling the outside of the barrel. Shots 4 and 5, I can definitely feel the heat. But those shots are within 1.5" of POA.

What is it after the 1st shot that "settles" so all subsequent shots are within intended POI?
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:43 PM   #11
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It's really a good idea to remove the residue often. This powder residue will "iron" into a compound harder than the steel if forms on, that is not removable without ruining the barrel. Furthermore,where I hunt firing a fowling shot will do in the hunting for the day by chasing deer miles away. If the bore isn't cleaned, rust will set in in short order. It's your call.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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Button-rifled...something you used to only see on much more expensive rifles...
Not trying to jack the thread--but I believe that you are in error.

Button rifling is the fastest and cheapest method of rifling a barrel. A carbide steel button with the reverse impression of the rifling is pushed through the barrel blank. The rifling is actually swaged into the barrel steel.

It is economical and there are lots of accurate barrels that are button rifled. Unfortunately, if the barrel is not stress relieved after rifling, it can have a big impact on accuracy.

The most expensive--and best--way to produce a good accurate barrel is by the single-point cut rifling method. A cutter is pulled through the barrel, and it cuts one groove at a time. This eliminates barrel stress. The barrels produced by this method are the ones you see on rifles where the shooters demand extreme accuracy. Three examples of cut rifled barrels that have won numerous awards for accuracy are Kreiger, Bartlein and Obermayer.

If your rifle throws shots out of a group when it's dirty, then clean that bore. The most important shot from any rifle is the first shot. You should zero your rifle and then take note of the first shot from a cold, clean bore.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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I know the 722, 788, and the 700 are all button rifled, and are well known for being tack drivers.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Just what is considered accurate?

One inch at a hundred yards or a five shot group under 2 times caliber?

I know folks who consider soup can at 25 feet as being accurate.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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Just what is considered accurate?
Well, when I say accurate for the rifles I mentioned, I mean 1/2" inch groups at 100 yards. Not a soup can at 25. For a sporter barreled rifle that's accurate in my book.
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