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Old October 11, 2021, 06:48 PM   #1
hounddawg
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Ever overlook the obvious?

put together a new rifle, Shilen barrel on a Bighorn action, KRG stock, and a Triggertech 2 stage trigger. Tried 3 different powders and 2 bullet weights and 200 rounds later it would still not group. Swapped out the barrel for a 6BR barrel that shoots sub MOA out to 850. Got 3 inch groups at 100 yards. Switched scopes, same issue. A guy at the club watching suggested I check the scope rail. Sure as heck 3 out of the 4 screws holding the rail to the receiver were loose as a goose, some blue locktite and 5 minutes with a torque screwdriver and sub .5 MOA groups returned.

That thuddding sound you hear is my boot kicking myself in the keister
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Old October 11, 2021, 08:16 PM   #2
Geezerbiker
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I suppose kicking yourself is better than banging your head against the wall...

Anyway as a former mechanic, my rule #1 was "always check the easy stuff first." That way you'll likely save yourself a lot of work...

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Old October 11, 2021, 10:32 PM   #3
stagpanther
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Um...like every day. Multiple times. Nobody ever told me getting old sucks when I was growing up. Good whiskey helps, though.

Sounds like a cool build. I might consider one of those "exotic" receivers with a machined-in rail, especially for quick swap-out barrels that don't require removing the rail on a receiver to get it torqued in a barrel wrench/vice.
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Old October 12, 2021, 04:37 AM   #4
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@Geezer - ego kicked in. Had to be the new barrel

I use home grown receiver wrench made from angle iron that attaches using the action screw holes so I don't remove the rail when swapping barrels. I have heard values for 30 - 70 ft pounds quoted for barrel nuts and go with the low value. Never had any issues and I burn out at least one barrel per year, sometimes two
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Old October 12, 2021, 06:20 AM   #5
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I've actually done that twice this year.
On the same rifle.

Then during one match, the director calls me over. Seems i adjusted my scope the wrong way. I was still shooting in my lane, just that i shot the lane number plate all to heck.

This just hasn't been a good year shooting matches.

Think i'm gonna head down stairs & double/triple check all my rifles for hunting season!
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Old October 12, 2021, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
Um...like every day. Multiple times. Nobody ever told me getting old sucks when I was growing up. Good whiskey helps, though.

Sounds like a cool build. I might consider one of those "exotic" receivers with a machined-in rail, especially for quick swap-out barrels that don't require removing the rail on a receiver to get it torqued in a barrel wrench/vice.
Only if that good whisky is Scotch, friend. Hahah. But yes I have learned from many an elder that the easy stuff is like a snake, don’t look and they’ll bite ya!!!

I have done a few repairs and got frustrated to no end that everything I did produced no fruit. Yet when I did the simplest of things, easy fix. Guess I got all new parts into a machine that might or might not have needed them anyways… But still. Easy stuff got me, too. So, OP, you are NOT alone…

Might have to go find some Scotch for after work today…. Mmmmm Auchentoshan, how I love a glass of thee.
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Old October 12, 2021, 06:50 AM   #7
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Might have to go find some Scotch for after work today…. Mmmmm Auchentoshan, how I love a glass of thee.
Bushmills red bush does it for me, straight up neat and down she goes smooth as silk.
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Last edited by stagpanther; October 12, 2021 at 06:59 AM.
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Old October 12, 2021, 07:52 AM   #8
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I am partial to Jameson or Beam myself. Anyway I think I have pulled about every error that can be done when it comes to competition. Cross shot, dialed the scope the wrong way etc. My best was when I took a .260 Rem rifle to the match with a box of 6.0 CM ammo
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Old October 12, 2021, 08:19 AM   #9
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A blessing

USAF basic training. Our one day on the rifle range, and yours truly failed to qualify with the M16.
The airman in the lane to my right got a medal tho.

Yup, tight lanes and I shot my neighbors target more than a couple times.

I joined open general and am 6' 1" and in good shape. I was destined for the security police, instead they made me a dental clinic troop, good gig. While I'm close to retirement now I'm thankful that I shot the wrong target for more than a couple rounds. I'm still a dental sales guy.

Turned out my worst score was really my best, in the big picture.
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Old October 12, 2021, 10:44 AM   #10
Jim Watson
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Anecdote alert:

A guy at the club watching suggested I check the scope rail. Sure as heck 3 out of the 4 screws holding the rail to the receiver were loose as a goose,

A shooter here, when asked if his scope base and mount screws were tight said "Sure they are, I shook the gun and they didn't rattle."
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Old October 12, 2021, 02:04 PM   #11
hounddawg
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heh he . That 4th screw was good and tight but what was happening was the recoil would cause the rail to pivot a few thousandths so shots would alternate up and down randomly. Horizontals were only 1/4 inch or so off from each other. I wish I had taken a pic of the target, it looked like little sets of eyes

Anyway just got back from the range with it, best shooting rifle I own now. I banged the 10 inch gong at 850 ten out of ten once I had zero. Alls well that ends well I suppose
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Old October 12, 2021, 03:35 PM   #12
stagpanther
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Alls well that ends well I suppose
Have faith--something else will go wrong soon enough. (a little dark humor)

I keep looking at that KRG system--I really like the ARCA system--something my MDT's lack.
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Last edited by stagpanther; October 12, 2021 at 05:01 PM.
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Old October 13, 2021, 03:18 PM   #13
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Swapped out scope and barrel before doing basic troubleshooting? Sheesh!
Quote:
Anyway as a former mechanic, my rule #1 was "always check the easy stuff first."
This.
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Old October 15, 2021, 11:36 AM   #14
Metal god
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Oh yes but not to the point of switching barrels , that's the last thing I'd do I think . I've had loose rings , mounts and action screws all causing grouping issues . The two times I was stumped for more then a few minutes/hours was when when I had loose action screws . Interestingly the rifle grouped fine with loose action screws ( 15lbs front -5lbs back ) the problem was that I'd get two separate groups in the same string .




The other time I was helping a friend sight in his 7.63x39 AR with cheap steel cased ammo and Aimpoint red-dot . So I knew I was not expecting anything special from the rifle but the optic was nice . First group left a bit - adjust , now to much right opps over adjusted . Ok adjust half way back left and now grouping even further right . This went on for a few groups ( up down , left right ) I was on the spotting scope and had not actually handled the rifle . I finally said NO there is something wrong here no rifle shoots that bad and inconsistent and went over to check it out . The red-dot was so loose it actually raddled on the rifle In my head I could not help but think how could anyone adjust a scope that is that loose and not notice . Tightened it down and wow nice little groups where he aimed was not far off lol .
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Old October 16, 2021, 11:05 AM   #15
hounddawg
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it was a brand new barrel, had a bad one do the exact same thing a few years back. Sent it back to Criterion, they swapped it out and problems were solved. It took me less than 30 min to pull both barrels and reset headspace asnd have both rifles range ready. Once on a bet I swapped a barrel at the range and had it shooting in less than 15 minutes once. It is not that big of a deal for actions that use a barrel nut

Best new is that the .308 is a shooter, had a .2 MOA 3 shot group yesterday doing load testing with magazine length COL. Going to retest that load Monday at 850

A bit long for the chassis with the muzzle brake but I can live with it
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Old October 16, 2021, 11:39 AM   #16
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I have on the past but I learned fast. First thing I do is lock tite and torque action bolts and optics when I get a new rifle.
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Old October 17, 2021, 11:17 AM   #17
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I fought a shifting zero issue on a Marlin XL7 for a few months.
It wasn't 'wandering' or jumping around. Just slowly shifting down.
Checked everything.
Tried everything.
Nothing helped.

Finally decided to bite the bullet and pull the optic and rings off to check the rail - which I knew *was* tight - and try a different scope.

That was when I made the discovery.
That factory Weaver style base was so soft that it was letting the rings slowly move forward, one recoil impulse at a time, while stripping the aluminum and deforming the rail. The damage wasn't apparent before, because it was hiding under the rings.

Warne steel bases fixed 'er right up.
(Also eliminated the dissimilar metal corrosion that was starting on the crap aluminum.)
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Old October 19, 2021, 05:28 AM   #18
stagpanther
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Quote:
Warne steel bases fixed 'er right up.
(Also eliminated the dissimilar metal corrosion that was starting on the crap aluminum.)
I agree--I always try to get Warne steel if at all possible.
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Old October 21, 2021, 01:37 PM   #19
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The light bulb just went on about something that happened recently that reminded me of this thread .

I'm looking to buy my buddy's Sig super target (45acp) . I had shot it before several times and liked it but never shot it to actually evaluate it , pretty much a mag here and there just to check it out . Couple weeks ago he offers to sell it so we go out to shoot it so I can give it a good testing .

So there I am not a great pistol shooter but I can hit what I'm aiming at and if I really try can shoots some ok groups from time to time . However I can't shoot a group with this $12/$1500 gun if My life depends on it , I mean half the time I can't even hit a 12x18" steel plate at 50 feet . I pull my cheep old XD45 compact out and hit the plate every time Hmm I shoot my $400 combat tupperware better then a hand fitted target pistol ? . I stop shooting and in my head I'm thinking no way I buy that gun .

Next time we go shooting he brings the sig and I ask to try it again . There I am again can't hit crap so we adjust the sights this time . Hey what do you know I can hit stuff but a mag or two later can't hit anything again . Adjust the sight again , bing bang badda-boom on target again yea ! Sure enough couple mags later can't hit anything again . Turns out the rear sight blade is drifting on recoil . When adjusting I noted how light the "clicks" were but figured high end gun hand fitted = high end clicks lol . We never could get the sight to stop moving on recoil so he sent it back to Sig and they had to replace the whole rear sight . My guess is If I had only checked the rear sight the first time out we wouldn't have wasted so much ammo that trip or the next trying to figure out why a target pistol can't hit the side of a mountain even if you tried haha .

In hind sight of course I should have checked the sights that first time out no gun shoots that bad We really should always check the obvious first haha .
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Last edited by Metal god; October 21, 2021 at 01:43 PM.
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Old October 21, 2021, 05:23 PM   #20
rickyrick
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Loose scope ring got me one time.
A rifle with good groups started opening up and got worse.
I don’t remember every wrong thing I checked, lol, but the cause of the issue was the back ring was loose on the receiver.
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