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#5404325 - 11/06/14 10:53 PM Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question...
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
So I have a Hill Country Rifles Harvester in .270 that I bought last year. I worked up what I thought was a good load for the rifle (still new to reloading) and at first got some groups that were about 3/4 MOA last week with an average just under 1 MOA with 3 shot groups (that was the day I tried to validate the hand load). I was happy enough with a sub MOA ave for now. Today I took it out again to finish getting the scope sighted in and was only able to produce 1 sub MOA group with an ave around 1.25 MOA over a few groups. I had this rifle borescoped a couple days ago out of curiosity to check the barrel and to get an idea of how much copper fouling I had (been shooting barnes). He said that he didn't think there was enough copper fouling question to do a copper solvent clean yet. After seeing what I perceived to be a drop in accuracy today, i'm wondering if it's time to use some copper solvent, clean it down to bare metal, and then refoul it before hunting with it. These rifles are known for pretty outstanding Accuracy and I haven't seen that the last couple trips to the range. What do you guys think? Thanks.

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#5404493 - 11/07/14 06:03 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20319
Loc: Texas
Could be fouling, could be the shooter, I know some days I shoot better than others. When working up a load and some other trips to the range I take a rifle of known accuracy to me and shoot a group with it telling me how I am doing that day.

I have seen some guns especially with copper bullets degrade in accuracy in 30 rounds or less.
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#5404561 - 11/07/14 07:18 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: kmon1]
rockinrdranch Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 167
I never thought of taking a second rifle, good idea

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#5404575 - 11/07/14 07:25 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
TCB Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 1560
Loc: Denton, TX
I always take a 2nd rifle, if for no other reason than to let the one your focused on to cool down. I'm heading to the range this morning to sight in my son's 7mm/08 but I'm taking the AR to play with in between.
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#5404624 - 11/07/14 07:57 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Read this thread and my posts here. Matt and crew make a great rifle.

http://www.texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5394935
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#5404675 - 11/07/14 08:27 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ChadTRG42]
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
Yup. Your post in my other thread is why I'm considering fouling to be the problem. Only reason I wasn't sure is that when we bore scoped it there wasn't much fouling according to my friend.

Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Read this thread and my posts here. Matt and crew make a great rifle.

http://www.texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5394935


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#5404688 - 11/07/14 08:30 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I've learned over time to not trust a bore scope. I like using them for confirming a barrel is worn out with seeing the massive pits and extreme fire cracking. BTW- fire cracking is common on barrels. I've seen people or smiths say a barrel was toast because they see fire cracking. Not true.
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#5404731 - 11/07/14 08:44 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
How many foulers should it take before the gun settles in?

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#5404741 - 11/07/14 08:47 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Depends on the barrel. My 260 needed 2-3. My 300 WM needed 5-7.
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#5404794 - 11/07/14 09:07 AM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
Ok sounds good. I won't expect it to settle in until after 6 rounds. I'm gonna go ahead and do the same thing to my 300wsm which I think needs it as well after this conversation. Thanks for all the help. I'll let you guys know how they shoot after a good copper removal.

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#5409250 - 11/09/14 07:00 PM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
Ok so here's the update from today's range trip...

I took it out with the bullets I loaded for it. The wind wasn't exactly great as it was probably averaging around 10-15 mph with some higher gusts. I didn't shoot past 100yds because of this. I shot 5 rounds that were intended as foulers...the first hit high and then the next 4 fell into a .73 MOA group which surprised me. I didn't think it would be that consistent on shots 2-5 after cleaning all the copper fouling out of the barrel. I then shot 5 more 3 shot groups. The sizes of the groups were as follows in this order... .64, .94, 1.5, .94, 1 MOA. I know this may be tough to determine with the wind the way it was today but do you guys think it's already fouled enough to clean again before confirming zero and hunting or would you wait for a calm day to go shoot a group or 2 to see how it does on that day? The load I'm shooting is 55gr of IMR 4350 and a 130gr barnes TSX. All but the last 2 groups were shot from the cheaper Caldwell sandbags and the last 2 were shot from a lead sled.

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#5409280 - 11/09/14 07:17 PM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
The Lead Sled could have opened those groups.

Why do you want to clean it?
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#5409320 - 11/09/14 07:40 PM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
ltsheets Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 502
I don't really want to clean it. I've just been told by ChadTRG that those Barnes can foul a barrel to the point of lost accuracy very quickly. I'm just starting to learn how all that works. I would clean it again if I thought it was getting too fouled by copper and that's what was causing the groups to start to open up...or it could've just been the inconsistency due to the wind today. I don't know just how much that wind would've affected things at 100 yds.

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#5409401 - 11/09/14 08:11 PM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
charlesb Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
I've seen the wind really make a difference. Because of this, I try to shoot early in the morning when I can, even though it's pretty chilly in the mornings, this time of year. Most times, I get an hour or two of relative calm in the early morning. This tells me the most about what the gun is doing.

Shooting in windy conditions is good too, but what that tells you the most about is your ability to dope the wind. Once I know what the gun will do in a calm, then I'm ready to see what I can do with it under varying wind conditions.

I clean my guns until there's no evidence of carbon or copper between each shooting session. Some of them do better after the first five shot group, and some are OK right off the bat with a clean barrel. For a hunting rifle, I pay the most attention to what the first three shots out of a squeaky-clean (not oily) barrel will do.

One rifle that I used to treasure was a Browning A-Bolt in .300 Win mag that would consistently put the first three shots out of a cold, clean barrel into 1/2" at 100 yards, using Federal premium 180's. The rifle was utterly reliable in this respect for as long as I owned it. - So much so that I never bothered buying dies for it.

My feeling is that starting off with a clean gun will give you consistent results in the field. - You'll know what to expect for the first shot, and for the next two that hopefully won't have to follow.

Having the barrel in varying stages of being crudded-up would not engender confidence for me, I'd never know whether or not it just got a big blob of copper in there, etc..

A lot of shooters swear by keeping cleaning to a minimum, or by the practice of doing a few fouling shots through a clean barrel before a hunt. A lot of this is really about what gives you confidence, and I feel most confident with a clean barrel.

If you feel confident, you'll do a lot better than what you would do otherwise.



Edited by charlesb (11/09/14 08:16 PM)
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#5409456 - 11/09/14 08:30 PM Re: Hill Country Rifle Accuracy question... [Re: ltsheets]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Not much at 100. Sorry I missed that they were Barnes bullets. You need to take good notes. Where is P.O.I on shot 1 through 20, ect until you see accuracy really start to decline. Then I still wouldn't totally remove all fouling. Clean, shoot and take notes again. You'll most likely see a pattern and you'll know right where to clean in the round count.

I have no confidence in a perfectly clean barrel because none of mine have shown me that they are consistent until they get fouled.


Edited by FiremanJG (11/09/14 08:34 PM)
Edit Reason: added
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