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Mar 25th, 2012
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Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... #7195839
06/12/18 06:13 PM
06/12/18 06:13 PM
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Lewisville, TX
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I've recently had a few, what I call, "problem rifles", come to me for load work ups. Some were factory rifles and some were full customs that the customer said shot bad or "were all over the place." But I see the same issues on a lot of rifles. Sure, there are some exceptions to the rules, but these items will cover most of the issues I see.

1- free floated barrel. Precision bolt rifles shoot best, and the most consistent, with a free floated barrel. A lot of your rifles that "walk" around or shoot stringing groups do not have free floated barrels. The stock will make contact and cause a pressure point once the barrel heats up. The more it heats up, the more it walks around.

2- free floated bolt. I have seen many rifles where when you close the bolt, the bolt makes contact on the stock. The bolt now has a pivot point or stress point during firing to cause consistency issues. I had a full custom come to me recently that had the barrel touching the stock and the bolt making hard contact with the stock once the bolt was closed. I free floated to barrel and shot again. Groups were poor and stringing shots. I inspected the rifle again and found the bolt making hard contact to the stock. I Dremelled out the contact area and re shot the rifle, and now we shot good! Groups were very tight and no stringing.

3- Good scope mounts. I've seen several recently where the mounts were poor, and had come loose. Some mounts will come loose more than others. But if you start getting bad accuracy all of a sudden, stop and go back to the basics and check your action screws, mounts, rings, and bases.

Check these items, and it will help you gain more consistency and help with your accuracy.



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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7195889
06/12/18 07:15 PM
06/12/18 07:15 PM
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Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Dalee7892] #7195899
06/12/18 07:26 PM
06/12/18 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dalee7892
Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.


That won't work these days, ya gotta use a twenty. Inflation, ya know.




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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: RiverRider] #7195925
06/12/18 07:54 PM
06/12/18 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Originally Posted By: Dalee7892
Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.


That won't work these days, ya gotta use a twenty. Inflation, ya know.


Actually that was last month...Beretta Corp recently said a $50 is all that is accurate now grin


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Judd] #7195986
06/12/18 09:30 PM
06/12/18 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Judd
Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Originally Posted By: Dalee7892
Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.


That won't work these days, ya gotta use a twenty. Inflation, ya know.


Actually that was last month...Beretta Corp recently said a $50 is all that is accurate now grin
I used the dollar (or twenty or hundred) method for years, but recently I've seen two different rifles where a single thickness wasn't enough clearance. Not sure if the newer bills are thinner or what, but now I've started using two bills when I check for barrel clearance.


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7195993
06/12/18 09:42 PM
06/12/18 09:42 PM
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Man I thought he was going to say the shooter...


Glad to know itís not me causing the issues!

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Texan Til I Die] #7196005
06/12/18 09:55 PM
06/12/18 09:55 PM
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Greenville, TX
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Originally Posted By: Texan Til I Die
Originally Posted By: Judd
Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Originally Posted By: Dalee7892
Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.


That won't work these days, ya gotta use a twenty. Inflation, ya know.


Actually that was last month...Beretta Corp recently said a $50 is all that is accurate now grin
I used the dollar (or twenty or hundred) method for years, but recently I've seen two different rifles where a single thickness wasn't enough clearance. Not sure if the newer bills are thinner or what, but now I've started using two bills when I check for barrel clearance.


It depends on the stock too. Some stocks flex so much that you can slide a dollar cleanly to the action, but as soon as you load the bipod, the stock flexes and touches the barrel. I make sure mine are floated by a wide margin now.


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Texan Til I Die] #7196026
06/12/18 10:34 PM
06/12/18 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texan Til I Die
Originally Posted By: Judd
Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Originally Posted By: Dalee7892
Chad, back in the day to check clearance on rifle barrel use a dollar bill slide between barrel and stock. Is this good today? Just wondering.


That won't work these days, ya gotta use a twenty. Inflation, ya know.


Actually that was last month...Beretta Corp recently said a $50 is all that is accurate now grin
I used the dollar (or twenty or hundred) method for years, but recently I've seen two different rifles where a single thickness wasn't enough clearance. Not sure if the newer bills are thinner or what, but now I've started using two bills when I check for barrel clearance.


Counterfeit bills are not always he same thickness bolt

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7196193
06/13/18 01:08 AM
06/13/18 01:08 AM
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I really appreciate these random bits of knowledge. Iíve never heard of a free floated bolt, and Iíve never even thought about it. It makes sense, and now I have something else to consider when troubleshooting accuracy issues.


Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7196215
06/13/18 01:23 AM
06/13/18 01:23 AM
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Wolfe City, TX
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I use two thicknesses of emory cloth tip to recoil lug, in a shoe shine motion, to ensure there is plenty of clearance, on my rifles. If one is good, more is better.

Lately troubles from customer's rifles have been:

Cheap, poor ammo.
Spotless clean barrels.

I have begun a new policy. I will ask "I have a torque wrench, and every bit conceivable, would you like for me to check the torque on all the screws?" I can't recall anyone turning down the offer.

I have memories of action screws being, or coming loose, scope base, windage screws, and scope cap screws being loose. Any one, or a combination of more than one is nothing but trouble, and a waste of ammo.



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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Sneaky] #7196229
06/13/18 01:32 AM
06/13/18 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: Sneaky
I really appreciate these random bits of knowledge. Iíve never heard of a free floated bolt, and Iíve never even thought about it. It makes sense, and now I have something else to consider when troubleshooting accuracy issues.


+1

I am going to check and see if my bolt hits

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: Cleric] #7196309
06/13/18 03:25 AM
06/13/18 03:25 AM
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Cedar Park, TX
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
Originally Posted By: Sneaky
I really appreciate these random bits of knowledge. Iíve never heard of a free floated bolt, and Iíve never even thought about it. It makes sense, and now I have something else to consider when troubleshooting accuracy issues.


+1

I am going to check and see if my bolt hits


#metoo

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7196354
06/13/18 08:11 AM
06/13/18 08:11 AM
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Good info. I have a Sako that would cut the same hole at 100. It would be on every year with very little if any adjustment to point of aim. Last year I pulled it out to check and it was every where. Now I have other items to check. Never thought about the bolt. Thanks Chad.

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197243
06/14/18 03:55 AM
06/14/18 03:55 AM
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I think the biggest key to inaccurate rifles are the user behind them not knowing and using the basic fundamentals of marksmanship


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: SapperTitan] #7197553
06/14/18 04:10 PM
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Awesome info!

I Will add another I see.

Thats using too many or improperly torqued peel washers on muzzle devices.

While back we would chase our tails a couple times a year with weird groups after a cut, crown and thread.

All of those issues went away once the peel washers were removed, reduced in numbers or properly torqued (over torqued ones cause stuff to start misaligning).


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197610
06/14/18 05:01 PM
06/14/18 05:01 PM
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Peel washers? Like the thousandth inch kind of washers you use to time a brake?



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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197694
06/14/18 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Peel washers? Like the thousandth inch kind of washers you use to time a brake?


Yessir. People have issues when they use a huge stack to index the brake, have issues when barrel is too thin and they start peeling over the shoulder, and issues when people think they are crush washers and hammer them on.

I dislike them and just machine index most stuff so no washers are needed.


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197764
06/14/18 07:30 PM
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how much does this service cost - I'm currently dealing with this issue in a browning x bolt long range chambered in 26 nosler. It kind of likes factory 140 LR accubonds, will absolutely not shoot the 140 custom competition and so far has not liked a single hand load (140 bergers) my buddy has worked up. It's about to go in the trash roflmao

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197774
06/14/18 07:43 PM
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Well, your 26 nosler round is a VERY aggressive round. Yes, it can be a very finicky round to dial in. When I spoke to Nosler about the same issue you are seeing with the Berger 140's, they did not recommend this bullet either. I have had the best luck with your more basic bullet, like a 140 grain Accubond or SST for this round. The high BC, aggressive bullets are too aggressive in this round. Also, you can back the velocity down some to gain some accuracy. I backed the load down about 100-150 fps, and found much better accuracy. The 26 Nosler mixed with a factory rifle shooting an aggressive high BC bullet can be a challenge in that round.

Feel free to shoot me a PM or email if I can help you! Thanks!

Last edited by ChadTRG42; 06/14/18 07:43 PM.


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Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197853
06/14/18 09:09 PM
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Good stuff guys! Thank you.

Re: Things I've seen to cause accuracy issues..... [Re: ChadTRG42] #7198172
06/15/18 02:59 AM
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My most accurate rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 that has what I consider a variant of the free floated barrel. The barrel is free floated except for a single pressure point about two inches from the end of the forearm. You can slide a thin piece of paper between the barrel and stock anywhere along the length of the barrel until you reach what feels like a solid post that supports the barrel. The rifle has clearly outperformed (in terms of accuracy) my Winchester Model 70 and Browning A-bolt rifles and their free floated barrels.

Here's what Weatherby says about their design...

"We have found through our testing that barrels having a smaller outside diameter than our #3 contour require upward pressure to help stabilize the barrel for increased accuracy. Our free floated barrels have enough rigidity in the barrel for them to be free floated."

Now what's interesting about Weatherby's comment is that the full length, free floated barrel on my Model 70 has a noticeably smaller diameter than the Vanguard. This observation combined with Weatherby's findings seems to indicate that not all free floated barrels are created equal. Rather than just throwing a free floated barrel on the Vanguard, the folks at Weatherby went the extra mile to study its performance before adding the pressure point design to make it even more accurate. It's such outside-the-box thinking that often pays off.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 06/15/18 12:50 PM.

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