Best changes to help get consistent groups

Wodez

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
10
Hey from Australia

I’m after input on what is the best option to help get my groups more consistent.
Sometimes I shoot a 6shot group at .6 moa (on a good day) but 10 minutes later I shoot 3 outside that group in every direction making it a 1.8moa group.
Or on an average day I shoot 1.3 moa but 10 minutes later shoot .8
My 2 rifles are a sako 85 in 243w and sako a7 300wm that I both full length resize. Both only hunting rifles but I would like to get the best I can out of them, and eliminate those bad days/groups.
So without trying everything possible what would be most likely to help. Neck size? Bump shoulder? Volume sought brass or weight sought brass? Ect. What has made a big difference to you? And what hasn’t. Or could it just be inconsistencies in holding the rifle.
Thanks
 

Wrench

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
1,339
Location
WA
Have you had a chance to shoot it over a chronograph to see what your velocity spreads are like?

Is there ANY consistency to the way the group develops?

What scope?
 
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W

Wodez

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
10
Have you had a chance to shoot it over a chronograph to see what your velocity spreads are like?

Is there ANY consistency to the way the group develops?

What scope?
I don’t have a chronograph but should be able to get access to one.
Sometimes the group has the fliers In 1 general direction, but other times they are every direction. No obvious cold bore difference or anything like that I can think of.
Both rifles have a 3-15x42 zeiss conquest hd5
 

bwhntMT

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
173
Location
SLC Area Utah
Maybe you're already doing this, but when I got super detailed about weighing every powder charge and keeping them consistent to the tenth of a grain, my groups tightened up.

Maybe you've already done this too, but are you confident that your bullet, powder, primer combo is one that will shoot well? For me, the greatest variability came with the bullet choice. It took some experimenting to get the right combo and load that my gun shot well.

And finally, my groups are only as good as I am as a shooter. And sometimes that isn't all that good.
 

Wrench

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
1,339
Location
WA
Does your 300 have a brake? Light rifles will need a way to control the forend without influencing the barrel.

How many rounds down the 243?
 
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Wodez

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
10
Not sure if 10 minutes is enough but I only ever shoot 3 then let it cool for 10 minutes.

I try to be fussy with my powder weighing. But often my Lyman digital scales can drift. sometimes I re calibrate and re zero every 4 charges. I alway use a second different color pan with the correct weight and compare that with each weight trickled into another pan, checking each pan for same weight before throwing powder into case. Sometimes when it starts to change I just make it the same reading as the control pan.
I’m not overly confident with the powder bullet combo. But they have both shot ok most of the time, sometimes great and sometimes bad.
No brake on the 300, I would prefer not to go down that path.
Both rifles have had about 600 rounds at a guess.

another variable I guess is cleaning. But I normally only clean once a year which is about 100-200 rounds, which I have not done for a year. But I might give them a clean and start fresh
 

menhaden_man

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
499
Have a similar problem with my Model 70 in 7 mm mag... just ditched the old scope rings and was gonna swap the scope out (old school Vari X III) then thought I might as well have the gunsmith give it a look. He’s gonna get the barrel right and lighten the trigger to 3 lbs. I’ll report back but figure the shitty scope rings and heavy trigger are likely culprits.
 

rayporter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
2,013
Location
arkansas or ohio
i have bought 2 rifles that would not shoot inside a 5 to 6 in circle at a hundred and saved them by cleaning the barrel. one i had to soak the trigger in diesel for a week and take it apart to clean.

many shooters dont give them self credit and blame them selves for the rifles woes. if you have a good scope and shoot off of good sand bags [ real sand bags] and hang a ribbon that you can see in the scope so you actually know what the wind is doing-----it will be the rifle not you.
 
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Wodez

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
10
I think both rifles came bedded on aluminum blocks.

I use a Caldwell tack driver front bag and some other of the shelf rear bag.

The 243 has optilock rings so I think there should be no issues there. But the 300win mag has Burris signature zee rings. I was talked into them by a friend at the shop but I wasn’t overly confident with the single grub screws here and there on a 300wm. If this was the issue I would have thought I would be getting more than a 1moa problem. And the same thing is happening with my 243 with optilocks.

I was expecting someone to say it is normal, that not many over the counter set ups shoot under 0.5moa all day every day. I thought that perhaps everyone only talks about their good 0.5moa days and never talks about their flyers or there bad days or bad groups
 

Cahunter805

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Messages
1,063
How are you measuring OAL? I’ve found that seating depth can really help tighten things up. Use a comparator and measure off the Ogive.
 

Nealm66

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
58
Location
Western Washington
Well, it’s not out of the question at allto have an off the shelf rifle shoot .5 with handloads these days. Some even with handloads. Im bending on it being something that’s not you. Which could be many things. Your probably going to be the best bet at figuring it out. Maybe sorting the .5 brass from the other, make sure your finished bullets are very consistent. One thing I’ve determined is the better shot and knowledgeable a person becomes, the bigger his belly gets. Or at least out of shape.
 

Lvthntitall

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
51
I think it’s the cleaning, beings it is both rifles, I would shoot a 3 round group clean wait the 10 minutes, shoot again and see what happens. I clean every 5 or 10 round if I’m trying to shoot over 400 hundred yards. If nothing else it will start the process of eliminatio.
 

netman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
385
Location
Indiana
What about your shooting technique? Basic fundamentals of marksmanship?
I shoot a lot at my backyard range and when I’m not meticulous my groups show.
Just throwing out some thoughts.
 

tdhanses

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
2,222
You guys clean too much, I don’t touch it for hundreds of rounds.

I think you need a chrono to rule out large swings in velocity, you maybe got a group with a low ES then a group that was pretty drastic.

It’s hard to say overall but the chrono is where I’d start.
 

Huntin wv

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
185
Location
West Virginia
Neck sizing not full length can help. Consistent powder charges and seating depth. Checking ES with a chrono is a good idea. Cleaning routine and barrel cooling time can affect groups. Trigger pull weight and crispness, your shooting rest, shooting technique, and wind conditions are also important. I know that’s a lot, but just some ideas on things to look at.


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