What to do with inaccurate rifle

KenLee

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Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
63
Location
South Carolina
When I buy a rifle, I take it to the range and shoot it with decent factory ammo. If it doesn't show promise by shooting a respectable group for that cartridge and rifle, I sell it. Spending good money after bad is a hole I don't go down any more.
I try to keep Hornady Whitetail and Remington Corelocts in every popular caliber.
Not necessarily what I start with or hunt with, but if a rifle won't group either, it has issues.
 

hamilton1223

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
684
Location
Southern ID
does it have their terrible brake on it? have seen 2 that shot like shit and when that brake was removed they shot well with a bare muzzle and with an APA brake
I actually ran in to this with a christensen as well. Had a 300 WM that shot great and then randomly went to crap. Found a few baffles in the muzzle brake had actually broken. They sent me a new one and it immediately happened again. Said it was a bad batch of material they got. Worth checking.
 

mmac

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Joined
Mar 30, 2017
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334
Location
AZ
I would feel bad selling it to someone on a site like this, but not taking it to a retailer. I think you sign up for the risk buying something at one of those shops.
 

Mule3006Elk

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Jun 17, 2016
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ID
This may have been mentioned...but...if you have a buddy that shoots lights out, have them shoot the rifle with said ammo that you want to use. Not saying it's you but ya never know.

Makes sure everything is torqued properly with your torque wrench don't rely on the gunsmith. Even down to the rail. In other words, start over and torque everything yourself from the base up (rail, rings, action screws).

Barnes 200 grain, one shot, POI way off doesn't bother me, different bullet weight/speed/etc., it will have a different POI. If that were me one shot tells me nothing. Shot #2 and #3 may have same POI and group nicely. FWIW

Scope: I like to shoot one shot, move 6 MOA up then shoot, move 6 MOA right then shoot, move 6 MOA down then shoot, move 6 MOA left then shoot. If the scope/reticle/adjustments are up to spec, you should end up at your original zero.
 

jimh406

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Feb 6, 2022
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263
Location
Western MT
Barrel has ~ 200 rounds through It. NF NX8 2.5-20 with Seekins rings. Had the smith clean and remount everything.

I have a twin to this in 308 that shoots into 1/2 MOA. I have a 308 Fieldcraft that is similar. This is my only magnum but I don’t think I am doing anything drastically different, although it is possible.

Since it only has two hundred rounds through it, it might also not be broken in correctly. I think I'd clean it really well and follow the Christensen break in procedure, and see how it shoots.
 

hodgeman

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Mar 4, 2012
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Delta Junction, AK
Scrub it clean. Shoot with some cheap blue box Federals. See what happens.

If a rifle won't shoot those at least reasonably, it's likely not worth the trouble.

Up to you if you want to go for a barrel at that point.
 

Fjellvei

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Messages
21
I worked behind the counter of a big box sporting goods store thru college. Go in there and see what they will give you for it. Probably the same thing the fella before you did and you ended up with it. It happens buying used guns, I saw a lot of crap come thru that other employees gave way to much money for used to someone trying to unload it.

Big hint, go in the evenings when the young new employee is working the counter and go in knowing more than them about the gun. They will give you a better price than the vet employee that actually knows what he is looking for. Expect 50% of book value.

If the 50% of book value has you at more of a loss than a new barrel… get a new barrel.
^this. These rifles bounce around and the gen pop is satisfied with much lesser groupings so somebody may love it regardless. Went thru a similar experience and lost a lot of time fiddling with something I could not overcome. Happy I switched out when I did
 
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FOS373

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
137
Thanks for all the responses and feedback. Spoke to Christensen and it is going back to them. Hopefully they can get it close enough to respectful that I can either keep it or sell it in good conscience.

Now I‘ll just decide if I take my 30-06 Browning BAR II on a moose hunt or buy another rifle. FWIW, the Browning shot better than the Christensen with a variety of ammo
 

rkcdvm

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Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
131
Location
texas
If a good cleaning doesn’t fix the problem I would agree that re-torque everything. Check for contact on the barrel. Scope the throat and barrel.
I personally wouldn’t put much money into it because even Walmart rifle/scope specials shoot pretty well these days.
 

Megalodon

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
134
Are your shooting for group, switching ammo and jumping right into another group? Anytime I change ammo, I like to shoot 4-5 rounds before I try for a decent group. It can affect your accuracy.
How exactly is switching ammo supposed to affect a rifles accuracy?
 

Pickettpuncher

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Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
406
How exactly is switching ammo supposed to affect a rifles accuracy?
I don’t have a technical term, but just what I’ve personally experienced using multiple firearms and loads/components. Very rare to have the first 3-5 shots group as good as say shot 12-15. Same as cleaning a rifle, I don’t trust the first few shots and will shoot a few before I shoot for group. One of the worst rifles to change ammo in is a 22. Accuracy will suffer several shot before it comes around.
 

roosiebull

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Aug 23, 2014
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3,196
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oregon coast
Scrub it clean. Shoot with some cheap blue box Federals. See what happens.

If a rifle won't shoot those at least reasonably, it's likely not worth the trouble.

Up to you if you want to go for a barrel at that point.
I don’t understand it, but every rifle I have had shot blue box federal well or nothing well… I always keep some around, especially for initial sight in and plinking… never hunted with them, but I have shot a bunch of it… hard to not have a few boxes around for the price
 

hodgeman

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Mar 4, 2012
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Delta Junction, AK
I don’t understand it, but every rifle I have had shot blue box federal well or nothing well… I always keep some around, especially for initial sight in and plinking… never hunted with them, but I have shot a bunch of it… hard to not have a few boxes around for the price
I've had the same experience. When you're trying to evaluate whether a new rifle has potential, a couple of boxes of Federals are a lot easier to burn up than some exotic premium stuff at 3-4x the price.

Of course, back in the day...I'd shoot those at anything and never had any real issue knocking stuff down.
 

Osteodoc08

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
39
I bought a Ridgeline Titanium in 308 that wouldn’t shoot worth a crap with hand loads. I used several powder and bullet combinations. Nothing reliably breaking MOA. Sent it back, they rebarreled it. Never mounted a scope back on it and it’s been in the safe for the last 18 months. I may have to dig it back out and play.
 
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