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Help with reloading problem

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 13:42
lucznik View Drop Down
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O.K. I need some help from those of you who reload.

 

I have a Ruger M77 Mk II Compact Rifle (16.5" barrel) in 7mm-08 on which I have mounted a 3-9x40 Bushnell Elite 3200.  The rifle has had a trigger job done but, nothing else (no glass bedding, free-floating the barrel, etc.) I am currently trying loads using 139 gr. and 154 gr. Hornady Interbond bullets. 

 

Now for the problem:

 

At the range I am experiencing a fair degree of vertical stringing (about 2".) All shots stay right "on the money" horizontally. This is the case regardless of which bullet I have tried.  Initially I thought that I might be the culprit and was flinching so I pulled out my .264 Win Mag (shooting 140 gr. Hornady SSTs) which is a heavier recoiling caliber, and proceeded to fire a 4 shot 1/2" group. So, I don't think flinching is my problem.  Besides which, if I had been flinching, I would have expected to see the shots high and to the left, not strung strait up and down. Having eliminated that possibility, I am at a loss for what to try to fix this issue. 

 

Any help here?  Anyone have any ideas on what I could try to settle this rifle down? 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 13:50
mwyates View Drop Down
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The last time I had that problem I isolated it to parallax.  I turned down the power of the scope and the vertical stringing went away.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 14:21
koshkin View Drop Down
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First thing to do, I think, is to try it with another scope.  If the scope/rings is not the culprit, then freefloating the barrel is probablythe next step.  I doubt that is is the scope personally.  Have you used this scope on a different rifle?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 15:45
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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It sounds like a classic barrel heating problem which happens quite often with light whippy barrels. If I wee you I would have it bedded and float the barrel. If this doesn't solve the problem, you can always build-up a pressure point in the forend after wards. Remember that free floating will make the gun shoot more consistently, not necessarily more accurately. If all else fails, buy a Remington model 7 CDL.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 17:56
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

It sounds like a classic barrel heating problem which happens quite often with light whippy barrels.

 

I concur.

The barrel is heating up on you, in my opinion.

 

How much time do you allow between shots??

 

Bed it and I bet your problems go away!!  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 18:39
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Thought you would concur on the Remmy call as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 21:46
mwyates View Drop Down
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At what range were you getting the 2" vertical stringing?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 22:13
lucznik View Drop Down
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Koshkin:  The scope (and rifle) are both new.

 

Roy: The barrel has the same basic contour as the full size rifle - just cut a few inches shorter. Free floating the barrel is definately on my "to-do list" as well as glass-bedding the action.  I just didn't think the gun would be this difficult to get to shoot at least marginally well without these modifications. 

 

Cheaptrick:   I would guess that I wait between 1.5 - 2 minutes between shots. The barrel certainly gets warm but, I don't shoot enough to make it get too hot to touch.  I will however, definately try to string the time between shots out to see if that helps.

 

mwyates: I was shooting at a 100 yard range.

 

Thank you guys very much for your help.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 12:11
mwyates View Drop Down
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At 100 yarts, it not parallax, IF your scope is set properly.  If you're shooting at 9X, turn it down to 6X and see what happens.  No need to change scopes, yet.  I doubt seriously if the problem comes from barrel heating, and like you say, it's a short, stiff barrel, not a light whippy one.  The times I've tried to shoot with a hot barrel my shots have scattered, not strung.

 

Next, I would suspect an inconsistent pressure point somewhere along the barrel.  Ruger No. 1's have always had this problem, resulting in vertical stringing.  The fix is adding a screw (on the No.1) to provide  consistent pressure. 

 

I'd make sure it's not the scope first.  I would guess this is not going to be your benchrest rifle.  I would avoid bedding and all that, unless you just want to do it.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 15:39
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I would definetly bed that Ruger!!!

 

It's definelty worth your while and easy to do as well.

 

My post yesterday was a little vague.

 

Check your action screws first off too.

One may be tighter than the other or looser.

I had a Remington that drove me bats with it's stringing. I tightened the action screws to 65 inch pounds and all was well.

 

I feel like your problem lies in the bedding.

Best wishes!! 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 16:34
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Where do you get to the point of diminishing returns?  You've already paid for a trigger job ($150?).  How much does bedding cost?  You may still end up with 1 1/2" (not too bad for a Ruger) groups.

 

I'm tired of rifles with sorry triggers and poor accuracy.  I'm not going to buy an $800 Remington just to have to spend $200 on a trigger.  I'll just buy a Kimber (or something like that) and have a gun that shoots right from the beginning. 

 

If there was a rifle out there I just had to have, maybe a certain style or caliber, that would probably need work, I'd just send it immediately to Hill Country Rifles.  $375 and you get guaranteed sub-inch groups, or you just pay $200 for the bedding.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 18:15
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It may be more cost effective to trade stocks or rifles than to bed it.  If you can find somebody who will bed the Ruger expect to get charged extra because of the way Rugers are made, they require extra labor to bed.  Then you are still stuck (note that is suck with an extra letter) with a Ruger barrel.    You have long  throat cheap quality and even maybe straightend barrel.

 

Ol' me would have gotten CZ or Tikka.  Last time Tikka was on sale.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 19:29
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If you really like the stick, bed it. Problem should be solved.

$20.00 for Marine Tex and an afternoon will get it done.

No big expense there.

(I do agree in part with Yates that throwing money at a bad rifle is a waste of time.) 

 

Or, you can trade it and get another rifle if you prefer.

 

I like Roy's recommendation to "get a Remington" too though....

I have never seen many Rugers that were real tack drivers....(shrug)

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 19:54
mwyates View Drop Down
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Those Ruger Compacts are really great handlers, and they're unique, too.  From what I hear, they can be good shooters.  I wasn't saying it's a waste of money.  If that kind of rifle is what you need and want (I'd like one, too) then do what you need to get happy with it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 20:31
lucznik View Drop Down
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Thanks for the input guys.  I really appreciate it.

 

Bedding the rifle (and free floating the barrel) was always in the plans.  My dad has done this on  quite a few rifles and has had a lot of success with it so, I will be having him help me out. This should therefore, only cost me materials and 1-2 days' labor.  I was just hoping that I could get this rifle to shoot at least consistently before we got to that project. I live in Wyoming and he lives in Utah so, it might be awhile before we can get together and I didn't want to not shoot this rifle in the interim.  In fact, I have an antelope tag that I was hoping to fill with this rifle but, only if I can get it to shoot decently and the season will be over long before we can do this work on the gun.

 

The trigger job cost me $100 and I felt it was money reasonably well spent.  The trigger as it came from the factory was TERRIBLE.  It still is a bit heavier than I would have liked but, it has a nice, crisp letoff with no overtravel so, I'll live with it.

 

I know a $400 Ruger can't be expected to shoot in the same class as some more-expensive guns on the market but, it's what I could afford and besides, I really love the compact rifle concept. This gun really handles well and is a dream to carry around the mountains.  Well, that is it will be, once I get it shooting decently.  For a factory basic hunting rifle my .264 Win Mag shoots like a dream (1/2 - 3/4 moa) but, it weighs almost 10 pounds and after carrying it around for a couple of days, it starts to feel like an anchor.  Honestly, if I could get this Ruger to shoot consistent 1 - 1.25 inch groups at 100 yards, I would be satisfied.  (Anything better is just "gravy.")

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 21:43
Mike McDonald View Drop Down
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Vertical strrings at short range are usually;

very large velocity spread. Possible

Barrel whip  Possible from barrel contact within barrel channel

Barrel heating     bad heat treat on this particular barrel  If so, and this is remote at best, you won't fix it.. No need to wait between shots.  3 shots will not heat the barrel to detrimaental levels

head position   not likely,  groups tend to wander in a circle

Parallax    Can have a real bad effect at 100 yards, but groups        & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;       will be random


Things I'd do in order of simplicity;

Float the barrel, shoot it.
Bed the action, shoot it.

Change the load, first powder charge then the primer.  Likely clearing the barrel channel solves or reduces the problem before you get to this point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2006 at 21:58
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Generally speaking, on rifle questions there are a lot of people here far more knowledgeable than I am, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

With that in mind:

I was under an impression (supported by a bunch of people I talked to at the range) Ruger barrels are of far better quality now than they used to be.  Also, with Ruger's angled front action screw, bedding would not be the first thing I'd do.  Free-float the barrel and see what you get.  Try a few loads.  Chances are you'll find something it likes.  Most likely there is a point near the tip of the stock that presses up on the barrel.  When the barrel heats up the barrel harmonics change and that pressure is not a good thing to have.

I may be the only guy here who is not a big fan of Remington, but I have yet to see one that did not need some work done to shoot well.  How come my Savages, Tikka and CZ shoot great dead stock?  I may be spoiled, but unless the rifle shoots well from the get go (or with minimal work), for me it's a no go.  For example, I won't buy a modern bolt rifle that has a crappy trigger.

Now your Ruger Compact is a pretty unique rifle and there are not a lot of alternatives out there for something small light and affordable.  Free floating the barrel should take you all of half an hour.  Try it and see how it goes.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/18/2006 at 22:14
mwyates View Drop Down
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[
  "For example, I won't buy a modern bolt rifle that has a crappy trigger."

Hear, hear.  I have learned that if the trigger is no good, it doesn't matter about anything else; it's not going to shoot.

 

I don't have a Savage, but I know that they shoot good out of the box, and the Accutrigger is fantastic (but ugly).  I have heard that Ruger has purchased rights to use the Accutrigger; any body else heard that?  Ruger does have good barrels now, but their triggers are generally horrible (my 77Mk II had an 8lb trigger before I bought a Timney and installed it).  It's a good shooting rifle now.

 

I'm not doing that anymore.  I'm with Koshkin; if the trigger is bad, I'm not buying it.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2006 at 00:02
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Never had a Remmy trigger that a smith couldn't get to break perfectly. Never had to replace one. Your trigger needs to be attached to a great action and barrel else it's all wasted time. Yes, Savage's do shoot, but I just can't get warm and fuzzy about them. Maybe that's why they make gun safes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2006 at 10:49
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Things are shaping up a bit better than I had first thought.

 

It seems that there are a couple of things happening in Salt Lake this weekend that my wife really wants to attend so, we're going to Utah on Friday.  Now, after speaking with my dad and finding that he has nothing else to do on Saturday, it appears that I may get the glass bedding and free-floating work for this rifle done a lot sooner than I had originally anticipated.

 

Roy, I'm with you.  I've just never been able to convince myself to like Savages.  I don't know (and have never knowingly met) anyone who has ever owned one so,  I don't know anything about how well they shoot. However, the ones I have handled at the store have always struck me as being rather ugly and poorly put together. 

 

Koshkin,  I don't know a lot about rifle history or the reputations of the various manufacturers in relation to their barrels but, my family has always had pretty good luck with Rugers. Amoungst the family we've probably got 12-15 Rugers in varying ages, styles, and calibers lying around and I can only think of one that we just flat couldn't get to shoot well.  It was a stainless steel, composite stocked 7mm magnum. That rifle was sent back to Ruger and they replaced the barrel on it saying that the original was really "rough."  After that it settled right down and acquitted itself admirably.  (Though, I do think my dad eventually sold that particular rifle as he found some guy who really liked it and was willing to pay more than he should have to get it.) Of course, we're not concerned with bench-rest style accuracy from our rifles as they are all knock-around hunting guns.  Our standard accuracy goal is to acheive MOA with an acceptable bullet/velocity combination for the intended game to be hunted.  Anything better than that is a welcome bonus but, is not required. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2006 at 13:40
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I don't own a Savage either, they are just too ugly.  The Accutrigger is ugly, too.  I have shot several, though, and they shoot great.  The accutrigger is easily adjusted (by the owner) to break very clean at 2lbs.  I think they are made a lot better than they look.  Varminters like them a lot because the barrels are easily swapped.  Now if they could dress them up a bit .  They have a new model (Classic?) that looks pretty good.

 

Roy, Remington triggers are potentially very good.  If they would send them out like that, I'd gladly buy them.  Around here, a trigger job is $150.  That makes for an expensive gun.  I'd rather get a Kimber.

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