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Inconsistent Shots

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Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 1]

I have a new Leupold scope on my rifle, but the best pattern I could get and my grandson could get at 100 yards was about to place the bullets in about an 8 inch circle. I am wondering it that is a scope issue? What do you think?
And before you say something stupid; no I don't have the shakes or eye problems. :lol:
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby 7mmfan » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Couple things to check. Since it's a new scope, double and triple check your bases and rings to make sure all screws are tight, and have loc tite to keep them from coming loose.

Next would be action screws. This has happened to me. My 7 mag shoots dime size groups, and has for many years. Last year I took it out for some long range practice and decided to shoot a 100 yard group just to check. It was all over the place. 8" group like yours with no consistency whatsoever. After banging my head against the wall a few times, I pulled out a multitool and started checking all fasteners. My front action screw was literally hanging. No idea how or why it was loose. I hadn't taken the gun apart in quite some time, but there it was. Tightened it, and all other contact points up and we were back in business.

I'd do that before I start considering the scope is bad.

Also, I'm assuming you're using the same ammo you always have for that rifle with good success? I've found one of my rifles in particular to be quite temperamental when it comes to ammo selection.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 3]

If you also put on new bases, check to see the length of the screws.Some are a tad long and bottom out before the base is tight. Is this a new scope or did you buy it used?

Next, loosen up the screws on the rings and re-tighten sequentially a lit bit at a time for each.Sometimes it is necessary to put some thin double sided tape on the rings or a dusting of rosin.

Is this new scope on an old gun that shot well before? Is it the same ammunition as previously used? Check all action screws to make sure they have not loosened up.Front screw tight, rear screw snug.

Did you let the barrel cool between shots. I always take some flexible cold packs a long when I go to the range.The kind they give you in the ER. Place one as close to the receiver as you can (usually right up to the font of the scope) and another along the barrel.If the scope is good,this would be my first guess.

Are all shots scattered in a pattern or strung out vertically or horizontally, or are there two distinct groups?

Has the action been out of the stock? Sometimes it needs to reseat itself and takes 3-5 shots.

If bedding might be a problem, take the action out of the stock and use a bread tie( the plastic clip thing that a loaf of bread comes with)or a piece of credit card.Some times the hole in it will just fit under the front recoil lug and the bottom action screw will pas thru it.This will lift the barrel out just enough to free float it .

If all else fails call Leupold and send it back to the factory in Oregon.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Lefty » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 4]

Swede maybe thats all the better you can shoot

Lots of good info .

Often dirty screw holes, too much thick oil ,different tightness, including the base.
Another: Try clean and re seat the mounts and ring screws . Use the lightest machine oil you can find,.. and dont use too much. Ive re-seated mounts where the mount and ring holes were filled with oil,.. well oil doesn't compress :shock:
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 5]

Thanks guys. Notice when I get good advise I do Not refer to you as "jerks". :D
The gun is an old never before shot Sako Forester from a collection. I glass bedded the action and think it is good. The scope mounts are machined into the receiver. I have checked and Loc Tite (blue) the scope ring screws. I had several different hand loads that I used to check pressure, but I am going to change my hand loads again. That may be a reason. I did many of your recommended things like waiting between shots to let the gun barrel cool. I checked the screws holding the stock and receiver together.

"If bedding might be a problem, take the action out of the stock and use a bread tie( the plastic clip thing that a loaf of bread comes with)or a piece of credit card. Some times the hole in it will just fit under the front recoil lug and the bottom action screw will pas thru it. This will lift the barrel out just enough to free float it." Saddlesore

The barrel is fully free floating, but I will try this anyway if changing hand loads does not work. I have heard that this trick works well on 270Ws at times.

Living close to the coast, I may oil too much. I will check that out too.
Again thanks
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 6]

First thing I would do is if you have another scope on anther gun that you know is good, put it on and try your best load.

Sometimes those light thin barrels whip a lot.Some guys say if you can run a dollar bill down between the barrel channel and barrel it is free floated,when in fact, the barrel may whip more than that.Stringing horizontally can mean the barrel is hitting the wood,but since the rifle has not been shot much,you might nor see much wear in that respect.Lifting the action with a plastic shim might diagnose that problem.

I would see if you can find box of Sierra Match kings, 130gr The old standby for a .270 has always been 60 gr of H4831 and a 130 gr bullet... Ladder a series of loads, 5 rounds of each in 1/2 gr increments. Set .020 off the lands. ( 3 shot groups don't tell you anything). With a case capacity of that round , 1/4 gr increments won't tell you much. If you are using a solid copper like Barnes TSX, some rifles just don' t like them.

If anything looks promising, load another 5 round each setting each deeper by .020.

These three things should tell tell you if it is the gun or not.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 7]

Thanks Vince, but I was not saying it is a 270W. In fact it is a 308W. I am going to try out your suggestion when it quits raining and I can get out.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Lefty » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 8]

I’m not thinking it would be the loads
I’ve never had any that varied greatly from box to box or brand Bullet 4 inch group difference

My father in law had a 50 year old hot load for his 264. 3150 FPS
I found some powder and brass in Montana, I couldn’t make the load shoot, wild holes about 6 inches in diameter

I do wish he would give me that gun
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 9]

Swede wrote:Thanks Vince, but I was not saying it is a 270W. In fact it is a 308W. I am going to try out your suggestion when it quits raining and I can get out.


Ok, I assumed it was a .270 since you mentioned it.

BTW,Check Shooters Pro shop.They sell over runs and such.They shoot just as good as full priced and usually are about 50 % off. My last buy I got some 30 cal. 180gr Nosler partitions for $13/box of 50 .The only thing different was they had a cannelure groove in them
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby 7mmfan » 05 22, 2020 •  [Post 10]

Only other thing I can add is make sure your action screws are torqued to the appropriate poundage. Like wood stocks can tweak slightly if you over torque them, especially the rear one. 30 inch pounds on forward bolt and 15 to 20 inch pounds on rear.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 11]

Swede.
I checked my .308 loading data and my load was 42 gr or IMR 4064 in Lake City 69 Match Brass for 2600fps and 43gr of IMR 4064 in Winchester brass for 2650 fps. Bullet was 165 gr Sierra Game King These were used in Winchester Model 88 Lever gun. All for deer,I used a 180 gr RN for elk
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby wawhitey » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 12]

7mmfan wrote:Only other thing I can add is make sure your action screws are torqued to the appropriate poundage. Like wood stocks can tweak slightly if you over torque them, especially the rear one. 30 inch pounds on forward bolt and 15 to 20 inch pounds on rear.


Id look up torque specs for the specific gun. 30lb range is pretty typical, but for example i bought a ruger american predator and it calls for 60-80lb, which seems excessive to me but i did it. Thing shoots easy 1/2 moa like that, so im rolling with it.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 13]

Who has a screwdriver with a torque gauge? I may need to do something, but I have always just made the screws tight. This is starting to get more complicated.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 14]

Swede wrote:Who has a screwdriver with a torque gauge? I may need to do something, but I have always just made the screws tight. This is starting to get more complicated.


Don't think you need one.I have never use one.Don't own one .Basic principal has always been tighten the front and snug the back.On rifles like Model 70 Winchester, that has a center screw, that only gets tight enough to keep it in there.One concession I made was to replace the slotted head action screws of my Model 70 with Socket heads or Torx can be used. You get a better feel when tightening them. Brownels sell them rifle specific.If rifle was glass bedded,it should have had pillars installed. That way,you never crush wood
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 15]

Swede, if you’re installing/replacing scopes, fixed sights, or even just checking screw tightness on guns...you should have one of these. Takes any guesswork out of it ;)

https://www.amazon.com/Wheeler-Firearms-Accurizing-Torque-Wrench/dp/B07YXCX5JT
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby wawhitey » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 16]

At about $40, a torque drive is a drop in the bucket compared to rifle, rail, rings, scope etc etc. And you can use it on all of your guns you have or may acquire. Small price to pay to get everything properly torqued to mfg spec for the rest of your life. Action screws, bases, rings... Same for a leveling kit. A few bucks and everything can be done right instead of half assed. People have no problem dumping a couple grand on a rifle and scope, but cheap out on a few bucks and roll around with stuff not mounted properly. Craziness.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby wawhitey » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 17]

But really swede, if you measure 8" the same way i measure 8", youre shooting pretty damn good!! :lol:
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 18]

wawhitey wrote:At about $40, a torque drive is a drop in the bucket compared to rifle, rail, rings, scope etc etc. And you can use it on all of your guns you have or may acquire. Small price to pay to get everything properly torqued to mfg spec for the rest of your life. Action screws, bases, rings... Same for a leveling kit. A few bucks and everything can be done right instead of half assed. People have no problem dumping a couple grand on a rifle and scope, but cheap out on a few bucks and roll around with stuff not mounted properly. Craziness.


I take exception to that .I don' t have one rifle I paid more than $300 for and I have one Leupold 2-8x scope I was given to take a guy elk hunting and a 6x Leupold I bought for less than $100 years ago. A new $150 scope on my .308 I paid $146 for and a $50 Weaver V7, I bought in 74. I have probably made a dozen stocks or so,worked on a hundred guns or so, and sportarized quite a few old military rifles,including a M1 Garand I restocked and then made a it a National Match grade. If the barrel and action are good, I made sub minute shooters out of them and I have never put a torque wrench on one, had to have a level to put a scope on correctly, or snapped screws, or stripped threads .. My two most accurate rifles are a .243 with a bull barrel on it and a Mauser 98 action and the old Bausch & Lomb 2.5 -8 x I paid $80 for it at a gun show.The other is 6.5 Swede , with original barrel cut down, new stock, new safety ,turned bolt, and 6X Leupold on it.They sure as heck are not half assed. I did all the bolt bending/welding D&T holes for scope bases, new triggers. I killed my Big Horn sheep with a .270 I made from a Jap 7.7 Arisaka action. I rebarreled a 1936 Fox Sterlingworth side x side shotgun. I have made new stocks for about 50 % of the rifles and shotguns I have. All these little gadgets are market hype. Guys see them and believe they can't do with out them . It's called craftsmanship and people don't want to learn it. Just buy new gadgets. Anyone with half a brain and some manual dexterity can tighten action screws to the correct tightness, put a scope on level and tighten all the screws with out snapping one off or stripping threads. If a person can' t do those things, he needs to take his gun to a gunsmith. Next we will be told we need to carry a torque wrench in our trucks in case we have to change a tire out on the road and we have to have those lug nuts torqued correctly at 112 ft lbs exactly.

It sure is easy to spend other people's money. Drop that $35 in the collection plate at church Swede, it will do more good there.
I would not call this half assed.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby wawhitey » 05 23, 2020 •  [Post 19]

You sure are getting defensive. Yes, things work without modern technology. Im one of the first to beat that drum. But modern technology does do things more effeciently than old technology, and using the right tool for the job does indeed yield better results than doing things by feel. Dont get mad, its just the way it is. Your instinct is not as precise as a torque drive or a leveling kit. And the high end sniper rifles of the viet nam era wouldnt pass muster for a budget rifle in 2020. The world turns whether you accept it or not. Again, not a personal attack, just an observation, my understanding of the truth. Ask some custom gun builders if they torque things to spec and use leveling kits, or if they just do things by feel.

The wheel of time turns, advancements are made, knowledge is acquired. You can kick and scream and deny it all you want, but it wont freeze time and technology in the decade you prefer.

As for how much good putting money in a church collection plate does, well, thats very debatable. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washin ... utType=amp
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 24, 2020 •  [Post 20]

I suppose I need to go buy a Butt-Out tool too. Those are real a high tech

I took offense of the way you implied everyone goes out and spend thousands of dollars on rifles and if you don't use all this so called technology, you do it half assed. Neither is true. People have been shooting thousand yards for decades now long before these things were marketed.Again,they are fancy marketing that guys get sucked into believing they are a must have.

Swede doesn't need a torque wrench to get that .308 to shoot and I bet he can throw it up to his shoulder and tell if the cross hair are level. So lets stop blowing smoke up someone's butt.

If a scope is not dead level, it might effect how the windage or eleavtion adjusts, but it sure won't make a gun shoot any better and the rifle doesn't know if the action screws were torqued to 55 , 60, or65 inch pounds on the front or 30-35 -40 on the back.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 24, 2020 •  [Post 21]

I certainly do nt want to discourage the conversation as I have seen some thongs I will consider and am looking forward to seeing what changes will take place. Ultimately I may consider taking my scope in to Leupold. They are only about a half hour drive from my house.
To be honest, I did not know there was a torque screwdriver before this conversation. The Sako is the first rifle I have had this problem with. I have looked over the papers that came with the gun that was made in about 1962, and it says nothing about torque specifications. I have had Mausers and a Winchester model 70 with no specs either. I would assume tight torque specs could tighten a group by a small amount, but I am careful to torque screws as near even and to the same tightness as best I can without a gage. It has just never been a problem before.
I would think it was my shooting, except me grandson did no better than I could.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby saddlesore » 05 24, 2020 •  [Post 22]

I think you are on the right track Swede. If the gun has not used for a long time,there is every possibility that you have had some wood movement,especially where you live in the high humidity climes.
If Leupold is only 30 minutes away,I would not mess with anything until you have them look at the scope
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 24, 2020 •  [Post 23]

I am going to do that Vince. I plan to be in their neighborhood next Thursday.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby 7mmfan » 05 24, 2020 •  [Post 24]

I agree. With Leupold that close, I'd definitely have that checked first. That's the easiest way to check on huge problem off the list.
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Re: Inconsistent Shots

Postby Swede » 05 27, 2020 •  [Post 25]

Well I found out there is no reason to go to the Leupold factory tomorrow. They have no one to meet with customers due to Covid 19.
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