Accuracy reduction - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Accuracy reduction

My 30/06 that I have had for many years has suddenly become dramatically less accurate and I can not figure out why. From the sandbags off the bench I could consistently expect baseball sized groups at 200 yards and now the groups are the size of a dinner plate - or worse. I have cleaned the bore and the chamber very thoroughly, and the crown of the rifle is undamaged. The reloaded ammunition I am using conforms to the exact same recipe I have been using for years and the completed rounds are exactly at the specifications as shown in the Sierra reloading manual I have used as a guide. All the screws have been checked and re-checked for tightness and they are secure. My Leupold scope has been on that rifle since I purchased it; could it have failed? Any ideas on what could the issue be or what I might need to investigate? I use 150 gr SPBT bullets powered by 48 gr of IMR 3031.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 09:27 PM
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I think the scope is the most likely culprit. It's worth checking to be sure the action screws are torqued properly and that there is no barrel/stock contact that wasn't there before.

So, check for any loose screws but a scope swap will probably be in order.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 09:34 PM
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I'm likely to second ROVERT's advice.

Check ring and base screws for loosening. If they all check out.......toss a different scope on the gun and see if that doesn't bring your groups in.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 09:34 PM
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What rifle is it? It's not a Model 70 with hot glue "bedding" is it?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 09:50 PM
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What bore solvent have you been using all these years?

I have had my 30-06 for 12 years now, and about 3 years ago I took it out a few times during the summer, and I noticed that it started to group horribly, much like you're experiencing. I was using the same factory ammo that has always worked for me and produced 1-2" groups consistently, and for the life of me, couldn't figure out why it was suddenly producing groups of 5-6" at 100 yards over the course of 2 or 3 range sessions. My Leupold was fine, screws as tight as they ever were, so I kept scratching my head. I ask what solvent you were using through the years because if it is something like Hoppe's #9 or another traditional solvent like that, it will not attack and remove copper fouling from your barrel, only powder residue. That's the solvent I was using for years, and so I looked into Pro Shot IV Copper Solvent and decided to clean my bore with that by following the directions on the bottle. After cleaning, there was noticeably less copper, so I went back to the range. Sure enough, I was right back to tight groups as I knew the rifle always could produce. So maybe look into that stuff, it knocks copper right out. It's hard to imagine the Leupold on your gun just failing for no reason, so it sounds like there is excessive copper build up in your barrel. That could be my only explanation given the info you provided us. Best of luck, I would go from there and see what happens.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:25 AM
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Look down the bore from the crown, ..any copper streaks on the rifling?? Also check a magnifying glass and really look at the crown, any chips/hunks missing...get some whip out and fill the barrel several times to make sure the copper is gone..take another scope off of something else and temporarily mount it and reshoot it in..see if that scope fixed the problem, There's no easy way to tell, you must shoot it. Then look at your reloading materials, did you grab the right bullets, are they mixed weights by accident, ..old powder causing big velocity changes? Sooner or later you'll find it...have fun !

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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To all who responded - thanks very much for your input, they are all great ideas. I have already made sure all the screws are tight, but I never went to extent of actually torquing them. As for the condition of the bore, in terms of copper or powder residues, I brushed the bore many times with a new bronze brush until white cotton patches came out clean and then treated it (carefully) with Sweets 7.62 and removed all traces of copper fouling. The crown at the muzzle is unscathed. The rifle is a Remington 700 and the wood under the barrel does make contact with the barrel - like it has since the day I purchased the gun. With all of your suggestions, again much appreciated, I am now leaning toward the scope having had some sort of failure. One more thing I need to try, and I have failed to mention this important bench mark, is to try factory ammunition and see how the rifle behaves with this. Again, thanks for all your help.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 12:04 PM
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[QUOTE= then treated it (carefully) with Sweets 7.62 and removed all traces of copper fouling.QUOTE]




The scope could be the problem and that's easy enough to determine, but I'd still be a little weary of the copper. Like Dasher mentioned look in the muzzle, it's easy enough to see copper streaks in the rifling. Sweets is great stuff but you'll get board with the process way before you come close to getting the copper out of a factory barrel. Clean the barrel again with Hoppes or shooters choice or whatever bore solvent you like, run a few dry patches, don't worry if they come out a little dirty, run a patch or two of sweets and let it sit for 15 minutes or so, my guess is the patch will come out the prettiest color blue you ever saw. You could repeat that process until it comes out with no blue or you may also try coating a patch with Flitz or Iosso paste, run it back and forth 20 or 30 times then clean it again with solvent. it won't get all the copper out but it will sure speed up the process. Without a bore scope the best way I think to check the copper removal is with another patch of Sweets. Be sure you get the barrel clean and don't use a bronze brush with sweets or you'll get false indications of copper fouling. The bronze will also turn blue when used with sweets
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 12:38 PM
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I'm a little surprised Sweet's is even sold anymore. There's better stuff available that doesn't have the toxicity of smelling and breathing in the heavy ammonia fumes associated with Sweets's. I haven't used Sweet's in a long time. The new Wipe-out bore foam does a better job w/o the Sweet's ammonia. Before the foams I used J-B in conjunction with Break-Free and was very happy with the results. J-B or whatever it's now called is still tough to beat.....
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winchesterbob View Post
I'm a little surprised Sweet's is even sold anymore. There's better stuff available that doesn't have the toxicity of smelling and breathing in the heavy ammonia fumes associated with Sweets's. I haven't used Sweet's in a long time. The new Wipe-out bore foam does a better job w/o the Sweet's ammonia. Before the foams I used J-B in conjunction with Break-Free and was very happy with the results. J-B or whatever it's now called is still tough to beat.....
Actually I don't know if it's still sold either. The Sweets I have is so old that the label is written in hieroglyphics. It sure does stink, but it burns up a copper penny like Coke does a stomach lining.
Sweets and Balistol oil, now them two together are a stink to remember.


Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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