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Discussion Starter #1
Put a pot on........this is gonna be long! (Deep Breath) Ok....so I always wanted a 6.5x55 swede. I decided on buying a barrel for my TC Encore to keep things simple and because I DO love shooting the Encores. I bought a barrel from MGM (match grade machine) 25", heavy barrel.....just beautiful. I worked up loads with three different powders (RL22, IMR 4350 and H4198), two bullets (Hornady 140gr interlock and 139 SST). To shorten the story, I finally found that the gun seemed to liek the 4350 with the flat base bullets! Great! I shot 4 loads of IMR4350 41.5,41.7,41.4 and 42 grs. They all shot really well! One shot about 1.5" but three shot around and inch!! YEAH! well, that was about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I was happy.....I found the powder/bullet combo now ill just tweak it. So, My dad loads 5 each at 41.5, 42 and 43grs, OAL 3.025" This was the starting OAL. i just got back from the range and I am SO FRUSTRATED!!!!
Heres what happened: I shot 5 shots with the one I knew to be very good, the 41.5gr. The first shot was HIGH, The second came down at lkeast 1.5", the 3,4,5th shots came down another inch and were about a 2" group!!! YUCK! Shot the other two loads...........SAME THING! First shot high (higher because it was a hotter load), 2'nd shot came down and the 3,4,5'th shots were actually pretty nice although I didnt go up to the target , Id say an inch maybe 1.25". third load 43grs, same thing first shot up high and I shot another two and they were about 2" lower and actually grouped.
So, the gun is "stringing" or whatever you want to call it TODAY!! Today? NOT the last time I shot it, not at all, it shot all the shots in the same area, some good groups others poorly but all in the same area. TODAY......it was doing the above!!!!
SO, what changed???? WHAT CHANGED????? OAL was the same, same powder, bullet,etc. Heres what changed. The last time I shot, it was a COOLER (maybe 60degrees), dryer (no humidity) day........TODAY was almost 80 and very very humid this evening!!! COULD THIS BE THE CULPRIT???? Could it be something with my plastic encore stock? I didnt tighten or loosen anything, all the same. I am cleaning barrel between every 5 shots. The heavy barrel felt MUCH HOTTER today!
I know the barrel shoots good because Id finally found the load and NOW? I dont know what to do?????
 

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I would try letting it cool more between shots. A hot humid day will hold the heat longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ive got $700 invested in barrel, scope and reloading components and cant use it. I hope you guys can help me figure this out. I am taking this gun to Kansas first week of December.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
rfktrman......what good is a gun that shoots 6" groups when its hot out? I hunt Utah every year and its sometimes 80 plus degrees!
 

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did you set up any different on your two different trips to the range? by that i am asking if you put any additional pressure on the barrel via any shooting devices, lead sled etc the second time that you did not the first time. i only ask because i have a bolt gun in 6.5 rem mag that if i hold down on the barrel in front of the scope it makes my shots string and i have figured out that there must be a spot in the barrel channel that when i put any additional pressure down on the barrel it touches it and makes my shots string. this probably will not help, but try to think if you held the gun any differently. if you did not, try a powder that is not as heat sensitive, if you google heat sensitive gun powder it may give you some info. try this link http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f28/powder-temperature-sensitivity-31096/ hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks erin......I dont even touch the gun, barely. It lays on sand bags and I just let the pad touch my shloulder and try not to lay cheek on it too hard. No, I didnt change anything there
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Im going to keep the barrel dirty for my next session and try to shoot in the morning when its cool to see if that fixes it
 

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Here is a couple things for you to do.

First just step back and take a deep breath. And take your time-and work through this logically.

What type of front rest are you using?? Are you using the same front rest you used last time??

The reason I ask is that Encore's can be a bit finicky on where you place the forearm on the tripod. or whatever you are shooting for a front rest. I have found it is best to place your rifle as close to the action as you possibly can where the rifle touches the front rest. I push the tripod back so far that on my 6.5X284 bull barrel that I have-it is front heavy and will fall forward if I do not hold it.

Almost all problems I have seen with Encore's have been with the forearm. So place as little pressure on it as possible. Personally for accuracy the first thing I do is bed the entire forearm to the barrel. And then torque your screws to a constant 1nch/lbs. of torque. But then that is not only for Encore's. That is for any action screw on any type rifle.

Go back to the range with your best load again. And pay particular attention to your form, and how you place the rifle on the front rest. Then do it exactly the same every time. I would bet that will alleviate alot of your trouble right up front. If not then bed that forearm. It is easy to do. It took me about 15 minutes, and I am not mechanical at all. Just be sure to use ample release agent.

Alot of guys like to float that front forearm. But there really is no real way to completely float the forearm. That is why I bed mine solid. Plus it is considerably easier.

Try this first. I would bet something is different in how you shot the rifle in relation to your forearm. Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tom.......First, THANK YOU for your advice. I really appreciate it. I cant remember how I was laying the gun on the bags the last time but this time i do remember. I had it cradled in a v type sand bag. Maybe last time it was just laying on top of a bag?? I dunno? I will try your method of laying the gun on the bags as far BACK as I can, not on the forend. I am also going to try different OAL's but that wasnt the problem today. SOMETHING was different!!????????
 

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First I'd have to agree with what has already been mentioned. I have a 22-250 that will shoot totaly different depending on bi-pod, sand bags etc. I have to be consistent with it.

Also, I'm assuming your using a scope. I'd go over the bases and rings and make sure nothing came loose. I have had that happen to me before as well.
 

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I would have bet money that you used different front rests on your two trips to the range.

Check the torque on your forearm screws. If you don't have a wrench that measures in inch/pounds then just snug them up, but no need to over tighten them. Just snug is more than enough. And try to snug both up exactly the same, or as close as you can.

I will bet $100 to a doughnut if you get consistent with your front rest then your groups will definitely tighten back up.

I use the blue body puddy to bed the forearm on my rifle. Not sure what it is called, but I am sure someone will him in with the name(I just forgot). All you need is a skim bed, then tighten the screws as described above. But you probably won't need to do that if you just pay attention to how you set the rifle on the bags.

Encore's are great. I really like mine. But they are made to hunt and practice from hunting situation. They are not designed to be bench sitters. Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
im going to check the screws. i left the gun over my dads so he can check OAl changes we proposed, making sure the action closes,etc. i am excited to shoot it again, placing the gun on a softer sandbag....and then the same way each time. i KNOW it shoots, it did it already......i gotta re-group!! BREATHE joe! Breathe!
 

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As long as you did not leave your ammo on the dash board on a super hot sunny day then that small temperature difference would not make that much of a change. And if it did then you would probably have seen some pressure signs on your brass. Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My dad took it out and payed careful attention to how/where he layed it on sandbags. He got 2" groups with a few loads and about a 1 1/2" group with another. So........it must have been how it was on the sandbags???? I DID loosen up the two screws holding the barrel/forend nd then just snugged them. The barrel is supposed to shoot 1" at 100yds, if I cant get that then it has to go back to MGM, where they work up a load, if they find one I pay $40 plus shiping, this takes at least a month. I will keep trying loads. Im on my third powder now. My OAL is 3.025" and its hard to close the action so I dont think I can go longer? The cases dont seem to go all the wat in until I slam the acion closed on them, THEN I can take them out and put them back in with ease??? WHAT is this from???????????
 

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I read in one of your posts that "you were going to leave it dirty."

I have the same problem with my encore pro hunter with a clean barrel shooting 5" high and after several shots it resumes its original POI and will shoot 1.5" groups. The first time it happened it freaked me out as well.
 

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Tom's dead on... The FIRST thing you should do is STOP. STOP changing things first and foremost. The more variables you throw at this problem the more frustrated you will become. Don't change OAL, or powder, or powder charge. You said you "know" 41.5 gr was good...so keep trying that same exact thing until you get it figured out. The load's not max because you went higher, so temp probably isn't the problem. Keep shooting that 41.5 gr load and work on your technique.

You shot that first series of loads very well, something happened. Either something physically happened to the rifle (copper fouling, something came loose, etc.) or it's your technique.

The reason break opens aren't used in benchrest is because you have to pick up the gun off the bags to reload. It's hard to keep any type of consistency between shots. BR shooters take great pains to get their guns riding the bags right, then they don't touch the rifle other than to load and shoot. Take great care when re-setting the rifle on the bags after you reload between shots. Pay particular attention that your sling stud does not contact the bag on recoil...that WILL throw a shot high for sure. As Tom said, keep the bag back near the hinge point and keep your setup consistent.

Don't clean between groups. You said your first shot was high, then the rest low in a group. It could be your first shot is influenced by solvents left in the bore, then it settles down. MGM makes good barrels, they shouldn't foul badly enough to need cleaning every 5 shots. Also, 6.5 is a big caliber, shoot 3 shot groups for now. It's a hunting rifle, no need for 5 shot groups. You're just wasting components and over-heating the barrel. Barrel heat can do strange things. It may be doing something to your synthetic forend, it's probably causing heat waves in your scope, which can and will affect point of impact, just like wind.

Eliminate ONE thing at a time before you change anything.

bownut
 

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Spirit Bear said:
My dad took it out and payed careful attention to how/where he layed it on sandbags. He got 2" groups with a few loads and about a 1 1/2" group with another. So........it must have been how it was on the sandbags???? I DID loosen up the two screws holding the barrel/forend nd then just snugged them. The barrel is supposed to shoot 1" at 100yds, if I cant get that then it has to go back to MGM, where they work up a load, if they find one I pay $40 plus shiping, this takes at least a month. I will keep trying loads. Im on my third powder now. My OAL is 3.025" and its hard to close the action so I dont think I can go longer? The cases dont seem to go all the wat in until I slam the acion closed on them, THEN I can take them out and put them back in with ease??? WHAT is this from???????????
The BARREL is guaranteed to shoot 1" groups...are YOU? YOU are the most important variable. Take your time...be consistent. ONE variable at a time.
 

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Spirit Bear said:
The cases dont seem to go all the wat in until I slam the action closed on them, THEN I can take them out and put them back in with ease??? WHAT is this from???????????
How does a sized only case chamber? (no bullet-powder)? If it chambers with resistance you may need to bump the shoulder a bit more. If your doing the die on the shellholder thing you may need a lower shellholder ( <.124") or remove a few thousandths off the bottom of the die to allow the case to enter the die a few thousandths more.

If a sized case chambers OK, but not with a bullet seated, its either the seating depth or loaded neck diameter to chamber clearance.

Bill
 
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