On Target

by Butch Syme


There are some tell tale sign on patterns that will tell you what is wrong with your rifle. If your group is vertically stringing, it's a good chance that your scope mounts or piller mounts are loose. These nuts and bolts should be installed with some kind of thread locker to a set poundage. It is more important to have scope mounts tightened equally. I torque mine to 5 inch pounds. Your pillar mounts should be tightened in a set order. First snug up the recoil lug bolt and then snug up the rear tang bolt. Then tighten the the recoil lug bolt to around 15 foot pounds. After that torque the rear tang to 5 foot pounds. If your rifle has the third bolt, snug it up at this time. ( This bolt does NOT need to be torque'd).
If your rifle has horizontal stringing, then the shooter is probably doing something wrong. Choppy trigger pull or ad cheek welds or closing eyes at bullet release are some common mistakes. The cure here is to SHOOT,SHOOT,SHOOT, and SHOOT some more.
If your rifle gets a nice circular group but its just larger than one would like, then its bad bedding. Bad loads, or even a bad crown. If you don't trust yourself in repairing these flaws, there are alot of talented gunsmiths (amateurs included) that live in the Elko area.
As far as thinking that your barrel is shot out, its an old theory that is all but nonexistent today. In the late 50's and before their was some barrels that would shoot out due to bad metal and curing technics and super fast loads. If your rifle was built after 1960, you probably can rule out bad barrels. BUT,, there are the occasional "LEMONS"!!
Happy shooting,

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