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Discussion Starter #1
I have been fighting a 243 here for some time and have done all the ussual mods-trigger, O-ring, lapping, in an effort to get my 243 to shoot. I took it to the range today and what I ended up with is very odd to me. Let me first say I was extra carefull to follow through with my trigger pull. I fired 7 shots the first was 4" low and 1" left, the next 2" low 1/2"left the third was 1/4" low and 1/4" right heres where it gets weird. I ended up with three very sweet groups in very differant places. With the same POA, I got a .75" 3 shot group within an inch of POA, a .3" 2 shot group 2" low of POA and a .25" 2 shot group at 4" low of POA. only 2 shots in the same group were fired back to back the rest were random. so barrel heat up wasnt causing stringing. the first and last shots were 4" low and the rest were randomly 1/4/" to 2" low. I'm convinced its me but dont know why. any thoughts would be apreciated.
 

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Well whatever you're doing, you seem to be consistant! :grin: Good luck on this one.
 

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Hang in there, you'll get it figured out sooner or later...ya might try some different shooting positions, a bipod, different kind of rest, sand bags, forend pressure, a pressure point on the forend...there's gotta be some combination that will get consistent shooting out of it.

I cut some pieces of refrigerator magnet and put em in my shooting box, they came in "handi" one day when shooting my mannlicher stocked 45-70, a pressure point was all that was needed on the forend, place the magnet in the forend just ahead of the screw and tighten the forend.

Good luck,

Tim
 

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POI/POA/Group Size

From my experience I would say that you are not getting vertical stringing as such but a change in the POI due perhaps to the O-Ring. As the O-ring consolidates on warming slightly the effective stiffness of the fore-arm changes and the response of the rifle changes. I'm not a supporter of the O-ring trick but some have found it to work. Have you tried supporting your rifle at the hinge pin? This is the only way my Handi will group well with little or no shift in POI.

I hope you are able to work thru your Hand's difficulty.

McL
 

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Another thing you might check is to make sure you close the action firmly each time, if you don't the latch may not lockup as solid in the same position each time. Make sure there is no oil or grease on the latch or latch shelf on the barrel, too.

Something else to check, with the forend removed, is there any movement between the barrel and frame if you twist and wiggle the barrel when it's closed tight? It should be solid, just like if the forend was installed.

Tim
 

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I know this is obvious, but a bad scope or mounts will cause the issue you are having, also....a simple check would be to replace it with a known good scope and check the base and rings while you're at it.

Tim
 

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I'm leaning towards the scope/rings/mount theory too.

I would add that it seems to me that you've jumped into the mods with both feet, when it may have been better to start with the box stock gun and make one mod at a time and see if/what helps, and what don't.

I also have not had much luck with the o-ring. But the scattered shot pattern you're describing may have as much to do with your technique and equipment as with the rifle itself.

What distance were you shooting?

What scope/power? How far above the centerline of the bore is the scope?
Is the scope level, square, and true? if the crosshairs are not level, it may cause canting of the rifle which can/will cause varying aiming errors, depending on how much you're canting the rifle (if in fact you are, I'm guessing here).
 

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nofun1
All the above is good advise, The 243 is a dog when it comes to tuning a load more so with the Handi. The 243 is an obnoxious case stretcher and should be full sized each time you load it The die is set up to allow for a 3 thou head space. A loaded shell should enter the chamber without slamming the action shut. If you have to do that you better have a look at you loading procedures.

Case length variations can do what you are experiencing. I doubt the the expansion of the 0-ring will have much ill effects as long as you forearm screw is tight, and I mean tight. If the o-ring wants to expand it will do so in a horizontal direction because it is restrained by the lug and the screw.

I found on one rifle the firing pin protrusion to insufficient at .023" causing poor and insufficient primer ignition. This was sort of a sleeper.

For good ignition you need .035" firing pin protrusion. I say you could have a loose connection some place. Try to simmer down your loads and see if the stringing is reduced
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys I appreciate the tips, to answer some of your questions: the distance was 100 yards, 3x9 scope @9x. I did the mods one at a time starting with stock I did try it stock. I do full length size and overcam my press. per instructions from Redding. I dont know about firing pin length. I have removed and locktited the base and am using heavy duty steel rings I have swapped scopes. rings are medium the scope is 1/2" above barrel, I did make a contious effort to close the barrel firmly and consistantly every time. I m going to take out the O-ring and then try shimming the front of the stock. and try some other rests so far I have tried a lead sled, a shooting stand and sand bags of 3 differant styles. You guys will be proud to know I am going to try them one at a time, keep the tips coming.
 

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As has been said before, keep on keeping on!!! A true Handiholic never gives up!!!! :-D

Tim :wink:
 

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Have you trimmed your cases to the same length? When a case streches the brass flows forward. If all cases aren't trimmed to the same length you may be getting an uneven pull when the shell is fired. Just a thought.
 

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nofun1:

For what it's worth...here's a contact telephone number of mine for a gentleman at Redding...his name is Bruce Merkur...1-607-753-3331...call and ask for him...and tell him what you are loading for and what action...he will tell you how to set your Redding dies up for what your loading...describe your problems to him...and see if he can help.

I'm with Fred on this...I also believe it's not only your die set up...but also your shooting technique...you need to know how tight your barrel is locking up to the frame...so you can set the headspace on your dies..You need to go to a auto parts supply house and get a decent set of feeler gauges...they don't cost a-lot...about $3.50-$6.50 depending on where you get them...and get a set that goes down to at least .0015"..with them...measure your lock up of your receiver and barrel.Quicks barrels locks up on .002" as stated in the FAQ sticky...my 243 barrel was even tighter...it would lock up on the .0015" blade and not pull out...This way...you can set your reloading dies to bump the shoulder back the correct amount. Setting them up to full lenght resize without knowing how much headspace you actually have can cause a-lot of your problems..Bruce will tell you how to test for this with your set up...it's quite simple..and works for any brand dies..not just Reddings...He is a wealth of imformation and his information will go a long way to help you in your reloading...It seems that every Handi is chambered a-little different...and as Fred said...small changes can change your results dramatically..if your dies are set up properly...and your rifle chambered properly or within SAAMI specs...you won't get all the case stretching as you will for one that isn't setup right... and once they are set up right...your accuracy and your consistancy will improve as well...

You didn't say if you wore prescription glasses or not...and depending on how your eyes are...and how you are holding your head on the stock...upright...or slouched over...will determine how your eyes line up each time...and wither your eyes are focusing properly...also...making sure your glasses( safety..or prescription) are clean of dirt and oil from your face is important...you don't want things to be blurry before looking thru the scope...

When you look thru the scope at the bulls eye...are you keeping your primary vision on the bulls eye and seeing the cross hairs thru your periferial vison?..The proper sight picture should be a clear bulls eye...and a blurry cross hair on your aiming point...if you are switching between focusing on the cross hair then back to the bulls eye...then back to the cross hairs...you won't get the groups you want...you won't be steady with the gun and it will always be moving around the target...this is something a-lot of folks do...try this.. Get a neoprene shell holder and put it on your stock...add a small amount of foam to the top and side and position it where your most comfortable and can see thru the scope clearly...now..this is where you will hold your cheek on the stock everytime...it won't hurt your face and will help...then concentrate on the bulls eye...allowing the cross hairs to blur...try to not look at the cross hairs...but see them as they are blurred and move them to where you want to shoot...if you take your focus off the target and focus on the cross hairs... you will have moved point of impact on the target...try it and see if it helps your groups become more consistent..to make it easier to add the cheek piece correctly...enlist the help of someone...to stand directly behind you...and look at your head as you shoulder the rifle...your head needs to be as upright as possible...and still allow you to see thru the scope clearly...have them look at your head and how much if any you are canting it over the stock...Lastly..you need to check and see which eye is your master eye...you need to know whither your right eye dominant...or left eye dominant...if you are left eye dominant and shoot right handed...you will have problems seeing thru the scope...same for the other way around...Can you look thru the scope and see the target and cross hairs clearly with both eyes open...you should be able to... when you shouldered it with out moving the scope or gun around a-lot...Do you have to move your head forwards and backwards and side to side to get a clear sight picture...if you do have to move it around...then you need to make adjustments to the scope or even the stocks to have a proper fit...this will make a huge difference in how well you shoot it...

Let us know how it works out for you...and give Bruce at Redding a call...

Mac
 

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i think you have a kind of 'bedding' problem, if that's the way to call it with a two-piece stock.

i agree to check that the barrel is tight in the frame when closed up, but be careful to put the feeler gauge in at the top of the frame away from the trigger. i think you want a .001 gauge to be tight, actually.

i'd get rid of the o-ring and replace the small screws at the back of the forearm with larger ones to hold the plastic retainer better in place. i'd carefully loc-tite and tighten down the forearm to the barrel. make sure the forearm is reasonably firm so it stays in position on the barrel from one shot to the next.

try resting your rifle on the forearm, not the frame of the rifle, just ahead of the plastic retainer at the rear of the forearm. rest the rifle on something that is relatively friction-free........NOT suede, leather, etc. rest it on denim or cotton placed over a suede bag/rest if that's what you've been using.

tell us how it goes,

ss'
 

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Had similar problems with my .223 bull barrel. I finally removed the forearm, hogged it out a little added 2 layers of electrical tape to bottom of barrel and glass bedded it from receiver out for 4 inches only. Went back with O Ring and have found that being very very consistent on how much torque I put of forearm screw makes a difference. I have also changed to shooting sticks (purchased) and rest the forearm right at the screw. Groups have been a lot more consistent and have grown smaller. I have a Nikon 4.5 to 14 AO on my .223. Groups are better at 5-6X than at 14 due to old eyes and out of shape body.... As everybody else has said, don't let it frustrate you, keep at it one step at a time and you will resolve the issue...don't forget to post so we can all benefit. Part of the fun and learning curve of this sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will try the new tips thanks guys for taking the time to give such detailed tips they are very helpful. I took it out today and after taking out the o-ring and buying some federal Powershock and resting the gun only on the forend and nothing except my shoulder in the back. I shot 2"-2.5 inch goups usually two real tight and a flyer So Iam getting there still not what I want but It is clear that I am the weak link here and with some experimenting I should have a shooter. Thanks again all who helped. I will post when I have completely succeeded.
 

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I did quite a few different hand loads til I found one my .243 liked the best. I then implemented the O ring. Seems to be a sweet spot with O ring on how tight it is( is rather tight now). At the present time its a sub moa shooter. I decided when winter comes I am going to glass bed my .243 and that fore end will be for that barrel. I feel I won't have the variations with glass bedding as I would with the O ring. Somebody please advise if I am wrong.

thanks
Norse
 

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now that you are headed in a very good direction -- and i'm happy for you -- i suggest that you work on your breathing while shooting. what came to me, as soon as i read your post about the 3rd-shot flyers is that after shooting two rounds during which you should be controlling your breathing, that you are having a harder time doing so for the last shot.

just a thought that came to me,

ss'
 
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