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Needing advice on new gun not grouping

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Needing advice on new gun not grouping

Old 08-22-2019, 06:02 PM
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Default Needing advice on new gun not grouping

I recently bought the Browning Hell’s Canyon in the Long Range model with the McMillan stock in 300 wm. I topped it with a Leupold vx5hd with CDS. So I started shooting this gun a few months ago and have gotten very frustrated. It groups fine at 100 yds. 1/2” groups. The problem is moving back to 200. The best it’s doing is about 1.5” groups with as much as 3-4”. I’m using a lead sled, and when shooting I’ll shoot twice and let the barrel cool 15-20 mins. I’ve tried Hornady 200 grain eld-x, nosler AccuBonds 180 grain, and Barnes ttsx in 180 grain. I have tried using a copper fouling cleaner, and have even used a bore snake between shots. Anyone have any advice or tips? Getting very frustrated! Thanks for your time

Last edited by Huntingislife08; 08-23-2019 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:52 AM
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Just getting into long range shooting myself (I don't even have my rifle yet. Its waiting at my local shop til I get home) and there is so many things you can do. By stating all the bullets you're using I assume you're reloading.
The first thing I would do, if you have a chronograph is to use the Satterlee method. If you don't have a chrony then try the OCW method. You can find out how by searching on line. Also, read my thread on OCW in the reloading section. Nomercy has some excellent advice which I am going to do.
PS: I'd start using either of these methods seating the bullets .010" off the lands if your magazine will accept them.

Last edited by bronko22000; 08-23-2019 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Huntingislife08 View Post
It groups fine at 100 yds. 1/2” groups. The problem is moving back to 200. The best it’s doing is about 1.5” groups with as much as 3-4”.

Anyone have any advice or tips? Getting very frustrated! Thanks for your time
Huntingislife08, OK with the 1/2" groups the potential for accuracy should be there.
So agreed with Bronko - Experimenting is worth while.

My suggestion is to keep and post us targets showing the shot order.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:31 AM
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Just another thing I remembered. I have a Browning Micro Hunter in 7-08 that wasn't shooting too well. I had it at my gunsmith for a trigger job and he noticed that the way the rifle was bedded was causing the action to 'rock' in the stock. He bedded it for me and not it shoots great
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:47 AM
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If your rifle shoots nice .5" groups at 100 that is not far different than your 1.5" groups at 200. It sounds as if the rifle is doing it's part well enough. No offense intended, but perhaps it is time to put the Lead Sled away and focus on technique. 200 yards is still fairly close range so shooting the different methods (Satterlee, OCW, ladder, etc.) will probably not provide you with really useful answers.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:55 AM
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1.5" 200 yard groups is sub moa. The rifle is doing what it's supposed to do.

Are you getting 1.5" groups and then 4" groups using the same loads? Or do you mean that some loads are grouping well and some aren't

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Old 08-23-2019, 10:19 AM
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Since I use at least a 12 pound pedestal rest sometimes for target shooting...I prefer not to deal with a Lead Sled.

May I suggest that you stop cleaning the rifle every shot or two. That's where a clean bore can cause inaccuracy problems. I prefer a "seasoned bore" --- where I'll clean the bore after 17 shots without using oil. After the copper solvent cleaning process...I'll send a brake cleaner degreaser patch down the pipe. Then I'll crack-off one or two fouler shots to season the bore --- then I'll resume my target shooting for another 17 shots...since I know that accuracy degrades for a hi-power rifle after 17 shots.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Erno86 View Post
...I prefer not to deal with a Lead Sled.
For the record:
I don't like to shoot from Lead Sleds!
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I agree with the above, I would try different loads, and different bullets, till you find what the rifle realty like at distance, just cause one likes things close does;'t mean they like it far out there seem this many many time over the yrs!
I also would eb inspecting all things too, bedding, trigger, scope mounts and even barrel crown
I would also be using a chronograph your shot strings and see if there is any correlation to ones that go of and the speeds in them as to those that group better!
if your reloading and I have NO clue your experience lever
what are your steps in doing so
how picky are you getting on things, you weighting every charge, every head, every CASE, are you sorting brass out by case weight?
how about primer pockets?
when you get real serious about long range shooting its a LOT of the small details that make the difference, in both tight groups and or misses and larger groups!
I dont' think I would be waiting 15-20 minutes between shot strings either, your getting more cold barrel like start ups
I would do strings of 5 or 6 shots, then cool down and repeat(well pending air temp that is, if your firing away in 90's or higher, , this alone might be the issue?

I also am NOT a fan of lead sleds at all for accuracy !
learn good form, and breathing and some GOOD rest, and that is all one should need to do so
if recoil bothers you(and take with a grain of salt no offence meant), maybe you should be using a smaller caliber?, be adding a muzzle brake or like option to tame some to your liking better!
I have 30+ yrs of shooting 1,000 yards with 30 cal and larger in matches and thousands of rounds in practice and for fun!
recoil doesn't bother me me till I get into some real big bores and then still need a bunch of rounds to get me(owed a few .50 BMG bolt actions and semi shoulder rifles too LOL
so I get recoil, and to some it does effect them a LOT more than others
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:14 PM
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I’m driving to a rifle match right now, and would have some follow up questions, but I’ll be brief here:

First: I’ve been instructing new riflemen for a long time, and 99% of the time when a shooter talks about small groups at 100, and the wheels coming off by 200yrds, it has nothing to do with the rifle or load. The target and aiming reference is half as big, mirage warp is 4 times as bad, and every 1/10th inch of shooter wobble is doubled (recall here - your crosshair width at 200yrds is likely a half inch in itself). Unless you double your target size or double your scope magnification, dollars to doughnuts you’re simply not firing as consistent of POA at 200.

So let’s talk briefly about “what it ain’t,” because lots of folks in your shoes will start looking down rabbit holes and ignoring the real problem in front of them. You’ll do yourself a favor to focus on the most likely issue first.

• It ain’t instability. There’s no feasibility for a 300win mag load in this weight range to be sufficiently stable at 100yrds and shooting 1/2” groups, but destabilize by 200. If it’s over spun, it’d come apart by about 30yrds, if it’s underspun and unstable by 200, it wouldn’t be shooting 1/2” groups at 100.

• It ain’t bad bedding. Bad bedding would present itself at 100, not only present at 200, so you wouldn’t see 1/2” at 100 and 4” at 200.

• It ain’t inconsistent velocity ammo: 200 is not far enough for velocity spread to promote substantial vertical dispersion in the groups.

• Clean bore variability: although it is exceptionally silly to clean between each shot or each group for any other reason than breaking in the barrel (where you’re not really shooting groups anyway), again, if it WERE this you wouldn’t be shooting 1/2” groups at 100yrds. Cleaning does invite variability, but it wouldn’t be range selective. You wouldn’t see 1/2moa at 100 and 2moa at 200. So stop cleaning between groups, or shots, but that’s just to protect barrel life and save time. It won’t fix this 100/200 issue.

Ditch the Lead Sled. It’s about as valuable as a clap factory - nothing but bad happens when you go there.

If you’re really shooting 1/2” groups at 100yrds, then slipping out to 4” at 200yrds with the same load in a 300win mag, 90%, it’s simply inconsistent POA. Pick up a higher magnification optic, or better still, pick up some targets which are more friendly for 200yrd shooting. I strongly prefer shooting diamond shaped targets on square grid backed paper (such as the Shoot-n-c 5 diamond targets). Cutting a circle isn’t nearly as simple as cutting a diamond, the feedback against the reticle with a diamond is extremely fast, whereas you can float around a 2moa circle target a long ways before your eye catches it.

*Note: everything above is predicated on the veracity of the same loads in the same rifle and same optic, shot by the same shooter in the same support and conditions, delivering truthful 1/2” groups at 100yrds and 3-4” groups at 200yrds. If you’ve shot ONE 1/2” three shot group ever with the rifle at 100yrds and the rest are 1.5” at 100, then we’re not talking about anything real here. So everything I posted here is trusting this isn’t another internet sharpshooter with one 3 shot group which went 1/2” and then we hear “it’s 1/2moa all day if I do my part.” If you can set down at the rifle and shoot 5 groups of 5 shots into 1/2” at 100, but then print 5 groups of 5 shots at 200 as big as your palm, then it’s your target and optic.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 08-23-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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