Broken Scope or Dirty Barrel
Mixed results at the range today. I took the M70 .300WM, M70 .375HH and my CZ .416 Rigby. The .375 shot just like always with my favorite A-Frame loads, so ready for next week's safari shoot. So then it was on to the .300WM.
I loaded up a bunch of 200gr Nosler AB's with 74 grains of RL25 which shot very well last time out in very windy conditions. Well the same load shot was just all over the place, and I mean several inches low to high, left to right and every mix thereof. Tried to shoot some 200gr North Fork softs and got the same results. Virtually no wind, just an occasional breeze. Temperature was a bit warmer today but not extremely so.
Now here's what happened the previous 2 trips out. With a clean barrel, I shot a Remington factory load at the 200 yard gong and the bullet hit it. I then shot 4 different AB loads, 3 shots each group, with RL25 in 72, 73, 74 and 74.2 grain loads. The first group was about 1.5", the second just a hair over and inch and the last two a bit under an inch. Again in very windy conditions.
Following this trip and the one before today with no cleaning, I used RL25 in the exact same weights as above but with 200gr North Fork softs. The 72gr load shot quite similar to the AB's at about 1.5" and so initially I was encourage it would follow a similar pattern and get tighter. Not even close, the groups for the 73, 74 and 74.2 just fell off a cliff, crazy bad in the 6 to 8 inch spread range.
Now normally I would clean the barrel after putting 20 down the tube, sometimes less. However between work this past week, a lot of reloading, opening day of Little League and rebuilding my pool pump I didn't get this done. So today's shoot started with 25 rounds down the barrel after the previous cleaning.
So my AH brethren, do you think it's the scope or a dirty barrel? I'm inclined to believe the groups might have opened some after 25 shots, but nowhere like it did. Also, I have checked the bases and rings and everything was tight. So I'm thinking it's the scope.
Next trip to the range will be with a different scope and of course a clean barrel. I'll also take the scope in question with me. If the other scope I change to shoots well, then I'll put the questionable scope back on and shoot. If it still shoots well then it was the barrel, if not well then it's the scope.
All's well that end well for the day. After shutting down on the .300WM I moved on to the .416 Rigby. I had not shot it at 100 yards yet and wasn't planning to. But I had a few minutes before the next cease fire and nothing to do, so what the heck. With the VX-R on 4x and those fat reticle wires, I shot a 1.5" group! :cool: