Well, I got some bad news today. While zeroing my .257 WBY the other day I was almost done fine tuning it at 300 yds when my group opened up to about 5". This gun normally shoots about 2.5" at 300yds with this load. The gun in question for whatever reason is one that hated a clean barrel and takes 20-30 shots to really settle in and be accurate so I clean it maybe every 500 rounds or so. I figured maybe it was fianlly fouled enough to lose accuracy so I shined it up and went back to the range.I fired 3 fouling shots and then proceeded to completely miss the target at 300 with my 4th. I dismissed it as a monkey error but my next was nowhere to be found either. Moving back to 100 I missed the target as well. My scope, mounts action screws were all checked and a spare scope was mounted and back to the range. I bore sighted it at 100yds like I normally do and proceeded to miss the target twice. I figured I better back off to 25 and get things started. I bore sighted at 25 and fired my first shot and moved the sight. the second shot was nowhere near where I expected so I fired another and finished off a 4" group at 25 yards. Flustered I called a gunsmith who told me to come right over and he would have a look at it for me. After going over everything I had already done he was still scratching his head. He next pulled out his bore scope. The front half of the barrel back from the crown looked great. We swapped ends and saw barrel armageddon! Heat stress cracking which was starting to flake. As near as we can tell the copper fouling was helping to hold the flakes together until finally 1 came loose and caused my initial OK but not great accuaracy. Then when I cleaned it a bunch more let loose and the barrel is now useless. Did I mention I leave for Africa in 3 weeks. The good news is I have a new Lilja barrel that can be installed right away but with shipping and installation it looks close to 3 weeks and that leaves no time for load development so it will not be done until I return. On the plus side out of desperatio I did tinkering and found that it fires the first bullet within 2 inches of center at 300 yds. The second is within 3 inches and then after that I can throw them more accurately! I will be in the Free State and Eastern Cape and was looking forward to some long range shots at wily springbok, etc. but now I dont trust the gun. I`m just venting here. Im more that a bit frustrated right now.