.416 isn't grouping well!

njc110381

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Just got back from the range and my first attempt at setting up my .416 Rigby scope. It didn't go well! I fired a three shot group of approximately ten inches at 100 yards and am now left wondering what could be wrong?

I'm loading 410gr Woodleigh soft points over 90gr of RL22. A start load. Recoil isn't too bad, I'm comfortable shooting the gun and was expecting much better. Shots were taken off of quad sticks - I can shoot a fox at 300m off of those same sticks with a lesser rifle...

Is it likely that variations in hold of the rifle could cause such inaccuracy or should I be looking elsewhere for answers? All my stock screws are tight, and the scope mounts too. I haven't looked too much further than that so far but I'm hoping it's something simple! If it's me then great, I can work on that and fix it. But I don't think I've ever shot a group that large with anything! I'm a little concerned.
 

njc110381

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I did think the scope could be the problem. It's moving around a lot with no pattern to it.

Ammunition wise I've been home loading for ten years - it's all done to book specs so I would perhaps expect to get some variation between the best and worst charges, but not that much. The difference between a shocking group and a one holer is rarely more than a couple of inches in the worst cases I've seen.
 

Inline6

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If you have a different scope you could try, it would be worth it. That is to big of a pattern to say ammo IMHO.
 

Ridgewalker

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Njc, have you fired this rifle previously and if so, how did it shoot and with what ammo?
I keep an old B&L Scope Chief which has always been reliable as a test scope to validate if I have an issue such as this. So, you might, as inline6 suggested, try another scope to validate the load vs the scope.
Make certain you hold the rifle exactly the same every shot, managing your breathing and trigger pull as well as making certain the view is identical shot to shot.
I’ve also had a used 30-06 which flung shots erratically until I discovered the previous owner had apparently put a “ding” in the muzzle. Repolished it and it started shooting accurately.
Let us know how things turn out. Best of luck figuring this out.
 

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@njc110381

Did you shoot it at short range first? 25 yards...
Can you get a group at that range?
 

Graham Hunter

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Also your load seems very low. I don't reload Woodleigh but I know both Nosler and Swift list over 100 hrs of RL22.. Your bullet may not be stabilizing.
 

sestoppelman

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What make of rifle? Is it bedded? Have you had it apart to see if there is any splits or cracking around the recoil lug area or in the trigger well? Wood stock? Barrel floated or tight fitting? Lots of things can go awry.
 

njc110381

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I've shot the rifle at close range, 50 yards or so with the fitted iron sights. I did ok with it. Couple of inch group roughly. I'm not the best with iron sights.

The rifle is a CZ550 Aramid Composite with an aluminium bedding block. The stock is sound and the screws tight. I can't see any obvious damage to the muzzle. It's only fired around 20 rounds from new so I wouldn't expect fouling to that degree just yet. This is the only ammo I've used, but I will try upping the charge. None of the bullets keyholed, all made clean circles in the paper.

I think it most likely is the scope. Although it is a Leupold VX3, they're pretty tough!
 

Inline6

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I'm the black sheep of this forum, I am not a Leopold fan, I have seen to many go down in the field.

First I would double check my rings. Just make sure the scope has not slipped in them. I have seen this happen a lot.

Look through the scope and adjust the turret. See if the crosshairs move at all, if it does, run it up 3-5 MOA and tap the side of the scope while looking through it. If it jumps or if the crosshairs did not travel with the turret adjustment. You easily found your problem. Send the scope off to be repaired.

Scopes have multiple lenses and if one comes loose it can cause you grief too, so as simply as it sounds. Shake the scope and make sure you don't hear anything rattling on the inside. If you do hear rattling, send off to be repaired.

I hope that helps you track your problem.
 

greyfox

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Scope. mounts, bedding, barrel. My initial thought was barrel is not floated and PROBABLY touching the stock which throws off harmonics and will sling patterns, Scope, yeah, no brainer, check the mounts, try a different scope . When I was in the business, I had a 12X Leupold target scope I kept for just this purpose, (Known good scope) I am a LEUPOLD fan, however, they do break, Sounds like yours in not secure (again, bases, rings, then scope,,,,) Good luck, let us know what you or your gunsmith find.
 

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I'm the black sheep of this forum, I am not a Leopold fan, I have seen to many go down in the field.

First I would double check my rings. Just make sure the scope has not slipped in them. I have seen this happen a lot.

Look through the scope and adjust the turret. See if the crosshairs move at all, if it does, run it up 3-5 MOA and tap the side of the scope while looking through it. If it jumps or if the crosshairs did not travel with the turret adjustment. You easily found your problem. Send the scope off to be repaired.

Scopes have multiple lenses and if one comes loose it can cause you grief too, so as simply as it sounds. Shake the scope and make sure you don't hear anything rattling on the inside. If you do hear rattling, send off to be repaired.

I hope that helps you track your problem.
A friend and I both had problems with Leupold scopes. Sent back and a few short weeks later the scopes were returned all fixed. To tell you the truth I was amazed and obviously delighted.
 

Dirtdart

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Your loads are not the cause of such inaccuracy. That being said they are on the light side and I believe that when you get a chance to run them over a chronograph that they would show a considerable variation in velocity between shots. It has been my experience that a bit more case fill is a step in the right direction with that big Rigby case.
Please keep us posted as to what the culprit or combination of culprits is the source of your .416 problems.
 

Hogpatrol

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Just curious why you are doing load development off of sticks and not a bench with rests?
 

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I have the exact same rifle, different scope (Trijicon 1-6 Accupoint). Went to the range this weekend and shot tight groups at 100 yards...happy with its performance (though it didn't shoot as tight of groups as my good old .270...). I'm also a hand loader: 400 gr A-Frame @ 2330 fps (this is the load I'm taking to africa).

This combination worked very well for me. From what you wrote, I suspect scope problems.
 
 

 

 

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