Cold barrel shot

Richardoh

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My Tikka 3006 has suddenly started throwing its first cold barrel shot about 3inches left and5 inches high, the next and subsequent shots are where I aim and sub moa, what could be the fault. I have tried cleaning the copper out of the barrel and that didn't help, nor did tightening the stock screws, I can"t understand what has gone wrong, this is only a recent thing, it is normally spot on. can anyone come up with any suggestions? :eek:
 

James.Grage

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This could be any of the following.

Your pressure grip on the rifle. to check use a rest that hold your rifle forearm and stock in place and pull the trigger with a trigger pull. make sure your rifle is secure so it will not hit the floor. in another words no hand grip on the stock. I found the grip play a great part in accuracy as this has to be consistent. if you bench shoot just a little different hand pressure will throw your shot depending on the grip and cheek-head pressure on the stock.

Check your stock and bedding area for small bumps. a piece of paper slid down the barrel will indicate a pressure point. if your rifle was glass bedded use a small piece of paper and see if you have any marks or indents when putting your rifle together. i had a rifle with this issue. it is some times the result of the glass bedding not being finished correctly and you do not notice while looking until a thin piece of paper is placed between the bedding and rifle.



My Tikka 3006 has suddenly started throwing its first cold barrel shot about 3inches left and5 inches high, the next and subsequent shots are where I aim and sub moa, what could be the fault. I have tried cleaning the copper out of the barrel and that didn't help, nor did tightening the stock screws, I can"t understand what has gone wrong, this is only a recent thing, it is normally spot on. can anyone come up with any suggestions? :eek:
 

sestoppelman

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Try shooting a dirty barrell.
Along this line, when I last shoot my rifle before taking it hunting, I dont clean it other than perhaps running a dry patch thru it. No solvents. When you get to camp you have to sight in regardless, but it goes quicker and uses less ammo, if you start with a fouled bore.
Per the OP's question: it could be myriad issues, mostly minor I suspect. James is probably onto something with the hands off approach. Another thing to try is let someone else shoot it cold and see what happens. This way you find out right off if its you. Knowing the round count on your barrel may lead to ideas.

Has this rifle been shot lots?
Real hot loads?
Possible throat erosion?
Different lots of components when this started?
 

DOC-404

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I shoot 600 m competition with a Tikka .308 Varmint. Out of the box, it has always required a fouling shot. During the bush war, I also always fired a fouling shot in camp before I went out on deployment. That way I could be sure that my first cold-barrel shot would be on the money.
 

Richardoh

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Thanks for the replies guys, I will try the hands off approach, that sounds like the way to go, and let someone else shoot it. It is not a dirty vs clean barrel issue, if I shoot it today and put it away without cleaning it tomorrow first shot off. If I fire a fouling shot like Docman says he does it will solve the problem, but it will also warn all the animale in the neighbour hood that we are on our way. The components are the same, nothing changed. It has shot a fair amount of rounds but most have been mild loads for punchind paper with 155gr palmer match bullets. Thanks for the ideas, will work on them.
Cheers
Richard
 
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I shoot 600 m competition with a Tikka .308 Varmint. Out of the box, it has always required a fouling shot. During the bush war, I also always fired a fouling shot in camp before I went out on deployment. That way I could be sure that my first cold-barrel shot would be on the money.
+1 Sniper competition we always shot cold bore with dirty bores.
I must have very unusual rifles as they both shoot to the same point of impact from a COLD CLEAN barrel or a COLD dirty barrel. All subsequent shots are also spot on with the 1st shot.
I sight all my rifles with a cold barrel to be spot on weather clean or dirty, game doesn't wait for you to dirty your barrel or heat it up.
If a rifle has to be fouled to group there's something wrong.
Just my 2 cents
A mate asked if he could have a shot of my 25. He wanted to see what it was like as he wants to build one the same. Shot one at a 6 inch rock at a lasered 325 yards no more rock. That was from a cold and clean barrel inminus 3 degrees Celsius.
Bob
 

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@Richardoh

Does it have a wood stock or plastic?
Is the stock rubbing against the barrel somewhere it shouldn't be?

I've seen a first shot flyer corrected by a bedding job more than once - although not a much as yours. My Tikka H (wood stock) for one, even though it was nicely free floated. (And still is, btw except for a little bedding material at the rear of the barrel.) I also bedded the recoil lug and action screws.
 

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I have followed Gunblue490`s youtube bedding videos three times now and all were successful. Sako A5 338WM, Tikka T3x 3006, and CZ 9.3x62 in a Bell and Carlson stock.
Tikka 30-06 after bedding.
20200201_073747.jpg
 

bruce moulds

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firstly, bedding the screws will predispose the stock to splitting.
secondly you state you have bedding at the front of the forend.
this suggests a zig in the original bedding, that is counteracted by the zag which is the forend bedding.
if the barrel is decent at all, best shooting should come from free floated barrels.
bedding in forends and or stressing of actions deliberately has always been a shortcut used by factories to avoid correct bedding, as that costs more.
it can improve grouping.
but it also affects point of impact depending on how the forend is held/rested.
correct stress free bedding takes work and thought. but pays dividends all round.
bruce.
 

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@Richardoh

Does it have a wood stock or plastic?
Is the stock rubbing against the barrel somewhere it shouldn't be?

I've seen a first shot flyer corrected by a bedding job more than once - although not a much as yours. My Tikka H (wood stock) for one, even though it was nicely free floated. (And still is, btw except for a little bedding material at the rear of the barrel.) I also bedded the recoil lug and action screws.
Old Richardoh asked that question 7 years ago. His last posting was also 7 years ago.

But it is a good subject.

Like many here with competitive and/or military experience. I never fire a first shot at anything that matters with a clean bore. In fact, I don't even attempt to fire a group using the first shot from a clean bore. My rifles for a particular hunt or season here at home, are test fired, and not cleaned again until put up for the year or after the hunt (Africa or wherever).
 

mark-hunter

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I do the same, as red leg.
 

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Edit - Ha! I did not notice how old this thread was, but to continue the discussion with @bruce moulds.

The Sako (factory bedded with a forend pressure point), was re-bedded 1st with and then without the factory pressure point. Over several steps in my case. Groups opened up after removing the factory pressure point. Groups went back to ~ MOAi when I put it back. Cold bore shot (usually ~ 1 TO 1.5 MOA low) was eliminated.

The Tikka T3X Hunter barrel was factory free floated and did not require a forearm pressure point. Shoots great with the action and recoil lug (only) bedded.

On the CZ 550 w/ new B&C stock, the 1st bedding job was just the recoil lug plus a little at the front and rear action screws. More at the front screw, less at the rear. Slightly better, but not much joy as to group size.

Since the rifle shot decently, even with the factory wood stock making contact with the barrel, I added a forend pressure point on the second go-round. I did not know this was a no- no. :)

It now shoots sub MOA (three shot groups) with the first two just about touching. Probably almost as good as I can hold it. (I'm about a half MOA shooter.) Not saying a professional couldn't do better, but I enjoy doing things myself, when I can.

Second outing after the modified bedding job. Cold (dirty) bore at 219, first two shots essentially touching.

Last three shots of the day with the 9.3x62 (below pic), 325 yards - 3 of 3 did 2 3/4". 0.81 MOA. First two just about touching. I'm beyond happy and would recommend the Gunblue490 bedding videos to anyone wanting to try their hand. There is a part one and a part two. He is very thorough.


20200808_085247.jpg
 
Last edited:

Wyatt Smith

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I read about Carlos Hathcock and his theory on this. He zeroed his hunting rifle one shot per day, cleaning between each shot. That way his barrel was always the same (for the first shot).
He said the first shot was the most important. So why practice more than one per day.
That being said I’m sure he knew where his rifle shot with a fouled barrel, a hot barrel, cold barrel, and so on. He kept a very detailed journal for each rifle, recording every shot.
“If a fly lands on the barrel and farts I write it down.”
Personally I always shoot with a fouled barrel like most people do.
 

fourfive8

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Edit - Ha! I did not notice how old this thread was, but to continue the discussion with @bruce moulds.

The Sako (factory bedded with a forend pressure point), was re-bedded 1st with and then without the factory pressure point. Over several steps in my case. Groups opened up after removing the factory pressure point. Groups went back to ~ MOAi when I put it back. Cold bore shot (usually ~ 1 TO 1.5 MOA low) was eliminated.

The Tikka T3X Hunter barrel was factory free floated and did not require a forearm pressure point. Shoots great with the action and recoil lug (only) bedded.

On the CZ 550 w/ new B&C stock, the 1st bedding job was just the recoil lug plus a little at the front and rear action screws. More at the front screw, less at the rear. Slightly better, but not much joy as to group size.

Since the rifle shot decently, even with the factory wood stock making contact with the barrel, I added a forend pressure point on the second go-round. I did not know this was a no- no. :)

It now shoots sub MOA (three shot groups) with the first two just about touching. Probably almost as good as I can hold it. (I'm about a half MOA shooter.) Not saying a professional couldn't do better, but I enjoy doing things myself, when I can.

Second outing after the modified bedding job. Cold (dirty) bore at 219, first two shots essentially touching.

Last three shots of the day with the 9.3x62 (below pic), 325 yards - 3 of 3 did 2 3/4". 0.81 MOA. First two just about touching. I'm beyond happy and would recommend the Gunblue490 bedding videos to anyone wanting to try their hand. There is a part one and a part two. He is very thorough.


View attachment 362741
Yes, sometimes that absolutely will work. I currently have a couple of pilar bedded rifles that also have a pressure point added at the forend tip. Barrel harmonics/dampening effects are extremely complex and sometimes a small amount of forend pressure at a location may have a noticeable positive affect on group size. Predicting exactly how much and at what location for best group is akin to water well divining and alchemy. However, sometimes free floating will be the most accurate and consistent. Nearly impossible to predict outcomes though- so always best do some experimentation to determine. Old Winchester shooters are very familiar with endlessly tweaking the forend screw on both the Model 70 high powered rifle and the Model 52 22rf. :) I've experimented with both those models quite a bit. Additionally, a problem with wood is that it can change and may change quickly with large swings of temperature and humidity. And nice shooting BTW!

If hunting with a muzzleloader, since I always clean BP rifles after shooting, I hunt with a cold clean bore. However, I also sight-in using the first shot- cold clean bore.

If hunting with high power smokeless rifle after air travel, I will have sighted-in with a slightly fouled cold barrel. That way I know where the rifle will shoot for the 1st hunting shot after the obligatory check for zero couple of shots after arrival at hunting area/camp. Additionally, having purposefully shot a few rapidly loaded shots at the range during sight-in or practice, I will also have a good idea what the POI does during four or five rapid shots. If the rifle and ammo is right, the variation should't be too large.
 

bruce moulds

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quite simply, the fact that barrel pressure improves grouping, is a red flag that there is something wrong with the action bedding.
should this be the case, you just rebed the action until you get it right.
in the end you learn how to get it right.
decent gunsmiths and accuracy guys know this.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

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if you want to learn about bedding, why it works, how it works, and how to do it, there is a book called centrefire rifle accuracy by w hambly clark jnr.
as well as target, and varmint rifles, he made some museum grade safari type rifles.
as well as bedding there is stuff about triggers, fitting barrels, mounting scopes, etc.
bruce.
 
 

 

 

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