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Discussion Starter #1
Is it normal to have to shoot a few foulers before your rifle starts grouping well? My first shot out of a clean barrel (no fouling and almost no copper) Is 3 inches lower and 2 inches to the right of the main group. The 2nd shot is 1 inch lower and 1 inch to the right of the main group. The third shot is part of the group. This is at 200yds. My other two rifles did not do this with a clean barrel. All three are bolt action. Is this a sign of more problems to come? I've probably shot 500-600 rounds through this rifle (24" heavy barrel, savage 10fp in .308).
 

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no its a common thing to have a clean barrel shoot to a different place than a dirty one. i don't know how often you clean your rifles but you can wear it out faster with a brush than with bullets. you should get between 5,000 and 10,000 rounds out of a barrel chambered for .308, before you see issues of it being worn out. i have an on going bet with some guys and i've had to shoot a remington vls in .308 i clean it about every 300 to 500 rounds. when i do, i have the same problem you do but it usually only take 3 rounds to get it shooting back to point of aim. which reminds me since the weather is relativaly nice i need to soot that sucker, trigger time never hurts.:cool:
 

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I've been developing some different loads for 155 smk's and 175 smk's so I've been cleaning all the copper out of the barrel every 50-100 rds. I use a nylon brush and I thought it would be safe to use on the barrel.

So now I not only will I be testing different grain bullets, differring grains of powder, differing weight of case, different oal, and now how many rounds through the barrel until accuracy starts to be affected. I wonder if I should have just called an engineer at savage and asked them what the best bullet, powder, case, oal and if I should ever clean the barrel? I probably wouldn't have believed them anyway and went ahead with my own testing... Why do I have to do that with everything? The first thing I do when I get something is take it apart to see how it works and see if I can do anything to improve on it. Usually I can. Sometimes I just screw things up.
 

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The first thing I do when I get something is take it apart to see how it works and see if I can do anything to improve on it. Usually I can. Sometimes I just screw things up.
My long lost twin!!!!
 

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You'd be amazed how long you can go between barrel cleanings, and not damage the barrel at all. As long as you're not shooting corrosive ammo, leave it the hell alone. Maybe swab with a dry patch, if you want. Some guns simply shoot better dirty. If you hunt with that rifle, take a few fouling shots before taking it afield.

You might also consider, though, is it just you needing to warm up a little before shooting? I know I definitely shoot a lot better after warming up a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You might also consider, though, is it just you needing to warm up a little before shooting? I know I definitely shoot a lot better after warming up a little.
That's funny because that is exactly what I thought at first. There was no way it could be my beloved .308 doing this. But after 3 consecutive times at the range it did the same exact thing in the same exact pattern.

Btw I did take this rifle hunting, twice. The first time I only fired one shot and it went right where the crosshairs were. The second time I took two shots that were too long. Then my third shot, about 45 minutes later seemed like a gimme at about 100 yds but I missed!! I kept going over it in my mind but it still seemed like a perfect shot. Well now I know that the rifle had something to do with it but three inches high at 100 yds still should have been a dead deer. No more hunting with this rifle until I know for sure what is going on. I'm taking the 300 win elk hunting today. In fact I gotta go right now!
 

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i know one fellow that does not clean the barrel of his rifle (other than a dry patch) till the end of the target season. he always places in the top 10 in every match i've seen him soot in.

next year i'm going to go elk hunting again. maybe in Montana or new mexico. i'm going to use my big elk rifle, it's chambered for 7x57, i'm going to shoot a 160 gr bullet. its worked in the past so i should be good for the future. it weights 6.5 pounds with a magazine full of rounds, and has a leopold 6x42 on top of it. i in the recent years haven't had to shoot an animal at over 200 yrds so i should be good to go for next year. also it will slap a mule deer down just like the big and bad loud'nthunderboomers i've used in the past. :cool:
 

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Okay, next time you're at the range, shoot for a while, until you're doing real good. Thoroughly clean your rifle. Shoot a different rifle for a few rounds, just to stay in the groove, then grab the .308.

BTW, you DID check the torque on all your screws, mounts, rings, etc., right? PLEASE tell me you're not using some cheapo scope!
 

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Well I went hunting for elk today but didn't see any except two in the back of someone else's truck. I know there were elk where we were because we saw tracks and sign but we never did see any. We saw a ton of mule deer, twenty or so antelope and a moose. I'd never seen a moose before. I got it on the camcorder, sure is a big sucker. It kinda looks like a horse with antlers. I wonder what moose jerkey tastes like?

Back to the subject. I haven't checked the rings since last year but they are burris zee rings, pretty much the best rings I have used on any of my scopes. The scope on the .308 is a millet 6-24 x 56 with the mil-dot reticle. Not the worlds best scope but by no means a cheapo.

The next time I go to the range I am not going to clean the rifle at all. The time after that I will clean it but only the fouling and leave the copper. The time after that I will thoroughly clean it (copper and fouling out of the barrel) and see what happens. I will be keeping careful note where that first shot goes versus all the rest.
 

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well the last time i cleaned my 308 target rifle was 400 rnds ago. went out to the range at the 300 rnd mark. shot 1 rnd to check zero in the new conditions, made an adjustment to the scope, then started to shoot groups with it. so far i haven't noticed any differance in it's accuracy level. as a matter of fact i usually use the last ten rnds to check accuracy at 300 yrds. it shot 2 of its common 0.5" groups at 300 yrds so i think it hasn't reached it dirty threshold yet. so next time it will be for 500 rnds without cleaning. we'll see what happens as i shoot 100 rnds per setting with it.:cool:
 

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This will probably raise some eyebrows, but I never clean my bolt-gun barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was experimenting with different powders and bullets so I wanted to start from the same starting point (clean barrel). Like most of you have said I probably could have left the copper in there and only cleaned the fouling every 500 rds or so. Well now I know what not to do with the other rifles.

On a side note I really did think that the buildup of copper in the barrel would cause an increase in pressure and therefore an increase in velocity. It's probably so minute that I wouldn't notice it, if it is happening at all.
 
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