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  #1  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:53 AM
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Unhappy Browning .223 x bolt grouping


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Hi, I am after some advise from anyone who can help me with my Browning .223 x bolt, I have owned it for 12 months now and can still cant get a good grouping at 100 yards, first I thought it was me so a few different friends have tried who are all experienced shooters and still no solution. I have tried a lot of different ammo and about 220 rounds through it so it should have settled down, the best group is 4" @100 yards, but it might flick one out to 8", it has an ASE North star mod which I think gets too hot, I shoot 4 rounds to get an average then let it cool, the barrel always gets hotter towards the mod and the mod is hot. I also own a browning .17 T bolt which is a great little gun, both my guns have the same scope, Burris ballistic, I have tried swapping the scopes and the .17 shoots the same and the .223 is still not right. Yesterday my friend told me to try some Winchester 55grain ballistic tips as he had a similar problem of flicking the odd bullet and a poor grouping, he used these for a while and can now use any make with a good grouping, so we tried some through my gun, it started off with a 2" grouping the best I ever had, we were shooting out of the sunroof of my vehicle resting on a few coats and then tried shooting lying on the ground using bi pod which did make a big difference, the grouping was still the same but they were all lower by 4" than without the bi pod, this made me think the barrel is not free floating so we rested gun on the bi pod as if to shoot and my friend used a piece of paper around the barrel to see if the stock was touching the barrel but it wasn't. I would be very greatfull if someone can help me on this matter, Some people I spoke to say they would send the gun back to Browning, but when I had the gun I never sent the warranty form off, will this matter?Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2013, 09:25 AM
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They will take it back without the card bing sent in.

I've sent a few rifles that would not group under 4 inches back. These were to different makers (American companies/products). They all recrowned the muzzle, one lengthened the chamber. None shot much better after they were returned to me by the manufacturer.

IIRC your gun was made in Japan, so it will never see the factory guys but will be sent to a contractor/repair shop someplace in the states.

Now when I get a bad one, I sell it at a gun show, seems that is where all the "like new, in box" gun show guns come from. Some rifles are not worth fooling with, It took me 45+ years to figure that out. To me 4" groups in a new rifle is a don't bother; life is short and I like shooting accurate rifles.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2013, 09:59 AM
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I would suspect the moderator in some form or another. Try to inspect it, look for signs of the bullets touching, if they are then it usually shows as copper streaks. There may have been damage to the barrel during installation, inspect the threading and crown.

Shoot some groups without the mod, the point-of-impact will be different, but group size will be an indicator.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2013, 10:08 AM
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+1 with Mainspring - anything you put on the barrel is goning to change the grouping. Could be installed off-center or perhaps just the extra weight hanging off the end makes the difference. Don't know where you're located, but shooting four shots in quick order will definitely heat the thin,whippy X--Bolt barrel too warm for good accuracy. Don't let the barrel get any warmer than you're able to hold a hand around it without undue comfort.

Agree with removing the moderator/silencer and trying without it.
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2013, 11:37 AM
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mainspring +1.

I missed he had a silencer on it. that will void any warranty, so returning it is not an option. Selling it at a gun show (in the USA) is out of the question, unless he has a thread bushing and keeps the silencer himself.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2013, 01:59 PM
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Actually he's in the U.K., and moderators/silencers are much more common.

No telling how the warranty support works over there. But, I would also try it with the moderator off.

Best of luck.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2013, 02:22 PM
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Hello and many thanks for all of your info much appreciated, sorry I didn't say I lived in the UK in mid Wales, thanks again for your help, I will try without the mod and let you all know,thanks
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2013, 04:19 PM
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Just curious as to what the twist rate is and the bullet weight's you've tried ?
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2013, 04:24 PM
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Hi, I have tried Federal 40g, Hornaday 53g, Remington 50g and 55g, Winchester 55g, all ballistic tips. The Winchester were the tightest grouping about 2". I believe the gun has a twist rate 1:12 and I have tried to measure myself looking how on internet and I also make it 1:12, like I say I am not sure what to try next so any help would be much appreciated, thanks
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2013, 04:55 PM
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Did you take the gun apart when you first got it to do a through and through cleaning on it before shooting it the first time ? My reason for asking that is if so, maybe you torqued the action screws to tight and or maybe not tight enough. Do you have a screw driver set that measures in inch pounds ? Have you been able to inspect the bore and chamber with a light as well as the crown, since it has a recessed crown it might have a ding or something. Also that model is glass bedded and unfortunately it might not have been done very well and could be a problem. I don't know how long the complete warranty is, but at a year old I personally would get it in before much more time goes by.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2013, 11:47 PM
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Hi, No I did't take it apart before using or since, I just put a few rounds through it and the cleaned and same again put about 10 rounds and then cleaned it, done this four times and the zeroed scope and tried grouping, it just seems to be getting worse to be honest, I thought at first it was me like I say so I had a few friends try and they all say it could be the gun, I think I will take it back to where I bought it, thanks for input everyone
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:51 AM
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The gun needs to be thoroughly cleaned before it's ever shot, it needs stuff like Wipe-Out, Butches's Bore Shine, Sweet's etc. Guns are packed with a preservative called cosmoline which is an oily waxy petroleum based product and is goopy and built up through out the gun. The mess that's probably inside the barrel by now would surprise you and will cause the fouling and powder residue to continue to build up. Unless you put it through a major cleaning you will never know it's true potential where accuracy is concerned. I would suggest some Wipe-Out because it is ammonia free and you can leave it in the barrel for quite a while and let it do it's thing. It's very, very good stuff in a gel foam spray, there's a application tube you can buy for the can and I would get that also, it makes it easy to get in the barrel really good. You can spray it in and lay the gun down on it's side for 1-2 hours and then turn it over and let it sit on the other side for the same time. It's like Vasoline ! Here's a couple of links.

Cosmoline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

wipe-out

Last edited by fred243; 04-23-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for advise, I will get some and try it, many thanks
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