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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I have a remington woodsmaster model 742 chambered in 7mm Express/.280 (However you want to look at it). My problem is, as it has been with my dad and my great grandfather, the grouping. It doesn't seem to matter what rounds you run through it, what elements you remove, or how deep you clean it. It never seems to group any better than a paper plate. While that will make a kill shot on most animals, I personally would like to be in a tighter grouping pattern. I was just wondering if this was a common issue among this model of rifle or if I've missed something.

Thanks for any info in advance. I'm still a young man trying to better educate myself.
 

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Congratulations on the furtherance of your education and welcome to the forum!

How do other rifles group that you shoot? That's a sneaky way of asking how YOU shoot instead of the rifle. :)

It sounds like you have a problem with rifle or sights. Paper plates at a hundred yards and iron sights is 'normal' for most people shooting hunting rifles. A scope should cut that down to a clay target-size group. Most 'non-shooters but hunters' consider a rifle that will hit a cupcake every time as pure magic.

You'll need a 20X jeweler's loupe or geologist 'hand glass' to check the condition of the crown. That's the first suspect.

Here's pictures of what to look for and what's 'right'. I can help you through the process if your rifle needs lapping. All you need is an electric drill and a couple hardware store items to do it.
 

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Welcome Bub. lots of good opinions on here.

742s were not known for great accuracy...BUT you should expect 2" or better from a bench with a scope shooting factory ammo.

First thing would be to check every mount/ring/scope screw to see if it is tight.
2nd if you have another rifle that has a scope and shoots 2" or less......change out to that scope.
If you haven't found the problem..then it is time to investigate the rifle.

Again welcome to the site.
 

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JBelk- I'm not the best shooter by any means lol. I was afraid of shooter error when I first started trying to mess with this rifle so I minimzed as much as possible and sand bagged everything I could with out getting a vise, (poor guy problems lol). With that in mind I also shot two or three other rifles that I had access of to check myself. My best group that I have pulled myself is about 4" and I'm satisfied with that but I always strive for better. With this rifle though I may get 3 in one corner of a target let the rifle set and shoot something else for a lil while and then turn around and may hit 3 other corners of the target. I work out of state but I'll definitely look when I get home in about a week.

HarrySS- I'll definitely double check all of those. Thank You.
 

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Bub93--

The comment about the 'vise' tells me your shooting technique could be what's causing your inaccuracy. I'm not satisfied with a four inch group while throwing rocks!!

First the basics-- Rest the gun on the fore-arm, NEVER the barrel.
Put a sandbag in the rear to rest the butt on.
DON'T push and pull and tug and mash the gun to get the perfect sight picture. Adjust the bags until the gun is resting without stress. Lay the forearm in a sand bag and squeeze and move the rear bag for sighting.
Shoot only one shot a minute and let it rest with the bolt open, NEVER leave a round in the hot chamber.

That rifle, with a properly mounted scope should shoot into three inches easily and some are much better.
 
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Welcome to the shooters forum.
742 isn't an a truly accurate rifle in factory form. The best of several I've had would struggle to run 2" groups at 100 with ammo it liked. Next thing they aren't a long life rifle so I 'd be concerned wearing it out before hitting the magic combination for accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JBelk- I'll try that and see if I resolve any issues with my technique.

MontyF- I appreciate that. I know my dad struggled with it for quite a while. Hopefully with the knowledge of several experienced shooters I can get it down just a lil more.

HarrySS- Thats all this rifle has ever known and it probably hasnt seen the woods in about three years.
 

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IF you can afford to buy two or three boxes of shells from different makers and different bullet weights and shoot those on the same day, this may also help to find a round the rifle likes. Beware shooting too many at a time and overheating the barrel. When I am testing some new loads I shoot five different powder loadings but will wait a few minutes between each shot so the barrel hardly gets warm. I had one custom made 7x57 which would put the first two shots in the same hole but after that would climb in an arch up to the left quite dramatically, all due to the very light barrel overheating.
Welcome aboard, hope we have been of help and please come back and let us know how you have got on.
It is nice to know a young man is keeping his fathers and grandfathers rifle alive.
 

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If three generations made that gun go 'bang', that's probably about two more generations than average, I would guess. Read this post:

https://www.shootersforum.com/rifles-rifle-cartridges/48302-remington-742-a.html#post432100

The 742 will beat itself to death, just a matter of when. Check the inside of the receiver to see if it is starting to get dented. You may well exhaust whatever remaining service life the gun has trying to find an accurate load. Before you go on that quest, make sure the scope and base and rings aren't loose (if it is scoped). If it has iron sights, you can shoot with those and see if it gets any better - if it does, you for sure have a scope or mount problem.

Might be nostalgic to hunt with it now and again, but don't expect it to hold up for thousands of rounds like a bolt gun - or to be as accurate, either. If you've got someplace to hunt where the shots might not be much over 50 or 75 yards, it might be good enough, as is, and certainly will last longer if you don't spend a lot of time at the range with it.

Best of luck. The crown could be an issue, and/or the typically very heavy triggers, as could severe fouling, depending on how much it was cleaned. A good copper solvent might be your friend. Put the gun in a 'cradle' but upside down so solvent won't run into the gas system.
 
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...or how deep you clean it.
If the barrel is really really clean, you will probably need to shoot a half dozen rounds, +/-, just to foul the bore enough to give some consistency. Do not include these shots in your group size nor make sighting adjustments based on these shots.

As you run a snug patch thru the bore try to feel if it is easier to push near the muzzle. Many older rifles have a bore that is more worn near the muzzle.
 

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MikeG- That would explain why it will jam open from time to time. I appreciate you digging that piece out and sharing it with me. It sounds like I may need to invest in a good gunsmith before it winds up torn beyond repair.

Mainspring- I haven't messed with it in a lil while but I'll have to remember that as well.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Drop the trigger group out and shine a flashlight up in it and see if the receiver is already battered. If so, you are probably at end of service life. Forum member Humpy mentioned in his post someone TIG welding up one and repairing it, but that isn't a skill set found on every street corner.


May just be time to retire it and hang it on the wall.... just a thought.
 
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There comes a time when a family heirloom should be just that. Hang it on the wall and enjoy the memories.

You will be money ahead in ammo and gunsmith savings if you buy a good entry level new or used gun. The guys on here have a lot of experience with new and used rifles and could point you in the right direction before you purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate everyone's input and advice and I look forward to reading and posting in the future. You all are a good, knowledgeable, and respectful group of guys and their is a lot to be said about that. Thanks again fella's.
 
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