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Discussion Starter #1
Just got the chance the other day to try out our first handloads for our new Rem 700 in .223

Tried four different handloads, four shots apiece. Best grouping was micrometer'd @ .454 inch at 100 yds. YAY. :D (This was mine and Dad's FIRST attempt at reloading, I think we need to go buy a lotto ticket ;) )


BUUUUUUTTTTT........ we did encounter a glitch.

For one particular load, the first shot landed a hair left of the Bull, second shot-- and inch to the left.

For obvious reasons, we began to "dismiss" this as an "inferior" load, but still I shot on.
Next shot was touching my first in this set, just enough to break paper...... a pattern emerges....... and I don't believe in coincidences.

and THAT is when I had my "AHA!" moment.

the subtle difference (that I was trying to explain to my Dad at the time) was that I simply moved my left hand (I shoot righty) from the forearm of the benched rifle to the comb, right in front of my face/ on top of my right hand. I wasn't exerting hardly ANY pressure in either position, but the slight change in position threw my Point of Impact 1 inch to the left at 100 yards.

To confirm my theory (I just hoped I wasn't going to look like a jagaloon if I was wrong :rolleyes: ), I told Dad that I would shoot the fourth, and final round the "wrong" way, and that it would land closer to the shot that was thrown left.

BOOM. I couldn't have been more right; you could barely tell that there were two .223 holes there, and it stacked fourth round where the second had gone. (Heck my two-shot "group" for the "bad" hold happened to be the more consistant of the two!)


**** So, to make a long story short (Sorry guys, AP English Lit & Comp has quite literally fried my ability to write less), what gives? i KNOW there is something wrong here, but is there anything we can do to fix this issue? I realize consistency is key, but can we do anything to minimize the magnitude of such flyers? Anyone with similar experiences?

Thanks in advance, gentlemen!
 

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What you experienced will happen, to a greater or lesser degree, with any rifle/load combination. Change your hold on a rifle, and the point of impact is going to change. As you said, consistency is they key, and that includes consistency in the hold.
 

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You're learning one of the basic tenets of benchrest shooting...they call it your "off" hand for a reason. Keep it OFF the gun! :)

While shooting from both front n' rear bags, or a mechanical rest, your left hand should be at the BOTTOM of the comb, or in your pocket. It should not do anything more than help get the crosshairs settled on target and then be completely off the gun at the shot. If you put 4 into less that .500", you're already doing a lot of things right! Congratulations on putting together your first ammo and having it shoot so well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This isn't so much about the LOAD.... but more about the rifle's stock, and how a minute difference in how i held it caused the POI to shift so much downrange
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks, broom :)

sorry for the short post, gotta get to school.
i'll check back in later this afternoon

FWIW.... would "bedding" the rifle fix this issue? Just wondering
 

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Well, it sounds like that stock is particular about how it's held. Synthetic? Rem synthetic stocks have a reputation for being a bit flimsy.

With a .223 you don't need a second hand on the stock. Use your off hand to "drive" the rear bag. That's how I shoot every bolt gun up through my .30-06. Lever guns and the bigger stuff (ie .338) has to have the left hand on the stock or forend, somewhere. That's just the way it is - for me, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, she's got a synthetic stock (the Stock stock, if you will)

And about the flimsy comment.... Have you heard of them called "Tupperware stocks?"
To me, the inch shift seemed to be an exaggerated difference for such a minute change.
That's precision shooting for ya, I suppose :rolleyes:
 

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This is common and is why in the final sight-in for hunting the rifle is held differently than for load development. After the load development is finished, the hold should approximate the way the gun will be held to shoot while hunting - eg. the forend on the hand rather than the forend directly on the sandbag.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What you guys are saying definitely makes sense, and maybe we can squeeze even more accuracy out of our rifle! :D

We were thinking about replacing the original synthetic with a Bell & Carlson,
(the "feel" of the original stock is kind of cheap and fiberglassy, to put it one way)

do you guys think this would improve consistancy/ minimize error?

great stuff :cool:
 

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What you guys are saying definitely makes sense, and maybe we can squeeze even more accuracy out of our rifle! :D

We were thinking about replacing the original synthetic with a Bell & Carlson,
(the "feel" of the original stock is kind of cheap and fiberglassy, to put it one way)

do you guys think this would improve consistancy/ minimize error?

great stuff :cool:
Given that you're shooting pretty good groups already, and you've determined that a consistent hold will probably tighten those up, I'm not sure a better stock is indicated...but it might help with better groups. The two main things I have seen make a good rifle shoot great are some kind of improvements to the stock/bedding and quality handloads. It sounds to me like you're pretty close to having a great shooter already, but a B&C stock certainly couldn't hurt if you're looking for something in the 1/2 MOA range.
 
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