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I am working with a model 70 Featherwieght in 7M-08. Earlier this summer I narrowed down my handloads options to Federal case, Win LR primer, 44.0 Gr H414 & 140 Nosler Accubond. The rifle was putting 5 rounds into 2-inches +/- @ 100 yards but the groupings tend to string out horizontally. This week I was shooting for sight in purposes and you would have thought I had no control at all. Shots tended to skew BOTH right and left as well as below the bull.

Question 1: I suppose it is possible that the scope could have gotten banged some where along the line. The rings and bases are tight. Is there a suggested method of confirming constant internal adjustment without burning up a bunch of ammo? Scope is a Burris Fulfield 3X9 with no previous problems.

Question 2: what would tend to cause 5 shot groups to string horizontally?

I simultaneously shighted in two 30-06's with no problems so I don't think it is primarily an operator error.

I appreciate any thoughts....Brad
 

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IMO, cvc944 is on the right track. The first thing I'd check is to see if the barrel is free floated or touching - even lightly - one side of the barrel channel.

I have an older Model 70 Lightweight rifle chambered in 7x57mm. Out of the box, it shot patterns and never the same one twice. The left side of the barrel channel was pressing hard against the barrel so I removed the offending wood and made sure the barrel was free floating. I also bedded the recoil lug and action. I was rewarded with a rifle that now shoots sub-MOA 3-shot groups to the same place each time from a stone-cold barrel.
 

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AFTER doing all of the previous posts....

You can try a pressure-point on a free-floated forend as follows:

Slide a dollar bill (if you're hit hard like me - borrow a bill) wrapped around the bbl all the way to the receiver to verify no contact.

Fold a piece of paper (business card, etc) and, while pushing the bbl away from the stock, slide the paper in the end of the bbl channel about 1". IF this settles the groups down, you need to bed a pressure-point in the tip of your stock. BTW - try to apply 5-6lbs of pressure when you're wedging-up this "temporary pillar."


Most of my pencil-bbls shoot better this way, and I judge 5-shot groups from stone-cold to last-round of slow fire. Sometimes I actually shoot five fast shots at pigs. FWIW....

BTW - wood stock? Did you find loose action screws as above? Let us know! My bet is cvc944 has the solution to horizontal stringing....
 

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I free-floated the barrel and glass-bedded the action on a friend's .270 featherweight. It was pretty bad about a wandering zero before that.

I once out-shot him with an open sighted Swede :D but that's another story. Featherweights are great handling rifles but ..... not necessarily tack drivers. At least we got it to shoot the same place, twice.

Never got around to reloading for it; may have been able to find something the gun liked if we had. Good luck to you.
 

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I wish I could offer a more complicated-sounding solution, but switch from H-414 to Varget. I have the exact same gun, started with H-414 for load development, couldn't get it to group worth beans and switched to Varget: Problem solved.

BTW, this was with new brass. My groups further improved after using a Lee collet die to neck size.
 

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Brad, how long have you owned this gun? Have you shot it in various weather conditions, in the past? I have a Model 70 FWT in 270Win and replaced the original stock with an inexpensive Ramline. Yeah, it's a piece of hollow plastic, but boy did the groups get better! The real bonus is that it doesn't shift POI when the weather is cold or the barrel gets warm from shooting a 10-shot string.

If you don't have time/money to change to a different stock, or you just prefer wood, see the above instructions on how to bed the action, free-float the barrel, or create a more consistent pressure point under the forend. Any one of those, or a combination thereof, will most likely resolve your wandering POI.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Gentlemen: I do appreciate the suggestions. I should mention that it is a factory wood stock. Some years ago I did have the barrel fibergalss bedded but it appears to me that the fit is very close between the barrel and the glass...it is certainly not "free floated". The mystery to me is why there would be such a dramatic deterioration of POI between two shooting sessions 4 weeks apart with no changes in the known condition of the rifle, scope or ammo. I will check the guard screws etc but I am leaning towards internal damage of some sort to the scope. I think I will have to send it to Burris for technical confirmation...Thanks for all your comments....will also try a series with Vargat substituted for H414.
 

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Gentlemen: I do appreciate the suggestions. I should mention that it is a factory wood stock. Some years ago I did have the barrel fibergalss bedded but it appears to me that the fit is very close between the barrel and the glass...it is certainly not "free floated". The mystery to me is why there would be such a dramatic deterioration of POI between two shooting sessions 4 weeks apart with no changes in the known condition of the rifle, scope or ammo. I will check the guard screws etc but I am leaning towards internal damage of some sort to the scope. I think I will have to send it to Burris for technical confirmation...Thanks for all your comments....will also try a series with Vargat substituted for H414.
Unless you're using handloads from two different lots of H414 powder (which could easily explain your results) trying a few round with Varget isn't likely to help. Both show as good choices, in terms of burn rate for the capacity of your cartridge.

You don't mention just how big your groups are getting, but before you send it into Burris, can you play musical scopes and put it on one of the guns you know is shooting well? In my experience, when a scope goes to H E double-hockey-sticks, the groups don't just open up, they fall apart!

It is also possible for the humidity to be considerably different over a 4 week period, which can result in swelling or contracting in your stock...my vote is still for getting a synthetic replacement! :D
 

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I once had a post ‘64 Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 7 mm Mauser, which had the same problem as described in this thread. First thing I did was experiment with different powders and loads but this did little. I then floated the barrel with also resulted in no improvement. Then I glassbed the rifle which left it floating & once very little gain in accuracy. I got thinking about the front screw and check it out. I discovered the well inside the stock was too deep so I found a nickel sized washer, of proper size and hole large enought for the front screw to go through, and placed it in the bottom and placed the action back into the stock. The barrel then just resting, in the stock, and there was no barrel movement when I tighten the front stock/action screw. WELL this cured it! My Winchester Featherweight 7 X 57 m/m now as shooting 5-shot groupings of < .50” @ 100 yards. Infact, back in 1996; I made 378 yard shot on a Deer and dropped it in it’s tracks using this rifle. I wish I never sold it now!!:( So you might try this if nothing else works out.:)
 

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Infact, back in 1996; I made 378 yard shot on a Deer and dropped it in it’s tracks using this rifle. I wish I never sold it now!!
Old too soon, and smart too late. Happens to all of us :(

The M70 Featherweights were usually more accurate than theory would predict. Start by bedding the recoil lug. If that doesn't get you there, bed the last 3 inches of the barrel. Pillar bedding is the last as it's usually the most pricey.
 

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i assume you have also checked the crown to verify it had not been buggered up somehow?
have you removed the barreled action from the factory stock since you've owned it? if so i would make sure all the action screws are properly torqed as mentioned earlier.
if you have never had the action out of the stock before it sounds like you should pull it out now at this time and make sure the stock looks good (no internal cracks or what ever) and also pay attention the the inside of the action screw holes. i had a browning that did what yours was doing (i know it's a very diff rifle but it was a good leson learned) and i found two things that i believed to be contributing to my issues. one was a crappy bedding job, the other was when i looked into the front action screw hole i could see two bright marks on the barrel threads that told me the action screw was a wisker too long and was bottoming out into the barrel threads. anyway just one more item to narrow your findings down.
 

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I've sold only 2 guns in my entire life, and regretted one of them. It was a M70 FWT in 25-'06 that shot terrible groups when I first bought it. A little TLC (and some sandpaper on a dowel rod) and they tightened up to about 1.5". I sold it to buy my first wildcat and even though I love the 6.5JDJ, I still get a bit wistful, thinking about the rifle I let go.
 

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I have owned a couple FWs. My .30-06 BOSS always shot well and has the best trigger of any rifle I own. I had it glass and pillar bedded a few years back after returning from a combat deployment. It shot well enough already and probably didn't need this for hunting, but I tend to go on gun buying/tinkering binges when I get home from those deployments. Cash in the pocket and many months of maintaining, zeroing, and using weapons is a recipe for acquiring more guns and improving the ones you own I suppose:) Anyway, it shot well before when cold and about the same after the bedding. No real difference. It does shoot better when heated up than it did before. The excellent gunsmith that did the bedding job first verified that the crown was perfect. (It should be since the ugly BOSS apparatus protects it.) Anyway, he says the crown is among the very first things he checks when accurizing a rifle. This guy builds custom rifles, wildcats, and even set some bench rest records back in the day, so he knows what he is doing.

So after verifying that the scope is in tact and the action screws snug (as others mentioned above) have the crown and then the bedding inspected. If none of that fixes it, a bore scope may be needed for a detailed look at the bore and throat. I assume you don't have visually obvious fouling issues? Do you use a bore guide when cleaning to protect the throat?
 

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Sorry but I missed the brand of rifle scope that you have on this rifle! I have several model 70 featherweights and two of them are indeed tack drivers, both do have Leupold 2 x 7 power scopes on them. Nonetheless, I have free floated the barrels and bedded the actions, also had the lug trued as well. My triggers have been adjusted to 3 pounds. :)
 

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I am working with a model 70 Featherwieght in 7M-08. Earlier this summer I narrowed down my handloads options to Federal case, Win LR primer, 44.0 Gr H414 & 140 Nosler Accubond. The rifle was putting 5 rounds into 2-inches +/- @ 100 yards but the groupings tend to string out horizontally.
I swapped a rifle because I couldn't get it to shoot consistantly, a M70 FW in 7mm Mag. It would shoot good/bad week to week. No bedding or screw tightness combination did much to help the situation.

Then I moved the scope, a Leupold VX II 3X-9X, to a another rifle wearing a Nikon 2X-7X, that was a tack driver that deserved a "better" scope, (and sold the M70). Couldn't hit a shoebox regularly at 100yds, back to the Nikon, cured. :(

Usually stringing is a matter of a barrel that has some contact issues, and a wood stock, I love walnut, can take a walk from time to time. A cheap, but not permanent test, is to place a bit of card stock under the flat section by the recoil lug, and see if that changes things.
 

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I use a business card under the forearm to check for clearance; a dollar bill has failed me when the slim bbl heats up. the mid scw being just "snug" is critical. The useless, ahem....."bedding" that Win uses is what they call "Thermo Plastic Resin". It's pure crap. You can't properly bed a rifle with anthing that "moves" every time it's fired. If your gun has this, have it removed and properly glass bedded whereby the only part of the lug that touches anywhere is the very back. Be sure the front action scw does not touch the side of the hole anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gentlemen:

Update on the shot stringing situation. Seems that the core of the problem was improper cleaning technoque. I had been experimenting with a variety of Hornaday GMX, Nosler e-tip and Nosler accubond bullets in various load combinations. My previous cleaning featured the use of Hoppes' #9. At the suggestion of my reloading components dealer I shiffed to Butches Bore cleaner and ISO paste cleaer; really scrubbed it out. Behold...the groups tighten right up back to my earlier experience at 1 1/2 inches for 3 shoots @ 100.

I probably put 100+ rounds of the various copper bullets through it this summer and simply did not anticipate the negative influence of longer term copper build up.

Thanks to all for your collective suggestions.

Brad
 
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