.204 Ruger copper fouling, accuracy


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tbraddy
April 11, 2010, 11:26 AM
Hey all,
I have a question about my brother's rifle. It is a Savage (sorry, don't know the model #) in .204 Ruger. He is having a devil of a time with copper fouling in the barrel, and the accuracy is bad. We have several suspects: the fouling itself, his handloads, the scope, and maybe the rifle. We are trying to figure out the cause of the fouling, and in the course of doing this have tried reduced loads and different bullets. He is using dogtown bullets from Midway, and 32 and 40 gr. Hornady V-Max.

My questions: Could there be a problem with the rifle causing the fouling? After 10 shots the barrel looks copper plated. Obviously accuracy takes a dive. Is this typical of the .204?

He has purchased a higher-end bullet seating die and has a tool to check runout. Even with minimum runout accuracy isn't what we expected-1.5" or better at 100 yds. off of a rest. Is that typical?

We have seen groups 10" high and 1.5" wide, and some 1.5" high and 10" wide. We have also seen groups that pattern worse than a shotgun. Sounds like a scope problem, but considering the rest of the issue, we are not sure.

Any input is greatly appreciated. I think we might not be seeing the forest for the trees because we have been staring at them too long.
Thanks to all in advance.

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stubbicatt
April 11, 2010, 01:16 PM
Start with the simple things. Make sure the rifle is secure in the bedding/stock. Make sure the scope bases are secure to the receiver. The rings are secure to the scope bases. And lastly the scope is secured in the rings.

If you told me you were getting 1.5" circular groups I'd say there is an accuracy problem. That the groups are stringing like you say suggests to me a different sort of mechanical problem.

Lastly even a scope "parallax" problem won't shift groups that much. Perhaps the internals on the scope are broken.

tbraddy
April 11, 2010, 04:07 PM
Thanks, stubby.have checked to make sure things are tight on the scope. What gets me is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to a sometimes tall, sometimes wide, sometimes all over the place group. I am trying to convince him to get a better scope, but since we are brothers...well you figure that out. ;)

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