November 15, 2011, 02:39 PM
So far I have tried:
H4831sc (range from 48.0-51.0)
CCI .34 Primers
The results have not been favorible with the tightest group being 1.43" @ 100yds. Almost all 5 shot strings stack vertically but no two shots are touching. Stock is pillar bedded, Scope is nice and tight...
My first question to all of you on THR is...
What is causing the vertical strings? Could it simply be barrel heating (1 minute between shots fired)?
Second question is...
How can I cut down on copper fouling? After 3-5 shots the barrel is full of copper which takes me about an hour to scrub out with Sweets 7.62 and Hoppes. I have used Tubbs bore polishing kit and followed the directions included, however I havent experienced much improvement.
Components I have on hand and will try with some direction:
Bullets: 85 gr Nosler BTs, 100 gr Sierra SPs, 110 Nosler Accubonds
Powders: H380, RE 15, VV 540, IMR 4350, H4831sc, VV N160 and VV N560
Thank you all in advance for any advice and guidance.
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November 15, 2011, 03:16 PM
There isn't much info to go on. What kind of action is it? What kind of shooter are you? What is the gun? What kind of rest are you useing?
November 15, 2011, 03:20 PM
First thing I would check is to make sure the stock forend hasn't warped and came in contact with the barrel.
(Assuming it was supposed to be free-floated by the pillar bedding in the first place)
I might try the IMR-4350, as I kind of think the H-4831sc might be hoovering on the slow side to get the best velocity / stabilization with that heavy a bullet in the 1/10 barrel.
I also wonder why you are using CCI #31 Military rifle primers in search of accuracy?
But that is probably neither here nor there from a vertical stringing standpoint?
November 15, 2011, 03:44 PM
What is causing the vertical strings? Could it simply be barrel heating
It's likely that you have a standard weight barrel that is touching the front part of the stock, and it may be actually putting upward pressure on the barrel and with the heating of the barrel, it is causing the stringing.
If it's a Remington, it will have a couple support bumps in the forend touching the barrel. Properly floating the barrel will often eliminate the stringing.
A copper fouled barrel can cause problems too.
I have used Tubbs bore polishing kit and followed the directions included, however I havent experienced much improvement.
Hopefully you used the Tubbs after removing all the fouling first, otherwise you wasted your money.
Try the other bullets to see if it's the barrel or bullets causing the fouling, but with 3-5 shots causing the fouling, that's a bit much.
November 15, 2011, 03:51 PM
It is a Marlin XL7 (which means this may be the most accuracy I can squeeze out of it).
As to my shooting, I have loads that shoot .214" one hole groups out of my AR15 @ 50yds (see attached). I use a Harris bipod and use a formed sandbag in the rear.
I was hoping you would reply...
The barrel is still free floating and I wasn't able to detect any points of contact.
I will load some of the 110s with IMR 4350, and also try the N540 (slightly faster burn rate).
I know every rifle is different, but does the 1/10 tend to work better with the lighter bullets (85s and 100s)?
I am much more familiar with the AR-15 and 5.56/.223 rifles. This is my first bolt action load attempt. I have the OAL set appx. .010" from the rifling. Will adjusting seating depth have any significant impacts?
There is no logic to using the CCI .34 primers other than I have about 20k of them sitting on the shelf. I should have some Win LR primers also, I can try those if they will affect accuracy.
Thank you both for the posts.
November 15, 2011, 03:57 PM
When using the Tubbs I made sure I removed all copper prior to starting and between each 5 shot string (as directed).
I will try the lighter bullets to see what happens...
November 15, 2011, 04:12 PM
but does the 1/10 tend to work better with the lighter bullets (85s and 100s)?I think it might.
87 & 120 grain was the "standard" bullets weight back when the 25-06 was commercialized in 1969.
The 120 was noted for killing big game and the 87 was noted for accuracy on smaller stuff like antelope & coyotes.
But that in itself would not cause vertical stringing.
It would just open up round groups.
Since it is already free-floated, you could try a forend pressure point by adding a cardboard shim or two under the barrel out near the tip. Add enough shims so you can feel the stock "spring" a little when you tighten the guard screws.
Personally, my feeling is, the 25-06 is not the easiest cartridge in the world to find a good load for.
I built one when it was still a wildcat in 1968 using a Douglas XX medium heavy 26" barrel and it took me forever to find a load it would shoot real well.
That turned out to be a 87 grain Sierra over 52.5 grains IMR-4350.
Of course your mileage may vary in every barrel!
November 15, 2011, 04:22 PM
Thanks again RC,
I'll keep experimenting with lighter bullets and a few other powders. If that doesnt change my luck I will mess around with the barrel shims. I will admit I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that idea. Only because from day one I have been told how bad it is to have anything putting pressure on the barrel. But then again I am always willing to experiment...
The joys of Handloading;)
November 15, 2011, 04:24 PM
Nosler also in an email said that any Data used for the 115 gr BT could be used for the 110gr Accubond ....
November 15, 2011, 04:30 PM
I would take the Harris bipod off the rifle and just use sand bags and see what happens. On sand bags you should get only horizontal stringing if you're not holding the rifle still. On the contrary with what was said above I have been shooting 25-06 rifles since 1965 and have found them all easy to tune. 48 or 49 grains of IMR 4831 with a Speer 120 grain hotcor bullet has always been my pet load. I've never worried about letting a barrel on a bolt action rifle cool when shooting a group if the shots are about a minute apart. If the tripod isn't your problem, check your scope mount screws and then look at your trigger control. BW
November 15, 2011, 05:03 PM
When I start loading test rounds with bullet/powder combinations, what powder increments should I use?
I plan to load 5 rounds at each powder weight working up to max. So for example, if max is 50.0 should I load sets at 48.5, 49.0, 49.5 then 50.0? Or is there a better approach?
With copper fouling being an issue should I make sure to thoroughly clean between sets and load additional rounds to be shot as foulers?
November 15, 2011, 10:02 PM
To be honest, if your getting fouling that fast with those bullets you might give some Hornady's a try. They have a bit harder jacket material, and might help smooth that thing out some, especially if you can find some of the older round noses.
I have a Rem 700 I got roughly 20 years ago. I went through just about all the bullet weights and brands shooting just about a new load every weekend or so. The thing shot them all into 1" or less at 100yds with very little effort, except the Sierra 100gr Spitzer. For what ever reason it simply would not shoot them with any load I tried. Finally out of desperation I called up Sierra and used the load they recommended and like magic 1/2" groups right from the get go. The powder was IMR-4350.
Since about the third year of owning that rifle I settled on the 115gr Partition, over a load of 56.5grs of RL-22, in Winchester cases lit with WIN-WLR primers.(*This is the max load listed in the 4th Edition Hornady for their 117gr bullet and this powder, work up slowly in your rifle.*). At 200yds this load easily shot 3/4" all the time except when the factory stock finally went haywire. I swapped it over to a Fajen laminate and picked up right where I left off. My daughter and I constantly fought over who was going to hunt with it so I finally gave in and presented it to her for an early Christmas present about 6 years ago.
I swapped the Partition out while sighting it in for her, and slipped the 110gr AB in with no other changes. The first three shots we actually had to ride out to the 200yd target to see that thee were actually three bullets through the one hole. Here is the last target I shot with it back around Memorial day when I cleaned it up and checked the scope at 250yds,
We had a 15+mph cross wind and I had just finished cleaning the barrel. I fired one fouler and two for group in the time it took to remove the spent case and single load the next. If it don't shoot like this, it isn't the load or rifle. I know it's only two shots but there have been literally hundreds of groups just like this shot, not only be me, with this rifle so I don't feel the need to waste barrel or ammo just to make the hole bigger.
I highly suggest looking at RL-22 and trying out some of the Hornady 117gr bullets for a while. They seem to break in a barrel pretty decently. I had a similar issue with a .270 which was doing exactly as you describe. About a box and a half of the Hornady's, and it was very noticeably easier to clean and only started to foul at around 45 - 50 rounds.
November 15, 2011, 10:07 PM
What powder and powder weights are you using with the 110 Acubonds. It almost sounds as if you are pushing them thru the barrel too fast and that is causing the shedding of copper. Too high of a velocity thru the barrel, the twist and the bullet weight, would push the bullet through without the round being able to spin properly within the lands. Do you ever get any key holes in you target?
Start with the minimun powder charge and work you way up till you see overpressure problems or hit the max recommended powder charge, which ever comes first. Any keyholes are an indication of a lack of stabilizing spin on the bullet.
A powder charge of a powder type that fills the case (of what ever caliber you are shooting) to almost 4/5 full is the best charge to use. If you have a half full case and a hot load, you need to try a different powder.
At some point in your research (shooting you test loads) you should notice a 'tightening" of you grouping. This is the load your rifle likes the best. This is if there is not something wrong with the rifle, bedding, bad lands, or other strange problem. Have fun and keep good records.
November 16, 2011, 09:13 AM
I just spent 2 hours trying to put a post togather only to get the error message about logging in.
Anyhow I would find why it is fouling in only 3 shoots first. Everything esle is meaningless until then. I had said much more but you really need to get through that problem first.
November 16, 2011, 10:05 AM
Today on my lunch break I plan to shoot factory 100gr rounds that I had sitting on the shelf. I plan to shoot 10 rounds cleaning between each shot and removing any copper. Im hoping the factory loads will be slightly slower and help "smooth" any rough spots as long as I thoroughly remove the copper between shots. Once that tedious process is complete I will shoot four 3 shot groups cleaning between each group. Also shooting at least one fouler after cleaning. In doing all this I am hoping to polish the bore a little bit and also track and truly see how fast and how much copper is building up. (This is a relatively new rifle with only about 50 rounds total down the pipe).
If this helps the copper problem I will go back to the drawing board on load development.
Trying 85 Noslers, 90 Barnes TSX, 100 Sierra SPs, and a few more trials with the 110 Accubonds. (Starting with the slowest listing and working up)
My new Nosler manual came in the mail last night so I have alot better powder choices than what they list on their website. I have atleast 5 powders they list at each bullet weight.
So the experimentation begins.
Thank you all for the guidance! If I have any other questions or issue come up along the way I'll be sure to ask.
November 16, 2011, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the tips on the Hornady's and RL powder. The new Nosler manual list RL 19 as "the most accurate powder tested" with multiple bullet weights.
I think I may pick up some Hornady 117s and some RL 19 on my next trip to Cabelas. Luckily its about 10 minutes from the house ;)
November 16, 2011, 10:33 AM
My Encore has a 1:9 twist so you might do better with lighter bullets.
Regarding the vertical stringing, I would include the scope in the list of suspects.
I don't know if your rifle is new or used. If it has been shot a lot and has throat erosion, it may ALWAYS have a copper fouling problem. If you run a patch through the barrel and shine a light down it afterwards, you may see small pieces of patch adhering to a rough spot in the barrel. If this is the problem, then you need a new barrel or you'll have to put up with it as it is.
I've never used Sweets so can't comment on it. I quite using Hoppes over 25 years ago because there is better stuff available. I would also not use an abrasive product in one of my barrels.
I like to treat new barrels, before I've even shot them, with Microlon Gun Juice. I rarely use any kind of brush and, if I use a brush it's either nonmetallic or bronze; never stainless steel. The product I've pretty much settled on for removing copper fouling is Wipe Out.
November 16, 2011, 10:50 AM
Im not familiar with Microlon Gun Juice, where can I find it? This is a new barrel so I'll give it a try.
As for Wipe Out, I have heard alot of people switching to it. I'll be sure to pick up a can at Cabelas (if they have it).
November 16, 2011, 11:44 AM
Forget shooting the rough out.
You won't, at least before you go broke buying factory ammo and copper solvent!
Try lapping it with this stuff.
Use a bore caliber jag & patches and plan on spending some time at it.
November 16, 2011, 12:10 PM
After reading all the horror stories of hand lapping I was trying to avoid that avenue, but this method seems much less abrasive. I should be able to do that without causing too much damage. I'll put in an order and start there as lapping was also my dads first suggestion. (He did mention something about a shoulder work out) ;)
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
November 16, 2011, 12:21 PM
After reading all the horror stories of hand lapping
You already shot abrasive grit coated bullets through it with the Tubb's Final Finish.
How much more horror can there be left? :D
November 16, 2011, 12:27 PM
Good point RC.
I'll skip the range stuff (save time and money) and wait for this stuff to come in.
I have read when using the J-B's put some on a patch scrub about 25 passes then add more to a new patch and continue until satisfied or exhausted...
Does that sound about right? Or do you have a preferred method when using J-Bs?
November 16, 2011, 12:34 PM
If the patch last 25 passes, fine.
But it probably won't before wearing through, at least at first.
It has to be a tight fit on the jag to do much good.
Make sure you have a .25 cal brass jag too.
A slotted cleaning rod tip won't work.
I sometime also use a one caliber smaller bronze bore brush with a patch wrapped around it.
Gives you much more surface area then a jag.
November 16, 2011, 12:56 PM
Luckily, I do have a good .25 cal brass jag and plenty of patches. I may have a .243 bronze brush laying around.
When it comes to the scrubbing process, should each pass be a complete pass from chamber to muzzle? Or do you scrub back and forth?
Im slowly realizing that I have alot to learn! Details, Details, Details...
November 16, 2011, 01:05 PM
You can drill a primer pocket out of a fried case to make a chamber end bore guide for the rod.
Then I put a shaft collar stop on the cleaning rod that hits the case head so the jag doesn't run clear out the muzzle a drop the patch every stroke.
Then just go for it back & forth till the patch needs recharging with JB, or wears out!
November 16, 2011, 02:21 PM
For Microlon Gun Juice go to:
Be sure the barrel is absolutely clean and then let the final coat be the Microlon Gun Juice. Microlon recommends shooting through the bore with wet Microlon in place.
I would never use abrasives in a bore. It's not necessary. Bullets going down the bore will smooth things out fast enough if that's the problem. If you don't have to get your cleaning done in an hour, you also don't need brushes. My cleaning starts with Prolix to get the major stuff out, then Wipe Out Accelerator and then Wipe Out. I let the Wipe Out sit in the bore for at least 15 to 20 minutes though leaving it in all night works fine as well. On barrels initially treated with Microlon Gun Juice, generally 2 to 4 treatments with the Wipe Out is all that is needed to get all the copper out.
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