.243 problems and questions


July 16, 2012, 12:03 AM
Hello, bit of a long read, but I would appreciate some advice if you can spare the time.

I have been working on .243 accuracy for a little while now. I started off with a stock winchester 670 (basically a no-frills model 70 with sport barrel). Accuracy was not good. I inspected the rifle and could find no problems other than suspect bedding problems, so I bought a hogue overmolded stock with aluminum pillar bedding. Accuracy didn't improve much. I performed some trigger work, removing the extra travel, lightening the pull, honing the catch. Sweet trigger, still wide groups. All testing is done at 100 yards on match target and benchrest. These rifles are known to perform 1/2moa or better.

I have been using varied charges of IMR4831 behind speer and hornady 85 and 100gr bullets set at varied depths in the case. Best I could get with that was about a 2" group with occasional fliers that were not my fault. I started using fire-formed cases, no crimp, bullet seated out closer to the lands, matching headstamps and uniformly trimmed cases. Still no dice... 2moa+. Best load was 42.5 gr at ~2875 fps on the chrono.

I had a bit of a different powder available that was given to me (IMR 4895) and although my current book doesn't give data for it, an older book did. I started with 33 grains. 3 1/2" moa. At 35 grains, I got a group just under 1" (eureka!!!... I was beginning to think something was wrong with the rifle). That got me ~2820 fps. This with a 100 grain hornady spbt.

I think I can work with this, tweak it, and make it better, but I have a concern. I understand that IMR4895 is a bit fast for this heavy of a bullet. If so, that would make pressures higher than ideal in the chamber and barrel. I don't want to erode my barrel faster than normal. Any ideas on this? Should I try a few other powders before settling on one, or should I see if I can work with this and get my desired 1/2 moa? Anything else you might suggest?

Thanks for your opinions!

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July 16, 2012, 08:20 AM
Hodgdon has data for IMR 4895 with your bullets weights. Use it and work up and you should be fine as far a pressure goes.

I have my doubts that a 2gr increase in powder took a 3 1/2 inch group and turned it into an MOA group. Maybe, but it sounds more like a fluke to me. Did you get this "almost 1 inch" group more than once?

Have you checked the optics and mounts on this rifle. Have you swapped the scope out with one of known accuracy?

July 16, 2012, 08:41 AM
First, .243 is not unique and some rifles are 2 moa shooters so no load can change that. And, as Steve menions, scopes matter too.

Next, no other factor for accuracy is as critical as the bullet. Some rifles hate a lot of bullets and no load work up can change that. When - and if - you find a bullet the rifle likes it can make a radicial improvement in accuracy.

July 16, 2012, 11:58 AM
According to Hodgdon data.

A max load of IMR-4895 (35.7) gives slightly lower pressure then a Max load of IMR-4831 (43.0).
Also slightly less velocity.

So, you are burning almost 10.0 grains less powder, at slightly less pressure and velocity.

That should translate into longer barrel life, not shorter.


July 16, 2012, 01:25 PM
Steve, like you, I couldn't believe how the group settled in with the 2 grain increase. I got 2 groups of 5 shots at around 1", then went back with the 33 grain loads and the group opened way back up. I shot one more group of the hotter loads and got another ~1" group. This pretty much leads me to think it wasn't a fluke or the rifle or optics. I have tried a scope from another working rifle, same results. I didn't try swapping the mounts, but I'm not convinced that is the problem yet.

Ranger, I know some rifles are just not as accurate, and if mine is one, then so be it. I did finally get it down to 1" for the first time though, so I just wonder if I can get it even better. I thought about trying other bullets also, but I got the same results (consistency), ranging from about 3" to 1" with both bullets. Speer 85grain spfb and hornady 100 grain btsp. I got the 100 grainers into 1" with a 35 grain 4895 charge, and a 36 grain charge on the 85 grain bullets. This makes me think it's not a difference of opinion between the rifle and the bullets, but something else? Would you agree, or is my logic flawed? I don't doubt that there may be a bullet that performs exceptionally in my rifle that I haven't found yet, but do you think the bullet is the fault that causes groups from 1" to over 3"? Thanks!

rcmodel, thanks. If you were in this situation, what would be your next step to improve accuracy?

July 16, 2012, 01:31 PM
(basically a no-frills model 70 with sport barrel).Quite frankly, if you are getting under 1 MOA now with a Model 70 Sporter?

I might Bee Happy!

A 1/2 MOA might have your sights set a little high for any average sporter weight .243.


July 16, 2012, 03:00 PM
but do you think the bullet is the fault that causes groups from 1" to over 3"? Thanks!

Yes and No. The most important factor is your barrel harmonics. Is the bullet leaving the barrel at just the right moment when the barrel is in mid cycle.

This is a factor of both the barrel length and bullet weight and also the speed at which the bullet leaves the barrel.

Factors that will make this up are bullet weight, amount and type of gun powder, barrel lenght, AND jump to lands.

Since no two guns are the same even from the same mfg and same model. Each rifle has to be tuned to it's own perfect performing load.

All we can do is give you generallization as to what our rifles do, for your rifle you will need to experiment.

First thing is to overcome barrel whip, for my rifle (243 Winchester) (Savage Model 10 22 inch standard profile barrel), that is about at 2,900 FPS, but will depend on the type of steel and thickness of your barrel.

Second, is fastest is not always the bestest (not sure that's a real word). So my loads tend to be under the max loads by a half a grain of powder or more.

Next is bullet slection, I use the 105 grain Hornady A-Max's almost exclusively. Powder, H-4895, yes it works better for me than IMR-4350 or H-4350. Next is the weight of 31.0 grains of powder with sometimes up to 32.5 grains, but the 31 grains works better at getting small groups on paper at 100 yards.

Next, are you going to jam that bullet into the line and groves or are you going to give it a jump from the case to the throat of the barrel. For me I find that if I give the bullet a 0.050 jump and do not jam the bullet in, it works like a charm for my rifles. I use the Hornady L-N-L gauge with adaptor case to find the MAX OAL for each different bullet type I use and then back off that OAL by 0.050 inches.

And finally, the trigger pull must be perfect and smooth as glass. I use Savage rifles with the Accutrigger so that there is a clean break no over travel and it fires just as the scope is centered on the bullseye. A trigger job might be in order on your rifle to give you those sub-MOA groups.

So yes you can get sub-MOA groups, but it will take a bit of work on your part.
Good Shooting

July 16, 2012, 03:31 PM
I have a model 70 featherweight that shot horrible groups with everything. I tried everything I could think of before taking to one gunsmith who couldn't make it do any better after some stock work. Talked to a second gunsmith when picking up a 1911 and told him my tale of woe. Without even seeing the rifle, he suggested I pull the stock and reassemble with no more than snug tension on the front screw. It magically became a 1 MOA rifle and one of my favorites.

July 16, 2012, 04:30 PM
Cheeze, I would get 1 inch groups out of my Savage model 11 using 34.3 grains of IMR 4895 but the bullet was a Sierra game king. Going up to 35 grains the group would open to just above 2 inches and below 33.5 grains it became a shotgun pattern. I could not achieve good results with the Hornady and speer bullets you mentioned, but have had great results with the 87 grn. Hornady Vmax. I still like the 100 Sierra GMK and it does very well with IMR7828. Keep digging and you'll find a good recipe!

July 16, 2012, 06:34 PM
fire some factory ammo and get a baseline for future comparisons (bullet weight needs to be the same to compare).

check your crown for dings. rcmodel has a quick-fix posted somewhere to fix, if needed.

is your barrel supposed to be free-floated? if so, check it and make sure.

what do your groups look like? are they stringing vertical or horizontal, or just randomly roundish?

on a light rifle, holding the fore-end down hard, with your off hand, should shrink groups and reduce fliers.

set the fore-end on the front rest in the same position every time. also, remove the front sling swivel if it contacts the front rest.

eliminate parallax.

if i think of more, i'll let you know.


oh, and try imr 4064 if you get a chance.

July 16, 2012, 09:03 PM
Okay, lots of great suggestions.

rcmodel, if 1moa is all I can get, I can live with that, but I keep seeing reports of 5 shot groups on 1/2" for these rifles in stock condition. The one with the light barrel (featherweight) seems to get 1" groups from what I've read. Mine doesn't have the heavy barrel, but it does have some meat to it... it's the middle weight barrel. I respect your opinion about this though, so as of now I will consider anything under 1 inch as gravy, but I'm gonna keep trying.

Thanks for the ideas. I think you hit the nail on the head mentioning whip. That is the only explanation I can think of for 2 grains of powder to make the difference between 1" and 3" groups. I think I will start making test loads in 10ths of a grain increments now to see where I get the best results. I think I will try those A-max bullets too. Can't hurt. I just want to stay on the heavy side for deer hunting. I haven't played with bullet jump much. This gun has a long throat from what I can tell. I'm loading currently to 2.700. As I recall, this is something like .020 off the lands for that particular bullet. The sierras hit a little closer. I did work on the trigger, it is very nice now.

Thanks, I will try that.

100 grain winchester factory ammo got me in the 2" area with just under 2900 fps.

I have inspected the crown under magnification and could find no dings or damage.

The factory stock had the barrel floated, so I believe it should be. The factory stock was warped and contacting the barrel on the side of the fore end tip, so I went to the hogue because the barrel channel was already cut off-center and removing enough to eliminate the barrel contact would have really made it look bad.

Group pattern: The wider they get, the rounder they get. As they tighten up, they consistently give me a diagonal pattern from top right to lower left... probably 50-60 degrees or so. Can you make anything of that?

I'll try holding the forend down better. I wasn't doing that trying to remove as much tremor or other user-error from the equation as I could.

My scope has adjustable parallax, and I try to get a good cheek-weld at the same spot every time, right at the spot where I get full-picture in the scope and no closer/further. Is there more to it than that?

July 17, 2012, 02:34 AM
check the barrel by running a dollar bill between the barrel and the stock. should go all the way to the action without sticking or binding.

your groups diagonal stringing is from the stock touching the barrel or action on one side and not the other. the barrel should not touch, if free-floated. the action should only touch the stock: on the back of the recoil lug, the bottom of the receiver block and the bottom of the tang. no touching on the side or rear of the action.

when pulling down on the stock with the off hand, make sure to do it the same every time, and don't shake. idea is to add weight to the gun (artificially), but the weight should be the same with each shot. this also helps decrease muzzle jump at recoil.

the parallax adjustment ring or knob hash marks are not accurate. you should do a parallax check every time you change your shooting distance. test: with gun on rest, put cross-hairs on target, without touching the rifle with your face, or rest of body, move your head up and down, and back and forth. if the parallax is adjusted right, the cross-hairs will not move on the target. if they do move, adjust until they don't.


July 17, 2012, 07:39 AM
Cheeze, forgot to mention that you might try a Sims barrel De-resonator to play with the harmonics. Finding the right bullet/powder combo could be a challenge. I don't know what your research budget is, but I would try Several powders if you can. Seems to me if the gun is capable of 1 moa then it should get a little better(may be). If you have some IMR4895 and some H or IMR4831 why not try some RL-22 or some IMR4350 or 7828 or N560 or the like. I'd stick to the slower stuff if you plan on shooting heavier bullets for deer hunting. I'm thinking you can get what you want but it's going to take some research. Keep us posted, I'm interested to know because I've had my eye on a Model 70 featherweight .243 at one of LGS's in my area.

July 17, 2012, 08:29 AM
Try sierra 80 or 90gr matchking for accuracy with h4895.

July 17, 2012, 08:43 AM
The 670, with a barrel twist of 1-10 should do best with a 90gr or lighter/shorter bullets. Best powders IMR 4350 & H4350. IMR 4831 can work well with 90 gr, but is harder to find a load. Sierra 85 gr HPBT Gamekings are a good all purpose bullet from deer to woodchuck. Berger 90 gr HPBT match bullet will produce tight groups. Barrel clearence to stock should be more* than the thickness of a dollar bill. Expect average accuracy to be around 1" Some 5 shot groups will be smaller than 1" , some bigger. CCI Br2 primers, Win. or Rem brass work for me. Bench rest perp of brass has produced 5 shot groups under 1" @ 300 yds for me. Sorting brass by weight will get rid of flyers.

July 17, 2012, 10:51 AM
If you want to try a 90 grain bullet, I've found the Berger 90 gr Match BT (#24425) to be very accurate. I have a heavy-barrel Sako L579 that I couldn't get decent groups out of. I tried this 90 gr bullet with IMR-4064 and it was a whole different rifle. I traded emails with Walt Berger about it and he suggested experimenting with OAL. By setting the bullet about .005" behind the lands, I started getting really tight groups. .005" was making a difference of a good half inch at 100 yards.

Sometimes it takes a lot of patience... in this case it kept me from getting rid of a nice rifle.

Good luck.

July 17, 2012, 01:47 PM
might as well turn your case necks. and make sure the cases are all trimmed to the same length.

pull out all the stops!


July 17, 2012, 03:27 PM
Try with fore-end on bags, left hand under the pistol grip and butt pulled tight against your shoulder. 2 sock Weatherbys (vangard, plastic stock, cheap china x9 scope) shoot 1/2" with no effort, no special brass treatment (crummy Lee die) and no load workup. Midrange H4895 with Hornady amax 55-75 g, 100 g SP.

July 17, 2012, 08:22 PM
Do some searching and find "optimum charge weight method".

You already know that the rifle will shoot with a particular load.

So we can probably rule out any fundamental problem with the platform.

I have used OCW to dial in loads on many rifles. It is amazing and as you have discovered a couple of grains can be the difference between a good load and a poor load.

Do your best to get to a target that is 200 yards out. The effect of variation in charge becomes very apparent and when it groups that too will be apparent.

Spend a little time on Varmint Al's website. The man is a bonified scientist who loves to shoot. Once you get the concept of barrel whip or deformation under a particular load harmonic then understanding why OCW works becomes obvious. http://www.varmintal.com/amode.htm

July 17, 2012, 11:08 PM
I went to the reloading supply shop 30 miles away and picked up some speer grand slam 100gr bullets and some H4350. That was their only other heavy bullet choice aside from what I already have. They were expensive at $36.00 for 50. The powder choices were slim too. I plan to work with those components a bit too, as well as try to improve my IMR4895 loads that are already performing. I was shooting off a cheap outers bench rest, not bags. I think I'll sandbag it next time and I might strap it to a lead sled and see how that does. Have any of you used a lead sled? Is it a good way to determine the ability of a rifle while eliminating user error? I'm a very good shot, but I'm not a professional. I can put my 30-06 rounds through the same ragged hole off a sandbag at 100 yds though, so I should be able to with this as well.

Coltdriver, thanks. I will check that site out and the OCW method. Our range is 100 yards. I can put the target all the way to the berm and maybe get to 125-130 yards, but that's about it. I used to have other places to shoot, but right now I can't. I know a guy with a 700 yard range at his place, and I may try to get out there once I have some loads that do decent at 100.

Thanks for the ideas and info, keep it coming!

July 17, 2012, 11:35 PM
I bouht a cheapie 770 youth for my girls to shoot (no ejection problems yet)& the first load was IMR 4895 34grs. under a Hornady 85 gr. SP flat based bullet just off the lands , it shot a 1 hole group for 5 shots & just over an inch at 100 , I ain`t changing nuttin !!!

July 18, 2012, 11:04 AM
My LeadSled is a cleaning rack now. I prefer the bags, got the shooter's ridge shorty 4 bags, very stable and much easier to carry to the range. I prefer the BR position as I noted, let the recoil and bbl whip do it's thing, 243 is almost nothing and you find out the real characteristices. Holding onto the foreend will change POI and you can't do it the same every time. The vangards I'm shooting are 'off-the-rack' stock. They sell a guaranteed 1/2 MOA, just select the best off the line. So, some are better than others. If you want the 1/2 MOA you might not get it with your rifle. Any rifle will give an hour-glass patterning from low to high loads. You have to find the accuracy load.

July 18, 2012, 12:44 PM
The flat base Speer Grand Slam 100gr will likely be easier to stabilize in the 1in10" twist than the longer boat tail bullets that you have used. H4350 is usually a very good powder in the 243, and the start load of 37gr for 100gr bullet that's listed at the www.hodgdon.com site, should give you an indication of your rifle's potential with the Speer bullet.


July 18, 2012, 01:28 PM
I shoot a Remington 700 VLS .243 with 58 gr Hornady V-Max, using Varget....don't recall just how much, but it's in the Hornady manual. The muzzle velocity is around 3500 fps I think. My groups are usually about 1" at 100 yds, but like you I had to adjust the trigger to get there and tweek the load. This rifle has become my 300+yd p-dog rifle. With a steady rest and this load I can lay the cross hair across the back of a prone p-dog and hit him dead center at 300+yds.....almost every time. When I don't it's me, not the rifle or the load.

July 18, 2012, 10:59 PM
87gn Vmax are lightning in a buddie's .243. He is running H4359 and getting around 3200fps. They just flat kill stuff and are plenty heavy for most white tails.

July 18, 2012, 11:36 PM
I think a typo has been inserted. My Hornady book shows only H4350 powder, 43.4 grains of this powder is only 3100 fps, and its in the red danger section of the load. Just thought I'd mention that.

July 18, 2012, 11:55 PM
I shoot a lot of 243. My paper punching load is a Sierra 70 gr. HPBT MatchKing over 37.8 gr Varget. Moves along right under 3100 fps in my Ruger M77 and groups 3/4" for me.

July 19, 2012, 09:59 AM
Snag, that seems awfully slow for a 70gn. I have 75 vmaxes running 3420 over varget. Charges.

Yep typo, 788, but he is running H4350. His exact words are:

"43gr of H4350 driving an 87gr vmax at 3220 out of a 22" barrel

41.5 gr H4350 driving a 105 Amax at 3100 22"

R17 is about 100-150fps faster. Also h4350 was good up to 45.5 with the 87 but accuracy sucked"

This is a Kreiger barreled surgeon action from Jon Beanland, so definitely not an OTC gun. I have found that typically today's reloading manuals have been dummied down, most likely for lawsuit reasons. While they are a very good rule of thumb, they are not an absolute hard and fast line in the sand. For the experienced reloader they are good as points of note. I have several rifles that their hand loads are above book max, and they do not exhibit any signs of pressure, brass life is good and accuracy is excellent. The rifle shooting the loads listed above is another case in point. YMMV.

July 19, 2012, 10:46 AM
Snag, that seems awfully slow for a 70gn. I have 75 vmaxes running 3420 over varget. Charges.

It's a middle of the road load according to Sierra's data. You can go all the way to 3400 fps with 41.1 gr of Varget. I reason I tried the 3100 fps was because Sierra's accuracy load is at 3100 fps, all be it with a different powder.


July 19, 2012, 07:09 PM
Old Parker (P.O.) Ackley described fast moving bullets as all out of proportion to their size in effectiveness when hunting. He thought the 22 250 was spectacular and the .243 is no exception.

I shot an antelope at 225 yards with an 85 grain partition and the boiler room damage was unbelievable. It did not run 20 feet.

There is no need to go to a 100 grain bullet. I frequently hear shooters worried about the penetration of a light bullet so they go to the heavier 100 and 110 grainers. Nothing wrong with them but an 85 grain partition grenades the first half and the second half flys right through at .243 speeds. Just my humble opinion based on my limited experience.

July 19, 2012, 11:22 PM
I agree that 100 grains isn't required. I just ordered some lighter bullets. Most of the lighter bullets, however, are geared towards varminting and either blowing up on impact, or not destroying the pelt, or both. I did find some geared more for more controlled expansion and penetration.

I used to hunt on a plantation where I had free roam over the place during weekends and evenings (no morning hunts), but I could not shoot a deer unless it was a 100% sure kill. They gave guided horse-drawn wagon quail hunts to the wealthy folks, movie stars, football coaches, and the like. They did not want to stumble across a gut shot bloated deer with vultures pecking at it on their hunts. I quickly learned to be very accurate and I learned to make head-shots. The guy that ran the place showed me that you can look through the scope, get it near where the head will be, and whistle loudly. Every time, the deer would lift his head and look right at you. Then you quickly adjust your aim and shoot. Either you have an instant kill or nothing at all. (well, sometimes he wouldn't even run, he'd just go back to grazing and give you a second chance, but I rarely missed). I haven't hunted there in years since new management took over the place, but I am still hung up on having that uber-accuracy and instant kill. No suffering for the animal, no tracking to be done, and no meat wasted. A varmint bullet would more than suffice for that I suppose, bit I still want some heft.

July 21, 2012, 01:36 PM
I totally agree with RainDodger's comments. My Sako .243 shoots tight groups using his prescription. IMR

July 22, 2012, 08:55 PM
Well, I haven't had time to apply much info yet, but I had some other loads with the speer grand slam bullets that I wanted to try just to see, and I had a couple of hours free to run to the range. I might as well have used buckshot. Those bullets went everywhere. I shot a few more of the loads that I got 1" groups with before and got wider groups. My friend with the lead sled brought it to me, even though I told him I would come get it if I needed it (thinking I would sandbag it instead), but since he went to the trouble of bringing it and not wanting to disappoint him, I used it. I don't like it. I am back to starting to think there is something wrong with the gun. I can't believe this gun will only shoot half decent under such narrow circumstances. The shots are still stringing from top right to bottom left with almost every load I tried. The grand slams were so messed up I don't think I could even determine any pattern. Some of them were off the paper.

I've been doing some reading about the OCW method but haven't applied any of the info yet. I still have to try some more powders and bullets, but I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time trying to get this gun to shoot well. I'll try again with sandbags next trip to the range, maybe there was something to do with the way the gun sat in that lead sled that affected accuracy. I don't know... but I do know that bullets were going different places than where the crosshairs were when the gun went off.

July 22, 2012, 11:09 PM
Alright, I decided to do a more thorough check of the barrel. I looked under magnification at the crown again and saw no problems, but some roughness at the end of the bore caught my eye. It is really hard to get a light to shine on the side of the inside of the barrel and a loupe over the end at the same time, but I finally got everything just right so that I could see the sides of the barrel. Yuk. It is pitted badly. Using a bore light, the bore looks mirror smooth, but when you actually view the surface dead on from the side, it is full of pits and roughness. I guess I need a barrel? How hard is it to change? I have loads of tools and a very mechanically apt mind, but I've never done it before. I wish I could get a pic of what I see so I could get opinions.

Anyone know where I can find a barrel?

Edit: I've been trying to get a better look and I can only see just a fraction of an inch down the barrel, but it looks like the pitting is just at the muzzle end, not the whole thing. Maybe I can just get 1/2" cut off and re-crowned?

July 23, 2012, 02:59 AM
http://s1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj511/Cheese31757/?action=view&current=IMG_1004.jpghttp://s1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj511/Cheese31757/?action=view&current=IMG_1004.jpgtrying to post pics

July 23, 2012, 03:09 AM
Well, I decided to just cut a half inch off the barrel and see what it looks like further down. Fortunately, the damage was just at the end. I don't know what could have caused it... I am not the first owner.

I hacksawed it off.

Once I saw that the barrel looks good now, I decided to finish the cut end. Rather than buy an expensive tool made for the job, I took my case trimmer shaft out and put a .22 caliber pilot in it, which was a bit too loose in the barrel for the .243 hole. I drove a spent .22 casing over the pilot, clipped the rim off, and it fit nice and snug into the bore to act as a pilot for the cutter. Then I trimmed the barrel off square.

July 23, 2012, 03:24 AM
I filed it smooth and chamfered the crown and polished it as well

And here is a pic of the gun this thread is about.

Any reason this wouldn't work out well? The barrel is still 20 1/2 inches long.

July 23, 2012, 04:00 AM
Trying to post pics again only to find them in previous post. They weren't there a minute ago... something funny with the site at the moment.

July 23, 2012, 07:54 PM
Let us know how it shoots.

July 23, 2012, 09:37 PM
Some shooters thnk that trying to keep the gun from recoiling w/ q SLED is not good. Let it recoil. Laws of nature say it must recoil. Just try and get it 'the same' every time-everything the same.

July 23, 2012, 10:00 PM
As soon as I can take it to the range, I'll give a report. I'm hopeful. The pitting was really bad on just one side of the end of the barrel. In a spot, there was probably not even ANY original surface left... all rough like looking at the surface of the moon. 1/4" down, the barrel is mirror smooth. What would cause that? Am I right thinking that could cause problems, fliers, and poor groups? I assume some of the pressure could escape past the side of the bullet right there at the muzzle and yaw it a little.

July 23, 2012, 10:25 PM
Is that a flat crown or target? Target recesses the actual crown to protect it. I assume shooting will eventually deburr it. I can see that moisture would collect if left hanging on the wall for a while, would cause rust at the bottom of the bore, at the muzzle.

July 24, 2012, 08:25 AM
What would cause that? Rifles stored in an open rack, muzzle up will collect dust. Dust collects moisture. Rust forms if left to sit for a long time. Break Free CLP is best used with this storage method.

July 24, 2012, 07:42 PM
I have been shooting a 243 for 35yrs. and I load with IMR4895. I use 37gr. and I use a sierra 85gr. BTHP and I hold a group of a nickel or less at 100yds. I am shooting an old Remington 700ADL. This load has served me well. I have killed deer with neck ****s up to 250yds. and heart shots up to 400yds. This load however will not leave a blood trail do to the fact that the bullet does not go through after 250yds. The bullet fragments inside the body with devastating damage without tearing up meat.

August 5, 2012, 10:43 PM
I took it to the range today. SUCCESS!!! I found 2 loads with different powders and bullets that produced ~.185" and .25" groups. The .25" group was with 39 grains of H4350 and a 100 grain Hornady BTSP. The .185" group was with 36 grains of IMR4895 and a 90 grain speer Hot Cor bullet. I am extremely happy with that! These were 3 shot groups at 100 yards with a Winchester 670 on a sandbag. Even the worse groups were better than usual. I think the barrel fix was a major help.

August 5, 2012, 11:00 PM
Lookin good. Your now a gunsmith. :D

August 5, 2012, 11:07 PM
Here's the barrel after shooting:

The black streaks wiped off... just fouling.

August 8, 2012, 02:19 PM
I have been reloading for the .243 since 1963. My first powder was IMR-4831, military surplus of which I bought 5 pounds for $5.00! Today 4831 is new manufacture and sells for $24 + a pound. After I used up the 4831, I bought 10# of H4895. I think that cost me about twelve bucks, no does. I have reloaded over 40 pounds of H4895/IMR4895 which was ignited for prairie dogs and deer hunting. Today I shoot a Remington 700 rifle, sporter weight barrel and synthetic stock. I've owned three 700s in .243, all ADL version. The actions have been glass bedded, by me and barrels floated. Thus far I've never had a 700 that would not group five shots at one hundred yards that was larger than a nickel with my reloads using H4895. I cannot tell you the velocity as I want accuracy first! I want to know where my bullet will hit at 100, 200 and three hundred yards. I've never shot at an animal over 250 yards and know when I pull the trigger the critter is going down. My prairie dog load is 35.5 grains of H4895, WW case, CCI 200 and 75 Hornady HP. Light load, perhaps, but it will disembowl a prairie dog way out there and that's why I'm shooting 'em. My deer load is 36.3 grains of IMR-4895, WW case, CCI 200 and 90 grain Speer. To the best of my recollection, twenty one deer have fallen to my .243 and not one has argued nor taken more than one shot. I don't shoot for the lungs as that little 90 Speer bullet will blood shot a lot of meat. I hold for the spine right where it meets the head and that hold has proven to be my meat getter. I don't shoot at a moving animal and hunt from a stand either in a tree or on the ground. All shots are taken from a rest. I'm not a macho man hunter, just one who enjoys pursing a beautiful animal or raising a little hell in a prairie dog patch. The point I am trying to make is take your time to work up a load. Don't discount the faster burning powders in the .243. I have a friend who lucked into a load using IMR-3031 and swears by it. I have another shooting buddy who tried to use 4831 in his .270 but swore at the load not by it and uses 4064 with great satisfaction. Every rifle is unique. Remember one thing, all these scribes who say one powder is better than another is just trying to make a living and has to write about something. Go for accuracy and get to know your rifle and you will go home a happy and successful shooter/hunter.

August 10, 2012, 12:00 PM
Hope this is some help. I just got through working up an accurate load for my Savage 99C lever-action yesterday.

The best load was 100 gr. Hornady spire point with a charge of 43.0 gr. of Reloder 22. It gave me 3-shot groups of 5/8" at 100 yds.
All the other loadings I tried (4350, 4064, 4831) were over an inch. Of course, this is just in my gun. That load is MAXIMUM. Don't push it at all.
It has been my experience over the last 25 years of reloading that every barrel shoots differently. You have to play with loads and shoot them in YOUR gun to determine the most accurate one.

August 10, 2012, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the tips. Did you see the groups in the pics a few posts up? I'm thinking I might leave well enough alone, because I never expected groups under .25" moa! .50" was my goal, and I wasn't sure that was even attainable with the stock barrel. I am going to take a few more of the loads that produced for me to the range this weekend if time and weather permit. If I can reproduce these kind of groups, I will write the loads down in the pages of my loading books so I never forget them, lol. I may still try to work up another load using cheaper components and stuff I already have on hand so that it costs less to shoot, but I'm happy as it stands now.

August 11, 2012, 06:51 AM
Nice job! Outstanding results!

I love it when someone works out a problem using common sense and simple tools. Terrific accuracy, esp. in a hunting rifle. Doesn't get much better!

August 11, 2012, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the tips. Did you see the groups in the pics a few posts up? I'm thinking I might leave well enough alone, because I never expected groups under .25" moa! .50" was my goal, and I wasn't sure that was even attainable with the stock barrel. I am going to take a few more of the loads that produced for me to the range this weekend if time and weather permit. If I can reproduce these kind of groups, I will write the loads down in the pages of my loading books so I never forget them, lol. I may still try to work up another load using cheaper components and stuff I already have on hand so that it costs less to shoot, but I'm happy as it stands now.
Ignore my post. Those groups are better than mine. Your load with 4895 shot much better in your gun than the same load in my gun did. It grouped at 1 1/4" in my gun. Each barrel is different.

September 8, 2012, 08:29 PM
Well, I don't know if it was a fluke or what, but I am back to 1" and over with the exact same loads. I took it back to the range expecting to repeat my recent success, but I got mixed results and none like the ones I pictured recently. 1" was the best I got. I took the rifle apart, checked fit to the stock and noticed that it moves forward and backwards a little when the action screws are loosened. I shimmed behind the recoil lug to stop the movement. I don't know if that could cause this much problem or not though.

I bought a takeoff barrel on ebay for cheap, so I might try it. I've never changed a barrel before. Are the threads cut exact so that the holes drilled for the sights will line up perfectly and headspace will be correct when it tightens up, or could the sight holes and headspace be off when it all tightens up? If it lines up and headspaces before it actually tightens up, how do you lock it in place? Does it use some sort of crush washer?

September 8, 2012, 08:46 PM
Win. M70 type action. The barrel is torqued into the receiver. Then head clearence is checked with gauges. The bold face must have clearence to the barrel stub. Not all M70 are the same, some barrels need an extractor cut i think. No sure, ask a gun smith. Your winchester 670 does not have an extractor cut.

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