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What is wrong with rifles today?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mes228, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. mes228

    mes228 Well-Known Member

    Guys, I'm an old man, 60 years, and a life long shooter. I also shoot pistols a lot. Today's pistols are better than ever and ACCURATE. But I've had a slew of rifles recently that were so inaccurate it borders on impossible. I purchased a Remington Mountain Rifle that would not shoot for beans --<edited: Sam> (I'm talking one semi accurate round and all others a saucer size pattern).

    I purchased a Ruger Ranch rifle in 6.8 cal. - the new "accurate" version. Accurate my azz. A scoped Mossburg shotgun shooting slugs would out shoot the two I shot. I'm talking saucer sized groups at the very best again.

    I just returned from the range with a Ruger RSI Mannlicher in .243 and could puke. Love the rifle, great trigger, beautiful but wouldn't be more than a deer gun at 100yds. Groups 4-5 inches or more.

    All these rifles had medium priced name brand scopes on them ie Nikon Pro Staff, Bushnell Elites, Leupold VXII etc.

    I have rifles that shoot well, and have in the past. I have two AR's that easily shoot 1 1/2" on a bad day. I had a CZ 30-06 that would shoot dime size groups all day long if you could hold it. A Savage .270 that was accurate 1" or so rifle. And many others, but that was a year ago. Today's crop is coming up weeds!

    I really believe that I can take two of my 1911 pistols and shoot as well at 100 yds. as all three Rugers and damn near the Rem. Mtn. Rifle. This is not normal for rifles. At least it shouldn't be. Does anyone know why manufactures are some turning out "some" rifles today that are horrible shooters? I've had rifles (in the past - not too long ago) that were really accurate out of the box ie Remington, Ruger Winchester, Weatherby, Howa. But not recently. Ruger should be ashamed to sell the last three I've shot. The Rem. Mtn. Rifle should have never left the factory. I'm beginning to think that CNC milling equiptment and assemblers (not gunsmiths) are turning out beautiful rifles that wont shoot for squat. The gun rags should be ashamed to print the lies they print. Either I'm very unlucky or theirs a butt load of rifles out there that are just the ghost of accuracy that they had a few years ago. These magazines never find them though. Well, I sure have. My next purchase will probably be another CZ or ICON and if they won't shoot I'll buy an older rifle or a custom.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2010
  2. DIM

    DIM Well-Known Member

    Same story why car manufactures failed and went bankrupt, let see poor QC, globalization of the economy, labor unions which will protect their employees even when poor quality products are produced. There are many issues associated with what it is now and how it was, when low middle class flourished in US, its no more about quality but quantity... This thread probably will get locked, or well...
  3. mshootnit

    mshootnit Well-Known Member

    Try Savage, and Tikka. I don't think you will be disappointed. Rems and Rugers can be hit and miss.
  4. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would not buy a Ruger if it was marked half off. Once you get into the "mountain" rifles with their pencil-thin barrels, you open up a whole new can of worms with the barrels heating up so quickly and groups opening up just as quickly. My "new" hunting rifle is a 1980-built Winchester with a fairly heavy barrel contour in .30-06. I will gladly carry an extra an extra pound or two in exchange for accuracy.

  5. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    A big +1 for Tikka. Mine is the T3 Hunter model in 6.5x55.
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Between ultralight, a full stock and a "mini" you really have a collection of firearms I wouldn't expect to be particular tight groupers.

    IME rifles today are more accurate than ever, but there's only so much you can expect from a full stock, or mountain rifle out of the box much less a mini with a faux heavy bbl.

    Are you a handloader?

    HGUNHNTR Well-Known Member

    ^ I have to agree with Krochus, you have 3 rifles that already have a lot going against them in the accuracy department before they even get to the range. The mountain rifle should still shoot very well, you just have to be mindful to allow plenty of time between shots to allow the barrel to cool.

    +1 on the Tikka recommendations.
  8. mes228

    mes228 Well-Known Member


    Yes, I have a reloading bench and used to reload. I just haven't taken the time lately.

    Yes, I know that the rifles I mention here are not known for pin point accuracy.

    However, all of them should be "reasonably & useful" accurate. They are not.
    A rifle with optics should be able to kill a rabbit at 100 yards. That's a questionable proposition with any of these. Actually all should be a minimum of 2" or so with today's ammo. If not it's USELESS as a rifle. Both of my 1911 pistols will shoot 2" from a mechanical rest at 50 yards. That's better than these rifles can be shot from a rest. My 10 year old sons Henry .22 will shoot rings around all these rifles at 100 yards. Shameful I say.

    A rifle that's built "right" and shoots, will shoot most anything to acceptable accuracy. Ammo selection is to "refine" what the rifle likes. The worst ammo to the best ammo shouldn't vary more than an inch or so. These rifles won't cast a bullet within 3-5 inches from the last one.

    I let the barrel cool several minuets between 3 shot groups. And by the way that's total BS too. A "good" rifle point of impact will vary with barrel heat. But when did it become acceptable that the point of impact vary several inches? Sorry, I don't want a rifle that must cool 15-20 minuets between 3 round groups. Accepting this is total BS. A rifle that's "right" does not do this.

    Why on earth would you put optics on a rifle that shoots worse than the worst "open" sights available? A rifle with optics is supposed to be a precision
    tool. These rifles were shooting shotgun patterns - one pellet at a time.

    HGUNHNTR Well-Known Member

    Well then the question is "What are you doing to rectify your problem"?

    BTW it is not BS to have to allow a pencil thin bbl of a mtn rifle cooling time. They were not intended to be bench guns.

    If you dont' like the results of your shooting, and disregard any suggestions given on this forum, maybe you should start over with different rifles, or stick to you 1911's.

    Most of the folks that take time to respond to your questions are doing so to assist you in solving your problem. Most don't want to just be a shoulder for you to cry upon.
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    I owned that same Ruger No.1 20 years ago - it shot 3/4" groups at 100 yards all day long with the Sierra 85 BTHP - it is one of a VERY few number of guns I regret selling.

    Have you had others shoot these guns? No offense, but when you go 0 for 3, maybe it isn't the guns - maybe those eyes are giving you trouble. One friend I shoot with (we do a lot of sporting clays), started missing more than usual - he kept thinking it was his gun fit - I told him to give his eye doc a call just to make sure - he just finished having cataracts removed from both eyes and now has 20/20 vision (he'd been wearing glasses for over 25 years)
  11. lopezni

    lopezni member

    Ruger's are just a name people like, they've never really made any great rifle. Remington is owned by foreign investor's that have brought the company down. If you want a decent american made rifle, try Thompson center.
  12. fireside44

    fireside44 Well-Known Member

    Just get a Savage and you won't have to complain anymore.
  13. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Well-Known Member

    I don't shoot hunting rifles, but modern military rifles at least good ones are plenty accurite.

    If Sako makes a hunting rifle I'd buy one of those, or something German or Swiss. They know how to make a rifle.
  14. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    Rifles, age, accuracy, etc...

    Mes 228--(1) You are NOT an old man, because if you are then I am an older man, and I intend to die young, as late as possible. I too am a lifelong shooter, and I can shoot any rifle that's capable of it, to MOA or better, from a benchrest.

    Yesterday I had a treat--Got to shoot a rifle that's older than me--a 141-YO Ballard carbine, that used conical cartridges and musket caps. Wow.

    (2) The guys that say get your eyes checked may be on to something. It ain't a bad idea every now & again for us "mature" shooters anyhow, just to keep ahead of the possibility of glaucoma, cataracts, or other nasties. And mebbe get a new prescription for the bifocals.

    (3) Re: the inaccurate rifles: I expect you've checked for the obvious, like a forend that pushes on the bbl, a grossly miscut chamber, loose screws/bolts holding the 'scope, etc. Unusual, but it happens once in a blue moon. Barring that short of problem, if you bought the rifles new, now is the time to test the makers' customer service departments. Good luck there--Don't know about Rem or RGR for customer service. At worst, sell the bloody things for a loss--it's only money--and get a rifle that's more satisfactory. You & I haven't got time for messing around with rifles that continue to disappoint.

    (4) Second the motion about getting a Savage--they are becoming notorious for out-of-the-box accuracy like you wouldn't believe. If you get one, get one with the Accutrigger (takes getting used to--about 3 shots) and if possible the Accustock (complete metal bedding job--no changes ever!) And if you do ever shoot out the bbl on a Savage they are easy to replace. Not the prettiest rifles in 17 counties, but then I agree with that elder sage of rifle shooting, Col. Townsend Whelen, when he said, "Only accurate rifles are interesting." It would appear that this is your feeling too.

    Tikkas, as well as CZ's and Steyrs, all have XLNT reps for accuracy, and cost a price accordingly. If you got the bucks, go for it.

    Anyhow, hope you get the aggravation done with. Perhaps you could keep us posted on yr progress.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  15. Dr T

    Dr T Well-Known Member

    I am about the same age (58) and have been shooting and hunting for about 50 years (it was nice to grow up on a ranch in West Texas).

    Some observations about my own experiences:

    1. I view ANY factory rifle as raw material. A few are really accurate out of the box, but most have to be tweaked (barrel bedding, action bedding, and handloads primarily) in order to realize their potential. Almost all can be made to shoot very, very well. My No. 1 RSI will do about 1.25" with its favorite load--but it is a full length stock with a steel endcap. So far, one shot is all I have needed wit this gun on any game animal I have pointed it at and decided to drop the hammer. Factory ammo now is very, very good, but still rifles have preferences. You have to find the right load (either by purchase or experimentation).

    2. I hate to admit it, but I used to shoot a lot better when I was younger. On the other hand, I was shooting a lot more. I have started to noticed that fatigue is beginning to be an important factor for me. In the past, after a layoff of a couple of months, I would not shoot very well the first time back at the range, but on the next and subsequent weeks my shooting would improve. This is particularly true of heavier cartridges (e.g. 35 Whelen pushing a 250 gr. bullet at 2500. However, I now notice that longer strings are beginning to take their toll and I am getting a bit more sensitive to recoil with age. I noticed this when I spent an intense session (about 30 rounds in 3 shot groups in 45 minutes) with a new 243. Serious load tests go much better on the second and third trips to the range.

    3. As one ages, one gets comfortable with their capabilities. However, one forgets what it took to get proficient in the first place and will not practice as much (while maintaining the illusion that the level of proficiency will be maintained--like riding a bike). I my own case, I find that it is just as true for shooting as it is for landing an airplane. I got good with my 270 after about 500 rounds at the range. (We won't go into how many landings it took for me to learn that properly, but it was over 1000). I recently saw a show (American Rifleman) on double rifles that made the point that if you want to be proficient with the heavies, you need to shoot 40 to 50 rounds per month and expect proficiency to occur at about 200 rounds. I think that this is likely to be close for most rifles.

    4. As your body gets older, your eyes get older, your joints get older, and you get a bit more sensitive to getting pounded when you touch off the 375 H&H. It happens, but I consider getting older to the alternative. All of these things affect your performance. I just have to live with it.
  16. Dr T

    Dr T Well-Known Member

    Sako Hunting Rifles?

    "f Sako makes a hunting rifle I'd buy one of those..."

    Sako has made hunting rifles for a very, very long time. My TRG in 300 Weatherby (old version, no longer in production) is one rifle that would print 1.25" out of the box with Remington factory ammo. It is not for sale...

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  17. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    I think most manufacturers became more concerned with cranking out as many rifles as possible and many shifted production capacity to military pattern rifles so QC and attention to detail has likely taken a back seat.
    The craftsmanship and pride doesn't seem to be there anymore, unless you are willing to shell out big $$ for custom rifles.
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    No offense, but all 3 rifles you mention have long, well established reputations for mediocre accuracy. All of them are designed for light weight, ease of carrying or looks.

    I have found that for the dollar you can get a much more accurate rifle for the money now than ever.

    Smith&Wesson AR 15's are available now for $600 with a $100 rebate from Smith. I'll guarantee it will out shoot the Ruger Ranch Rifle. They have never been known for accuracy. Nothing new here.

    Weatherby Vanguards are $400 and one of the most accurate rifles on the market. If you want a lightweight mountain rifle $500 will buy a Tikka that will shoot much better than the Remington and weigh less. Remington standard rifles are still as accurate as anything, but the mountain rifle was never intended to be a tack driver.

    Nobody buys a mannlicher stocked rifle for the accuracy.
  19. bhk

    bhk Well-Known Member

    I don't own any Ruger centerfire rifles anymore, but all of them (aside from a couple of Mini-14s) were quite accurate. One of those was a mannlicker stocked 77 in .308 that would always shoot 1.5 inch groups and, interestly, maintained it's point of impact throughout the seasons. They all looked good and shot well - makes me wonder why I don't have them anymore.
  20. Dustin

    Dustin Active Member

    my 64 year old lee enfield smle can out shoot the ruger rifles mes228 mentioned.

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