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Ok..So I bought this tack driver !

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jaycee, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    Well Allegedly ! :confused:

    I recently bought a Sako 75 Varmint in .223 (New)

    It has a heavy 24"free floated barrel with a 1 in 8 twist and I had hoped to use this for club competitions out to maybe 600yd .

    These things are supposed to be tack drivers , but I still fail to be impressed.

    I still havent hand loaded for yet , but using factory match ammo (Hornady 75gr match ,,etc ) I'm doing a real good job to try to keep it within 1" @ 100yds.

    The quality of the walnut in the stock is beautful and the metalwork throughout is very well done.

    I think the bedding /or lack of it around the action and the recoil lug leaves a lot to be desired and has a lot of room for improvement. Problem is , I'm in a catch 22 situation, I suspect that a bedding job would vastly improve things , however I don't want to do anything to the gun that would prevent me from returning it as a lemon.

    Is there any form of temporary measure you can think of that might help me to diagnose it's accuracy problems without a permanent change to the gun..?
     
  2. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Double check that the barrel is fully floated.
     
  3. vmfrantz

    vmfrantz Member

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    If its scoped check that. At the club one day I thought I was going crazy. My shot group was bad. Had another member take a few shots and he said the verticle crosshair was moveing slightly. But it was to the point some shots were barely on paper at 100yds.
     
  4. timothy75

    timothy75 Member

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    1 inch at 100yds sounds good to me. Dont believe everything you read either. I cant shoot with precision past 200yds using a 223. Find a ballistic calculator and check wind drift and elevation drop at 600yrds you'll see what I mean. I too read everything I could find about guns and every gun I found I could not atain the results I was expecting or had read about. Good luck
     
  5. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    how many rounds through it?
     
  6. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    Did Sako mention a barrel break-in procedure?
     
  7. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Well, you won't be returning a 1" gun because it's a lemon. About the only way to get consistantly significantly below that is with a benchrest class rifle and a superb trigger puller. When you read on the internet that someones factory stock CZ/Remchester/whatever consistantly shoots .5" groups, that often means that if you throw out the flyers, and pick the best 3 of the 5 they shot, they once got a .5" group. Nothing wrong with 3 shot groups by the way, that's how I judge my hunting ifles, but it has to be 3 in a row, no calling your flyers.

    The great majority of people can barely keep a sub-1" group from a benchrest with a really good rifle. The reason is practice, or lack of it, not allowing them to develop the trigger control needed. People that are actually shooting .3's and below are generally well known because they are shooting competitions for all the world to see. Breathing at the wrong time, a tiny undetectable flinch in the trigger finger, a decent gust of wind, earth wobble, even a heartbeat, can keep you from those miracle groups.

    I shoot a couple of times a month, and in 40+ years of shooting have pulled a lot of triggers. My favorite hunting rifle is a custom Mauser in 7x57. With the right factory ammo I can keep three in .9-1.1" pretty consistantly, with it's most accurate handload (Barnes 140 TSX) I have gotten a 3 shot group of .680", but I can't do that every time, I'm happy as long as I'm not shooting over the 1" mark with it. A couple of my rifles have never been below 1" consistantly, 2 of them have long term averages of 1.15" and 1.20" groups, but they are fine for hunting.
     
  8. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    Hornady makes great ammo, but if that's the only brand you've tried, the rifle deserves a break. They have preferences, just like we do. Try some others, then get to rolling your own.
     
  9. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Member

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    Jaycee....that Sako should shoot sub 1". Try some of the offerings from Black Hills ammo until you reload. Even the remanufactured stuff is great. What scope? What type of rest? Conditions?

    Not all targets on the internet are BS.

    Sub .5" groups (3,5, even 6 shots at 100 yards) is the norm at my range for most of the guys I shoot with. Even better when rolling you own. This is with Tikkas and Coopers. We all have lots of practice, excellent equipment (including a high end benchrest) and a serious accuracy addiction. :D

    Latest Cooper with a Sinclair Benchrest:
    [​IMG]


    1.25" stickers. 10 mph crossbreeze. 90 degrees. The Hunting Shack ammo.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    5 shot .223 group:
    [​IMG]

    Tikka .223:
    [​IMG]

    6 shot group thru a Cooper in .204 (photo, target and reloads all by Ken Lunde):
    [​IMG]
     
  10. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Thats why I said "majority", not all.
     
  11. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    +1 on trying new ammo. Saying a rifle is crap after only shooting one type of ammunition is like saying all men/women are crap after dating only one...well, forget that, let's not go there.
     
  12. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Member

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    Browningguy.....I wasn't gving you a hard time and what you said was correct.

    As far as the Sako being a 1" gun, I'm not sure what they promise.

    Tikka promises sub 1" and Cooper promises .5" groups with handloads.
    My rifles have done as promised and better. These are with their stock trigger.
     
  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Is it a factory barrel ??

    Most Sako 75 Varminters are fitted with barrels suitable for varmint hunting which means a 1/12 or 1/14 twist in the .223 which indicates bullets of 55gr or less.

    All the Sako 75's I had contact with had slow twist barrels, except a .17rem which had the usual 1/9.5"

    All WERE exceptionally accurate, WITH AMMO THAT SUITED THEM.

    First, verify that you indeed have a 1/8" twist barrel. If so, try a handload with a Sierra 69gr BTSP MatchKing.

    If it fails to also shoot this, try a 50gr Ballistic Tip load. Black Hills, Remington, and Winchester have various loadings using different colored variations of tips.

    If after these three and substantial cleaning fails to group, then get in touch with Sako. They won't tolerate a "stinker" and will set it right.

    The gap you are noticing is free floating the barrel, and relieving pressure points where none is needed.

    I've had some "spotty" problems with Hornady bullets in the past 10yrs, so I would suspect the lot# of ammo you have. Hornadys either shoot real well, or abysmal. Little in between.

    I got a 1000rd batch of Hornady 55gr SoftPoint .224 with cannulures after buying a 100rd box that gave sub 1/2" groups from two different .223's. 2" with the bulk lot# is getting lucky!
    Poor accuracy (keyholes past 150yds) from a batch of 117gr .257 BTSP.
    No expansion from .284" 140gr SST on 5 different deer shot. Only one retrieved. Spine shot, but still no expansion. .280" entry wound, .280" exit wound.
    No expansion from 225gr .338 SST on similar deer.
    But boy, were both SST's accurate!!!! Sub MOA from both. Not "normal" for either rifles. Typical is 1.5" or worse (big game hunting rifles).
    Get the picture !!!!!!

    But, a box of 1,000 .452 250gr XTP (blem's-factory seconds) for less than 1/3 retail was an absolute bargain as they are accurate, and expand properly. Only flaw is the jacket extends ever so slightly past the edge of the lead around the periphery of the meplat radius.
     
  14. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    Of course you could also consider your groups in terms of center to center. Although I do believe that overall group size is significant and that the poster has a point regarding their accuracy. I also consider the simple fact that shooting a manly .308 will often leave your groups a minimum of 0.085" larger than the .223 crowd. Which means precisely nothing if the center to center distance is shorter with the aforementioned .308! My point gains momentum when I think about relative precision at greater ranges. I'm far more concerned about where the point of the bullet is going than anything else.

    As to your question regarding non destructive diagnostic proceedures. You might take a folded over matchbook cover and place it between your stock and your barrel to see if a little pressure point would help or hurt you. I did this to my M44 to get it to float a little higher in the ATI stock with a dramatic increase in precision as my result.

    As suggested by other's I'd also recommend a variety of bullet weights to see what your rifle likes. I've read many reports where a given twist rate that "should" be optimal for a particular bullet weight ended up working much better with something lighter. Given the fact that you're looking at MOA sized groups I'd wager you're pretty close to the favorite weight as opposed to something hugely off the mark.

    Another simple thought that occurs to me is to ask if you tried different positions with your support. Sometimes a support closer to the reciever works better sometimes farther. Anyway you slice it I hope your rifle rises to your expectations.
     
  15. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    you def need to shoot more ammo, and diff brands. try the black hilss standard blue box 55 griners, and also the winny 45 varmints in the big white box.
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Kind of puzzled by a gun labelled 'varmint' but with a fast twist barrel...maybe it's not a 1 in 8 after all?
     
  17. swingset

    swingset Member

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    varmint doesn't automatically mean slow twist rate. Some varmint guns are made to shoot heavier pills, some are made to shoot lighter.
     
  18. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    Hi Guys ,

    Thanks for the many replys ..

    1. I have had the stock off and ..yes it is free floated all the way to the action, the trigger is adjusted down to about 1lb.

    2. It is a 1 in 8 twist... code JRSF212, on this site..
    http://www.berettausa.com/product/rifles/series_page.cfm?currentseries=8

    3. I mentioned Hornady 75gr match , but I have also shot Remington 55gr accutips, 69 gr premier match, Federal 50gr,55gr and Sako Gameheads.
    I mentioned the Hornady because it gave the best results so far ..Next best was the Rem 69gr premier match with groups around 2 inches @100yds, the Federal stuff grouped like a shotgun.

    4. I cleaned between each different type and fired 2 fouling shots before testing.

    5. I did a barrel break in procedure. and it's getting on for about 150 rounds through it now . (Not my idea of out of the box accurate)

    6. I shoot every week , sometimes twice a week and have shot using everything from .22lr to .308 and 300win mag at times.

    7. I used to regularly shoot sub 1 inch at 200 yards with a Ruger .220 swift.
    (Light barrel --1 in 14 twist )

    8. I use a "rock rest" with a rear bag, the scope is a Swift 6-18x44 in sako optilock rings , it's repeatable and solid.

    9. 1 inch out of one of these is dreadful... Sako arent supposed to let them out the factory gate unless they shoot sub 1 Inch.

    So back to the original question ...

    I don't want to do anything to the gun that would prevent me from returning it. Is there any form of temporary measure or bedding I can do ,that might help me to diagnose it's accuracy problems without a permanent change to the gun..?
     
  19. asknight

    asknight Member

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    It's odd noticing the rifling twists they offer in all of their varmint models. They seem to run them with slow rifling suitable for light varmint bullets in all of the calibers except .223. 1-8" is too fast for 35-50gr thin jacketed varmint bullets.

    I must say that either they misprinted on their webpage, or that's no varmint rifle!
     
  20. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Member

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    I believe the 1 in 8 twist to be accurate per the web page. Tikka (made along side the Sakos) made all their .223 varmint models to a 1 in 12 twist thru the end of 2004. In 2005 they switched to 1 in 8 twist. I know this to be true since I purchsed a new Tikka T3 Varmint in 2005 but made sure that it was a 2004 manufacture. I was interested in shooting 40gr-50gr Black Hills V-Max ammo at varmints.
     
  21. Rovi

    Rovi Member

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    jaycee is a buddy of mine, and I've handled and fired the rifle in question.
    As he says, the metalwork is top notch and the timber is beautiful.

    Sako's homepage (http://www.sako.fi/) also shows all their .223 offerings as 8" twists.
    Here's a PDF of their range (374KB)- http://www.sako.fi/pdf/specs/rifle_datatable.pdf

    I suspect that the rifle really does have an 8" twist (or a fast one at least), as it performs better with heavier bullets than lightweight ones.

    A problem we have here in Ireland is a relatively poor supply/variety of ammunition.
    .223 (and all the other centerfire calibres) have only become (again, relatively) available here over the last few years, so we don't have the sheer volume of ammunition you guys on the other side of the pond have.
    For example, Black Hills is utterly unavailable here :(

    Ammunition importers/gun dealers will obviously cater to their biggest/most lucrative market, and as most .223 rifles sold here have 12" twists or so and are used on foxes/rabbits/etc, the vast bulk of ammunition available is lightweight (45-55 grain) stuff.
    Getting hold of match ammunition in heavier weights isn't the easiest thing in the world.

    A bunch of firearms legislation was recently signed into law here, including provisions for legalising reloading. Unfortunately, this hasn't been enacted yet, so we can't reload as yet. :(
    We're being told "sometime in the new year." Which could mean anything.

    Excepting powders and primers, we're all ready to go.
    Sometime.
    Probably.
     
  22. YodaVader

    YodaVader Member

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    Too bad you cannot reload. My Remington 700 LTR .223 performs quite well with reloads. The long throat requires the bullets to be seated out much longer than factory ammo or the loading manual OAL. The factory loads I have tried have been pretty marginal including Black Hills 68 grain blue box.

    On the other hand my Savage 12BVSS also in .223 displays excellent accuracy with reloads right at the OAL length listed in the reloading manual.

    My Savage .223 is also listed as a Varmint model and it is a 1 in 9" twist barrel. I have only fired bullets as light as 52 grain but they shoot with surprising accuracy. My Remington 700 also has a 1 in 9" twist but is called a Light Tactical Rifle.
     
  23. DnPRK

    DnPRK Member

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    Swift, like other inexpensive east asia built scopes, is not known for quality and repeatability. Expect to pay as much for a scope as you paid for a rifle.
     
  24. watman

    watman Member

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    I'm gonna second the matchbook between the barrel and the stock tip, made a world of difference on a 22-250. My other thought would be measuring the distance to the lands, but if you can't handload you can't adjust for the ogive of the bullet anyway. I think optimum distance is 10 thousands back, at least thats what I've been loading lately with good results in a 7mm Rem Mag.

    Not being able to reload... (shaking my head) I don't know what I'd do but it would not be a pretty day.

    Justin W.
     
  25. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Member

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    Well put Rockstar.esq. The funny thing is that while I like shooting small groups from a bench, it now ends up in figuring out a way for this knowledge to translate into the field while hunting. The rifle (and it's tendencies), the load, the glass, the understanding of wind/heat mirage, the barrel heat, etc is great info that, while it changes some by moving from the bench to the field , you can get a lot of homework done. Whacking P-dogs with a 90+% one shot kill rate out to 400+ is what I like. :)

    Jaycee...as mentioned great glass is a must. I would rather have an average rifle with a great scope than a great rifle with average glass.
     
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