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How can you fix a cold shot?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by I Shooter, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. I Shooter

    I Shooter

    276
    23
    Dec 22, 2011
    Indiana
    Hi all.

    I hope that you are all having a great day.

    I was testing loads for a trip out west and found that my Encore don't like the first string of shots taken.

    The first string was a old stand by load( 41gr of Reloader 22 ). This group will shoot around an inch most of the time in both of my 243 rifles. I use it to check that the scope is working and that nothing has changed. That string turned to a 2"group. My first thought was it is me. I was just a little off. The second string was better, same load and this time it was close to the inch I expected. So I went on with the load testing and all was well.

    I found a load that would give me a half inch four shot group. So I gave up the shooting and went into the house to load up twenty rounds of the new load to see just how good it was. The load is 33.8gr of IMR 4895, CCI primer and 100gr Sierra Game King SP BT. That round runs about 2700 FPS. My thought was it was a good all around light load for paper or game.

    I also loaded up a hunting load of 43.5gr of IMR 7828 SSC. With 100 gr Sierra Pro-Hunter SP FB. I use the Pro-Hunters in placae of the Nosler Partitions for testing because of the cost. That load gives me over 3000 FPS. I was getting groups around an inch with this load.

    After loading the shells and doing some other stuff I went to bed and didn't clean the rifle. That is not like me at all, I always clean my rifles after use. I was tired and knew that I was going to use the next day.

    The next day I shot the first string and got a .75 group then shot the second string that gave me .5 then the third was back to .75 or a little better.

    I decided to clean the rifle and that is when I knew I had a problem. That string was off the top of the target only one of the shots hit the paper, the last one. The next string gave me a group of about .65 just above the bull. I was now out of the 4895 load and went to the 7828 load. I cleaned the rifle and got the same results, it put the first two shot about 2" high and the third about an inch high and the forth in the bull. Making about a 2.5" group. The next string was back to an inch.

    In all testing I let the rifle cool down. All shots were taken from a rest. After cleaning the rifle is when I got the bad groups. The last test was I went into the house and got some Wolf ammo that I had and after cleaning the rifle I tried it and got a 6" line down the target that led to the bull. The next string gave me a 2" group that was all around the bull.

    The rifle don't like a clean barrel. What do I do about the first cold bore shot? I have never not cleaned a rifle and put it away. Do I shoot a four or five shot string before going hunting? Is there a way to fix this?

    I know this is a long read. I just didn't know how to explain it any other way. Thanks much for any help you can offer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  2. sig357fan

    sig357fan

    938
    71
    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    if I read your post correcly, your Encore in 243 shot good groups the next day, with no cleaning, even after sitting over night? but as soon as you cleaned it, your groups opened up?

    is it possible that something in your cleaning procedure or something with your cleaning supplies are being left in the barrel after cleaning and "shot out" with the first couple rounds?

    sig357fan
     

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012

  3. zippyhuntin

    zippyhuntin

    112
    0
    Dec 16, 2011
    NE Iowa
    Simple solution. Foul the bore before you go hunting.
    None of my hunting rifles get cleaned during the season. I run an oil rag on the outside after a day out and that's it.
     
  4. APERS

    APERS

    366
    141
    May 29, 2009
    Kansas
    It could have something to do with the oil you are using to clean the bore. A buddy of ours on the Sheriff Dept. will use ONLY Hoppes #9 on his Rem. 700 .308. He quit using CLP because it will have an effect on his cold bore shot. Something to do with it settling in the bore in an uneven matter I think he said was the reason.

    Anyway, I started using only Hoppes #9 on Savage Model 10FP .308 and first shot is at point of aim @100 yds. Was having the same issue you are having before when using CLP after cleaning. Also, I dont clean it during deer season, after I have confirmed zero @ 100 yds.
     
  5. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,147
    26
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    That's pretty much your answer...

    I found that after cleaning, depending when I anticipate to shoot my rifle next determines how diligent I am on running the final clean dry patches through to remove the final traces or lube. I use Hoppes #9 followed by CLP. I always run a patch or two through when pulling it out for a group testing or prior to a match. In addition also have taken careful note on how far off zero my initial "cold bore" shot have been in the past to anticipate any correction if needed in a pinch. (my cold bore shot always seem to be at the 9 to 12 o'clock of zero, about 1/2 inch out, once fouled it goes right back to POA).
    I'll add that I'm not a very anal about cleaning the barrels any of my firearms. My precision rifle a R700 SPS TAC in .223 gets the barrel scrubbed every few hundred rounds at best or if accuracy drops off.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  6. I'd also go with that. I shot .22 Indoor-Smallbore competition in high school a couple of years ago :) and the first thing we did on the sight-in stage at 'commence firing' was throw a couple of quick rounds downrange, off target to warm and foul the barrel... then check the sights.
     
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    I usually run a couple of oiled patches through the bore after cleaning with the intent to leave a lot of oil behind. When I pack up to go shooting, I run a bore snake through the bore to clean out the oil (and anything else).

    I haven't started tracking the cold bore shot for my .308 Steyr SSG. Right now I'm shooting at 300 yards and if I do my part, the rifle will shoot into an 1-1/2" red dot (with a 6x scope, I might add!) but my shooting isn't always perfect so I'm not sure if I could tell the difference between a cold bore problem and a crappy trigger pull. Over the fall and winter, I plan to shoot a LOT of .308 rifle so I'll get a chance to evaluate this cold bore issue.

    I really think the best idea is to fire a couple of fouling shots after cleaning the rifle and don't let the barrel get rusty. Not an easy task.

    Only the first shot counts! It has to be dead on, every time. Sometimes there is just no opportunity for a second shot.

    Richard
     
  8. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    2,727
    34
    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Last patch, or patch before next day of shooting, saturated with alcohol.

    Then, be sure that density altitude hasn't changed since previous day (which it always does).
     
  9. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    2,350
    38
    May 22, 2002
    Stop cleaning unless accuracy falls off.

    I have two 243s and a 308 that hold under MOA out to 1,000 yards. I have not cleaned them in 6 months. The 308 has never been cleaned.
     
  10. I Shooter

    I Shooter

    276
    23
    Dec 22, 2011
    Indiana
    Hi all.

    Thank you all for your information.

    I had never given any thought that my cleaning practice could be causing the problem. I use Shooter's Choice to clean the barrel then use Kleen Bore Gun Conditioner to protect it. I am thinking the gun oil might be the problem. I will have to try an other brand and see if that fixes it. As far as not cleaning a barrel after using it, I can't do that. My Dad would chew me up one side then down the other for treating a firearm like that. He instilled that in me a long time ago. I lost him this past year and I still hear him telling me what to do. If changing gun oil don't work I will have to just make the first string of shots a day or so before a hunt then clean the rifle after the end of the hunt.

    sig357fan you have it on the money. F 106 Fan I am with you. The first shot has to be on target. At 100 yards the bad groups would still be in the kill zone. At two hundred yards it could get iffy at 300 it would be a miss over the shoulder.

    A guy I know is telling me to use Microlon Gun Juice. He tells me it will solve all my problems. I am going to give it a try. Have any of you tried it?

    Isn't Hoppes #9 a gun cleaner? That would mean that you have no oil in the barrel. Meaning no protection from rust. I was always told that you should never shoot a dry barrel. Then the oil is burnt out after the first shot so the second or third shots are dry.
     
  11. +1

    Many Target rifles don't like a spotless clean bore. I've seen rimfire Target rifles that need to shoot 50 shots before they settle down and shoot good groups.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  12. emtjr928

    emtjr928

    620
    6
    Jan 26, 2012
    McDonough, Ga.
    I didn't know they had a "Muzzle Loader" in .22?

    :innocent:
     
  13. Yeah, and one-room school houses. :tongueout:
     
  14. I've heard that too... but in high school competition, that wasn't happening.

    What we would frequently do with the sight-in target is take our first sight-in shot at the thumb tack holding the target. You knew it was going to be a good day when 3 or 4 targets fell downrange immediately after 'commence firing'. :supergrin:
     
  15. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    That's the way I would do it. Keep the gun clean and oiled and then foul the barrel before shooting for effect.

    Haven't heard of it. I will have to look into it

    Hoppe's #9 leaves an oil film to protect the barrel. That's why I always push a patch through before shooting. Or, I'll pull a bore snake through. Then again, I usually push a couple of oily patches through after I clean the rifles.

    Richard
     
  16. I Shooter

    I Shooter

    276
    23
    Dec 22, 2011
    Indiana
    I went out last night and picked up a couple of gun oils and cleaners. I will let you know how it goes.
     
  17. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,147
    26
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I believe you will find it has nothing to do with the actual cleaner / oil being use. More that what ever you do , maker sure you clean it out as much as possible prior to that first "cold" shot. I really like that using a alcohol soaked patch to final clean the bore prior idea.
    I'm gonna test that one out myself.
     
  18. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Almost all alcohol has water in it. Especially the cheap stuff. If I was going to let the barrel sit for very long at all I would not use the 70% stuff at all. If you can find the 99% use that. If you can't go to the auto parts store and get the Iso Hot or whatever they call it to get moisture out of you gas tank. Nearly 100% alcohol.

    Don't try and drink it, you will go blind.
     
  19. I Shooter

    I Shooter

    276
    23
    Dec 22, 2011
    Indiana
    Hi all.

    I hope your day is going better than mine did.

    First I tried the Microlon Gun Juice. It worked well. You have to fire ten shots and after each shot you run a patch through with this stuff on it. You could see the group getting tighter with each shot. I used the Wolf ammo that I had on hand for that. I ended up with a eight shot group that was inside 2" after tossing two fliers. The fliers made the group like 6". I think that they can be blamed on the ammo.

    So after shooting the ten I cleaned the bore with the gun juice and shot a four shot group. It was looking really good the first two shot were side by side just below the bull then the third was up in the bull and the forth was half way between the bull and the first two shots. It ended up being a 1.75" group. I cleaned the barrel with Shooters choice and ran a patch with the Gun juice through it. Then fired a four shot group. It sucked. I was shooting at the target at the top and it didn't even hit the the paper. I moved to a lower target and saw that I was about 5" high from the bull the next two shots brought it down to an inch of the bull.

    Using the Shooter choice must have cleaned out the gun juice. I cleaned the barrel with some Remington 40x bore cleaner and used the rem oil as directed and ended up with a group that was about the same as the last. Five inches high at the start and strung down to just above the bull. I then cleaned the barrel with Hoppe's Elite. No oil was used. The stuff foams up when you spray it on a patch and has a oily feel to it. I cleaned the barrel and the first two shots were just inside the bull and made one ragged hole then the third was .75" up and the last shot was1"to the left and .5" down from the first two. Now that could have been me pulling a shot. I don't know. I was not taking as much time as may be I should have for the shots, if you know what I mean.

    The gun juice seemed to work well. The only draw back to it is you have to just use it. All so the cost, it is about $10.00 and oz. The Hoppe's Elite worked better than all of the others and gave the best group. The thing I really liked about it was it was on target for the first two shots and they were inside each other. That is what I was looking for. The one up and down on the last two shots as I said could have been me. Only more testing will tell. The Remington 40X bore cleaner is a no go. It tells you have to use the rem oil with it and that sends the groups wild. Also it has a warning that tells you not to get any of the cleaner in the action because it will erode it. If it will erode the action I would think it can't be to good for the barrel. I am going to throw it out.

    I have to check out how well the Hoppe's Elite protects the barrel if at all. There is no information on the bottle. I will have to check the web to see what they say. So the plan is to use the Hoppe's at this point. Thank you all for your help.
     
  20. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    2,350
    38
    May 22, 2002