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factory ammo vs group size

06 Sep 2011
@ 05:00 am (GMT)

Bruce Holler


My 308 BLR, made in 1960s. never grouped better than 1.5" @ 100 yds. I wonder how much of that is me or the fact it is a light rifle, lever action etc.

Also I was wondering about group size veriation between factory ammo. For example, my 25-06 M77, has been bedded and accuritized some years ago 1980. Swtiching from say federal to remington, to winchester and now the fussion ammo, how much change in group size sould be expected? What is your experience with this?

Will you be added range judging, and suggestions on range finders to the knowlege base.

Thank you,


06 Sep 2011
@ 07:43 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: factory ammo vs group size
Hi Bruce, yes, I do see wide variations in factory ammo, usually due to individual bore tolerances. A while ago I was testing a brand of ammo, using two different rifles of the same caliber, one grouped .6, the other grouped around 1.5". The rifle that grouped 1.5" is accurate with other combinations. So really, it comes down to the bore.

In the BLR, a 1.5" group is pretty good. The limiting factor with the BLR is the forend assembly. Browning have been very lazy over the years, have never really made any attempt to modify this design, without any empathy towards the animals at the receiving end. The BLR's that are accurate (around 1.5") are still inclined to throw the odd flier way off center when least expected.

Considering the forend:
If the forend is bedded- it makes no difference
If the forend is trapped with a barrel band- it shoots well for a while then wanders.
With both of the above alterations, changes in forend grip/usage will alter groups.
If the forend is cut back to 4" in length and bedded, groups open up.
If the forend is clamped to the barrel at the knox (beginning of the barrel) and free floated thereafter, the rifles can shoot sub MOA.
In theory, if the forend were attached to the action rather than the barrel, it it would shoot 1" or less. The action is not critical as the bolt locks into the barrel so there is scope for this, for anyone who wants the absolute best out of their BLR.

The BLR trigger is a rough, creepy unit, but you can get used to it. Barrel quality tends to be very high which can be seen when doing the above experiments and observing results. Slow factory loads tend to work best, the lower the recoil/vibrations the better. In summary, its not you Bruce, its the rifle.

I hadn't thought about a range finder or range estimation article, good idea. I do have to get the next cartridges up online though, not very nice to keep people waiting. The .300 H&H, .308 Norma, .300 Weatherby and .300 Win Mag are due to go up in one hit, as soon as I am finished the .300 Winnie edit.
06 Sep 2011
@ 02:29 pm (GMT)

Bruce Holler

Re: factory ammo vs group size
thank you.
My BLR has a band around the forend and barrel. Its plastic. who knew. I had the rifle refinshed and come to find out you really can not refinish plastic? It looks better now lthan when it was new.

I look forward to your additions.

10 Sep 2011
@ 01:13 pm (GMT)

Jim Moseley

Re: factory ammo vs group size
After reading your post on long range, I think you're going to have to put the BLR in the cabinet and get a bolt action and reload to get the accuracy for the long range game. Currently it seems like the Savage has the best bang for the buck.
Good luck!
13 Sep 2011
@ 12:15 pm (GMT)

Bruce Holler

Re: factory ammo vs group size
You are right. The rifle was my Dad's. Had it refinished. Looks better now then new. They really are a handy rifle.

I have a M77 26-06, and Tikka T3 7mm-08, Win 70 in 300 Wby with a muzzle break (actully bought it for my son).

The Tikka is a real pleasure to shoot. I still need to fine tune in at 100 yds.

I picked up a couple of boxes Winchester power point 140 gr. The 7mm08 seems to like them. I have only shot about 20+ rounds.

thanks for the input.



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