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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my new 223 rifle. :D This is my first rifle and I am/was excited to get it. however my excitement is turning into frustration. I have been slowing breaking in the barrel with a shot or 2 and then a swab to clean the barrel, shoot and repeat. Finally got to the point where I could start to zero in the scope. I was shooting paper at 100 yards. 4 out of 6 shots were right on. but for some reason 2 of the shots were squirrely. like 2" off center. :confused: and always left and down. initiatally I figured it was me flintching. but as I began to relax and enjoy shooting I noticed it continued. then I noticed something odd. there were loose screws on my rifle?!? and I mean really loose! I went to the truck and got my allen wrenches and tightened them down. the screws holding the stock onto the barrel and the screws around the trigger guard. one of the was so loose the guard/trigger was extremely loose. once I tightened it down I checked and I was getting low on ammo. I had 8 rounds left. I focused on one target and attempted to form a group. I am now 3.5 inches left and 1.5 inches down!! good grief! :mad:

this is rather frustrating from a brand new rifle!! Doesn't Savage tighten their screws before shipping them out?

so anyway, here is my question for you experts:

what do I need to check on the rifle?
did I do the wrong thing by tightening the screws?
why did tightening these screws throw off the shots this much?
I am no longer going to be very close to center on the scope after clicking over 3.5 inches to the right. should I do something else to center the scope?

The scope is a Weaver V24. The ammo is Winchester 45gr Varmint. The base and rings are Weaver. rings are the tip off style. I don't like them, but they aren't causing this problem.

Thanks for your help
Steve
 

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I assume it is an accutrigger? Is it a heavy or thin barrel? When I get a new rifle (rare) I take it out of the stock and check all of the screws and give it a cleaning. I then make sure it fits in the stock and there is nothing interfering withthe action fit. ( I had a Ruger that rocked back and forth on the recoil lug.) Then I give the barrel a good scrubbing before I fire the first shot. I take the scope off and clean adn lightly lube the area between the base and action. usually I lap in the wcope rings. After lapping give the mating surfaces a good cleaning and mount scope. Tighten in stages and try not to tighten until the screws "squeek". Once it is all in the stock, check wit ha slip of paper for contact between the barel and stock. There should not be any contact on that rig.
I suspect you had a loose set up and that casued the problems. Don't heat the barrel up when you shoot. let it cool between strings. Warm to touch is probably ok.

if this is new to you dont worry about bench rest groups for now. You should be 1 1/2" or so and it should improve. Once you develop consistent bench technique things should improve. Try to keep the bags in the same place on the stock and be as consistent as possible. I have a 12 FV with the tupper ware stock and the end is a little flexible. I keel the front rest back toward the action.
 

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One more thing. I would get rid of the tip off's. I like them on a Win 94 but little else. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you have the same gun as me. heavy barrel with synthetic stock.

I'll do the paper test to make sure the barrel is still floating. the groups are about 1.5" as you said.
 

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curious

You mentioned swabbing out the barrel? Are you cleaning it well to make sure there isn't any copper in the barrel, just swabbing won't get it. The 223 Savage(12BVSS-S) that I owned had to have an intense 30 minute session to get the copper out before it fired it's first shot. I swore it had been on a PD shoot before it was sent to me. Second, always disassemble a new rifle, clean and reassemble tightening everything to spec as mentioned previously. Until those 2 things are done it's hard to identify issues with a new rifle. As you've found out you end up guessing as to whether it's one thing or another. Last thing, my Savage didn't settle down until 50 rounds had been through it with at least 2 intense cleaning sessions.
 

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Steve,
Sounds like Savage of old. They used to be well knon for not finishing their guns, but you complaint is very rear today. You did the righ thing by tightning the screws, but hwen you did you put presure on different points an the barrel and action and changed the point of impact. SO, just rezero your rifle. I agree with TDC, get rid of the tip-off rings.
One other thing, when you broke in your barrel did you clean with a Copper soulvent? If not I would recomand you get some Sweets 7.62, or other amonia based soulvent to clean out the copper. If there is copper fouling you will get blue patches. When I get no more blue I run a patch with powder soulvent through the barrel to clean out the amonia, then dry patch.
 

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The Savage plastic stocks are made from recycled milk jugs... Well, that's not really true, but they are so flimsy that I can't help thinking "milk jug" every time I handle one. For good free floating with those stocks, you'lll want way more clearance than just being able to slide a piece of paper. I like a good 1/8", or even more clearance all around on them. Actually, I like a lot of clearance like that even on good stiff stocks, but it's even more important with the milk jug stocks.

Q: did I do the wrong thing by tightening the screws?
A: Nope, you did exactly the right thing. There is a bit of technique to tightening action screws though. Everyone has their own way they like to do it. I like to make sure the recoil lug is seated well by holding the rifle muzzle up, then tighten the front screw first. Nice and tight on that one. On a stock like you have, and especially with the rotten factory bedding, I then tighten the rear screw only enough to keep it from loosening on it's own.

Q: why did tightening these screws throw off the shots this much?
A: Because of the terrible bedding from the factory. With a properly bedded stock, you wouldn't see anything close to that kind of POI shift from loosening/tightening screws.

Q: I am no longer going to be very close to center on the scope after clicking over 3.5 inches to the right. should I do something else to center the scope?
A: I would. But it's not totally necessary. And would likely mean replacing your base and rings.

You could probably just go forth and just shoot now with your screws properly tightened and do just fine. And that's probably what you ought to do, for now. Later you can circle back and worry about bedding, floating, scope centering etc.

- DAA
 

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TDC is right on

You should always go over the screws on any new rifle just to make sure they're tight. Savage barrels are famous for being rough and loading with copper pretty quick but they do indeed shoot well! I have a 12FV in 223 just like yours and it shoots as well as anything else in the arsenal and better than a lot of them, for sure. I did notice that it settled down and shot better after a hundred rounds or so, possibly the bore smoothed out a little?

One thing that I found out is be careful where you rest the forearm on the front rest! The stocks are pretty flimsy and if you have the rest too far toward the end, it will affect accuracy quite a bit. I keep the rest just forward of the front action screw.

I hope you end up as happy with yours as I am mine. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You mentioned swabbing out the barrel? Are you cleaning it well to make sure there isn't any copper in the barrel, just swabbing won't get it. The 223 Savage(12BVSS-S) that I owned had to have an intense 30 minute session to get the copper out before it fired it's first shot. I swore it had been on a PD shoot before it was sent to me. Second, always disassemble a new rifle, clean and reassemble tightening everything to spec as mentioned previously. Until those 2 things are done it's hard to identify issues with a new rifle. As you've found out you end up guessing as to whether it's one thing or another. Last thing, my Savage didn't settle down until 50 rounds had been through it with at least 2 intense cleaning sessions.
I have done nothing for the copper. looks like I may have some work to do. let me ask you a question about swabbing. When going from bolt towards end of barrel....am I supposed to pull the swab out of the end of the barrel or pull back towards me? does swab only go one direction or both directions? Can you guys go through what you would define as an "intense cleaning sessions" ? thanks!!
 

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You would be well served in getting a bore guide, even one of the plastic cheepies to clean. When I swab I use a jag and usually do not pull the dirty patch back through. Slop the barrel wel lwith a copper colvent. I like the foan type and go to work. After I got the barrel clean preliminarily I took a patch around a brass brush and JB Bore Shine and did a couple of hundred strokes back and forth. I combined long strokes with short back and foth through the length of the barrel. If you do not exit the barrel you might have a little more wear on the muzzle end.

Trusty me, take it slow with one issue at a time and you should be jsut fine. Kinda nice to beat the pants of the next guys $2000 custom with a $500 off the shelf rifle.
 

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hang on

are you useing a sloted jag??
if so you are not cleaning the barrel at ALL :(
get a good ROD/jag and rod guide if you dont have that stuff your just hurting the barrel
 

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the tupperware stock........

I have had the FV type rifles where I "torqued up" the stock differently from one shot to another......... I was using a harris bipod on a Rough surface bench....... and when I fired the shot the plastic stock would "fling " the gun left or right or up or down or well you get the idea..... so I then wen to shooting the harris bipods on a sheet of vinyl that would allow them to slip.... and made sure the gun was not torqued up to get on target....... or to be consistent from shot to shot....... so the front end of the stock was not pusing the gun differently from shot to shot..... I have a gun like that now in 204 and I am aware of this whenever I shoot it..... and try to get it on target and resting (without forces) in the bags before shooting....

good luck....
R
 

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As a couple of the guys said, be careful how you place it on the bags. Probably no further forward than the front bell of the scope. Watch that the sling studs don't contact either bag. Be very conscious of face pressure on the comb, and of varying pressure with your right hand. Different "down" pressure with the right thumb, or a little extra side pressure with the fingers of the right hand will sure cause flyers.
There are lots of different preferences for cleaning routines, do a search here and on other boards. They all however start with a quality bore guide and a quality one piece rod. Throw away the jointed aluminum stuff that came in the "cleaning kit" at the discount house!!!
Sounds like your just getting started at the "fine and pleasant misery" of this game. Have fun, there's lot's to learn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
this is starting to get spooky

be careful how you place it on the bags. Probably no further forward than the front bell of the scope. Watch that the sling studs don't contact either bag. I hadn't thought of that as a problem. I've had the sand bags at the very edge of the stock under the studs!

Throw away the jointed aluminum stuff that came in the "cleaning kit" at the discount house!!! :eek: ok, now I'm really starting to think you've been watching me!! looks like an order to Midwest is in order!

thanks for ALL the tips and suggestions! :)
 

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well, actually you don't need to throw those jointed cleaning rods away. They do real well for adding stiffness should you decide to keep the tupperware stock and fill the forend with accraglas. Just cut those sections to a length that will go between the partitions and fill around them. That's about what there're good for.

Rick
 
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