Diagnosing Hunting Rifle Accuracy, Part Two

Part one gave examples of customer expectations when bringing their rifle in with accuracy problems. Here’s how to further help.

by Wendell Dwight Deaner

Given a customer rifle, let’s take some specifics to determine how to proceed in different situations. I know that many of you have different ways of doing things. I am going to present some of the tips and techniques that have helped me over the years in my quest for accurate rifles. Feel free to disagree but no death threats please.

For a new rifle that won’t shoot anything well, tighten everything – all stock screws, scope mounts, and rings. Make sure the scope is mounted correctly. Check the barrel and crown with a bore scope for any factory flaws. If nothing looks overtly amiss, I stop here for now. Hopefully your customer will have brought targets as proof of his claims. Ask him about ammunition used and if he used a benchrest. Inch groups are still hard to come by for most shooters with virgin factory rifles and ammunition. This could be more the shooter’s fault than the rifle.

I have some representative groups from stock rifles to show my customer to determine if they are about the same as his. If his gun is really shooting poorly, send it back to the manufacturer with the targets. If the gun is sent back to the customer with no explanation and shoots no better, ask your customer if they want to go further before starting accurizing.
Read more in our June 2015 issue. Back issues are available.

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