After waiting what seemed like forever, I finally got to the range today with my new X7VH in 22-250. I did a barrel break in as per the Gale McMillan theory and went to town trying to get a decent group. I can keep each 3 shot group within 6" but it will not give me a respectable group compared to what I expect from this gun. I'd settle for 2" and be very happy with 1" groups at 100 yards but after running through 2 full boxes of ammo, 6" was the best it would do. I have had other rifles in the past that would not shoot well with some kinds of ammo and I'm hoping that's the case here. I was using Hornady Superformance 50 grain V-Max factory ammo. I'm going to order more ammo from several different manufacturers and see if that solves my problem. This gun should be a tack driver. The optics are a Simmons White Tail Classic 6.5-20x50mm. If anyone using this gun and caliber is getting good to great groups with factory ammo, could you please let me know what brand and bullet type you're using? I appreciate it. The gun is pictured below. Thanks.
Gale McMillan has long been outspoken as saying barrel break-in a waste of time.... So does that mean that your barrel break-in, wasn't a barrel break-in, and you just started shooting??
This isn't meant to rain on your parade, but a re-assesment of what you "should expect from this gun".
You didn't buy a hand-lapped, precision assembled by craftsman, gun. You bought a mass production button rifled gun, that is(in my lookings last night on several sites) the cheapest bolt gun available. Your scope, also does not have the best reputation for passing any box tests....
So considering that you spent substantially less than MOST alternatives, why are you expecting what you didn't pay for? You should be elated if it is a tack driver, and unsurprised when it isn't.
My 25-06 didn't have the smoothest bore known to man, and refused to shoot Factory fusion ammo at all.
I currently have something like 4-500 rounds down the pipe, and the barrel has come a long way. I also found in reloading that it has a VERY short throat. That seemed to cause issues with factory ammo... When I started reloading, and seated the bullets appropriately, then it started to group quite well.
I'm a firm believer in the theory that "If it bleeds, I can kill it"
Well first look and see if there is copper in the bore . Use a good foam cleaner ( Like wipeout) and let her sit .
I would start with some of the cheaper ammo with a 50/55 gr. bullet and work the barrel in .Your gun might not like that heavy bullet .
Before running the race , practice a few runs beforehand around the track!
Of course the barrel and stock it as they should be after all that work ??
After running say fifty rounds through the bore over a time if things stay the same, I would be looking at the scope mounts and maybe then too changing the scope first for a Bushnel / Redfield or Burris ,just to name a few .
Last edited by Harry Snippe; 10-26-2012 at 08:11 PM.
6'' groups dont happen from cheap ammo or a barrel not being broken in. There's something wrong. My first guess would be the scope base is loose. If not, the scope could be broken or the crown is not concentric. If we were talking about 3'' groups, I could see it being ammo or the barrel being fouled badly, but I have owned a lot of rifles and none have ever been that inaccurate.
I agree. I would suggest taking the rifle to a reputable gunsmith for a good once over/tune. It could be a number of things loose mounts, unreliable scope, Problems with the bedding, uneven stock pressure, problems with the action screws, bad crown, badley set headspace, loppsided recoil lug, etc etc. A 6 inch group will be unlikely to shrink to 1 moa from a change in ammo. Rather than waste time and money a good gunsmith should be able to help you solve your problem.
My question is why spend all the cash getting it tricked out first? I would have tried the gun out before putting money into. I personally would have spent the extra cash and upgraded the gun to a proven Rem 700 varmint. One of those costs $550 around here. Their a proven shooter and have a floorplate.
For break in I did a couple fouling shots then used a quality copper cleaner and let the barrel stand for a bit with the copper cleaner in it then removed it with a quality bore cleaner and swabbed it clean of any residue. After another 2 sets of 3 shot groups, I repeated the process. After the initial copper cleaning, I drew the bore brush through 10 times then used cotton swabs until they came out clean. I do not believe that the X7VH is a cheap gun by any standard but is is an inexpensive one. I'm not looking for Olympic type group results and I don't believe that I need to have a hand lapped custom made Hart barrel in order to achieve a 1" to 2" group at 100 yards. I certainly do not expect a sub 1/2" MOA with this gun, just a respectable grouping in order to make successful kill shots on coyotes out to 300 yards. Regardless of price, I would expect ANY centerfire rifle to be capable of 2" groups at 100 yards. Granted, I am much more of a shotgun and single action revolver person amd am not near as knowledgeable about centerfire rifles. On the other hand, I do not think my expectations are unreasonable. As I am on SSDI. I don't have a large budget to work with so I am forced to make do with what I can afford. The additional work on the gun was done in baby steps over several months. I will admit that, in retrospect, I should have run some ammo through it before having the wrok done but I have to live with that now. I'm going to order new ammo from several different ammo manufacturers and also in different bullet weights and see which combo works best. In the meantime, the gun is going back to my gunsmith for a thorough physical and see if there may be an underlying cause for it's inaccuracy. I really like everything about this gun, from it's crisp and clean 2.5 pound trigger pull to it smooth as glass action and I'm not going to give up on it just yet. I really truly appreciate all comments and suggestions. I will report back once I get new ammo, have it checked out completely and get to the range again. By the way, I had a Savage Axis (which was cheaper than this Marlin) in 25-06 and it shot 1.5" groups right out of the box.
Did you shoot it off of sandbags or did you shoot it off the rest you have mounted on that tripod? One of my X7s likes to be held very gingerly in a sandbag and will shoot sub 1-in. groups. Hold it a little more tightly and she throws bullets everywhere. The other one doesn't mind being snuggled a bit but it only shoots heavier bullets well. Both are .243 Win.
XS7S-.243 - among the three greatest rifles I've ever owned
XSY-.243 - put on Boyd's walnut and gave to my dad for Christmas!
1895G - .45/70
822 Stainless .22 mag
336CB - .35 Remington
I shot it off a sandbag, off a Caldwell Deadshot Fieldpod and off a Vanguard bipod. A friend also shot from all the same things. We both achieved the same results described previously. That being said, I took the gun to my gunsmith yesterday and he is almost positive it's the scope causing the problem and has seen this before. He's going to go through everything with a fine tooth comb and shoot it also but he's willing to bet it is the scope. If it is the scope, perhaps that's why MidwayUSA has them on sale at more than 50% off. Maybe they're factory seconds? I expect it to be a week or so before I find out anything as the "big" storm is beginning to reach my area and it's rain, rain and more rain and it's supposed to last for several days. One way or another, we will get to the bottom of the problem and it will be corrected.
Well with a bit more info , I would suspect that Simmons Scope or a loose mount.
Your not going to change a six inch group to Sub MOA , but getting rid of fouling might have . then there might also have been a defect in the rifling . All of this I am sure your gunsmith will/ would check .
So I hope you soon have an answer to your problem.