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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to the range to throw a few 405s at the 225 yard targets on Memorial Day and found that I was missing 12 inch plates completely. The ground was wet, so I had no way of seeing the impact. I was confused as to why this was going on. Had I bumped my scope? I decided to put out a paper target at the 50 yard line and give it a look. The rounds were 3.387 inches high at 50 (they were supposed to be .88 ). I decided to get two test distances, so I drup the paper out to 100 and took three more shots. Keep in mind that the shot group at 50 was 0.649 and the 100 grouped at 1.157. The 100 yard grouping was 2.445 high. Now I know there is a problem, but the difference from the bullistic chart is nearly spot on. I shot .062 off of what the difference should be in the arc (fairly typical as i mic everything).

I am guess ing that the nearly 70 degree temp difference and the difference in humidity had a huge part to play in why the bullets were so off target. I shoot almost exclusivly metal or synthetic stocks, so changes in wood was the last thing on my mind when I pulled the trigger. t least I learned something I had been told a hundred times before; wood stocks have more drastic changes with temp and humidity. Hadn't really noticed this trend with my deer rifle as I only shoot it around the same time every year. On another note, it seems like the load I developed has more kick than it did in the winter, am I just forgetting the kick my little monster has, or is there more to it?
 

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Personally, I think that there is more going on than wood problems with your 95. A cheap wood stock on a bolt gun might change point of impact like this but group size would also change. I have 4 Marlins, one 1895 Winchester and 2 M99 Savages, all two piece stocks. They shoot the same, year in and year out given same ammo.

Hot weather can do some amazing things to ammunition. I would investigate that aspect of your problem.
 

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Temperature can have an effect on cartridge loads. If these loads were worked up in cold weather and are on the high side of the recommended load, higher temperatures would effect pressures and velocity. We used to calculate ammo temperature into the ballistic solution for the M1 tank.
 

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Was windage effected? Normally, when wood stock's are unstable due to moisture, the effect is in both planes. Hard to think, that drastic of an effect would only be to push the groups straight up, there is almost always (usually to a lesser degree) some impact shift to right or left.
 

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Pull a couple of rounds apart and check charges. They might be running heavy. Also, did you change cans of powder during loading? Sometimes even though the same powder, lots can vary.
 
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My first and primary suspect is the scope. Do you have any friends that would mess with the knobs? Enemies? It is also not out the question that the scope elevation adjustment has failed or is failing. The wood stock is two piece and the front portion is not capable in my opinion of exerting that much pressure on a lever action. Did you use a bipod by chance? I have seen them exert unusual pressure since they are mounted so far forward.

Yep, I would be focused on the scope 100%.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had zeroed the rifle back to where it should be on Memorial day and took it back out today. The zero held from last week. Still tight groups, no left or right drifts, cartridge is strong enough that I think I would have noticed a slow creep north or south with only a few shots. Crono tells me that the rounds have increased by 20FPS on average, I don't have friends that would mess with a scope. I shot it off backpack and a bench rest. I use a real tight hold to attempt to keep it under control when shooting. I'm using H4895 powder. Is there something I am missing besides the target that day? Do I need to do more pushups? Thanks for all the suggestions, I really need to figure this out. Will be pulling a few bullets here in a bit. Also got a second scale to make sure my comp loads are still on track. Thanks for the replies, I'm at a loss on this one.

I am a stickler on trimming the case, double weighing powder, Spinning all my cartridges 180 when seating my rounds. Also getting a Arbor press here real soon.
 

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H4895 is an extreme powder and won't impacted as much by temps but a 70 degree swing will have some impact. A 20fps swing would not account for a near 3" diff in trajectory.


This is an odd one.


I love H4895, I shoot it in 45/70, 35 Rem, 30/06, 243 Win, 358 Win, and .223 Rem. I would eat it sprinkled over my cereal if I could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I completely agree. I pulled a few bullets and checked my powder. It weighed out correctly. Your best guess is as good as mine. Everything still feels tight on the rifle. I have yet to take the forend off and the last time the stock was removed was well before it was zeroed.
 

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I would be checking the scope as Bob_VT says.

A friend and I each had a Leupold VXII 6-18x40 with target turrets that would move. I had it on a .223 and it would shoot a .5" group dead on @ 100yds. If I put it up and shot it the next day it would shoot the same .5" group but it would be somewhere else. His did the same thing and this was repeatable over and over.

We sent them in to Leupold and they replaced all the internal adjustments and the problem was solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll continue to take the rifle out and see if it tracks away from the zero. I have steep plates and can shift back to paper without getting off the bench. If it does lose zero, I'll have to send the scope in. I use pencil marks on the scope to make sure there is no shifting. the rings were also lapped. The scope I am using is made for big bore Nikkon Monarch African 1x4 illuminated reticule. The scope has been only used on my 45-70 and I have only fired 398 rounds through the rifle. I honestly don't know what would be worse, the scope falling apart, or the rounds/stock being affected by temps. I'll report back when I have more information or at least something crossed off the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update*** Well, I threw my hat on this one. Turns out that the scope creeped back to an inch north at 100 yards. Also noticed that the front screw of my XS Lever rail is busted. Could it be that when I moved the scope back, that it put the scope in a spot that has too much flex from the recoil?Either way, I am as mad as can be about this. At least they have a lifetime warranty, I would hate to lose this scope because they don't make the illuminated version anymore. I'm going to move the scope back out where it was to see if the problem persists. Looks like you gentleman nailed. it. The gun has never been dropped, so it's hard for me to believe that the rail screw broke.

-Craig
 
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