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Accurize a New Rifle

famous wolffamous wolf Member Posts: 125 ✭✭
edited January 2013 in Ask the Experts
I have a NIB Winchester M70 Featherweight (from the 80s) that I plan to put into service. What "out of the box" things should I do to make it as accurate as possible? I know I can "glass bed it" or "pillar bed it". I have a good local gunsmith who has done work for me in the past. I plan to take it to him, but wanted to get some feedback from you guys on what I should instruct him to do (if anything). I also will have him put the scope on. NOTE: I am not looking for somekind of "benchrest" performance, just good, consistent, reliable accuracy for general deer hunting. I rarely shoot a deer over 100 yards, but occassionly up to 200 or so. THANKS!

Comments

  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Well, first I would shoot it out to 200 yards and get a benchline for accuracy. If it holds 1 MOA or better, no need to do anything to it.
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    There isn't really a list of things to do to make a rifle more accurate since some of those things may cause your rifle to be more consistent while others may cause inconsistency. So to some extent, it's trial and error. However, what you can do is load ammunition that will allow for increased accuracy. If I'm seeking the most out of a rifle I'll take cases fired in that rifle and reload them using Wilson dies, bushings and in-line seaters as well as precise powder charges and match grade bullets.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm with jonk.
    If I had a name brand bolt action rifle that was not plenty accurate for hunting to 200 yards, I would be talking to the warranty department.
  • wanted manwanted man Member Posts: 3,276
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jonk
    Well, first I would shoot it out to 200 yards and get a benchline for accuracy. If it holds 1 MOA or better, no need to do anything to it.


    Pretty good advice.....cheap, too! [8D]
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682
    edited November -1
    I have installed pillars, and free floated the barrel on several of those. It turns them from a 2-3MOA(yes, that bad)gun, into around an MOA. I also tune the trigger, to a crisp 3 pounds.

    Best

    EDIT 1

    quote:Originally posted by yoshmyster
    If you plan on using the barrel break it in right. Run a few patches of bore paste on patches on a brass jag. Then shoot, clean and repeat. While shooting you'll know if the barrel will be a keeper as in she'll shoot better than you. Pray this is your case for it will save you bank [:D].


    What are you talking about? Bore Paste like J-B? If so, that is the exact last thing you want to do to a new barrel to break it in. Break in is one shot, and clean with a good solvent like Shooters Choice, and repeat shoot one shot/clean for 10 shots. Then switch to 5 shot groups, for four groups cleaning in between.

    The recipe above for the pillar bed/free float, and trigger job, will work well for 90% or better of decent factory rifles that are not shooting 1.5 MOA or better. Basically, in a nutshell, what it does, is corrects the factory's bad hot glue,/action lug bedding BS, and then makes a LAWYERS trigger into a good one.

    Best
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    If you don't bed it & freefloat the barrel, be prepared to fight the shifting point of impact due to changes in humidity. It may be plenty accurate out of the box, but POI will likely change.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,599
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tsr1965
    I have installed pillars, and free floated the barrel on several of those. It turns them from a 2-3MOA(yes, that bad)gun, into around an MOA. I also tune the trigger, to a crisp 3 pounds.

    Best


    +3[:D]

    Those are all things you can do yourself. However, having a qualified gunsmith doing it helps ensure it gets done the right way if you aren't sure how to do it.[;)]
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 13,137
    edited November -1
    What Jonk said.

    Go group the gun at the range and see what it can do before messing with it. There is some reasonable chance you won't have to do anything at all to it.

    Personally, I think a 2MOA gun is perfectly fine for hunting out to 200 yards, especially if most of the shots will be under 100. Sure, more accurate is better, but the difference between a 2 and 4 inch group at 200 yards likely isn't going to be limiting factor in many (if any) hunts. In other words, if you can't get it done with a 2 MOA gun, you're probably not going to be able to get it done with a 1 (or less) MOA gun.

    Exactly as TSR said, the two next things I'd be looking at are trigger upgrade, then barrel float/bed.

    Custom tuned ammo can help, but if you're going to be loading your own that's a significant investment in money for equipment, and especially your time in learning how to do it correctly and working up the loads. Its a potentially fun hobby, though maybe not worth it solely to come up with a few boxes of ammo per year for hunting.

    You may have a bit of an easier time just trying a variety of available commercial loads to find which one(s) your particular gun likes best.
  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,211 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you plan on using the barrel break it in right. Run a few patches of bore paste on patches on a brass jag. Then shoot, clean and repeat. While shooting you'll know if the barrel will be a keeper as in she'll shoot better than you. Pray this is your case for it will save you bank [:D].
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