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Tikka 308 MORE Grouping issues

jb4lcmjb4lcm Member Posts: 116 ✭✭

After the last round of shots last week, I let the gun sit for several days in the safe. No cleaning, no adjustments to stock.

TIKKA T3X 308 Stainless BBL

Barnes VOR-TX 130gr

TODAY's results:

6:30 am, 95 degrees,

2-3 mph breeze - - 100 yard target (Black dot is 1" diameter - outer ring is 2" diameter)

BAGS front and rear.

PIC # 1 - FIRST 3 rounds - COLD BBL. A little scattered.

PIC # 2 - SECOND 3 rounds - after adjusting the scope LEFT and UP, BBL is quite warm - BEAUTIFUL!!!

PIC # 3 - THIRD 3 rounds - BBL is now HOT - WTH?

PIC # 4 - FOURTH 3 rounds HOT BBL .... oy ve . . .

I can only assume my gun likes it warm, but not HOT.

What do you think?

PIC #1

PIC #2


PIC #3

Not happy here!

PIC #4

Ouch . .


  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭

    I'd go get a beer if it was that hot.......

  • BobJudyBobJudy Member Posts: 6,349 ✭✭✭✭

    I really don't want to come off super critical, but why did you ask for opinions the other day and not implement any of our suggestions?

    My advice, clean the gun, tighten the stock screws at 25 inch pounds and try again. Yes you could have a barrel that has a sweet spot temp wise. The good news is that it should have no problems killing a deer at 200 yards. Personally I am not a fan of either all copper bullets or using 130 gr bullets in a 308. My favorite performing and most accurate 308 cal game bullet is the Federal Fusion. Good luck with it. Bob

  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,643 ✭✭✭✭

    It seems to shoot fine to me.

  • buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 5,164 ✭✭✭✭

    My Tikka 308 shot 150 grain Hornady,plastic tip (I forgot what they are called) with groups that touched.I agree that I never had good success with 130 grain bullets in a 308. I think those Barnes copper bullets are a little longer than lead jacketed bullets and have more bearing surface in the barrel.That may contribute to your accuracy problem.If you dont reload,buy you a box of cheap 150 grain Remington or Winchester ammo and see if it makes a difference. I can't remember a Tikka rifle that was not a good shooter.

  • Kevin_LKevin_L Member Posts: 1,139 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 13

    "I can only assume my gun likes it warm, but not HOT. What do you think?"

    I think your first few shots are a bit off because were you warming up.

    The next few are accurate because you were warmed up, relaxed, and fresh.

    The next are off a bit because you're watching the shot placement and getting tired.

    And the last ones are off because now you've taken a bunch of shots, you're flinching, and you're thinking too much about the previous group.

    I also think you should try some of the suggestions from the other day.

    "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 🍺 🇺🇲 🍔

  • chris8X57chris8X57 Member Posts: 1,187 ✭✭✭✭

    Whether a composite stock, or the finest walnut, any stock can benefit from a glass bedding job in the forward receiver/recoil lug area, and often the rear tang.

    Whether the composite stock is cast, or CNC machined, they all vary dimensionally from rifle to rifle and metal shifting in the stock is not unheard of. Consider having a competent gunsmith bed your rifle, and follow the manufacturers stock screw torque recommendations.

    Lastly, shooting for group consistency means allowing a consistent cool down time between targets and even shots. A hot barrel will react differently than a cool barrel.

  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭

    Bob nailed it, nothing has changed since last time you asked for opinions, so why do you expect a different outcome? Just try playing with the stock torque before you clean it, and see what happens.

  • jb4lcmjb4lcm Member Posts: 116 ✭✭
    edited August 14

    So, SOME of the previous suggestions were to allow the gun to cool off, and try again at least 24 hours later before monkeying around with it. Sorry if I did not try EVERYONE's suggestion at this point. I felt it was best to cool it down and make a new starting point. THAT is why it appears I have not followed the previous suggestions - I DID.

    If you read thru all the responses, you'll see quite a collection of suggestions. Where to start? Well - I chose a starting point and threw it back out there. The second group was so good (to me) that I almost packed it up and went home. So those results in pic #2 APPEAR to suggest that no changes to the stock are required. Sorry Bob if I did not pick your suggestion to start.

  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭

    Everything was fine, until you took it out of the stock to adjust the trigger. If that was the only thing that you did, I would go back to that point by re-torquing the stock bolts. Barrels don't get fouled by not shooting them, and a week to cool down is unnecessary, if you can grab them in your hand, and hold on to them, they are fine for a 3-4 shot group. About 20 mins between grouping should be enough time. I bought one of these just for that reason..

  • BobJudyBobJudy Member Posts: 6,349 ✭✭✭✭

    No worries on my part. We sometimes forget that all shooters don't have the same level of experience. It is recommended that when shooting groups that the shooter allow the barrel to cool between groups. Depending on the weather that can be as little as ten minutes and I have never had to wait more than 30min. But as @toad67 mentioned above things were looking good until you disassembled the stock from the action. A prudent person would think about any changes like that and use that information as a starting point to get back to normal. Once again, good luck. Bob

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,532 ✭✭✭✭

    I'd say it depends on your intended purpose for the rifle. A hunting rifle should deliver cold barrel POI consistently. To test this fire ONE shot and repeat maybe once per hour(or day). My hunting rifles (especially those that go on distant hunts) are zeroed then fire one shot each morning for 3-4 days. What ever those cold bore shots show is what the rifle is capable of.

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 57,433 ******

    Yep, so many times I have had a it didn't start doing that until after I,,,,That's where I go back to.

  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭

    And hope that you don't miss, or wound the animal and need a follow up shot....

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,532 ✭✭✭✭

    "And hope that you don't miss, or wound the animal and need a follow up shot...."

    I'll say that a rifle that can't put two or three cold bore shots close enough isn't worth carrying afield. What I'm talking about is that very first shot that goes completely awry 3-4" away from expected POI.

  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 22,497 ✭✭✭✭

    What's the goal of this rifle - hunting or shooting tight groups on paper?

    If hunting, it's looks good to go based on that tight group. The poor groups look to be more shooter related than rifle related.

    If shooting on paper - are you using breath control, trigger control, and follow through - all the things necessary to get tight groups as a shooter?

  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 6,056 ✭✭✭✭

    As a lifelong 308 shooter I have to echo everyone else ditch the 130s Try some 165 grain hornady sst or something similar . I think you will be pleasantly surprised .

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,139 ✭✭✭✭

    Very frustrating I am sure. Hope you get it straightened out.

  • OakieOakie Member Posts: 40,518 ✭✭✭✭

    Bob gave you some sound advice. I also concur on the 165 or even 150 grain bullet. Start fresh with new ammo, and go from there. By the way, your shots will all kill a deer. I think once you do everything we suggested, you will find your grouping a lot better. Good luck and please let us know how it goes, and what changes you made.

  • jb4lcmjb4lcm Member Posts: 116 ✭✭
    edited August 15

    I will loosen the stock bolts, and then retighten them to 25 inch/lbs, working my way up across all 3 to get them tight in an even manner. They were tightened to 30.

    I opted for the 130 gr due to smaller white tail in South Carolina - Typically 130~150 lbs. I will go back to 150 gr and see if I can eliminate my complaint.

    In my earlier tests using all 150 gr copper-lead core NON-tipped bullets I had what - in hind sight - were pretty good for 100-150 yard shots, but I wasn't happy about the lack of MOA. I THINK I'm a pretty good shot - as I used to shoot .223 in sub MOA. But that was a very different gun - Rem 700 with bull bbl. This is the result from BEFORE I took the stock off - 4 different rounds - shot within 30 minutes so no cooling of the bbl. I had zero'd in at 100 yards with an FMJ.

    Thanks for your input and patience guys!

  • savage170savage170 Member Posts: 37,523 ✭✭✭✭

    I use 165 grain bullets on South Carolina deer none have complained. I had a Tikka 308 and 30-06 and both liked the heavier bullets better than the 150 grain

  • Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭
    edited August 15

    Do you reload your own ammo?

    Not to be critical but just a couple of tips to consider.

    Like the other guys say, if you do not reload at least try 150-168 grain bullets.

    I'm a reloader and I'm the one who said I glass bed bolt action rifles to where I can remove and re-install the stock and the rifle still shoot to same POI. I have a reload recipe that 80% of 308's will shoot to 1 moa or less including stainless steel barrels, but I've also found that gun barrel have harmonics of their own sometimes and I have adapt for such.

    Consistent accuracy from a rifle is about finding what is consistent for the guns barrel harmonics.

    I've also found that most generally the 308 caliber rifles are inherently very accurate when fed the proper recipe of ammo THAT IT LIKES, not what the shooter wants it to like and most generally that is 150 grain bullets and up in bullet weight.

    I've also noticed that just because a guy pays big bucks for a box of bullets does not mean the rifle is going to be impressed with that ammo.

    Also just because a rifle is resting in a synthetic stock does not necessarily make it consistently accurate.

    Do you know how to check or test if a rifle is properly inletted into a stock?

    If the rifle WAS GROUPING good (with 130 gr bullets) before you removed and re-installed the stock that is a hint that you changed something just by removing and re-installing the stock screws. It appears to me that your 308 is also acting about normal with 130 grain bullets.

    Unless your rifle has a slower twist rate than normal for a 308 it probable will never like the LIGHTER BULLETS. (130gr is a light bullet for the normal rate of twist 308's)

    Do you know what the barrel twist rate is for your stainless steel barrel?

  • Kevin_LKevin_L Member Posts: 1,139 ✭✭✭✭

    And thanks for putting up with the mountain of input. We're a helpful bunch and always willing to make suggestions.

    Best of luck getting the Tikka dialed in. I'm certain its the right gun for you.

    "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 🍺 🇺🇲 🍔

  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭

    Something is moving with barrel temperature. Is the barrel free floated and the action bedded and locked down tight? Your results remind me of years ago when barrels were attached to the stocks.

  • jb4lcmjb4lcm Member Posts: 116 ✭✭
    edited August 15

    Okie743 . . . my twist is 1:11, Stainless bbl.

    I totally get the harmonics suggestion. That makes perfect sense. And the hotter it gets the more those frequencies change.

    NO - I do not know anything about inletted to a stock.

    NO - I do not reload brass. Only 12 ga and .410. Why? Because I don't shoot rifles enough to justify the cost-time. But I shoot skeet 3 days a week with a Browning 725 Sport .410 so I'm saving about $1 a round reloading - saving around $1200 a month!

    Honestly, MY needs are far less than what I am complaining about. I will use this gun to hunt. Period. No competitions, maybe plinking with family, but I bought it with ONE intention - to put meat in the freezer. I'm 65, I will NOT be making arduous treks in the mountains, although I would love to get an elk before I'm dead. Again, the physical aspects keep me from those dreams anymore.

    The more I review suggestions and the more I review my results, when I think about WHY I bought the gun, 2 MOA will suffice for 150 yards and closer. I just do NOT want to wound the animal. So accuracy is crucial. The last animal I took was only 80 yards away. After the shot - it took one hop to the left and dropped. I like that.

    So perhaps I should sell ALL my 130gr expensive rounds and find an acceptable 150+ grain lead core and call it a day. maybe even 165 or 168 and know that will have the killing power for larger antlers and never have to change the zero again. South Carolina white tail are 130-150lbs typically so the larger rounds are a bit overkill, but better over than under.

  • chris8X57chris8X57 Member Posts: 1,187 ✭✭✭✭

    Your 1-11" twist is next to identical to the 1-11.25" twist first used in the US M24 rifle. It was designed to be optimal for the 173 gr, boat tail bullet. This twist should ideally shoot 168 to 175 grain bullets.

    Like all have said above, consider shelving the 130 gr. bullet and find the heavier bullet your rifle likes.

  • savage170savage170 Member Posts: 37,523 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 15

    I also shoot the 300 Hamm'r which was ment for 110- 130 grain bullets with the 150 being about as heavy you want to go and the twist on it is 1:15

  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,643 ✭✭✭✭

    If your shots hit a paper pie plate at 100 yards you re good to go for deer. A Moose's vitals are the size of a basketball or even a medicine ball. Go with a 140-150 grain bullet and go kill Bambi's dad.

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