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help with sighting my TC, PLEASE

tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
I am having a great deal of difficulty getting my Thompson Center Omega to group at the range. I have a steady rest, the 3 x 9 omega cranked at 9, and have tried both pellets and loose triple 7 (at 100, 120, and 150 grains) and both shockwaves and power belts.
After each shot I am running a spit patch and two dry. It is hardly clean after this, but I should not be getting as much as a foot variance on each shot, should I?
One will hit high right of the bull with the follow up shot being low left of the bull as much as a foot away at 100 yards. I had one guy I talked to suggest bringing a bucket of water and cleaning the barrel between each and every shot with soapy hot water and letting it dry out each time, is that necessary and would it help? THis is what I do at the end of each use for a thorough clean, but could that be the issue. I know there are defects in every make and model, I am really starting to believe I may have found one as I am running out of ideas to try and get this thing zeroed. Thanks in advance for any help/opinions you may have.
Merry Christmas,


  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Forget the bucket of water.
    Your rifle is, as you suspect, horribly inaccurate.
    You should be able to get 2 inch groups, or better.
    The shockwave is known to be accurate in your rifle, I am not a big fan of powerbelts but they are pretty accurate, too.
    I suspect your scope is not mounted properly.
    I would double check every screw on those scope mounts, and I would remove them and use the loctite on them, the kind that still allows you to remove the screw. It is blue colored I believe.

    Also you might have a faulty scope. Have you ever used this scope on another rifle?
    Does your rifle have iron sights? If so give the iron sights a try, I bet your accuracy will improve dramatically.

    For fine tuning accuracy, I would start at 100 grains, and work my way down. You don't need 150 grains to kill a deer, far from it. The gun can't even burn 150 grains of powder.
    I have killed lots of deer and hogs with 80 grains of black powder.
    I would try 90 grains, 80 grains, and 70 grains.
  • tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the advice. I have not yet tried teh scope on another rifle. I am not a big fan of the BDC to begin with and may just replace that altogether. I rarely shoot over 100 and the extra junk just really clutters the field of view for me.
    Since posting, I went to the back yard to try it again. In a gun vice, and cutting the distance to 65 yards I am down to 6 inch group with 4 shots, better but that still seems ridiculous. THis is with loose powder at 120 grains and the power belt bullets.
    I will try remounting the scope and if that does not work I will try a new scope and go from there I guess.
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 13,141 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    as stated before drop the powder to 100 or less anywhere from 75-100 is plenty to kill a deer. it may be possible to much powder/force is deforming the plastic gas cup on the bottom of the powerebelt, effecting accuracy, I would still tend to beleive the scope is the problem,try the open sights at 50-60 yards and see what the groups do. 4-5 shots should not effect the accuracy by over a foot, I would think no more than an inch or so, which will be fine for hunting, a thorough hot water bath between shots, would not be possible in a hunting situation. good luck.
  • kenny550kenny550 Member Posts: 20 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would try a different scope or open sights at a closer range, as for power belts mine wont shoot them with any accuracy either. I use 250gr. schock wave @ 90gr of 777, very accurate to 150yds. Keep trying and you will figure out what the gun likes. good luck:
  • tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I appreciate the help. Scope will be the first thing that I look at. I would rather be shooting the shockwaves, but there are none available anywhere around me right now. I had all of the stores call around the other day when I shot the last of the 15 I first bought. All they had on the shelf were the powerbelts and they shot fine through my buddies Remington. I will probably pull the scope off here after christmas and try another.
    Scope and gun all came new in one package from a dealer here on gunbroker. I love the feel of the omega with the thumbhole, but all this has been very frustrating so far. I had really hoped to hunt this gun in Ohio the 2nd ml season, but no way to give it a shot with a 6 inch grouping at 65 yards.
    thanks to all for the help!
    Merry Christams. I have to get back to wrapping and putting this doll house together. [:)]
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Six inches at 65 is 9 inch group at 100.
    As you say, not fit to deer hunt with.
    Your rifle is capable of much greater accuracy.
    You are still shooting 120 grains of 777.
    That is equivalent to 137 grains of black powder.
    Way way too much powder.

    Many manufacturers hype the "ONE HUNDRED FIFTY GRAIN MAGNUM" idea.
    This is a bunch of crap.
    Experienced hunters go into the woods with much less powder. I know a guy who killed a deer at 208 yards with the Omega and the 250 Shockwave, 90 grains of 777
  • tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you to everyone for the responses. I had forgotten about the 5 pack of shockwaves that came with the gun. I grabbed those, 250 grain spire points, and grained down to 90. First shot, four inches low and two left at the same 65 yards. After adjusting the scope, I put three of the remaining four in a group an inch high, inch right nearly touching. One small adjustment on the last shot and dead center, half inch high at 65 yds. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!!

    The gun was enjoyable to shoot, not pounding the heck out of me, and the pattern immediately came right in. I have a buddy who shoots three pyrodex pellets, not the 777, and power belts out of the exact same gun and he holds easy 1 to 2 inch groups at a 100 yds. I am amazed that mine could be that different.

    I do believe though that this is something that is going to work for me and I cannot thank you all enough for your time and input!!!!
  • surekillsurekill Member Posts: 1,926 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Here is my group with 100grs of Black Mag 3,250 SST.


    Like the others stated drop the powder weight down.
  • Liv2FishLiv2Fish Member Posts: 655 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Last year I had real problem with a TC Pro Hunter I spent lots of time and money trying to get the gun to shoot properly. I ended up getting a new gun however I felt that I never recieved a proper I'm sorry from the factory. I have killed several deer with it however this year I had two misfires on thankfully a small eater doe. After that morning hunt and a lot of good hearted ribbing about my expensive single shooter I tried it once more only to get a hang fire that shot low and to the right. I loaded it up again and shot this time 2" high dead center. That evening I went out had a deer broadside at 50 yards and flat missed the whole deer. I sat there in complete amazement thinking I could not of missed then reloaded then shot the deer in the neck it was down for the count. I have tried all kinds of bullets and finally got the best accuracy with a powerbuilt 295 and 150 grains of 777. I enjoy hunting with the muzzleloader but I really do not have the confidence that I need to have. I have no real idea why the gun misfired however I think that the primers might of drawn moisture and were not as hot as they should of been.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Liv2Fish I can understand your misgiving about muzzleloaders.
    I don't know what you are doing, but you are doing something wrong.
    I have killed 10 deer and 6 wild hogs with muzzleloaders.
    I have never had a misfire in the woods.

    If you can figure out your problem you can go into the woods with confidence.
  • red beardred beard Member Posts: 12 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Tclear: Take a good look at your gun,check and make sure your stock is tight and scope mounts and rings are snug.Clean your gun completely.Go to the range and start at a close range until you get it to group.1 1/2"or better at 50yrds is a must before moving on.I prefer loose powder over pellets.The less powder the more accurate.Try different bullets and the weakest 209 primers you can find,not magnums.Shoot once and spit patch once followed by a dry patch.When it gets to hard to load give it a good swab with a bp cleaner.There is no reason your gun shouldnt shoot 1 1/2 groups at 100yds. Don"t give up until you find the right bullet and powder charge. Brian
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    As has been said. There's absolutely no reason a gun won't shoot within 1" @ 100 yards. Once you've settled on the bullet and charge it likes best the gun should be able to shoot better than the shooter. (ever watch those guys split a ball on an ax blade?)
    I've picked up a couple of inlines at yardsales for 25-30 bucks because folks get frustrated and usually its because of overloading,or that particular gun just plain don't like solid pellets.
    For some reason none of the inlines I've had liked roundball, while the old TC flintlock Hawken and a Italian Ky rifle loves them. (twist maybe?)

  • nmaineronnmaineron Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I ran into an issue a few years back with a scope that I had.I had a bad driill job on a rifle that took all of my windage to get it on the paper.The rifle would print to a different spot everytime I took it out.I finally ended up getting a set of adjustable bases which allowed me to set the windage back in the center which cured the problem.Just a thought.Ron
  • tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sorry for the delay between posts. We were out running around the tristate area here visiting all the family that has spread out. I apprecaite all the input from all here. Using 90 grains of loose and the TC shockwaves at 250 grains had really brought it in. I took the scope off and remounted it on my 308 and it was on within three shots. After remounting the scope, the TC seems to be shooting MUCH better. Last group of 5 shots at 100 yards when I was in Pittsburgh visiting family produced just under a 2 inch grouping with most of that variance being me shooting off of the rickity old picnic table that my brothers have down there at their backyard range. I am not sure what at all I did differently when mounting the scope this time, if anything, but the problem seems to have worked itself out. Is it possible that the gun just needed a bunch of rounds pounded through it before it settled?
    I know that my buddy just bought a new tikka and was told in the expert forum that he needed to pound 500 rounds or so through it before that gun would really start to be accurate for him.
  • kenny550kenny550 Member Posts: 20 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Glad you got your omega shooting good. While we are on the subject of getting bp guns to shoot better has anyone tried a drop tube while practicing. I used a large arrow shaft(aluminum) and mine shot a little better. I did notice that my muzzle velocities were much more consistant. Anyone care to comment on this idea?
  • bgeorge_hbgeorge_h Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    #1 take the scope out of the picture,will the t/c shoot a good group at 25 yds ? always begin with the basics,i cant stress this fact enough,it will save you alot of time. possibly the scope is junk? get it out of the pic,and start from there.despite all other posts, think about it, do i have a valid point? iron sights and a weighted lead sled, take human error out of it. good luck and hope you shoot a big buck with it.
  • ChiefDeputyChiefDeputy Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Tclear--I use a muzzleloader and have been amazed at how tight a group I can shoot with iron sights and 60+ old eyes. Here is what happened to me years ago with a scope on a 7mm mag.

    New gun. New scope. New guy (me) to scopes.
    Mounted the scope, zeroed it in at the range (sitting with bench)
    Went hunting with pard in front, he spooked up some elk that ran up steep heavy forest right next to us.

    He didn't want to shoot so I used him for a rest, and shot the elk when it stopped to look back--not really--shot AT the elk.
    Phantom elk was no where to be found. No blood...nothing.

    Back at camp I set up a target (getting a load of crap from pard). Shot across the hood of the truck. Dead on. No more shots that trip.

    Pappy, a research physicist dealing with optics. asked...did you correct for parallax? Figured para..what?..more crap....wrong!

    Optics use multi lenses to do their job. If rifle and scope parallel to earth the image is true and you can sight correctly.
    However, if you are aiming uphill or downhill the crosshairs will be skewed and even if they are dead on the bullet won't go there because the barrel is really pointed to a spot other than the crosshairs.

    Not hard to adjust. We did it with mirrors in a basement then aimed the scope at the moon (far away but visible) and looked down the bore. Presto! The moon was visible through bore and scope with rifle held at an upward angle.

    Took it out and tried it at various angles. Tack driver. Boy do I feel dumb. Haven't used it since. I like a muzzleloader (.54 cal TC) bought used. Never run across anything more than 100 yards away and hit everything (even use those set triggers).
    So don't forget parallax. It was explained in the manual with the scope but who reads instructions???????
  • Ruckin69Ruckin69 Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Prohunter and tried the powerbelts with my Omega, Triumph and my Prohunter, THEY Sucked! All over the place. I used two pellets of Triple seven and 250 grain Shockwaves and I am dead on. I am however,getting really bad fouling and can't get more then one shot out without cleaning. When inquiring, my gunstore said to stop using the federal primer and go with the Winchester. Same problem. I called Thompson and they said they had heard of that problem with triple seven and recommended Black Horn, so I'm going to give that a try. I wouldn't recommend those powerebelts with a Thompson Center at all. Good Luck.
  • HAWKEYE 50HAWKEYE 50 Member Posts: 20 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I do a few things to keep my accuracy consistent by using a numbered drill to clear the flash-hole, and the wider tube leading to the small flash hole.
    My Encore uses a #69 for the Flash hole, and I think a #56 for the larger tube. I figure if you don't deliver the same volume of flame to the charge, how can you expect consistent accuracy.
    I also changed to Blackhorn 209 powder, using Shotshell 209 primers.
    I'm getting improved groups without all the cleanup of the 777. The powder is an oil-based powder, unaffected by moisture. The manufacturer claims you don't have to swab between shots, and to a point I agree. However myself, I swab every third shot. But I'm developing my Encore as my preferred target rifle.
    I'm using the 200gr. ShockWave Sabot's, atop 80-90gr. BH 209.
    Oh yeah, With BH 209, cleanup is with Hoppe#9. No water cleanup.
  • m113103m113103 Member Posts: 35 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Muzzleloaders meed to be broken in to achieve max accuracy. Also try Harvester muzzleloading crush rib sabots. Last unless you are using Black Mag or Blackhorn 209 make sure that your powder is fresh. Some of the brands attract moisture and as it gets older it will open groups up.
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