One the challenges in developing a rifle system is finding an accurate load that is precise. This can be a little annoying, if not completely frustrating.
The RUM, only having 100 rounds through it, is proving to have a lot of precision problems, though the accuracy is showing potential in so far as the rounds are landing near the center of the target. The group size is rather large, or lacking precision. With an end goal of striking targets at over a mile (1,760 yards), groups that are measured in sizes of multiple inches at only 100 yards will not cut it.
After voting I headed to the range with most of my firearms to enjoy them for maybe the last time. I started with the RUM using load number 41, the same that I had been working with for the last several outings. This load has shown some potential, and needing to have as much consistency as possible I decided to stick with it.
The first shot struck one inch left, and one inch low of the point of aim, this would be known as the cold shot with a dirty bore, also commonly known as a cold, dirty. This has been a common occurrence with this rifle. I allowed the rifle to cool for 10 minutes. The next shot was at least two inches high, and left. Needless to say I was disappointed with the results.
So disappointed in fact that I fired off the remaining 18 rounds. Then I removed the scope, and bagged the rifle up in it’s case then placed it in the bed of the truck where the bad guns have to ride.
The most likely causes for this complete failure will most likely be one of the following.
- Muzzle Break
The first thing I did was remove the scope, and test it on the .308 Win. After only a couple sight in shots the rifle was smacking bullseye with it.
The scope, load, and rifle combination has been used on other occasions, and have proved to be both accurate, and precise.
This leaves me confident that the scope is still working fine.
The next item will be to remove the muzzle break, and then fire 5 more rounds of load number 41 which I expect to perform poorly. Unless it is a simple case of the muzzle break not being compatible with this rifle, which as I have stated before would be a shame. But as with anything firearm related, even though on paper it should work well there is a good amount of voodoo involved in building an accurate rifle.
I will also be trying different brands, and weights of bullets. Sometimes something as simple as a change in bullet weight, or the slight change of the profile of the bullet can produce vastly different results.
The most worrisome possibility would be the need to replace the barrel.
Rifle barrels should be thought of in the same manner as a car tire, there is only so many miles a tire can travel until it is no longer capable of holding the road, and a barrel will only survive a certain number of rounds until the chamber, and rifling is worn beyond its useful life. Some competitors will have to change a barrel out after only 1,200-1,500 rounds in the faster calibers. My hope is to be able to run this barrel at least 3,000 rounds before having to replace it.
Having a new barrel mounted would not be very difficult, but the price of even a lower end custom barrel, and the gun smithing it involves would almost be the same as the cost of the rifle itself. and even though at some point in time it will happen I really don’t want it to be in the first year with only 120 rounds down the tube.
More later. 12/04/2016 Orange Park, Florida.