Restoring MOA Accuracy To A Fouled Barrel

While setting up my new 28 Nosler, Browning X-Bolt rifle, it started shooting like a house of fire right out of the chute and then accuracy started to get increasingly degraded. Here is the process I used and how I found adding an extra step to my cleaning process restored my accuracy. 

After getting my new rifle I thoroughly cleaned the bore with a Bore Tech Eliminator and Kroil as I have with all my firearms in the past.

For my first outing to the range I had 10 rounds loaded up with H-1000 powder. The first shot was to verify the point of impact from bore sighting using the simple look down the bore technique. Then I had three different powder charges for three shots a piece. All three of these three shot groups shot sub MOA with one grouping at 3/8" at 100 yards. Awesome! That was quick, however I needed to shoot more to verify it would be consistently accurate.

Trip two to the range I shot two more three shot groups at 100 yards with the tightest load from the first trip to the range. The first group was just over an inch and the second was back under an inch at 7/8" and I shot a third three shot group at 300 yards that was five inches with a flier to the right. Not so good. Hmm...

My third trip I shot three, three shot groups again at 100 yards and all three groups were in the 1 1/2" to 2" range. Ahh!!! Opening up even more. This was when it clicked that I had to be having fouling problems. 

I tried my usual cleaning process of Kroil and Bore Tech Eliminator. And headed back to the range again this time to shoot a ladder test at 300 yards with different powder charges incrementally in 0.2 grains. On this trip I found a couple powder charge nodes with the best node being right where I had been loading my favorite load from the very first day. However the ladder wasn't as tight as I would have like it to be and the theme of fliers going to the right was continuing. Ahh!!!

Ok, I was convinced that there was an issue with the barrel fouling and discussed the issue with my engineer friend. He recommended JB Bore paste. As I learned, sometimes a new rifle bore needs a little polishing with a mild abrasive to smooth out any imperfections that persist from the factory. I have heard of this working awesome on barrels in the past but have been very nervous about taking any kind of abrasive to my rifle bores. My X-Bolt has a chrome line bore and I wondered how the JB Bore paste would work. My friend confirmed that it would work great with the chrome lined bore.

So here are the three things I run through my bore on cloth patches. The first item is Kroil that is an oil I like that will penetrate, help lift carbon and other debris in the bore. Second, Bore Tech Eliminator is an awesome chemical process that breaks down the copper. You can leave it in the barrel and it won't harm your barrel like an ammonia based Barnes CR2 cleaner would. Third is JB Bore Paste, which is my new addition to my cleaning process. JB Bore paste that is a mechanical process that scrubs and polishes the bore.

So before my next trip to the range I used a combination of Kroil, Bore Tech Eliminator and JB Bore paste. I would run patches of Bore Tech Eliminator from the chamber and out the muzzle followed by dry patches. After this I would run a patch of JB Bore paste except with the JB Paste I would stroke the patch back and forth in the barrel for around 10 times. I would then follow with a couple dry patches and then repeat the process with using the combination of the chemical and then mechanical cleaning agents.

After I had repeated the process 10 times my chemical patches were only a very, very faint blue color. Blue is the color your patch will be when it reacts with copper. A couple dry patches and a Kroil patch to finish it off and I was ready to head back to the range.

On this trip to the range I wanted to test a couple things at 300 yards. First I wanted to try a group with the original H-1000 load and then I wanted to try Retumbo powder ladder. So I first shot a fouling shot at a clay pigeon I had sat out at 300 yards and I drilled it. Cool! Immediately after that I shot three shots with the H-1000 load. Bingo. These three shots made a 2 1/8" group that measured only 1" vertically. And the one "flier" for the group was to the left instead of the right which at 300 yards the varying wind speed can easily effect. Even at that, this is the equivalent of a group under 3/4" at 100 yards. This is right at the size of groups I was getting with the load at 100 yards previous to the JB Bore paste cleaning. 

Right after firing this group I started on my Retumbo ladder test. Holy crap the first two shots of the ladder were near touching at 300 yards and the velocity and point of impact is the same for the H-1000 load I had just shot. That's awesome! In this ladder test there were two three shot sub MOA nodes. The overall group from the ladder was three inches narrower that the previous  (non-JB Bore Paste cleaned) ladder with the same light wind conditions.

Next trip I'm going to shoot some Retumbo loads in the tight 1 and 2 shots powder charges from my ladder test. And I think I will clean the barrel again but only run a couple JB Bore paste patches this time.

I'm hooked, JB Bore Paste is now going to be a part of my cleaning process. I can think of a couple other rifles I would like to use it in that have had group sizes getting a little larger than I would like. Hmm...

Rifle bore cleaning products

 

Out shooting a ladder test tonight with Hodgdon H1000 powder behind a 175 Gr ELD-X in my 28 Nosler. I'm not a pro at ladder tests, nor is this the tightest ladder I have shot, but I do like doing them to narrow down a solid accurate powder charge. For this ladder test I had 13 loads in 2 tenth increments from 76.6 Gr to 79 Gr holding on the same target at a distance of 300 yards. The idea is to find a node of consecutive shots that have the least variance in elevation. Shots 10 through 13 are only 1 1/4" apart in elevation and 11 through 13 are only 5/8" apart. 12 and 13 only 1/4" apart. Would be nice to see a 14 but this is getting near the max charge I feel comfortable with. Charge number 12 looks to be the best from this ladder. After a thorough cleaning and probably some JB bore paste to smooth out this new bore I am going to try a Retumbo ladder test next. #laddertest #28nosler #browning #chrony #targetshooting #rifle #whatgetsyououtdoors #hornady #hodgdon #loadyourown #reloading #reload

A post shared by Brady Smith (@diyhntr) on

 

Last night's 300 yard ladder test with different powder charges using Retumbo and a 2 1/8" 3 shot group with H-1000. Both were shot with my @browningfirearms X-Bolt 28 Nosler with @hornady_mfg 175 Gr ELD-X bullets. I first shot the 3 shot group (bottom target) with a load of H-1000 from a node in my previous ladder test. I then shot the ladder test. There are two sub moa nodes in this ladder. 1,2,3 and 9,10,11. I really like that 1 and 2 have the exact point of impact as the H-1000 group I had just finished shooting. And the velocities are both right at 3,215 for both loads. I'm getting closer to figuring out a favorite load. #xbolt #browning #whatgetsyououtdoors #reloading #reload #hodgdon #loadyourown #eldx #bullet #targetshooting #28nosler

A post shared by Brady Smith (@diyhntr) on

150 Gr Hornady SST In My 270 WSM X-Bolt

Hornady 150 Gr SST - 270 WSM X-Bolt

Shooting the Hornady 150 Gr SST out of my Browning X-Bolt 270 WSM.

I've been slowly working on getting a load for the Hornady 150 Gr SST bullet. I haven't been too tickled with the accuracy and performance on critters with the 150 Gr Accubond Long Range. And then there are the Berger 150 Gr VLDs that shoot really well in my 270 WSM Model 1885 but this particular load doesn't shoot so well in my X-Bolt.

Not to get confused with what load goes with what gun I like each rifle to have only certain bullets for each rifle. So in this case I know that any 270 WSMs loaded with a VLD I know that they go in my Model 1885.

The G7 BC of 0.245 for the 150 SST isn't quite as good as the G7 of 0.265 for the 150 VLD but I really like the price of the SST bullets compared to the Accubond LR and VLD. SSTs also get good reviews on their performance on big game so I am hopefull this will now be my go to bullet for my X-Bolt.

I took three trips to the range testing loads but I finally have a really accurate load that I am excited to start using in the field.

Check out the data for this load on my 270 WSM Loads page.

 

Hornady 150 Gr SST 3 Shot Groups from a 270 WSM X-Bolt

The 3 shot 100 yard groups with the Hornady 150 Gr SST out of my Browning X-Bolt 270 WSM. Three different powder charges at the same seating depth. The flier on lower right group may well have been my fault. Nonetheless all three groups are sub MOA.

More Load Testing & Scope Mounting Tweaks On My CVA Accura V2

Target bullet groups

The 3 shot 100 yard groups I shot today with my CVA Accura V2, Browning X-Bolt in 270 WSM and my Model 1885 in 300 Win Mag. 

After my first two trips out to testing bullets and a Vortex Viper HS LR scope on my muzzleloader I found that I greatly lacked MOA adjustment in the scope and that the 300 Gr AeroLite bullets were giving me the best accuracy.

I went back to the drawing board with mounting the scope. I kept the EGW rail but turned it around. I turned it around so that the overhang of the rail would cover the blast that escapes and was coating the bottom of my scope with nasty crap. My idea worked great other than I needed to but safety goggles on because to defected crap back into my face. I am going to solve the deflecting debris by sticking a small piece of felt across the top of the receiver or the bottom of the rail and see how that works.

To get the turret back near below center I purchased some Medium height Burris Signature Zee Rings. I then used the inserts to cant the scope forward as much as I possibly could. According to the inserted chart I should pickup 15.2 MOA with the 4.75 inches between the two rings that I have.

I also picked up a Blackhorn loose powder breech plug. This breech plug is designed to provide a more consistent ignition for those that shoot the loose powder instead of the pellets.

Last trip out 130 Gr of powder shot a group just a smidgen larger than an inch. After a bore sighting shot aimed at the center of all the targets I first shot the 130 Gr load again. With the new breech plug 130 Gr didn't shoot as well so I tried 140 and then 120 Gr and bingo 120 Gr group is near 3/4 inch. Better that my X-Bolt with the SSTs today. Wow! It amazes me that a smoke pole can shoot this well.

After shooting today and zeroing the scope for the 120 Gr load that shot so well I now have 46 MOA of adjustment left to dial up long shots which would max me out at around 550 yards according to Strelok Pro. I will need to verify my drops by finding a place to shoot out to 500 yards in the next month or so. 

Today I also brought along my 270 WSM X-Bolt and my 300 Win Mag Model 1885. I have been doing a little load development with the 150 Gr Hornady SST and the 212 Hornady ELD-X bullets. I had four different H1000 powder charges for the 150 SST's and two different H1000 charges for the ELD-X bullets. I have shot a few groups with these bullets earlier this summer and I'm seeing good results with the 150 SST but so far just plain bad results with the ELD-X. I'm starting to lean toward the ELD-X may need a powder other than my favorite H1000 or it likes to be seated way off the lands.

I would like to have the 150 SST setup for Dallen to hunt with for muleys and elk by the first of October. The one group is under an inch. I'm getting close with the SST.

 

 

EGW Rail on CVA Accura V2

The EGW rail works great at keeping my scope clean but deflects debris back to my face. I am going to try sticking a piece of felt to the receiver or rail in the narrow slot you can see here. 

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