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Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015937 06/05/11 07:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 8,557
LandRaider Offline
Forum Moderator
*****
I would suggest 5 shot groups off the bench at 100 yards.

Looking good though.


87 Raider 4D56td v5MT1
31's..Basically Stock
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Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: LandRaider] #1015938 06/05/11 07:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
5 shot groups are normally what I shoot, but the range was very crowded yesterday and I was lucky to get a bench - so I pasted 4 targets to 1 frame and shot fast so I didn't have to go downrange to change targets..... not the best way to shoot at all. Next time, I hope to go early morning on a weekday.

I'm reading a lot of claims on the 1903 that I don't know to be true. Some folks are claiming .5" 100yd groups, while the rifle design spec was probably closer to 2 or 3" as a battle rifle. Some rifles were obviously better than others - and I think some of the claims today may be either exaggerated or the .5" groups may be the only group that tight out of many attempts. I have also read that the 1903 barrel gains accuracy up to 3000 rounds, then levels off for the next couple of thousand, before declining...... and I have no idea how many rounds have gone through this one.

When I do my part, this one appears to be a consistent 1.5" hot. I'm real interested to see what it can do cold with a better bench rest. I think I can tinker with the bedding in front of the barrel lug and maybe help the heat influence.

But - if it never gets any better, it's plenty good enough for deer killin'.

Frank


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015939 06/05/11 08:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,649
fasteddy Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
I think this is 'membered right, but check me if you can. I seem to remember that the std. spec was 1.5" groups in bench testing @ 100yds. Barrels and actions with markedly tighter groups got a star stamped on the receiver and were designated "match" weapons, and got further tuning at the hands of very experienced armorers, at least in the Marine Corps, who treat marksmanship with much reverence. I've seen claims of and heard old breed marines who served between the wars talk of .5" groups with a star grade '03, expecially from the Rock Island arsenal. One of the old breed had been on the National Rifle Team for the Marines for several years, and was as fine a shot as I have ever known and won High Overall in '37 at Camp Perry, the site of the interservice rifle matches.


Not responsible for advice not taken...
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: fasteddy] #1015940 06/06/11 12:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
I don't know what the armory spec was for the 1903. I'm sure it was a little better than the M1 (which shot the same round). IIRC, the M1 was spec'd at about 2-3" at 100 yards and wasn't reworked until the group opened to 4" or so.

In trying to find out some accuracy information, I did discover that Wolff sells Blitzschnell striker springs in various strengths that may decrease lock time, which is fairly long in an '03. That might help an old shooter like me who ain't quite as steady as he once was. The factory spring was 16#. Wolff has them up to 30# ratings, but I suspect the really high rates might be a bit harder on the bolt and cams.

After measuring mine and finding it to be 4.4" and seeing that a 20# Wolff is 4.955", I figure mine might be a little tired, so I ordered a 20# spring to see if it helps accuracy at all.

Frank


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015941 06/23/11 09:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
OK riflemen, help me figure this out, please.

After reading some more on the 1903 accuracy, I was convinced that there's more accuracy inherent in the rifle than what I've seen. So, I tinkered a little and decided there might be a few things I could do to improve this one:

1) Better shooter - Naaaahhhh! Impossible. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif" alt="" />

2) Bedding - I suspected the bedding was too tight around the recoil lug, so I used the Dremel and relieved the front and sides a little.

3) Copper fouling - noticed in the previous picture of the muzzle that there was some copper fouling. Cleaned it once with Hoppes #9, then five more times with Wipe Out foam and let each time soak for an hour. There was quite a bit of copper fouling.

4) Worn out barrel - I don't have a bore gauge, so I made do with what I had to try to measure it. Drilled, then turned down a lead egg sinker to .330, then pounded it into the muzzle with a rubber hammer - drove it through the barrel with wooden dowels as drifts, then checked the rifling (good) and measured the slug - the micrometer bounced between .307 and .308 (call it .3075") - so I think the bore is ok, although it drove easier at a couple points than others - maybe a sign of resonance induced wear?

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

5) Ammunition - Probably nothing wrong with Remington CoreLokt, but just in case I bought 2 boxes of Federal Gold Medal match rounds - 168gr Sierra BTHP.

6) Shooting platform - bought a couple of sandbags.

Went to the range and the first 100yd fouling shot from a clean barrel looked like it was going to be a nice day:

[Linked Image]

Waited 5 minutes between shots with the bolt open and the muzzle pointed straight up to let the barrel cool the best way I know how and the next 2 shots on an adjacent target were well away from the bullseye in opposite directions. Scratching my head, I went on to the next idea.

7) Barrel resonance - I've read that armorers shimmed the 1903s near the end of the barrel to about 4-9 lbs of pressure, so I tried clamping a doubled business card between the barrel and the stock (maybe too thick). The next 2 shots were completely off the paper, so I pulled the shim and started scratching my head again while thinking up the next thing to try.

7) Loose/bad scope - I tightened the scope mounts a little (haven't used a torque driver on them), loaded a full magazine and shot this target fairly quickly - all rounds in less than a minute - 2 rounds went into the lower hole:

[Linked Image]

Where's that been? That's 5 rounds in less than 1.5" c/c and a lot more like what the rifle should do. So, now all I need to do is settle down and shoot everything into the X-ring...... wasn't to be. Next I shot this target:

[Linked Image]

Then this one (an extra fouling round was fired into this target):

[Linked Image]

And finally this one, again fired fast (the 2 rounds furthest out were fired later from a standing position):

[Linked Image]

On the last target, the stringing of 5 shots in a line are what I would expect from a hot barrel, though not so pronounced. The weird thing is that they walked (in order) down the target from top left, through the bullseye to lower right.

What the heck's causing this? Bad scope is all I can think of at this point. I also noticed that in cleaning the bore after a few of the targets that subsequent first rounds were in the X-ring, like the first shot of the day. Maybe this barrel fouls badly? I'm stumped for now until I can try a known-good scope. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Frank


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015942 06/26/11 12:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
I think I found the answers - two issues:

1) I soaked the bore in Wipe-Out overnight and got out a lot more copper fouling. A couple more overnight soaks should help.

2) Went to the range and after a couple of targets, I realized that there were a couple of spots too tight in the barrel channel. Bench shooters like .050" clearance between the barrel and stock. I didn't want that much in a hunting rifle, but I have it too tight at .010". As heat migrates from the chamber down the barrel, the barrel touches the stock about halfway to the end of the stock and again right at the end of the stock.

So, I let the barrel cool until I had full clearance and fired five rounds quickly in hopes of getting all rounds off before too much heat migrated to the first spot that would touch. The results were pretty good - even with cheap Remington 165gr Core-Lokt ammo:

[Linked Image]

I probably didn't wait long enough before firing this group. It shows heat-related stringing, but I do like the 3 rounds in almost the same hole:

[Linked Image]

I waited a little longer for the barrel to cool and shot this last group:

[Linked Image]

I'm very satisfied that a little more tinkering with the barrel channel will produce a sub-MOA rifle that should put all rounds in less than an inch at 100 yards. I'm calling it good!

Frank


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015943 06/28/11 03:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,005
jeepdriver Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Frank, is the barrel crown clean? Is the rifling sharp and crisp all the way to the end of the barrel? Do a bit of research and find out what bullet weight and shape was used when that gun was built, and try to duplicate it.


Too many 4x4's, not enough time or money
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: jeepdriver] #1015944 06/28/11 04:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
Hi Bruce -

Yes, the crown is clean, but it was cut by a smith that I don't know and I was not happy with the way the shop went about handling the service. I do clean the face of the crown whenever I clean the barrel.

I can't see the rifling well enough to know if it's crisp, but I suppose I can put a glass and light on it to see.

.30-06 ammunition went through several changes, from the original 150gr spitzer in 1906, replaced by the 172gr M1 boattail ball cartridge in 1926 for better .30cal machine gun and rifle range when used for indirect fire - then back to 150gr with the M2 flat-base 150gr ball in 1938. Most of the WWII ammunition used in these rifles was the 150gr M2, primarily because the new M1 Garand rifle couldn't handle the 172gr M1 cartridge as well, but also because the M1 cartridge maximum range was beyond the safety limits of the Army's training ranges.

In rifles, the M2 cartridge was less accurate than the heavier M1. The following quote is surprising in the 200yd accuracy details:

Quote
For rifle use, M2 Ball ammunition proved to be less accurate than the earlier M1 cartridge; even with match rifles, a target group of 5 inches (130 mm) diameter at 200 yards (180 m) using the 150-grain (9.7 g) M2 bullet was considered optimal, and many rifles performed less well.[5] The U.S. Marine Corps retained stocks of M1 ammunition for use by snipers and trained marksmen throughout the Solomon Islands campaign in the early years of the war.[6] In an effort to increase accuracy some snipers resorted to use of the heavier .30-06 M2 armor-piercing round, a practice that would re-emerge during the Korean War.[7] Others sought out lots of M2 ammunition produced by Denver Ordnance, which had proved to be more accurate than those produced by other wartime ammunition plants when used for sniping at long range.


.30-06 Springfield

Obviously, my last results are considerably better than that. I have some of the M2 A/P rounds, but have not fired any since my discovery of the 2 issues needing correction.

I also have not fired any 150gr or 180gr rounds since the initial trial and the rifle may now show a more definite preference for something other than 165gr.

I think I now have it shooting within design specs or better, but I also think there's more accuracy available if I do a little more tinkering - which I will. I'd like to see all 5 rounds touching at 100yds.... and in the X-ring..... a tall order, but I think it's possible. I would not only like to take reasonable head shots, but I'd also like to feel confident I can put the round in either eye socket. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cyclops.gif" alt="" />

Frank <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: FrankR] #1015945 06/28/11 04:51 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 8,557
LandRaider Offline
Forum Moderator
*****
Frank.. Maybe move it out to 200? Possibly the rounds need to stabilize their flight?? Just a WAG, but if the gurus back in the day were doing their accuracy there then there may be a reason.


87 Raider 4D56td v5MT1
31's..Basically Stock
Re: Hunting Rifle Mission Creep [Re: LandRaider] #1015946 06/28/11 05:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,238
FrankR Offline OP
Web Wheeler
****
Curtis, it would be interesting to see what it does at 200yds, but I don't have a nearby range that long. I think the reason they used longer distances was the close-in limitations of the original battle sights on the 1903 - they were ladder style and I think the battle zero was about 425 yards. I think the match shooting course of fire today is done at 200, 300, 500 and 1,000 yards.

Anyway, I'll do some more tinkering and post targets if it improves. I'm afraid I need to wait a few days between sessions when shooting this rifle in a t-shirt from a bench. The 165gr recoil is a little bruising to the shoulder after 20 rounds or so.

Frank


'89 [color:"white"]G-Raider[color:"white"] [color:"black"]Supercharged 3.0L, MegaSquirt 2, lockup A/T, 2.5" exhaust, 172k, Cibie H4s/Oscar SCs, Hella Micro DE fogs, Cobra CB, Superwinch hubs, LSD rear/Aussie Locker front, Bilsteins, Lifeline AGM, Rust-Oleum
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