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338 Federal Hawkeye accuracy

This is a discussion on 338 Federal Hawkeye accuracy within the Ruger Bolt Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I purchased a Hawkeye in .338 Federal. The rifle feels good and balances well. The first thing that caught my eye was the barrel is ...


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Old December 19th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #1
 
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Angry 338 Federal Hawkeye accuracy

I purchased a Hawkeye in .338 Federal. The rifle feels good and balances well. The first thing that caught my eye was the barrel is not floated. After shooting approx 60 rounds though it the best group I can get is approx 3.5" @ 100yds. I have shot 200gr Fusion, 180 and 210 gr. Federal Premium. I am thinking of sending it back to Ruger. But should I try to float the barrel first?
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:41 AM   #2
 
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I would send it to Ruger. I just bought one in 7-08 and I read in the instructions if you have a problem do not bed it since they already have and will fix if you have a problem.I would read the manual to get the right info to make sure I am telling you right. I know it is in there.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 01:48 PM   #3
 
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Thanks roc1, I just recieved a reply from Ruger and they said this rifle was tested for 1.75" @ 75 yards. I think this is crazy. I pulled the rifle apart last night and it's not bedded. I am going to try the washer spacing floating technique found elsewhere on this forum.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:36 AM   #4
 
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You are welcome Grit40. How do you do the washer trick? Also Ruger told me they would take care of any problem like my action is a little rough, they said they would fix it. I guess for what you pay for this rifle it is not bad. They are a strong dependable weapon. Mine shoots anywhere from 1-2" at a hundred. I am always looking for improvement.This little rifle is short and fairly light so it takes a little getting used to.No real complaints it is a good gun just needs a little tweaking like most of them do.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #5
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Any luck with your 338 Fed? I was only able to shoot two 3 shot groups with my new 338 Fed Hawkeye, but they were 1.6" and 2". Not particularly acceptable to me, but not enough to come to any grand conclusion either. One issue is that the lugs on the bolt did not engage evenly (or even close). It's headed back to the factory to get that and a feeding issue fixed. Once I get it back I'll install a lighter trigger spring, bed the stock, probably float the barrel and run some Tubbs Final Finish down the barrel. I really like the look and feel of it, but first and foremost I want it to shoot well.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #6
 
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Rugers really need to be floated and glass bedded. That's why I would stick to the laminate and wood stocks. I looked at one of the fiberglass (or whatever) black stocks; I can't see how it can be glass bedded.

I have a MK II .243 that will do consistently 1" or less, I didn't even try to group it without bedding and floating.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7
 
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How many times have you cleaned the copper out of the bore for those 60 shots? Did you shoot it "hot"? Rugers don't "need" to be bedded and floated. Most factory hunting rifles are not floated and the ones that are aren't floated all the way back to the action. I have tried the washer to float a couple and they didn't group any better, sometimes worse. If you mess with the stock Ruger won't fix it. I would pull the stock and look for any evidence of rubbing and check to make sure the pressure point is not off center. Clean the bore of all copper. Barring any problems, reinstall the stock and torque it properly. I have seen a lot more rough bores than bedding problems that caused accuracy problems. Shoot it for groups. If that barrel is too hot to touch it's too hot to shoot. I have had several that groups opened up noticeably after less than 8-10 shots because the bore was fouled. If that thing won't shoot 210gr partitions after that I would send it back.

Last edited by Silent Sam; January 24th, 2010 at 11:28 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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SilentSam - what is the proper torque specs and sequence for a wood stocked Hawkeye?
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #9
 
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The sequence and torques are:
1. The diagonal screw, torque to 50-90 inch-pounds.
2. The aft trigger guard screw, 30-50 inch pounds.
3. The forward trigger guard screw, also to 30-50 inch pounds.
Ruger uses the upper limits when assembling. Sometimes just adjusting the torque on the diagonal screw will make all the difference as far as group size. This info used to be on Ruger's website, don't know if it still is. Once I find the sweet spot I record the #s for that rifle.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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Thanks, good info.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Grist40.......Now what type and power rifle scope do you have on top that .338 Federal shooting from the bench?

If your not happy with the groups and have tried several brands and bullet weights, I would send it back to Ruger with a letter of explanation as to why it was sent back and a couple of your targets too.

If you start working on that rifle and removing wood from the stock, they are going to tell you it is your BABY period. They just might remove the wood for you, or put another barrel on the rifle.......who knows!

.338 ammo store bought ammo is not cheap! So you might want to call Ruger first and see if they have any thoughts etc. Floating the barrel is a no-brainer and easy to do for most folks. It that does not work, you can try to reload for the rifle and usually that will bring things down 50% in groups size, once you hit the proper load it likes and bullet weight.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #12
 
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1-1.25 moa

Well it's taken awhile to post this. But I worked on my rifle and have now got it shooting 1-1.25 MOA with 185 and 200 grain ammo.
I floated the barrel, polished the crown and trqd the screws. It was a great day at the range.
Tracer I have a Nikon 3x9x40 mounted on the rifle. It has a nylon stock on it and I had to grind down the end of the stock because the barrel was being pushed up in the channel.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #13
 
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I have a M77MII stainless steel/synthetic in 264 Win Mag. When I first bought it I took it to the range and it no matter what I put through it, it would only group 3-4" at 100 yards. I had a Leupold 3-9 scope on it and a trigger job. It was sand bagged on a concrete bench. I tried torquing the action screws and the barrel was kept clean.

I also noticed the stock was touching the barrel along the entire length. I removed the action and gently sanded the barrel channel on the bottom and sides until I could slide a dollar bill all the way down the entire length. The sanding only took me about ten minutes.

I went back to the range. Now, without any other changes, my rifle was grouping factory Remington ammo in 3" groups at 200 yards and would put three shots into and inch or just a hair over at 100 yards.

For me, free floating the barrel made all the difference. It was very easy to do. Worth every second.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #14
 
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I would suggest a pressure point first since it's so easy to undo and Ruger's many times respond well to a pressure point. You can use a neoprene washer or folded wax paper to build your pressure point several inches forward of the takedown screw. If it doesn't work (it usually does) you can reverse the trick in a couple seconds.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #15
 
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Mine already had a bunch of pressure points.
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