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Hawkeye Accuracy Issue

This is a discussion on Hawkeye Accuracy Issue within the Ruger Bolt Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Long time reader, first post. I purchased a standard Hawkeye in 257 Roberts about 6 months ago. Stock fit and finish was horrible along with ...


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Old July 21st, 2013, 06:40 AM   #1
 
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Hawkeye Accuracy Issue

Long time reader, first post. I purchased a standard Hawkeye in 257 Roberts about 6 months ago. Stock fit and finish was horrible along with accuracy (3 moa). I floated the barrel and bedded the action, accuracy improved to about 1.5 moa. I called Ruger who sent me a new stock. New stock finish was very good, accuracy returned to very bad. I bedded and floated the new stock, accuracy improved to about 1 moa with 110 gr Accubonds and IMR 4350. While fine tuning the above load, accuracy opened (2.5 moa) for no apparent reason. Initial thought was a mounting issue, scope remounted, no improvement. Scope was replaced with a new Conquest I bought for a custom rig that I have yet to receive, no improvement. Torque setting on angled action screw has been adjusted at 30, 50, 60 and 75" lbs with middle and rear screws ranging from 15 - 30" lbs. Bore cleaned of all copper multiple times. Crown appears to be fine. Rifle has been fired about 400 times. I have considered adding back the pressure point in the stock but have not tried yet. Any suggestions as to why a rifle that was a consistent 1-1.5 moa shooter change to a 2-3 moa gun? Thanks for your insight.



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Old July 21st, 2013, 07:05 AM   #2
 
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Not really sure what's going on with the rifle. My M77 shoots MOA with factory ammo, and the stock's fit was poor. The barrel was pressing up against the right side of the stock but accuracy was fine. I decided to free up the barrel anyway so I 'semi-floated' the barrel. Leaving the area where upwards pressure is put on the barrel, and freeing up the sides so they don't touch the stock. Haven't been able to fully test since the change though.

Try messing with the 3 action screws. There's a trick with torqueing them properly in the right order can improve accuracy. First loosen all the screws, then tighten the front angled screw, as tight as you safely can. Followed by the rearward screw, again as tight as possible. The middle screw is last, and it only gets tightened snuggly enough that it wont fall out.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 07:22 AM   #3
 
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I have tried multiple combinations of torque on the action screws but have not torqued the rear screw to "as tight as possible". Ruger recommends 50-90" lbs on angled screw and 30-50 lbs on the rear and middle.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:55 AM   #4
 
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Check your ammo, specifically bullet run out and neck wall thickness. I see no logical reasons why you should be going backwards.

Some times when I am testing for accuracy and cannot get desired results I have found that I am the problem. I usually bring a proven good shooter to the range with me in addition to the new project.

I have epoxy bedded all my Ruger MKII and Hawkeye rifles for the same reason that you did. In a few of them the action was put into the stock with pure brute strength screw/bolt tension.

Also it might be advisable to check to see if both bolt lugs are contacting the inside of the receiver when the bolt is locked up. Maybe they were not before or maybe they were?

One MOA accuracy is a reasonable goal for a factory barrel Ruger.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 01:35 PM   #5
 
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Bassman, I have not checked for runout or wall thickness. I have no good way to check for either. I am currently on load 7 for this brass but have 50 new unfired pieces that I could try.
As for me, I am no benchrest shooter but do not feel I am the cause. This past week at the range, I had 2 rifles, the above mentioned Hawkeye and a Savage 243. All groups from the Savage were sub MOA, the Hawkeye was barely minute of grapefruit.
I have not checked the bolt lugs, good advise. What's the easiest way? Using a dry erase marker or smoking the lugs, cycle the bolt and check? Thanks.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 07:03 PM   #6
 
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A somewhat crude and effective way to check for gross abnormal run out is to roll the assembled rounds across a mirror. If you can see the bullet tip wobble about you got run out. I don't think anything but a large amount would cause your "minute of grapefruit" groups - descriptive but frustrating.

Various dial micrometer gauges are available that will measure run out to .001 inch but would not be needed in your case.

To check the lug situation remove the firing pin from the bolt - a tight fitting Allen wrench run through the hole on the bottom of the cocking piece will hold the nose of the cocking piece back from the cam on the bolt body allowing the firing pin to be unscrewed from the bolt. With the stripped bolt placed into the rifle run a snug fitting cleaning rod into the barrel of the unloaded rifle exerting force against the bolt face and work the bolt up and down, Coat the surfaces of the lugs with felt tip pen ink. If both lugs show wear marks through the ink then both lugs are contacting. (this is why custom barrel makers lap lugs, usually with valve grinding compound).

Check out the crown again with a 10X or more magnifier.

When you have the stripped bolt in the rifle check out the headspace using a sized but unloaded round. You should be able to slightly feel the bolt close on the round. This will determine if you have excessive head space.

Just about any bullet from a major manufacturer is almost perfect or real good as far as accuracy potential is concerned.

Sure sounds like you are pursuing the problem logically - good luck!
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