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Question: How to hold 504 for best groups from sandbags?

751 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Picher
Answer: DON'T hold it!!!!!

Shoot it "free recoil"! :t



50 yds., Wolf MT ammo, 24xAO scope, 1/4" bull "dot", 1/2" ID black "ring"....

#1 & 2 shot off sandbags, both hands holding rifle in std. "hunter hold".
#3 & 4 shot off same bags, only trigger finger and thumb touching rifle!
#3 measured C-C = 0.45"

At least NOW I'm beginning to find the mechanical accuracy potential of this rifle/ammo combo!..... now I gotta work on that nut behind the trigger! :D

The "flyer" on #4 was 1st shot of that group, and I "accidentally" let my shoulder slightly touch the buttstock on firing..... guess the rifle rotated upwards off my clavicle? (is that the bone on front of shoulder??). I've never practiced much with the free-recoil technique, so I'm not very good at it..... also, need to upgrade my homemade front rest to at least something like The Rock BR?....

p.s. It rained after I shot this yesterday a.m., and the (dirty plywood) backstop "bled thru" onto the paper.
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I think you broke the code for shooting the 504, "don't touch it" :D ! Now if I can get that squirrel to hold still while I set up my sandbags.........
 

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Georgiaboy,
That is what I am finding.
Shooting mine from the bench it is very grip sensitive. Used to that with shooting my contender so not really a big problem. But that ammount of pressure you put on the rifle trying to hold it or stablize it will effect the groups and Flyers.
Mine is definitely a keeper.
I am finding that it loves the $0.98 box of federal ammo from walmart.
That really makes it nice. :D
 

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I found just the opposite for bench shooting with my 504. It likes me to hold the forend with my left hand, pulling it downward. My right hand pulls the buttstock against my shoulder (like the 541 responds to). No cheek contact, however.

If I shoot it like that, It will make 3/8" groups with match ammo. I dislike the rounded forend shape for bench shooting, so I don't do it very much. I have other rifles to shoot from the bench. This one is just too much fun to shoot offhand.

Picher
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ern, I'll have to try some of that buck-a-box Federal..... local prices on Wolf MT have skyrocketed around here in the last year! It shoots well in most all my guns, but 39 bucks a brick!?!?!.... sheesh, just a few years ago you could get the MT for $15-16.

I haven't really done much ammo testing yet, thought I'd wait until I get 5-600 rounds of std. velocity thru it first.

Picher, I tried every variation of a firm hold I could think of, still couldn't make groups less than about ~.7-.8" on average.... but I could tell the rifle had the potential to do better.... one group would be a "scattered" looking 1.1", the very next one would be a tight .6"..... something "just told me" it was ME!... so I tried the free-recoil and VOILA!

You're right about this being a great feeling sporter to shoot offhand with (my favorite way to plink is at homemade metal swingers at 40, 60, 80, and 100 yds.), but I was determined to prove to myself that this rifle was accurate on paper too. Soon, I'll be testing ammos and hope to find a HV that it shoots well.... then, I plan to swap to a smaller (more "fitting") scope, this 6-24 just looks too big.... something in the 3-9 or 4-12 range would look better to me.

 

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georgiaboy said:
Picher, I tried every variation of a firm hold I could think of, still couldn't make groups less than about ~.7-.8" on average.... but I could tell the rifle had the potential to do better.... one group would be a "scattered" looking 1.1", the very next one would be a tight .6"..... something "just told me" it was ME!... so I tried the free-recoil and VOILA!
I'm not trying to start anything, but isn't it a bit ridiculous for a high quality sporter to be so finicky about how it's held? This would seem to indicate a serious problem of wood to metal contact somewhere.
 

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That's pretty stock wood on the 504. Some of the best looking wood I've seen. Good luck with it. I'll add that sometimes the size and weight of the scope you put on a sporter affects how you hold or not hold it, due to changing the balance and sometimes harmonics of the rifle. I sold a guy a Burris HBR 6X scope and he put it on his CZ Silhouette(synthetic stock) in place of the 8-32X50MM Tasco that was on it. The Burris scope cut the groups by half at 50 yards. The CZ is a hummer, now that it's not so top heavy.
 

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Kent Owens said:
That's pretty stock wood on the 504. Some of the best looking wood I've seen. Good luck with it. I'll add that sometimes the size and weight of the scope you put on a sporter affects how you hold or not hold it, due to changing the balance and sometimes harmonics of the rifle. I sold a guy a Burris HBR 6X scope and he put it on his CZ Silhouette(synthetic stock) in place of the 8-32X50MM Tasco that was on it. The Burris scope cut the groups by half at 50 yards. The CZ is a hummer, now that it's not so top heavy.
I tend to agree that just because a scope has more "power" that you are going to shoot better. I had a Weaver T-6 (the one that was developed a few years back for sporter class target) on my 513S but took it off in favor of a 24X WC Tasco and didn't shoot any better groups. Haven't gotten around to it yet, but the Weaver is going back on it because it "looks" better balanced and shoots just as good.
 

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504 Bedded?

oquirrh said:
I'm not trying to start anything, but isn't it a bit ridiculous for a high quality sporter to be so finicky about how it's held? This would seem to indicate a serious problem of wood to metal contact somewhere.
I agree. I had mine shooting really well before I took it out of the stock to adjust trigger. Now it is very sensitive to how I hold it.
The answer is probably to bed it like Picher. His apparently shoots fine with any hold.

How many of the other posters have not bedded it yet?

If bedded and still not performing how was it bedded?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kent Owens said:
That's pretty stock wood on the 504. Some of the best looking wood I've seen. Good luck with it. I'll add that sometimes the size and weight of the scope you put on a sporter affects how you hold or not hold it, due to changing the balance and sometimes harmonics of the rifle. I sold a guy a Burris HBR 6X scope and he put it on his CZ Silhouette(synthetic stock) in place of the 8-32X50MM Tasco that was on it. The Burris scope cut the groups by half at 50 yards. The CZ is a hummer, now that it's not so top heavy.
Thanks, the gunshop mgr. brought out all the 504s he had in LR (6) and let me choose my wood. This one also has several "birdseyes" on the other side. :t

Y'know, it's funny you mention the "just 'cause it's a higher power scope, doesn't mean it's better" theory.... just the other day, I was shooting one of my 10/22s w/ a Leupold 4x RF scope and the 50 yd. groups were exceptional.... so much so that I decided not to come here and say anything, for fear of not being believed!! (Maybe I should try that scope on the 504? :D)

oquirrh, Either you have ESP, or you're good.... very good (I suspect the latter). When I disassembled it to adjust the trigger, I removed the "factory built-in" pressure point, because it was flat on top, and you could move the barrel side-to-side by hand.... first tried to cut a groove in it at 6 o'clock to keep the bbl. centered, but goofed the job (got it off center), so just sanded it out altogether. Then came my second goof, I tightened the front action screw too tight, crushed the wood.... now instead of free-floating, the barrel is touching out front, but at least it stays centered!

I've never bedded a rifle, and don't plan to use this one as my "guinea pig".... maybe I'll be able to find a trustworthy gunsmith locally to bed it for me.

BobD, NICE! Did you 'polish' that sheen into the finish, or did it come that way? I can't get Aguila locally, so haven't tried it yet.... will try to come across some and give it a shot. :)
 

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Jeff:

Have you tried pushing a lead slug down the bore to see whether it's uniform? It's okay if there are looser spots in the middle, but the bullet should be a tight fit at the muzzle. The muzzle crown should also be perfect. I've seen some off-center crowns on pretty nice rifles that wouldn't shoot well. A Model 12 H&R target rifle didn't respond adequately to all sorts of tricks, but after touching up the crown, shot like a dream.

The other thing to check with the Remington is whether the barrel is in tightly. Some people have said that Remington started using some kind of thread locking material, others haven't found any. I'd explore whether it has any and check the headspace to see if there's extra play.

The only other situation I can think of checking is the firing pin. It needs to hit just below the fold in the rim, not across the fold. It also needs to travel smoothy in the bolt. Just take it apart and see how it moves. If it drags, take some emery paper and smooth it and using steel wool on an old bronze brush, smooth the bolt's interior. A dry Moly lube will help.

I had to do these things to mine before it started to really shoot well. It may have worn-in after many shots, but I was in a hurry.

John
 

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John,
I have over 800 rounds thru this rifle. With a patch the barrel seems tighter at the chamber end. I have reset the headspace to .043, floated the barrel as I said , and glass and pillar bedded both front and rear of the action ( I'm a machinist, so custom pillars are a breeze ). The crown looks good, going to give her a lap and see if this helps. The groups have came down some, from 7/8" to around 1/2" but I would think she should do better. Lilja is my next step.
 

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Don't forget the firing pin tricks. You'd be amazed how important good ignition is. Just because the rifle doesn't misfire doesn't mean that primer/powder burning rate is consistent.

Also, I like to use the ammo I intend to use the most as a guide for headspace. Many benchrest guns are headspaced around .041". I don't know what my Remington is, but have a 581 that closes tight on Wolf and CCI.

Be very cautious about lapping barrels that have been cut already. There's a tendency to enlarge both ends when lapping. Not a good thing! You may be better off slugging the bore and finding a tight spot close to the muzzle, cut the barrel at that point and put an 11* target crown on it.

Picher
 

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I was talking about lapping the crown.... .043 is as tight as I can headspace, any tighter and the bolt will not close empty. The bolt must be counterbored a little deep. The primer strikes look really deep so I wouldn't think ignition would be a problem. A buddy of mine has a 504 in .22 LR and it shoots the same. The work I have done has pulled in the fliers, but the group is still scattered around the bull... The Mach2 has not impressed me near like my hummers, I am thinking about changing it to a .22 and making a fine hunting rifle out of it.
 

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Bolts can be milled to allow reduced headspace. I don't know what the metallurgy of the 504 bolt is; whether it's plated or not. Most good rimfire gunsmiths feel that headspace isn't all that important. I maintain that it depends on the strength of the firing pin strikes. Tight chambers are designed to have the bolt push the bullet into the rifling. If the cartridge can move forward a bit from the firing pin strike and the strike isn't strong enough, poor ignition can result.

Semi-autos are notorious for poor ignition due to the relatively weak mainsprings. I've milled Ruger 10-22 bolts and it significantly reduces flyers.

Regardless of the mainspring strength, a firing pin strike too far onto the fold of the rim can cause reduced accuracy due to the vibrations set up. This is a benchrest rifle gunsmith's trick and I've had great results on several rifles, including the 504, 581, Ruger 10-22, and a Winchester 52.

Picher
 
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