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Well, this sucks.........

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 8,109 Senior Member
Went up to the range yesterday to confirm zero's on my Howa 204.
For some reason the last few outings had resulted in a few misses on critturs. Set up targets at 50 100 and 200m.

First shot at 50m was 4" left but right for height. Next shot at 100m it was even further left......
Figured I must have knocked the scope at some stage so settled in to re-zero it.
A few adjustments and I had it shooting 3 shots touching at 100m and about 2" high. Moved to the 200m target and it was about 1/2 " high with 3 shots almost touching.......Thats more like it.

Soooo, we head off to a local farm to deal to magpies,rabbits, peacocks and deer. ( Conditions were 15-20mph wind and temps over 100f)
First shot at a magpie at approx 140m and the bird cackled and flew away......second and 3rd shots at 2 more magpies and all I succeeded in doing was shooting the legs off one.........Managed to vaporise a bunny at about 70m with the 4th shot. Just on dark a fallow buck walked out of the bush about 260m away so I decided to move stalk in closer .......and the light beat me. Crap.

Went to clean the rifle this morning and when I pulled it out of its gun sleeve heard a faint rattle......thought it was the sling so removed it. While taking the front of the sling off I thought I felt the barrel move ever so slightly in the stock, checked the screws and both action screws were loose.

Looks like another trip to the range..........

 From shaken confidence yesterday morning to total confidence in the rifles capabilities after re-zeroing it at the range and back to no confidence after shooting at critturs in the afternoon.

Couldnt find the right sized torx head so had to go buy one along with some loctite to get everything snugged down.........

Wheres the beating your head against the brick wall emoji.... :s
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,074 Senior Member
    edited February 17 #2
    Better that than what I first thought when you said you heard a rattle...

    First thought that crossed my mind was scope internals destroyed by the "wicked recoil"  of the 204. :D 

    Well actually, by the tendency of its owner to flip ATVs, fall down mountains, fall into ravines etc :p:p 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Things sneak up on us. My last one was a loose scope base. The one before that was a loose sight screw.

    I knew about the propensity of those failures on both guns. I still failed to check them.

    Funny thing though. I used nail polish on the threads of the scope base screws. Its all I had at the time. A couple months ago I bought an exercise bike. Two nuts kept backing out no matter what I did. Even with nylon inserts in them. Nail polish again. Haven't backed out yet. Anything to save a trip to the hardware. Now when the polish runs out. Should I buy more nail polish or get thread lock? 
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited February 17 #4
    Some people would buy nail polish if it was on the same shelf next to the loc-tite. Somewhere around here I have a computer memory stick with an old procedure for adjusting Remington 700 triggers, the old original Walker trigger. In that procedure it mentions nail polish, although it doesn't specify a color, LOL! Nail polish works. In fact I'd venture a guess that Nail Polish was what was originally used to hold screws and loc-tite made millions copying it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Better that than what I first thought when you said you heard a rattle...

    First thought that crossed my mind was scope internals destroyed by the "wicked recoil"  of the 204. :D 

    Well actually, by the tendency of its owner to flip ATVs, fall down mountains, fall into ravines etc :p:p 
    Ya forgot to mention getting bit by sharks, cutting bits off my hands instead of bits off the deer I am field dressing, being caught by treble hooks when idiots on the boat try casting lures out etc etc.... :D

    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    Things sneak up on us. My last one was a loose scope base. The one before that was a loose sight screw.

    I knew about the propensity of those failures on both guns. I still failed to check them.

    Funny thing though. I used nail polish on the threads of the scope base screws. Its all I had at the time. A couple months ago I bought an exercise bike. Two nuts kept backing out no matter what I did. Even with nylon inserts in them. Nail polish again. Haven't backed out yet. Anything to save a trip to the hardware. Now when the polish runs out. Should I buy more nail polish or get thread lock? 
    Nearly all the gun enthusiasts on here will recommend thread lock....for advice on nail polish, go to Zorba....... :D
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,967 Senior Member
    How many inch pounds did you torque the receiver screws to?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,914 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    How many inch pounds did you torque the receiver screws to?
    Do they use inch pounds in NZ? or is it some weird metric variation?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Better that than what I first thought when you said you heard a rattle...
     
    My thoughts exactly.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    Zee said:
    How many inch pounds did you torque the receiver screws to?
    Do they use inch pounds in NZ? or is it some weird metric variation?
    Centimeter-stones?
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,074 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    Ya forgot to mention getting bit by sharks, cutting bits off my hands instead of bits off the deer I am field dressing, being caught by treble hooks when idiots on the boat try casting lures out etc etc.... :D 

    Don't figure you have the 204 with you when those you listed happen
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Aren't they supposed to tighten the screws counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere?
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Aren't they supposed to tighten the screws counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere?

    No, that's only in Australia.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited February 17 #14
    Loose bolts on scopes are probably the culprit of most groups opening up like that. My 7 Mag when I had a Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 on it would shoot right at 1 MOA or less all day long. Then one day it opened up  to 2 MOA, then the next time at the range it was as much as 5 MOA. This happened over about a week. I bought this rifle, an old Savage 110 way pre accutrigger off a Gun Broker auction for a whopping $205 used  and I started thinking the barrel was giving up the ghost. I cleaned the bore with copper cleaner but didn't get a lot of copper. I took it back to the range and it was still all over the place. I started looking at the scope screws and Lo and behold WOW! The rear claw mount screw that holds the rings to the base was free wheeling. It was broke. Well I went to Academy and bought me a new set of rings with all the screws and changed the rings and screwed it down on the base which is a nice EGW rail and took it back to the range. BINGO back to Zero. It was grouping less than 1 MOA again which it still does. I figure somebody with better eyes than mine could cut that in half or close to it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    edited February 17 #15
    Zee said:
    How many inch pounds did you torque the receiver screws to?

    Havent torqued it down yet. Looking at the barrel channel it has what seems like a bedding area at the muzzle end. Will take some pics and post them up tomorrow. Will probably end up free floating the barrel.

    Btw the manual says to torque the bolts to 50-55inch lbs..........
     
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited February 17 #16
    If it's a thin barrel sometimes they recommend an upward pressure at the end of the forearm. I had at least one rifle, a Remington 788 that wouldn't shoot for crap without a bit of pressure there. That rifle would shoot half jnch groups right out of the box. But I figured if it would shoot 1/2" without bedding, if I bedded it it would be even better. A guy at work everybody said was a bedding guru. I had him bed it and free float it all the way out. I was so proud, it looked like a first class job. But when I went to the range this opened my groups up from 1/2" to two inches.  I was sick. Then I got to reading some papers my neighbor who was a serious bench rest shooter gave me by  Warren Page who was a bench rest shooter as well as a writer for Field and Stream back in the day. He also wrote on bench rest shooting. He said in these papers that some thin barrels needed a pressure point out on the end of the forend. His papers recommended cutting a piece of an old credit about 1/4" Square and placing it under the barrel and tightening it down just at the end of the fore arm, then shooting it and seeing what happened. Then moving the credit card back a little and shooting a couple more groups to see if it improved your group and moving the card again and shooting groups again and again until the group stopped getting smaller. I tried this and shot a few groups until I had the credit card where it was holding the tightest group. Then I put some bedding compound where the card was and called it good. This got it shooting better than ever. This usually works better with longer thin barrels. The moral of the story is, You know what you do with a half minute rifle? Don't screw with it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,708 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    Some people would buy nail polish if it was on the same shelf next to the loc-tite. Somewhere around here I have a computer memory stick with an old procedure for adjusting Remington 700 triggers, the old original Walker trigger. In that procedure it mentions nail polish, although it doesn't specify a color, LOL! Nail polish works. In fact I'd venture a guess that Nail Polish was what was originally used to hold screws and loc-tite made millions copying it.
    Pink color
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    Well, odd that they backed out by themselves. Too many heating and cooling cycles can do that, though. Shoot slower. :D
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Well, odd that they backed out by themselves. Too many heating and cooling cycles can do that, though. Shoot slower. :D

    The older I get, the slowerer I get lol
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    Before pic.......


    After pic..........
    Have snugged it down but didnt use loctite . Can slide a $5 note the full length of the barrel up to the action. Need to get to the range and see how it goes. Will take the loctite and torque wrench with me when I go.....
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,760 Senior Member
    That happened to me a long time ago with a brand new Kimber but it was loose from the box.  Someone at the factory must have missed the torquing down step.  As soon as I torqued it down it was a sub MOA shooter.

    Since then all my rifles get the fat wrench treatment as soon as they come out of the box.  I have to say I have never used Loc-Tite on any gun action screws so that's a new one on me.  I'll have to check on a few of the older guns to see if there has been a change.  Interesting...
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,109 Senior Member
    Headed up to the range today with the 204. Fired 3 shots st 100m to see if it retained its zero............It hadnt probably due to me taking a dremel to the stock and free floating the barrel. The good news is that all the shots were touching, only low by about 3".

    Pulled the action screws out, dabbed a drop of loctite on them and tightened them back up. Left it for an hour to set while I played with my .22 shooting targets out to 100m

     Took the 204 up again and shot the 200m target. A couple of clicks and it was zeroed at 200m, then shot a 3 shot group  into less than .5".
    Loosened the turret screws and reset the turret to zero then moved back to 100m and re zeroed it on the bull noting down how many clicks it took. Then shot at the 50m target and found it was an 1" high.

    End result is a 200m zero, 6 clicks down for a 100m zero and an inch hold under for 50m.

     Going to get the labeling machine out and make up a label for the stock so I dont forget the settings :D
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
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