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Troubleshooting the Niece”s deer rifle

bullsi1911bullsi1911 ModeratorPosts: 11,071 Senior Member
My brother had been taking his daughter hunting for the last several years, and last year she made some noise about shooting her first deer. 

So- grandma got her a deer rifle for last Christmas. We did not get time to get it dialed in for the last bit of deer season, and then when my brother got out to sight it in, it shot horribly- not consistent and it would not shoot to point of aim. 

My brother dropped it with me a while ago, and I am finally getting some time to futz with it. It’s a Savage Axis in .243 in some hideous pink camo and a crappy Bushnell Banner 3-9x scope


I started by dismounting the scope and mounts and reinstalling using correct Torque values.  Found that one of the rings was loose, and one screw on each mount was pretty much only finger tight.  I also dismounted the stock and reinstalled it with the right torque as well.

Swabbed the bore, reinstalled and bore sighted.  I confirmed the scope IS actually tracking when you twist the knobs.  Will be heading to the range at lunch with a few loads to test out and see if this corrected the issue.
To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
-Mikhail Kalashnikov

Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,071 Senior Member


    Loads I have- the 85 Gr Sierra BTHP I use in my CVA pistol, and two 100 grain factory loads. From what I understand this has a 1 in 9.25 twist- will it like the heavier or lighter loads?
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,823 Senior Member
    My bet is the work you did and correcting the crappy scope mounting will fix the problem. 

    As for the twist, it seems to me to be geared more toward heavier bullets. I have a 1:10 twist Stevens (Savage) 200 that has consistently shot 1/4"-1/2" groups with 105 grain Amax hand loads, which they no longer make. They might be twisting those to work with the new ELD bullets. Just my guess. If one of those 100 grain loads will shoot, that'd probably be my choice.

    Since those cheap tupperware stocks are sometimes pretty flimsy, especially when hot, I'd also watch out for flexing of the forend causing contact with the barrel, especially when the rest contact point is further forward. I have to pay close attention to mine and get inconsistent groups if the rest isn't right under or just in front of the barrel nut. I've always intended to put a new stock on that rifle. Just don't use it enough to keep the motivation going.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,482 Senior Member
    You're a good uncle.  PLEASE I want video of the other folks at the range looking at you as you pull out that gun...  :D
    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.”

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,337 Senior Member
    Sounds like work you did on it already will fix the accuracy issue. It should shoot the 100 grain bullets well with that twist rate. My old M700 Rem. in .243 shot the old Speer120 grain round nosed bullets well; too bad those became unobtanium. The rifle shot them accurately and loved them. I still have a small stash of those I keep for myself for deer hunting.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,071 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    You're a good uncle.  PLEASE I want video of the other folks at the range looking at you as you pull out that gun...  :D
    I ended up on a lane next to a guy that I used to shoot pistol competition with.  He and I were usually in the top 5 of competitors.  

    He was sighting in his LWRC carbine with a Specwar suppressor.  Me?  Pink Girls gun.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,482 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    You're a good uncle.  PLEASE I want video of the other folks at the range looking at you as you pull out that gun...  :D
    I ended up on a lane next to a guy that I used to shoot pistol competition with.  He and I were usually in the top 5 of competitors.  

    He was sighting in his LWRC carbine with a Specwar suppressor.  Me?  Pink Girls gun.
    Video!  I WANTED VIDEO!!!!  :D
    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.”

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,071 Senior Member

    Want to hear what my luck is like?  This is a classic example of of how sh.... stuff works for me.

    I get to the range... realized I forgot my sandbags/ rest, so I had to borrow a leadsled (ugh).  Get all set up, run the target out to 50 yards and fire 2 rounds of the federal 100gr rounds to confirm boresight.  Both rounds go through the same hole, dead on for elevation, and 2 inches left.  AWESOME!

    I run the target back to set up for load test and sighting in, and I get a work call.  Luckily, I am wearing my Walkers Bluetooth ear pro, so I just step out into the lobby and take the call.  

    BOOM!  Lightning strike right outside the building (its a rainy day here).  Takes down the network, power flickers on the range.  I dial back into my call, finish up, and go back on the range.

    The power surge from the strike has crashed the computers controlling the targets.  They defaulted back to run the targets back into zero yards, and the computers shut down and refused to restart.  For like 40 minutes.  There went my lunch.

    So.... I THINK I have it fixed.  I just need to get back to the range and see what works best and sight it in.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,498 Senior Member
    The pink camo is called "Muddy Girl Camo" - my wife's shooting hat and range bag are that pattern. Sort of like "RealTree" for girls!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,663 Senior Member
    I don't have a high regard for the Axis in terms of accuracy.  Hunting accuracy, fine, but I wouldn't expect MOA.  I speak with the experience of only ONE, so I might be wrong.  The trigger on mine (also a .243) was about 8 pounds and despite that, it shot 1 1/4 moa. I replaced the trigger with a good aftermarket, which improved the trigger pull and break, and it still shot 1 1/4 moa.  Fine for hunting, but I don't hunt.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,743 Senior Member
    I have researched women/youth gun stocks and found most companies only change the LOP not the grip distance or drop. The exception is the Savage "Muddy Girl" and the "Lady Savage". Kudos to the person who bought this rifle that may actually fit her! Kudos to you for fixing the problem!
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,808 Senior Member
    Those cheap’ package gun scopes’ are cheap, but usually work fine if they don’t get beat around much.

    Lovely stock....not going to show my girl! 
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,473 Senior Member
    If that is a youth gun, Savage may have included a coupon for a full size stock to be used at a later date, there was a laminate stock as an option IIRC.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,071 Senior Member
    Well, I went back to the range for lunch again today, remembered to bring my rest, and got set up to test and sight in. 

    First, the employees were pretty sure that the lightning yesterday actually hit the building. Lots of systems still have not recovered, and other things are acting wonky. So... yeah. I guess a higher power did not want me sighting in the rifle yesterday 

    NEXT- this rifle is a well rounded shooter!  All 3 loads hit really close to the same place. Which is pretty amazing that this cheap rifle/ scope combo can put 3 different loads within the the area of “acceptable hunting accuracy”

    Load 1-CVA pistol load using Sierra 85 grain BTHP at 100 yards


    That is a true MOA group. Holy... crap. 

    Next, the federal 100 grain load at 100 yards

    Well, geez!  That almost the exact same group size at the same point of impact!  That is unexpected from such different rounds. 

    Next-Remington 100 Gr Core Lokt at 100 yards:


    Larger group, but almost the same POI!  What the heck- that’s not supposed to happen. 

    Well, I made the decision to sight it in using the Federal 100gr SP load. Why?  Well, the handload is slightly better, but it’s not available in almost every gun shop in the US. So. I adjusted the scope and got this group with a slightly warm barrel:

    That will work. That’s headshot accurate. 

    But than I considered the Remington load. Where will it hit now?
    it hits right here:
    which is good enough for practice. 

    I have to say that I am impressed with the accuracy of this rifle. It’s an admittedly cheap gun, that shoots WAY beyond the price tag. 

    Although, I am concerned with the recoil.  The rifle does jump a bit for a 13 year old. I will suggest fitting it with a break
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,317 Senior Member
    I have never cared for Rem ammo. In my experience it may or may not produce the desired affect, AND as so aptly illustrated here, more accuracy can be had with about anything else.

    If the uncle would reload for his niece, he could try a 100gr Sierra GK over a under book max load of imr 4064. That works pretty well out of a Ruger American and a custom in 243.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    I think I can see why the package rifles sell so well. For people that want to hunt once a year and store the rifle the rest of the time. That's very good performance.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,743 Senior Member
    I think I can see why the package rifles sell so well. For people that want to hunt once a year and store the rifle the rest of the time. That's very good perform.
    And the stock is designed to fit smaller framed people!
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,088 Senior Member
    That'll do!  Does it have the Accu-trigger?
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,857 Senior Member
    That 100 grain Federal load would have been my pick.

    Looks like you got the "problems" sorted out.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,857 Senior Member
    One thing I learned shooting BR comps....while overall group size matters, vertical spread means more than horizontal spread. If I have two loads that shoot about the same, I'll always go with the one that displays the least vertical dispersion. 

    You can control elevation.....wind.......not so much.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,967 Senior Member
    Bullsi, You could always use Hodgdon's 60% rule and load some youth loads, if you're worried about recoil.

    Take the max charge of H4895 for the given bullet, multiply it by 60% (0.6) and go from there.
    The list the no longer made Hornady 80gr SSP on the "Youth Data" PDF, but I'm sure you can find  a suitable replacement.


    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,675 Senior Member
    edited September 18 #22
    Hard to be a factory Savage! Even the cheap ones.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,849 Senior Member
    edited September 21 #23
    I've never had a Savage that wasn't a shooter...right out of the box...but always did stuff to them that made them better shooters...

    The problems I have encountered with those combo packaged have always gone back to some doofus that slopped the package together before putting it on the rack for sale.

    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,701 Senior Member
    Healed!! 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,473 Senior Member
    Try some 95gr. Federal Fusions
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Great OutdoorsGreat Outdoors Member Posts: 302 Member
    Got it used-have the same savage youth rifle for the grandkids- with an accutrigger, without the pink- shoots Hornady American Hunter 100 grain interlocks into a quarter sized group at 100 yards- it came with a Nikon prostaff 3x9x40 scope- can't be beat for $250
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