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Range Report - trying to get a rifle to group consistently

When I saw how good she shot with that ammo, I bought a case of that same lot number from Georgia Arms. That rifle has maintained zero with that ammo for approximately 23 years.
Give it a few years… I’d never trust my hunt on a rifle that didn’t successfully hold zero for 30 years minimum.

My bad, I thought I was in an EDC thread…

Those are impressive results. I have rifles that shoot low left consistently for 40+ years. Oddly enough, all my guns shoot low left.
I got the rifle back today. They recrowned the barrel and shot it with some factory ammo I provided. They thought it did well enough, so they didn't pillar or glass bed it at all. I know troubleshooting 101 says to only change one thing at a time, but I hope that did indeed do the trick. I'll get it out soon and see what I can do.
ETA - TLDR - A rifle I had trouble getting to group previously appeared to group well after loosening and then torquing the action screws.

I've had a SC-made Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 257 Roberts for over 10 years. It's been a bit of a problem child because I haven't ever been able to get it to group consistently. I'd describe it as a sort of wandering zero. But the rifle is very handy, the action is my favorite, and it's got a classic look so I didn't want to give up entirely. I've tried different ammo and rings and optics. None of that seemed to work and the rifle became a bit of a safe queen as I moved on to other things.

Because I had pulled it from the stock a while back, I took the rifle out today, backed off the action screws a little, firmed them both up and then torqued to 35 inch pounds. I have no idea what it was torqued to previously. Grabbed some 117 gr Hornady SST factory ammo and headed out back.

Step 1 - Fire 3 rounds at 25 yards from the bench and see if it appears to be grouping somewhere remotely close to the bullseye. This is shooting from a clean bore 1-2-3 without letting the barrel cool.

Good enough
View attachment 3632495

Step 2 - Move back a little ways, turned out to be 160 yards, and fire 2 more rounds from the bench to see if it looks like it's grouping.

Ultra-stable bench for scientific experimentation
View attachment 3632508

2 rounds in about .8 inches (dime) at 160 yards
View attachment 3632511

Step 3 - I need to go adjust the zero and see if I can repeat some consistent groups. That's for another day. Obviously I'm not ready to declare victory just yet.

Could improperly torqued action screws been the problem this whole time and I am just now getting around to fixing it? If so, I'm going to feel pretty silly, but I'll be okay with that if this Model 70 keeps grouping. We'll see.
Scope. As said above.
Finally got around to checking the rifle after getting it back. All they did was recrown the barrel. Fired one round 117gr Hornady SST and one round 110gr Nosler AB at 25 yards and labeled them. Then, I shot a 3-shot group of the AB at 100 yards without allowing the barrel to cool between shots.


Group is under 1.25" which, if it's consistent, I will gladly take on this rifle with factory ammo.

ETA - I measured this back at the house and it’s right at 1.0”
Sir I am impressed with your patience or ability to forget about something for as long as you did. Especially since it appears you just got around to shooting this rifle since getting it back.
I got it back 4 months ago and have been overseas 75% of the time since then. Didn’t really forget about it. I will shoot a group with the SSTs this week and see how those look.
I got it back 4 months ago and have been overseas 75% of the time since then. Didn’t really forget about it. I will shoot a group with the SSTs this week and see how those look.
Well that’s acceptable then. I’d have to be out of the country or incarcerated to have waited this long.
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