600 Yards – .308 Rifle Barrel and Action Test

I was thinking that I could also title this entry “Excuses, Excuses”. Quickly to recap, I switched to a new Palma rifle about a year ago from the Hall action I had to a Quad Lock action. I bought the QL used from a friend competitor. They don’t make these actions anymore which is too bad because they are amazing. The first 6 months I fired it I had the time of my life. I got my national 300 yard records and the BC Championship and other awards with this rifle. I went to Camp Perry right after BC and just could not perform well. Same at 29 Palms in November and some local matches. I had serious elevation issues. So of course you (and I) are thinking that it is just pilot error. But I don’t normally have wacky elevation shots. And my performances early in the year were great. So what was going on? Isn’t it possible I was just not meant to do well in every match? One never really knows these things. It just takes trial and errors to maybe find a solution. So here come the “excuses”.

My thought was possibly a bad barrel. But we put the same barrels on both guns at the same time. The Hall is shooting perfectly. There are only about 2000 rounds through my QL barrel. But maybe it is just a bad one? Then came ammo. I have been testing that also and we have used the same loads as before. So yesterday I went to a 600 yard practice to ease my
conscience a bit and shoot both rifles back to back with the same load of ammo. As usual the conditions at Cascade were pretty calm so I knew I did not have to fight that. I have included photos here of my plot sheets for both rifles. Some of you may think there is not much difference between the two but I think there is. The top photo is of the Hall action. We were shooting late in day and it was actually very low light during this string of 2 sighters and 20 for record. You will notice that all shots are in a nice tight group in and just on edge of X ring. I had one flyer 9 that I called. Not only was it dark but I had not fired this rifle in a long time and had to figure out sling position, cheek and shoulder piece, etc to get at least a bit comfortable. And it still shot great! The lower photo is of the Quad Lock.

Now, most would not complain that all shots except for one wind at 3:00 are still in X and 10 rings. But the shots in the 10 ring are considerably out there compared to the Hall. This is a much wider group than the other! At the further distances of 1000 yards at Perry and 29 Palms the elevation shots were much wider and in the 9 ring. Not good. I was shooting with Gary yesterday and he suggested something. He asked when was the last time the pin springs had been replaced. I looked at him blankly. I can shoot well. Just don’t ask me too many technical questions. Apparently this can cause elevation issues. Many shooters replace them once a year as just maintenance. The problem though with the Quad Lock is that this pin spring is really contoured washers in funny positions rather than a coil spring. There are really only a couple of gunsmiths I know that could figure out this thing. I think it is worth a try to see if it will make a difference. This sport is full of “excuses”. Can we blame ourselves ever? Well yes. But in seeing the two plot sheets next to each other I feel there is something going on besides just me. This game is about X counts. I can’t afford wide groups.

Other than stealing back the Hall action rifle from Charles….. hee-hee, I need to find out if the QL can make a come back. I’ll take the rifle to my gunsmith when I return from ShotShow next week. In my head I feel better that I did have a great group with one rifle and I am still shooting well. I’ll be posting updates from Shot. Stay tuned for my journey to get started in USPSA and Multi-Gun!

“Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can………”

About 30calgal

Member of the Unites States Rifle Team. 2011 NRA National Civilian Record Holder of 300 Yards. 2011 B.C. Rifle Champion (First American woman and second woman ever to win this in 127 years) and more. Starting the fast and exciting world of 3 Gun or Multi-Gun Competition.
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