L61R 30-06 accuracy

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by Kodiak Kid, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Kodiak Kid

    Kodiak Kid Well-Known Member

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    While I've owned my Finnbear. I've made some spectacular shots hunting. This isn't me boasting again. This is from the praise I've got from hunting partners telling me they were great 400yd plus shots. I also shoot at paper quite a bit. Today I was shooting Federal premium 165gr ballistic tips punching 1 1/4 minutes at 200. We all know that Sakos are known for their extremely accurate barrels and crisp triggers amongst other things. So shouldn't my groups be sub MOA at this range with premium factory ammo. The rifle is pushing close to 50 years old. However it has been properly taken care of. I'm sure it doesn't perform to what it was capable of new and I don't hand load. But it seems to me a rifle of this quality should have tighter groups than two and a half Inches at 200 with premium factory ammo. Any knowledge or in put on this subject would be much appreciated gentleman.

     

  2. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    If you are making spectacular shots at 400 yards, who cares what kind of groups you are getting at 200...
     
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  3. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion there’s a plethora of reasons why a 50 year old Sako might not shoot tighter at 200 yds. Maybe it would prefer a different factory load, brand or bullet weight etc. Since you don’t hand load, then maybe you’ve achieved all you can. Also, what kind of conditions are your shooting sessions in. Weather, wind, stable bench, too much coffee, etc., etc..etc...

    Frankly, any 50 year old rifle shooting factory ammo the way yours does would be very satisfactory for most. Remember, a 50 year old Sako was built as a fine hunting rifle, not a sub MOA tool of today. I think the 400 yard shots just prove you’re intimate and familiar with the rifle in the field, and thus 400yds at game is achievable. Take care.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  4. Kodiak Kid

    Kodiak Kid Well-Known Member

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    Well, never claimed to be a marksman and I'm not a long range hunter. I have made some long shots. I guess 400 isn't really spectacular to some people, and I've only made two or three long shots over 400 in my life. To be honest I dont really like shooting at Animals over 250 to 300. 90% of my shots are around 100. The long shots I have made may have been just luck. It just seems to me shooting from a rest at 200, My groups should be better than 1 1/4 MOA. The rifle is tight. Action screws, rings, mounts, free float. Everything is dialed in. And I hunt with a heavier bullet than what I was shooting today by 35gr. I figured a premium 165gr would shoot kick ass flat at 200. I mean correct me if I'm wrong. Is 1 1/4 MOA at 200 average for an 06 shooting 165r ballistic tip?
     
  5. Kodiak Kid

    Kodiak Kid Well-Known Member

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    I figured the age of the rifle had something to do with it. The weather conditions were perfect, but I'm definitely not. My shooting techniques may have something to do with it as well, but when the rifle discharged the crosshairs felt good on target with no flinching. The rifle has done its job just fine over the years so I don't even know why the heck I'm even concerned about it. Thanks guys...
     
  6. mtelk

    mtelk Member

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    Rifles change. I just moved from the Oregonian coast to SW Montana. My 264 shot great in Oregon and now I can't hit crap. 3" at 100 yards. I know the metal work is right the stock has dried some which effects accuracy.

    Check your bedding before you do anything else.

    Another thing is if everything else is correct and still not getting what you want try setting the barrel back 1 thread, reface the receiver, lap the lugs and recut the chamber. I have done this many times to my and customers guns with very good success.

    But very few factory guns new or 50 years old ones will shoot 1/4"-1/2" moa. I have always thought a rifle with 1moa is a good hunting rifle.

    One last comment. Several years ago I did all the above to a FN 300 Win Mag. Went to the range with several different loads. Factory and hand loads. Nothing seemed to really work till I tried green box Remington 180s. The cheapest ammo available. First 5 shots at 100 yards 1hole. Moved back to 200 yards group opened up to 3/8".

    You just can't tell.
     
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  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    "Premium" factory ammunition generally refers to the bullet used, like a Nosler Partition, Barnes monmetal, or other bullet which sells as a component for more than "standard" bullets of conventional cup-and-core design. There is nothing about "premium" factory ammunition which makes it more accurate than "regular" factory ammunition -- in fact, it is just the opposite since most "premium" bullets are designed with terminal performance (penetration, expansion, weight retention, etc.) rather than accuracy in mind. Premium bullets at not target bullets and may not yield the accuracy that even "cheap" cup-and-core bullets do.

    A 2.5" group at 200 yards is FANTASTIC with any factory ammunition from any hunting rifle (and don't expect it from an off-the-shelf Ruger or Winchester). Besides, some rifles simply shoot markedly better with one brand/weight/type of bullet than with others. You might very well enjoy sub-MOA groups with some other type of ammunition, and could almost certainly achieve sub-MOA groups with carefully constructed handloads tailored to your particular rifle.

    Besides, in a hunting rifle it is not how small a group it shoots that counts; it is how close to the point of aim the first shot from a cold barrel lands. If your first cold barrel shot is landing within an inch of your zero at 200 yards then you have a very dependable hunting rifle.
     
  8. Kodiak Kid

    Kodiak Kid Well-Known Member

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    Of course. Ok that makes sense. I figured the only difference in premium factory ammo and standard factory ammo was the projectiles. For example the ballistics for federal premium 180 partitions are the same as 180 gr federal classic hi shock. Acording federals ballistics chart. Federal hi shocks being the cheapest of federals ammo. Both projectiles are of Spitzer type yet neither are boat tails. Now on the comments you made on first shots. My first shot (cold barrel) is always the closest to the bull. I know this because I look down at range at the target through my spotting scope between every shot of a three shot group. Thanks a lot Stone creek. You just confirmed what I was suspecting. Just needed a second opinion I guess...
     
  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That's the one that counts. After all, who warms up the barrel with a couple of fouling shots after spotting that 10-point whitetail or 6-point elk? And, if your first shot isn't immediately fatal, your subsequent shots will be at a moving target where the precise accuracy of the gun is a minor factor.

    With my hunting rifles I'll shoot several shots in getting the group zeroed where I want it, but I try to come back in a half-hour (or better yet the next day) and shoot a single shot from the cold barrel to make sure it is landing near the center of the group.

    On the other hand, target rifles are just the opposite -- shooters almost always shoot a couple of fouling shots before shooting for score, so it is how the rifle holds its accuracy as the barrel warms which is more important in that sport.
     
  10. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree and would only add the following.

    For years most ammo makers have built rounds with premium bullets and no real other differences regarding components, or quality control. Obviously, some brands still offer this style and level of ammunition.

    However, more recently most of the well known makers, and some newer makers are offering an even higher grade of ammunition, such as Nosler’s Trophy Grade line. If you read their claim, they utilize the highest quality components, then they are individually inspected to the highest standards. Hornady, HSM and others are offering this next step for those who don’t hand load, but want the best money can buy. They make the same claims.

    Personally, I don’t have a great deal of experience with this new upgrade in factory ammo, although I did buy some of Nosler’s 150 grain factory.270 WSM ABLR as a test to see the performance in my mountain rifle. The factory ammo was/is astoundingly accurate in my rifle, so now I’m going to hand load it to see if I can achieve even better results. Obviously the accuracy (shooting this factory ammo) in my rifle was dumb luck, but the rifle at this point will shoot nearly everything sub MOA. Take care.
     
  11. mtelk

    mtelk Member

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    My nephew "borrowed" his Dad's brand new Sako 300 Win Mag for long range hunting and shooting. Working with one of the ballasticians at Berger Bullets they have come up with a hand loaded recipe that routinely rings the 8" gong out to 1000-1200+ yards. Since he guides this rifle has taken a number of elk out to 800 and 900 yards. Please let's not get into the pros and cons of long range hunting by shooting the messenger on this thread.

    I don't know if the bullet is the only thing that makes a factory load premium. As my nephew discovered there are powders available to manufacturers but not us that are better but not economical in the less expensive round. It also would not be hard to sort brass to meet strict criteria.

    Have you ever watched bullets coming off a punch press? Once I was fascinated to watch bullets come off a Nosler press into what looked like an old wash tub on the floor. From there they went to a comparator. Again not hard to skin the cream off the top.

    My personal opinion, for what it is worth, is there just is no one thing. I don't know if I believe just the bullet is what makes premium rounds. But companies have rather neat ways to dress up a 10 cent item and sell it for 5 bucks.
     
  12. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you have anything to worry about Kokiak Kid, you aren't going to miss any animals the way you're shooting. My 1968 L61R won't shoot 165 gr. for anything. 150s are best, then 180s. At the range today practicing for an upcoming cow elk hunt my best group was 1.5" at 200, I'll take it. That was with 180s.

    Photo below, I had the stock refinished and pad replaced earlier this year.



    IMG_1749.JPG
     
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  13. Charles Witt

    Charles Witt Well-Known Member

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    I get excellent groups with "green box" Remington ammunition. Great terminal performance, as well. I almost always go for the green when it's time to actually hit the field. I just trust it. Remington got it right with the CORE-LOKT bullet, imo. I know some handloaders that use this bullet, as well.
     
  14. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    It is, isn't it? 1 MOA is 1" at 100 yards (roughly. I think it's actually 1.047 but that's splitting hairs), and would be 2" at 200 yards, 3" at 300 yards and so on. If you're punching holes an inch and a quarter apart at 200 yards, that's a sub MOA group. That's pretty bangin' for a 50+ year old hunting rifle.
     
  15. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    Just realized this thread is nearly a year old and the OP hasn't posted anything since Feb. Oh well...
     
  16. sako68

    sako68 Well-Known Member

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    I am currently going down this rabbit hole with my L61R 30-06. With a long free bore rifle most of the modern reloading advice is based on distance to the lands and adjustments from that distance. This is not possible with a long freebore hunting rifle, but good accuracy possible. I am having to go through this process because I am trying to switch from lead jacketed bullets to monometal copper bullets. My goal is to try and improve accuracy through reloading and in turn improve my longer range accuracy. This rifle shoots Nosler partitions in 180grn well and I have shot 180grn Accubond with better results, so for this experiment I am changing to the Barnes TTSX in 168grn using H4350 as a starting powder. Since this is old thread maybe some of the other 30-06 shooter might like to start up again. Going to the range tomorrow will report how it went.
     
  17. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Why? Are you in a jurisdiction which doesn't allow lead in hunting bullets? Monometal bullets work most of the time. Noslers work all of the time.
     
  18. sako68

    sako68 Well-Known Member

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    Tinkering in the off season. Lead bullets are fine in BC and have worked well for me in the past, but wanted to see what the TTSX would be like. I am looking to be able shoot out to 500yrds with comfort and consistent results, but hunting much closer yardages. I have not pushed this rifle to those distances ever so call it a project in frustation or jubilation which ever we end up at.
     

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