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R1 in .308 accuracy


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I'm having trouble getting better than a 4" 100 yard group off a bench. I've tried Winchester Supreme 150gr ballistic silvertip, and Hornady 150 gr SST. Does anyone have any suggestions? The terrible trigger doesn't help.

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Tom,

Welcome to the R1 club!

 

First and foremost, ANY rifle barrel should be properly broken in to insure accuracy and longevity.

Break In Procedures

 

I don't know your level of knowledge or experience, so please don't be insulted if any of the following seems rudimentary to you.

 

Best Practices:

 

Scopes -

Do your R1 justice by using quality optics.

 

Make sure the scope is mounted properly.

Most shooters like to apply a thin coat of blue loctite to the base screws. Clear nail polish also works well.

 

If using STD single or dual dovetail rings, use an alignment tool and NEVER turn in rings using the scope!

 

On slotted Weaver style rings or QD rings, use quality materials. I like Leupold rings, and they offer a great one for the R1's Picatinny rail.

 

Select a ring height that will keep the bell of the scope close to, but not touching the barrel.

 

Lapping the rings is something every professional should do when mounting fine optics, but few do.

Believe me, it's worth the effort.

 

When mounting the scope, always check to make sure the rings are aligned and that there are no stress points or pinch points. The scope should lie snugly in the bottom rings and should freely rotate by hand.

Make sure the scope is level and the eye relief is set correctly before tightening the ring screws.

Tighten the screws by evenly alternating side to side and front to back. Don't tighten one ring set completely, and then the other! Keeping even pressure as you go insures a proper mount.

Tighten the rings securely, but do not stress the fit by overtightening and forcing them to crimp the scope's tube.

 

Ammunition:

All R1's come with a 1-11 twist rate. That's one revolution per 11 inches of barrel length. By comparison, a quality bolt action rifle may have the higher rate of 1-10.

The rule of thumb is that the slower rates like the shorter bullets. It takes more spin to stabilize a longer projectile - less spin for shorter ones.

Since your barrel's diameter is unchanging, the difference in bullet weights has to come from the shape and length of the bullets themselves.

Long story made short, you may benefit from a lighter .308 round as opposed the heavier ones.

You're already on track with this, but I'm just letting you know that moving up to 165's or 180's will not be likely to improve things.

 

My R1 is a 22" 30-06, and it likes the Remington Premier Accutip 150's better than anything I've fed it to date.

 

Shooting

Shoot from a steady rest, preferably from front and rear bags.

The barrel should never contact the front rest, or anything else for that matter.

Mkae sure you are comforatable and have a firm, but not deathly tight grip on the rifle.

Try to be conscious of your position and grip and repeat them as best you can from shot to shot.

Make sure you're not flinching. It's much easier to flinch with a heavier trigger, so the R1 isn't cutting you any slack in that department.

Even though the R1 is a semi-automatic weapon, the barrel is quite lightweight. This and the fact that it's mechanically tied to parts forward of the action tend to work against accuracy.

It's also very succeptible to heat variations, so expect groups to open up if the barrel isn't allowed ample time to cool between shots.

 

Tweaking the R1:

The R1 is a semi-automatic hunting rifle. Don't expect it to shoot 1/2" groups like a quality bolt action varminter.

However, you should expect and strive for the best the rifle is capable of doing.

I can tell you that the R1 is capable shooting 1" - 2" groups, so there's room for improvement.

 

If you've disassembled your R1, you've seen the barrel locking cap, and you've probably noticed the red indexing marks on it and its matching mated part.

What the manual doesn't tell you is that after just a few rounds of firing, the tolerances seem to settle in and further tightening may be needed.

Mine has had about 60 rounds through it, and I'm at two clicks past the factory setting.

This has improved accuracy considerably on my R1, and I would expect similar results on yours.

 

NOTE: edited 11/25/05 - The newer R1's now come with a new spring-loaded barrel cap which has eliminated the indexing system. If your gun has the indexed cap, you can request a new style cap from Benelli. They sent mine at no charge, but I can't promise the same for you.

 

I know the trigger pull is annoyingly heavy, but when you consider today's courts being flooded with lawsuits by morons who assume no personal responsibilities for their own actions, and being rewarded for it, I can see why gunmakers err on the side of caution.

 

DO NOT atttempt to adjust the trigger pull!

If you want it to better, take it to a skilled gunsmith and ask him to polish the mating surfaces.

 

Additional tweaks include placing an oiled o ring under the forearm retaining nut/sling mount to prevent it from loosening during use, and applying a light one or two coats of finish to the inside of the forearm to make clean-ups easier and faster.

 

[ 11-25-2005, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: tucker301 ]

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Originally posted by tucker301:

Tom,

Welcome to the R1 club!

 

First and foremost, ANY rifle barrel should be properly broken in to insure accuracy and longevity.

Break In Procedures

 

I don't know your level of knowledge or experience, so please don't be insulted if any of the following seems rudimentary to you.

 

Best Practices:

 

Scopes -

Do your R1 justice by using quality optics.

 

Make sure the scope is mounted properly.

Most shooters like to apply a thin coat of blue loctite to the base screws. Clear nail polish also works well.

 

If using STD single or dual dovetail rings, use an alignment tool and NEVER turn in rings using the scope!

 

On slotted Weaver style rings or QD rings, use quality materials. I like Leupold rings, and they offer a great one for the R1's Picatinny rail.

 

Select a ring height that will keep the bell of the scope close to, but not touching the barrel.

 

Lapping the rings is something every professional should do when mounting fine optics, but few do.

Believe me, it's worth the effort.

 

When mounting the scope, always check to make sure the rings are aligned and that there are no stress points or pinch points. The scope should lie snugly in the bottom rings and should freely rotate by hand.

Make sure the scope is level and the eye relief is set correctly before tightening the ring screws.

Tighten the screws by evenly alternating side to side and front to back. Don't tighten one ring set completely, and then the other! Keeping even pressure as you go insures a proper mount.

Tighten the rings securely, but do not stress the fit by overtightening and forcing them to crimp the scope's tube.

 

Ammunition:

All R1's come with a 1-11 twist rate. That's one revolution per 11 inches of barrel length. By comparison, a quality bolt action rifle may have the higher rate of 1-10.

The rule of thumb is that the slower rates like the shorter bullets. It takes more spin to stabilize a longer projectile - less spin for shorter ones.

Since your barrel's diameter is unchanging, the difference in bullet weights has to come from the shape and length of the bullets themselves.

Long story made short, you may benefit from a lighter .308 round as opposed the heavier ones.

You're already on track with this, but I'm just letting you know that moving up to 165's or 180's will not be likely to improve things.

 

My R1 is a 22" 30-06, and it likes the Remington Premier Accutip 150's better than anything I've fed it to date.

 

Shooting

Shoot from a steady rest, preferably from front and rear bags.

The barrel should never contact the front rest, or anything else for that matter.

Mkae sure you are comforatable and have a firm, but not deathly tight grip on the rifle.

Try to be conscious of your position and grip and repeat them as best you can from shot to shot.

Make sure you're not flinching. It's much easier to flinch with a heavier trigger, so the R1 isn't cutting you any slack in that department.

Even though the R1 is a semi-automatic weapon, the barrel is quite lightweight. This and the fact that it's mechanically tied to parts forward of the action tend to work against accuracy.

It's also very succeptible to heat variations, so expect groups to open up if the barrel isn't allowed ample time to cool between shots.

 

Tweaking the R1:

The R1 is a semi-automatic hunting rifle. Don't expect it to shoot 1/2" groups like a quality bolt action varminter.

However, you should expect and strive for the best the rifle is capable of doing.

I can tell you that the R1 is capable shooting 1" - 2" groups, so there's room for improvement.

 

If you've disassembled your R1, you've seen the barrel locking cap, and you've probably noticed the red indexing marks on it and its matching mated part.

What the manual doesn't tell you is that after just a few rounds of firing, the tolerances seem to settle in and further tightening may be needed.

Mine has had about 60 rounds through it, and I'm at two clicks past the factory setting.

This has improved accuracy considerably on my R1, and I would expect similar results on yours.

 

I know the trigger pull is annoyingly heavy, but when you consider today's courts being flooded with lawsuits by morons who assume no personal responsibilities for their own actions, and being rewarded for it, I can see why gunmakers err on the side of caution.

 

DO NOT atttempt to adjust the trigger pull!

If you want it to better, take it to a skilled gunsmith and ask him to polish the mating surfaces.

 

Additional tweaks include placing an oiled o ring under the forearm retaining nut/sling mount to prevent it from loosening during use, and applying a light one or two coats of finish to the inside of the forearm to make clean-ups easier and faster.

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Thanks tucker 301! First, I didn't do the break in. I just cleaned barrel prior to shooting. I'll do the cleaning procedure before trying to sight in again.

 

As for scope, i've got a 8x56 fixed Swarovski with good rings and mounting technique, so I should be ok there.

 

Ammunition. I called Hornady, told them what I'd already shot, and was advised to try the 165 gr btsp, which I've already ordered. I guess I'll give it a try after the barrel break in. I'll also re-try the Winchester and 150 gr Hornady.

 

Tweaking. I'll check the indexing mark, and tighten if loose. I'll also add an oiled O-ring. Probably wait till after deer season to try to find a gunsmith to polish the trigger. So far, no one has been willing to do this for me; liability problems I guess.

 

Thanks again, and I'll let you know how it goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hello gentlemen, I am shooting an r1 in 308 and am also having a hard time grouping. Ive got a Burris 4x12 50mm Euro Diamond scope with Leupold rings, Remington 150 grain core loct is the worst grouping ive tried best ive been able to achieve is with the Hornady 150 sst, interbond same grain, first shot out of a cold barrel is usually right on the money, anyone tried black hills or ballistic silvertips?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by TomA:

I'm having trouble getting better than a 4" 100 yard group off a bench. I've tried Winchester Supreme 150gr ballistic silvertip, and Hornady 150 gr SST. Does anyone have any suggestions? The terrible trigger doesn't help.

My R-1 loves 150 grain Remington pointed soft point. I recently shot several 3-shot groups @ 100 yards that were between 1/2" to 1". ( you can cover the entire group under half of a quarter).I was actually amazed! As far as the trigger, try looking at it as a positive instead of a negative. To sensitive of a trigger on a semi-automatic isn't a good thing. I hated the trigger on my rifle when I first bought it, but the more I shot it... the more accurate I became.While the triggers on these guns are stiffer than we'd like... they are pretty smooth.
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Originally posted by Rosco:

hello gentlemen, I am shooting an r1 in 308 and am also having a hard time grouping. Ive got a Burris 4x12 50mm Euro Diamond scope with Leupold rings, Remington 150 grain core loct is the worst grouping ive tried best ive been able to achieve is with the Hornady 150 sst, interbond same grain, first shot out of a cold barrel is usually right on the money, anyone tried black hills or ballistic silvertips?

My R-1 .308 winchester shoots the 150 grain Remington pointed soft point like a champion bench gun. 1" groups or less @ 100 yards. I am considering using it for a varmit gun.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Any new information on this topic? I have a 30-06 R1 and after approx. 100 rounds, the smallest group I've gotten was ~1" (with a friends handloaded ammo). This only happened once. The rest of the groups where between 3" - 4" with 4" being the norm. I've tested 4 different ammo manufacturers and I can't remember how many different bullet weights.

 

The barrel was broken in properly, and I've had 3 different people (with known ability to shoot small groups with other firearms) shoot the firearm with the same result as me. I know it's not my shooting as I've obtained acceptable accuracy with the many other rifles I own.

 

Now I understand that the R1 is not suppose to shoot VERY small groups, but the above is completely unacceptable, especially when others that have this rifle are shooting very acceptable groups (1" or less).

 

What seems wierd about this issue is there seems to be only 2 results from this rifle in terms of accuracy.

 

Result 1: You obtain great groups and have no problems with the rifle's accuracy.

 

Result 2: You cannot seem to get the rifle to preform to acceptable accuracy standards.

 

These results make me think that maybe there is something (maybe a small unknown manufacturing difference) that is causing some rifles to be accurate and others not.

 

I have a SBE II and now an R1. With the exception of the accuracy issue (unfortunately a big issue for me) I love the R1 and wish to keep it. At this point though unless I can figure out what's going wrong I believe my only option is to sell it and obtain a different rifle.

 

One other thing I've noticed is that the spent cartradges seem to have a small dent in the neck of the case. It seems as though the case is being dented in the extraction process some where. This might not have anything to do with accuracy (or maybe it does) but something to think about.

 

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

 

[ 10-12-2005, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: Alien Attack ]

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Alien Attack,

I have a R-1 in .308 win. which is pretty close to your 30/06 ballistically speaking. I have shot many different loads trying to optimize my 3 shot groups.I can tell you that my gun doesn't shoot fancy high tech ammo very well. I get the best performance out of simple over the counter Remington 150 gr. pointed soft point core lokt. They are one of the shortest length bullets and seem to stablize faster for more accurate flight to the target. My gun shoots this ammo in the 1/2"-1" groups which is actually as good or better than my Remington model 700 bolt in .308. I handle my gun several times each daily and dry fire it to breack in the trigger. It has loosened up substantically without any modification on my part.

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I'm still doing research, but what's the final word on the locking cap affecting accuracy? I see the post about it, but there didn't seem to be any final word. After initial shooting, my forearm was loose, so I tightened down the locking cap as much as possible... it seems feasible that this could affect accuracy. I'm pretty sure that I have the new locking system as I bought my gun in august of this year. Any thoughts on this?

 

[ 10-12-2005, 08:47 PM: Message edited by: Alien Attack ]

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AA,

 

Look to the middle photo on this page displaying the torque locking system:

 

http://www.benelliusa.com/firearms/r1.tpl

 

If yours look like this, then you're good. I bought mine in June 2005 and got the older Index locking system. There is no giant spring, but it has a locking cap with a spring loaded ball bearing that lines up with corresponding detents in the gas port housing.

 

I doubt that the retaining nut that holds the forearm affects accuracy more so than the locking cap. Really though, anything that comes loose and vibrates may affect accuracy to a degree. So, I suggest you get the small rubber washer Tucker suggets and eliminate that possibility. It was 27 cents at Home Depot.

 

Those are my thoughts on whatever the heck day it is 2005.

 

-Glenn

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Well here are the results... it's obvious that the "tightness" that the barrel cap is screwed down to affects the accuracy:

 

GROUPS.png

 

Group A: The first three shots, barrel cool time was ~30 seconds in between.

 

Group B: Waited until the barrel was cool again. The second three shots, barrel cool time was ~30 seconds in between.

 

Group C: In a hunting situation, you might not have 30 seconds to let the barrel cool, so I fired off 3 shots, with a wait time ~ 5 - 8 seconds (just enough for target aquisition and fire). Then Immediately reloaded and fired 3 more shots with the same time delay.

 

Group D: Barrel allowed to cool, and three more shots where taken. This was one of those where every shot I took, I could feel wasn't correct right when I shot it.

 

Conclusion: MAKE SURE YOUR BARREL CAP IS TIGHTENED ALL THE WAY (That reads: Tighten until it turns NO MORE).

 

NOTE: I'm sure the error in all of the groups (that is they're not 1/2 to 3/4") was because of me, and not the rifle. However, these were what I call acceptable.

 

[ 10-14-2005, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Alien Attack ]

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tucker301,

 

I agree! Those groups are completely acceptable to me! I recently dumped a 14" pronghorn at 200 yds using it, so no problem at those ranges either.

 

I'm using the new spring tension cap.

 

garren,

 

In those recent target pictures there really weren't any errors. I really only mentioned errors becuase of group D being a little sloppy compared to groups A & B. I still think I could tighten the groups if I wanted, but really don't need to put that much effort into it.

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Alien,

I take it that you were 0'ing in your rifle at 2" high @100 yds. My gun was shooting groups very similar to the targets pictured above which are reasonably good by any standard but I was convienced that the R-1 could still perform better or that I could learn to shot it better.The last time I went to the range I took a shooting stand with sand bags and ear muffs ...it made a huge difference for me. You might consider trying this if you haven't already done so. What brand ammo and bullet grain did you shoot. Oh...by the way target "C" is looking ...lets say "DEADLY". You should have plenty of venison in the freezer this winter.

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DreamHuntz,

 

Ya, it is suppose to be a 2" high zero @100 yds. That way as Tucker301 said it would be dead on @200 yds. The first hunt I took this rifle on was a Wyoming antelope hunt. Even without the barrel cap tightened it still dropped the speed goat at 200 yds no problem.

 

Those targets were shot using hearing protection , a shooting rest, and 150 grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertips. A friend that handloads says he could never get ballistic tips to preform very good and that I could probably get better performance out of 165 grain non-ballistic tip ammo. I'll be going to the range again soon and I'll be interested to see how some other loads preform.

 

Yes, C is looking VERY deadly. That's a WHOLE lotta lead in a target. The next time I go to the range I might do the same thing with 9 or 12 rounds... just for the fun of it.

 

The only thing I'll be looking to do now is either get the comfortech stock or a new R1 with the comfortech already on it.

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You do know that the piston tube will, with a bit of force, slide off towards the muzzle... over the two o rings?

 

Put a drop or two of oil on the o rings, then twist and pull the tube off.

This gives full access to the nasty cylinder plunger pin.

 

Post back if you need a better description and I'll try to upload a picture for you.

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