Barrel shot out?

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Shot a brace of Fox last week, left and a right in the evening light making the most of the moon and snow. Both body shots as they faced me, 100yrds or there abouts. Both dropped to the shot. Much to my shock, when I approached the animals, both were shot through the head, clean between the eyes. It seems that on my way off the Hill from my last Hind stalking trip the scope must have taken a knock.

Much distressed but thankful that a far worse incident had not happened, off I went to the rage expecting a simple couple of shots and a couple of clicks down, job done.
25 shots later and I still can’t get a decent grouping. All my shots are surrounding the bull in a circle 3 inches wide with not one entering within it.

I checked and double checked everything, scope rings, moderator is not loose, bipod is not loose, bipod on, bipod off, is the barrel floating properly.

Naturally I assume its me, so I change positions and take great care as ever but still not a single round within my 3 inch bull.

Sako 75 varmint .243 with mod and Swarovski scope and good mounts Normally, both the rifle and I are very capable out to 300 yards and feel totally confident with it.

I just don’t understand it, and I can’t narrow down what the issue is. I have put the rifle away in the cupboard as I don’t feel happy with it and cant be sure the bullet will go where I want it too.

I’m wandering if the barrel is finally shot out?

Thoughts welcome.



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How many rounds have you shot through the rifle :confused: Were you using your normal ammo :confused: If you are sure everything is tight and the barrel is not fouling the stock then you could try another scope and eliminate yours has not developed a fault.


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In my area the FC guys have returned many Swarovski scopes that were not performing. It seems that with a moderator fitted it can shake the life out of them. Fact.

Try taking the scope off. Also, it is unlikely that the rifle will go downhill so quickly with the barrel being shot out. It must be something else!!


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Had a similar problem twice before. First time the scope was faulty second time was a faulty batch of ammo. With the faulty scope the rifle was totally erratic. With the ammo it was more like your results close but just not spot on.

Unless you have put a considerable amount of ammo through this rifle I would doubt if it is shot out. Have you had the mod for a while. Just thinking about the threading if it is a new addition.


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is the barrel clean?
A barrel that has been used over several years and not cleaned is bound to be fouled to an extent that accuracy is severely affected.


2428 miles

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts.

The mod has been on for just under 2 years, I clean the bore every 40 shots or so, I cleaned it with bore foam on the weekend before zeroing it. I thought it might take a couple of shots to settle it down again but not 24!

The scope seems like the best bet so far.
The rifle is 3rd hand so it is hard to know how many rounds has been through it, I know that the person who owned it before me never used solvents to clean it.

I do use solvents to clean it and have done for the years I have owned it. Until this incident I have never had an issue and it shot good groups.

Perhaps I should find a rifle smith with a bore camera to have a look and give me a verdict. Otherwise I will have to send the scope away to USA as that’s where the warranty states it must go for work.


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check action screws, borrow a reliable scope, clean the barrel with one of them abrasive cleaners. The chemical cleaners don't always work.
If your scope is a leupold it could possibly be fixed in europe if it is dicky.

If nothing helps be happy you might be forced into a custom rifle :D



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It depends on how "hot" the ammunition is. Some calibres such as 264 Winchester Magnum had a reputation for going through barrels very quickly.

How "hot" are your cartridges? 75 grains at 3,300fps?

I clean the bore every 40 shots or so, I cleaned it with bore foam on the weekend before zeroing it.

Is that forty shots on the same day? Should only need cleaning once at the end of the day even if one hundred shots have been fired. Or is that after forty shots fired over say two weeks?

I really can't understand this "need" for solvents! I have had to clean rifles that in a day maybe have fired one hundred rounds or more. And machine guns that had fired maybe five hundred rounds at least in a day. Never a need for solvents. Just elbow grease and a decent phosphor bronze brush.

The problem with solvents are that they are like a vacuum flask. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold but it doesn't "know" which is which. Solvents, well, dissolve. Whatever they are in contact with if they are ammonia based as most are.

I hope you find it is only a loose 'scope mount. But my advice throw your solvents away. No gun was ever "worn out" by sensible cleaning with a phosphor bronze brush and a oiled jag.

The only other thought...check your muzzle. You may have damaged it. A simple recrown will solve the problem


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All good points - do exchange the scope for another and test fire a group - before considering sending it abroad for test / repair.

Please, do update us with the results.

rgds Ian


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Morning 2428

It sounds a lot like you've got my old .243 75 Varmint that I sold a couple of years ago, it wouldn't shoot for s***!



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Decopper the barrel- it works! It will take a further 10 rds to stabilise the fouling and breach pressures. Most solvents just remove the burnt powder.



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Only time I had a similar problem it was dodgy ammo. Gun just took exception to it. Exact symptoms you describe. You get a group but about 4 or 5" and nothing in the middle.
Changed ammo and down to 1" group immediately. Dont know why the hell the ammo went off though.

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Morning Chaps,

Thanks again for your thoughts.

I am shooting the same old ammo I have for the last year or so, 95gr Remington Accutip.
The rifle likes these and groups well, I was half way through a box when this trouble started. The first 7 rounds I used hind stalking and was shooting well, head shots, neck shots, 250 yard shots you name it she didn’t put a foot wrong. Both the stalker and I were very impressed with the rifle and I came away from the trip a happy man.

As regards cleaning, I tend to clean the bore properly after every 40 shots, so that tends to be every 3 months or so depending on what I’m doing. This summer I completely cleaned the bore clear of any trace of copper before doing DSC1 and she was shooting really nice, but including hind stalking, I would have shot no more than 30 rounds since then.

Checked the crown, no damage there as I have mod on. Mod crown seems fine too.

I’m back to work now so can’t tinker with it till the weekend now. Enjoying hearing your thoughts though, keep them coming!



2428 miles

Well-Known Member
The crown is the end of the barrel, it is very important to have a clear crisp edge that ends the rifeling as the bullet exits the barrel.

When a gun smith threads your barrel for a mod it is important to check what kind of job he has done as it will effect your bullet flight enormouly if it is at all jagged or uneven.

If you get a chance have a look at the end of a custome barrel or one of these bench rest rifles, the crown has an edge on it like a razzor!!


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As regards cleaning, I tend to clean the bore properly after every 40 shots, so that tends to be every 3 months or so depending on what I’m doing.

Oh dear! I'd clean after every outing whether to the range or on the hill regardless of how many shots fired. And as soon as possible afterwards too. That way the fouling is still warm (range) or relatively fresh (hill) and comes out easily.

I would use a phosphor bronze brush on a rod inserted at the breech end and worked vigourosly up and down for for two to three minutes.

Then use a jag with a patch on it and clean out the oil.

Next put a clean oiled patch on the jag and if that comes out clean the job is done. You've even left a trace of oil in the barrel until next time too.

If you adopt this regime you can get rid of all your solvents and the like. Until they were sold I had rifles that had been cleaned like that for sixty years plus and never a problem

Even if only ONE ROUND is fired I do that at the end of the day and BEFORE any larder work.


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Ihave personaly shot out two sakos 222 243 and believe you me when shot out you could not hit a piece of a4 at all . As other people have said give it a good clean and see if any mates have some different loads you can try . This should give you some idear as for habitch scopes i had an 8 +56 that spent more time at the makers than with me . Has any mates got a sako they can roll a scope of just to try this avenue . I had both my rifles rebarrelled by norman clarke in rugbyboth shoot one hole groups as they did when new PS dont ask griff about cleaning rifles as i get a bollacking every time we see him thats my son and i but they shoot fine i might add muddy

bruxie hill

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have you noticed any signs of pressure build up in bolt when opening the barrel could be firecracked
but would get it borescoped to check
scope would be my first point of call
all the best bruxie

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Can anyone recommend a rifle smith who is likley to have one of these bore camaras?

either in the Newmarket area or the Newbury area or in between!!!