Bolt Action Rifle Accurizing
You might ask "Why should I spend more money on my bolt action rifle?" That is a very good question. When a rifle leaves the factory it is considered to have been made to give you "service accuracy". Different manufacturers interpret "service accuracy" differently. With rare exception, the more demanding the standard of "service accuracy" a company sets, the more you will pay to buy the rifle in the first place.
The reason there is a price-accuracy relationship comes down to the cost of precision machining and exacting quality control processes in the manufacture of the parts that go into the rifle. It takes more time to do things right, and time is money.
Most factory rifles actually have decent rifling, but decent rifling is only part of the recipe for accuracy in your rifle. That recipe includes the chamber, rifling, crown, barrel bedding and trigger smoothness.
In many cases, the chamber of a rifle, as it leaves the factory, is not all it should be for best possible accuracy. Often, the chamber is over-sized and not exactly in line with the bore of the barrel. As you can imagine, a bullet that is introduced to the rifling of the barrel unevenly will not fly as true as a bullet that leaves the chamber exactly in line with the bore.
Most rifles come from the factory with decent rifling, as noted above, but there may still be issues at the throat and crown of the barrel resulting from "good enough" production standards. Uneven rifling at either end of the barrel will reduce the absolute accuracy of a rifle. A barrel with poor rifling has only one solution: Replacement with a better quality barrel.
A bullet that departs a barrel that has an uneven crown will be affected by the uneven release of pressure from the barrel as the bullet emerges. An uneven crown can result from poor production quality or from improper cleaning techniques. If you, or a prior owner, have been using segmented cleaning rods on your rifle barrel when cleaning, it is quite possible that you have nicked the rifling at the throat or the crown.
Take a look at a segmented cleaning rod and you will see that the sections do not line up precisely. There is a lip at each joint and that lip can catch the rifling and wear it down. If absolute accuracy is your goal, use one-piece, coated rods and a bore guide when cleaning your rifle.
Factory bedding of the barreled action, if it was even done at the factory, is subject to the same factors as the rest of the production process. If bedding is not done right, or at all, the barreled action could be placed under stress resulting in an erratic harmonic vibration when the rifle is fired. This vibration also affects absolute accuracy.
Most of us have fired a rifle with a "bad" trigger. A creepy, hard, rough or inconsistent trigger will negatively affect accuracy no matter how good everything else is. A smooth, crisp and consistent trigger requires time and skill to produce and gets lost in the "good enough" production philosophy.
Silver Trail Outfitters has a Bolt Action Rifle Accurizing package which includes:
- Setting back the barrel one or two turns to catch up and get past the factory sloppiness.
- Running a match grade reamer into the chamber to correct misalignment of the chamber and true the chamber to the bore.
- Set the headspace more tightly.
- Recrown the barrel.
- Precision bedding of the barreled action to the stock.
- Precision trigger job.
If you would like to find out about having your bolt action rifle accurized at Silver Trail Outfitters, give us a call at 585-969-7067 or stop in at our store located at 37 South Main Street, Perry, New York.