New Nosler 26 not grouping well

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,004
43
Not for nothing but as everyone here knows that I have every WBY caliber. Along with those I have many more rifles and have developed loads on countless others for friends.
In all instances except one I could never get any ABLR to shoot well. The only exception was a Ruger #1 in 264 Win mag with the 142 gr. No others, ever.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,224
377
FOTIS":1oynpol7 said:
Not for nothing but as everyone here knows that I have every WBY caliber. Along with those I have many more rifles and have developed loads on countless others for friends.
In all instances except one I could never get any ABLR to shoot well. The only exception was a Ruger #1 in 264 Win mag with the 142 gr. No others, ever.

I for one am perplexed by them. I have worked with Scirocco's, Interbonds and other tough to get shooting bullets and done great with them. The ABLR's on the other hand have done great one day and the next day with the same load they go wonky. I don't wanna say I've given up on them, but man they do make a fella work.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,695
765
I have been able to get the 150 grain ABLR to shoot well in my newer .280. Otherwise, every effort has been a wash.
 

Mczar777

Beginner
Mar 16, 2019
10
0
SJB358":utgd20bu said:
Mczar777":utgd20bu said:
Sorry for going MIA on this but I’ve been waiting to see how this plays out before updating the post. I sent the rifle back to Nosler on April 30th and they still have it. Needless to say, it’s taken quite a bit longer than I had anticipated for them to figure this out.

The representative that I have been working with called me about 10 days ago and told me that they had cleaned and disassembled my rifle (standard procedure before they test fire a gun) and during the disassembly they did not see any issues. They then test fired it with the ammo that they guarantee the sub MOA accuracy with (140gr AccuBond) which happens to be the one box of ammo I have not been able to find due to it having been on intergalactic back order for the entire three months I’ve owned the gun.

According to the rep, they were able to produce a group of .68” which I found to be hard to believe given that the best I’d been able to get out of it is almost a 3” group. I asked the rep again if they did anything to the gun in hopes that that they had found an issue since that would make their findings easier to comprehend but he said that the gunsmith had not notated anything. I then asked the rep to have them re-shoot it with the same ammo that I had been using (142grABLR) and he said they would do so.

I got an update last night saying that they had completed the test firings with the 142grABLR and the gun produced groups ranging from 1.25”-1.5” groups. I’ve pasted the email below for reference and in my reply email I said that I appreciated the update but that I was not impressed by that group size given what a rifle in this price point should be able to do. I also explained while I was happy with the .68” AccuBond group size, it doesn’t really make any difference what it can shoot if I can’t ever find the one box of ammo that it will shoot decently.

Overall I’m not happy with this and I’m hopeful that they will offer me a different solution than the one mentioned in the email below. I feel as though a rifle that is made by the company that developed the cartridge, and produces the ammo, should consistently shoot sub-MOA regardless of what type of bullet is being used. I have multiple other rifles that shoot sub-MOA with different brands of ammo and bullet types and the largest difference in group size that I’ve observed between different brands and types of ammo is roughly .5”.

To be clear, I’m not trying to trash them at all especially since this hopefully hasn’t been resolved with finality. I’m planning on calling my rep today so we can further talk about where to go from here. Once I have another update I’ll repost.

Last night’s email from Nosler:
Our lab was able to get some groups through your rifle, but did find that it preferred the 140gr AccuBond over the 142gr AccuBond Long Range. The 140gr AccuBond (prescribed load) shot at .68” while the 142gr was shooting around 1.25-1.5” groups. I am letting our head ballistician look at the groups to find out his opinion on it.

With the 140gr AccuBond being our prescribed load, I would be happy to send the rifle back to you along with the 2 boxes of ammunition that we discussed. I will also let you know what our ballistician has to say about the 142 ABLR grouping, but I do know that the ABLR bullet can be a little bit more picky and likes when barrels have more wear rather than being brand new.

While the 140 AccuBond is a great bullet, I have given myself fits trying to get the assorted ABLR's to well consistently. I hope they sort you out, and get you underway.

A shooting buddy just got a Christensen Arms Mesa in 28 Nosler. Mounted a 3-10 Leupold on it and after getting it on paper took three shots with the Nosler 175 ABLR ammo... Put two groups into 3/4's.... Pressure signs all over the danged case but wow did it shoot.

Good luck with it. Looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

They’re still working on it and I should know the final outcome by the middle of this week. Ready for this to be over with.
 

Mczar777

Beginner
Mar 16, 2019
10
0
Update:
I’ve been working with Nosler quite a bit since I received the email that I had pasted on to this thread. Extremely long story short, they agreed to lightly relap the barrel and re-shoot the gun which produced no difference in performance with either the 140gr AccuBond or the 142ABLR.

After hearing this and reading up people’s experience with ABLR’s, I decided to give up on that bullet performing well in this rifle at this time. I asked them if they had fired any of their 140gr “Custom Competition” in my rifle beucase I was curious if the accuracy had improved beyond what I had seen with that round in my rifle.

My rep told me that they had not fired that round so I asked them to do so to see if any of the work they’d done had improved the accuracy with that round. They graciously agree to re-shoot it again with that round and on Monday, they sent me then results which I’m very pleased with.

I’ve pasted the ballistic report below and I’ve asked them to ship my rifle back to me which they’ve agreed to do and they’re including using the test ammo that was used. Needless to say, I’m grateful for their efforts to rectify the accuracy issue and I now have the confidence in the rilfle to use it for its intended purposes.

Once I get it back, I’m going to mount my newly purchased Leupold VX-5HD 4-20x52 and take it to the range and see how it does. I’m looking forward to shooting it again and hopefully taking some Deer with it in a few months!
 

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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,224
377
Dang, not too bad. Looks like it’ll serve you well. Looking forward to seeing your range reports.
 

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,004
43
Not too shabby. Like I said before I have tried the ABLR in a myriad of rifles. Only one shot them well
 

Mczar777

Beginner
Mar 16, 2019
10
0
Took it to the range yesterday after mounting my new Leupold VX5HD and put some rounds through it. Best group was what is pictured below and after subtracting .264, it measures .775 MOA. This group was with the 140gr AccuBond so I’m pleased with that.
 

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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,224
377
I’d imagine it’ll only get better as you shoot it as well. Great bullet.
 

Mczar777

Beginner
Mar 16, 2019
10
0
DrMike":3msjvd6x said:
You have every reason to be pleased. Fine riflery.
I love to shoot it and that’s part of the reason why I didn’t just throw my hands up and trade it in on something else. I think I can get it to group tighter when the barrel is a little cooler and it’s not 102° outside with a +3000DA.
 
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