Wild first shots

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Talking with a friend about a finnwolf 340wby. Nice feeling rifle/trigger, but first shot is high left by like 18” at 50 yards.

18” makes it crazy because if we sight for cold barrel first shot, follow up shots are so off, it’s not usable. And if we sight for the group, the first shot is a crap shoot.

So thoughts.
1) replace the barrel.
2) cryogenically treat the barrel.
3) giv e up on it and move on.

I suppose a different bullet/powder would behave better, but close an 18”’gap at 50 yards? I have my doubts.

He uses it for heavy cover applications vs long shots. He does have a 30-378wby that’s from their pro shop and it shoots great with Wby ammo.(I haven’t had loaded it for him).

Anyone have experiences with that?
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,304
561
I’d address the bedding/mounts and scope before I’d replace anything about the rifle. If it comes back to shoot a decent group when it’s warm I’d vote bedding. It either needs/wants a float, a pressure point or full length bedding.

If it’s a wood stock it’s had many many years of expansion and contraction that are monkeying it up.
 

Dr. Vette

Handloader
Apr 16, 2012
1,316
28
I’d address the bedding/mounts and scope before I’d replace anything about the rifle. If it comes back to shoot a decent group when it’s warm I’d vote bedding. It either needs/wants a float, a pressure point or full length bedding.

If it’s a wood stock it’s had many many years of expansion and contraction that are monkeying it up.
My thoughts as well.

In addition, clean that barrel and then see if the rifle likes a clean barrel or a fouled barrel. Some take several shots to settle in.
Also, have someone else shoot the rifle and make sure it's not the shooter. ;)
I would wonder if he's flinching because his head says "340 Weatherby" with the first shot. As you noted, 18" at 50 yards takes effort so I'd look beyond the rifle as well.
 

Slimfinn

Handloader
Nov 28, 2018
619
250
I would look at the mounts, the Sako's use a taper that tightens with recoil, so if it somehow got knocked loose since the last it was shot the first shot would tighten it up and put back into proper position. Guess I should have asked if it is with every cold bore shot or just the first of the session?
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,844
139
I would look at the mounts, the Sako's use a taper that tightens with recoil, so if it somehow got knocked loose since the last it was shot the first shot would tighten it up and put back into proper position. Guess I should have asked if it is with every cold bore shot or just the first of the session?
I dont have the experience with Sako's to say, but "tightening with recoil" might explain an extreme change between shot one and the following. A shot to settle the mounts. Otherwise all of the advise above would be on my "check list". Sorry- its the variables that are a problem. CL
 

ScottinTN65

Beginner
Mar 15, 2022
62
65
I thought the Finnwolf was their lever action. Anyways, I've never seen that much of a 1st round shift in anything
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Thank you all for the excellent suggestions.
He shoots is 30-378 at 300 yards in about 2”. Annoys him I’m just under an inch. I don’t think the 340wby intimidates him. He was annoyed being out grouped on his own rifle… trigger time is the solution.

Apologies for not getting the model right on the sako. It’s a synthetic bolt action. Seems on the heavy side.

I did catch a scope problem on his 30-378. Screws were 1 thread too long and base was soft. He didn’t believe me til he got home and cleaned it and noticed the shimmy. Disappointing a gun dealer would do a poor job of mounting a Nightforce on a weatherby Markv. Not sure the story on the sako. I did not inspect bedding or barrel float on that one. I have a torque driver so can take it apart and reassemble.
Will be a while before I get to see it up close again.
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Thank you all for the excellent suggestions.
He shoots is 30-378 at 300 yards in about 2”. Annoys him I’m just under an inch. I don’t think the 340wby intimidates him. He was annoyed being out grouped on his own rifle… trigger time is the solution.

Apologies for not getting the model right on the sako. It’s a synthetic bolt action. Seems on the heavy side.

I did catch a scope problem on his 30-378. Screws were 1 thread too long and base was soft. He didn’t believe me til he got home and cleaned it and noticed the shimmy. Disappointing a gun dealer would do a poor job of mounting a Nightforce on a weatherby Markv. Not sure the story on the sako. I did not inspect bedding or
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,723
987
My thoughts as well.

In addition, clean that barrel and then see if the rifle likes a clean barrel or a fouled barrel. Some take several shots to settle in.
Also, have someone else shoot the rifle and make sure it's not the shooter. ;)
I would wonder if he's flinching because his head says "340 Weatherby" with the first shot. As you noted, 18" at 50 yards takes effort so I'd look beyond the rifle as well.
I concur on all accounts. It sounds more like operater error than loose mounts. If the mounts and/or rings were loose, the rifle wouldn't settle down after the first shot.
A good deep cleaning would also be a good idea.

JD338
 
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