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mwenger

Tikka Tac A1 problem

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I have a Tac A1 that I LOVED when I first got it.  Got a load developed quickly and was able to produce 1/4moa groups with it.  Once the second loading came around, the groups opened up to about 1.5 moa.....same load as before.  I took it to a local gunsmith and he told me that the chamber isn't concentric and is a bit oversized.  I don't think Tikka would touch the issue at all because it is still a fully functioning firearm and probably is sub-moa all day long with factory ammo.  My question is this, do you think I should try to send it back to tikka and have a new action put in on my dime, have a gunsmith try to make it concentric (if possible), or sell it to someone who has no intentions of reloading and try a different rifle for myself?  

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What caliber? How many round are on the barrel? Have you cleaned it really well? Have you tried factory ammo again to see if it really is sub-moa? 

 

Not knowing the smith you went to, it's hard to agree or dispute his diagnosis. However, if your load stopped shooting well, it could be the ammo. The barrel could have sped up and the load is out of tune now. It could be you dies/brass after the first firing/sizing. They are too many variables. Sound more like the ammo to me.

 

I would clean the piss out of it. I would then rule the scope/rings/base/stock screw torque out immediately. Next I would then try some factory ammo. If it still doesn't shoot, send it to Tikka. If it does shoot again, look at your reloading.

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190 rounds through it.  I only tried factory ammo for the first 20 rounds before my dies came in.  The name of the smith probably wouldn't be very recognizable, but he is a 4-time world champion benchrest shooter and builds his own rifles.  He checked the gun over for about an hour and said everything else looked sound on it except for the chamber.  We cleaned it and scoped it to make sure that everything was good to go in that respects.  His main thing that he was telling me was that with the chamber out of concentricity, the bullet will get marred up on one side as soon as you chamber it and it will affect the accuracy.  

 

It's just frustrating because I know when I initially did the load development on that round it was sub 1/4moa for multiple groups...but that was with brand new norma brass...everything else since has been with that same brass reloaded.  

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Sound like he knows his stuff inside and out, I would definitely trust him.

You need to rule out your scope, rings and base. also need to pull the barreled action out and verify the stock fit and the action screw torque.

Your barrel may have sped up. This happens usually within 50-150 rounds on a new barrel. Also factory barrels can be rough and you need to rule out copper or carbon. I would restart load development. Virgin vs once fired brass can make a little difference, combine that with the barrels speeding up and your load doesn't work anymore. 

 

Finally. No factory gun is sub 1/4 minute accurate. I don't mean to sound like a dick, but it just ain't a thing. Your smith builds $4k+ guns for benchrest that will hover around 1/3 moa. If you can honestly shoot a sub 2.5" group at 1000 yard with this gun you will be in world record company (1/4 moa). Let just say "it shot great and then it stopped shooting great".  

 

If it still has issues after you verified the ancillary stuff, send it in to Tikka. Good luck!

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Well for what it's worth, that is one of the 100yd targets from load development.  Even though it did that at 100, I am positive that I could not hold that same moa out to 1000.

 

I'll just have to try to develop the load again because like you said, the barrel could have sped up in conjunction with the other issues.  

target.jpg

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Well, Lancaster and nearby have the greatest pretzels.  I was born in Philly.  Harrisburg pretzels are the best.  My relatives are from Lancaster.

 

They have some outstanding gunsmiths and bad ass shooters.

 

Downside: I worked with a guy whose friend had a gun build by a champion shooter.  It was a dog.  Not saying your guy is but I tend to want more research.  

As a medical industry guy, I always suggest second opinions.  

 

ScoreHI in NM has a great rep.

Accuracy Speaks did have one.

Kodiak Precision, Don Golebieski, stuff is amazing. He is a big Tikka fan.  Former, VV technical rep, and Tikka guy. Probably knows more about that platform than anybody I know.  And I know at least 4 people🤣

GA is that way too.

The guy OK is pretty amazing.

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Did you change lots on projectiles. I’ve found it’s better to buy a bunch of the same lot and if something’s wrong manufacturers sometimes will swap them out. 

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Posted (edited)

I had the exact same issue with mine and it turned out I needed to do a new load. Factory Hornady 140g ELDM shot 1/4 MOA for the first 3 boxes then opened up . I did everything I could think of; removed bipod, back to factory break, cleaned the thing spotless and had it inspected by GS to ensure clean and ok. Only when I stretched the bullet (140 g ELDM) out to 2.380  overall leangth to ogive did my group come back. 42 g H4350 , Hornady brass with Fed Gold Match Lrg. Magnum rifle primers. I use mag primers because I have a 270WSM for hunting and don’t want to stock two primers. Your not alone ! 

AC690CA9-7674-4DBB-B4E1-F3AE3078B2A9.jpeg

Edited by SmithCK

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I'm guessing that the chamber may have grown a bit and your bullets are jumping a bit too far.  

 

There is a great video on youtube by Alex Wheeler showing how to find the rifling/lands of your barrel to be able to set the max length.  Look at that, tell us which bullets you are using and maybe we can offer some suggestions.  If you're using certain Berger bullets, they like to be jammed or maybe jumped .010(the VLD's).  The Hybrid's like somewhere around .020.    If you're using Sierra they typically like a bit more jump.  Some like up to and over .060.  I'm not familiar with Hornady and will wait to be corrected but I believe that they like some jump as well.  

 

Good luck.

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Too many things can contribute to a loss of accuracy and a rifle that was shooting under 1/2" groups normally doesn't go belly up in under 200 rounds.

 

Thoroughly clean the barrel. Use a copper fouling remover, Sweets, or something similar and follow the directions. Follow it up with oil and dry patches to stop the chemical reaction.

 

Make sure your scope base, ring screws and action screws are all torqued to spec.

 

I bump the shoulder on my bolt action rifle rounds -.0015" (+/- .0005") from their fired measurement. If you don't full length resize, you should consider it. Without shoulder bump gages (Hornady Lock-N-Load, RCBS micrometer, Mo DeFina micrometer, Sinclair International) it's virtually impossible to know what you are doing. Gages provide measurements that can be repeated.

 

Unless your magazine will allow for long loads, you will be reduced to loading rounds one at a time if you exceed COAL" by a lot. Finding an accurate load that feeds and functions from a magazine is a win/win, allowing you to make quick follow up shots.

 

Consider the following bullets too:

Sierra 123 grain Match King

Lapua 120 grain Scenar-L

Lapua 123 grain Scenar

Lapua 136 grain Scenar-L

Berger 130 grain (VLD, Match, Hybrid)  

 

The lighter bullets will shoot great using Varget and RE-15 saving the H4350 for heavier bullets.

 

www.accurateshooter.com has a lot of load data and conversations in their forum regarding 6.5's of all types.

 

 

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On 4/9/2019 at 12:01 PM, mwenger said:

I have a Tac A1 that I LOVED when I first got it.  Got a load developed quickly and was able to produce 1/4moa groups with it.  Once the second loading came around, the groups opened up to about 1.5 moa.....same load as before.  I took it to a local gunsmith and he told me that the chamber isn't concentric and is a bit oversized.  I don't think Tikka would touch the issue at all because it is still a fully functioning firearm and probably is sub-moa all day long with factory ammo.  My question is this, do you think I should try to send it back to tikka and have a new action put in on my dime, have a gunsmith try to make it concentric (if possible), or sell it to someone who has no intentions of reloading and try a different rifle for myself?  

Is there any method to the larger distribution? horizontal or vertical or just all over?  I'm with everyone here, plus a couple thoughts:

 

1. Verify torque and alignment on scope bases, rings, etc.  Down the road maybe even swap scopes with a known performer if you have one to rule that variable out.

Check action screws are torqued appropriately - Even on a chassis I'd consider bedding it.

2. Are you going from new brass to once fired brass? Check your sizing method and gear if that's the case. 

3 Perform a proper ladder test or at least accuracy node test. Sharing those results will probably help diagnose as well. 

4. Same lot of brass, bullets, powder etc? Shouldn't be a crazy difference in much of that but it can happen.

5. Maybe try a few random factory loads and see if there is something that's much better or worse?

6. Get a chamber casting if you're really interested in that, then you'll know for sure what it looks like in there and can decide if a rebarrel is worth it or not.

7. Bore scope the thing and see what it looks like inside, although I've had barrels that looked like the surface of the moon shoot lights out and mirror finish flawless ones not get where I wanted, so that's a deep dark rabbit hole :)

 

Just a few of the 10,000 things to consider

 

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There are 1/4 MOA factory rifles out there. They are like hens teeth, but they do exist.  Maybe it is just pure luck with the perfect load. I have a inexpensive Ruger American in 6.5 Creed that is a consistent .5 factory ammo. Sounds like there may be some different lot issues.

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