What does it mean when Shot #2 in a group wanders?

Senor_Barney

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  • Jul 25, 2020
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    Testing 6 Creedmoor loads
    Barrel broken in with at least 180 rounds

    Shot 6 groups each with 4 shots

    What does it mean when Shot #2 in a group wanders, but #1, #3, #4 always tight? It happens with my reloads in another rifle which leads me to think it's something I am doing.

    Is that a sign of something obvious?

    SquarePic_20220710_11474781.jpg


    The results of four of the groups stood out and it happens frequently enough with my shooting / reloading that I am compelled to look into explaining it away. I am not satisfied with just saying "flyer".
     

    CNC-Dude

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    Jul 30, 2020
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    Are you shooting over a chrono...? Are you weight sorting brass...? If you kept your brass in order as you shot them, you can decap and start weighing that case against the other 3 in those groups to see if anything jumps out. Also check the usual suspects as far as loose scope, rings or rail to eliminate those as possibilities.
     

    OREGUN

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  • Apr 29, 2014
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    There are no flyers…there’s inconsistency in your engagement with the rifle.

    First round is good but the recoil causes you to adjust or settles your bag or something that fucks the next shot. Then you adjust and are okay for the next two…is my guess.

    Looking at your groups, I’d try adjusting the strength of your grip or the amount you are pulling back on the grip or the tension/position of the rear bag. Maybe tag @lowlight in on this. He’s a master of fixing issues like this.
     

    Senor_Barney

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    There are no flyers…there’s inconsistency in your engagement with the rifle.

    First round is good but the recoil causes you to adjust or settles your bag or something that fucks the next shot. Then you adjust and are okay for the next two…is my guess.

    Looking at your groups, I’d try adjusting the strength of your grip or the amount you are pulling back on the grip or the tension/position of the rear bag. Maybe tag @lowlight in on this. He’s a master of fixing issues like this.
    This makes sense when explained that way...


    Sometimes this same rifle + load + shooter combo will do 10 shots in one hole (pic below). But You can still see that Shot #2 way off to left of the group and then shots #1, #3-10 all pretty consistently grouping. That was also with virgin brass and today I finally got around to testing the same load (40.9gr H4350) in 1x fired Lapua SRP brass with 450s.

    Would be interested to know if this is something tell-tail about my reloads or the harware (barrel, components, etc.). If its just shooter...at least I can practice those bad habits away.
    20220710_130023.jpg
     

    Carlos Danger

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  • Jan 29, 2019
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    Rearrange the ammo in the box. Will most likely be shot 1,3, or 4 but at least the #2 problem will be solved.
     

    OREGUN

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    This makes sense when explained that way...


    Sometimes this same rifle + load + shooter combo will do 10 shots in one hole (pic below). But You can still see that Shot #2 way off to left of the group and then shots #1, #3-10 all pretty consistently grouping. That was also with virgin brass and today I finally got around to testing the same load (40.9gr H4350) in 1x fired Lapua SRP brass with 450s.

    Would be interested to know if this is something tell-tail about my reloads or the harware (barrel, components, etc.). If its just shooter...at least I can practice those bad habits away.
    View attachment 7909352

    Loose screws or really bad reloading habits can cause inexplicable shots out of the group but the fact that it’s “always” shot two leads me to believe that it’s your reaction to the initial recoil and the subsequent adjustment/settling. I’ve been wrong before though so, your mileage may vary.
     
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    Senor_Barney

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  • Jul 25, 2020
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    Explanations have been mostly "it's you" which maybe true...but when i shot this load with virgin brass I didnt have this happen over the entire course of load development. It was either tight group or bad group and I was equally as s****y a shooter with poor fundamentals 3 months ago as I am today.

    So, what about something related to neck tension? Perhaps I need to play with different bushing size or mandrel size to get the inner neck concentric?
     

    acudaowner

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    you started looking at butterflies and got distracted by there beautiful yet not very graceful flying , a hot chick in another state distracted you yea you could not physically see her but you knew she was thinking about you right or wrong I blame all my flyers where the blame belongs on my back so in turn I am going to say your mistakes are all you . powder , gun , bun in the oven could have played a part wind spin of the earth and the force not so likely but it could have been but you can always count on the shooter to do something wrong how ever small it was or big jerking , sneazing not waiting for that exact moment to pull the trigger forgetting you could always take that finger off the trigger get some water and start over again . what ever the cause best of luck figuring it out and fixing it only you can prevent forest fires and fix what went wrong . you could video tape your self shooting on a phone if you have one that takes video play it back after a string and try to see what your did correct or wrong .
     

    HMRamateur

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    Feb 9, 2019
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    I'd like to know how you so consistently make your 2nd shot the flier and not any of the others, and it's the ammos fault. You want to blame neck tension, but what's to say neck tension is only affecting 1 out of all of them, and what are the chances it's always the 2nd shot? Do you load 20 and shoot the same 20 in sequence of how you loaded them? Or are they somehow randomized in the process between loading and putting into your bullet case? If you shoot them in sequence of how you load them (ex. The first one you shoot was the first bullet you seated, second shot was second bullet seated...) then you should be able to figure out what the problem is pretty easily. Load them in sequence again and find out what the difference is in every variable you can think of. If it was randomized somehow, what really are the chances it would randomly end up on the 2nd shot, time and time again. Something isn't adding up here.
     

    diggler1833

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    I fought a flier issue recently with an FN SPR, which I posted about in the bolt action rifles thread. You will always have people question your capabilities...that is because without knowing or watching you, the operator is the absolute most likely culprit for unexplained shot deviations.

    The big differences here are that it is always the same shot for you, and that your 'flier' is pushed out is only by a half inch or so. My problem occurred randomly in the group, and was out by 1.5 - 3 inches.

    In your case I'm wondering if you're building your position more than once for your group...meaning that you're coming off the rifle between shots to record data/load another round, check brass for pressure signs etc...

    People are naturally going to question your interface with the rifle...especially if you're pulling the exact same shot sequence out of the group. Unless you have a detailed mental checklist and reference points, you are going to get behind the rifle differently everytime you break position. Regardless of how awesome your rifle is, it doesn't take much to move POI 1/4 - 1/2". That is easily done just by having your rifle in a different position on your front rest or loading the bipod differently.

    If your reloading process hasn't changed, then I'm assuming that you probably performed some sort of step to ensure your case mouths were uniform on your virgin brass? Is that process/tool different from your second time firing the same brass (hopefully not)? Benchrest shooters will almost always fire form, which eliminates potential inconsistencies in headspace etc...so I don't think your problem falls onto once fired brass vs virgin brass.

    If all screws are tight, I'd possibly suspect the action bedding...but that would result in random fliers or double groups, not #2 each time. Same if it were a barrel or scope issue...not #2 each time.

    Was your chronograph reading different on those fliers?

    Find the one part where you are doing something inconsistently, and I bet you fix your problems with shot #2.

    Best of luck.
     
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    Doom

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    Obviously the rifle is capable of small groups and consistent groups so I would not think that it is anything related to the barrel/action/bedding or scope mounting. It’s also obvious that the shooter is capable of small groups, consistently. It would be helpful to know if there is any consistency in where the second shot goes.

    To me, I would be looking at the rifle’s interface with the shooter and “the world”. As others have said it could be in setup but I doubt it’s anything obvious. I would be looking for something that happens because of the first shot that gets corrected after seeing the errant shot. The most obvious thing I can think of if shooting off rests or bags is the front or rear swivel hanging on the rest. If shooting off a bipod it could be not loading it consistently on that second shot.

    Another thing that comes to mind is inconsistent trigger pull weight or pull. That could be the result of trash in the trigger.

    I would also take the action out of the chassis or stock and make sure there isn’t anything loose that could be binding the barrel.

    As for reloading, I doubt its you or your process.

    One thing you might try is dry firing a few times before you fire for real to simply get the feel ingrained in your muscles and mind.
     

    spife7980

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    Feb 10, 2017
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    Shoot individual dots, one shot per dot
    See if it follows the shot sequence still or if it’s you

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