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Which Ammo/First Range Day Plan?

rbs7500

Private
Minuteman
Feb 15, 2021
80
21
Australia
Hey all,

My first rifle is going to arrive in a few days time. It's a Tikka Super Varmint in 6.5 Creedmoor with an Athlon Argos 6-24 scope.

What's going to be the most accurate factory ammo for it? Is there a universal can't go wrong accurate round, or does it vary from rifle to rifle? I'm hoping to save some money and not have to buy a bunch of different brands.

My next question is about breaking the rifle in and zeroing. From everything I've researched, this is the plan I've come up with:

-Clean rifle after pick up
-Boresight at 50m, lining bore and scope up with point of aim.
-Shoot at point of aim using large target
-Hold point of aim and adjust scope to point of impact, keeping rifle still
-Shoot again at point of aim, hopefully be close
-Clean rifle
-Repeat process at 100 and fine tune until satisfactory zero, cleaning rifle every 2 shots
-Reset turret caps to zero at this point
-Clean rifle
-Fire 3 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Fire 5 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Fire 5 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Shoot at leisure

Is this a fairly solid plan? Is there anything I should add or subtract?

Thanks!
 

Newbie2020

Mmmyeah...whatever
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No. Cleaning every two shots is a complete waste of time. That method is a hold over from pre-world war two steel manufacturing and bullet manufacturing practices and technology.

As per @lowlight and possibility even @Frank Green:

Clean rifle bore and bolt and receiver thoroughly on arrival. Grease bolt lugs lightly.

Shoot rifle. Clean every 100-200 rds.
 
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Newbie2020

Mmmyeah...whatever
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Hornady ELDMs, Hornady Black 140s, and Berger 140 gr Hybrid target all shoot half moa in my creedmoor.
 

rbs7500

Private
Minuteman
Feb 15, 2021
80
21
Australia
Hornady ELDMs, Hornady Black 140s, and Berger 140 gr Hybrid target all shoot half moa in my creedmoor.
Awesome, I'll give the ELDMs and Bergers a go first up, cheers.

Also, I know this will vary from person to person but how many rounds a should I take to a range day / How many rounds should I fire per 20 min shoot to keep the barrel healthy?
 

reubenski

First Sergeant
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Jun 8, 2008
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No. Cleaning every two shots is a complete waste of time. That method is a hold over from pre-world war two steel manufacturing and bullet manufacturing practices and technology.

As per @lowlight and possibility even @Frank Green:

Clean rifle bore and bolt and receiver thoroughly on arrival. Grease bolt lugs lightly.

Shoot rifle. Clean every 100-200
What else did you see someone say on the internet...Newbie 2020
 
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Slab74

Bullets, BBQ, and Bourbon Connoisseur
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Dec 23, 2019
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Awesome, I'll give the ELDMs and Bergers a go first up, cheers.

Also, I know this will vary from person to person but how many rounds a should I take to a range day / How many rounds should I fire per 20 min shoot to keep the barrel healthy?
If you can’t touch it, it’s too hot.
 

KnowNothing256

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Jan 9, 2020
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The only edit other than the barrel break-in stuff I'd suggest is that if you have a FFP scope, measure your boresight shot offset with the scope then adjust the 50m zero, rather than trying to do it while holding the rifle still. Harder than it sounds, while you're touching it and turning turrets.
 

rbs7500

Private
Minuteman
Feb 15, 2021
80
21
Australia
The only edit other than the barrel break-in stuff I'd suggest is that if you have a FFP scope, measure your boresight shot offset with the scope then adjust the 50m zero, rather than trying to do it while holding the rifle still. Harder than it sounds, while you're touching it and turning turrets.
Hmmm what if I had someone hold the rifle steady while I adjusted the turrerts? It just seems like the most efficient way to zero with minimal wasted ammo.
 

rtB

Gunny Sergeant
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Apr 29, 2019
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I would (do) just set up a target at 100 yards, pull the bolt and bore sight the target. Adjust scope as best you can before firing a single round. Should be on paper first shot, then fine tune using the reticle. Should be able to get a decent zero in 5 shots or less.

As far as ammo the Hornady match stuff would be a good start. The Hornady black ammo is cheaper, but never shot as good as the match stuff in my rifles. But just starting out try some different ammo and see what it likes.
 

KnowNothing256

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Jan 9, 2020
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Hmmm what if I had someone hold the rifle steady while I adjusted the turrerts? It just seems like the most efficient way to zero with minimal wasted ammo.
Nah, that’s even worse. If you don’t have a FFP scope, then use a bipod and a heavy rear bag. Adjust the rear bag position after your shot until the crosshairs are lined up on your original POA. Fiddle with it until it’s at rest exactly on your POA, with no contact from you on the bag or rifle (this includes your cheek while looking through the scope). Then GENTLY operate the turrets. You’ll operate them opposite of their markings; dial down to move the crosshair up, dial left to move them right.

ETA: Or you could measure on the target and do the math. If you do this, I advise using a gridded target that’s level with the scope, not just a dot on a big sheet of butcher paper. Trust me, I’ve wasted way too much ammo boresighting. One more tip: if you aren’t on paper at 50m with your very first shot, reel it in to 25m. Just ain’t worth trying to figure that out blind at $2-3 per shot.
 
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rbs7500

Private
Minuteman
Feb 15, 2021
80
21
Australia
I would (do) just set up a target at 100 yards, pull the bolt and bore sight the target. Adjust scope as best you can before firing a single round. Should be on paper first shot, then fine tune using the reticle. Should be able to get a decent zero in 5 shots or less.

As far as ammo the Hornady match stuff would be a good start. The Hornady black ammo is cheaper, but never shot as good as the match stuff in my rifles. But just starting out try some different ammo and see what it likes.
Oh yeah, I wasn't sure I'd be able to bore sight and see the target at 100. Def sounds like the easier option.

Sweet, I'll try the Hornady 140g Match first up I think.
Nah, that’s even worse. If you don’t have a FFP scope, then use a bipod and a heavy rear bag. Adjust the rear bag position after your shot until the crosshairs are lined up on your original POA. Fiddle with it until it’s at rest exactly on your POA, with no contact from you on the bag or rifle (this includes your cheek while looking through the scope). Then GENTLY operate the turrets. You’ll operate them opposite of their markings; dial down to move the crosshair up, dial left to move them right.
The Scope I ordered is FFP, it's an Athlon Argos BTR 6-24.

That's a good idea, so let the bipod and bag hold the rifle and move the turrets without letting the rifle move? That makes sense.

Cheers💪
 

KnowNothing256

Gunny Sergeant
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Jan 9, 2020
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Oh, you have a FFP scope. Then yeah dude, just measure in the crosshairs. Way easier than trying to hold the gun still, and you’re gonna need to learn how to measure using the scope anyhow. If you do it by measuring in the crosshairs, then dial to move the bullet. Example: if you eyeball your POI 0.7 mil high and 0.3 mil to the right, dial 0.7 down and 0.3 left.

If you do it your way, dial the opposite. Moving the POA to the POI is the reverse of what the turrets are normally designed to do, so the dialing is reversed.
 
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rbs7500

Private
Minuteman
Feb 15, 2021
80
21
Australia
Oh, you have a FFP scope. Then yeah dude, just measure in the crosshairs. Way easier than trying to hold the gun still, and you’re gonna need to learn how to measure using the scope anyhow. If you do it by measuring in the crosshairs, then dial to move the bullet. Example: if you eyeball your POI 0.7 mil high and 0.3 mil to the right, dial 0.7 down and 0.3 left.

If you do it your way, dial the opposite. Moving the POA to the POI is the reverse of what the turrets are normally designed to do, so the dialing is reversed.
Oh I see, that makes sense, because dialing to the point of impact from the point of aim is actually reverse to lining it up through measurement.

However, if I reset the turret caps to match zero afterwards, will the scope end up working as normal afterwards?
 
Last edited:

Frank Green

Sergeant
Full Member
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Oct 27, 2006
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wisconsin
www.bartleinbarrels.com
Hey all,

My first rifle is going to arrive in a few days time. It's a Tikka Super Varmint in 6.5 Creedmoor with an Athlon Argos 6-24 scope.

What's going to be the most accurate factory ammo for it? Is there a universal can't go wrong accurate round, or does it vary from rifle to rifle? I'm hoping to save some money and not have to buy a bunch of different brands.

My next question is about breaking the rifle in and zeroing. From everything I've researched, this is the plan I've come up with:

-Clean rifle after pick up
-Boresight at 50m, lining bore and scope up with point of aim.
-Shoot at point of aim using large target
-Hold point of aim and adjust scope to point of impact, keeping rifle still
-Shoot again at point of aim, hopefully be close
-Clean rifle
-Repeat process at 100 and fine tune until satisfactory zero, cleaning rifle every 2 shots
-Reset turret caps to zero at this point
-Clean rifle
-Fire 3 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Fire 5 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Fire 5 shot group
-Clean rifle
-Shoot at leisure

Is this a fairly solid plan? Is there anything I should add or subtract?

Thanks!
Your over doing it.

Later, Frank
Bartlein Barrels
 

Frank Green

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Oct 27, 2006
1,473
2,026
wisconsin
www.bartleinbarrels.com
No. Cleaning every two shots is a complete waste of time. That method is a hold over from pre-world war two steel manufacturing and bullet manufacturing practices and technology.

As per @lowlight and possibility even @Frank Green:

Clean rifle bore and bolt and receiver thoroughly on arrival. Grease bolt lugs lightly.

Shoot rifle. Clean every 100-200 rds.
I don't do a set break in anymore really per say.

The only thing your breaking in on a good barrel is the throat area of the chamber. The nicer the reamer left the throat the faster it is going to polish and break in per say.

I'll shoot 2 rounds thru it and clean it. Look to see what it's telling ya. If it's cleaning fast and easy with little fouling coming out of it...I'll sit down and shoot 20-30 rounds thru it. I'll clean it again...and again look to see how the barrel is cleaning. If your getting some fouling out of it that you think is more than normal....look back at the targets you just shot. If it held accuracy don't get too hung up on it. Shoot the gun.

I'll run my guns up to a 100 or so rounds between cleanings/shooting strings. If I shot it today and put 65 rounds on it and have to shoot another day of matches/relays the next day and have to put another 60-80 rounds thru the gun...I'll clean it that night. I won't go back to the match with a dirty barrel. You guys shooting a 100-120 rounds a day in PRS....and you have to shoot the next day...clean your gun.

Sometimes a guy thinks the barrel is fouling bad when it's new and is quick to blame the barrel but unless you know what the throat looks like...the fouling could be caused by how rough the throat is.

Also bullets vary from lot to lot or brand to brand and can foul differently.

Also what is the barrel chambered in? 308win vs a 300 Norma or a 6BR vs a 6mm speed demon. Velocity and how hard your pushing the bullet can create more fouling as well.

Pay attention to the gun. It will tell you what is going on...just learn how to read it.

Also don't put your gun away dirty for any extended period of time. Yes the barrel might be stainless steel but it is not surgical steel. It will corrode/pit from the fouling in the bore (copper and powder) and will react with the moisture in the air etc...and I will guarantee that it will corrode/pit. For some it happens faster than others....but it will happen.

See picture attached....Brady here put 22 rounds on his AR a few months ago and put it away dirty. This is what happened....and it's in random spots thru out the length of the barrel.

Later, Frank
Bartlein Barrels
 

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Frank Green

Sergeant
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Oct 27, 2006
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wisconsin
www.bartleinbarrels.com
What's going to be the most accurate factory ammo for it? Is there a universal can't go wrong accurate round, or does it vary from rifle to rifle? I'm hoping to save some money and not have to buy a bunch of different brands.
Factory ammo....well is factory ammo. Your gonna have to shoot it with different types to see what it likes best.

By a lower grade factory ammo and don't be surprised if it doesn't shoot good.

Even higher grade factory ammo will vary.

Most box match ammo will be around .75moa assuming the rifle can do it. Yes you can find a brand a different lot from the same maker that can shoot much better than that but again...is the gun/scope combo capable of it and not to mention the shooters ability to pull the trigger and read the wind up to the task as well.
 
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The D

Resident capitalist/agorist/voluntaryist
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    Is this your first rifle…? Or your first bolt action rifle? If this is your first bolt gun but you’ve shot gas guns before then definitely try to find good factory ammo. If this your first rifle at all, just get any ammo you can find. You will be the weakest link in the process for a while
     

    rbs7500

    Private
    Minuteman
    Feb 15, 2021
    80
    21
    Australia
    Is this your first rifle…? Or your first bolt action rifle? If this is your first bolt gun but you’ve shot gas guns before then definitely try to find good factory ammo. If this your first rifle at all, just get any ammo you can find. You will be the weakest link in the process for a while
    It's my first rifle. I've been shooting under licensed friends before though so it's not my first time shooting. I've managed to put together some .75moa groups fairly consistently with a .308 before - nothing special but hopefully that answers your question.
     
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    The D

    Resident capitalist/agorist/voluntaryist
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    Minuteman
  • Apr 11, 2020
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    It's my first rifle. I've been shooting under licensed friends before though so it's not my first time shooting. I've managed to put together some .75moa groups fairly consistently with a .308 before - nothing special but hopefully that answers your question.
    Carry on then, and happy shoosting 😁