Cooper Rifles What Makes Them So Accurate

shrapnel

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They don’t use a mass produced hammer forged barrel, and they do everything else right. Sako can make a better hammer forged barrel than just about anyone, but a Cooper or a 40X might have a slight accuracy edge over a factory Sako that doesn’t say “Benchrest” on it.

I’ve got a ton of Sakos and few will shoot this good. I asked the receptionist at a Cooper where they got their barrels and she said Wilson, as was mentioned earlier. It is interesting to see this consistency and quality hang in there across the full spectrum rifles and calibers.

I will be looking for more in the future...
 

ImBillT

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I’ve got a ton of Sakos and few will shoot this good. I asked the receptionist at a Cooper where they got their barrels and she said Wilson, as was mentioned earlier. It is interesting to see this consistency and quality hang in there across the full spectrum rifles and calibers.

I will be looking for more in the future...
And that’s why they shoot.

Wilson barrels are button rifled and hand lapped. Button rifled, and cut rifled barrels usually shoot better than hammer forged barrels. Hand lapping should help nearly any barrel. I don’t know if Sako laps their barrels or not, but they are hands down the best hammer forged barrel out there. Pretty much all large manufacturers use hammer forged barrels because it’s the cheapest way to rifle a barrel if you’re going to make enough of them to cover equipment cost.

The reason a 40X will shoot so well is primarily that everything that used to come out of Remington’s custom shop had a button or cut rifled barrel. IIRC they had one of the Pratt and Whitney single tooth rifling machines(Krieger had 3 or 4, and that’s nearly all of them that were ever made) and bought some custom barrels as well.
 

Don Fischer

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I suspect it's a lot more than the barrels. Bedding is really important. I have been able to take a good number of factory rifles and improve them a lot with little more than bedding. Without doubt a good barrel is going to improve things normally but a good barrel on a poorly bedded rifle still isn't going to shoot all that well. Then to, a well bedded rifle with a fine barrel isn't going to shoot all that well in the hands of a poor shooter either! I have never handled a Cooper rifle but don't doubt they make a nice rifle. Cost is a problem with me though. I have never been a larger wage earner so cost come's into everything with me. I have a 700 BDL in 6.5x06 that will shoot little groups all day long. Shilen match grade barrel and when I got it back I completely redid the bedding on the factory stock! 700 ADL I have in 243 is light's out. Came as one of those inexpensive Walmart specials with that plastic stock. Didn't shoot worth a dam. Had a terrible time getting it out of the stock, bedding really really tight everywhere. Got the stock fixed up and it will shoot 1/2": all day long. That with a Remington factory barrel I doubt they put a lot of though into. I also suspect the actions are not cleaned up and trued on most factory rifle's but would guess Cooper does clean theirs up a bitt! Probably one of several little thing they do to inhance accuracy!

I recall years ago reading about a gun maker that test shot their rifle's before sending them out and sent a target with the rifle. Target's were impressive but lot of the rifle's weren't. Reason as I found out was that test shooting was done with the barreled action in a vice, before the stock was added! Leads me to think the one's that weren't all that good needed only good bedding to improve them. Sound sort of like Cooper may have figured that out! I believe that even in good after market plastic stocks that bedding can be improved some what. Reason being the manufacturer does not have an individual rifle to bed the stock with so I'm assuming here that each stock is made to accept any rifle of the make it was designed for. There comes a problem of some degree. I doubt every rifle mass produced has exactly the same tolerances in them and even though the difference may only be in thousands in a few different spots, only bedding in some soft bedding compound can make the barrel action and stock fit perfectly. Again just a thought, Cooper shoot's them after they are put together to test them and probably those not cutting the mustard then are gone over again till they do cut the mustard. Tolerances! Think about hand loads for one of your rifles. You partical size the case and then find that case's that fit in your rifle won't fit in another. My 243's are that way. Both get partial sizing. Ammo from one will fit in both but ammo from the other won't. it's the tolerances in the chamber from min to max spec that cause that and both are safe in the rifle they are made for. I suspect something similar goes on at Cooper to insure their rifle's shoot well and that is where a lot of the added cost come's in.

I've had several Sakos years ago and was able to improve accuracy on every one with bedding. No secrete to me bedding properly is important to get the most from a rifle. You get a factory rifle that is a really good shooter and your estatic but, take it to a bench rest competition and you'll likely get your clock cleaned. Benchrest sshooter's strive to remove thousands of an inch from a group, we look to simply get down as best we can with some goal in mind like maybe 1/2"! 1/2" to a bench rester is a pattern, not a group!

Got to give Cooper credit if that is what they are doing. But at the same time I can't afford one! If you can, good for you. This is one place I think you get what you pay for. I love Remington's but bottom line is they slap rifle's together and sell in number's to make it pay. Cooper pretty much the same but rely on selling a lesser number of rifle's to make it pay, pay more attention to details.
 

ImBillT

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I suspect it's a lot more than the barrels. Bedding is really important. I have been able to take a good number of factory rifles and improve them a lot with little more than bedding. Without doubt a good barrel is going to improve things normally but a good barrel on a poorly bedded rifle still isn't going to shoot all that well. Then to, a well bedded rifle with a fine barrel isn't going to shoot all that well in the hands of a poor shooter either! I have never handled a Cooper rifle but don't doubt they make a nice rifle. Cost is a problem with me though. I have never been a larger wage earner so cost come's into everything with me. I have a 700 BDL in 6.5x06 that will shoot little groups all day long. Shilen match grade barrel and when I got it back I completely redid the bedding on the factory stock! 700 ADL I have in 243 is light's out. Came as one of those inexpensive Walmart specials with that plastic stock. Didn't shoot worth a dam. Had a terrible time getting it out of the stock, bedding really really tight everywhere. Got the stock fixed up and it will shoot 1/2": all day long. That with a Remington factory barrel I doubt they put a lot of though into. I also suspect the actions are not cleaned up and trued on most factory rifle's but would guess Cooper does clean theirs up a bitt! Probably one of several little thing they do to inhance accuracy!

I recall years ago reading about a gun maker that test shot their rifle's before sending them out and sent a target with the rifle. Target's were impressive but lot of the rifle's weren't. Reason as I found out was that test shooting was done with the barreled action in a vice, before the stock was added! Leads me to think the one's that weren't all that good needed only good bedding to improve them. Sound sort of like Cooper may have figured that out! I believe that even in good after market plastic stocks that bedding can be improved some what. Reason being the manufacturer does not have an individual rifle to bed the stock with so I'm assuming here that each stock is made to accept any rifle of the make it was designed for. There comes a problem of some degree. I doubt every rifle mass produced has exactly the same tolerances in them and even though the difference may only be in thousands in a few different spots, only bedding in some soft bedding compound can make the barrel action and stock fit perfectly. Again just a thought, Cooper shoot's them after they are put together to test them and probably those not cutting the mustard then are gone over again till they do cut the mustard. Tolerances! Think about hand loads for one of your rifles. You partical size the case and then find that case's that fit in your rifle won't fit in another. My 243's are that way. Both get partial sizing. Ammo from one will fit in both but ammo from the other won't. it's the tolerances in the chamber from min to max spec that cause that and both are safe in the rifle they are made for. I suspect something similar goes on at Cooper to insure their rifle's shoot well and that is where a lot of the added cost come's in.

I've had several Sakos years ago and was able to improve accuracy on every one with bedding. No secrete to me bedding properly is important to get the most from a rifle. You get a factory rifle that is a really good shooter and your estatic but, take it to a bench rest competition and you'll likely get your clock cleaned. Benchrest sshooter's strive to remove thousands of an inch from a group, we look to simply get down as best we can with some goal in mind like maybe 1/2"! 1/2" to a bench rester is a pattern, not a group!

Got to give Cooper credit if that is what they are doing. But at the same time I can't afford one! If you can, good for you. This is one place I think you get what you pay for. I love Remington's but bottom line is they slap rifle's together and sell in number's to make it pay. Cooper pretty much the same but rely on selling a lesser number of rifle's to make it pay, pay more attention to details.
But you’ve never made a bad barrel shoot like a good barrel and unless you hand lap them yourself you’ve never made a barrel that fouls out quickly stop fouling out quickly. You can do everything right, and screw a crappy barrel on, and it won’t shoot.

If you think Sako does anything on their stocks and actions in a way that is inferior to Cooper, you’re wrong. The only reason a Cooper might be able to outshoot a Sako is the barrel, and I’d wager that on average a Sako Benchrest would beat the average Cooper...in the hands of a benchrest shooter.

I have Remingtons that shoot as good as anything on the planet and the only thing done to them is bedding them in good stocks and putting a good barrel on. Even SOME factory barrels will shoot lights out if you rechamber them.

The heart of a 40X is an action with tight tolerances. Then they bed it properly in a good stock, and you know what? They won’t put one of their hammer forged barrels on it. They have to put a good barrel on it or the rest was a waste.
 
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Redman

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Good friend of mine bought one from Scheels in .338 Win mag for a Brown Bear hunt. He was sighting it in and noticed that it would drop the spent round back in the chamber creating a problem for a follow up shot on something the size of a VW that has a very bad temper. Cooper sId send it back and we will take care of it ASAP. Two weeks later he got it back...same issue...strike 2. Sent it back and they said they had 3 of their gunsmiths look at it and cycled it 300 times 0 issues. Got it back and it worked for about 20 rounds and strike 3. Cooper said they have done all they can do and to see if Scheels would take it back. Scheels said we will be more than happy to take it back. Needless to say my friend ended up using his brother in laws .338 in a Remington 700 and sent a picture of his B&C Brown Bear to Cooper and a nice view of the Remington to prove his point. My friend was very disappointed in Cooper and I don't blame him. If a gun is that accurate but not reliable the looks and accuracy doesn't mean much. Not a distain for the company we all have heard stories from every gun manufacturer but at that price point you would think Cooper would have gone above and beyond to make it right....like Scheels did.
 

Don Fischer

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But you’ve never made a bad barrel shoot like a good barrel and unless you hand lap them yourself you’ve never made a barrel that fouls out quickly stop fouling out quickly. You can do everything right, and screw a crappy barrel on, and it won’t shoot.

If you think Sako does anything on their stocks and actions in a way that is inferior to Cooper, you’re wrong. The only reason a Cooper might be able to outshoot a Sako is the barrel, and I’d wager that on average a Sako Benchrest would beat the average Cooper...in the hands of a benchrest shooter.

I have Remingtons that shoot as good as anything on the planet and the only thing done to them is bedding them in good stocks and putting a good barrel on. Even SOME factory barrels will shoot lights out if you rechamber them.

The heart of a 40X is an action with tight tolerances. Then they bed it properly in a good stock, and you know what? They won’t put one of their hammer forged barrels on it. They have to put a good barrel on it or the rest was a waste.
Well close. Don't know that I've ever had a bad barrel but do think I had a bad chamber one time. 223 and smallest group's I could get were right at 3". Nothing I did would get it to shoot. Mod 7 Rem when they first came out. I have a 1903 custom right now with a barrel wasted by use of corrosive primer's. Holds 180gr Hornady spire points right at 1 1/4' and has taken three elk for me with three shots. Manufacturer messed up, any can do that including Cooper. But I can pretty much guarantee you that simply a good barrel is not what makes a rifle shoot well. Good maybe but if your relying on the barrel alone to pull it off you just may be disappointed. Benchrest shooter's do not buy a rifle off the rack and take it to a meet, they take it to a gunsmith! Very possible that the Cooper you spoke of with a bad barrel did have a bad barrel but Cooper makes their money on accuracy I think and Rather than have that floating around out their I'm pretty sure they would have fixed the problem even if it meant a new barrel! Company's like Cooper that charge the premium prices Cooper charges simply can't afford to turn their back on something like that. I suspect there's more to this story than we heard. A barrel alone will not make a rifle neither will bedding of blueprinting. To create a rifle in that class take more than just throwing good parts together! I have to believe Cooper does quite a bit more than that or they would not have their reputation and would not have a market for rifle's in that price range!
 

Don Fischer

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But you’ve never made a bad barrel shoot like a good barrel and unless you hand lap them yourself you’ve never made a barrel that fouls out quickly stop fouling out quickly. You can do everything right, and screw a crappy barrel on, and it won’t shoot.

If you think Sako does anything on their stocks and actions in a way that is inferior to Cooper, you’re wrong. The only reason a Cooper might be able to outshoot a Sako is the barrel, and I’d wager that on average a Sako Benchrest would beat the average Cooper...in the hands of a benchrest shooter.

I have Remingtons that shoot as good as anything on the planet and the only thing done to them is bedding them in good stocks and putting a good barrel on. Even SOME factory barrels will shoot lights out if you rechamber them.

The heart of a 40X is an action with tight tolerances. Then they bed it properly in a good stock, and you know what? They won’t put one of their hammer forged barrels on it. They have to put a good barrel on it or the rest was a waste.
Bet you never made a poorly bedded rifle shoot like a well bedded rifle either. Bet you take your off the shelf rifle to a good gun smith and have it accurized he'll do more than lap the barrel and send it back. One part does not make a rifle! Wonder what you'd find in a Cooper action if you wanted it blue printed? Now I wouldn't spend the money blue printing a rifle, I'm a hunter and most my rifle are far better than needed for hunting.

Had a guy come out where I was shooting years ago and pulled out a 40X and was bragging all over it. Claimed he could shoot one shot and put the second shot into the same hole. Needless to say he did not! In fact he didn't even come close. Was it the rifle of the shooter. Ah maybe it was the barrel!
 

ImBillT

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Well close. Don't know that I've ever had a bad barrel but do think I had a bad chamber one time. 223 and smallest group's I could get were right at 3". Nothing I did would get it to shoot. Mod 7 Rem when they first came out. I have a 1903 custom right now with a barrel wasted by use of corrosive primer's. Holds 180gr Hornady spire points right at 1 1/4' and has taken three elk for me with three shots. Manufacturer messed up, any can do that including Cooper. But I can pretty much guarantee you that simply a good barrel is not what makes a rifle shoot well. Good maybe but if your relying on the barrel alone to pull it off you just may be disappointed. Benchrest shooter's do not buy a rifle off the rack and take it to a meet, they take it to a gunsmith! Very possible that the Cooper you spoke of with a bad barrel did have a bad barrel but Cooper makes their money on accuracy I think and Rather than have that floating around out their I'm pretty sure they would have fixed the problem even if it meant a new barrel! Company's like Cooper that charge the premium prices Cooper charges simply can't afford to turn their back on something like that. I suspect there's more to this story than we heard. A barrel alone will not make a rifle neither will bedding of blueprinting. To create a rifle in that class take more than just throwing good parts together! I have to believe Cooper does quite a bit more than that or they would not have their reputation and would not have a market for rifle's in that price range!
Bet you never made a poorly bedded rifle shoot like a well bedded rifle either. Bet you take your off the shelf rifle to a good gun smith and have it accurized he'll do more than lap the barrel and send it back. One part does not make a rifle! Wonder what you'd find in a Cooper action if you wanted it blue printed? Now I wouldn't spend the money blue printing a rifle, I'm a hunter and most my rifle are far better than needed for hunting.

Had a guy come out where I was shooting years ago and pulled out a 40X and was bragging all over it. Claimed he could shoot one shot and put the second shot into the same hole. Needless to say he did not! In fact he didn't even come close. Was it the rifle of the shooter. Ah maybe it was the barrel!
The first sentence by the OP mentions Sako. If you think your average Sako would benefit from being blue printed, or leaves the factory today with bedding problems, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Furthermore, most manufacturers are doing most of their machine work with CNC machines now. Everyone’s tolerances are pretty good. Most stocks are either CNC inletted, or are molded in very good molds now. The majority of the bedding from every manufacturer today is pretty good. The difference is that the small manufacturers like Cooper are not using hammer forged barrels, primarily because they can’t afford the equipment.

I find it difficult to endure that I posted a group that would be a new world record if it had been five shots in a sanctioned match, and you had such a lack of understanding that you asked if perhaps the rifle would shoot just as well with cheap brass and cheap bullets if only I tried enough different combinations of bullet and powder, YET you pretend to know what makes a gun shoot and what does not. As a side note, that rifle was built on Remington 700 action that has had zero work done to it.

You’re right that the barrel isn’t the only thing that Cooper does properly, BUT most manufacturers are doing most things right these days and the primary thing separating one from another when it comes to out of the box accuracy is the barrel.

You’ve had more than one bad chamber in your life, even if only one of them was bad enough for you to realize it. It’s possible to forge in a short chamber, then finish it with a reamer, and that’s often done with a pilotless reamer to avoid trashing the throat if the forged in chamber was out of line with the bore(they usually are). By going very very short, snd using a pilot, the reamer will correct the poor alignment to a large degree, but the closer to finished they forge it the more the manufacturer has to choose between a rough throat or letting a pilotless reamer follow the existing chamber whether it’s in line or not. The majority of factory barrels will be improved by rechambering them.

While it’s never a bad idea to epoxy bed an action, especially in a wooden stock, doubly especially in one that was not CNC inlet, THATS NOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAKO AND COOPER.

Stop babbling on about benchrest. When is the last time you shot a benchrest match? It was probably 2006 for me and I won it...also with a Remington 700 action that had zero work done to it.
 

Don Fischer

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Let's see, the average Sako is around the Cooper price range isn't it. I suspect extra precautions are taken. Sako has a reputation also! The last match shooting I did was about 1967. Did it in the service to kill time! I'm guessing you think the high price tag of some rifles is there just because the manufacturer can get it? I think in this thread the idea was that it's the barrels that make a Cooper accurate. Might help but the barrel alone isn't gonna do it on a Cooper of any other rifle! And it's gonna be all the little things that raise the price! That would also include the stock work, wood or plastic. I suppose you also believe that if Cooper quit using the barrels they do, the rifle would go to hell? Your an idiot if you think that! Mossberg and Savage could probably get more for their rifle's if they put more into them, they would have to to cover cost's!
 

ImBillT

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Let's see, the average Sako is around the Cooper price range isn't it. I suspect extra precautions are taken. Sako has a reputation also! The last match shooting I did was about 1967. Did it in the service to kill time! I'm guessing you think the high price tag of some rifles is there just because the manufacturer can get it? I think in this thread the idea was that it's the barrels that make a Cooper accurate. Might help but the barrel alone isn't gonna do it on a Cooper of any other rifle! And it's gonna be all the little things that raise the price! That would also include the stock work, wood or plastic. I suppose you also believe that if Cooper quit using the barrels they do, the rifle would go to hell? Your an idiot if you think that! Mossberg and Savage could probably get more for their rifle's if they put more into them, they would have to to cover cost's!
Cooper rifle accuracy would go to crap if they started putting factory Remington barrels on them and neither rejected any of them, nor did anything to correct their problems. I’ve had excellent Remington barrels, and terrible Remington barrels, and although I’m sure some exist, I’ve never had one that didn’t need to be rechambered to get the most out of it. Sako/Tikka hands down makes the best hammer forged barrels out there. They likely repair/replace their mandrels more frequently than other manufacturers, they almost certainly reject barrels that other manufacturers would accept. They may hand lap them, because they certainly tend to have excellent surface finish. CZ is very close.

What makes you think that you could pull a Sako off the shelf that was made in the last decade and it would benefit from being blueprinted? Most RR prefix Remington’s don’t even benefit from being blueprinted. What makes you think a Sako from the last decade would need its bedding fixed? What makes you think a crappy barrel will shoot well?(probably your low accuracy standards) What makes you think that a recent Sako, or B&C, or HS, or McMillan or Manners stock needs any work that Sako wouldn’t do? They don’t. Your Sakos were probably manufactured back when hand inletting was the only option. Today’s CNC inletting and molded inletting rarely need much if anything.

Price? You think that Sako and Cooper price tags means something about the other? The tax situation in Europe and Montana are very different. European labor is more expensive than MT labor. The markets are drastically different as well. To European hunters, price is no object. European firearms companies rarely consider the US to be as important a market as European countries.

Things have changed since 1967. Manufacturing processes, technology, tolerances, materials, components, and accuracy standards. All have changed, and pretty much across the board. I also suspect that it was no benchrest match that you shot that year.
 

Don Fischer

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Think I'll go buy a Wilson barrel for a Mossberg Patriot and replace the Mossberg barrel then I'll have a 1/2" Mossberg! Wait, I already have a 1/2" Mossberg!
 

longbow51

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It's certainly true that we live in the golden age of reasonably priced pretty good rifles. And, regardless of the "guarantee" of MOA, by the time you buy premium ammo or components and find a load, maybe you will achieve that. And maybe you won't. Then you sell it and try again, or send it back, etc.

Tikka does seem to stand out, as you rarely hear of a bad one.

But, you can buy a Cooper, the test target comes with it, as does the load data. They used to test them with the Sierra MatchKing and some of us urged them to switch to a hunting bullet and many of them now are tested with the TTSX. So, you're basically good to go out of the box.
 

shrapnel

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All debating aside, I have gotten 4 new ones in the past month and will continue to look for more. The pile is small but growing...

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