Howa 300 Win issues

Eastcoaster

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Good morning,

I was hoping someone can help me work through an issue. I purchased a Howa semi heavy barreled action this summer and had it professionally bedded in to a BC stock. I broke the barrel in slowly and was able to get 1.25” groups with cheap 180 grain power points. I was thinking things were headed in the right direction. I started working up loads and that’s where things went south. I have tried 3 different bullets (180 accubonds, 200 grain accubonds, and 190 VLDs) and it basically sprays them. I go back to the power points and it shoots them into the same two rounds touching and and one low 1.25” group. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do? This is built for a longer range hunting rifle. Please don’t take this as a knock to Howa, I am really pleased with the quality but I just need to get it to shoot as good as it looks.

Thank you in advance!
 

VikingsGuy

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Is the barrel twist a good match for the bullet weights you are choosing? Where are you seating the bullets vs. the lands? Have you tried other powders? Those would be the first three things I would look at.
 

Eastcoaster

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It is a 1:10 twist so it should stabilize those bullets. I have tried three different seating depts....two different powders H4831 and H1000. The puzzling thing is that the groups are not consistent. The same load with shoot a1.5” group then shoot a 3” group. I thought maybe I had a scope issue but the power points shoot extremely consistent.
 

Western Traveler1

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It is a 1:10 twist so it should stabilize those bullets. I have tried three different seating depts....two different powders H4831 and H1000. The puzzling thing is that the groups are not consistent. The same load with shoot a1.5” group then shoot a 3” group. I thought maybe I had a scope issue but the power points shoot extremely consistent.
What kind of cleaning routine are you maintaining now? My Remington 300win shoots sub 1/2” with 180 Accubonds but hates a dirty barrel. After about 8 rounds I start getting random fliers. Chased the problem like you seem to be doing until a friend pointed me in that direction.
 

VikingsGuy

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What kind of cleaning routine are you maintaining now? My Remington 300win shoots sub 1/2” with 180 Accubonds but hates a dirty barrel. After about 8 rounds I start getting random fliers. Chased the problem like you seem to be doing until a friend pointed me in that direction.
True, and some go the other way, I have a tikka 7mm08 that shots cr*p for 10 rounds after a cleaning and then is sweet for 50 or 60 after that.
 

RockinU

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True, and some go the other way, I have a tikka 7mm08 that shots cr*p for 10 rounds after a cleaning and then is sweet for 50 or 60 after that.
I've had them both ways as well, but most are like this. Have a .300 RUM that hates a dirty or hot barrel though.

But that doesn't make sense with it shooting the power points fine, but none of the others. It may just like that profile...
 

VikingsGuy

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It is a 1:10 twist so it should stabilize those bullets. I have tried three different seating depts....two different powders H4831 and H1000. The puzzling thing is that the groups are not consistent. The same load with shoot a1.5” group then shoot a 3” group. I thought maybe I had a scope issue but the power points shoot extremely consistent.
If you really want to know what you have shoot 7 round groups. I typically just do 3 or 5 from developing hunting rounds, but it is a pretty statistically weak choice. I don't doubt those loads are poor, but it may just be that they shoot 3", but at times you see 3 of the 3" spread that randomly are closer to one another in that small subset.

Seems like solid 180gn 300win powder choices and ok twist. What distance off lands have you been trying?
 

88man

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I have had good luck with IMR 7828 and Imr 4350 with 180grn bullets in 300 win mag. Mine loves 180 grn accubonds.
 

redwoood

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I would try some hornady precision hunter in 200 grain.

I assume it's a sporter barrel? Never had great luck with them in a win mag for shooting groups.

Another factory option would be barnes 180 ttsx...little pricier though.
 

Eastcoaster

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I tried the route too.....it doesn’t seem to change whether clean or dirty. Even tried no fouling shot and a fouling shot. Also tried waiting 30 min between groups. It has been a frustrating
 

Eastcoaster

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If you really want to know what you have shoot 7 round groups. I typically just do 3 or 5 from developing hunting rounds, but it is a pretty statistically weak choice. I don't doubt those loads are poor, but it may just be that they shoot 3", but at times you see 3 of the 3" spread that randomly are closer to one another in that small subset.

Seems like solid 180gn 300win powder choices and ok twist. What distance off lands have you been trying?
I tried factory 3.43, 3.5, and mag length. I can’t measure from the lands but I figured I would see some difference. Even ran a velocity ladder and found a node. It sprayed them too.
 

Addicting

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If your a hand loader you need to have a OAL gauge to find the lands. I fought buying one for a long time and finally gave in. It is a must for my bench now.

Each of those bullets listed like a different amount of jump. Just doing three random lengths won’t help you.

Measure the lands, talk to the bullet manufacturers, get their recommended starting point and go in .010 increments from there. You will see the groups open up and close, same as a velocity node.

If it was a scope or gun issue it would do it with all rounds factory and hand. The factory one you have that shoots good just happens to be the one right for your gun. The hand loads will follow if you do it right.
 

Millsworks

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I don't know how long you have been reloading. But it seems from what I read here that the ammo is the issue.
Maybe better go back and recheck your process. Your powder scale may not be accurate or your powder dispensor method is not metering properly.
Die adjustment may not be allowing proper neck tension.
Brass may need to be annield to soften the neck back to workable hardness level.
Lots of things can cause inconsistent ammo.
Especially in a belted magnum.
I suggest loading just 6 rounds at a time, going over each process with scrooteny and weigh the charges out on two or three different scales. Measure by volume if you only have one scale. That will at least get all charges very close to equal.
 

Eastcoaster

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If your a hand loader you need to have a OAL gauge to find the lands. I fought buying one for a long time and finally gave in. It is a must for my bench now.

Each of those bullets listed like a different amount of jump. Just doing three random lengths won’t help you.

Measure the lands, talk to the bullet manufacturers, get their recommended starting point and go in .010 increments from there. You will see the groups open up and close, same as a velocity node.

If it was a scope or gun issue it would do it with all rounds factory and hand. The factory one you have that shoots good just happens to be the one right for your gun. The hand loads will follow if you do it right.
I agree, I just have never had a rifle shoot this poorly with so many loads. I am not opposed to shoot factory but I would like it to shoot sub Moa. I was hoping someone on here might have had a similar experience with a Howa 300.....that could point me in a direction.
 

Eastcoaster

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I don't know how long you have been reloading. But it seems from what I read here that the ammo is the issue.
Maybe better go back and recheck your process. Your powder scale may not be accurate or your powder dispensor method is not metering properly.
Die adjustment may not be allowing proper neck tension.
Brass may need to be annield to soften the neck back to workable hardness level.
Lots of things can cause inconsistent ammo.
Especially in a belted magnum.
I suggest loading just 6 rounds at a time, going over each process with scrooteny and weigh the charges out on two or three different scales. Measure by volume if you only have one scale. That will at least get all charges very close to equal.
I was doubting myself with this as well but I worked up a load for a new rem 700 and it shot lights out and super consistent. Also, reloaded for an existing rifle and it to shot the same as previous loads.
 

Millsworks

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Your overall length isn't likely the problem. You will never likely get the bullet close enough to the lands in a Howa, as they have long throats like Weatherby.
Load them at magazine length for function. Work up the powder charge till pressure begins to be obviously showing sighns like a hard bolt opening. Then back off some. Then you can seat the bullets 3-4 thousands dealer at a time to dial in the groups, adjusting as needed. But mag length will probably be the way to go in a long throat rifle.
If your brass has been reloaded more than 3-5 times the necks are in need of softening to get even and proper neck tention.
 

Eastcoaster

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Your overall length isn't likely the problem. You will never likely get the bullet close enough to the lands in a Howa, as they have long throats like Weatherby.
Load them at magazine length for function. Work up the powder charge till pressure begins to be obviously showing sighns like a hard bolt opening. Then back off some. Then you can seat the bullets 3-4 thousands dealer at a time to dial in the groups, adjusting as needed. But mag length will probably be the way to go in a long throat rifle.
If your brass has been reloaded more than 3-5 times the necks are in need of softening to get even and proper neck tention.
I actually started with new brass then went back and checked all the loads again with once fired brass....I don’t mean to keep shooting down your suggestions, I do appreciate you trying to address my problems. When I tell you this thing is frustrating....I have been trouble shooting one issue at a time for 3 weeks.
 

Millsworks

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That's all you can do is look at it one item at a time.
You'll get it if you keep looking.
I don't use any of the powders you listed but I'm sure any of them can and will produce a good load with the right charge.
Good luck.
 
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