Disappointed in myself

Mister Ridge

Aug 15, 2011
Took the day off to go to the range and actually shoot this old Winchester I've had for months now. To be honest, I was kind of hoping for better results. I think the rifle is capable of better but I was lacking. I guess for what I was doing (shooting a rifle with a mystery twist Douglas barrel and ancient match ammunition), I did okay. It cleaned the rust out of the barrel though. I was shooting M852 match and a box of Hirtenberg (spelling?) 190gr match ammo. It seemed to like the 190s better, but they were kicking my ass and flattening primers (bolt was sticky too). By the last group, I was ready to be done shooting. Also managed to crush my trigger finger trying to shut the floorplate. Big groups at 200 and "little" groups at 100. The 3 rounder was at 200 but 2 missed the paper apparently. I don't think I really have the skill to shoot off sloppy sandbags without a rear rest. I haven't shot anything in at least a year. I can't wait for my .22 to get here.


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Non Sibi Sed Patriae
Oct 23, 2017
Southern Kommiefornia
Maybe try a box of federal FGMM 168 and 175. If I remember correctly, the M852 ammo is/was the first generation of 168g 7.62 NATO match ammo. Your barrel should be a 1:10 twist.... I think. My last 308 was a 1:10 and shot 175 MatchKings magnificently.


Without a rear bag, I can't shoot near as good either, so don't sweat it. You were working with a lot of unknowns to include potential pitting in the barrel secondary to rust. That pitting can have a very adverse effect on the bullets as they travel through the barrel and show those effects downrange with poor group size.
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Apr 21, 2007
in yooperland
You know there is just a lot of figuring out what YOU gotta do. The rifle probably shoots better, and the ammo probably isn't as bad as it sounds.

But!!...you got a start today figuring out how you're gonna tighten things up. I don't know if you reload, but that has ALWAYS helped me with just about any rifle around. FGMM is really good, but it's still a "one size fits all" even for match ammo.

A lot of dry fire practice and watching yourself through the recoil. If you are able to watch the whole thing unfold without losing sight of the point of aim/impact then it might be one of the above. Otherwise, like most of us, you have to correct yourself. It never hurts to have a good shooter go along as a coach. Better yet, a good coach, as some great shooters aren't always that good at explaining what they see you doing.

Don't be disappointed. Think about what you saw and what you can change. Focus on that! 😁


Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
1949 made Pre 64 Model 70 '06, El Paso 4X Weaver scope. Win Brass and primer. 180 Hornady IBs, 55 grns of Win 760, Vel. 2801 fps.

10 rounds, at 100 yards

Old Rifles shoot. Most mechanical things repeat better than their human operators. The chemical reaction in a cartridge and internal ballistics... wildcard.

Don’t get frustrated... get the variables reduced and you will be shooting like Kraig....

You will get this sorted!!!

Cheers, Sirhr

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
Arizona, good place for me...
First off, re-zero that rifle for an offset aiming point.

Hold the horizontal crosshair so it's just touching at the bottom of the entire bull, and hold the vertical crosshair so it passes through the actual x ring above. Then adjust the impact so it's centered on the x ring.

This gives you a more precise and repeatable aiming point, and removes the sight picture from the list of possible marksmanship issues. Also, the offset assures that you won't be shooting away your aiming point. It also provides some reference that may help you hold your rifle more level while aiming.

Avoid head pop-up. This is the tendency to immediately look up and over the scope after the shot. Include a three-count into your follow-through after the shot releases before moving your head off the stock/scope.

May not sound logical, but try it and see.

Finally, fill a sock with lentils, and try it for a rear bag. That's what Carlos Hathcock did, and it worked for him. If you expect rain, put the lentils into a plastic bag, then put the bag into the sock. Lentils will swell if allowed to absorb water, may attract bugs, and may get moldy. Replace a needed; they're cheap, right there in the bean aisle at the supermarket.

Finally, if you're shooting anything bigger than 150/155gr at or within 300yd, you're wasting money and pounding yourself unnecessarily.

Suggestion. Not especially cheap, but not terribly priced, either; and it's likely better ammo than what you've been using, IMHO. Learn to handload at the earliest, 308 is a very easy chambering to start with.

Note, the 155gr 308 match round is designed to shoot at 1000yd out of a specialized (loooong, heavy barreled) match rifle; should be pretty decent out to about 600yd in your rifle (assuming no fundamental flaws in your rifle).

Accordingly, go over your rifle, making sure that things like fasteners (scope/base mounting, stock/receiver bolts/screws, etc. are firmly, but not Gorilla-rigged, tight). Unnecessary fastener play equates to misses.

Little things before you spend the money on the big things...

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Damn Bubblehead
Mar 3, 2009
Harrisburg, PA
Maybe try a box of federal FGMM 168 and 175. If I remember correctly, the M852 ammo is/was the first generation of 168g 7.62 NATO match ammo.
M852 first came out in (I believe) 1982. The Sierra 168gr International, later Matchking, has been around since at least the 70s. M852 was made as a military match ammo for National Match competition which is at 200, 300 and either 500 or 600yds. Many excellent scores have been fired with M852 from NM M1s, M14s and by guns. I have shot cleans with it at 200 and 300 and high 190s at 500 and 600. The 10 ring at 200 or 300 is 7" diameter, so all 10 shots went into just over 2moa in 70 seconds, starting from standing, shooting 2 then reloading with 8.
M852 will shoot just fine.

You have a good start. Focus on the fundamentals:
- sight picture without shadowing the scope
- consistent grip and cheek pressure
- deliberate trigger squeeze
-follow thru - keep squeezing the trigger back after the shot breaks and CALL the shot. Then look at where it impacted.


Apr 8, 2011
Eastern Washington
Don't be surprised if it is short chambered and that stuffing a 190 in the gun shoves the bullet into rifling. If it is old school, it was made when 150's, GI 173gr match and 168s ruled the roost. While it could be 1-10 twist, finding out it's 1-11.25 would not be a total surprise.

I have an older Rem 40X with a 1-11.25 bbl that regularly runs 1/2 moa with 168's. With 190's it is totally uninteresting.