We get calls looking for accuracy advice quite often.  It's hard to remember all of the possible causes and solutions. So, we started this blog article and will add to it whenever we discover or remember something pertinent.  We hope this list will help you become a better, more accurate shooter.

1. New Barrel Fouling -
If you recently installed a new barrel, this could be your solution.  Brand new barrels can have micro-burrs in the rifling that will cause a lot more fouling than what will occur after the barrel has been broken-in.  The BEST product for removing this early fouling (and also breaking in your barrel) is J-B Bore Paste.  If you haven't cleaned the barrel with J-B Bore Paste, do that.  It doesn't matter if you've cleaned the barrel wtih something else, nothing works like this.  That's why we include J-P Bore Paste with all of our EABCO Accuracy Barrels.

1a. Freshly Cleaned Barrel - Residual solvents and lubricants will cause inconsistency in your rifle bore which will cause inconsistent accuracy. You may have heard the term "fouling shot". In modern centerfire rifles, its not so much to foul the barrel as it is done to just burn off residual solvents and lubes and settle it down to a consistent condition. For example, its a good idea when you are sighting in your rifle for a hunting trip to leave the bore exactly as it was after your last sight-in shot. Don't clean it. Leave the bore in the same condition as it was for your last shot... That way, the next shot should be sighted in and just as accurate as the last sight-in shot. Certainly you should clean and lube your barrel before putting it away for the season. But if you are testing ammunition for accuracy, don't do it on a freshly cleaned/oiled barrel.

2. Ammunition -
If you are using hand loads, STOP.
Test your barrel with factory loaded ammunition...preferably 3-4 different brands.  And, clean the bore with J-B Bore Paste before and after testing each brand.  Hand loads may have any number of issues that make them incompatible with your barrel:
  • Headspace could be too tight or too loose
  • Loads could be too light or too hot
  • Bullet Seating Depth could be too tight, too loose... etc.
Factory loaded ammo complies with industry standards from SAAMI.  Factory loaded ammo can often group 1.5" or better.  If that's what you get out of it, your rifle and/or barrel has nothing wrong with the accuracy. *Not all factory ammo can do this, that's why you should try 3-4 different brands.  Also, it still takes good marksmanship.

3. Over-Use of Fire Lapping Bullets - We have seen barrels that were literally ruined by fire lapping bullets. Do not use fire lapping bullets on ANY rifle barrels IMHO. You will void the warranty if you use them on our EABCO Accuracy Barrels.

4. Sights - 
Don't bother shooting test groups with open sights.  That is a skill that takes a lot of practice, and you don't need to throw another variable (open sight skill) into your accuracy testing.  Use a good scope set for at least 9-12X magnification.

5. Rifle Scope - 
The better you can see the target, the better you can shoot.  But there can be problems with scopes:
  • Mounts must be solid and straight up and down with the vertical position at which you are holding the rifle when shooting.
  • Mounts and scope must not be touching anything -- like the barrel, for example.
  • The scope must not move from one shot to the next.
  • Magnification must be such that you can see well enough to aim precisely... no less than 9x-12x.
  • Parallax Error must be dialed out completely for the distance you are shooting.  (Read our article on parallax error)
6. Rifle Rest - 
Shooting from a rifle rest is a skill you have to acquire from actual shooting.  As a hunter, I prefer to use a Harris Bipod with the "S" (swivel) feature so that I can CANT the rifle side to side to squire the cross hairs with the target for each shot.  I rest the rubber feet on two pieces of cardboard wiht wax paper sandwiched between... this allows the rest to move freely and not incur stress as I line up the shot.  I rest the buttstock on a sandbag and secure it for the shot by pinching it between my fingers.  Finally, I try to squeeze the buttstock into my shoulder with the same amount of pressure for each shot.

7. Target - 
You have to have a target with marks that allow you to aim at precisely the same 1/32" of an inch spot EVERY time.  Pop cans, swingers, paper plates, etc. are a waste of ammo if you are trying to shoot groups for accuracy.  The target should be level, so that you aren't canting the rifle when you shoot.  Also, you must mount the target so that it doesn't move.  If it is swinging in the breeze, for example, the aim point will move out of the bullet path in the time it takes the bullet to get there.

8. Accuracy Expectations - 
Our EABCO Accuracy Barrels, for example, are built technically to shoot every bullet through the same hole.  However, they are test fired for function only, and are not accuracy tested.  Accuracy Proof testing is a service that adds unnecessary cost to the price you pay for a barrel.  We DO offer it as an extra service for a pricing starting at $250 (call to order this service).  It is basically doing everything in the list above.  If you order Accuracy Proof Testing, it will include targets and possibly load data. 

Good luck shooters, hope this article helps!