After reading tallguy's post on the M16 twist rate, I got to thinking about something that has been bothering me for a couple of years now. This is long winded, but please bear with me, because your help might solve this for another frustrated Dad trying to save some bucks on an appropriately sized rifle for their child.
A few years back, I bought my son a Rossi Trifecta youth model. It had a .22LR, .243 Win., and .410 shotgun barrels for a single shot, break open action.
I've got no complaint against the .22 or .410. But the .243 couldn't hit paper at 50 yards. My son is a good shot. The first time he fired a centerfire, it was an AR15 and he hit the bullseye @ 100 yds. open sights. No shit.
So when he gets his new rifle to the range and can't hit the paper I'm like "OK, hand it over" and I take a few shots. Nothing in the paper. I'm flabbergasted. I mounted the scope and laser bore-sighted it. I know it's not exact, but I should be able to get on paper @ 50yds.
So I have him try a few shots while I observe. The one I saw was way high and left. So I start adjusting the scope on this. It was like 60 clicks on the windage and 85 on the elevation. Have him shoot. Nothing. Give it some more clicks. Have him try again, and we see a hole at the bottom right corner of the target. So I'm thinking I over compensated, back it up the amount of clicks as is indicated by the distance on paper converted to MOA. Have him try again, sure this time he will plant one in the center ring at least. Nothing. We give up and go home. My poor son was so disappointed.
Later, when I'm thinking about it, I recall an article I read about the .243 and how it used to be the 6mm Win. But they didn't have the right twist rate for the barrels, so they corrected this and renamed the cartridge the .243 so people knew if they had the 6mm rifle, they had to use lighter bullets, but if they had the .243, they were OK.
We were shooting 100gr bullets, because they were cheap and I wanted to get my son deer hunting. So, to test this, I reset the scope, get the lightest bullet I could find (hornady 58gr.varmit ), and take it out and shoot it with these, Bam!, within 1" of the x. On another day, I further test my theory, I got those 58gr, some 80gr., and the remaining 100gr. The 58gr, no problem, 80 grain and the group opens, 100gr off the paper. Another test at very close range even showed that the 100gr bullets were keyholing. Bad. To the point they looked like they hit the paper sideways.
I was thinking it was a crappy twist rate and I was stuck with a trainer rifle shooting expensive ammo. I have since found that it has a 1:10 twist. Which should be good. So what did all my empirical research indicate? The only thing I can conclude is since the rifle is shorter, maybe the barrel length has something to do with it. Maybe, even though it does a turn after 10", it doesn't go through enough barrel to put a stable spin on it? What advise or knowledge on this do you have? Is it all just a coincidence and the rifle is just crap? Thank, y'all.
"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon