View Full Version : Sporter Rifles best is 3/4MOA

03-09-2008, 09:26 PM
I have a Cooper Classic in 22-250AI . After market cut rifled 8 twist 5R SS BBL. I shoot it off Cadwell front bag Bunny ears rear bag. I can't seam to get much less then 3/4 MOA out of it. Sporter weight BBL 26" . Today I was shooting 39grs of IMR 4064 with 55gr Nosler CT bullets MV was about 3,900. I could hit a 7/8s black dot most of the time at 100 yards accept for those unexplained damn fliers.This is my predator rifle should I be satisfied with this performance?:confused:

lefty o
03-09-2008, 11:27 PM
if it still had the original barrel, i would say send it back to cooper, and they would work on it till it shot. with a cooper, i wouldnt be satisfied with 3/4".

03-09-2008, 11:55 PM
I don't think it rides the bags very well. I had new BBL installed because stock BBL had a 14" twist and didn't shoot 55gr bullets very well. Hmmm Maybe it wasn't the BBL after all? Cost me $450 bucks to have new BBL chambered and installed.Had Rock Creek BBLs do the work. They did a poor job of Duracoating the BBL. Also they sent the rifle to another Gunsmith that worked on Coopers. They said he stretched the action some how but that he fixed it. I wonder if that means when I burn this BBL up there will be added problems for the next BBL.

03-10-2008, 11:59 AM
The classic stock is hard to shoot off of bags. On mine I use a very narrow front bag and use the adjustable ears on the benchr rest to make the bag fit the forearm as snug as possible without binding, this helps keep the rifle from canting. I also use a target with a pattern of horizontal and vertical stripes on it so that I can be sure that I hold the scope level each shot.

You did not say what type of group you had, is it a horizontal group, vertical group, or random dispersion? If you supply this information it may help analyze your problem.

Are you using wind flags, is your bench solid, is your benchrest solid, are you muscling the rifle when you shoot it, is your shoulder and cheek pressure consistent? Have you tried different powder and bullet combinations? I have one rifle in 222 that only likes Reloader 7, the groups uising it are amazingly small, with any other powder I cannot get it group into less than 1/2 inch. There are many small things which make the difference between a sub-one half inch group and a 7/8 inch group rifle and many of them are not the rifles fault.

Do not take this disparaginly but if the original barrel did not shoot as well as you wanted and this barrel does not shoot as well as you feel it should perhaps you should have someone else give it a try to see what they can do with it, preferably someone who has shooting abilities that you trust and can rely on.

As mentioned earlier you have pretty much given up any bitching rights to Cooper since you had it rebarreled.

As far as the gunsmith "stretching" the action - who knows what that may mean. If the action truly was "stretched" I don't know what could have occured to cause it or how it could possible be repaired.

03-10-2008, 12:17 PM
3/4moa for a Cooper Classic is perfectly normal. Sending it back to Cooper and complaining is a waste of everyone's time and money. Of course Cooper will give you the Song-N-Dance, they're used to babysitting every other rifle that leaves their shop, but all it does is drive up the cost of the next rifles.....

Be happy. It's a Cooper.

If you really want to hit stuff buy a custom rifle from the start. A REAL custom rifle from a REAL gunsmith.



03-10-2008, 01:14 PM
Alinwa: I don't think I agree with your posting.
I recently purchased a heavy barrel Remington (all factory stock!) Rifle in caliber 22-250 Remington. I mounted a nice scope on it and the first test loading I tried gave me groups as small as .397"!
I have MANY more examples of recnet purchased factory Rifles for your consideration if you would like them.
I may be doing some more load testing in the future with this all stock 22-250Rifle, but I am inclined to leave well enough alone!
I have several Varmint type Rifles in 22-250 and they all shoot quite well indeed! They are mostly Remingtons with a couple Rugers in the mix right now.
For 1/3 the price of a custom Rifle I "hit stuff" just wonderfully with my factory 22-250's!
I have lots of custom Rifles! But anymore the prices for custom barrels, custom stocks, custom actions, custom triggers, the Riflesmithing, shipping the components to and fro and the bedding are just about cost prohibitive when you compare factory Rifle performance with custom Rifle performance! Its simply no longer worth the small gain in accuracy.
I wish Worker's Rifle shot better for him - especially after the custom barrel was added, but its not.
And now that the Rifle has been "modified" I am afraid his accuracy is his concern completely - not the factory folks.
I will say this I have seen quite a number of Cooper Rifles in action - both at the range and in the field - to a Rifle they have all been very accurate - both centerfires and rimfires!
I am not going to give up on factory Rifles as a result of your posting - heck even folks with savage factory Rifles brag about how accurate they are!
I think "Worker" is gonna have to suck it up (to the tune of 500 more DOLLARS!) and change Riflesmiths and barrels - he should have a Hart barrel fitted to his Cooper by a BR qualified type Riflesmith.
Good luck to Worker on whichever he goes with next.
Hold into the wind

03-10-2008, 01:33 PM
This may sound condescending, but the first thing I'd ask Worker is, "Are YOU capable of shooting groups under 3/4 inch?" Consistently, under the conditions that you stated?

Worker, if you know someone who has a real Benchrest rifle, borrow it and shoot a couple of groups under the same conditions that you shoot that sporter. That will tell you what your capability is. You might be a little surprised and maybe a little dissapointed.


03-10-2008, 01:44 PM
You mentioned what you are shooting now, but my question is how many other combinations have you tried. I would try the following in sequence.

Try shooting Berger or Sierra Matchking bullets
Vary seating depth of bullets from full jam up to 0.03 off the lands
Vary powder charge
Vary powder type (one faster, one slower)
Vary primer (now we are stretching)

In all case, try to use wind flags. If you are only loading for that gun, try neck sizing your brass for better consistency.

I almost sold a gun until I played around some and (quickly) found a combination that was remarkably better than factory or general recipe recommendations (I only needed to adjust seating depth).


Larry Elliott
03-10-2008, 03:11 PM
With the oval forend on sporter stocks shooting good groups can be a royal pain in the caboose. I had a Kimber 84HB in 6 PPC that was not fun to shoot from even a #1 (narrow) front bag, the best it ever shot was ~0,4"/5 shots.

Here's the heresy: install a short legged Harris bipod on the rifle, put a piece of carpet on the bench under the feet of the bipod so that it will slide instead of bouncing on the benchtop. This will keep the rifle from rocking from side to side in the front bag and allow a more free recoil shooting style which should help groups. You probably shoot critters off a bipod anyway, so....:eek:

lefty o
03-10-2008, 08:14 PM
alinwa, coopers come with an accuracy guarantee. if it did not come reasonably close before its been screwed with, it should have been sent back. then again, i guess some guys wouldnt expect an auto manufacturer to honor a warranty on a new car either!

03-10-2008, 08:51 PM
Alinwa, I agree with you on many of your posts but you are out of line in bad-mouthing Cooper on this one. From the first line of the original post by Worker -
"I have a Cooper Classic in 22-250AI . After market cut rifled 8 twist 5R SS BBL."

I think that it would be unrealistic to expect Cooper or any manufacturer to warranty a rifle that has been rebarreled by someone else after it left the factory.

With that being said - yes, they will stand behind their 1/2" guarantee and I am sure that they are like Leupold in the respect that quite often there are items with nothing worng with them being returned for warranty work. Too be fair minded about this shouldn't you be bad-mouthing Leupold because they warranty their work which surely must drive up their costs also.

03-10-2008, 09:04 PM
Tons of wisdom in these post. I shoot a Rem 700 Short action Sendaro . All trick out Jewell Trigger Big Hart BBL 6x284 I can easily get into the .3and .4s with that. What was said about Classic stock and not riding bags well is loaded with practical tech.My questions were answered and then some. I can recall shooting at rocks( Off shooting sticks) I lasered at 450 yards hitting them every time. Thanks again.

03-10-2008, 09:52 PM
Yo drover,

Since't ya' mentioned Coopers "accuracy warranty", care to define it for us? Have you ever talked with Dan? I've been around this area (OR/WA) since the first days of Cooper, in fact there's a guy not 15mi from here who's always trying to sell all sorts of Kimber/Cooper prototype stuff for exhorbitant prices. I own a first gen Cooper that Dan will not fix and it's actually got a problem.

They're pretty, they don't shoot any better than a Sav/Rem. They're WICKED pretty! I've built a few stocks, I know how pretty they are.

I don't expect Cooper to offer a meaningful accuracy guarantee, nor Remington, nor Savage nor anyone else.

BTW I'm not badmouthing Cooper.

I feel sorry for a company like Cooper. Because they're offering a "semi-custom" rifle people expct 'WAYYY too much out of them. They have to babysit nearly every rifle they sell. I'm telling folks to back down and let it lie, ya' got what ya' paid for. :)

And yes I tell people the same thing about Leupold.

AND Remington

AND Savage

AND Weatherby

etc etc etc

Of course if it's actually defective.................but this goes without saying. Unless you've had so many financial trials or buyouts that you simply cannot honor your own warranty as has been the case with some.


03-10-2008, 11:20 PM
Yep!, I have talked with Dan C. a few times, not exactly mr. personality is he?

I only live about 150 miles from Stevensville and I know a few of the people who work there and I stop in a couple of times a year.

Their accuracy warranty is stated in their owners manual and I believe it also stated on their web-site - basically it is a 3 shot 1/2" group at 100 yds. for their centerfires and 1'4" groups at 50 yds. for their rimfires. And, before someone points it out I am aware that they test them at a lesser distance but they still warranty them to shoot to that level of accuracy. I currently have four and have owned 3 others in the past and they all easily met the warranty standard.

As you may have guessed I have some Coopers,I feel that they are an outstanding rifle for a production gun, and an outstanding value for the dollar cost.

You are correct in that a lot of time is spent on perceived problems with their rifles, not to say that some aren't real because anytime you build that may rifles there will always be a percentage of problems - that's just the way it is.

As you probably well know the first generation Coopers did have some issues, and during the time of the take-over when Dan was out of the management they turned out some real dogs. I feel that their current manufacture is second to none and with a little shopping they can be picked up for just slightly more than a Remington or even an upper end Savage.

As far as your issues with Dan you did not elaborate and even if you had it would be difficult to know what has occured without hearing both sides of the story. I do know that some people are ticked off the minute he opens his mouth, as I said earlier he is not mr. personality, it is a good thing that he generally lets an employee handle issues for him.

I agree with you that the expectations of them are too high. Many shooters are not capable of shooting consistent 1/2" groups, and because the rifle is guaranteed to shoot 1/2" groups therefore it must be the rifles fault, not the shooters if it fails to meet those expectations.

As far as a real custom rifle from a real gunsmith - I have seen some of the worst dogs in the world in so-called custom rifles from real gunsmiths. Having one built is at least as hit and miss as buying a factory production rifle.

I do not know of a custom rifle builder that will build a rifle that looks as nice as a Cooper and give a 1/2" accuracy guarantee with it for even three times the price of a standard grade Cooper.

03-10-2008, 11:56 PM
Wow now that is some carnage. How far? What was your load? Where are you hunting? What call did he/she come in on?

03-11-2008, 12:00 AM
I think the problem is shooters error !( Me) I have a Nikon 5x20x44MM scope. Its definitely inferior to a Bushnell elite 4200 4x16x40MM.When I shoot this BBL out I'm going to re-stock it and install a heavier BBL on it. Cooper actions are really slick .

03-11-2008, 12:12 AM

You're right, their accuracy guarantee is for 3 shots at 100 with handloads. IMO this equates to about 3/4" or larger FIVE shot groups at 100. The target that comes with the gun is shot indoors at forty (42?) yds.

I have no bone to pick with Dan, if I did I wouldn't elaborate here :)

I DO though like to point out that real repeatable accuracy is the result of more than factory work. In fact, there aren't many builders who can make a 22-250 that'll consistently agg under 1/2 moa. That said, I've yet to meet a custom builder who won't stand behind his work, maybe I've been lucky. Or careful! ;) And then shooting that hard-kicking mother with it's rounded forend! I'll stick by my contention, 3/4 honest inches is acceptable in my book.

I absolutely agree that no one else on earth can put out as pretty a rifle for anywhere near the Cooper's price. They get good wood and they treat it well.


03-11-2008, 09:24 AM
I was Hunting in Ohio and I was using a Foxpro fx3 caller I don't remember what sound I was using I switchback and forth but is was some sort of rabbit in distress call. This coyote was a pretty big one I am guessing 43 pounds and was only about 30 yards away one the first shot it ended up making it another 20 yards before I could get another one in it. I was using a 220 swift loaded with sierra 52 hpbt match bullets with 42G of H414.

03-11-2008, 08:22 PM
"No 3/4 MOA isn't good enough . Send it back and we'll check her over and fire a few of our hand loads"