Vertical shot stringing with RSI's in hot vs cold weather...

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May 11, 2008
Birmingham, AL
Made a trip to the range yesterday, when the temp was in the mid 30's. I wanted to check the scopes on my M77RSI 308 and No. 1 RSI 7x57.

I discovered when I bought these guns that the slim barrel contours combined with the full length stocks causes these barrels retain heat longer than on more traditionally stocked rifles. I have to let these guns cool down much longer between shots than my other rifles in order to get decent groups. On warmer days, the barrels stay hot to the touch for several minutes after each shot.

Usually, the first shot goes where it is supposed to, and the second shot will be pretty close after allowing the barrel to cool for a couple of minutes. The third shot usually looks like a flyer, even after allowing the same cool-down time.

Now here's the funny part. Usually, when the groups start to open up, they will start to string vertically with the later shots landing higher and higher on the target. But today, in the cold temps, the vertical strings moved in the opposite direction....with the later shots landing LOWER on the target.

Anyway, both rifles shoot well with a cold barrel, and a followup shot would be on the money as well. But an extened "shootout" would make things interesting.

Here's a typical target from the 308.....the first two shots right where they are supposed to be, but the third shot is off the mark. Average time between shot was about 5 minutes.


Now, here's a target from the 7x57 where I allowed about 15 minutes between shots. Clearly much better.



Dec 6, 2004
Rhode Island
The ca. 1983-ish .30-06 #1-RSI that I recently sold to a fellow RF member exhibited no such tendencies, although I used to fire it fairly rapidly - meaning with no consious pauses or waiting between firing/ejecting/reloading/aiming/firing/etc/etc.

It was totally "as issued", with only a scope mounted in Ruger rings - yet generally shot well under 1" @ 100yds with factory ammo (I don't reload/handload), if I did my part.

My previous Ruger .30-06 RSI, a tang-safety Model 77, shot similarly.

I sometime wonder if it's the chambering, or the "on again/off again" quality of Ruger's rifle barrels - but the .308 Ruger's I've owned have by and large been far less accurate than other chamberings/calibers.



Nov 15, 2008
northern california
Just got through reading a article by Elmer Keith in the #1.He said the first #1 he recieved walked right off the top of the paper target untill he backed off the forend screw untill it was loose and then tightened it up snug but with no undue pressure.After that 1" groups.I think the front screw is to tight on the M-77, Hawkeye when they come from Ruger causeing the same problem.

Silent Sam

Feb 26, 2006
I have a MKII RSI in 308 that is very accurate and has so far held its zero -(3-4 yrs). It shoots Rem Corelokts of any weight between 150-180gr so well that I haven't even bothered reloading for it. I only use it for local deer hunting and never shot more than a couple 3 shot groups off the bench. Just enough to zero the sights, a NECG peep and a Weaver 4x and all those pretty much return to zero if I change sighting systems. It is bedded just as it came out of the box. I just checked that nothing was loose and went from there.