Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Information on Malfunctions and Care of your Model 8 & 81
Post Reply
Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:55 pm

I've been tinkering with my 81 in 35rem and it's not grouping well at all with factory or handloads, jacketed or cast (~6" at 70yards with iron sights or scope). So, can anyone recommend a procedure for accurizing the 8/81s or am I just out of luck? I don't need it to be a tack driver, just a few inches at 100yds would be fine by me. If I can get this thing to behave I might take it on my elk hunt this October.

If required, I might try to make an alternate barrel extension at the shop and see if I can mount the barrel to a Remington 700 receiver just for testing the quality of the barrel alone. If it's no good, I have a couple spare take off barrels I can send out for reboring/recontouring for a replacement.

To that same end I might be able to remanufacture some of the moving parts to tighten up the tolerances...

All that is a little drastic though.

Any advice before I shelve the gun?

User avatar
Phyrbird
Posts: 891
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Phyrbird » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:54 pm

Fred,
Had (and traded) a R742 3006 that would miss a paper plate at 100yds. Yeah, 12" groups. :x a Marlin 4570 that was almost as bad
Dad's 760 3006 will never miss a milk jug at 300yds, and a re barreled Springfield 03 will group under an inch at 200yds. :D
Try differing loads, it will make a difference in how the barrel whips, the action closes each time, how you react.
Another thought I haven't the cash to pursue is the model 8 and 81 action operates very similar to the Colt 1911 & Hi-power.
the bolt and barrel slide in the receiver, barrel has a bushing, the barrel moves back & forward to battery. HHMMMM :?: :?:

A side issue is the barrel sleeve has been know to loosen in the back. :cry: It can be serious & won't really show till the barrel assy is dis-assembled.
Phyrbird
SOKY

Simmer down
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:12 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Simmer down » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:55 pm

As a reloader I'm curious what you turned out.

The Gospel of Wiki says they were in 180 and 200g
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.35_Remington

I'm starting to figure out with my elderly guns they often were designed and matched for a pretty specific load.

User avatar
Roger
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:41 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Roger » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:56 am

Sir,
I've been able to trace some M-8/81 to worn or poor fitting barrel nuts,(just as phyrbird said). This is after massive testing and bench time with these fine old rifles. I've fired literally thousands of rounds thru these m-8/81 s. There is no caliber that seems to be worse than any other. If you have any movement in the barrel nut to barrel joint then you are losing accuracy. Just like the Colt 1911. Hhhmmm,same designer. Makes perfect sense to me, and I've collected all sorts of JMB designed guns for 35 plus years. It may not have anything to do with your issue, but check it out for sure.
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

User avatar
81police
Posts: 2266
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:12 pm
Location: TEXAS

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by 81police » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:28 am

kudos Roger, keep that barrel nut tight! I can't count how many 8/81's I've seen that have obviously loose / backed out barrel nuts. Get the right tool (spanner wrench) and check them.
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:25 am

Thanks for the suggestions.

I've had the gun totally apart, cleaned, function checked, lubed and reassembled. So I'm pretty sure that everything's tight and in as good a condition as can be expected for a 60 year old rifle. The bore is pretty shiny and overall good condition. I got out the calculator and figured that .003" slop in the barrel nut to jacket bushing translates to about a half inch variation at 100 yards, which doesn't sound too bad to me.

With the ammo shortages, I tried the Factory 200gr Hornady FTX loads just to get the brass after which I tried some handloads:

Sierra 225 Gamekings over IMR-4320
Hornady 180SSPs over IMR-4198
Cast 215gr over H414
Cast 215gr over Superformance

I've got some more 180SSPs, 180gr nosler partitions, 158JHPs and cast 162 RNFPs loaded up that I'm going to try this weekend to go along with a factory box of 200gr Remington Corelockts.

I hope something will pattern ok.

User avatar
Phyrbird
Posts: 891
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Phyrbird » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:05 pm

sound like a solid plan to me, wish I could find the time to do similar range testing.
Phyrbird
SOKY

Simmer down
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:12 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Simmer down » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:15 pm

Have you slugged it?

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:47 pm

Yes. it's .3495" bore (pin gauged at muzzle) .357 +.001"-.000" groove.

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:24 pm

Monkeying around with the rifle some more, I noticed that the ocular on the, admittedly cheap, scope was loose and the sight picture was sloppy, so I figured I'd try something else. Light weight, low-profile and very shock/recoil resistant: Burris reflex sight. If it works as well as it has on my 10/22 then I might rework the mount a little to reduce the height.

Image
Image

Now I just need range time...
Last edited by Fred on Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

h.charlie
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:48 am

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by h.charlie » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:29 pm

I have found using grease on all parts in the barrel shroud help improve accuracy, allowed for a 2 inch group at 150 yards in my 25 rem using 117gn Hornady btsp with 23 gn of imr 3031 and br4 primers seating the bullet with oal of 2.735 allowing the bullets to touch the rifling if you try to duplicate for your 35 rem remember to adjust for the increase in pressure and they will have to be chambered inualvidually

User avatar
Phyrbird
Posts: 891
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Phyrbird » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:49 pm

OOOOO :!: :!: Holographic sight on the barrel :o Nice, what's the drill for attaching the rail?

I've a similar mount idea for a pistol scope that is a no drill assembly, any interest :?: :?:
Phyrbird
SOKY

User avatar
imfuncity
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:44 am
Location: 2hrs N of Sac., Tehama Co. CA

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by imfuncity » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:34 pm

LIKE. Waiting for pix and report, also like to know how you attached it (and lowered it). :o
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:14 am

Charlie, When I first got the rifle I pulled it apart and removed all the crust and grime and regreased most of it to prevent any excessive wear, especially the moving parts int he barrel jacket. I am also seating bulelts out as far as practical to keep the projectile close to the lands. The 35 Remington has a very short throat.

Has anyone got a suggestion on barrel nut torque or is 'snug' tight enough?

Phyrbird and imfuncity, It's a no-drill assembly using the factory location and hardware. If it doesn't work I want to be able to undo what I've done. I took a spare aluminum weaver mount, put it in the mill, ran a ball-nose endmill down one side to fit the barrel jacket, punched 2 holes and counter bored them for the screw heads and milled a cross slot for the reflex sight's universal picatinny mount. I can mill the bottom radius lower that would drop the sight height up to another 1/4". Though at some point the front sight interferes with the sight picture.

I could commission a short run of them if there's enough interest, either in steel or aluminum.

As far as no-drill pistol scope mounts I've seen a couple iterations on the 'net. I like the idea but the scope has to be up off the barrel a bit which feels unnatural with the factory stock's cheek piece and then the scope has to be pretty decent qualilty to survive the back-and forth recoil of the barrel:
Image

and one using a reversed 1" scope ring I thought was a clever approach:
Image
Last edited by Fred on Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:09 am

An update.

I tried a few more handloads, jacketed and cast, and some factory jacketed ammo and it holds about a pie-pate at 100yds. I tried my same loads in a Contender single shot and they all do far better at the same range. So I guess my Model 81 is just not destined to give me the accuracy I want. It'll sit in the safe with the other queens until I have have a 'Smith look at it.

Freischütz
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:56 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Freischütz » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:25 pm

You might check the bedding. I've seen several lever actions whose accuracy substantially improved with a bedding job.

In The Ten Ring
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by In The Ten Ring » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:47 pm

Fred,

I'd be down with at least one of those mounts such as you made there!

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:09 pm

Sorry, Mr. 10ring. Shortly after I made that base I took a job overseas. No guns or gun fab projects for a while. :(

In The Ten Ring
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by In The Ten Ring » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:22 am

:twisted: Once again, FALSE ADVERTISING. You will be reported to the Better Discussion Forum Bureau. :lol:

Fred
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Any way to improve accuracy on my 35Rem Mod 81?

Post by Fred » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:15 am

I'd be happy to make some for forum members. You (and everyone else) would have to wait though.

If you really really want one now I can sell you the one that's on my M81. I won't be using it for a while.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest