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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the forum and the new owner of a used Rem 700 VLS in 308. It has a 26 in 1-12 twist heavy barrel. I purchased it last weekend and went straight to the range. The gun appeared to have minimal shells thorugh it prviously, so I did a break in and brushed every 3 round. The patterms started to tighten up, the Federal GMM ended the day with best 3 shot grouping at .896, and averaged just under 1.0. The FMJ, TAP and various others were not even close to the GMM. It appears that the gun likes the 168 GR, as the others were 150-155 and the gun did not do much with them, 2+in groupings at 100 yards.

My real concern is when I went to 200 the pattern fell off, the GMM went to over 2.5+ in grouping. The mounts are leupold, and a V3 scope, and they are secured properly, the action bolts are secure. I have since dropped the trigger pull down from 6.5+ to around 2.5-3 lbs. I am going to shoot this weekend and see what that does for it. The barrel is not free floated, and I think that is next if the group does not tighten up, and then possibly bed the action. I know the gun is capable of more and I am shooting from bags, so there has to be somthing.

Does anyone have any factory loads they might recommend, what is the best weight and velosity for a 26 in 1-12 twist???? I plan to start loading, but at this point want to get the gun within moa at least up to 300 yds, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Next mods for the gun will probably be free float the barrel, and then possible bedding the action. Any other suggestions or comments would be appreciated as I am new and just looking for the best accuracy and repeatability that I can get out of the gun and the shooter.....

Thanks,

Chris
 

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The 1-12 twist is going to be the big limiter there. Typically, those shoot the 168's the best. You could try the Federal Match 175's and might have luck with those, but a person needs to seriously consider a 1-11 or 1-10 twist beyond that.

A remington 700 is a good foundation. Free floating the barrel and bedding are good places to start. A good trigger also helps. If, after that, you get tired of playing with the 1-12 twist, you can always get the action trued and a new barrel from Krieger or Shilen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Longriflewest, thanks for the quick response. I would assume a 150-155 gr would be good for a 1-11, and a 125-130 gr would be good for a 1-10? Are there any facotry loads in 160-170 range that would be comparable to the GMM that I should try?

Thanks
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I don't think that the twist rate will be a serious concern under 300 yards. Maybe not under 600? Speculation on my part, but I'm going on what the long range shooters generally say.

What I would suggest as an upgrade is a scope with an adjustable objective. Much easier to shoot accurately when your scope is focused on the target and there is no parallax.

Out beyond a hundred yards, little things like velocity variation and wind drift start to add up. I wouldn't be alarmed at the increase in group size.... but realize it may take a while to isolate all those variables. If you're lucky enough to find a day with very little wind that will help.

Good luck.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike G,

The scope is a leupold VX3 6.5-20 x 40 with side focus, I really thought this would be good over 200, is it not enough?

I have shot for many years and have had 700 cdls that would tie rounds together all day long at 100 yrds, i really feel this gun should have better patterns than what it is shooting currently, it should be a tack driver up to atleast 300 yds i would think?

Any other suggestions????

Thanks
 

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Ah OK then you should be good to go. I didn't realize that.

Well.... hmmmmm ?

Sounds like a little more experimenting is in order..... I think I would be starting to handload, personally, to see what it likes best.
 

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Hey Limited71, Nosler Costom Match factory loaded with their 168gr Custom Competition bullet with a B.C. of .462 and a MV of 2750fps. You can buy them from their website for $27.00 a box. Good luck and welcome to the forum
 

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Longriflewest, thanks for the quick response. I would assume a 150-155 gr would be good for a 1-11, and a 125-130 gr would be good for a 1-10? Are there any facotry loads in 160-170 range that would be comparable to the GMM that I should try?

Thanks
Regarding twist rate, the connotation 1-10 for example, denotes that the bullet spins one complete revolution for every 10 inches it travels. A 1-10 twist is faster than a 1-11 twist, a 1-11 twist is faster than a 1-12 twist. The rule of thumb is that the heavier the bullet, the faster the twist you need to stabilize it. The reality is that what it really depends on is the distance from the base of the bullet to the ogive (the place in the bullet profile where the bullet begins to curve towards the tip). That length typically increases as the bullet weight increases.

On a practical note I will share my current experience, I am in the middle of building a heavy barrel rifle in .308 off of a trued remington 700 with a #9 krieger barrel at 24". I decided to go with a 1-11 twist because I felt that it would do a good job of stabilizing most any bullet up to 180 grains. This also gives me the chance to experiment with the 168's and 175's and hopefully find a sweet spot.

You might try a group at 300 yards with the GMM in 168 and 175 grains. It would be interesting to see if the rifle settles down past 200 yards. Sometimes they do strange things like that.

+1 on MikeG's recommendation to handload. Often times, accuracy comes at a lower velocity. Handloader magazine also did an article on "The most accurate .308 load". That would be worth a read if you can run down a copy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
well i finished floating the barrel and went out back to shoot this weekend, shooting off the back of the truck at 100 yards, not so stable, it shot about the same with match bullets, but the FMJ pattern really tightened up to about what the matches are shooting now, so back to the drawing board.....

Can fouling in the barrel restict it enough to through it off like this? Iam thinking higher pressures may be causing it to be less stable in trajectory??? I am thinking about the Rem 40X for a good polishing on the barrel, and also soaking the barrel with wipeout, as I do not know the history of the gun prior to 2 weeks ago, any thoughts on this?

I am headed to the range this weekend, so any testing that could help diagnosis this would be helpful.

About what does it cost to have the action trued and bedded from a reputable gunsmith, also anyone know someone in Houston area that they would recomend?

Thanks

Chris
 

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You are on the right track. Metal fouling can indeed build up until accuracy deteriorates by distorting the bullet and allowing more gas bypass. I had a Garand whose groups would start opening at round 40, like clockwork, and would take a lot of effort to clean out. I had to use moly bullets to stop that, and later firelapped the barrel. Bottom line, though, you want the gun clean to start. I took a class given by Marine Scout Sniper instructor, and he had us clean every 10 rounds no matter what. Unless you know the gun doesn't build fouling fast, that can help. In testing I more typically clean my tac rifle every 12 rounds, using the first two for foulers before firing the other ten.

The next step, after that, would be to recrown the barrel in case the previous owner nudged it off a little. I saw a piece by a fellow who got recrowning tools and proceeded to recrown almost every rifle other club members owned. IIRC, he said over half of them shot better afterward.

Costs will depend on the reputation of the gunsmith. $200-$300 is a pretty typical range for action truing. Bedding is typically around half that. It depends on how it's done. Straight glass is least, at maybe $100 or so, followed by bedding block, followed by pillar bedding at more like $200. Recrowning is usually under $50.

When you get ready to reload and have the basic gear and have learned the rudiments, read this.
 

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I would recommend Stan Ware out of SGR gunsmithing. He does an excellent job. He is based out of Ohio. You can ship your rifle priority / insured if you are worried about the distance. It cost me about $37 to send my latest barreled action to Kampfeld custom for cerakote. It is only pistols that the post office has an issue with.

You have to be really careful about "action truing". There are variations of machining practice out there and many just make the action worse than factory.

You want to be educated enough to know that what the gunsmith is doing results in machined surfaces which are coaxial to the line of bullet travel. If nothing else, watch the videos that Stan has on his site. It will help make you a better consumer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After the range

Well, I think we have it figured out........

I shot a .75 in 4 shot group with 168 GMM this weekend, so the barrell seems to be coming in. This is after polishing the bore with Rem 40X and cleaning and recleaning, thought it was clean and used wipeout and cleaned again. I now have about 125 shots thorugh it now, and all the different shells are coming in much tighter, nothing was outside 2 in.

my conclusion, either barrell was not completely broken in, or just plain nasty fouled, but I am happy with where it is now and will progress to the 200+ yard range this coming weekend to see if it has all tightened up and the barrell is still coming in.

Any suggestions on shooting technique and also loading would be greatly appreciated

Thanks and regards,

Chris
 

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That's pretty typical in my experience. Just putting the first hundred rounds or so downrange is going to smooth up the barrel a bit (whether you follow a break in procedure or not).

Keep cleaning it well, and it may continue to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks all for your input, not onto other topics, reloading etc, ill post in those columns but thanks everyone for your input.

Regards,

Chris
 

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Without reloading, think it could be hard to beat the Fed GGM in either the 168s or 175s.

Think I would test both the Hornady SUPERFORMANCE 168 Match and 178 Match.

Midway has both in stock.
 

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Best advice for shooters is often to "breath".... really. Many just plain forget to breath. (hold their breath).
 

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I am new to the forum and the new owner of a used Rem 700 VLS in 308.
Used guns Usually= Dirty Bore, or someone gave up on it, or shot out. Based on your description, I would say the first two are in line.

Mike G,

The scope is a leupold VX3 6.5-20 x 40 with side focus, I really thought this would be good over 200, is it not enough?
That scope should be sufficient as far as you want to shoot.

Well, I think we have it figured out........

I shot a .75 in 4 shot group with 168 GMM this weekend, so the barrell seems to be coming in. This is after polishing the bore with Rem 40X and cleaning and recleaning, thought it was clean and used wipeout and cleaned again.

my conclusion, either barrell was not completely broken in, or just plain nasty fouled
Chris
Most likely fouled out. You can't always see the fouling in the barrel until it gets cleaned and you see an improvement on paper. I have bought and worked on quite a few rifles that were worthless shooters, and people have given up on them, and were ready to trade them off, or get a new barrel. A good 2 day cleaning regime made 3" shooters into 1" and under shooters, just from being dirty and fouled.

Floating your barrel will also help too. Did your Point of Impact change after you floated your barrel? How far off was it if it was. Many times after floating a barrel, your POA will change an inch or two in a downward direction.

As for your shooting techniques, read as much as you can from reputable books and articles. You will get quite a good information here too! Take your time, control your breathing, and remember, repeatability shot from shot will produce the best results. A good solid cheek weld is essential. Also a solid front rest will help, be it a bi-pod or a shooters sand bag, or a mechanical rest. Dry firing will also help check to see if you flinch or move the gun slightly. Another way to do this is to have a friend load a blank in your rifle at a random spot and you will pick up on any problems right off the bat.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks all,

When I floated the barrel, there was not really a change in POI. The gun is still copper fouling really bad, so that leads me to believe that with the condition of the gun the barrel was just not broke in, probably bought, sighted in with scope and shot once a year or so.

Since the gun likes the GMM, I think I am going to start with the Sierra 168 MK, any suggestions on primer and powder combinations. From my reading, with a 26 in barrel and bolt action, probably a medium burn rate powder? I have some military brass, Rem, federal, and winchester to start working up my loads.

Is there an easy way to find the proper length to seat the bullet? Dummy round put into chamber at longer length to see if it is touching the lands???? then start backing off from thier?? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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The original GMM match rounds I pulled and measured had 43.5 grains of IMR 4064 in the Federal case with a Federal 210M primer and 168 gr SMK seated to 2.800" COL. The Federal cases are soft and don't last long, but Remington is the next closest you have in terms of case capacity, and they hold up well. Drop that load at least 5% and work up using your actual component lot numbers.

I've heard Federal now uses Reloader 15, but I haven't bought and pulled any to find the charge weight. QuickLOAD says about 44.7 grains of RL15 would match the barrel time and pressure of the 4064 load, but will give you a bit more velocity. If I match velocity (Federal's number) in QL it takes 43.9 grains, and that is likely to be closer to what you buy. I'm not currently running Reloader 15, but the last time I did I got
44.3 grains as an accuracy load with that bullet in my rifle, so mine liked it inbetween those two numbers I just gave you.

The alternative to IMR 4064 I frequently use is Varget, since charge weights are often similar, though Varget is slightly more dense. With Varget about 44.1 grains gave me the performance of GMM in Remington cases, but I found 43.6 grains more accurate in my 10FP, even though I gave up 30 fps. Again, my experiments all used the Federal 210M primer and the Sierra 168 grain SMK seated to 2.800" (actually 2.795", but bullet tip variance takes it to 2.800" sometimes; not a significant difference). These were all magazine feed compatibility loads, as your GMM loads are.

Winchester cases have more capacity than Federal and Remington, while Lake City have less. Figure about .7 grains less powder in the LC and about .7 grains more in Winchester. Those are very rough figures, so you still want to reduce 5% and work up, but don't be surprised to land near those difference numbers.

You'll get 100 answers for finding seating depth. This gauge works well enough, but you are paying for convenience. You can also just push a loaded round withe bullet you are interested in into the chamber with your finger and drop a dowel rod into the muzzle until it touches down on the bullet, mark it with a pencil flush with the muzzle and repeat the process with a bullet pushed into the lands with the eraser of a pencil. The difference in the two resulting marks is how much longer your bullet could seat out than is done in the round you pushed in first. Some use a cleaning rod rather than a dowel, but I like a flat end on whatever rod I use for this.

As to what the best depth will be, that's gun individual. Read the first post in this thread from Berger for one way to approach it. Find the best depth first with a light starting load that won't go over pressure from touching the lands (10% reduced covers this). Then tweak your powder charge in.
 
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