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As I am a new member of this forum, and this being my first post, I wanted to thank the many fellow sportsmen for sharing a lifetime of knowledge in the many excellent reports/responses that you have all provided.

I have read through most of the articles on the REM 700, and after thorough research, decided on a REM 700 Varmint Lamented Stock in a .243 (with a Nikkon Monarch 4x12x40 on top), verses the very highly praised 2nd option, which was a Savage 12BVSS.

Having shot the rifle for the first time over the weekend, I realize that I have a lot to learn, and appreciate the advice of the many skilled riflemen on this page.

But my initial question is……..I used the following barrel "break in" instruction that I was provided by a family member who has recently taken a "long range rifle class". I completed the steps, but was curious what effect that these steps have on the accuracy of the barrel, and wondered if anyone was familiar with the process, and what would happen if the barrel wasn't broken in?

For the first 5 shots, clean the barrel after each shot. For the next 50 shots, clean the barrel after each 5-shot group. The barrel is now broken in. To maintain the quality of the barrel, we recommend cleaning within every 20 shots. The term "cleaning the barrel" as stated above means: use a plastic coated cleaning rod, a bronze brush, flannel patches and a quality bore solvent. Saturate the brush with solvent and make 20 passes through the barrel (10 cycles). Let the solvent soak in the barrel for 10 minutes, then saturate the brush again with solvent and make 20 more passes through the barrel. Push 3 patches through the barrel to remove excess solvent and loosened fouling. The barrel break-in is complete.

Also, can anyone provide a link that would allow me to research what it means to “glass bed” my REM 700 VLS, or because of the laminated stock, if it is even necessary to do so??
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Hi Lenny,

Other than the benchrest shooters (and not even all of them agree) breaking in a barrel for jacketed bullets doesn't do much for accuracy. If the benchrest shooters can't agree.... then I don't think that it could be proven.

It will reduce fouling, because every time you fire a bullet down a perfectly clean barrel, it helps to knock off little burrs that are left from the manufacturing process.

But that will happen over time, anyway.

Now.... if you were going to shoot cast, that's a different story altogether. Lead bullets would take nearly forever to knock off the burrs, being so much softer than the barrel steel. In that case some careful break-in with jackted bullets could help, as does fire-lapping or hand-lapping.

Anyway you didn't hurt the barrel at all, and may have done yourself a favor in terms of dealing with fouling. Technically, reducing the fouling helps prevent accuracy from degrading over a longer number of shots, BUT that's only due to the reduction of fouling. It is not really changing the accuracy potential of the gun itself.

I've never done the barrel break-in, yet I can tell you that over time all of my rifle barrels foul less. They are getting the same thing, stretched out over a longer period of time. When I do clean them it's down to the bare metal, so it's a version of the same thing that you are doing. Only difference is, might kill a pig or deer (or several) between the heavy-duty cleanings.

On the bedding..... my suggestion would be to first free-float the barrel. A laminated stock should not need glass-bedding, theoretically. If you notice that point of impact is moving around with changes in the weather, then maybe you should look into this. But, I'll suggest that free-floating the barrel is the single biggest improvement you can make in terms of keeping a consistent point of impact.

If a target rifle only, then float the barrel, and experiement a little with some business cards or other thin material putting a little pressure on the barrel at different points. You are basically tuning the barrel for the load by doing that.

This is because some barrels shoot better with some pressure on the barrel from the forend. You will have to decide if you can live with any accuracy loss (if noticable) in return for a consistent point of impact. For a hunting rifle, it's not even a decision in my mind, small groups that don't go where you aim them are worse than useless.

How'd the shooting go, get any good groups? How do you like that Nikon?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Mike -

Your points makes sense, so it seems it wouldn't have been an issue either way, but I guess it gave me a reason to shoot 50+ rounds.

Please excuse me if this question is too elementary, but "how" do I free float the barrel? I ask, because I know that currently it does not free float. I have learned that if your barrel is free floating, you should be able to slide paper between the stock and barrel, and I can't.

Unfortunately, I can’t confirm that it “free floated” from the factory, because I adjusted the trigger (per a resource found on this board) before I fired my first shot. And after the adjustment I snugly set the screws to a reasonable strength. Is it possible to snug the screws so tight, that it would cause a free float problem?

I have to admit, my groups were not nearly as accurate as I expected, but in my defense, at the end of my "break in" session, I was flinching before I had even put the shell in the chamber:). My last 3 shot group at 100 yards, was approximately 1”, but again it was a poor time to judge the rifle, when the shooter (me) had all but quit.

And finally - I realized while on the range, that I have no clue how many rounds that I can fire in a row, before the barrel overheats (obviously effecting accuracy - correct??). Is there a formula, or rounded opinion you could share?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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First, Welcome to the board, Lenny.

Second, I'll ditto what Mike told you. Having gone the route of careful break-in cleaning, barrel lapping, etc., I've come to the conclusion if you simply shoot jacketed loads and watch that you don't overheat the barrel, that's the best break-in for normal usage. Most rifles start tailing off in accuracy as the fouling/metal builds up in the bore, so I generally limit mine to around 20 rounds each prior to a good cleaning.

To free float that barrel you must route out the barrel channel in the stock. This can be done with a half round rasp or sandpaper wrapped around a wooden dowel rod of 1/2" diameter. There is a commercial inletting black sold by Brownell's and possibly Midway that is thinly applied to the barrel, bbl'd action seated and bedding screws tightened (don't go overboard!), then action removed to see where the black is transferred to the barrel channel in the stock. These high points are removed, the barrel coated again and installed. This is continued until all high spots, or rub marks are removed and you can slide a dollar bill or business card from the forearm to the receiver without stopping.

Once the barrel channel is cleared, seal it with a good wood sealer and go shoot to see if there's any improvement. If not, do as Mike recommends and create a pressure point at various places along the barrel with the business card shim. You should notice a favored spot with each load you develop or shoot.

Laminated stocks can take a lot of screw torque, but you CAN overtighten even one of them. Your .243 isn't going to develop the amount of recoil as a heavy big bore caliber, so tighten the bedding screws moderately hand tight (I always tighten the receiver screw first to a slightly snug point, then tighten the tang screw to the same snugness. Then tighten the receiver screw to moderately snug and back to the tang screw for the same. Tapping the rifle butt firmly on the floor to settle the action, the screws are tightened further to a firm hand tight - NOT squeaky tight!). Check the screws during your shooting activities to assure they remain where you left them.

As far as barrel heat, if you can put your hand on the barrel and leave it there without undue discomfort, it's still cool enough to shoot. Too warm, then open the bolt for air circulation and wait until it cools down enough to hold without cringing!
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, LennyWayne:
A 1" group isn't bad with a new rifle and when you're not in your best form. I'd cut back on the barrel brushing now that you're done the break-in routine. You may have a copper build up in spite of that cleaning. Run a snug patch down the barrel the next day and look for green fouling on it. I prefer Hoppes Benchrest copper solvent because it won't damage the barrel if it's left in too long.

If the barrel isn't free floating with the action screws reasonably tight, it wasn't free floating at the factory. I'd shoot it with a few different loads before I'd free float it. Usually Remington barrels are off the wood from the action or maybe a couple of inches ahead, to a pressure point or pad at the front of the stock. You can tune this setup by backing off the rear action screw until it feels half as tight as the front one. Try it both ways.

How hot is too hot? Depends on the barrel, but if you can't hold on to it with your bare hand, it's probably too hot.


Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Excellent.

I appreciate the advice and appreciate the welcome.

With the amount of things I plan to learn, I'm afraid that I'll "beat everyone down" with my questions, but I promise to search the board before I ask the really dumb ones!!!!

Again, thank you.

P.S. I'm open to any suggestions, or opinions, that would improve on the accuracy of my 700VLS (or me, the shooter). My brother shoots a 22-250 (and reloads), and we tend to turn most things into a competition, so any advantage I gain through this board - I'll use!!
thx!
 

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barrel break in

I have done the barrel break in process both ways. Lately I have decided to go back to the old way which is enjoy shooting my rifle rather than spending most of my time cleaning it.

I picked up a trick from a fellow shooter at the range a couple of weeks ago. It deals with keeping the barrel cool between shots.

My friend bought a battery powered air bubbler that fishermen use to keep their bait buckets aerated. On really hot days he places the unit in a small cooler with the plastic ice and sticks the plastic tube down the bore. Really works great and is quite inexpensive. I bought one that runs on 2 D batteries and total cost was under $10.00
 

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Welcome Aboard!!

This is the place for asking all questions. These guys want to help and believe me, I have asked a lot of questions and I have never got anything but expert and caring answers.

I broke in a barrel on a 1894 because I was going to shoot cast bullets in it. I used an arduous breakin procedure, that included flitz. The breakin accomplished two things. I got very used to firing the little lever action and the barrel is mirror finish. I have never had it foul and loose accuracy. Cleaning is a snap with lead or jacketed.

I did a similar break in on my SBH 44 but the difference was I only cleaned at the end of a session. It was a complete cleaning and the tight patch on a brush using flitz in their somewhere. I shot no lead for probably 1000 rounds. Same result. Easy clean on lead and cast and mirror finish in the bore.
 

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LennyWayne said:
Excellent.

I appreciate the advice and appreciate the welcome.

With the amount of things I plan to learn, I'm afraid that I'll "beat everyone down" with my questions, but I promise to search the board before I ask the really dumb ones!!!!

Again, thank you.

P.S. I'm open to any suggestions, or opinions, that would improve on the accuracy of my 700VLS (or me, the shooter). My brother shoots a 22-250 (and reloads), and we tend to turn most things into a competition, so any advantage I gain through this board - I'll use!!
thx!
I have a suggestion. Put the Rem 700 in the closet and get a Savage 10FP .308 cal with Accu-trigger. I've spent the past month breaking mine in and profiling groups. The best I could attain with my Rem 700 is 1.5 inches at 200 meters. After a 30 round break in I'm consistently grouping 0.8 inches at 200 meters out of the box, with no mods. The stock (standard) isn't the prettiest, but the stock doesn't launch the round. The barrel is free floating, and it does make a huge difference. You owe it to yourself to try the Accu-trigger. It's awesome.

Good Luck. You'll get it tuned to as good as it can be if you follow the good advice you've gotten so far.

T shooter
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Welcome, Target Shooter -

Always nice to meet new people and different opinions. And, on this board, you'll find everyone DOES have an opinion!! :D
 

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kdub said:
Welcome, Target Shooter -

Always nice to meet new people and different opinions. And, on this board, you'll find everyone DOES have an opinion!! :D
Thanks KDUB,

I just read my thread and realized that I can shoot, but I can't type. I'm shooting .8 inch groups after 300 rounds, not 30 DOH !!

Got to go to the range and get behind the M48 for awhile.
Got a 300 meter classic rifle match this weekend, and I've got to tweak my eye to the "old irons" again. Been spending too much time behind the 10FP, and I'm feeling a bit spoiled.

Later,
T. Shooter

Keep your powder dry and watch out for tablecloths and fan belts.
 

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Your VLS might need to have the barrel free floated but with the Laminated stock, it shouldnt really require glass bedding. Got one of these bad boys in .308 and it shoots .7-.85 if I do my part just about all day long with a variety of hand loads. My only complaint is I wished it was a pound to a pound and a half heavier. Gotta be honest with you T. Shooter, the FP aint no joke! I almost bought one myself in .308. My hook up just got me a better deal on the VLS money wise. I am kinda biased on Reminington anyways so......
 

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I used to have VLS in .308. Great shooter! All I had done was trigger adjusted to about 2Lbs. The barrel doesn't come free floated, but is shot so great I didn't need to mess with it. The only ammo used was Fed .308 Match and cleaned with patches only after 10 shots. The rifle never had a bore brush put through it. At 300 yds, it would shoot 1.5" 5 shot groups.

I don't now how experienced a shooter you are, but I suggest you work on your shooting fundamentals before you do a whole lot with the rifle. That flinch has to go or you will never reach full potential (dry firing is an oft overlooked way of cheap practice) If you see the cross hairs jump when the firing pin snaps during dry fire, then you need to practice until that goes away!

Good luck!
 
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