4V50 Gary- Yes, the bolt does close easily on an empty chamber. Thanks for checking this out. After input here I'm thinking my bolt is from a low end manufacturing line at Remington. Polishing will be part of this improvement effort.
When you wrote "As for the brass being gouged, that may need polishing too.", did you mean the brass itself if it was going to be reloaded? Or something like the extractor needs polish? Sorry, just looking for cause I guess. I will clean up that brass prior to loading it, though.