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Old March 27, 2010, 11:09 PM   #1
GovtCheese
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Remington 700 SPS .308 - Chamber issues - help??

HISTORY:
OK, so this all started about 5 months ago when I bought a new Remington700 SPS Varmint in .308. The rifle I bought was scoring the bullet and casing badly when I tried to cycle handloaded and factory ammo. I went back to the retailer and exchanged it for the same rifle, also new. When I got #2 home I had similar problems. In addition to the same scoring issue, the bolt wouldn't close on my hand loads (which were spec - 2.800" for .308.)
After some research I discovered others had the scoring problem so I sent the rifle back to Remington for their complimentary fix. I'm determined to get this to work because I like the platform and the price is about right for someone like me who is just getting into long(er) range shooting.

CURRENT ISSUE:
I just got the rifle back I decided to use an OAL gauge so that I could optimize the performance of the rifle. Based on everything I've read, you want there to only be about .02" to .04" of travel between where the bullet is seated and the rifling. When I measured for my best overall length, I was getting 2.931" for the OAL with my Sierra 168gr HPBT. As you may know, this seems problematic since the max OAL for a .308 round is supposed to be 2.800".
I hand loaded a round to 2.911" OAL to see if it would cycle smoothly (without firing) and it did. However, one obvious drawback is that because the round is so long I can't load more than one round at a time into the rifle since the internal mag won't allow it.

QUESTIONS:
- Does this mean I have too much headspace?
- Is this a problem and if so, how do I fix this?
- If If I load the rounds down to 2.800" I'll have about 0.131" of free travel before the bullet hits the rifling. Isn't that a lot (as in too much?)

As you might have guessed I'm relatively new to all of this and I'd like to get into long(er) distance shooting (600m - 1000m) but I don't want my efforts to be undercut by an inadequate rifle. HELP!

Last edited by GovtCheese; March 27, 2010 at 11:19 PM.
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:16 PM   #2
Fat White Boy
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You need to clarify something. You either bought a Winchester Model 70 in .308 Winchester or you bought a Remington 700SPS Varmint in .308 Winchester....
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:20 PM   #3
GovtCheese
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Sorry that's a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308 Winchester
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Old March 28, 2010, 01:30 AM   #4
Jimro
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Shoot your rifle first to see if it groups tight. The "max accuracy" crowd has a lot of theories about distance to the lands, but shoot it before you assume there is a problem.

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Old March 28, 2010, 03:12 AM   #5
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With most factory rifles the jump to the lands is longer than the magazine will allow, forcing you to either load one at a time or load to the magazine length. In my experience, seating up next to the lands or into the lands doesn't give me enough of an increase in accuracy to make me want to give up the ability to use my magazine. But, if you are that worried about shooting 6" groups at 600 yds vs 5.5" groups at 600 yds, you might as well shell out the bucks to either get a match grade barrel, your action trued, a better trigger, and a better stock, or just load one at a time, or just live with not seating up next to the lands.

Shoot your rifle, develop a load, and see if seating up next to the lands gives you enough of an accuracy boost to justify it.
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Old March 28, 2010, 07:13 AM   #6
Picher
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My Rem 700 in .270 Win shoots best with close to a 1/10 inch jump to the lands. I've loaded test batches with bullets seated almost to the lands, but the heavy loads like the jump and pressures are low.

Although my caliber isn't considered "target", accuracy is close to 1/2 minute.

Bottom line should be how the rifle shoots with rounds short enough to go through the magazine. If you want competition loads and can't get them to shoot at magazine length, you may need to have two types of loads with different seating depth, but don't give up on the shorter lengths without trying a few things.

If you don't get the accuracy from shorter loads, you might try a slower-burning powder that minimizes initial velocity. I use Reloder 22 in the .270, but it's probably too slow for accuracy loads in .308 Win.
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Old March 28, 2010, 04:48 PM   #7
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Picher- That's the .270. Accurate beyond reason...
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Old March 29, 2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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I load my brother's Mauser-based .308 Win to 2.85in. These are 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tips in Winchester brass.
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Old March 29, 2010, 09:31 PM   #9
L Puckett
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GovtCheese,

Your chamber is normal. You have a long Leade (throat) which most production rifles (Remington especially) have for liability reasons.

My experiences show me that the Sierra bullets (tangent ogive) don't mind the jump a bit.....in fact they prefer it. The only bullets that have shown a desire to move up on the lands are the VLD (secant ogive) type, and many of them have performed well even with a long leade.

The greatest improvement in accuracy will be gained from finding the right recipe (load) for your rifle, then reloading your rounds in a consistant manner.

Once you start heading to 1000 yrds you'll need to change to either a Sierra 155 grn SMK/Palma or to the 175 grn SMK. The 168 won't quite make the distance.

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Old March 30, 2010, 09:27 AM   #10
mrawesome22
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This belongs in the hand loading forum but, yes, factory barrels have long throats to ensure all factory ammo will fit. An example would be a round nose bullet. A round nose .308" bullet used to be common and they have an extremely long bearing surface. Hence the long throat in your rifle. Now if you are only going to be shooting spitzer type bullets, you could take it to a smith and have him re-chamber it with a shorter throat. Other than that, their is not much you can do other than load them out to the rifling and load them one at a time, as has benn covered already.
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Old August 26, 2010, 04:17 PM   #11
rockydoc
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long leade/throat

I have just the opposite problem. My new Kimber 84M 260 Remington has too short of a throat. No bullet I have tried can be set to SAAMI standard 2.800 length without the bullet getting stuck in the rifling. I have tried 140 gr Nosler target bullets, Nosler 125 gr Partition jacket; 120gr Sierra SPFB; 129gr Hornady Spbt and Prvi 120gr HPBT. The longest of these loaded cartridges is the Prvi at 2.62". I would like to load to max magazine length without touching the rifling.
I have called Kimber but the man they said I needed to talk to about the problem is never at his desk and has yet to return my call. I guess I will have to write a letter to the president of the company.
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Old August 27, 2010, 02:55 PM   #12
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I have a Remington 700 5R that will shoot around 0.3-0.4 MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards if I do my part. I load all of my ammunition to 2.800", but I have measured the distance to the lands and it is north of 2.900". I tried loading up a dummy round to that length just for fun and it looked ridiculous. The bullet was barely seated.

So anyway, yes, the long throat is normal, and it doesn't seem to cause a problem regarding accuracy.
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Old August 27, 2010, 03:15 PM   #13
Loader9
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I
Quote:
f If I load the rounds down to 2.800" I'll have about 0.131" of free travel before the bullet hits the rifling. Isn't that a lot (as in too much?)
No, most bench rifles run .090 to .130 depending on bullet selection. Just shoot the thing. It's probably a better shooter than you think.
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Old August 27, 2010, 08:34 PM   #14
Tim R
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My Rem LTR in 308 will shoot 1/2 to 1/4 inch groups all day with 168 SMK's loaded to mag length at a 100 yards. 42.0 grs IMR 4064 with Fed match primers in a Fed match case.

I do have a Win Mdl 70 F/W in '06 which does like my hunting bullets seated close to the lands. The long rounds fit the mag. This rifle is sub MOA at 100 yards.

I have a couple of match AR's which shoot sub MOA at 600 yards with 80 SMK's loaded long with the bullets 15 thousands off the lands. These are single loaded.

Shoot your Remmy and see what it wants before getting wound up on bullet seating depth. They are all a little different.
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Last edited by Tim R; August 27, 2010 at 08:44 PM.
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Old August 28, 2010, 05:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
My experiences show me that the Sierra bullets (tangent ogive) don't mind the jump a bit.....in fact they prefer it. The only bullets that have shown a desire to move up on the lands are the VLD (secant ogive) type, and many of them have performed well even with a long leade.
+1

All my rifles shoot sub-moa. Most of my loads use a cannelure, I seat them to it, then crimp. Haven't had any problems developing and confirming an accurate load within 20 shots.
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