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Old February 6, 2014, 12:58 PM   #1
rainydayshooter
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Help me improve the accuracy of my Remington 798

Hi,

I have a Remington 798 .270 wooden stock with a 22" barrel, all stock parts except the scope and bipod. While not terrible, I would like it to perform better. I currently hold 1 moa with ease at 100 yards but it breaks up 2 - 4 moa past 200 yards. I am shooting factory Winchester .270 130 grain powerpoint, and have noticed poor consistency. Even to the point that the seating is too far out preventing me from chambering the round.

The stock is pretty nice. It has some kind of bedding near the action, then is almost floated up to the front of the barrel where there is a contact point for support. I have considered gutting this out more to ensure there is no contact between the base and front of the barrel where the 2 points of bedding are. I'm not sure how tight the action bolts should be. They are 2 bolts running through a metal tube. I notice if I crank them down it sits the barrel more snug against the stock, but I know I need a good solid action too. How tight should I make these? I have no interest in sanding off the front support because the barrel feels heavy to me, and I believe this will put extra stress on the stock, and fear it could harm my groups by significantly changing the harmonics and going against the manufacturer's design.

While not terrible, I can shoot sub-moa with a cheap Kel Tec, and would expect a Remington to perform better. Can anyone give me advice to improve its accuracy? Should I start reloading ammo, modify the stock, or switch out the barrel?

While I have some experience shooting, I am very new to the physics involved and any modification.

Last edited by rainydayshooter; February 7, 2014 at 06:02 AM.
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:55 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Free floated barrels almost always (but not always) shoot better than barrels with contact points. The weight of the barrel is irrelevant (in that regard) as it is a strong and relatively stiff piece of steel. It will not bend (well, it will but almost microscopically) without support. The issue (if there is one) will be with the total weight of the gun, if the stock is not strong enough it will flex when the weight of the gun is on it and touch the barrel even if you free float it. The answer there is an aftermarket stock.

There is no guaranteed torque for actions screw that will make the gun shoot best but there is sometimes an order in which they should be tightened. Torques from 15-40 in-lbs are common. You'd need a good torque driver, Wheeler includes a nice one in their scope mounting kit.

If you are shooting 1" at 100, there's no reason to be 4" at 200. You should be only slightly more than twice as big, somewhere around 2.25" would be logical. Something else is making you shoot 4" groups, unless you are also getting 2" groups at 100 on occasion.

The ammo, well, I can only recommend that you find better factory ammo or, f you really want accuracy, get into hand loading. I always had good luck with Hornady factory ammo.
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:58 PM   #3
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The 270 heats the barrel up fast....
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Old February 6, 2014, 04:19 PM   #4
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If the rifle is shooting 1 MOA @ 100 yards there is no reason for the rifle to not shoot darn close to 1 MOA at longer ranges. The problem is usually with the shooter not being able to maintain the same accuracy as range increases.

Fully floating the barrel should help improve accuracy at all ranges. Those rifles are solid, dependable guns, but not known as tack drivers, at least not in factory form. If you're getting 1 MOA, that may be as good as you'll get without some major tweaking.
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Old February 6, 2014, 04:28 PM   #5
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Improperly torqued action screws, and a sloppy trigger, sloppy scope mountin, sloppy ammo, sloppy shootin form.... You can easily fix all of the above...
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Old February 6, 2014, 05:02 PM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Handsome looking rifle.
FWIW: Since your rifle was made overseas. I have no idea what its inner workings consist of. That said._ No doubt Home Reloading would tighten its grouping accuracy some. Doing so will require some experimentation and expense on your part to find its so called sweet spot. One problem with that. Today's shooting component shortage problems are seen from coast to coast. Easiest way to find your rifles utmost accuracy for someone in your circumstance as I see it. Try different store bought brands of ammo and bullet weights. Or find a friend who has the ability to reload and is willing to share his resources temporarily. Good luck.
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Old February 6, 2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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I have a few bolt action rifles (Remingtons and Winchesters) and all have shot better with the lug and an inch or so of barrel beyond the lug bedded and the barrel free floated.
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Old February 6, 2014, 06:55 PM   #8
rainydayshooter
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Thanks for all your input.
I am not ignoring any of it, I am just taking my sweet time to continue researching to come to a decision. Kind of curious how this one turned out?

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178748

My current process is to buy a hand loader and try some of my own loads.
If this doesn't get me close to 2 moa at 1000 yards then I will continue my process.
Starting with the shooter and trigger first of course. I think I can get an idea if it's me or the rifle though.

Quote:
Free floated barrels almost always (but not always)
I'm curious what the not always is?
I found some talk online that a barrel under #3 will benefit from the pressure points.
I'm guessing the 3 is referring to barrel taper?
Anyone know what the 798 has? or how to identify it?

I will try to get more specifics from Remington on barrel type and bolt tightness.
If they even remember this rifle.

I appreciate the suggestions and opinions shared. I will update this thread as I continue my journey.

Quote:
Handsome looking rifle.
It is a beautiful rifle isn't it? One of the reasons I'm very hesitant to do anything to the stock since I always get compliments on it.
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:08 PM   #9
Bart B.
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All cartridges heat up barrels when they're shot. Doesn't matter how fast they do it. Good barrels properly fit to receivers don't change point of impact or accuracy level when they get hot.

No pressure point put onto a barrel will stay at the same tension on it all the time. It'll change as temperature and humidity expands or contracts the stock material as well as external forces from the different postions the rifle's held and fired in. Totally free floating barrels are problem free.

However, a poor inletted receiver in the stock sometimes can be masked by a pressur point under the barrel at the fore end tip and tested from traditional bench shooting positions. But that means when shot from other positions, accuracy goes downhill and the zero changes.

I would take the barreled action out then open up the barrel channel so the barrel doesn't touch the fore end anywhere.

Screws should be torqued in around 50 inch-pounds.
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 6, 2014 at 08:41 PM.
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Old February 7, 2014, 06:26 AM   #10
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I believe a Rem 798 is simply a Zastava Mauser,a commercial 98.Its pretty similar to the old Mark 10.Remington sold them for a moderate price.

I'd expect it would be about a #3 contour on the Douglas scale.

That rifle was built to be a good hunting rifle.

If you are getting 1 in groups at 100 yds,before I did anything else I think I'd suggest tuning up your expectations.The rifle is delivering what can be reasonably expected from it.

I think for what you are working with,if you have 1 MOA at 100 yds,the rifle let go of the bullet 100 yds ago.When you say 2 to 4 MOA..do you mean to say sometimes you get 8 in groups at 200 yds? That would be approx. 4 MOA

IMO,a change like that is not in the rifle.It could be in the optics.If you have a parallax issue it could cause you problems.

Picture this:Suppose you vise or sandbag your rifle so crosshairs are on target at 100 yds.Now,without you touching the rifle,its resting stable,put your eye behind the scope ,move your eyeright/left/up/down...do the crosshairs apparently move?Remember,you are not touching the rifle,it is pointing the same.

Repeat the test at longer ranges.

To a degree,good,repeatable spot weld...putting your face in the same spot each time,will reduce the effect of parallax error,or get a p-lax adj scope.

Also,given a light sporter stock,forend pressure bedded,think about how a bipod might effect that.Stocks and barrels are more flexible than a lot of folks imagine.

You might be "fixing" what is not broke.
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Old February 7, 2014, 11:23 AM   #11
rainydayshooter
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I'm using a swfa ss 6x mil dot with rear parallax focus. Yes I know 6x isn't very powerful, but I can hit targets past 500 yards without any magnification on my other rifle. This is a dual purpose rifle. A hunting rifle I would like to also optimize for a little distance shooting.

I also wrapped a poor man's cheek riser around the comb made out of household supplies. I get consistent weld, and cannot detect any parallax when taking my eye off and back on before making my shots, but I know a minuscule amount can make a difference.

The only rings I found locally that were compatible are weaver by Weaver.
I noticed the screws that tighten the rings did loosen up a little with recoil, but didn't detect any movement of the scope by eye. I did go home and loctite them. Maybe there are better rings to use and maybe this could have been yet another variable affecting my shots.

After researching more, I have decided to sand the stock and free float the barrel before reloading, since the same load might not be optimal if I float later.

As far as groups, I get 4" at 200 and worse moa past 200. At 500 yards, I guess it could even be out to 4 moa (20") based off of the dirt I observed.

I will continue to report after trips, but it will take some time to get reloading supplies together.

Last edited by rainydayshooter; February 7, 2014 at 11:32 AM.
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Old February 7, 2014, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainydayshooter
If this doesn't get me close to 2 moa at 1000 yards then I will continue my process.
Is this a typo or do you really mean to shoot 20" groups at 1000 yards? That's going to be no easy feat to do that routinely with just handloads and a stock Remington 798, not to mention you'll need some pretty nifty skills in your own right.
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Old February 7, 2014, 01:03 PM   #13
rainydayshooter
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That's my goal.

My buddy swears my rife is getting ready to undergo a radical transformation, from stock, barrel , optics, trigger, and so on, but we'll see how close I can get it. I have a feeling it will be a lengthy project.
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Old February 7, 2014, 06:57 PM   #14
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Well, in order to get to 20" best case scenario at 1000 yards you'll need to be consistently shooting no worse than 3/4" at 100.
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Old February 8, 2014, 06:31 PM   #15
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One more time:Unless you had a mismatch between bullet length and rifling twist,and I do not think you do

The rifle lets go of the bullet at the muzzle.Once the crown is done influencing the bullet,the rifle's roll is over.There is no guidance system.

If the rifle will shoot 1 MOA at 100 yds,back in the 60's,that was a tackdriver.

When Weatherby was the Cadillac of Rifles,they only guarantee'd 1.5 MOA at 100 yds.

Your rifle is shooting good for a Mauser based production barreled rifle.Nothing is wrong.

Here is an important point.Think about it.How is anything you do to the rifle(not the optics) going to effect the bullet flight after it passes 100 yds?

Forend pressure bedding is old school.Not wrong,old school.Match rifles used forend pressure bedding,and fancy adjustable devices to provide it.

One problem is wood.It is subject to moving around with humidity changes.

In 1964 when Winchester went to free-float barrels on the M-70,the gap was different,it did not look right,and people hated it.The end of craftsmanship!

A misguided attempt to sand your barrel channel may introduce a "cracked baseball bat" effect,where the barrel is slapping around.You will loose the damping effect of the forend pressure,but gain an inconsistent bouncing if you do not have sufficient clearance.

Its not really free float if anything touches the barrel when you sling up or bipod or otherwise deflect the stock.
That will cause fliers.

IMO(others may disagree) the old dollar bill trick is misleading.I cut a very large uniform clearance,maybe .080 to .090 then put at least 3 layers of vinyl tape over the barrel and then glass bed the barrel channel.Others may do it differently,but that works for me.But I am usually working with a lightweight foam core composite stock.

I look at well fit walnut and blue steel differently,and I would have to think a long time before attacking a walnut stock that way.Old school is good,too.

Its your rifle,do things your own way,but the dream you are describing means taking a good shooting rifle ,reducing it to a receiver,and building a new rifle.

I'd say,shoot it,call it your hunting rifle,find an action of some sort,and build your 1000 yd rifle on that action.

On your scope,6x is fine.I really like fixed 6x scopes.My hunch is still the parallax thing is opening up your groups,so long as your position,etc is not changing at longer range.

Try setting your parallax adj on infinity,then refocus your eyepiece on the sky to give the sharpest reticle.

Now,back to shooting,try using your parallax adj to give sharpest focus at the target.See if that helps.

And,call your shots.See where the reticle was as the rifle recoils.
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Old February 8, 2014, 11:34 PM   #16
Bart B.
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Quote:
If the rifle is shooting 1 MOA @ 100 yards there is no reason for the rifle to not shoot darn close to 1 MOA at longer ranges.
Here's one reason.

Groups open up about 10 to 15 percent each 100 yards past the first one. If you want to shoot no worse than 1 MOA at 1000 yards, get your 100 yard groups down to no worse than about 3/10 inch/MOA

What's all this "parallax" adjustment? When one's aiming eye is on the scope's optical axis, there is no parallax regardless of what range the scopes focused at and where the target's at. Parallax is corrected by off-axis aiming eyes by focusing the scope at target range so the target image is focused on the reticule. If you don't do that, then parallax is not adjusted, just not seen if one's aiming eye is on the scope's axis. But is seen when the eye's off that axis b ecause the target image is focused either behind or in front of the reticule.
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Old February 9, 2014, 07:23 PM   #17
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.

Very long range boltgun accuracy demands a rifle with a trued action & a quality bbl - both of which normal production lack.


.
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Old February 14, 2014, 03:24 AM   #18
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Try 150 grain bullets. Remember, it's a hunting rifle, not a target rifle. Also, you can only expect so much from factory ammo. Additionally, the 270 Winchester cartridge is first and last a, "long range", hunting round; not a 1,000 yard target caliber. I think the people who build and shoot 1,000 yard target rifles could build a 270 that would work pretty well with the few match grade bullets available for it. However, I believe that field of shooting has evolved mostly around bullets of .308, 7mm, and 6.5mm. I'm happy with what my 270 will do at 300 yards with select handloads. At 450 yards I was able to clear 5 milk jugs in a row while sitting on the ground using a military sling and I'm more than content with that. I wouldn't expect it to be great at 1,000 yards though. I'm guessing the folks that do well at that discipline are shooting fairly modified to downright custom rifles.
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Old March 2, 2014, 01:21 PM   #19
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Well I finally got the chance to take it out after sanding the stock down. I have a good start on reloading equipment, but will need to find the last of it. Conditions weren't phenomenal. 5-15mph gusting winds, and I was getting minor mirage at 100 yards.

I only shot at 100 to get a good zero after modifications and couldn't get a group to save my life. Most of my shots liked to group about 4 inches low and to the left with another small group 2 inches high and to the right. Very few in between and not very tight on either end. I gave it a lot of time to cool down between shots.

So ultimately, I really screwed something up. I will have to start my troubleshooting and talk with a gunsmith. I sanded a good portion off so that I could slip 2 business cards under the barrel, and I may have sanded an eighth of an inch or so away from the action support which is where I think I messed up. There is still a lot of support there but I may have rubbed over the end of it a little. Not sure if I should look for a new stock or glass bed this one, or hold off until I can shoot with reloaded ammo in better conditions.
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Old March 2, 2014, 02:46 PM   #20
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It has been my experience, and I would say many on here might agree, that any pressure point on a barrel can throw it off once it heats up. Even in .22 LR target rifles, I am a firm believer in completely free floating the barrel. I did this on my Winchester model 75, including removing the barrel band, and it improved its accuracy.

It also does not take shooting one to get one hot enough that a stocks forearm can affect the barrel, as sitting in the sun can do it, where the bluing, which does not reflect heat well, can cause the barrel to heat up pretty hot in no time. The heat can even cause the wood, itself, to move.

I always recommend that a receiver be bedded into the stock, and the forearm, starting at the receiver, be fully relieved under the barrel, so one can pass a business card under the full length.
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Old March 2, 2014, 03:39 PM   #21
rainydayshooter
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My sloppy grouping was tighter during my first 30 minutes, where it held about 3.5 inches then it just kept spreading out to 5-6 inches. My spotter who's been going to the range with me for a year now was disturbed because I never shoot that poorly. I can usually even call my shots when I pull one, but this was just complete randomness and didn't make any sense to me.

I made sure it was wide enough to slip 2 business cards through since some mentioned the forearm slapping against the barrel if the stock is not firm enough.

Here are some pictures just to give an idea. My 1/8th inch is more like 1/8th inch from the compound supporting the action. Not sure if that's glass or not. I did sand this area down where it is discolored but not aggressively. I'm not that upset since I expected this to be a journey, and I'll get there eventually even if I have a new rifle by the end of it. Just thought I could get more out of the 798.
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File Type: jpg stock2.jpg (71.9 KB, 21 views)
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Old March 2, 2014, 07:58 PM   #22
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Your 798 is a commercial 98 Mauser.A lot of really fine rifles have been made on Mauser actions.That is not your problem.

First impression on your pictures of the stock:
That gob of epoxy was done wrong.

That little ,irregular pad under the barrel shank helps nothing.I prefer to not have the barrel shank touch anything,I like the barrel fully free floated.

What you want to achieve ,in the long run,is having your receiver supported.Now,Glass bedding will conform to the steel OK,but there is one more important point.The reveiver must be relaxed...not under strain.From what I see,that gob of epoxy is about as useful as a pebble in your shoe.Its a shim,a high spot.

When you tighten the guard screws,you are distorting the action.

The web of wood behind the recoil lug looks unusually thin.Ordinarily ,a glass bed job would reinforce the wood behind the recoil lug and give 100 % bearing under the receiver ring,behind the recoil lug,and under the flat floor of the receiver.I also prefer a glass pad under the tang at the rear guard screw.You want clearance behind the rear tang.That wood is unsupported,and will not take recoil.

One more thing I learned from an old Gun Digest article on stocks for heavy recoil rifles: the front face of the mag box should support the wood behind the recoil lug.From there,the recoil should be transmitted to the wood behind the lower tang..I'm afraid you are well set up to split the web of wood behind your recoil lug.

I understand a DYI spirit and a desire to gain experience.Getting it right must be based upon a thourough understanding of what you are trying to achieve.

Even then,learning about all the things that can go wrong with your first glass job as the resin is kicking over and beginning to gel can be a disaster.

It may be best to let your gunsmith do a good glass job on a relatively virgin rifle rather than making a mess for him to clean up .

Unless something else were wrong,like a bad barrel,I have a pretty high level of confidence your rifle,properly glass bedded and free floated,with good ammo,will do 6 inches at 300 yards or better.Thats not too wild of a claim.

4 inches at 300 yds would not surprise me.I think that may be the zone of reasonable expectation.It may do better,sometimes you get lucky.

Square the receiver face,a premium barrel,tune the ammo some,and you might get 2 in to 3 in at 300 yds.Maybe better,but not much better.

Wild speculation,I know,but probably not too far wrong.

Last edited by HiBC; March 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM.
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Old March 2, 2014, 11:02 PM   #23
rainydayshooter
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Thanks for the info.

I'm not going to take the epoxy off (so that's what that is? I hoped for something more specific for bedding ) just yet since the rifle came with it. It seems to be the cornerstone supporting the barrel from the shank, what I was previously considering part of the action. It seems this would put a lot of stress on the bolts and wood.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am going to have a gunsmith look at it. I agree, while bedding doesn't sound difficult, I have ruined enough practice circuit boards attempting to solder fets in the past, and seeing I don't have a practice stock, I have no desire to mess my rifle up when it comes to the bedding.

I will give the local gunsmith a call this week, and get a second opinion from another that specializes in precision rifles. Thanks for the replies, and all the great info. I'm learning a lot as I go.
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Old March 3, 2014, 12:19 AM   #24
hooligan1
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Good idea, he'll grind that crap out, pillarbed the action and bed it properly.
The best thing you can do is to hand it to him and tell him to make it a shooter, ..wished you lived closer..I lime a challenge but I love mauser actions man
.
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:57 AM   #25
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Mauser 98s are a special case. Because they don't have a lot of engagement between the barrel and the receiver, a bit of support for the first inch or so of the barrel is a good thing. The rest of the barrel should be free floating.

However the rest of the action isn't supported. It needs epoxy bedding on the BACK of the recoil lug (not below, in front or on the sides) and on the rest of the action and tang.
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