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Old July 23, 2014, 10:06 AM   #1
RangeEnthusiast
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Rifle Building- To upgrade or start over?

Howdy! I'm starting to get into building rifles and I have a question I've been juggling for awhile now, and my usual second opinion is away in the Navy, so here I am. I have a cheapo Remington 700 SPS/ADL and as it stands, the accuracy it has produced is sub-par. It's got the crappiest stock I've really ever seen on a modern rifle, it wasn't broken in properly at all, and I was wondering if it'd be worth upgrading, or should I start from scratch on, say, a Savage platform? The Remington is a .270 Win with a Nikon Prostaff 4-12x x 40 on it. Just wondering what the opinion is by shooters and builders much more experienced than I. Thanks!
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Old July 23, 2014, 10:32 AM   #2
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I've seen crappy stocked Remingtons go from 3 MOA to 1 MOA with just a decent stock on them. If you want to play with long actions and have no other use for the .270, I would stick there and play with it to your are happy.

OTOH, if you don't like it, or are pondering a SA, there are several choices out there. Some may be better suited to what you want to do than others. What do you want your "new" rifle to be able to do?
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Old July 23, 2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice I would like my rifle to be able to go shoot accurately up to at least 750 yards, if possible. I know the cartridge is capable of it, now I just want the rifle to get up there
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Old July 23, 2014, 10:45 AM   #4
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Based on that, I would pick out a good stock, get an oversized recoil lug and fit it, tune the trigger and go give it a whirl.
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Old July 23, 2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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Thank you very much Mark! I greatly appreciate your input.
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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I hate to say it but my first inclination is the problem is with you and not the rifle. I know I always look at myself first when I try to diagnose a issue with my rifles. I seriously doubt your barrel is jacked by not being properly broken in.

Most Remington ADL's are capable of 1-1.25" shot groups with most factory ammunition for three shots which is about normal for a hunting rifle. However you might find a type that it'll do far better than that, which isn't uncommon as well. I haven't had a factory configured ADL that I couldn't get to shoot under an 1" with the right ammunition. I do handload but I know that not all factory ammunition is not created equal, you may have not found the ammunition that your rifle likes yet.


That said if it isn't you there is a checklist I go through before I start replacing parts on the rifle.

1. Let someone else shoot the rifle first that I know is usually a good shot. If it groups decent for them, have them whatch me shoot the rifle. It's easy to not recognize when I'm flinching or have follow through problems.

2. If it doesn't group for the shooter then check all your screws first, make sure nothing is loose. This means actions screws are tight but not overly so, scope rings, and bases need to be checked as well. If any of them are loose it will cause your shot groups to shift around.

3. If all screws are tight, look for any point that the barrel might be touching the forearm other than the pressure points Remington uses near the end of the forearm that contact the bottom of the barrel.

4. Swap out the scope with one that I know is good. If you don't have another scope at least run a box test on it. Shoot a shot adjust over at least 1 moa to the right shoot another shot, adjust down 1 moa and shoot a shot. Adjust left 1 moa and shoot one shot, adjust up 1 moa and shoot a shot. If your scope is tracking properly you should be close to your first shot. This will at least tell you when you make adjustments that it is moving properly.

5. If none of the above works it's time to have a gunsmith check it out, and start replacing parts or send it down the road.
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Thank you for your input I've tried all the above except those last two. I never thought about the box test to make sure my scope is still adjusting fine. I know a couple of scopes I need to do that with. However, I do realize that I very well could be the problem, so I have been using bags to eliminate some of my own personal error. I do plan to replace that stock though, just to at least get something more practical on it. Again, thank you.
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Old July 23, 2014, 12:19 PM   #8
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The SPS is an entry level hunting rifle that isn't made for target accuracy. No point in a 12X scope on a .270 either.
Suggest you do a trigger job, change the stock(the rifle is 'cheap' for a reason), bed it properly and try it with a correctly floated barrel. Not all rifles like floated barrels, but Remington's tend to like it. Put a 3 to 9 scope on it too. That's plenty for a .270.
Forget 750 yards with a .270 too. The cartridge is not up to it. A 140 grain bullet, for example, drops 97"(8 feet) at 700 and only has 1050 ft/lbs. of energy.
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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I bought a Rem 700 .30-06 ADL from K-Mart many years ago...BEST group ever was 4.5" @ 100 yards. I get most of my rifles to 1MOA, some better than 1/2MOA, so it was nothing other than a crappy barrel, so let's not get too carried away saying they all shoot well. I've seen many Big Box sold ADLs with issues.
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:13 PM   #10
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Excellent advice from taylorce1!

You mention that the rifle was not "broke-in" properly. Rarely is that a problem & the significance is still debatable. One thing I'd add is to super clean the barrel as best possible. Use JB bore paste & do a careful job with good equipment. Take some time at it. Then fire a group or two to "condition" (i.e. lightly foul) the bore then try for groups. More than once have I seen a good bore cleaning bring the accuracy out of a disappointing rifle.

FWIW & Good Luck!

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Old July 23, 2014, 01:47 PM   #11
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Mark,

I never said it couldn't be issues with the rifle, the OP was pretty vague in his post and there wasn't enough info to properly diagnose a problem. When I started out I blamed the rifle a lot, until someone usually proved me otherwise. Now many years later I can tell pretty quickly if I'm the problem or if the scope/rifle is the problem. This knowledge didn't come overnight or cheaply.

T O'Heir,

I use a 3.5-10X40 and a 4-12X40 on my .270 rifles and neither scope is a bad choice for a .270 Win. When I get to shoot steel I regularly take the .270 past 700 yards. If you learn your dope there is no reason not to shoot the .270 700 yards and beyond. Yes there are better suited rounds for long range shooting, but to say a .270 isn't up to the task is flat out wrong.
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Old July 23, 2014, 02:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
The cartridge is not up to it.
That's just plain silly.

Folks shoot all kinds of cartridges well beyond 750 yards. .223Rem, .243Win, .308Win, .30-06 (the .270s parent) and untold dozens of others are all used at 1,000 yards and beyond. It's completely ludicrous to claim that a .270 can't effectively do 750, or 1,000 for that matter. I personally have no use for a .270, long range shooting or otherwise, but it is certainly capable.

Scope magnification is a matter of personal preference and not a right or wrong. In fact, I would NOT even go as low as 12x max on any center-fire rifle. My deer gun (a .243AI) wears a 4-20x.
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Old July 23, 2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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.....?????..... The 30-06 has more drop than a .270, but has been used for 1000 yard shots for 100 years... The 45-70 can be push out to 1000 yards for that matter... Why will a .270 NOT make it?

What benefit does a 3-9 have over a 4-12 at 750 yards? If used for hunting what can a 3-9 do that a 2-7 can't do better?

What are you doing with this rifle? Punching paper or killin critters? 750 yards is a long way for any type of ethical shot with any rifle on any animal. I'm not saying it can't be done, because it can... It's just not easy.

So, I'm going to pretend you just want it for target shooting out to 750 yards...

I'd replace the stock first thing. Those sps stocks flex more than a diving board at fat-kid camp. No sense in even trying to keep it. I recently got a boyds tacticool and I really like it. Price was pretty decent ($134 w/ shipping and camo laminate instead of painted). Bedded it with JB weld and It's done pretty good so far. I use a FAT wrench to check my bolt torque on my stocks and scopes.

Buy you a nice adjustable drop in trigger; you can do it yourself, if you know how... Or you could try it yourself and ruin it if you don't.... Choice is yours on that one.

Bed your scope mount, if you need to. Check your scope and make sure it's torqued properly.

After that it can get real expensive real fast. Replacing the barrel (cheapest I saw was $500-700 from ER shaw), truing the action (might have been included or another $150-250 depending), more expensive synthetic stocks ($500-$1,200+ depending on what you want....) For what it cost for all that you could drop $1,200 or so on a savage in a nice 6.5mm caliber and still have plenty of change for a GOOD scope. Not great, but a good one.

So between build or buy...what do you want and whats it worth to you? I've spent $3k building an AR from scratch. It is pretty much exactly what I want with no compromises where accuracy and dependability are concerned. Is it for everyone? No. Could I use one that was bought from a store for 1/3 the cost for 90% of what I do with it? Yes.

So sit down at the computer and think of everything you want this rifle to be. Go look at how much it will cost (parts and labor if it applies) then look at comparible rifles that already have what you want. Does it have to be .270? Do you need a long action? Is it a target rifle or a hunting rifle? In the end, what it's worth is up to you. There are plenty of people who drop $1200-1500 on a $200 stevens action to build a rifle. You could do the same with your 700. Or buy another rifle that may better suit your wants and needs.


Oh yeah. If you're chasing accuracy pick up reloading. No better way to get quality ammo that accuracy needs.
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Old July 23, 2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Forget 750 yards with a .270 too. The cartridge is not up to it.
This is just not true. The 270 Winchester is fully capable of making shots well beyond 700 yards in the right shooters hands and while it is not a popular target cartridge, it is still accurate enough to do it.

RangeEnthusiast, before you make up your mind to use a different action take your current one to a good gunsmith and have it checked out. The R700 is a very popular action for target shooters for a reason and it sure makes getting aftermarket parts a whole lot easier as just about everyone makes them.
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Old July 23, 2014, 02:48 PM   #15
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Just completed another bullet test with my "rem700 sps adl in a crappy synthetic", it shoots every bullet I can load it with into a quarter size hole at 100 yds.

Heres what I did:
1. Pillar bed and Devcon Plastic Steel bed the recoil lug are.
2. Filled forearm with JB Weld, stiffed it up tremendously.
3. Gave the trigger(old style trigger) the "Remington Crisp".
4.Completely freefloated barrel 1/16" at least.
5. Properly mounted bases, rings, and quality glass, ( Vortex Viper HST 4-16 X
These 5 easy steps turned my 300.00 used crappy-stocked rifle into a real nice accurate rifle...I almost forgot, the buttstock portion I have filled witha 1 lb bag of lead ajust behind palmswell, and packed it full of foam padding so it remains quiet even if it brushes against any terrain I might encounter..

BTW, its a 30-06, and it shoots 165, Sierra gmkhp, 150 b-tips 165 grain b-tips, and I've just start testing 190 grain Accubond Long Range bullets.
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:18 PM   #16
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Probably the easiest and cheapest first check would be to enlarge the forearm channel so the barrel is free-floating forward of the chamber.
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Old July 23, 2014, 05:03 PM   #17
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I have several factory rifles including Remington M700s, A BDL, two Classics and did have an ADL. Sold the ADL to a friend to give to his son as a Christmas present. The ADL was a 30-06. Mine came with a wood stock but I believe the OP's rifle has a Tupperware stock.
The idea if filling the forearm with bedding material is good but does add weight. I had a Mauser that I bedded into a Butler Crfeek stock that didn't shoot all that well with average groups running around two inches. I used modeling clay and built up two short towers inside the hollow foreaamd and pressed a 3/8" threaded rob deep enough into the clay so that the rod didn't contact the barrel. I placed two layers of electricians tape on the barrel, coated the tape with wheel bearing grease (very thin coat) and used an insulating foam material that I got at my local hardware store. I partially filled the forearm with the foam and quickly place the barreled action into the foam filled forearm and tighten the stock screws. It helps if you have someone help with and extra pair of hands but you can do it alone. I let the foam cure overnight and removed the gun from the stock. Don't forget to mask off the outside of the forearm as there will be overflow of the foam. The barrel should also be greased all the way around. No holes left to be filled and that forerm is as rigid as if it were solid material. I also used the foam to fill the hollow butt so it doesn't "boom" like a drum should you bump into somethimg.
One caveat. I have suggested this before and at least one person said it caused his stock to soften up and sag. I've done this to two Butler Creek stock and two Tupperware Winchester stocks with no problems at all. Haven't done it with a Remington stock and never did find out who made the stock for the fellow that had problems. All I will say on that is it worked for me.
On barrel break in? Methinks it's not all that necessary and have not bothered as I consider it a waste of components, especially now with them so hard to find. Both rifles are customs with new barrels (Douglass). The .280 Rem. has had just about 80 or 90 rounds and groups are in the .50 to .75" range. The .308 has only had one box of factory through it and one box of handloads and it's doing .75" to .80" sor far.
The late barrel maker Gale McMillan stated IIRC right here on this forum many years ago that if someone did a barrel break in procedure on one of his barrels he would null and void the warrantee.
I've only had one rifle that fouled so badly that something had to be done and the fix was a shortened firelapping session. It's a great shooter now and the rifle, an M70 FWT in 7x57 is one of my favorites.
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Old July 23, 2014, 06:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
I've seen crappy stocked Remingtons go from 3 MOA to 1 MOA with just a decent stock on them.
I've seen those crappy stocks shoot .3 MOA just as they left the factory. You might get a stock that looks and feels better, but if a replacement stock helps make it shoot better it is because the factory stock had a fitment issue that could have been corrected. Don't waste time trying to make it stiffer, that isn't the issue.

You will always be at a disadvantage with a 270. You can do it, but there are just better options. Most of the bullets are designed for hunting and not target shooting. They make some better bullets now, but the factory barrels are twisted for lighter hunting bullets instead of the heavier target bullets. You still won't get satisfactory results even with the better bullets. It can be done with a custom barrel made to shoot the better target bullets but if you're going to rebarrel you might as well get something easier to work with.

A nicer stock could be an option, just don't expect it to solve your accuracy problems. fix that problem first. I use aftermarket stocks on most of my rifles, but they have to prove they will shoot before I spend $600 for another stock. I don't spend the money hoping it will turn a poor shooter into a tack driver. It doesn't work that way.

I'd either trade it for something better, or use the action as the basis for a custom build. The 700 action can be as good as anything else and better than most. But there are lemons out there too.
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Old July 23, 2014, 09:46 PM   #19
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Some Remington 700's shoot and some do not. I have had to re-barrel quite a few 700's to get acceptable accuracy.
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:28 AM   #20
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First and easiest things to do are:
* give the rifle a good cleaning with a quality bore solvent,
* take the action out of the stock and check for clearance between the magazine and the action, the barrel and stock, and
* torque the action screws to 60 in/lbs when reassembling.

I had a customer all riled up at a local gunsmith because the smith had "ruined the rifle" when he threaded the muzzle. Took the action out of the stock and inspected the work (everything looked OK), and when I put it back together I torqued the action screws. All of a sudden, I was a miracle worker, the rifle once again shot sub-MOA. As much as I would like to claim I can cure leprosy and the common cold at will, it was probably just the fact that I seated the recoil lug well and torqued the action screws when I reassembled the rifle.
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:50 AM   #21
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Scorch, 60 inch pounds on all Remington 700 stocks or only the ones with pillars?
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Old July 25, 2014, 02:17 PM   #22
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Any stock needs to secure the action tightly against the forces of recoil. If the action shifts under recoil, you lose all consistency and the muzzle will be at a different point "in space" when the bullet exits- and there goes accuracy.

Be it wood, wood composite, synthetic composites...all generally need to be epoxy bedded to achieve this, although a composite stock (or metal chassis system) with a precision fit to the action can deliver good accuracy without.
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Old July 25, 2014, 02:57 PM   #23
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I agree that consistent torque is needed but 60 in-lbs is really quite high.

Very few firearms makers recommend more than 45. I think Weatherby recommended 65 on some guns at one point but currently says 35-55 depending on the stock.

Remington says no more than 15 on wood stocks and 45 on synthetics. I do think they allow up to 65 on composites.

In reality, I think there's a safe max but no real "correct" number. There are all kinds of opinions/methods on getting it right for your gun.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:56 AM   #24
Bart B.
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Forget 750 yards with a .270? Why? 28 and 26 calibers on the same size case behind the neck have done very well at that range. With match bullets, the .270 will shoot 3/4 MOA with only half decent ammo in good rifles.

The (.270)cartridge is not up to it? Well, their bullets in Sierra's test range shot in the 1/4 to 3/8 MOA sized groups at 100 yards.

A (270) 140 grain bullet, for example, drops 97"(8 feet) at 700 and that's not an issue at all as long as it drops the same amount for each shot. Accuracy is not measured by how much a bullet drops at any range.

Regarding stock screw torque......

Win. 70's shot best in competition with all three screws at 60 in/lb with all barrel weights, cartridge as well as barrel length. Those using Rem 7XX based rifles performed well with 40 to 45 in/lb on front and back screws, 25 to 30 on the middle one.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:14 PM   #25
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I would build off the ADL. I've got a older ADL with synthetic stock and just bedded the action, free floated the barrel, and installed a Shilen Trigger. With my handloads and modest speeds, I would not hesitate to ethically take game at 400-450yds. Target, I wish I had a 750yd range to shoot at lol. Some people want to bash these rifles because of the setbacks Remington has had over last 10 or so years. Bash all you want, drive the prices down and I'll buy them up and do a little tinkering with them for a lot less than a fully custom built rifle.
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