View Full Version : My First Rifle - Gone Bad

March 20, 2011, 09:13 PM
My Remington 742 .30-06 that my dad bought me when I was a very young man will no longer hold a group past 50 yds. I have checked the mounts, bases, rings etc. I changed the scope a few times, and I have had a gunsmith clean it thoroughly and check it out. Can you re-barrel a 742? Any suggestions?

March 20, 2011, 09:32 PM
I'd bet a barrel recrown would do wonders.

March 20, 2011, 09:35 PM
Did the gunsmith check out the rifling for you? The only rifle I've ever seen that quickly went from shooting Ok to shooting large and completely wild random groups was an old Marlin 30/30 that had a shot out barrel. In that case it was more of a neglected bore than an overused one.

March 20, 2011, 09:37 PM
i bet a new savage would fix it right up lol

March 21, 2011, 12:17 AM
To answer the OPs question, yes, you can rebarrel a 742. The question I would ask is "why bother?". Rebarreling a gas-operated semi auto will cost you about $400-$500, assuming you could find someone to take on the project. You could find a used Model 4 or a 7400 for less, and have a newer gun with fewer worn out parts.

BTW, the issue is probably excessive headspace, 742s are notorious for "growing" chambers.

March 21, 2011, 12:40 AM
742's are infamous for this problem but there is an easy fix!
the barrel is held in place with a nut or bolt which always loosen over time!
tighten that nut, bolt and problem solved!
Consult Brownell's or Midway for the manual and tools needed

March 21, 2011, 08:54 AM
I would suggest first a recrown, possibly cutting the barrel back an inch or so. Autos are ordinarily cleaned from the muzzle and most people fail to use a muzzle protector and eventually cause wear at the muzzle from the cleaning rod. Goatwhiskers

March 21, 2011, 04:03 PM
There was also some issue, IIRC, with the gas system making contact and applying pressure where it shouldn't (or maybe that was the 7400). Anyway, I'd call Remington customer service and see if you can talk to someone familiar with accuracy problems in this rifle and what they look for. I've never worked on one of these, myself, so be aware that's just second hand information.

March 21, 2011, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the information folks.

Scorch, I agree that I could probably spend the money better, but I will never be able to buy another "first rifle". Sentimental value you know.


James K
March 21, 2011, 09:20 PM
Sorry to bring this up but I have to. I just don't shoot as well as I used to, and strangely enough a lot of my friends have the same problem. And I have noticed some aches where I didn't used to ache and the printers are using smaller type these days, and people mumble when they talk to me, darn them.

Any chance that the Remington is not as young as it used to be?


March 21, 2011, 09:24 PM
Try Re-Crowning the Barrel. It will do wonders. And also in just a small not, Its most likely the barrel.

March 21, 2011, 09:45 PM
Jim K,

I sympathize with almost everything except for the shooting part. I am actually getting better with age (and lots more practice). The Remington hasn't been shot in years since it stopped grouping years ago. You bring up an interesting point though, I should probably take it out again and just see if it is the gun.


James K
March 22, 2011, 01:25 PM
Unless that rifle was shot a lot more than most are, I doubt the barrel is worn out. Most 742's are shot maybe 10-20 rounds a year, if that many. It would take at least 5000 rounds to really do in that barrel.

The first thing I would do is clean the barrel, and I mean really clean it, using a copper remover and an oversize bronze brush. Then check to see if the barrel could be loose (see Kenno's post). If everything basically checks out and the gun still won't shoot, or if you find the barrel is gone, I agree that rebarrelling it would not be feasible cost-wise, and you would be better retiring it and buying an new rifle.


March 22, 2011, 01:52 PM
I would start by checking to be sure the barrel is tight and check the head-space for erosion. If these are ok then I would slug the barrel and get the exact dimensions and compare to the factory spec. If the barrel is not shot out then the crown most likely is the culprit. Re-crowning is a simple process; there is a lot of info on the net that covers how to slug and / or re-crown a barrel.

Good luck!