View Full Version : Stock alternative

March 17, 2013, 07:46 AM
I have a Remington 700 BDL 22-250 with a 8-32 NightForce scope.

The rifle has a Douglas barrel that was fitted about 3 years ago. The stock is original but the new barrel was glass bedded.

The gun is very capable of small groups. . .until last Friday. Best I could do was 4 inch group at 100 yards with a 55 gr. Speer match bullet and 38.4 gr. H380.

Took it to the smith that did the work and showed him the target and he put the gun in a vise and opened the floor plate. The magazine box was shifted.

He then loosened the front stock screw and felt the action move in the stock. He retightened and let me feel the jump. He repositioned the magazine box where it is supposed to be and retightened the action screws and the jump went away.

A 22-250 has almost zero recoil, yet the rifle action has moved. I do not want a repeat.

My question for you, is if you are really happy with the rifle but not so much with the stock, what stock would you recommend?

The rifle has a butt ugly factory stock from the 70's with the crappy polyurethane finish. I have never liked it but the rifle just shot so good I never changed it.

Now is the time to change things and keep the action and barrel.

Which way would you go? Composite or another wood stock?

This gun will deliver 5 shots at 100 yards into a dime size group. It has done it time after time. It is an old gun with a newer barrel and I really want to keep it and get it shooting good again.

As always, I appreciate your input. Thanks in advance.

March 17, 2013, 09:05 AM
Likely either the guard screws were loose, the magazine box wasn't installed correctly, or the glass bed job wasn't done right. You can eliminate the first two. Shoot it some more and see if it does it again.

March 17, 2013, 05:00 PM
The job was done by the smith at the range and he does a whole lot of work.

His reputation is pretty darn good. I don't know how the box would have shifted out of position and that is what prompted the question of maybe a different type of stock to make sure it does not happen again.

When we checked the screws before we loosened anything, they were tight.

It was only when we loosened them you could feel the action move.

I could tell there was some pressure on the stock because a dollar bill would not pass between the barrel and the stock and it was snug on the left side.

I am really trying to figure out what to do to prevent it from occurring again.

March 17, 2013, 07:37 PM
First) does it have slotted or hex hex screws? Second) Is it to be a bench rest gun or a hunting rifle? Third) How much you want to pay for a stock?

My hunting rifle is in this one. http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet/the-553/bell-carlson-medalist-tactical/Detail

My bench-rest gun is in this one http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet/the-108/bell-carlson-adjustable-tactical/Detail

Get hex head screws http://www.midwayusa.com/product/435834/remington-rear-trigger-guard-screw-700-adl-bdl-hex-head-blue?cm_vc=wishList torque them down to 50 In. Lbs. in either stock. Get two rear, Cut the front one to length you need.

You can't torque the screws down that tight in the original stock it will crack.

March 17, 2013, 08:29 PM

Thanks for the response. The rifle has slotted screws. At my age, I am not going to be hunting any more. I do like punching holes in paper.

I don't know that I want to build a full blown bench gun but really would like to have something better and more stable than I have.

I think your build for a hunting rifle would move me into a more capable rifle and is probably the way I would go.

I am going to shoot what I have Friday and may just wander down to the gunsmith and get some input from them. They do a lot of work for shooters in the Phoenix area and have never steered me wrong.

I will keep your input in mind. Thank you.

March 17, 2013, 09:42 PM
This is pretty much what your rifle would look like in the B&C stock minus the brake. I took the brake off right after I put it in this stock. Stock is for a heavy barre but it looks just fine to me with light barrel. Lots of room for air flow. You can use the slotted screws but the hex head make torquing it to 50 In. Lbs. a lot easier.


This is the big stick. You don't want to be toting it around the woods.


March 17, 2013, 11:44 PM
B&C Medalist stocks with the aluminum bedding block are pretty good but heavy, HS Precision stocks are very nice and lighter than the B&C units, Stockys Stocks Ultrawood stocks that have the aluminum bedding block are pretty nice and have nice wood. Or you could go with a real fiberglass stock and have the ideal stock, no shifting because of humidity or moisture, lightweight, and rock solid. Or I could bed the original wood stock and pretty much guarantee that you will not have issues. Pretty much your choice, depends how much you want to put into it.

March 17, 2013, 11:44 PM
It sounds to me like your wood stock needs a good pillar bedding job.

The most accurate rifle I have is a Rem 700 BDL that has been blue-printed & a 22" med heavy SS Hart installed with a standard size .270 chamber. I kept the original Remington stock except that it was pillar bedded, glass bedded, floated, plastic forend & grip cap replaced with ebony & a limbsaver butt pad replaced the steel cap. The hardest part was getting that so called "bowling pin" finish off the stock so I could put on the TruOil! LOL

I torque the action screws down 60lbs. I can take the action in & out of the stock & the zero never changes. With it's favorite load & me having a good day, it makes nice single hole "bumblebugs". I can load & mix several different brands of 130gr bullets & it will still shoot < MOA! As a matter of fact, most 100gr, 130gr, & 150gr loads all shoot to the same practical zero at 100 yds! This gun originally came from the factory 42+ yrs ago so I figure, this wood stock is as stable as it will ever get!
My Texas sendero rifle.

March 18, 2013, 10:49 PM
Have you tried tightening the screws, then opening the floorplate and feeling for any play at all in the box? I'd bet the farm it isn't magic. Something real is causing the problem. It wouldn't hurt to tighten the screws, then back them off about a half turn at a time and see how many turns it takes before paper will slip between the barrel and forend. The barrel should not be tight in the channel before the action is tight in the stock. Neither side should be tighter than the other.

March 18, 2013, 11:12 PM
McMillan in whatever flavor you desire.

Whether it is a more traditional design you are looking for, or something more tactical, or maybe ultralight. Colors and options of your choosing, lots of colors and options in most cases.

Definitely not the least expensive option, but you have a really excellent scope and and excellent barrel. Mcmillan makes excellent stocks that are tough enough to go through combat. Price range probably isn't out of your reach for what you seem to be going for for this rifle.

The only negative thing about it is there is a wait time of 5 months to get it ordering direct from them.

March 19, 2013, 02:04 AM
Or I could bed the original wood stock and pretty much guarantee that you will not have issues. Pretty much your choice, depends how much you want to put into it.

Scorch, how long from the time you receive a rifle, stock and action, to be beded until it's finished and returned? Another-words what's the waiting period.

March 19, 2013, 08:39 AM
Have you tried tightening the screws, then opening the floorplate and feeling for any play at all in the box?


That is exactly what happened. The range gunsmith opened the floor plate and his first observation was the box was not sitting right.

He felt the rifle barrel and stock with one hand and loosened the front screw and felt the action move. He then tightened everything up and head me touch the barrel and stock and loosened the front screw again. Then, I felt the action move. He took the action out of the stock and set the box where it should be and tightened everything down again and there was no felt movement.

I think the issue is fixed and I will shoot it again Friday to confirm. I have had the rifle a long time and just do not want this to happen again which is what prompted the question about a replacement stock.

When I had the rifle re-barreled, it was shooting all over the place. This was a rifle that shot 3/4 inch groups at 200 yards. I thought I had just shot out the barrel. Now I am wondering if the box had shifted once before and then when the rifle was re-barreled and bedded, the problem went away for a while.

The rifle was bought and used in Illinois and the humidity is normally pretty high there. Out here in the desert, it is very dry most of the time and I have to wonder if 25 years in this climate took more moisture out of the wood and making it more likely for the action to move a bit.

I will know more by Friday. That rifle has been a favorite for a lot of years and I want to keep it and keep it shooting good.

52 gr bullets and 38-38.4 gr H380 just make it work well.

Thank you for the response.

March 19, 2013, 10:56 AM
Scorch, how long from the time you receive a rifle, stock and action, to be beded until it's finished and returned? Another-words what's the waiting period.
I generally turn a glass-bedding job in two weeks or less. Add your shipping time to that.

March 19, 2013, 11:45 AM
I generally turn a glass-bedding job in two weeks or less. Add your shipping time to that.

I was expecting a minim of 2 to possibly 6 months. That's an excellent turnaround time.

March 19, 2013, 05:37 PM
I do it for a living, not to pass the time. I don't want it to be a lifelong committment.

I think I misunderstood the question, though. I thought we were talking about glass bedding a rifle in the factory stock. If so, then yes, 2 weeks. If you meant how long to turn a complete restocking (inlet, shape, sand, and finish a semi-finished precarved stock), it's about 2 months from the time I get the stock (about 1 month of that is just applying finish letting the finish cure). If you want checkering, double that (I do checkering in batches).

March 20, 2013, 04:06 PM
It was taking about glass bedding. I just can't bring myself to do "anything" to the original stock. Although it will probably never happen, I keep thinking, what if I ever want it back all original. I've always been that way with everything. I've never gone back to original with anything. :rolleyes:

I actually don't think the new stock weighs any more than the original Walnut stock. Could be wrong about that. I've always been afraid of "scratching" the original. Not to worried about the "painted" compost one. :D

March 22, 2013, 01:47 PM
Well, the rifle is going from bad to worse.

After resetting the action last week, I went to the range again. Long story short, 3.5 inch group at 25 yards. Just awful. Went to the smith again and we decided to swap the scope out and see if we can eliminate the scope as a variable.

I have the NF off and a Weaver K10 on and boresighted. Will have a go next week and try to get it ironed out. I have two loads that I am shooting. Both are proven performers. 52 gr. HPBT and either 38 or 38.4 gr. H380.

I did check the dollar bill around the barrel and it is free with no tight spots either before or after shooting.

Anyone have any input?

March 22, 2013, 03:56 PM
I went through the same thing with my 06. That's how I ended up with the NightForce then the new stock.

Check the mounts/rail make sure they/it's not loose. Make sure the scope rings are tight to rail and at the scope (LockTite is your friend). Make sure the action screws are torque properly and if the barrel is free-floated that it does contact the stock when on whatever you are using for a rest. When was the last time it got a good cleaning? Copper fouling will also cause a rifle to loose accuracy. I would hope the smith checked all of that for you before telling you to change scopes.

It went from shooting like this at 100 yds. That's a 1" circle.


To shooting like this. That's a 1/2" diamond top to bottom side to side. The low one was cause by the loose nut on the back end of the rifle. :D


March 22, 2013, 04:07 PM
I usually scrub the bore after every outing.

This gun went from a tack driver to "not in the game at all" very suddenly.

I checked all the mounting screws for the scope after I took it off. Nothing rattles and nothing seems to be loose.

I have the K10 on the rifle now and have it bore sighted. It should be 1 hole groups at 25 yards. Today it was 3.5 inches. That gun has NEVER been that bad.

I will know more Friday.

March 22, 2013, 04:19 PM
You said that the ammo box was shifted and that the smith loosened the front action screw, put the box back in place then tightened the screw(s). Correct? Is the barrel free-floated? If so is it still clear all the way back to the action. Run a dollar bill from the muzzle end back to the receiver. It should slide freely the whole way. (unless he has it bedded past the recoil lug) It should do the same when on your rest.

You say you "scrub" the gun after every outing. How does the rifling look at the muzzle? How's the crown look? Smooth? Even? That's something else the smith should have taken a look at for you.

How many rounds down the tube? Not sure if 22-250 is barrel burner or not.

March 23, 2013, 11:43 AM
You said in your first post that the barrel was bedded...

That's odd, but not unheard of. Conventional wisdom is to free-float for consistency.

I suspect your issue is one of barrel harmonics due the barrel not being free-floated.

It shot well with the barrel bedded, until the action shifted.

Once it shifted, the contact points/pressure points on the barrel changed- for the worse. Even re-seating probably did not get it back precisely to where it was before.

You said you really don't like the stock anyway, so I'd replace it. Laminate stocks are fine but you need to install pillars at minimum and preferably bed the receiver as well- and free-float the barrel this time.

Or, get a composite stock with an integral aluminum bedding block and be done with it.

IMO, you may be chasing ghosts now as it may be impossible to get those magic harmonics back now. If it were mine, I'd grind out the barrel bedding to free-float it for the heck of it to see what happens.

March 23, 2013, 01:59 PM
700 BDL's are not banded. I don't see where he said that either but sometime I do miss things. ;)

March 23, 2013, 07:50 PM
You mean "bedded"?
The OP said it in the second line of his first post.

The rifle has a Douglas barrel that was fitted about 3 years ago. The stock is original but the new barrel was glass bedded.

March 23, 2013, 10:03 PM
You wrote bedded I read banded. Dyslexia rears it ugly head again. Sorry! Yes he did write bedded. :(

March 24, 2013, 11:17 AM
Just as a follow up.

I went back through my logbook and the rifle had a new barrel installed and action bedded in November 2009. The barrel has 926 rounds through it to date.

Best group was .4325 for 5 shots on 7/23/2010.

The last good group was shot on 4/20/2012 and the gun was not shot again until 3/15/2013.

The rifle was not shot for almost a year. It was cleaned before it was put away in the safe.

I am using Hoppes on the bore today and the patches are coming out clean.

I use the Otis system and pull the bore brush from the chamber to the muzzle.

The crown looks good and the rifling at the crown looks good.

The preferred load for this rifle is 52 gr SMK and 38-38.4 gr. H380 loaded at 2.432 which is -.080 in. off the lands.

I have actually shot 5 factory rounds through this gun and my loads are better and none of them are barn burners. I do not chrono the loads. My loads are all well under maximum published loads for the caliber and show no signs of over pressure.

March 24, 2013, 07:09 PM
If after you shoot it with the different scope it's still shooting badly first thing I'd do get some Bore Tech Eliminator and make sure it isn't copper fouled. I used to use Hoppes on my rifles for years and years. On the 06 I would run a couple of wet patches then a couple of clean then another wet. It would come out clean. Then a couple dry and they wold come out clean. When I couldn't get it shooting like I thought it should I got some Bore Tech Eliminator an though I'd never get all the copper out. Made a believer out of me.

The fact that it was shooting well when you put it away and badly soon as you shot it again is strange. Is just the action bedded or is it full length bedded? If just the action did you check to see if the barrel was/is coming in contact with the stock? I find it odd that it was glass bedded and the magazine box managed to shift. I find it odd that the screws would loosen if the smith torqued them correctly.

March 25, 2013, 02:02 PM
Re-read it...
The action is NOT bedded.
The barrel IS bedded- so of course it's making contact with the stock.

March 25, 2013, 03:28 PM
I am not sure what you mean by the action not being bedded. The barrel is free floated and does not touch the stock. The receiver is bedded for about 3 inches.

A piece of paper will move unhindered from the front of the stock to a point about
3 inches in front of the receiver block.

The entire action is not packed in glass nor is it pillar bedded. For sure the barrel is not bedded except where the forward grip screw is located.

tobnpr: My apologies. I was not real clear in my first post. The action IS bedded, the barrel is floated. Sorry for the confusion.

What I said: The rifle has a Douglas barrel that was fitted about 3 years ago. The stock is original but the new barrel was glass bedded.

What I SHOULD have said: The rifle has a Douglas barrel that was fitted about 3 years ago. The stock is original but the new barrel was floated and the action was bedded.

March 25, 2013, 05:58 PM
The barrel not touching is good thing. Now you need to check it with the forearm sitting on your rest or by-pod (whatever you normally use) to make sure the stock doesn't bend/twist whatever and touch/contact the barrel. Check it the same way with the paper. I use a dollar bill it's a little thicker than regular paper.

I presume you haven't gotten to shot it yet with the new scope?

I don't understand why the smith only partially(?) bedded the action. I've never heard of that. Not saying its not right, just that most of the time the action is fully bedded. Some people even go past the action and a couple inches up the barrel or full length bed the action and barrel. I'd like to know the reasoning behind only partly bedding the action. Perhaps he just filled in some low spots in the stock?

If the rifle was shooting well that way there is no reason it shouldn't still be shooting well. I could see a shift in POA to POI after laying up for year if you lived in a dame area (I'd hardly call Arizona damp) but not erratic POI unless something is loose, touching or the barrel is cooper fouled or burned out. Usually copper fouling or a burned out barrel give deteriorating accuracy over time not just goes from good to bad. Good to bad shrouds more like something loose (could be the internals of the scope but being a NitghtForce I tend to doubt it) or when the smith put the box back in it isn't really in place and is binding the action or the action just isn't seated properly.

March 26, 2013, 11:50 AM
So, here is where it stands today.

I went back to the range with a bore sighted Weaver K10 that is known to be good.

Had two loads. Both loads well below maximum. 52 gr. Speer match and either 38 or 38.4 gr. H380.

No good. Groups at least 4 inches at 25 yards. Put the NF scope back on and the results were essentially the same as last week.

Took the gun back to the gunsmith and asked him to go through the rifle to see if we can figure out what is wrong. The smith does notice some "frosting" at the throat that is not abnormal for 900 or so rounds.

I have 100 new brass that I am going to load the same as what I have been using and take another 22-250 to the range on Friday. I have an older Ruger M77V that has had less than 250 rounds fired through it since new. I am not sure what that will tell me but right now I am really puzzled. I just can't imagine what is going on with the gun.

I scrubbed the bore and the patches come out clean. There is no visible damage to the crown and the rifling looks good.

This is a real puzzle for me.

The pattern actually looks like a 22-250 shotgun. It is THAT bad.

March 26, 2013, 12:47 PM
Try a box of factroy loads. You may have unintentionally messed up something with your handloads and do not realise it.

March 26, 2013, 01:46 PM
Point taken. I am taking another rifle to the range Friday and will shoot that same lot through a different rifle.

That is a load I have been shooting for a lot of years. It is hard to imagine the load would be so out of whack as to cause this problem.

I have been shooting a lot of years and have not seen this problem before.

I keep a logbook of the rounds fired and these two loads work well.

I have 100 new brass and am going to load those up tomorrow.

March 26, 2013, 04:16 PM
I find it hard to believe (I've been wrong before) that loading would cause a 4" spread at 25 yards. There would have to be a vast difference in bullet weighs or charge rates to make that much difference at that short yardage. I still believe something is tweaked or lose. If it were me I'd pull it out of the stock, check everything, then make sure it went back together correctly before I went back to the range.

Make sure the recoil lug is tight up against the rear of the lug channel and that there is clearance between the trigger guard/action screws and sides of the holes in the stock.

March 26, 2013, 07:39 PM
Trying another load is really reaching for straws, but it never hurts to look at simple things first. Could be a bad lot of powder, accidently loading the wrong powder, your scales could be out of whack. They make bullets in .222, .223, and .224, perhaps the manufacturer mislabeled the box of bullets.

I cannot imagine a bedding problem causing this much error. Loose scope mounting seems more logical,but you've already checked that.

March 26, 2013, 07:58 PM
The reloads I shot were partial boxes of rounds I have shot with good results.

I had two different scopes and each one was checked for loose screws.

The only thing that comes to mind is a cracked stock and I don't see any evidence of that or some sort of failure in the action. I just can't imagine what that could be as I have never loaded a 22-250 hot.

Perhaps the bedding is separating from the stock??

I have a lot of questions and not many answers.

I have check weights for my scale and only keep the powder I am loading on the bench.

I don't have any problem loading the rounds or extracting the empties and the bolt handle is not hard to turn.

I really expect to find a simple answer, although that answer has eluded me so far.

March 26, 2013, 08:11 PM
I really believe the simple answer is action to stock problem. Everything else seems to be a constant. First thing the smith found was the ammo box was shifted. That is what started the problem... probably loose screw(s) and when he tightened things back up some isn't where it should be. Or as you say perhaps a crack in the stock. Take the action out and have a look inside. It isn't that hard and what do you have to lose, it's shooting like crap, you can't make it shoot much worse. I've had my rifles in and out of stocks so many times I can do it blindfolded. Two screws and it slips right out. Only hard part is "sometimes" the ammo box is a pain to get lined up but it's not that hard. The U cut in the box goes up and forward.

March 26, 2013, 08:36 PM
I hear what you are saying. I have the gun at the gunsmith who did the barrel install and will get his input before I do anything.

I still have some of the reloads that are shooting so crappy and will try them in my other 22-250 and see if they shoot or not.

I normally shoot SMK in those guns but I loaded up some Speer Match bullets and those bullets have shot pretty well. Something happened to the gun while it was in the safe for 11 months when I did not shoot it. I just don't know what.

I don't think that is the real issue. I think it is something else

April 5, 2013, 01:04 PM
Here is the latest on the errant 700BDL.

I loaded up 100 new brass, 52 gr. SMK, Winchester large rifle primers and 38 gr H380.

Went to the range this morning with a Ruger M77V and a Weaver T16.

I took along the loads that are not shooting well in the M700.

The first shot out of the barrel at 300 yards rang the gong. This in a rifle that has not been shot in 3 years.

Shot those reloads as well as the new loads at 100 yards and the rifle grouped pretty well. I have shot better but not with the T16 with a dot.

Anyway, the loads and the reloads are obviously NOT the problem.

Went to the smith and asked them what was going on with my M700 and they tell me they cannot find a thing wrong with it. I can't help but believe it is the barrel but I find it really hard to believe the barrel is shot out at 926 rounds and all of them loaded down to around 3400 fps. 38 gr. H380 is NOT a hot load.

So. . .what is wrong? It would REALLY irritate me to rebarrel the rifle and see the same thing occur. That rifle has never been a problem child and I am really having a hard time coming to grips with what is going on.

The smith had the action out of the stock and checked the bedding and they see nothing wrong.

They have another smith who is going to look at it and I left them a box of 50 new loads in new brass to see if they can figure out what is going on.

If it was YOUR gun, what would you suggest? I don't want to give up on it. I just don't really know where to look next.

Thanks for your input.

April 5, 2013, 02:31 PM
I was going to suggest exactly what you did, leave known good ammo and let the smith shoot and see what he comes up with.

You say it was shooting well when you put it up and wasn't (a year later) the very next time you used it. Barrels don't go bad sitting in a safe. If it had rusted sure. But just sitting in a controlled environment? I don't buy the barrel is bad.

Let me tell you how finicky rifles can be. The smallest change can make them do strange things. Had the 06 at the range today. First cold bore shot, previously fouled barrel 1/2" high 1/2" left. Let cool for 20 minutes. Temp was mid 50's. Second shot 1/2" high 1/2" right. So far so good it's/I'm shooting MOA. Adjusted scope put third shot dead center. Back in the rack to cool again. Shot a 1/8" group with the 308. OK I'm doing my part. :D Next 06 cold shot dead center. :D I wanted to see where it would shoot with the brake on. After it cooled I took the thread protector off and screwed the brake on. 1/4" high 3/4" right follow up shot 5/16 high 1 1/4 right. Grouped moved as I knew it would and shot under MOA. :D Now here is where it gets freaky. Let it cool. I have not touched the scope so when removing the brake and reinstalling the thread protester one would expect the riffle to once again shoot dead center. Right? Nope! 7/16" low 3/4" left. Second shot same place. Third shot dead center. Let rifle cool. First shot cut the left corner off the diamond second dead center. Let cool. Last three shots of the day dead center. The thread protector and brake screw on and off by hand no tools used so it's not like I tweaked the action in the stock but first two shots after reinstalling the thread protector went low left. Go figure! Rifles do strange crap. :rolleyes:

April 5, 2013, 05:46 PM
The gunsmith called this afternoon and said they thought they had found the problem.

I went out to pick the rifle up and they showed me that they hogged out a little more of the barrel channel and brought the relieved area back to where the barrel swells before it goes into the action.
The stock is now relieved all the way to a point about two inches in front of the action.

They showed me the target they shot at 100 yards with my loads and they are the way I remember them.

I will put the NightForce back on tomorrow and bore sight. It should be real close as the scope did not come out of the rings and we will see how it does next Friday.

Hope the problem is history. We will see. . .

April 5, 2013, 09:03 PM
That sounds more like what I suspected. I'd feel better if it were free-floated all the way back to the action. However some people don't do that and get good results. Let us know how it shoots for you.

April 10, 2013, 08:30 PM
So what's up with your rifle. Went to the range today and had a blast. Everything, including me shot great. Except with my buddies new Mossberg bolt action 30-06. Trigger was awful. Shot one, hard pull, dead center and pulled one, long gritty not so hard pull 1" left. Didn't even feel that I had palled it. But I did. :( Rifle has potential but needs trigger work.

April 11, 2013, 07:36 AM

Tomorrow ( Friday ) is range day. I put the NF back on the rifle and bore sighted it.

I have the loads and reloads all ready to go. With any look, it will all be good.:D

April 11, 2013, 12:38 PM
Cool! Hope it punches one tiny hole for you. Let us know.

April 11, 2013, 12:55 PM
Cool! Hope it punches one tiny hole for you.

I can ALWAYS get it to punch one tiny hole:rolleyes: It is the rest of the string that gives me fits. Is it cheating to put one on the paper and 4 in the berm?:D

I will let you know.

April 12, 2013, 12:06 PM
Just got back from the range. The gun is not right. The gunsmith last week told me he had some sighting rounds to get his scope zeroed and then he shot some targets. He was shooting 5 shots and he had 3 on the paper. They were ok but nothing to write home about. He showed me one group and said he must have pulled two shots.

I put a target out at 50 yards and got the scope dialed in a little high and when I had three shots pretty close together and where I wanted them, I put up some Shoot-N-C targets at 100 yards and put a 6 inch target in the middle of the little ones. Made some pretty drastic changes on the scope settings and then started shooting the small 3 inch targets.

Finally got to print on the small target and selected a clean target to try for groups.

First shot was high and to the left and off the target. Shot six more and thought I had 3 doubles in the center. Not so. Three shots and one way right and off the target and one way right and low off the target.

I took the rifle back to the gunsmith and told them to re-barrel with a Shilen or Krieger. Don't want another Douglas barrel.

The only good thing about today was a guy trying to dial in a Winchester 9422 with a scope and having no luck at all. Looks like the dovetail is not parallel to the bore. At least the scope is not parallel to the bore.

I told him I had always wanted one and he asked if I was interested in the one he had. It is a 1973 and is like new except for some freckling on the barrel. He said he had not had it long and had not yet bonded with the gun.

It is straight walnut and no checkering so I bought it from him and put the factory sight back on it. I may have over paid a little but I am happy with the rifle.

The action is MUCH smoother than my Marlin 39A and the rifling in the barrel is sweet and no signs of pitting. No dings in the stock and just a bit of blue worn off at the muzzle.

This really was an impulse buy but I am strangely mellow now. Will try it out next week with the irons.

April 12, 2013, 01:57 PM
I'm sorry to hear that. And this is going to sound harsh... BUT! I don't believe I'd be bring my rifle back to that gun smith(?). There are too many good smiths, several right here on this board, to be dealing with someone that can't tell me what's wrong with my rifle.

The smith that bullet my 308 told me what bullet and powder to use and gave me a start gr. on the powder. He was within 1/2 a gr. of the rifle shooting the best it can. I found a less expensive bullet that shoot just as well with 1 1/2 gr. more of the same powder. But the point being not only did he know how to put a rifle together to make it shoot he knew what components it took to make it shoot.

You gave the guy 50 rounds he shot whatever it was he shot, only got three on paper and though that was good enough to give you your rifle back? That's pathetic.

I know smiths don't like talking bad about other smiths but I'd really love to hear their opinion on this.

Again sorry to hear he can't make it right. :(

April 12, 2013, 04:39 PM
When I said he had three on paper, I did not make it clear that he was using a sighting in target that has the diamond in the middle and the 4 diamonds on the corners. He had 3 groups on that paper. He had one five shot group that was actually pretty good considering they pulled an old scope from somewhere and threw it on the rifle.

What he ALSO said, was there were a couple of flyers he thought he had pulled.

I don't think they were pulled at all. What makes me think that is what I shot today.

That is what has me thinking bad barrel.

I was shooting Shoot-N-C targets today. I had the little 3 inch targets at the corners and a 6 inch target in the middle.

I had all of this on a target frame with a 36X36 inch sheet of white paper behind it so I could see where every shot went.

Once I got the rifle on the Shoot-N-C 6 inch target and zeroed, I moved to the 3 inch targets.

I was surprised that my first 3 shots were not on the smaller target.

I went back to the big target in the center and made more correction on the scope to get closer to the center and then moved back to the little targets.

The first shot on the smaller target was high left and off the target and on the paper. The next three shots were in the center. The next two shots were right and centered but off the target and the last shot was right and low off the target.

I grabbed another box of bullets that has proved very good over the years and all in new brass and these loads shot well last week in a Ruger M77V.

I shot the upper right hand Shoot-N-C and could not hit the target for 3 shots.

I gave it up and took the rifle back for work.

April 12, 2013, 05:46 PM
I still don't buy the barrel went bad sitting in the safe. I've been wrong before and we'll see what happens with the new barrel. I hope I'm wrong. :)

April 15, 2013, 09:59 AM
If it were "my gun"...

Assuming you have confidence in your smith, and that the borescope of the barrel showed no issues...I doubt it's a hardware problem.

You mentioned the receiver is bedded.

Does it have pillars installed? Without pillars, action screw torque is even more of a variable. While the action won't compress against the epoxy, the bottom metal sure will against the wood stock as the screws are torqued.

I would re-do the receiver bedding, and install pillars. Not a tough thing to do, a few hours work or so- and absent an issue with the barreled action, that's the only variable left. Grind out 1/4" or so, and have another go at it.

I'm a proponent of not using screws to hold the action in place. Electrical tape, wrapped tightly and evenly the length of the action avoids placing stress points on the action.

May 24, 2013, 12:52 PM
So whats the word on your rifle?

Dixie Gunsmithing
May 24, 2013, 01:45 PM
One question is, I am wondering if the gun was used in some greatly different humidity settings? Maybe stored where it is very low humidity, and was really humid weather at the range? I'm wondering is the wood isn't moving around over it, or is just starting to for some reason or another. Something doesn't sit well with me on this, as if it is bedded correctly, the action shouldn't budge, and since the barrel is floated, it shouldn't be tipping the stock at any time.

May 24, 2013, 06:39 PM
The latest. . . one of the guys working in the shop had a HS precision stock set up for the Rem 700 short action varmint barrel.

We dropped the gun into that stock and it still shot like crap.

The gunsmith suffered a stroke and died without ordering a new barrel.

I picked up the rifle and took it to another gunsmith and we started looking at the barrel closer. The barrel accepts a .220 in. - tolerance pin ( .2198 in. actual ) freely from muzzle to bolt face. The nominal bore for the barrel as well as I have been able to determine should be .218 in..

We are going to put a new barrel on the gun and probably not another stainless one.

I am expecting the rifle back in a week or so and we will see how that shoots.

I did not shoot hot loads through that gun at any point. I was shooting 52 gr. SMK and 38 gr. H380. They worked fine up until they did not work worth a crap.

When I get the rifle back, I have the action in a better stock, I have new glass and mounts so it should shoot fine. I am just bummed the barrel would go away at a thousand rounds.

May 24, 2013, 11:38 PM
Not only is it odd that the barrel would go away at a thousand rounds but also that it just went. I would have expected decreeing accuracy not just bang gone. Sounds like you're going to end up with whole new setup. Hope it's a shooter for you. Post after you put a few rounds down range.

Dixie Gunsmithing
May 27, 2013, 12:29 PM
I'm with Jerry45 on this, as if it shot well beforehand, and went to pitts after putting it up for a while, it shouldn't have changed, but shot the same afterwards too. The only thing that could cause this, that I could think of, is a dirty barrel, and the time allowed the carbon/copper to settle in and dry. Also, that action shouldn't move around, at all, so you need that looked at.

Try plugging the muzzle with a patch, then fill the barrel with a good cleaner, and let it sit for a couple or three of days, then, after draining it, clean it as normal, using a brush, then a patch with a jag. I'd try this before purchasing a new barrel just yet.

June 7, 2013, 07:04 AM
So. . .here we are again.

Heading out to the range in a few with the rifle.

It has been glass bedded in an HS precision stock. It has a new factory chrome moly barrel. It has a new Leupold VXIII 6.5-20 in Warne rings.

I have two different factory loads and two different hand loads.

I have the rifle boresighted and will probably put no more than 15 rounds down it today. I will let you know how it does.

June 7, 2013, 08:52 AM
I would have slugged the barrel (like a milsurp) to get a true measurement on the groove diameter. The groove dia. could have been to spec, with "thinner" lands. I don't see how the rifling could have been worn far outta spec suddenly for such a change in performance.

Good luck with the new barrel.

June 7, 2013, 11:48 AM
The gunsmith got it right. After sighters, the rifle put 5 into a quarter at 100 yards.

It will shoot better with handloads.

June 7, 2013, 03:53 PM
Glad to hear you got it shooting again. Enjoy!

June 8, 2013, 09:30 AM
This is what I shot yesterday with Winchester premium factory ammo.

Handloads should do much better. 5 shots at 100 yards.

Dixie Gunsmithing
June 8, 2013, 12:48 PM
I've got to say, that I have never heard of any gun doing this, and what caused it has me totally bamboozled. I understand the new barrel shooting okay, but what could cause a barrel to shoot like crap over being stored for a bit, when before, it was perfect? I guess I'll stay stumped on it, as I can't see rifling changing over being stored, unless for rust, or dirt, and you didn't have that.

June 8, 2013, 01:31 PM
I talked to the gunsmith yesterday that did the original barrel change. I told him that we were able to drop a -2 .220 pin ( .2198 ) freely through the barrel.

What he said to me was very interesting. He said regardless of nominal barrel dimensions, some barrel makers deviate from the design because experience has taught them what works best for their application.

He said you can look at a Shilen microgroove barrel and compare that to a Douglas and the depth of rifling is like night and day. Each manufacturer tries to produce what works best for them.

I don't know exactly what to believe now.

What I DO know:
1) The rifle was rebarreled with a Douglas Premium barrel in 2009 and shot pretty good for a while. 926 rounds.

2) The rifle was bedded at the time the barrel was installed and the action was trued.

3) The rifle shot pretty good up until a little over a year ago. It was cleaned and stored in a safe for a year.

4) The rifle did not shoot worth a crap after bringing it out of the safe.

5) The rifle was checked for anything wrong with the bedding and nothing was found. The action screws were re torqued and the accuracy did not improve.

6) The stock was relieved to ensure their was no contact from the barrel and accuracy did not improve.

7) The action was installed in a HS Precision stock that was made for a Remington 700 Varmint barrel. The accuracy did not improve.

8) The Nightforce scope was swapped out for a new Leupold VXIII 6.5-20 and the accuracy did not improve.

9) My handloads were withdrawn and factory rounds were shot through the gun and accuracy did not improve.

10) My handloads are loads that I have shot for over 40 years. Almost all are Sierra Match Kings and IMR4064. I now shoot a lot of H380. Nothing made the accuracy improve.

Last resort was a factory barrel that came off a Remington 700 22-250. The guy who bought the rifle wanted to rechamber the gun for something else. The barrel is a chrome-moly blue varmint weight barrel that had only been proof fired at the factory.

The picture that I posted was the result of shooting Winchester Premium 55 gr. ballistic tip bullets in nickel plated cases. I also had some Winchester 55 gr psp factory ammo that I used to get the scope sighted in.

I tried to take one logical step at a time to get to the bottom of this. I am not sure of what I could have done differently.

The proof is the rifle is shooting an ok group with factory ammo and I will bet my handloads will improve the performance.

I think the Douglas barrel was the problem and could probably have saved a bunch of money by swapping the barrel out first.

It has been a learning experience for me, however, I am happy with the way the rifle shoots now. I am bummed the old barrel went away after less than a thousand rounds. I don't know why. My handloads are not as stiff as factory rounds and should not have caused unusual wear. I had no bulged cases or blown primers. The gun just went bad and now it seems to be fixed.