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Old January 25, 2022, 09:35 PM   #1
E.J.W.
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Replace or re-barrel

Have an older Rem 700 BDL in 243 Win with about 600-700 rounds through the original barrel. All have been 70 gr varmint bullets over IMR4350.
Groups had starting to open up some last summer. A season back groups at 200 yrds from a rest were 1 inch max, now they are approaching 2.5 inches.
Doesn't matter if its the first five shots from a clean & cold barrel or last 5 shots of the box. I Didn't change any components of the load because I know it works in this rifle. Swapped my 6500 Elite scope to a borrowed 4200 Elite, same results. Cleaned the barrel with copper remover and JB bore paste process as suggested by a fellow shooter, didn't see any improvement.
I'm thinking the years of IMR4350 has finally taken its toll so I am trying to decide whether to replace the rifle (in 243 Win again) or have an new barrel (1:10 twist) fitted to my trusty 700. This would also allow the Timney trigger and bedded stock to be kept. Heard some unfavorable things about the later 700's and heard good things about Tika's.
I'm kind of partial to the re-barrel route as I appreciate "older" things but could be swayed to a new toy that needs accessorizing.
Appreciate any thoughts on the re-barrel approach as I've never done this before. Are the high dollar barrels worth it just for chuck hunting or are there more wallet friendly barrels that will perform in the field.
I have a "smith" that will do the installation should I go this route.
Thanks
E.
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Old January 25, 2022, 11:24 PM   #2
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I would suggest a couple things before you start changing things.

The bore should be clean, if you used a good copper remover and JB I would agree its clean. What copper remover did you use?

check your screws. going from 1in to 2.5 seems kind of drastic. Check your action screws scope base, and rings. something could be loose.

tune your seating depth. If your 600-700rnds in you may have pushed your lands forward a bit. should still have a reasonable amount of life left. Not sure where you seat, but I start at max COL and go back in 0.003 increments. usually about 6-7 groups and it will go from open to tight back to open. I had a rifle that would not shoot any better than 1.5in, testing seating depth and I got it down to .75 at 100yds

If you have a smith who can do work for you, I would have them take a quick look down the barrel with a bore scope. They can tell you if your barrel is shot out or not. Have them take a look at the start of the rifling, and the crown. Might just need a a re-crown.

In guns, I have a policy I don't get rid of them unless I hate them. If its been a good rifle that has served you well maintain it and keep it. Might just need a little TLC, or a new barrel, either way I would keep it going.

Of course, you can always get a new rifle.... but I prefer to add to and build my collection, not trade things out. If you want a new rifle, get one of those as well, you don't need an excuse.
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Old January 26, 2022, 01:58 AM   #3
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I believe you are getting the results you say you are getting.

If you had said 6000 or 7000 I'd agree,shot out barrel . But 600 to 700 rounds?

If you say so,but I'm surprised. Might a local smith or shooter have a borescope? A fresh set of eyes might see something you missed

You do you,I would rebarrel if its the barrel.
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Old January 26, 2022, 06:17 AM   #4
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I’d guess seating your bullets out a little further would bring back the accuracy. Most likely throat erosion. Of course check this first to avoid any over pressure issues and make sure they will fit in the magazine and feed okay. There are various methods for checking the chamber, lots of info on the net so research and decide which method would work best for you.
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Old January 26, 2022, 07:18 AM   #5
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600 - 700 rounds is pretty low round count even or a .243, even match rifles get double that. I think Jetinteriorguy has the right idea.

.243 is a accurate low reoil cartridge but they are not known for barrel life. A 6BR single shot or a 6.5 Grendel repeater will both give the same accuracy and low recoil and still have 3 - 4 times the barrel life
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Old January 26, 2022, 08:33 AM   #6
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+1 on post #2.
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Old January 26, 2022, 08:52 AM   #7
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I had Rem 243 and it's now 243AI and change out factory magazine for Wyatt. If your loading spec OAL you only have .225" you can move bullet forward and that's not allowing clearance.


I think you can find follower and turn it into single shot if you need more length.
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Old January 26, 2022, 06:42 PM   #8
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Replace it….. whole thing, lock stock and barrel, with a Win70!! Or a Mauser 98!!

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Old January 26, 2022, 06:57 PM   #9
MarkCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetinteriorguy View Post
I’d guess seating your bullets out a little further would bring back the accuracy. Most likely throat erosion. Of course check this first to avoid any over pressure issues and make sure they will fit in the magazine and feed okay. There are various methods for checking the chamber, lots of info on the net so research and decide which method would work best for you.
Depends on where he was to start with...

If you were in an accuracy node on seating depth of 25 thou or less, yes, your throat erosion can be seen as low as 500 rounds. Lengthening the load might bring it back for another 400 to 500 or so, then you have to dance the dance again.

You can go the other way too. 50 thou or more. You can do that with a shorter bullet if you need to in order to keep the heel in the neck. The accuracy nodes 50 thou or more are larger and will last longer. As long as you have not chewed up the start of the rifling too much, you can get another 500 to 1000 out of a barrel once the lands are too far away for the under 25 thou node. You can always rent a finish reamer and, by hand, lengthen the freebore. Another little trick to avoid paying the barrel man again.
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Old January 26, 2022, 08:08 PM   #10
E.J.W.
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First off, thanks for all the replies!!
I'll try to address in order:
Copper cleaner was Bore Tech.
The increase in group size was over a summers worth of hunting chucks and range practice. Thought it was either me or the scope at first.
I did a check of all screws and nothing was loose.
Bullet is a flat base 70 gr Hornady SXSP at max COL 2.71 which was where the load shot nice groups from starting at 2.65
These #2415's are no longer avail but have 4 boxes left so going to stick with them.
I called Ryan my "smith" and will be dropping it off Friday after work for a look see with his bore scope. Good suggestion by the way... having a trained pro look things over.
I do have some good memories from the fields that this rifle was shot over and the bragging rights it accrued on those 300 yrd bets made.
Round count was estimated from adding up the past load cards (x 20 rnds each) kept in the die box. Some cards may not have found their way home and there was a period of years that our travel sports schedule kept me away weekends so it was just a guess.
With both kids now out of the house I'm finding new places to hunt, new people to go with and time to shoot more.
We'll have to see on seating these SXSP's out further, with the flat base there was not much holding them at 2.71 so I never loaded the magazine, always hand fed one at a time.
Brother in-law wants me to buy a 22-250 so I can get dies and load for him too.
Not a direction I want to go right now.
At this point I'll wait for Ryan's comments next week when I stop by.
Again thanks to all.
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Old January 26, 2022, 10:48 PM   #11
Shadow9mm
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bore tech works, and it works well, I use their bore cleaner, hands down the best I have used to far. Barrel is definitely clean.

Let us know what the smith says and what you end up deciding to do.
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Old January 27, 2022, 07:14 AM   #12
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If you do decide to rebarell look into a remage conversion. You can swap barells at home using a barell nut like on a savage. I have a 22 creedmoor criterion bbl ill be putting on a wore out rem 700 soon.
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Old January 27, 2022, 09:19 AM   #13
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My opinion is a little different. If you're just going to be an occasional shooter and are not especially wed to the 243 win--then it may be time (fun) to try something else. But if you already have a trusted and reliable track record and knowledge base with the cartridge--then just get a new barrel. Barrels are commodities, just like cases and they are going to wear out and need replacing. About the only consideration I would toss into the replacement scenario is whether or not you want to do it yourself, in which case--just like reloading your ammo--it pays to get the best tools for the job--and the best receiver set-up (that you're willing to spend money on) that allows easy switch-outs and holds as close to blueprint accurizing tolerances as possible.
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Old January 27, 2022, 11:21 AM   #14
reinert
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My old, vintage '79 model, Ruger 77 in 6MM Rem., has probably right around + - your M700's round tally through the barrel (maybe more like 800). I've used the 87 grn. Hornady S.P. for a bullet in the rifle for 40 years, along with using IMR 4350, just as you and your rifle (and really why I'm commenting on your post). I won't go into what my propellent charge is, but when I started to believe my accuracy was suffering a bit, I upped my charge .5 of a grain (still in the safety data zone) and it seemed to make a bit of "group tightener" difference downrange.

The old Ruger never was any kind of a tack driver but could be counted on to be most of the time an m.o.a. shooter; sometimes + -... but always a great hunting rifle, always what it was/is meant for. My bullets are seated out as far as the short magazine will allow in my rifle, but it puts the reloaded round's bullet JUST shy of the rifling, as I like it. When the accuracy to me seemed to be heading south, I started considering a new barrel, just as you. While new barrel thoughts were rolling around in the noggin, I thought I'd try some Varget for propellent, just because. So, checked the data, loaded up some rounds, and went to the range. Turned out a 100 yd. group seemed some better, but maybe i was just shooting pretty good that day. Then I found an old 50 round green box (near 10 years old) of my old 4350 loads. Geeze, I shot a fiver at 100 and all in just over .75." I set those aside and marked the box GOOD . Since i've always got a good supply of reloads for the rifle on hand, I haven't had to reload for it for quite a while, not-whith-standing the Varget experiment. Also, I don't shoot near as much as I used to, either. I'll be 71 here in a couple months... still enjoy hunting/shooting as much as always, just don't do it as much as the younger days ('nuff said there).

So, I guess my thoughts here are since it sounds as you've kept your reloads the same mix for quite a spell, you might could try a propellent + - (safely) and send some downrange. My rifle seems a bit fickle in its old age, but I can still make a fair group messing with the round a bit and finding some great old 4350 ammo I had rat-holed away from the past. I've never thought older ammo was any less potent from new, and I've always had a great, cool, dry place for storage of it. For now, and probably where I am in these years, my old M77 and I will remain the same; no replacements for anything needed yet.... Good luck with your concern on your M700. Hope this helps with a thought or two before you figure you need to send your rifle off for a new tube!
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Old January 27, 2022, 11:44 AM   #15
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Let's back the Inaccuracy Truck up for a minute:

What's the condition of your crown? You'd be amazed how accuracy falls off if the crown is nicked up or just from normal wear. Your gunsmith should be able to either counterbore or cut off an inch or so. That would save both your barrel and pocketbook.
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Old January 27, 2022, 04:44 PM   #16
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Shane Tuttle
That's one of the things I said in post #2, might just need a re-crown... OP has a gunsmith talking a look down the barrel with a bore scope. Were just waiting for results. Thats one of the reasons I am a HUGE fan of muzzle devices like flash hiders and linear comps. they protect the muzzle.
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Old January 27, 2022, 10:44 PM   #17
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I would get it to a smith to troubleshoot your issues if you do not feel comfortable. Might be something simple like the crown as mentioned above.
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Old January 28, 2022, 05:01 PM   #18
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Maybe try a heavier bullet, possibly a flat base just incase the throat might have some wear.
Scares me a little, IMR 4350 has been one of my favorites for a long, long time.
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Old February 3, 2022, 12:40 PM   #19
E.J.W.
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Just an update: no word from Ryan yet. He said it might be a bit as the shop is busy. He's a great guy to deal with and does fantastic work so I do not "push" him to hurry. I would like to give all of you some credit as his thoughts when I dropped it off were the same as all that has been mentioned here.
I'll be back once he calls me.
E.
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