wringing out new rifle


March 26, 2003, 04:47 PM
finally picked up my new remington 700 vls in 308, and got a little time to shoot it. thought i would post a few thoughts about it...

the rifle:
it is what it is- a mass produced factory rifle. the fit and finish is on par w/ what i expected. no visible tool/machine marks, no cosmetic flaws on the rifle or stock.

the rifle did not come from the factory w/ a floated tube... however, i am an incurable gun-tinkerer and actually prefer to do this myself, so it isn't that big of a deal.

the trigger sucks. it isn't the worst trigger i've ever shot (that honor belongs to savage), but it is far from 'good'. i don't have a trigger scale, but would guesstimate the weight to be around 6-7 pounds!! :what: in its favor though, was no overtravel at all, and although there was some creep, if you aren't used to good triggers, i doubt you'd notice it.

remington lists this rifle as having a 1-12 twist. i felt reasonably sure this was a misprint...the reason i wanted a 26" heavy barrelled 308 is for shooting long-to-very long range, which means heavy (175 +/- grains) bullets. feeling that remington would feel the same way, i expected this rifle to be a 10 twist. during my initial cleaning, i checked the twist rate, and was disappointed to learn that it truly is a 12 twist :cuss: ...

for initial sight-in and break-in procedures, i wanted to see if this rifle would handle heavier bullets, so i picked up the cheapest 180 grain ammo that was readily available (pmp). i was pleasantly surprised to see that there was no evidence of tumbling.

as for accuracy... i am, in addition to a gun-tinkerer, a handloader. so, i really couldn't care less how it shoots factory ammo, but, since i had all my gear out, i measured the groups the pmp ammo was punching and came up w/ a .976" 5-shot average at 125 yards in a 15-25 mph wind, making no attempt at correcting for the wind. to date, i haven't made an effort to find what factory ammo the rifle likes best, and have only shot the pmp stuff...

on pmp ammo...i thought this stuff burned very dirty, and when what i have left is gone, i won't replace it. i seriously doubt this stuff is all that accurate. i think the groups i was getting is a testament to the rifle, and not the ammo. i think if i used a proven accuracy brand (fed gold medal, or something along those lines) and was shooting in more favorable conditions, 5-shot groups would be remarkably smaller...but, i'm not going to find out as i have 150 pieces of new brass match prepped, and am looking forward to load development.

the scope: all my other rifles wear one flavor or another of leupold. a friend talked me into trying a swift, saying i would be impressed. anyway, the scope is a 6-24x50 w/ turrets and an adjustable objective. the glass quality is certainly a step behind the old vari-x 2's, but not bad for the money. the eye relief isn't all that good, but tolerable. overall, not a bad scope for the money, but make no mistake, it is not a leupold.

last comment is on my cleaning chemicals...typically, i use 'barnes cr-10' for my copper removal chores. decided to try 'shooter's choice copper remover' and 'wipeout', after hearing good things about these two, especially the wipeout. the shooter's choice did a good job of getting the copper out, but did require more effort than the barnes stuff. i thought the wipeout was not worth the money regarding copper removal. it did work very quickly on the carbon fouling, but copper is harder for me to get out than the other stuff. when i run this can out, i won't replace it.

i will be bedding this rifle this weekend, and floating the barrel as soon as the bedding cures. will also be re-working the trigger in short order.

if you made it this far, i'm interested in your comment. :cool:

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March 26, 2003, 04:56 PM
forgot one thing...the locking lugs... on one, i have what appears to be about 98% contact. the other shows roughly 25% lockup. not too bad, i guess.

March 26, 2003, 05:54 PM
Yeah, my local dealer swears that they don't even try to float the barrel in the VLS... usually one side is proper and the other side touches the barrel most of the way down. Almost makes you think they aren't made properly as opposed to not 'floated' properly. The VS are fine, of course.

Since you're a tinkerer, you ought to be able to get that trigger down under 4 lbs without too much effort. Still when you get shooting at those 'very long' ranges, you need the best trigger you can get. I have a local guy that does them for $35 and I've always been very very pleased. ;)

Congrats on the new gun.

March 26, 2003, 08:11 PM
Here you go:





Dave R
March 27, 2003, 12:02 AM
FWIW, my Rem 700 groups tighter with 180 gr. bullets than with 150 gr. bullets. So I don't think the twist is going to be a problem for you. Well, the groups you've already fired indicate that, too.

March 27, 2003, 09:22 AM
weather for the remainder of the week doesn't sound conducive to shooting, so i'll be working the rifle over a little. got the trigger tuned last night...amazing what a difference 5 or 6 pounds makes!! :D thanks for the links, rugerfreak.

on cratz2's comment- my rifle's barrel seems to be almost bedded to the stock. the barrel sits very evenly in the barrel channel, but there is almost no gap on either side all the way back; bottom of the barrel is the same way - tight fit to the stock. nope, they didn't even pretend to make an effort to float the tube, which is a travesty, but, that's ok, i can do it proper myself.

soon i'll replace the trigger w/ an aftermarket unit.... i just kind of wanted to feel the rifle out 'out-of-the-box', since i see so many questions along the lines of "out of the box, who's rifle...?"

at any rate, out of the box, i am certainly satisfied w/ the rifle. i'll replace the swift w/ a leupold, but i did want to at least try out the swift, and i did...

Art Eatman
March 27, 2003, 11:33 AM
I have a 700 ADL and a 700Ti. They both were quite easy to adjust to a 2.5/3.0 trigger pull. The ADL's break is acceptable. The Ti trigger is quite nice--no Canjar, but very crisp and I don't feel any need to improve on it.


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