Long Freebore Rem 700 .308


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Hungry1
October 26, 2013, 08:02 PM
I've been loading for my Rem 700 in .308 and I'm getting about 1-2 MOA.

The free bore measures out to 2.955"

From what I've learned, .020" off the lands will give better accuracy. With such a long free-bore, this isn't possible.

My questions: What is the longest COAL anyone here has loaded their .308 ammo for this rifle? Did you notice any improvements? Am I just "Spinning my Wheels" ?

My Load:

Brass:WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized, trimmed to 2.00", flash hole uniformed.
Bullet: 168 gr SMK
Powder: 42gr IMR 4895
Primer: Tula LRP
COAL: 2.800" measured at the bullet tip
*Bullets are seated with a Redding Competition Seating Die

My rifle range goes out to 280 Yards.

My Rifle: Rem 700 ADL Varmint, 26" barrel, stock scope, original low quality stock, Timney 3.5 lb trigger.

Thanks in advance for insight, corrections or criticism.

I have a thick skin, sock it to me! :what:

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ironworkerwill
October 26, 2013, 08:32 PM
3"+. I doesn't matter really. If it won't fit in the mag it'll need to be loaded one at a time. If it fits in the mag, all the better.

bfoosh006
October 26, 2013, 08:34 PM
Try a longer bullet.. a 190 might get you closer... granted you would probably have to single load them... but...

And remember that same freebore is what helps keep chamber pressures down, just ask Roy Weatherby.

Hungry1
October 26, 2013, 08:40 PM
For what it's worth, I only load one at a time.

Thanks fellas :)

rcmodel
October 26, 2013, 08:45 PM
.020" off the lands hasn't much to do with anything, except perhaps one specific rifle chamber that likes it that way.

However, the two most accurate ammo types manufactured in the word, namely Match & Varmint ammo, is loaded to a standard SAAMI length that will fit in any magazine, and any chamber.

Buy a box of each and see if your gun likes it that way!

And see if you can get your reloads to shoot almost as accurately at normal length.

rc

primalmu
October 26, 2013, 08:59 PM
I ran into this with my Remington 700. I've resigned myself to just loading at 2.8" with 168gr SMKs and not worry about loading to a certain distance off the lands if/when I upgrade barrels.

USSR
October 26, 2013, 09:11 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Model 700. Unless you intend to rebarrel it, all you can do is load it to mag length, unless you want to single load it.

Don

morcey2
October 26, 2013, 09:41 PM
I feel your pain. I don't have a 700, but I've got several mausers that have exceedingly long throats. They're long to the point that I would have to seat the bullets out of the cases to get anywhere near the rifling. One thing I did find on several of the rifles is that crimping with a Lee FCD lightly (90-degrees after contact w/ shell-holder) or moderately (180-degrees) helped significantly. On one of them, a Spanish M44 in 8x57, a medium crimp dropped the groups from 3" to 1" with 200 gr Speer SP and 175 gr Sierra Pro Hunters. It's repeatable and I've done tests with my son or son-in-law shooting without telling them which one they were shooting and it's very consistent crimped v. uncrimped.

It doesn't help with every bullet type like Nosler CC for 8x57, but it doesn't seem to hurt things. Some will say "Benchrest shooters don't do it, so it won't work." To that I say "Benchrest shooters don't shoot rifles with exceedingly long throats." Top fuel dragsters don't run coolant in their engines. Does that mean we'll be faster if we don't run coolant in our car engines?

You'll also see some mangled bullets posted claiming that the crimp massively distorts the bullet. I've tried to get any of mine to mangle bullets that way, and I haven't no matter what I've done. With one exception. I held a bare 8mm bullet in a 30-06 crimp die and crimped the bejezus out of it. It looked kind of like the pics, but I had to do it a couple of times with the bullet tilted off vertical to mangle it enough.

Anyway, It's something to think about.

Matt

119er
October 27, 2013, 01:37 AM
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Model 700. Unless you intend to rebarrel it, all you can do is load it to mag length, unless you want to single load it.


Yup. I have a mid-70's produced 700 ADL in 30-06 that has an insanely long throat. A 150gr boat tail bullet has no contact with the mouth of the case when out far enough to touch the rifling! It is awaiting a barrel replacement that will occur one of these days.

I also have a mid-2000's SPS Varmint in 7mm-08 that will engage rifling before I run out of mag room with 150gr bullets. Luck of the draw I guess. I gave up on making the 30-06 shoot and moved on to other more cooperative rifles.

jwrowland77
October 27, 2013, 09:30 AM
My Savage Axis .308 is this way. I just loaded to mag length, and was able to find a really good load with it.

steve4102
October 27, 2013, 09:39 AM
My Load:

Brass:WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized, trimmed to 2.00", flash hole uniformed.
Bullet: 168 gr SMK
Powder: 42gr IMR 4895
Primer: Tula LRP
COAL: 2.800" measured at the bullet tip
*Bullets are seated with a Redding Competition Seating Die

Why did you select this as "Your Load"?
Did you do load development with IMR 4895 and other bullets as well?

Did you do load development with the 168gr SMK and other powders?

Your 42gr is right near the bottom of Hodgdon's load data for this powder/bullet combo. How did working up towards Max of 45.4gr affect your accuracy?

In a long throated rifle like the 700 the last thing I mess with is the OAL. I select a bullet, then try several powders working up looking for that Magic load. If I don't find it, I select a different bullet and start it all over again. When I do find that "Magic" powder/bullet combo, then and only then will I play around with OAL. To be honest, most times changing OAL has little or no affect in my rifles with extremely long throats.

WVRJ
October 27, 2013, 10:28 AM
Some bullets are picky about too much jump into the lands,some are not.I load 168 gr A-Max's to 2.915 in my 700,that gives about .005 jump.Those over 46 grs of Varget make up the best shooting load I've found for my 308.At that length,they obviously won't fit in the magazine.I seat them to mag length,and lose a little accuracy,but certainly not enough to get excited about,it still stays well below 1 MOA.Berger has a few 30 caliber bullets that they claim are very tolerant to seating depth.I think the amount of freebore in relation to magazine length is one of the Remington's worst design flaws,but they build rifles for the masses,and do have to stay out of the liability courtroom.One of the best shooting rifles I have is a long action 700 in 280.When I had it built,I gave the gunsmith a loaded round set up the way I wanted it and told him to make sure there would be no excessive freebore.Loaded for a zero jump,it is accurate and turns out excellent velocity.But in a short action,doing this could be a problem if one were to have to use different factory loads in a shortage situation.You can still find an excellent load,it'll just take some time and research.I love research.

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 01:50 PM
Thanks for all the input, some good stuff here.

I shot 10 rounds with a OAL of 2.825 this morning. There was no effect on accuracy.

I will keep experimenting with the powder charge/bullet, to gain more accuracy.

Powders that I've tried so far are, Varget, IMR 4895 and I have an order in for some IMR 4064.

blarby
October 27, 2013, 01:56 PM
Not exactly the same rifle, but my ruger target likes them best at 2.872-2.910- So I feel your pain on the long freebore.

For awhile I simply loaded to about 2.873.

Then we got not one, but two rifles that use magazine fed .308 winchester- and all of the problems associated with too-long for magazine rounds became apparent.

Now, I'm in the midst of re-tiering all of my loads to work at magazine length or less COALS- mostly 2.790 as the nominal length.

Now I do keep some at "precision" length- but only in Lapua headstamped brass, which makes them easier to sort out.

My question then would be : Do you have any other rifles in .308 ? If so, Working more towards normal length, as RC suggested is quite possible with great accuracy, might be your best bet.

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 02:11 PM
Not exactly the same rifle, but my ruger target likes them best at 2.872-2.910- So I feel your pain on the long freebore.

For awhile I simply loaded to about 2.873.

Then we got not one, but two rifles that use magazine fed .308 winchester- and all of the problems associated with too-long for magazine rounds became apparent.

Now, I'm in the midst of re-tiering all of my loads to work at magazine length or less COALS- mostly 2.790 as the nominal length.

Now I do keep some at "precision" length- but only in Lapua headstamped brass, which makes them easier to sort out.

My question then would be : Do you have any other rifles in .308 ? If so, Working more towards normal length, as RC suggested is quite possible with great accuracy, might be your best bet.

Yes. I also have a M1A. My original goal was to find a round that would be interchangeable for both rifles. That was why I was working with the low powder charge.

I realize now, that in order to gain the most accuracy from the 700, I need to make loads tailored to each rifle. :)

jwrowland77
October 27, 2013, 03:33 PM
I love my load using IMR4895. I also have a pretty good load using Power Pro 2000-MR.

Meters great, and it likes the heavier bullets. One thing about this powder, is it likes it on the hot end of stuff. If you try it, work up of course, but I'm betting you'll end up with best load on the high side.

Walkalong
October 27, 2013, 07:04 PM
There are lots o 700s out there with long freebore that shoot just fine. Something else is wrong.

Loose scope mounts. Broken scope. Bad crown. Bad barrel. Bad (Really bad) load.

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 07:12 PM
There are lots o 700s out there with long freebore that shoot just fine. Something else is wrong.

Loose scope mounts. Broken scope. Bad crown. Bad barrel. Bad (Really bad) load.
I don't think that there is anything wrong Walkalong. I was curious about loading the rounds with an extended COAL. :)

Walkalong
October 27, 2013, 09:05 PM
I understand that, but loading them long is not going to make a .5 gun out of a 1 to 2" gun. Something is wrong if it shoots Sierra Match Kings into 2" at 100 yards.


I have a thick skin, sock it to me!Or I would not have. :)

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 09:25 PM
I understand that, but loading them long is not going to make a .5 gun out of a 1 to 2" gun. Something is wrong if it shoots Sierra Match Kings into 2" at 100 yards.


Or I would not have. :)

Fair enough :D

I bumped the load up a .5 grain to 42.5 IMR 4895. I've got 15 more loaded in .5 gr increments up to 44 gr. I'll get it sorted out. :)

100 yds, seated at a picnic table.

http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l585/wormsaw/008_zpsdc8df3fc.jpg

243winxb
October 27, 2013, 09:42 PM
I would change these - WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized - TO: New brass of all the same lot/manufacture, FL sized, CCI Br2 primers.

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 09:51 PM
I would change these - WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized - TO: New brass of all the same lot/manufacture, FL sized, CCI Br2 primers.

Thanks for the input.

I'm not new to shooting, but I am new to reloading rifle. Less than 1000 rounds so far.

I read the Hornady 9th edition, which explained how fire formed brass would fit the chamber better and align the bullet with bore more precisely.

In your opinion, why would FL sizing help?

For what its worth, the head-stamp dates all match.

Thanks

USSR
October 27, 2013, 10:56 PM
Quote:
My Load:

Brass:WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized, trimmed to 2.00", flash hole uniformed.
Bullet: 168 gr SMK
Powder: 42gr IMR 4895
Primer: Tula LRP
COAL: 2.800" measured at the bullet tip
*Bullets are seated with a Redding Competition Seating Die

Why did you select this as "Your Load"?
Did you do load development with IMR 4895 and other bullets as well?

Did you do load development with the 168gr SMK and other powders?

Your 42gr is right near the bottom of Hodgdon's load data for this powder/bullet combo. How did working up towards Max of 45.4gr affect your accuracy?

Steve4102,

He's using milsurp brass. You use that Hodgdon load data (which was done using Winchester brass) with milsurp brass and you will be WAY over pressure. 42.5gr of IMR4895 is a HOT load with a 168SMK in my LC brass.

Don

Hungry1
October 27, 2013, 11:27 PM
Quote:
My Load:

Brass:WCC NATO Brass, Fire Formed, Neck sized, trimmed to 2.00", flash hole uniformed.
Bullet: 168 gr SMK
Powder: 42gr IMR 4895
Primer: Tula LRP
COAL: 2.800" measured at the bullet tip
*Bullets are seated with a Redding Competition Seating Die



Steve4102,

He's using milsurp brass. You use that Hodgdon load data (which was done using Winchester brass) with milsurp brass and you will be WAY over pressure. 42.5gr of IMR4895 is a HOT load with a 168SMK in my LC brass.

Don
Now you've got me nervous. :eek:

Do you think my 44 gr IMR 4895 in Mil-Surp brass are unsafe??? :confused:

Extraction wasn't smooth with the 42.5s, but I attributed this to the fact that the brass is on it's 5th load and may need FL sizing...

Thanks

Ridgerunner665
October 28, 2013, 01:28 AM
Now you've got me nervous. :eek:

Do you think my 44 gr IMR 4895 in Mil-Surp brass are unsafe??? :confused:

Extraction wasn't smooth with the 42.5s, but I attributed this to the fact that the brass is on it's 5th load and may need FL sizing...

Thanks

5th load...

Has the brass been annealed?

If not...that could be part of your problems....both in accuracy and extraction.

hentown
October 28, 2013, 09:50 AM
I always thought freebore was the length of the leade? I recently sold both my 700 varmints, only because I became bored with bolt rifles. I did a lot of experimenting and found that there was no "magic" distance off the lands. Everything changes when you change bullet design and charges.

I always used a benchrest follower and loaded one-at-a-time...never used the magazine. I could load out to the lands, if necessary.

USSR
October 28, 2013, 01:09 PM
Now you've got me nervous.

Do you think my 44 gr IMR 4895 in Mil-Surp brass are unsafe???



No way in heck would I shoot them. I got high velocity/pressure at 42.5gr of IMR4895 with LC brass. The problem with the .308 Winchester is, you've got to pay attention to what brass is being used, since there is a big disparity between load data using Winchester commercial brass and 7.62x51 milsurp brass.

Don

BigG
October 28, 2013, 04:39 PM
You are not measuring that correctly according to the way the calipers are set in the pic. The jaws should span between the two furthest holes from the inside of one to the outside of the other. That pics looks like you have a full bullet diameter added to the group. IOW, if you read that to be 1.2", subtract .30 or whatever the bullet is to make it 0.90"

Hungry1
October 28, 2013, 07:00 PM
No way in heck would I shoot them. I got high velocity/pressure at 42.5gr of IMR4895 with LC brass. The problem with the .308 Winchester is, you've got to pay attention to what brass is being used, since there is a big disparity between load data using Winchester commercial brass and 7.62x51 milsurp brass.

Don
You are not measuring that correctly according to the way the calipers are set in the pic. The jaws should span between the two furthest holes from the inside of one to the outside of the other. That pics looks like you have a full bullet diameter added to the group. IOW, if you read that to be 1.2", subtract .30 or whatever the bullet is to make it 0.90"

Good info fellas. Thanks! :)

Ken70
October 29, 2013, 03:01 PM
Remington is doing the same thing Weatherby has always done; lots of freebore to let the bullet get moving before it hit the rifling. You can have lots higher pressures and not blow up the gun. Think of it like a 10 pound trigger pull, it's something to help prevent you from hurting yourself.

Ridgerunner665
October 29, 2013, 03:25 PM
In Wetherby's case...it resulted in higher velocity...in Remingtons case is results in nothing...the reason Remington does it this way has nothing do with the reason Roy did it...factory Remington barrels are well known for lower velocity with any given load.

Ken70
October 29, 2013, 04:54 PM
In Wetherby's case...it resulted in higher velocity...in Remingtons case is results in nothing...the reason Remington does it this way has nothing do with the reason Roy did it...factory Remington barrels are well known for lower velocity with any given load.
Care to explain how Remington manages to slow down the bullet? Undersize bore with lots of friction? I'm curious. That's something I've never read or heard about in 20+ years of being in the gun culture. I've only read that 700's were one of the most accurate rifles around. At least before Cerebus bought them....

Walkalong
October 29, 2013, 06:40 PM
Weatherby basically used the extra freebore as extra case capacity, giving a little insurance with his large overbore cases loaded to high pressures. The added velocity was due to charge weights and pressure, not because of freebore.

With standard .308 ammo in a long freebore 700 barrel pressure goes down and so does velocity.

The handloader can take advantage of it if they desire to.

243winxb
October 29, 2013, 07:01 PM
I read the Hornady 9th edition, which explained how fire formed brass would fit the chamber better and align the bullet with bore more precisely.

In your opinion, why would FL sizing help?
FL sizing lets the round find its own center in the chamber. Not all chambers & bores are in alignment. Plus the bolt face may not be square to the chamber. Its hard to compare FL & neck sized with the same load. The neck sized case has more volume, after its expanded to the chamber. You want everything the same for each loading, if possible. FL sizing does this. But both may work. Testing is the only way to know with your rifle. make it 0.90" Not a bad group, your getting there.

Ken70
October 29, 2013, 07:51 PM
Weatherby basically used the extra freebore as extra case capacity, giving a little insurance with his large overbore cases loaded to high pressures. The added velocity was due to charge weights and pressure, not because of freebore.

With standard .308 ammo in a long freebore 700 barrel pressure goes down and so does velocity.

The handloader can take advantage of it if they desire to.
Weatherby could get the velocity and pressures because the bullet had .75" of free bore before it hit the rifling. Without the free bore, he couldn't use the powder charges he did. Set the bullet .020" off the rifling in a Weatherby chamber without the free bore, probably blow up the gun. So it was both, free bore combined with the huge powder load. You had to have both to get that Weatherby speed.

Remington decided to use free bore to make a safer rifle. At least one that didn't have a propensity to come apart if the charge was a little too hot. How about Winchester, Savage, Ruger, Browning and the other rifle makers? Did they use a long free bore as well? Their lawyers telling them better safe than sorry?

Ridgerunner665
October 29, 2013, 09:03 PM
Winchester does not do this...at least not the FN built guns...they have short throats, any bullet can be jammed into the lands and still feed through the magazine...just another good reason to call it the riflemans rifle.

Ridgerunner665
October 29, 2013, 09:04 PM
Care to explain how Remington manages to slow down the bullet? Undersize bore with lots of friction? I'm curious. That's something I've never read or heard about in 20+ years of being in the gun culture. I've only read that 700's were one of the most accurate rifles around. At least before Cerebus bought them....

Rough bores...

The internet has plenty of bore scope pics that show how rough the bores are...they are accurate...but the barrels are almost always on the slow side.

Been in this game a while myself...lots of things that have been true for years...and I didn't know them either until I took the time to do the research.

As to Remingtons being the most accurate rifles around...that's just not true, never was...the reason they have that reputation is because most people use the 700 action to build custom rifles...not because it is any better...but because its what the military uses, and they use it because at the time when they decided what to use...Winchester as a company was in shambles, the guns were fine...but slower and more expensive to manufacture...so uncle Sam gave the contract to Remington...Remington does know how to build a quality rifle, no question about that...its just that they give us the watered down version.

After getting to know my model 70...the 700's fall short, and that's coming from a guy who was once a die hard Remington man...proof of that can be found right here on THR in my older posts, along with why I now shoot and recommend Winchester.

Any brand of rifle will likely be reasonably accurate these days...even the really cheap ones...there is more to a fine rifle than than the barrel...a rifle is the sum of all its parts....stock, trigger, action, and barrel...some are better than others for certain things.

And everybody has an idea of what's prefect in their mind...I'm not trying to bash anybody's choice...you have yours, I have mine....and life is good.

Walkalong
October 29, 2013, 09:09 PM
Weatherby could get the velocity and pressures because the bullet had .75" of free bore before it hit the rifling. Without the free bore, he couldn't use the powder charges he did. Set the bullet .020" off the rifling in a Weatherby chamber without the free bore, probably blow up the gun. So it was both, free bore combined with the huge powder load. You had to have both to get that Weatherby speed.

Remington decided to use free bore to make a safer rifle. At least one that didn't have a propensity to come apart if the charge was a little too hot. How about Winchester, Savage, Ruger, Browning and the other rifle makers? Did they use a long free bore as well? Their lawyers telling them better safe than sorry?
I believe we said essentially the same thing.

Ken70
October 30, 2013, 03:05 AM
I believe we said essentially the same thing.
We did.

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