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Long Freebore Rem 700 .308

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hungry1, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    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:
  2. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth, I only load one at a time.

    Thanks fellas :)
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    .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.

  6. primalmu

    primalmu Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    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.

  8. morcey2

    morcey2 Well-Known Member

    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.

  9. 119er

    119er Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    My Savage Axis .308 is this way. I just loaded to mag length, and was able to find a really good load with it.
  11. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. WVRJ

    WVRJ Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  16. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.
  18. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    I don't think that there is anything wrong Walkalong. I was curious about loading the rounds with an extended COAL. :)
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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. :)
  20. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    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.


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