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REM 742 accuracy issue?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by danxt, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. danxt

    danxt Member

    Recently purchased this gun in .243win with the weaver view-thru mounts like the ones in this picture. It has an OLDER simmons 3-9x40 from when they were made in Japan (gunsmith-ish buddy told me that was a decent scope).

    When I first got the rifle, both scope rings had a forward slant, which positioned the scope too far forward. I switched the rear mount so it now has a backwards slant, which allowed me to move the scope backward about 1.5" (a big help). I made this switch before I ever shot this gun.

    I took it to the range, and bore-sighted it, then started extending my range out to 100yds.

    I have been shooting Winchester SuperX G2 100gr at the range.
    So far, I have not been able to hit anything better than a 4" group (5 shot groups).

    With my savage 110 bolt action .243win with the same winchester superX G2, I was shooting groups of no more than 2" consistently.

    What do you think could be going on here?
    I should mention too, that the fore-stock has just a little bit of side-to-side wiggle in it.

  2. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    try a few different types of ammo first before you do anything else.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The older 740's were not noted for stellar accuracy and 3" - 4" may be the best the one you have will do.

    I'd second the try different ammo suggestion. Maybe it just doesn't like what you have.
  4. danxt

    danxt Member

    I was just wondering if the scope might be moving around?
    Is there anything internal on the scope that could be screwed up?
    Could this issue stem from the relatively high position of the scope?

    Does anyone have experience with this rifle who can offer a suggestion on other ammo to try?

    I could spend $200 on trying different ammo and not end up any better than where I am now...
    Likewise, I could spend $400 (more than the gun is worth) on a different scope and not be better off.
    Or I could spend $50 on remounting the scope with better rings and lower position, and not see improvement.:(

    Is there any reason the wiggle in the fore-stock would cause accuracy issues? I can't see how it would, but I'm still pretty new to rifle ownership.

    This is only my second rifle, and the savage I had was used frequently by the previous owner... I never had any trouble with it, and therefore never "worked" on it.

    I thought I was trading up when I gave up the savage for the remington.:eek:
  5. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I have heard that if you remove the forend and check the barrel nut for being properly secured, you might be able to improve your groups.
    I would also add a shim washer to the front of the forend to tighten the forend nut and eliminate the extra movement. And check that scope, maybe use the iron sights to cross check yourself.

  6. ClarkEMyers

    ClarkEMyers Well-Known Member

    Is the bore clean?

    Is the bore clean?

    Given that it can be a nuisance to clean well - might pull the trigger group at a minimum and even do a full barrel nut disassembly and careful reinstallation - the bore may well need a thorough cleaning or maybe not.

    The trigger often had a strong hook such that the hammer cammed backwards before falling and this made it hard to shoot. Fussing too much with triggers on gas guns can be tricky.

    As noted both the mounts and the scope might be at fault or maybe not.

    I'd start with a known for sure clean bore myself.

    My own sample of one was quite accurate and had a very nice trigger after gunsmithing - from new I had a good gunsmith spend a little time on the basis that I'd pay him for his time to fluff and buff - he pulled the barrel and reinstalled and did a very good trigger job. After that I made sure the magazines did not rattle a known issue.
  7. killzone

    killzone Well-Known Member

    Try this -

    Try shooting at 50 yards with new and original ammo and compare instead of 100yd. :)
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Well-Known Member

    as was previously posted these were not known as tack drivers, i have heard of more than a few Remington Autos that only shoot 4" groups at 100. I would try all the accurizing ideas that have been suggested. As a matter of principle on my part I would ditch the see through rings anyway. Not just to move the scope closer to the barrel but to also take the opportunity to get better quality rings. Just about every see through scope ring Ive ever seen have been lacking in quality.
  9. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    Take the rings off and throw them in the garbage.

    I've seen plenty of 742s that will shoot plenty good enough for hunting, but just about every one of them that I've seen (I've seen 100s of them shot) will walk all over the place after 3-4 shots due to the barrel heating up and warping. (I've worked for severalyears at deer rifle sight-in clinics- if you don't get them zeroed by the 3rd shot, you are basicly screwed.) If you took a shot every 10 minutes or so, they might group decently.
  10. Twig

    Twig Well-Known Member

    I have a 742 in 30-06 had the same problems so I took the scope off and it shoots much better don't know why. It also only cycles the next round if I use the 220 grain ammo I think its time for a new hunting rifle.
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...have been shooting Winchester SuperX G2 100gr...better than a 4" group..." Your rifle just doesn't like that ammo. If you're not reloading, you have to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo your rifle shoots best. Think 85 grains or heavier. The rifling twist is made for heavy for calibre bullets.
    "...it now has a backwards slant..." That's no good. The rings need to match in height. With a lower rear ring, the scope is pointed up. Personally, I'd lose the see-thru rings too(they put your head too high) and use rings that are high enough to allow the scope to clear the rear iron sight, but no higher. The scope itself is a low end scope, but serviceable.
  12. wditto

    wditto Well-Known Member

    just send it on down to Saluda here, I'll get it straightened out and back to ya' in 18 months or so....
  13. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    Get rid of the crappy see through rings, and replace them with a good set of steel rings and bases. Or get rid of the optics altogether if you can't afford good mounts.

    Make sure the bore is clean, and free of excessive copper fouling.

    Try different ammo to see if that improves things, but only after a good cleaning and addressing the rather suspect sighting arrangement.
  14. littlelefty

    littlelefty Well-Known Member

    I have an older 742 carbine in 30-06. Same issue. Many a folk at the gun range have told me (as did the guy who gave it to me) that they just are not known for accuracy. i'm mostly convinced, but am still planning to try multiple types of ammo, or work up some loads to see what works best. It'll do the job and is an awsome brush gun - 18 inch barrel 30-06 - Wow! For now though it's not something I'll use to sit onthe power line or any other potential long range place for hunting.
  15. telecaster1981

    telecaster1981 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with 742 problems! My uncle brought the 742 he inherited from my grandfather to me so I could get it ready for deer season for him. After cleaning it all up and making sure all the screws were tight, I took it out with some loads I made up for him. Groups are really all over the place! The interesting thing is that the first shot of a group always goes somewhere within 2" from POA, but the subsequent rounds always go about 8" high! So, assuming he makes his first shot count, he's in business. After that, it'll get interesting!
  16. danxt

    danxt Member

    To those who mentioned bore cleaning...
    Trust me, the bore is clean... very clean.

    whoever mentioned the back ring now being lower... that is not the case. Changing the slant direction does not change the height. Even if it did, at the same exact distance, if the scope were "zeroed", then it doesn't matter if the scope is pointed up, down, left, right, or sideways. The problem here is consistency, not accuracy over different distances.

    Well, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with issues on this rifle.
    Even if it's not "known for it's accuracy", any modern rifle should be able to keep a 4" group at 100yds, right?
  17. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    in a word NO

    Here's the deal with remington autoloaders, I like their handling and lines a lot and have owned a few but they do have quirks

    IF you take several minutes between shots allowing the rifle to COMPLETELY cool a 742/7400 can shoot VERY good 5 shot groups.

    If you shoot a 5 shot group in any timeframe less than 20 minutes the last few rounds will get puked at the target.

    These rifles are what some old timers refer to as "one shot group" guns. Meaning the ONLY shot you worry about zeroing is that first cold bore shot, which on my 7400 was pretty darn dependable. In the field you can realistically deliver the first two shots with a reasonable degree of accuracy, once you get to that third shot the POI will begin to wander. Not that it matters, by the time a hunter gets to his second shot the rifle could shoot 20" groups and it would still be more accurate than the shooter.

    Another thing you can do to help is throw the see thru mounts in the trash. Every rifle I've bought with these showed a marked improvement in accuracy when fitted with a grown up's scope mounts

    Make certain that the cap that retains the forend is CENTERED and not touching the bbl. At the other end of the forend if it touches the receiver bevel the insides of the edges of the forend so it doesn't touch the bbl. These steps will minimize The POI shifting these rifles are known for
  18. willymike

    willymike Well-Known Member

    I have owned a 742 (308 Win) since 1973 and have never had serious accuracy issues (at least for an autoloader). I've had more problems with jamming caused by not properly cleaning than anything else.

    My 742 will shoot 1.5" groups or smaller depending on the ammunition used (and my old age declining shooting skills).

    I'd clean the bore, action, and chamber. The 742 chamber should be cleaned with an offset brass bristled brush that Remington supplies specifically for cleaning the chamber. That will greatly help eliminate any jamming. My rifle had jamming problems until I took the time to clean the chamber properly.

    Remover the trigger group and clean thoroughly.

    Check the foreend and make sure the forend cap and forend is not touching the barrel. Also, check the barrel nut to ensure it is not loose.

    Remove the see-through scope mount. I had those for about a month and tossed mine for a good Leupold base and rings. The see-through mount does not allow for a good cheek to stock weld and keeps your head too high. That alone can affect accuracy. I'd also question the scope condition and try to eliminate the possibility that it will not hold zero. If possible, you may want to try another scope, or place the scope from the 742 on another rifle and compare performance. I had a wandering zero on my rifle a few years ago and found the old Leupold Vari-X II (purchased around 1976) had lost ability to zero. It was returned to Leupold and rebuilt. I installed a borrowed Burris Fullfield II in the interim and the rifle returned to shooting good groups. The Leupold was repaired free and returned, and is now on another rifle and doing fine.

    You may want to completely remove the rings and scope and fire using the iron sights to see if there is an improvement. Shoot at 30 - 50 yards with the scope and then without to see if things improve.

    Groups from 742 will open up after 3 - 5 shots. You need to allow the barrel to cool completely if sighting in.

    That is all that I can recommend from my 742 experience to aid your accuracy issues.

    You may want to note that Remington discontinued production of this rifle around 1980 and upgraded to the Model 7400. You will be hard pressed to find any parts through Remington if they break. They will refer you to several obsolete and antique gun part suppliers, which also may be hit-and-miss (I speak from experience here). Although my 742 still shoots as good as new, I decided to retire it before any significant issues cropped up. Since it was given to me for a Christmas present from my Dad (deceased), it is retired to the gun safe. I have replaced it with a Tikka T3 Hunter in 308. Although I enjoyed the 742: After 35 years I found it too heavy to tote due age and declining health, too finicky to operate, and too danged old (like myself) to risk failure in the field.

    Good luck! I hope this helps and your gun serves you well for a long time.

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