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New (to me) deer rifle- Remington Model 660 .243 Winchester

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Going east of the mountains for mule deer next week and was planning on mounting an optic on my Abilene .44 Magnum, but after talking to my hunting partner shots will most likely be in the 100-150 yard range. I need a lot more practice with that .44 to be confident on a 100 yard shot. Hell, 150 yards is stretching things for my 7.35mm Carbine (with iron sights.)

    At my usual hapopy hunting grounds I never so much as see a deer past 50 yards or so, so I divested myself of my scoped .30-06 years ago. I expressed my regret about this to my wife, and she said, "So get a scoped rifle." Lord I love this woman!
    UhfsT3G.jpg

    I examined the options at Pinto's and thought about the terrain we'll be trekking through- called the Scablands if that gives you a clue- and selected a Remington Model 660 in .243 Winchester, which came with a scope and sling mounted. It also has an aluminum replacement for the original plastic trigger-guard. The scope is nothing special, a variable power TruGlo, but it's adequate. $475 for the whole deal, which I reckoned to be pretty good. i also found some .243 reloading dies in their bargain bin and some 100gr. bullets, but for now I bought three boxes of PPU 100gr. soft-points. Today I headed out to Renton Fish and Game to try her out, and the results were decent... and a little weird.


    Just for giggles I decided to shoot the first group at 100 yards unsupported. Fired three rounds at the upper left square, looked through the spotting scope and was pleased to see a 2" group. Not bad for off-hand. Next I used a sandbag rest to see what she can really do. Three shots, looked through the scope and saw a 2" group. Huh. Tried it again. 2" group. Ooookay. Got down the Steady Rest, mounted the rifle, got it dialed in and... 2" group.
    ddn1r4u.jpg

    Not what I was expecting from a rest, but I won't feel bad shooting it at a deer at 100-200 yards. Is this maybe the limit of accuracy from the ammo at that range? If it was just the off-hand group I'd assume I needed more practice, but I got an identical result from the Steady Rest. I am leaving Weds. morning at zero-dark hundred, so I don't really feel like I have time to mess about experimenting with handloads; I have a lot to do between now and then and these will do well enough.

    I do love the rifle. Short and light enough for scampering around rough country, excellent trigger and sweet handling. I am pretty sure I will be happily shooting this rifle for pleasure and experimenting with handloads. Likely before next year I'll float the barrel and bed the action, but for this year I am happy.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Nice rifle, maybe next year get a take off Nikon there $100 or a Burris scope about $150 to replace that tru glow. I'd get some qd rings if you ever need to use the sights in the field. 2'' groups are fine for deer at least it's consistent.
     
  3. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Congratulations. That's a good looking rifle. And that left hand group offhand at 100 yards is impressive shooting!

    In this day of characterless, plastic $300 rifles that shoot MOA or better with boring regularity, we forget that even 20 years ago, MOA accuracy cost a lot of money! You have a good looking rifle that shoots Minute of Deer right out the door with a rather pedestrian optic. I would check the scope bases, if not already done, to make sure everything is tight.

    Playing with loads and seating depth will almost very get you to 1.5 MOA and maybe better. Bedding the barrel, a thing we used to have to do back in the day may also tighten things up. Make sure the action screws are torqued correctly.

    Good luck with the hunt!
     
  4. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Sound advice Doc, and thanks!
     
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  5. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    You'll find flat based ammo works quite well in these older Remington barrels, my old round noses shoot like a dream, 95 sst, 100 gr prohunters etc, even the partitions and the 85 gr gameking don't do terrible, if you had more time I'd recommend trying any of these out (noting that I was able to keyhole fusions at 50 yds, generally a go-to, not top of the list in this case):
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1001698415?pid=542448
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/100174968?pid=635782
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1002011333?pid=739184
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1019972932?pid=703934
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1021732625?pid=903489
    What you have shall certainly work well and should serve to keep you smiling for a good many years enjoy the hunt good sir!!! Though I have no qualms using a 2 moa gun out to 200ish yards for deer sized critters, I absolutely believe that you'll be able to coax more outta the old gal, congratulations on a great find!
     
  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    PPU is OK, but not really premium ammo. As mentioned above, you may do better with higher quality factory feed.

    If you're matching shooting from a rest with standing offhand, you're certainly doing well.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The short barrel produces less velocity. The 1-10 twist barrel requires a 100 gr flat base bullet. No boatails. The shorter the bullet the better for accuracy. http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballistics/lengths/lengths.shtml

    My do all bullet for my Rem 600 Mohawk carbine in 243 win is the Sierra 85 gr hpbt #1530 IMR 4350 powder works well. full.jpg The longer bullets are for my 27.5" barrel in 10 twist.

    20191011_083356.jpg Nice find.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  8. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Nice find and good luck on your hunt. :thumbup:
     
  9. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Always thought those were cool, NICE SCORE!

    Hope you get the stabilization issue resolved. My .243 Savage is the most accurate rifle Ive ever owned.
     
  10. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    My lgs has one I should see what they want for it.
     
  11. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Very nice op!
     
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  12. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Yes, yes you should, especially if they're willin to ship ;)
     
  13. Picher

    Picher Member

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    What bothers me about your grouping is that there doesn't seem to be any stringing that would give a clue as to whether the barrel is bouncing off one point in the forend, or whether the action is moving around in the bedding.

    Not having a directional pattern seems to indicate either worn rifling, bad bullets for that rifle, poor load, or maybe a bad crown. The good news is that bullets aren't keyholing.

    Try round nose, heavy for caliber, flat-based bullets, seated as far out as possible, but just short of the lands, and still able to feed well from the magazine.

    Also check to be sure that the rifle is a real .243 Win and not a .244 Rem (but I don't even know if it's possible to chamber a .243 Win in a .244 Rem).
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I love 243 for deer. I use one of the cheaper 700's that wal mart sells. I tossed the plastic stock and replaced it with one of the laminates that Boyd's sells. My 243 likes Winchester 100 grain power points. You may want to check the screws that hold the action in the stock, to keep things more consistent.
     
  15. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    I’d suspect it could be the tru-glo scope that could be your accuracy limiting factor?
     
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  16. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Nice rifle
    Nice caliber
    Nice price
    ....nice
     
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  17. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    @Jessesky beat me to it. I'd do the following:
    1. make sure action, base, and scope screws are torqued properly
    2. replace the scope with something I trusted
    3. run one box of premium factory ammo through it to baseline

    Nice find.
     
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  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  19. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    Yeah, I think maybe we need more data, actually. The ammo that was shot wasn't exactly premium as others have pointed out, so perhaps that would be the place to start.***

    Also, regarding the barrel bouncing off one point in the fore end, yes that might be a factor. But also, the sling on this rifle is attached using a barrel band. That could also cause changing barrel pressure from shot to shot. So it might also be a contributing factor - or not.

    And, the rifle was obviously purchased used. Did the OP give it a good cleaning before heading to the range? Probably, but since it wasn't mentioned, I thought I would.

    But a very cool gun store find. I would have bought it also at that price. When I was a young pup, I eagerly consumed every new Remington catalog, and I always wanted a 660. It just looked cool.



    ***Not saying this is the case here, but I work the local range during pre-deer season site in days. One of the things I see multiple times per year is someone showing up with a new rifle and one box of the cheapest ammo they could find in the store. It won't group under 2.5" at 100 yards, so they declare the rifle "defective". I have a .243 that will shoot groups around .63" or about 3" at 100 yards - depending on the ammo. As everyone here knows, rifles are individuals and they don't all like the same ammo. While premium ammo tends to be more consistent from shot to shot, cheap or premium isn't really the issue. It's just whatever the rifle happens to like. So in my book, a person needs to shoot 3 or more types of ammo to get a feel for whether or not the rifle is "good". But that's just me.
     
  20. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Well Tinker ya did it again, went and got a good deal thanks to an understanding woman. Be thankful for her.

    That is about the only .243 that was ever interesting to me. I am once again jealous, yet happy for you.

    I think the barrel band front sling point just looks right for that rifle and would be very happy with a two inch 100 yard rifle. I am starting to think there are no riflemen / deer hunters left that started life with a Winchester '94 "Thutty-thutty" and were thrilled to get under THREE inch groups at 100 yards! A deer's vitals are not the size of a postage stamp for gosh sake!

    Enjoy your rifle and have a good and safe hunt and trip.

    -kBob
     
  21. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Lots of good info here, but don't let it bug you during your trip. As was repeatedly mentioned, 2" @100yds will get you your deer, and that to 150-200yds. If you can keep it inside a 10" paper plate as far as you can ethically shoot, you can get it done, but for now, I'd guess and extrapolate the group size to 5" or a tad less @200yds. Hopefully a bunch of good memories get attached to that rifle.
     
  22. Picher

    Picher Member

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    You shouldn't shoot any rifle for groups or sighting-in with a sling attached to the barrel. It will usually cause variations in POI.
     
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  23. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    The bent trigger guard is standard for these rifles. Fugly, but still work.
     
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  24. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd say if that's the way you intend to shoot in the field that's how you should sight in.
     
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  25. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    One of the best groups I ever shot was with my no 5 Enfield with a sporter stock and a sling. I was using a sandbag, but holding the sling just below the swivel. I was using my handloads with IMR 4064 and an old Weaver K3 post & crosshair. I put 3 rounds fired in less than 10 seconds (no problem) into less than 3/4". I guess it's that short barrel that makes it so accurate. Same goes for the 600 & 660 guns. They were floated from the factory. Distance was 100 yards.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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