Before you go spending a lot of money trying different things on the rifle, try the simple solution that Dave King had pointed out above in his very good evaluation of your problem. I would have to agree with him in that, it's your ammo, or more specifically the powder/primer/bullet combo. Just because a load gives 2 tight and one loose shot doesn't mean it's a good load with a flyer. Be honest with your self here. One of those 2 shots together could be the "flyer" and the other 2 shots far apart could be the normal load. You just simply don't know.
I would try a different powder. In any 7mm Mag I've ever shot and loaded for if IMR4350/IMR4831/ or H4831 didn't give good consistant results, I started looking at the rifle for problems. We had a match at the NC 1,000yd club yesterday and 3 of the 4 Factory class relay winners were firing 7mm Rem Mag in Remington 700 rifles. I talked to each one of them because the 7mm Mag has come on strong in the last couple of matches to knock off the 300 Win Mag as the Factory Class "King of the Hill". They all said they were using IMR4350 with 150 and/or 168 MK bullets. The match report says otherwise but I saw the loading cards in thier ammo boxes.
Also I would suggest not using the GM215M primers. You don't need a magnum primer just becasue your case has magnum stamped in the case head. I use GM210M primers in my 338 Lapua Improved mag down into the 40F temperature range without problems at all. And that's igniting 90+gr of very slow powder. In my 300 Win Mag I had to drop down from the GM215M to a GM210M to get rid of the vertical flyers at long range and bump my load up 2 grs to compensate for the velocity loss. Just a suggestion.
But play with your powder/different wgt loads first in .5gr increments until it consistantly shoots tighter groups. The Remington Senderos in 7mm Mag and 300 Win Mag are shooters. Yes they do have problems now and then, but I've seen to many shoot right off the shelf to give up on yours just yet.
Three shot groups are only good to check zero at the hunting camp. The are telling you NOTHING!
Start shooting 5 (or better yet, 10) shoot groups. This will tell you what the gun is really doing.
Also, you might consider getting the action glass bedded. I have glass bedded many of these H-S stocks, and every one of them improved a LOT! Winchester glass beds the H-S stocks at the factory, before they are sent out... that should tell you something about the H-S "metal to metal" fit [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
I'll see what happens then next time I go to the range, being very careful about pull tension and cheek weld. If that doesn't seem to make a difference, I'll try changing powders, but, wouldn't you know, I just bought a whole carton of GM215M's three days ago. I would hate to have 1000 primers go to waste.
On the other hand, if I do end up changing powders and it still acts this way, I'll try a box of GM210M's.
As far as glass bedding the action, I've thought about it, but am a little leery about doing it, having never bedded a rifle before. The thought of screwing up an expensive stock makes me queasy. The only gunsmith near me is geared towards shotgun work, and doesn't 'tweak' rifles. Is Acraglas hard to use properly? If not, I may grit my teeth and do it myself.
I see your point about shooting five shot groups, and I believe I'll start doing five's instead of three's to get a bigger picture of what's going on. But, wouldn't ten shot strings be extremely rough on the barrel?
In any event, it's nice to see so many folks come out to help someone they don't even know.
I second the load change also. The Fed. 210GMM primer will work very well. You may need to try some H4831, IMR7828, R25, or some other powder with slow burn rates with some other bullets. Sometimes you get a bad batch of bullets. It would be wise to try some heavier bullets also that has been known to be very accurate like the 150gr. Nosler ballistic tip. The swivel stud needs to clear your bag. You should be able to screw it out if necessary. I would add this to the recommendations that the other guys requested before paying a smith to work on it. Hopefully you`ll be surprised with the results.
One more thing, I would try the loads with the bullet hitting the lands pretty hard.
I've never used the PAM method but know of others that have. Shoe polish works also. The theroy is that this stuff is a thinner coating on your barreled action so the end result should be better fit. Me for hunting guns when using Acraglass, I've always stuck to the supplied release agents and some vaseline on the screws and threads, with clay to fill in all voids in the action.
Now that you have it bedded, is the barrel floated? Some say to bed the first few inches and all sorts of various ways. But my theroy goes like this... if NOTHING is touching the barrel then it can't have any pressure points after heating up or pressure on the forearm while firing. So I always float a Remington barrel 100% with clearance on the front of the recoil lug also. This has always worked for me. Good job taking this on yourself. As you can see it's not that difficult and your gun can only be better. If it's worse after the bedding job, then it was done wrong and you'll learn something. Plus Remington's are probably the easiest to start with for the first bedding job.
H4831SC is the short cut version of the old standby H4831. They advertise it as interchangeable between them. But as usual the typical safety standards apply when changing a component. But to say SC is better than the standard or vice-versa, I've never seen any evidence. I have both types and shoot both in various rifles.
No, I didn't float the barrel totally. The reason is that all the pictures that I have seen in the various firearms magazines that I have, show a small pad of bedding forward of the recoil lug. And being unsure of myself, I did it like that, thinking that it was the right way to do it. And it may do just fine. I hope.
I guess if it goes berserk I'll borrow my buddy's Dremel tool and cut away the parts that touch the barrel, but I really hope I don't have to.
I noticed after I put it all back together, that when I worked the bolt it felt and sounded different than before. More subdued sounding, and more solid feeling. Kind of eerie after the rattle and clatter that I heard before the bedding.
Anyway, thanks for the info about the powder Steve. If I do totally change loads, that is probably what I'll use.
I finally got to the range on Wed., and did some shooting. I had rounds loaded with RL-22 and IMR 4350. The rounds loaded with RL-22 acted similar to what they had done before, even when shooting five shot groups. One group, as an example, had four rounds in .45 in. and a flier a little over an inch away.
The rounds loaded with IMR 4350 were in new cases, so the evidence isn't conclusive, but they seemed to group about the same, and they also showed a slight tendency to produce a flier or two. I'm going to shoot a few more groups with fired brass next time I go to the range to see if that helps.
While I was at the range, I started talking with the range officer while my rifle was cooling between groups. I asked him about bedding, specificly, is it hard to do. He said that it wasn't bad at all. He also said that Pam (the cooking spray) is a great release agent. So Thursday I bought a package of Acraglas Gel, and bedded my action as per the instructions. That tip about Pam was a little too far out for me, so I just used the release agent that comes with the kit. Other than having to whack on the stock for ten minutes to get the action out, it went pretty well. I may have to redo the rear tang, but I'll wait and see.
When I go shooting again (after a week of curing time) if it still doesn't shoot like I think it ought to, I'll change bullets, primers and powder. Maybe Hornady 162gr A-Max bullets with GM210M primers and a suitable charge of H4831.
As an aside, the only H4831 around here is called H4831SC. The SC supposedly stands for Short Cut. Anyone ever use this before? Or has it always been that? Also, was that guy just blowing smoke about the Pam?