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Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

 
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:26 PM
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Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

I think I'm closing in on getting all I can out of my shiny new VTR (in .308). It was always intended to be a deer rifle, not a tack driver. I've put about 100 rounds through it. 40 of which I wasted (that's another story found elsewhere on the forum).

Today was play with powders day. It was misting rain during the 1 hour drive to the range but when I got there it was dry. The humidity was high, temps were in the 60's, and the wind was out of the right rear quadrant at about 10 mph. The space down to 200 is about 1/3 blocked by trees and berms at the end and from 200 - 300 it's all blocked. I'm not sure how much affect the wind had but it did push the rounds to the left. That much was apparent. I'm hoping for no wind tomorrow so I can double check windage zero.

After I don't know how many years I finally ordered a bench rest. It's not here yet so I shot off of bags again.

I loaded 3 powders. H335, RE15, and TAC. I picked the charge for each powder that Sierra says would give me 2,700 fps because the voice in my head said to or it was in the middle off the velocities listed in the manual. I strongly doubt that I got 2,700 fps from the stubby little rifle Remington calls a VTR. One of these days when I'm not rushing around trying to get a new rifle ready to hunt with I'll drag my Shooting Chrony out and verify that.

I had to re-zero at 200. I found out why "they" say not to use a tactical scope for hunting (f "they" by the way). The damned thing was off from yesterday by 4 clicks in windage and elevation. I guess it got bumped when I was cleaning it. I have no idea... but I set the turrets at zero this time so it will be easier to notice and reset. On the upside I just looked at how far off it was, twisted both knobs, and bingo... back on.

Once zero'd, which also doubled as fouling shots, I sent 3 from each powder, waiting between powder groups for the barrel to cool (by walking down to the target and marking the shots). It was pretty clear that RE-15 was going to win this test. I moved to 300. I did not measure the groups however the only powder that put 2 in the circle was the RE-15. Obviously shooter error is a possibility however the 300 yard data, though a small sample, seems to support that RE-15 is the better choice for the bullet / velocity / rifle combination.

Once set up on 300 I repeated the above test but only used 2 shots. This time I measured each shot and used the zero finder in LoadBase 3.0 to calculate group size. I held 1 MOA over center (still hit low) and center windage (ignoring the effect of the wind) and fired two shots, waiting between powders, as before, by walking down to the target.

2 shot 300 yard group sizes:

1.35" for RE-15
1.99 for TAC
3.6 for H335

I think I have a brain disease. When I first saw 1.35" for RE-15 I was bummed that it wasn't under an inch I am over it now

Tomorrow we get to play with varying the charge of RE-15 for the same bullet / rifle combo and see if we can get a tighter group. One can always hope.

I'm a long way from where I started. My first impression was that the rifle was destined to be re-barreled and the triangle used for teaching my as yet unborn grandson about geometry and marketing, heavy on the marketing. I do have one minor bitch about Remington's genius idea about whacking off metal and selling it as a good idea. While it's true that the barrel cools quickly, it's also true, in my opinion, that when it heats up it wobbles around like crazy. Thankfully I have never had the need to shoot 5 plus rounds quickly. The barrel seems to be stable at about 4 fairly quick shots but after that it goes all over the place. It's especially noticeable at 300 and 200. I think that round barrels will always win but it's a conversation piece and it seems to shoot sub-moa if one puts some work into it.
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Last edited by Mike6158; 11-28-2009 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Corrected RE-17 entries to RE-15
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:21 PM
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Re: Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

Another day at the range and things went real well. I fine tuned windage at 200 yards and then moved to 300 yards to do a short load test. Technically I load tested at 200 too but I didn't measure the groups. Two of the three 2,700 fps loads were touching and the other was pretty close.

This time around I loaded RE-15 for the book value of 2,600 fps, 2,700 fps, and 2,600 fps. (3) rounds for each charge for 200 yards and (3) rounds for each charge at 300 yards. Using Loadbase and impact data I backed into about 2,650 fps for the 2,700 fps load. One of these days I'll chrony the load and see what it really is.

At 200 and 300 yards the 2,600 fps groups were not worth measuring when compared to the higher velocity groups.

Like last time, I waited for the barrel to cool between 3 shot groups.

3 shot group size (calculated from Loadbase)"

2,700 fps load at 300 yards: 1.36" (the same charge measured 1.35" yesterday). Note: #2 and #3 were touching. I would love to know how much of the difference between those and #1 were my fault.

2,800 fps load at 300 yards: 1.83" Note: #1 and #2 were about 1/2" spread. Like above, I would love to know how much of #3's difference was my fault.

OH! I did change one thing on the rifle before the test. The trigger pull supposedly comes set at 3#'s from the factory. It was more like 5#'s (or more) and it's about 3.5# now (I say about because I can't remember what it was when I checked it but I know it was between 3 and 4 pounds).

The ugly little triangle is turning into a shooter...
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:59 AM
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Re: Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

I have been looking at the triangular barreled rifles, but haven't had a chance to shoot one. Is the barrel supposed to be a big benefit, or is it a marketing thing to sell a few guns? I noticed on there website that the VTR, and the XHR have a barrel length 2" shorter than the traditional round variants of the same caliber. Is that one of the benefits? Does it dissipate heat better? Is it Lighter?
VERY CURIOUS.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:26 AM
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Re: Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

Quote:
I have been looking at the triangular barreled rifles, but haven't had a chance to shoot one. Is the barrel supposed to be a big benefit, or is it a marketing thing to sell a few guns?
This is just my opinion and I'm certainly no expert but I think the benefit of a shorter triangle barrel, doesn't exist. I also think marketing plays a big part in it. However, I answered your last two questions below and the triangle barrel seems to do what they say it's supposed to do from a cooling perspective. On the other hand, one has to think that it would heat up faster and with more differential due to having less mass and a triangle shape. But I'm no mechanical engineer either...

Quote:
I noticed on there website that the VTR, and the XHR have a barrel length 2" shorter than the traditional round variants of the same caliber. Is that one of the benefits?
I don't know that shorter is a benefit unless it's from the perspective of easier to carry in the woods. Once I broke it in and we both settled down it seems to shoot the first three or four rounds pretty well for a hunting rifle. It won't be taking over the bench rest scene anytime soon

Quote:
Does it dissipate heat better? Is it Lighter?
VERY CURIOUS.
It is not lighter than my Rem 700 BDL in .270. That weighs 3.5 pounds (if my scale is right) and the VTR weighs 9.5 pounds. A lot of that is probably from the HS Precision stock that I put on it. I added the mercury recoil thing that they offer. I absolutely hated the stock when I saw it. The barrel wasn't free floating and it looks like something you would buy at the dollar store. When you factor in the cost of the new stock you can almost buy a Sendero. Since I bought it I'll keep it but I don't know if I would buy it again.

This is what I've noticed about the barrel after shooting a few hundred rounds through it. I can shoot three, leave the bolt open, walk 200 yards down to the target to mark them, walk back, and the barrel is cool to the touch. It seems to cool down pretty fast. Conversely, when I shot consecutive rounds to see how many it took to start to see some difference the 5th round was off a good bit and by round 7 it was off a good 4 inches at 200 yards. I was shooting fast so that's probably some of it.

During break-in the Sendero I have (7mm Rem Mag) started to settle down and clean easily by about round 7. The VTR took all 20 rounds but it does clean up nicely now and it shoots good enough for what I'm doing with it. In fairness, I shot 40 rounds through it before I did the break-in procedure. I wasn't much of a believer until I bought my Sendero and I decided to do everything I could to make it a good shooter.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:34 PM
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Re: Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

thanks, I appreciate the reply. If I were to get one, it would be the XHR, in 270.
The main thing this would be used for is white tail deer here in north eastern KY.
Sounds like a short, light XHR would work just fine. Thanks again.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:58 PM
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Re: Ongoing Saga- 700 VTR in .308

No problem.

I feel like I need to clarify something. If not for you then whoever else might read it.

I said:

Quote:
I absolutely hated the stock when I saw it. The barrel wasn't free floating and it looks like something you would buy at the dollar store. When you factor in the cost of the new stock you can almost buy a Sendero. Since I bought it I'll keep it but I don't know if I would buy it again.
I wasn't talking about the HS Precision stock. I love that add and I would gladly put another one on any of my rifles.
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