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Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

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Unread 12-02-2005, 03:57 PM
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Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

I have had several conversations lately about why I feel the Rem 700 can be used successfully to build rifles chamebred for such rounds as the 338 Lapua and large Wby case heads and any wildcats based on this size case head.

Many find it hard to believe that the two lugs on the Rem 700 could possibly compare to the strength of the 9 lugs on the Wby MkV.

So I decided to actually measure the baring surface and shear area of the lugs on these two bolts and see how actual rifles compare to each other.

As far as baring surface, the area of the bolt locking lug that actually contacts the Receiver locking lug recesses, here is what I came up with:

Wby Mk V................0.120 square inch
Rem 700.................0.138 square inch

As far as shear area, the area that contacts the bolt lug to the body of the bolt its self as as follows:

Wby Mk V................0.361 square inch
Rem 700.................0.387 square inch

Not these are numbers taking into account 100% lug contact area which with the Rem 700 is relatively easy to accomplish. With the Wby receiver, this can at times be impossible to get and generally the best you can get is 7 or 8 of the 9 lugs baring solidly.

Also looking and measuring the receiver locking lug recess area, It appears that they are basically equal in this area.

So, for those that say the Rem 700 should not be used with these rounds. I am just curious to the basis of your recommendations.

Please keep in mind that I feel only Chrome moly Rem 700 receivers should be used for such conversions as the Chrome moly is harder and resists bolt lug recess set back much better then stainless receivers. That said, I have used Stainless receivers for personal testing and have witnessed no problems even using these receivers.

Just curious as to the different opinions on the subject out there.

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Unread 12-02-2005, 05:23 PM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

Without the scientific factory testing data, any of our inputs could only be guesses. The safety factor built into rifle bolt has to be phenomenal.

The bolt in neither of the guns I have personally seen failed. The first major rifle explosion I got to inspect was a Rem 700 300 win mag. The reloader had filled the cases with something like 4320 instead of the usual 4831. It blew the back of case off and shattered the stock all around the magazine. The forestock actually split and the lower part fell off. The shooter was unhurt. The case had to be pulled out with a needle nose and after a new stock; I would guess that it’s probably in use today.

The second reloader failure had something to do with a 220 swift and purchasing the wrong diameter bullets. I’m not a 22 cal man so I didn’t follow the whole story. Something about purchasing .223 or.224 bullets and the 220 swift uses something smaller. On the pull of the trigger. The guy got a right cheek full of hot brass and the same thing, the whole rear of the case had been blown off.

I’ve been more fortunate and only blown primers out and that has even included the new 30-378. You just end up pounding the bolt open and pulling the rest of that lots bullets.

I build and run Chevy race car motors. These super strong metals can take lots of shock. But it must cause micro fractures and with repeated times eventual failure.

My guess would be that multiple lugs or in the case of motors and transmissions multiple splines are always stronger than a few larger ones. But it’s all a moot point because it might take something like black powder or pistol powder to actually be ably to make an explosion big enough to fail the bolt in either gun.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 06:51 PM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

Ahwile back, I read an article on this and I can't remember where it came from (PO ackley's books maybe or PS magazine??).

They took all the major brands actions of the time and tested the shear strength of the lugs and bursting point of the reciever/barrel. It was fascinating. THey came up with similiar conclusions to your measurements.

Also, one of the custom action places have a write up of some tests similiar to yours on their website. It may have been Nesika or Bat possibly. Been too long ago now to remember.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 07:20 PM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

I had a Mk V in 7mm and wanted to hunt some turkeys in Missouri so I got some FMJ bullets and some IMR4227 and prepared some reduced loads according to the manual. They were fine but then I decided I wanted just a little more speed so I add more powder than the manual recommended. The results were extreme. Being somewhat stupid, I fired two more rounds before deciding that something was definitely wrong. Each time flame came out of the three ports in the bolt for about six or more inches. The cases had partial head separation and primer meltdown. The gun was fine.

I think you might need to look at the Mk V as a system that includes both pressure relief holes in the bolt , freebore, as well as locking lugs rather than a locking lug only issue. The Rem has a pressure relief hole in the receiver as opposed to the bolt.

Maybe it is just my impression from the finish of the metal but I thought the steel itself was stronger in the Mk V. Probably just my imagination.

Going to what Budlight says, the question may be related to elasticity and lug flex as the nine smaller lugs flex and progressively coming into bearing as opposed to a catastrophic failure of a large lug. It would be possible to shear two or three lugs and for the others to still hold. On a Rem lug once you get a stress fracture running you will be in for catastrophic failure. Just my opinion of a possible scenario but I have no science to back it up.

The MK V bolt shroud worked as advertised with nothing coming back into my face. My trigger hand and wrist got lots of stuff splattered onto it. I have gotten stuff into my face with the Rem 700. What that stuff was is most likely just gun oil from th firing pin cavity mixed with burning powder

One way to think about it is like wheels and hubs. For a little Civic you can get by with with four but as you get up into a large pickup you will have six lugs. Of course in this case you “bearing surface and shear area” are increasing which is not the case with the Mk V and Rem where the area decreses witih the number of lugs.

I have separated a lot of case heads in the Ruger falling block and it holds well and is no trouble except that I think with a lot of it my action has gotten loose but I don’t know how to measure that.

I have an old Mossberg in 225 Win that was given to me because the owner could not get it to shoot. It only has one lug!!!!! I actually killed a deer with it but it still doesn’t shoot well.

I have no real opinion on whether one is stronger than the other but I do defend that the Mk V held when I did something extremely stupid - three times.


What the guy with the 220 may have done is get some 227 bullets (228 Ackly - he built it to get around the prohibition of using a 224 caliber on deer) and loaded them up. They are there on the display case right next to the 224s and come in 70 gr just like the 224s. Give you one guess why I know this.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 07:38 PM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

Two pieces of steel are stronger than 9 smaller divided lugs if they are of the same material period. We have tried several locking lugs on wbys and are yet to find one that all nine lugs were bearing.In their defense the port holes and the free bore in the wbys are their real safety factor.
The three locking lug system found on some of the older actions ('98) I consider among the strongest.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 07:46 PM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

In response to Buffalo Bob mentioning that he wanted to hunt turkeys in Missouri with his 7mm Weatherby, it is most definitely NOT legal to use a rifle of any kind for turkeys in Missouri. Maybe this was years ago when game laws were different(I don't know). I'm not trying to bash anybody, I just don't want to see someone get written up for a game violation.
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Unread 12-03-2005, 01:10 AM
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Re: Rem 700 vs Wby MkV in bolt locking lug comparisions....

I’ll try to stay on task here but I have lots of thoughts pertaining to the 700 verses Mark V decision.

Given the simple math, I agree that on the surface the shear area of the two are comparable but from my racing background I two have observed that many small lugs, splines or threads are always stronger than a couple big ones. I can't explain why but it is a proven fact. Might be something to due with the fact that a fracture of one can easily travel through the mass of any one but is harder to initiate fracture through all of them.

Accuracy potential wise, I personally believe as Dan Lilja and others have stated that a bolt head supported on three sides is more stable at the moment of firing than a two lug design. Furthermore the success of a two lug design is largely dependant of achieving 100 percent lug contact to help stabilize the bolt and eliminate flex. The two lug design is also highly dependant on the fit of the bolt in the raceway. That is why the Remington’s show marked improvement from the use of bolt sleeves and oversize bolt bodies to further help stabilize the two lug design. A bolt head bolt such as the Sako, Weatherby and the Geske action is supported on three sides. Dan Lilja states, “Gerry (Geske) also believes that three lugs provide a more stable bolt face. One less subject to vibrational effects than a two lug design.” The Weatherby and the Geske action strengths and stabilities are further enhanced by the lack of bolt lug raceways and their full diameter bolt bodies. The Mark 5 Bolt body is .841” in diameter where as the 700 is only about .705” or so. That’s more than an 1/8” bigger in a world that is measuring the differences in the hundredths and thousandths column. This massive shaft behind the bolt face has got to help support the bolt face from flexing.

It was also brought up that the recoil lug if properly fitted help support the barrel on a 700. I submit that upon firing even if properly fitted and super thick/strong etc it still imparts a shock to the barrel action joint. The Mark V has the recoil lug built into the bottom of the action so upon firing it imparts no shock to the barrel action joint.

The Mark V action comes with a trigger that with only a spring mod or change will allow it to be adjusted well under 1 pound where the use of a 700 action is going to need an aftermarket trigger to achieve the same level of quality in trigger pull.

To sum up I believe that a production Mark 5 action is a superior design in both strength and accuracy potential when compared to a Remington.
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