Originally Posted by Trickymissfit
Nevr heard anybody say why, but a good hint is that the U.S. Palma teams prefered Winchesters. Even though they did try Remingtons and even Rugers.
As a former Palma and US Goodwill International Team member, here's some info you should consider.
Yes, (most of) the US Palma Team members did prefer the Winchester action, but only through the 1992 world match. The reason was any bullet could be used in Palma matches fired in the USA under USA NRA rules. I wrote the first NRA High Power Rule Book regulation for the Palma rifle, it has subsequently been modified. Some folks used 200, 220 and even 250-gr. bullets in the .308 Win case. With bullets heavier than 160 grains from the .308 case, round receivers didn't hold epoxy bedding very long before their accuracy dropped off. Barreled action touque was the problem. But the rectangular Winchester receiver held bedding good enough to wear out a couple of barrels before it needed touched up. This problem was worse with belted magnums used under NRA Any Rifle rules for long range. One or two of the US military teams tried 2-inch long recoil lugs on Remington receivers but that didn't work. Only after gluing a Remington reciever in a flat side/bottom aluminum sleeve did they do well. Several folks sleeved Remington receivers for the .308 Win. round. Benchresters have been sleeving Remingtons for decades since the 1970's or earlier for their 22 and 24 caliber one-holers with 50 to 70 grain bullets for the same reason.
Outside the USA where only arsenal 7.62 NATO ammo's allowed in long range matches and everyone has to use the same ammo lot, those new cases shot more accurate from 3- or 4-lug actions. The ammo's slightly out of square case heads's the problem. A 2-lug action usually doesn't shoot that ammo well unless it just happens to have very square case heads. Fortunately, the ammo used in the 1992 International Palma Matches in the USA had Winchester cases that were probably the best ones ever made in this country. Winchester had to retool their production line 2 or 3 times to make those 92 PALMA headstamped cases. Nowadays, a Stolle Panda 3-lug or a Paramount/RPG 4-lug action's the favorite in the USA for international competition. Not surprising as in 1971, George Swenson in England made a 4-lug action the British Commonwealth fullbore shooters used for arsenal ammo that was far superior to their SMLE rifles chambered for the 7.62 NATO round. Some folks in the USA used that "Swing" action for their Palma rifles. The Barnard 4-lug action from Australia was also a favorite. I have a Paramount action for my Palma rifle. But a Winchester or Remington will shoot reloaded cases with 155-gr. Palma bullets very well.
The Remington 700/40X rifles were never issued to the US Palma Team. In the early 1990's, Remington offered to build 20 rifles on their 40X action for the US Palma Team. The Team Captain declined. Their problems with extractors, inconsistant triggers, and barrels that plagued them since their Model 7XX and 40X inception were still an issue. And Remington wanted to use a 1:10 twist barrel instead of a 1:13 that was best for 30 caliber bullets in the 147 to 155 grain weights. Ruger offered some rifles on a modified single shot Model 77 action. Their factory rifle folks didn't know what a Palma rifle was nor what it had to do so the just slapped some together. They were checked out by team members in late 1991. I got to handle a couple and was not impressed with them at all; their expoy bedding wasn't done right as it had a long pad under the breech end of the barrel. Worst rifle for accuracy the Team members had ever fired. To say nothing of the poor stock design and bad triggers. Ruger's best engineers decided to use barrels from a company (Green Mountain) that made black powder rifle barrels instead of one of the top aftermarket barrel companies that had a reputation for making good ones. Half had 4-groove barrels and half had 6 grooves; those with 6 grooves shot the worst. Only one was able to hold the 1000-yard 10 ring for accuracy, and then just barely. I wonder what all this says about Ruger's opinions on their factory .308 Win. barrels they used on their 77's.