Originally Posted by vacabill
i also bought a 700 xcr in 300 ultramag and it would not shoot. i sent to a good gunsmith who accurized it and it shoots about a 1 1/2' group now. i have two xcrs and have had similar problems. i wonder if it is caused by the hardening process.
most barrel makers use some sort of "pretreat" steel right from the start, and depending on the steel lot; they may never change during machining. But still a cheap Chinese bar of steel will be nothing like something out of a certified lot of steel. In otherwords you get what you pay for. Stainless steels are even worse in quality. European stainless steels used to be the best there was, but now are amonst the worst. Companys save tooling cost and wear by going with a very high sulphur content stainless steel, and as the metal heats and cools they tend to deteriorate.
I once heard what the exact alloy number was that Remington and also the one Savage used for their actions. (chrome moly) It's kind of a custom designed alloy, but still very similar to 4xxx pretreat steel. Using this stuff puts you way ahead in the normalizing game, and that's money. The stainless actions all pretty much use 416 or something very close to it. But just because it's a 416 stainless steel does not make them all the same (sorry P.O. Ackley but you were wrong on this one).
If the problems in the Remington actions evolved around heat treating (they don't do as much as most think they do), the warpage would be less than .007" in the reciever. But with a pretreat steel that comes off the truck at 30Rc, your already there. Barrels will probably have to be straitened slightly after drilling, and may have it done a final time after being rifeled. But if they are using the hammer process they maybe be indicing a large amount of stress, and then as the barrels heats and cools it changes all over the place. I would think they would use a softer grade of steel for doing this process, and then normalize them prior to a final heat treat.
But knowing a little bit about what's going on in their plant, I'd say that the steel and heat contribute very little to the problems. It's their tooling and the way they take care of it. To be exact they simply don't take care of their tooling at all. You change the oil in your car and keep the front end aligned just like clockwork. They never check alignments on their equipment, and do very little to keep their machinery running the way it was intended to.