Re: Remington 700 quality
I think everybody makes a lemon from time to time, but they must own up to it! I once was given a brand new Ruger in 6mm for my birthday. It was a rock solid 3" gun with hand loads (various 85 / 87 grain bullets). My brother gave it to me and said no way; "it'll shoot better than that." I fumbled with it for about six weeks, and then he had his turn. It wouldn't shoot. He in turn gives the gun to Eric Woods (still the best gunsmith I've ever known), and he literally rebuilds the entire rifle as a favor for all the reamers I'd ground for him in the past (hundreds of reamers). He first reworked the factory Ruger trigger into something I'd have bet the farm couldn't have been done. He said the chamber was out of spec, and the Ruger mounting system was not right. God only knows what else he did, as I don't know. The first group I shot with it was a 3/4" group, and by the end of the day it was shooting 3/8th's groups (all five shot). Later I came into another Ruger in 6mm, but this one had the standard barrel. It shot 1.5" groups with bad bedding. I did a very minor rebedding of the front screw area and some minor recoil lug area. Nothing else. It shot 3/4" groups without any serious load development. I might had had two and a half hours of work in the rifle, max.
The Winchesters I've owned were rather consistent as non shooters. Nothing you could do would make them shoot well, but the basics were there. The second one in 22-250 was rebarreled into 6BR, and shoots well. I've since learned a few things about them, and now think I could make them shoot a little better yet. I think every rifle design is a learning experience.
Now I often look at good used rifles, but will not look at any Sako unless it's an older chrome moly action. They made a run of them in stainless steel with some junk metal. I don't know which is which, so I avoid them. The blow ups I've seen are pretty ugly. If it's a Remington, I know upfront that the action has to be trued up. Not a big deal, but also a given. (Winchesters are no better by the way). Their barrels suck, but so do a lot of the others. Yet I simply can't get around the trigger issues. I own a couple Howas (actually Weatherby branded), and they just shoot. Have not done anything to them. All are skinny barrel hunting rifles, and shoot better than I'd have expected. My MK. V.'s are 3/4" rifles out of the box. They almost look identical except for the stocks. I got what I expected from them. I've had a couple Remington's that shot well, and one that didn't. But I'm not afraid of them. Brother inlaw orders in a Savage F116 in 30-06. He takes it out and shoots 3/4" groups with Federal Supreme factory loads. He says he's shoot sub .60" groups with hand loads. I order in a 22-250 single shot Savage with the varmint barrel and laminate stock. Trigger is horrible, but I did some work and got it down to about 3 lb. The rifle shot lid twos. And would occasionally dip into the high ones. It was the first Savage my local dealer ever sold, and the factory sent the wrong rifle! I ordered in a single shot action, and they sent a standard varmint rifle. A guy bought it as we were reboxing it to send back. I got mine two weeks later. Even later I end up with that rifle, and still own it. It shot mid threes when I first got it, and now is a low three's gun. Even later I buy a single shot mod. 12 in 22-250. It started out shooting in the high threes right out of the box. It now shoots mid to high twos (five shot groups) as the factory shipped it. Kinda reached a road block here, as I just can't make it shoot better. I've learned a little bit thru the years, and think a different barrel is the answer. Mainly a 24" heavier contour.