Here's the situation: I have a Remington 700 SPS stainless
.300 Win Mag that has been re-mounted in an HS Precision stock. It has been bedded and recrowned by a reputable gunsmith. I have some formal training in precision rifle work and have applied a lot of this to my hunting. Last year, I got this rifle a little late and had pure hell trying to find a factory load that would shoot with even a modicum of precision. After a lot of expense, I finally settled on Remington Premier with the 180 grain Swift Scirocco
. It wasn't great but it worked fair out to 400 yards.
Elk hunting season comes and goes....I get the rifle recrowned and professionally bedded....
This year, I wanted to work up a load and a friend of mine ("Trigger Time" on Sniper's Hide) helped me out with that. I bought some once-fired brass from a guy on Sniper's Hide and some Swift Scirocco II 180 grainers
from Midway USA...we load them up with various amounts of Reloader 22. We did not measure OAL of the brass. My buddy seats the bullets just off the lands.
Today, I went to the range and test fired the rifle and had two troubling observations:
1) The bolt was very hard to close on all of the cartridges (One would not chamber)
2) The most accurate load was 3" at 100 yards. The others were approx 4" to 6". (The rifle was shooting better than this with factory ammo before it was recrowned and bedded.)
Now I am really worried about lots of things:
- Is the brass too long?
- Are the bullets seated too shallow?
- Is this rifle a lemon?
- Is the Scirocco just not going to work?
I miked the factory rounds versus our loaded rounds. Here's the factory loading:
Here's my loads:
Here's a side by side comparison of 3 factory loads and 3 of my loads. Do you see anything wrong with the cases? I thought at first that the shoulders might have been higher on my brass compared to the factory brass but I think I was just being paranoid.
While I may have some formal training in precision shooting, I have NONE in reloading. I admit my ignorance and ask for your help. If the bolt is hard to close, doesn't that mean that either the brass is too long or the bullet is seated too long? Couldn't this be affecting accuracy?
Any thoughts? I really need some help here. I'm supposed to leave for Colorado in about 2 weeks. If this rifle doesn't work, I'm going to end up hunting in the mountains with a heavy AICS Remington 700 in .308 and that won't be cool.
I'm supposed to go back to my buddy's house tomorrow to try some Nosler Accubonds and maybe a different seating depth on these Sciroccos.
I will gladly accept any and all advice.