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Rem 700 firing pin

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Unread 04-01-2011, 11:10 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ny State
Posts: 417
Rem 700 firing pin

I would like to ask a question about replacing a firing pin on a Rem 700.

If I may, A little background first; the rifle is a New Rem 700 VSSF II chambered for .223 that shoots very good groups. the problem is almost everything (ammo) I shoot shows signs of too much pressure; specifically cratered primers. First thru the gun was factory ammo; Rem. 55gn PSP and Hornady 53gn Vmax. total factory ammo thru the gun is 5 boxes/100 rounds.

I reloaded 25 rem cases (full resize w/shoulder bumped .002)with CCI400 primers, H322 (5) 21gn (5)21.5gn (5) 22gn (5) 22.5gn (5) 23gn. the bullet was a Hornady Amax 52gn seated .060 off the rifling. all cases were trimmed to 1.750". Concentricity of the cartridges was less than .001. all the reloaded rounds chambered easily and grouped considerably better than the factory stuff. The heavier loads were well under 1/2 MOA.

However, all 25 cratered. NO other pressure signs. no soot, no flat primers, the cases extract easy, none have split or deformed into the extractor groove. What was unusual (to me anyway) was that the worst cratering was with the lightest load (21gn). the rest seemed about the same.

A few weeks back I took the gun to the smith to have the headspace checked and this was found to be correct. What he did find was the firing pin has a loose fit in the bolt face but still within spec. I didn't think to ask if the pin was thin or if the hole was big or what the measurement of the gap was. He recommended sending it back to Remington because of the age of the rifle. I prefer not to do this because of a couple bad experiences in the past. more on that another time.

In the gunsafe I have a Tubb speedlok S/A replacement pin and spring that I purchased some time ago for a different rifle. just never got around to installing it. tonight curiosity got me and I disassembled the problem bolt and installed the new pin. It has a noticeably tighter fit yet is completely free - no binding. It is however about .015" longer when set in the "fired" position as compared to the old pin.

The question now is, what is the spec for the firing pin to protrude from the bolt face when in the fired position? Other than side clearance and protrusion, are there any other specs that should be looked at?

I'm going to have this "fixed" soon. Either by putting the Tubb pin in the bolt or by having the gunsmith refit or replace the parts. I may also grudgingly send it back to Remington for repair.

One more note; in order to prove that my reloads were good, the same batch was again reloaded and fired from a friends older rem 700. No pressure problems. just didn't group as well but his gun has a few thousand rounds through it. I also reloaded it a third time and fired it through my AR. No pressure problems.

thanks in advance
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Unread 04-02-2011, 04:44 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 96
Re: Rem 700 firing pin

I just had a 700 rem rebuilt. As part of the blueprinting, my smith spends a bit more time than most in that area. He bores out and threads the firing pin hole, then solders in a threaded bushing. After the bushing is installed the bolt face is re-cut. Next the firing pin hole is re-drilled to a reduced diameter of .0625". Then the diameter of the firing pin nose is reduced to .0620". On my rifle, this has made the firing pin strike very consistent, and according to the smith, this can handle higher pressure. Good luck with whatever you decide for yours.

-- gr8whyt
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Unread 04-02-2011, 10:01 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
Re: Rem 700 firing pin

.055 to .060 The cratering was more than likely caused by the firing pin hole as gr8whyt said.

Last edited by sadsack; 04-02-2011 at 10:06 PM.
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Unread 04-03-2011, 09:31 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ny State
Posts: 417
Re: Rem 700 firing pin

By chance, I ran into the gunsmith yesterday at the range where we are members. We fired a couple of rounds through the rifle and after some discussion we decided to fit a new bolt and my aftermarket pin to the rifle. While this work in being done he will look at the rest of the gun for any other issues.

We talked about drilling and filling the bolt face as gr8whyt mentioned or fitting an oversize pin but decided on the new bolt remedy. Since I will shoot this rifle a lot; I use it for woodchucks in the summer and predators in the fall and winter, a new barrel will be not too far off in the future.

Thanks gr8whyt and sadsack for your replies.
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