Help with .243 situation

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Anton Chigurh, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Well-Known Member

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    I purchased a 700 VTR about a month ago, to used as coyote/pig gun and targets for fun. I wasn't real impressed with how it shot 100 gr federal blue box, which is all gun shop had on hand when I bought it. I have since gathered components to work up some hand loads, and switched scopes to a nice Conquest 4.5-14X50. I'm ready to sight in and work up a load, but am know thinking of replacing stock with a B&C medalist first.

    On a different note, this gun seems to have a ton of freebore. Like .33". Anywhere close to lands not possible. This concerns me, but I was assured by gun shop where I purchased these guns will shoot well.

    Long post I know, here are my questions for those with more experience than me:

    1. B&C medalist good idea?

    2. Free-bore concerns? Possibly having to have barrel set back and re-chambered?

    3. Should I be looking to sell gun and pick up something else or just start into this one and do whatever it takes to make it shoot?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2013
  2. Rev.

    Rev. Well-Known Member

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    If it was me! I'd start with some reloads & find something that shot well! Don't worry about the free bore yet! When you find a good combo work with it & see what happens!

    Start small!
     

  3. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Its a rather oddball rifle with a bunch of (pricey) add on features ? V shaped barrel, integral break, overmold stock... Have you had the stock off the action yet ? Does it have a full length aluminum bedding block in there or is it just an overmolded SPS type stock ?

    Remingtons that I have owned have always needed the trigger worked on / replaced (the Shilen trigger is the least expensive and a huge improvement and is sold at midway/brownells). Then was the stock. The Remington site does not mention an aluminum overmold and if there is none there, look at a laminate replacement, at least. One can hog out the fore-end to free float properly, but it needs a LOT of clearance due to the flex. The last SPS I had I cleared 1/16h of an inch so that it would remain free floated when on a bipod. Your model has a shorter barrel, so it would probably balance better than the 26" barreled SPS.

    Finally, Remington generally had the worst factory barrels I have ever seen. TC probably being a close second if my Icon was anything to go by. The thing is that with a Remington, you need machining to accomplish anything and there are a lot of Remington owners keeping the better smiths occupied, especially the last couple of years. Lead times for barrels has gotten a lot longer than it used to be.

    Having said all of that, shooting some factory loads (unless you experience a fluke) is normally a very poor way to judge the capability of a rifle. Trigger issues would be obvious regardless of the ammo. If the POI is constantly moving around, that points to bedding and the stock.

    Certainly a single stage press, some dies powder primers and some Hornady SST bullets would be one place to start. I am using H100V Hodgdon powder in mine and it is a screamer. Even now you can buy H100V since it is not too well known. You will not be shooting 95gr or higher Bergers out that short tube with a 9.25 twist, I should know, my Savage 12 LPV had a 26" x 1:9.25 and it could not shoot them either. But the SST should work fine. Tune the load and seating depth and upgrade the trigger if needed and see where that takes you.
     
  4. farout

    farout Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Rev. I would do up some handloads and see how that works before changing the stock or even selling it. I don't think the free bore is an issue. Seems the barrel has a 9 1/8 twist so it should handle 100gn bullets well. Stock could be junk, but I would at least shoot some groups with handloads first.

    Try some Nosler ballistic tips, they are usually pretty easy to tune and do not require a short jump.

    I have a .243 that didn't shoot factory ammo well at all, but was very easy to work up handloads for.

    You did not mention the actual size of the groups?
     
  5. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Well-Known Member

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    Its been a month since I shot it but I believe the groups were in the 2" range, not real consistent at all. I think I will go ahead and get a B&C stock to get it fully free floated, then work handloads until I either get it to shoot or prove it needs more work . I have 70gr NBT's, 85 gr HPBT Sierras, 58gr Vmax and 75 gr Vmax. As mentioned above, I may look into some SST's as it seems the really long berger's will probably not stabilize. Thanks guys
     
  6. shooters

    shooters Well-Known Member

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    IMO, get a Savage and be done. Preferably the .243 in the Predator Hunter....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2013
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't replace much. My first Remington I ended up changing everything on it before it shot. It's a cumbersome way to get where you want to go. Educational, but not all that satisfying.

    You have just started, I"d wait and see how it progresses.

    What are your accuracy goals, What would you be satisfied with? A straight up custom may be a better way to go than a piece meal approach.

    Don't rule out some of the older style flat base bullets,. or the minimum tapered boat tails, sometimes bearing surface can be your friend.

    Seat some past magazine length to help determine if "freebore" is as big an issue as you feel it is.
     
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The first thing I'd do with it is try some different ammo after checking the torque on the action screws.

    If that doesn't tighten things up for you I'd be quite surprised.

    Not knowing your history it's hard to say what the expected group size should be because we don't know your capabilities.

    There are guys who can't shoot a 2" group at fifty yards with any rifle or load and many who can't do it at even 100yds.

    The first thing I look at when something isn't shooting right is to check all of the screws, action, scope rings and mounts as that's the easiest problem to spot and solve right off.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2013
  9. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Well-Known Member

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    WildRose, I have/ will check obvious problems like loose action screws/scope mounts. I did change the scope from the first one to a conquest, installed, lapped rings, torqued to spec and bore sighted. Its ready to be zeroed when I get time and weather permits.

    I'm not a competitive shooter by any means, but I have sub moa guns that I can shoot sub moa with, at least off a bench.

    I guess the main question I had was should I leave it stock and play with it or start upgrading with the possibility of putting a fair amount of money into it? I think I will change to a B&C stock, then just work up loads. If it doesn't shoot well after that I may look at just selling and trying another.
     
  10. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Anthon- i would sell and get standard sps varmint. of from dicks for less money an adl varmint.
     
  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    That helps.

    If you just want to put a different stock on, go ahead.

    It's not where I'd go. I would start with just pillars and bedding and trying a few different loads to see if I can get it to tighten up.

    I've see guys waste a lot of money customizing/accessorizing becaue one load wouldn't shoot for them come back and try another load that solved the whole problem for them.

    If you can't get it to shoot decently after that I'd go back to the dealer and start over before pouring good money after bad.

    If you have one that is out of spec no matter how much money you spend it still won't shoot. It's like buying a house with a bad foundation, you can't fix the foundation by rehanging the trim.
     
  12. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    If I started with a new Remington today, first I would check the bedding, action screw torque, adjust trigger and then reload for it.
    Try those 85gn Sierra GK HPBT. They are incredible in my Win70 HVB .243. They have shot sub 1/2 MOA at 500yds for me. I'm talking 1-1.5" groups with a couple groups having bullet holes touching. This is with IMR 4831 powder and CCI BR2 primers. I guess I was so in to "Match" bullets (i.e. MatchKings, AMax's, Bergers, etc.) that I overlooked the GameKing. Hmm, hunting bullet with match grade accuracy. That's how the Berger Hunting VLD started.
    The 90 and 95gn Nosler Ballistic Tips also deliver good accuracy out to at least 700yds. Have only tried them this far.
    Good luck with your funny shaped barrel Remington! :) JohnnyK.
     
  13. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips Johnny. I have a light tactical medalist stock on the way, also timney trigger. I am reloading various tipped bullets. Hopefully those upgrades will get it straightened out. The super long throat still bothers me, but maybe not an issue.

    If none of that works I'll decide whether to rebarrel or just get rid of gun and start over with a different factory gun.
     
  14. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Well-Known Member

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    Wildrose, I get what you're saying about throwing good money after bad. I have already ordered a medalist stock and timney trigger. I will try those as well as some different loads. If I don't see improvement soon I am going to consider just getting rid of gun and starting over. The new stock and trigger can be saved for another 700 SA, so not money just wasted.

    By the way, I see your location halfway between Lubbock and Dallas, I'm in that general area myself. A little closer to Dallas.