Problem 700 SPS

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jrock, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    I do a lot of reading on this forum and there is a ton of great advice so I thought I would join and post the problem I've been having.

    At the right price, I purchased a new 700 SPS in 7mm Rem Mag 4 months ago and have been having issues with it. My goal with this gun was to be a project gun I could improve from year to year. My accuracy standard for this gun is at least moa as it will be used for shooting out to 600+ yards. This is my first Remington. Below are a list of problems I have identified:

    1. First shot resulted in a case stuck in the chamber. (Was sent back for warranty work in which they replaced the extractor and checked headspace) After repair, extraction seams to function.
    2. Brass cases have very noticeable scratches on and near the belt of the cases after extraction.
    3. Brass shavings build up on the bolt face after a shooting session. Assumed caused by extractor and problems identified in item 2.
    4. Cratered primers even on low pressure rounds (300 fps lower than factory velocities). Appears the firing pin hole on the bolt face is oversized.
    5. Precision is non-existent

    To expound on item #5, starting with factory Winchester ammo with 150 grain power point bullets, I could not group better than 3-inches at 100 yards.

    Here is a list of things I have tried to improve the precision of the rifle and none have worked.

    1. Had two friends shoot it and none grouped any better than 3"
    2. Bedded action, made pillars out of bedding material, free floated barrel
    3. Stiffened factory stock forfend
    4. Used 150 grain Winchester Power Point bullets
    5. Used 162 grain Hornady SPBT Interlock bullets
    6. Used 168 grain Berger VLD bullets
    7. Used 175 grain Nosler ABLR bullets
    8. Varied seating depths from 0.010" to 0.150" off lands with bullets above
    9. Worked up powder charges with IMR 7828 and H1000 and was able to get a couple groups around 1.5" with velocities 250 fps less than factory which is unacceptable. 3"+ at or near standard velocities.
    10. Changed stock to Bell and Carlson Medalist, free floated barrel and skim bedded action.

    So after $450 in shipping fees, ammo, and stock improvements with no fix in sight I am wondering what to do with this gun. I would much rather have spent that on a better gun as Remington is proving to be less than helpful.

    Should I send this gun back to Remington and hope they do something that will get me at least MOA accuracy since it is still under warranty, mess around with other barrel bedding techniques, take it to a smith for evaluation and some work, or just sell the thing?
     
  2. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Get rid if the junk factory barrel. The SPS is the cheapest Rem 700 out there and Remington barrels are amongst the worst. Call Jim Briggs at Northland Shooters Supply and see if he has a CBI prefit barrel in stock that installs with a barrel nut like on a Savage. If he has what you want you will save about $500 compared to a gunsmith job and possibly 6-9 months of time too.

    How is the trigger ? Usually the triggers are about 8+ lb from the factory and the new ones are made so that they cannot be adjusted lighter. Usually it is cheaper to get a Shilen trigger for $100 than any of the other options including a trigger job by a competent smith.

    I have owned 2 Remingtons. On 1 the barrel was fine (223 1:12) and on the other (classic in 8x57) the barrel and trigger were awful.
     

  3. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    My SPS had problems shaving lead as well and scratching cases. it was from the rough surface of the bead blasted bolt. I took fine sandpaper and "polished" the underside of the bolt that drags across the top of the first round in the magazine.

    I'm now beginning to wonder if my chamber is not out of spec though as I have gotten several cases that appear to be swollen on one side after firing? Also have cratered primers on low intensity loads but as you said I believe it is just from a loose firing pin and oversized hole. For the price they are a cheap way to get an action for a project. I will soon be replacing the barrel and got rid of the tupperware stock years ago. My trigger isn't horrific but I do intend to someday get a Jewell on it.
     
  4. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

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    1st thing to do is sell it. If you can not then use it as a tent stake.
    2nd thing to do is buy a Weatherby Accumark or cheapie Vanguard. They out shoot any non custom.
    3rd Have Backus build you a tuned rifle.
    4th Check out Kelbys if you want a superior product
    5th did I remember to tell you to get rid of the Remington? Even a Savage axis is better!
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    After my smith took a look down the barrel of my Accumark with less than 250 rounds down it, you couldn't give me another one. The barrel has tight spots in it for sure, and (according to him) looks like it was rifled by a madget with a hammer and chisel... That would explain why it barely shoots 1 MOA on a good day. I think it might be making a trip back to Paso Robles, CA with a very impolite note.
     
  6. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Have to wonder what the Rem barrel has to look like it if can't shoot better than 3moa ? Same for my 8x57 "Classic" that could not shoot reliably better than 3MOA either.
     
  7. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I haven't quite figured out how rem can make a rifle shoot that poorly, but they are good at it, and we've seen a couple of them over the years. For gits and shiggles a few years back I grouped my smoothbore 12 gauge with slugs at 100 yards and IT shot in the three inch range. For a rifle to only squeak it at that group size is inexcusable imo..
     
  8. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    I put a Holland deluxe spring kit it and was able to get the trigger pull down to 4 lbs. It is better than my vanguard series 1 trigger I had before I put a Timney in it.
    A problem with the barrel makes sense. No crown damage that I can tell. Do u think Remington would replace that? I doubt I could get much selling a gun that can't shoot.
    As a project gun if I were to keep it, would blue printing be worth it?
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna give you my "patent answer" that I get mocked about, but it works on a non-shooting Remington.

    True the action threads & face, lap the lugs, square the bolt face...Basically complete trueing of the reciever (might need trued raceways, but your smith can tell you if tou do or don't). Have the barrel threads and shoulder trued. Have the barrel hand-lapped and re-crowned. Have the action bedded in the stock. And have the barrel free-floated.

    If it won't shoot after all that, move on to ordering a B&C Medalist stock ($265) and an new aftermarket barrel blank, and let your smith do his magic on it. Should be a shooter.

    Remington 700's have THE largest aftermarket support of any brand bolt-action rifle. And there's a reason for that. When they work, they're precise!

    Personally, I just buy cheap used ones for $300-400 to use as my basis for builds, since Remington's quality has become hit or miss lately. I've had excellent experiences with factory Remington rifles, except one. But it got rebarreled almost immediately after I bought it, because I didn't like the caliber.
     
  10. Swamplord

    Swamplord Well-Known Member

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    Yank the barrel off and give it to your local gardening nut to use as a tomato stake
    don't waste your time and money on anything until you have done that..................

    for $340 you can get a fine Bartlein barrel and it will shoot !

    just recently I picked up two SPS REM 700's in 300 RUM and didn't bother shooting either one of them, both barrels were immediately replaced with Bartleins
     
  11. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    With all the recommendations for a new barrel, is it worth putting one on without truing up the action? Replacing the barrel will no doubt make the gun usable but with all the problems I seem to have with it would it be more cost effective to start over with another brand or dump money into this one to make it equivalent to a custom gun? I know I said I wanted a project gun but wasn't thinking I would start with a lemon. Mainly thinking of the brass shavings, case marks, and cratered primers.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    No... Never install a new barrel without truing up the action. That's like washing, waxing, and detailing a junkyard car about to get crushed.

    Well, yes and no... Iit's cheaper to continue with what you have, since you already own the rifle. However, selling it to start over you could probably regain some of your money back.

    Unless you just want to sell the SPS? If you want to dump a non-shooting gun (lemon) off on somene, I'll gladly take it off your hands. I have nothing but time, and slowly polishing that turd would be fine with me, as I have plenty of other rifles to be shooting in the meantime.

    By cratered primers are you talking about the big divoted looking primers around where the firing pin strikes? If so, that's not from pressure signs...That's from an oversized firing pin hole in the bolt face. My rifles do that wtih forming loads, which are book minimum loads.

    Is this what you're referring to? If so, that's not that big of a deal. It's also not a sign of pressure. Pressure signs would be the primers being flattened, like in the second picture.

    [​IMG]

    This is pressure... Notice how the primer has flattened out enough to fill up the all the corners of the primer pocket. You can also get a better idea if you're flattening primers when you de-cap your brass for cleaning.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain! My last Remington 700 shot 4.25" groups with hand loads, and several well known BR shooters couldn't get close to that group size. I fought it till I got so mad that I completely rebuilt, but kept the OEM barrel (cut as much of the bad stuff out of it as I could). I would start looking at the once fired brass (unsized) closely to see what I had there. Is the brass strait? Look closely at the neck to centerline of the case. If you have the tools, pull the barrel for a better look at it. My barrel was so bad that it tore up tight patches, and I hope yours is better. Looking at the barrel, does the last three to four inches feel looser than the rest of the barrel? If so, be looking at a new barrel with the 7mm mag.

    What the barrel's I.D. looks like inside maybe a clue, but I've seen some rougher than a corn cob shoot some seriously small groups. It is critical that the muzzle end be tight! If it's loose you got a shot gun. The brass shavings are troubling. I give the action a serious cleaning, and shoot a few rounds thru it one round at a time without using the magazine. This will isolate the problem.

    You've already rebed the action, and even restocked it with no help. So I'd forget chasing that demon for awhile. But I'd still give the recoil lug and the bedded area a really close examination. You can have the action trued and setup as nice as can be done, but if the chamber and barrel bore are junk you still got junk.

    gary
     
  14. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for those picts and good explanation. They do look cratered like in the first picture. I figured it wasn't a big deal just lack of workmanship on Remington's side. I've seen that one could buy an oversized firing pin to prevent this.

    I'll see if I can post some picts of the brass shavings and scratch marks on the case. I have some snap caps and they show the marks really well.

    I assumed that the chamber had some burrs but could not see anything. I took some 0000 steel wool on a dowel with a drill and took that to the chamber and it didn't make a difference.

    I believe the brass shavings are caused by the extractor scraping off the upper edge (bullet side) of the rim. All my cases seem to have rounded rims now and don't look all that pretty. Can't say I'm a fan of the Remington extractor if it mars brass like this.

    If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. Sounds like what I've got here.