New to long range - first rifle - few questions

jdk81

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Aug 22, 2013
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Hello all! I have been gradually getting into long range shooting the last couple years, and nearly have my first build complete! I have been doing countless hours of research and I think I definitely have a good base to my understanding of everything. I just have a few questions and I'd like to make sure I am doing everything as well as I can. I'll start off by telling you my build, my knowledge, and my questions. If you can help that'd be awesome!!

The Setup:

1. Remington 700 SPS Tactical .308
2. Weaver V-16
3. Leupold PWR mediums
5. EGW 20moa base
6. Harris 9-13" swivel

Questions:

1. The break in procedure... I plan on doing copper equilibrium style maintenance. I do not have harsh conditions to deal with, and I am not worried about corrosion issues. I plan on doing the following: clean barrel, shoot 1, clean well with a powder solvent, dry bore. Repeat this for 5 rounds, then repeat every 5 shots for 25 rounds. What say you? Any other advice?

-Also on the cleaning... I currently use an Otis kit for all of my guns and clean breech to muzzle. Is there another method I should use for my first precision rifle, or is the otis method OK?

2. I know the Houge Overmould stock probably sucks, but it seemed OK in my hands, so I am going to keep it for a while. If I and the rifle work real well together, I will eventually upgrade to a real nice stock. Currently the build has me right about $900, which I am happy with for my first "budget" build. What do you have to say here? I am under the understanding Houge has changed the stocks a bit recently, could be mistaken here, can't find much new info on it.

3. Approximately how long can you expect a .308 barrel to last?

4. I think I will have clearance, and it should be about as low as I can get it. Can anyone verify this? Or (hopefully not) disprove it?

5. Is there any other advice you can give a newbie?




THANKS EVERYONE!!
 

just browsing

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1. Just shoot the gun. Don't worry about cleaning it after every shot in 5 and 25 shot intervals... just shoot it. I've literally never once followed that procedure with any of my new factory rifles and as crazy as it sounds I've never once had an issue with one not being properly "broken in." The barrels will actually tend to shoot better when they're dirty. This will be none other than a good waste of your time.

2. The stock is... well it's a stock. If you have any hope of having a sub-MOA rifle I would recommend replacing it or at the very least glass bedding the action. For someone just getting into long range shooting, it will allow you to hone your skills as a shooter, but make no mistake about it - it's garbage.

3. The barrel will basically last forever unless you develop a super hot handload, at which point it will last forever minus a few days.

4. If "low as I can get it" is referring to the objective lens location relative to the top of the barrel, you will be fine. You could probably get away with "low height" rings but honestly the .05" isn't going to make or break the rifle's accuracy. Just make sure to get it bore sighted, shoot it a lot, make minimal scope adjustments, and THEN zero it once the barrel has been sufficiently fouled.

5. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot some more. Start reloading if you haven't already and develop a good load for it. Shoot as much as you can and you'll get there eventually.
 

jdk81

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Aug 22, 2013
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45
Location
Iowa
Thanks for the reply!

I am also getting myself setup with reloading equipment asap, this week most likely. I am also going to get a chrono eventually. From what I gather I should be able to throw together a good handload eventually.

My plan on that is to get a hundred rounds or so of federal GMM, and use that brass for my reloading needs.

Thanks!
 

jdk81

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Iowa
The reason I was asking about the clearance is to due with cheek weld on the junk stock. I will be putting a sort of foam, but the lowest I can get the scope is the best.
 

just browsing

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Skip the foam and get a Kydex adjustable cheek rest. You don't have to feel bad about drilling holes in your stock and it will provide a much better cheek weld than foam will.

Check out Karsten or Southwest Precision.
 

MontanaRifleman

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1. The break in procedure... I plan on doing copper equilibrium style maintenance. I do not have harsh conditions to deal with, and I am not worried about corrosion issues. I plan on doing the following: clean barrel, shoot 1, clean well with a powder solvent, dry bore. Repeat this for 5 rounds, then repeat every 5 shots for 25 rounds. What say you? Any other advice?

-Also on the cleaning... I currently use an Otis kit for all of my guns and clean breech to muzzle. Is there another method I should use for my first precision rifle, or is the otis method OK?
There are many threads on break-in. Google them and and have a good read. The idea behind break-in is to condition your bore for minimal fouling. You need to remove ALL the copper after each to do this. The idea is to wear down the tooling irregularities in the throat and bore that pull off and collect copper. Any shot after the first shot before cleaning is basically wasted as it will accomplish very little or nothing.

There are also many threads on cleaning. Get some Bore Tech Eliminator and proof positive jags. Wipeout is good too.

2. I know the Houge Overmould stock probably sucks, but it seemed OK in my hands, so I am going to keep it for a while. If I and the rifle work real well together, I will eventually upgrade to a real nice stock. Currently the build has me right about $900, which I am happy with for my first "budget" build. What do you have to say here? I am under the understanding Houge has changed the stocks a bit recently, could be mistaken here, can't find much new info on it.
Shoot it with the Houge and see how it does. It might shoot OK. But I do recommend an upgrade when you can budget it.

3. Approximately how long can you expect a .308 barrel to last?
A long time. You might want to replace it if you're not getting good accuracy and/or a lot of fouling. All the remington barrels I've had have been big foulers. You might get lucky and get a good one.

4. I think I will have clearance, and it should be about as low as I can get it. Can anyone verify this? Or (hopefully not) disprove it?
I highly recommend a Vortex Viper and low Vortex rings. I also highly recommend the EGW heavy dute rail. I wouldn't go any cheaper on rings and rail then that.

5. Is there any other advice you can give a newbie?
Get a Vanguard, Howa or M70. Better receiver, bolt/extractor and trigger.
 

just browsing

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There are many threads on break-in. Google them and and have a good read. The idea behind break-in is to condition your bore for minimal fouling. You need to remove ALL the copper after each to do this. The idea is to wear down the tooling irregularities in the throat and bore that pull off and collect copper. Any shot after the first shot before cleaning is basically wasted as it will accomplish very little or nothing.
I've yet to see any factual information supporting the benefits of barrel break-in and/or cleaning after every shot... People swear by it and others ignore it.

Get a Vanguard, Howa or M70. Better receiver, bolt/extractor and trigger.
While I would tend to agree, the 700 action is perfectly fine. And I'm not too sure about the Howa/M70 having better receivers/bolt/extractors either. There's a reason a lot of guys build off the 700 action and significantly fewer guys choose the Howa/M70 to build off of...
 

MudRunner2005

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Thanks for the reply!

I am also getting myself setup with reloading equipment asap, this week most likely. I am also going to get a chrono eventually. From what I gather I should be able to throw together a good handload eventually.

My plan on that is to get a hundred rounds or so of federal GMM, and use that brass for my reloading needs.

Thanks!
If you can find Varget where you live, buy as much of it as you can, of the same lot #. If you aren't familiar, I'm sure someone who works at the store can help you find the lot #.

That being said. I would order about 200 Lapua brass, and a 1,000ct box of Nosler 168gr Custom Competition bullets. Also a 1K brick of Federal 210/210M primers will work great, too.

Load 44.0gr of Varget and seat the bullet to 2.810". You might have to tweak the load up or down for your rifle to find what it likes, but that should get you a good starting point.

Also, if you don't have it, I recommend a Nosler 7, and a Berger reloading manual.

Also, something that will help avoid break-in, and will greatly reduce copper-fouling, is to have a local smith hand-lap the bore. It helps to smooth out all the tooling marks left by the rifling process, which cause copper fouling. When I say "avoid break-in" by hand-lapping it, it is sort of like breaking one in.
 

MontanaRifleman

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I've yet to see any factual information supporting the benefits of barrel break-in and/or cleaning after every shot... People swear by it and others ignore it.

While I would tend to agree, the 700 action is perfectly fine. And I'm not too sure about the Howa/M70 having better receivers/bolt/extractors either. There's a reason a lot of guys build off the 700 action and significantly fewer guys choose the Howa/M70 to build off of...
I'm not sure what you consider as "factual" but there are plenty of members here, including myself who have seen reduced fouling as a result of barrel break-in. You and the OP can take it or leave it.

I will explain why the Vanguard/Howa and M70 actions are better.

The receivers have integral recoil lugs.

They have three position safeties.

Reminington extractors are about the bottom of the line as far as extractors go. The Vanguard/Howa extractors are M-16 style. One of the first things anyone who owns and upgrades a 700 is to replace the extractor with an M-16 style extractor. Many, including myself replace the whole bolt.

Vanguard/Howa's have one peice bolts... not sure about the M70

My M70 is CRF with a better extractor than the 700.

The reason so many people build off the 700 action is it has the most after market parts and accessories available.
 

MontanaRifleman

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Also, something that will help avoid break-in, and will greatly reduce copper-fouling, is to have a local smith hand-lap the bore. It helps to smooth out all the tooling marks left by the rifling process, which cause copper fouling. When I say "avoid break-in" by hand-lapping it, it is sort of like breaking one in.
Hey Mud, how's it going in your country?

On hand lapping a barrel after it's been chambered, threaded and crowned, I have heard/read that it will be irregular at the muzzle and you're probably going to lengthen your throat a bit.
 

MudRunner2005

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Hey Mud, how's it going in your country?

On hand lapping a barrel after it's been chambered, threaded and crowned, I have heard/read that it will be irregular at the muzzle and you're probably going to lengthen your throat a bit.
I live in the same country as you...I don't understand that comment.

However, I haven't seen any negatives from hand-lapping. And I always have my barrels recrowned when they get lapped or when any work has been performed on them. No sense in keeping the crappy factory crown.

And I've also had zero extractor issues with any of my 700's, and they all wear factory extractors, none have been converted to M-16/Sako style.

I don't understand all these problems that people keep having with their Remingtons... I've never had 1 single problem with any action, the only problem I ever had was that one .338 WinMag barrel that wouldn't shoot. Other than that, I have had nothing but good experiences.
 

jdk81

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Iowa
Thanks for all the responses everyone! Looks like I will continue searching around and reading up what people have to say.



Thanks again!
 

MontanaRifleman

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I live in the same country as you...I don't understand that comment.

However, I haven't seen any negatives from hand-lapping. And I always have my barrels recrowned when they get lapped or when any work has been performed on them. No sense in keeping the crappy factory crown.

And I've also had zero extractor issues with any of my 700's, and they all wear factory extractors, none have been converted to M-16/Sako style.

I don't understand all these problems that people keep having with their Remingtons... I've never had 1 single problem with any action, the only problem I ever had was that one .338 WinMag barrel that wouldn't shoot. Other than that, I have had nothing but good experiences.
By "country" I mean area. Around here we use that term (like a colloquialism) a lot. For instance we might say that Eastern Montana is flat country or the Big Hole River valley (Big Hole country) is cold country etc. Wasn't suggesting that you were an alien :)

I know you are a big fan of Remingtons and you apparaently haven't had any issues with them. I have owned 3 besides the one I bought for my 300 RUM build. The first was a 243 BDL and it developed a crack in the bolt body after about 100 rounds through it. I'm not making that up. My Senderos were fine although I had extraction/ejector issues with the 300 RUM. I don't know of any other rifle manufacturer that has had as many recalls and issues with their rifles than Remington. That's just a plain fact. Someone local to here was killed when a 700 safety malfunctioned a few years ago. He's not the only one that that's happened to. There are numerous other owners who have had all manner of quality issues with Remingtons. You can believe them or not.

If you google 700 extractor issues/problems, you will get a ton of hits. Sako and M-16 style extractors are a very popular upgrade to 700's and there is a reason for it. Bolt replacement and lug replacement are also popular. That's a fact and that's what I did. My trued and upgraded 700 is a great action but it cost me quite a bit to get it where it is now.

Here's a video link showing a 700 with extractions issues before and after replacing with a Sako extractor.


Cheers
 
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