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Question for the rifle collectors

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by AveragEd, Jun 22, 2011.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I have a Remington Model 700VLS, a matte-blued varmint rifle in a brown laminated beavertail stock with a 26" heavy barrel, in 6mm Remington. It shoots well but not as well as I think it ought to. It puts five 62-grain Berger flat base varmint bullets into .505" at 100 yards with an average velocity of 3,736fps. Now I know that isn't hateful but I just think it should do better. So I have a choice to make and want some input.

    Remington doesn't chamber many rifles in 6mm any longer. In fact, their website indicates that the 700VLS is the only non-Custom Shop choice you currently have while in another area, it doesn't list the cartridge for that rifle, either. So by leaving it alone, there might be some collector value down the road for our son.

    Or it could easily be rechambered to 6mm Ackley Improved (case walls are blown out to remove almost all taper and the shoulder is raised to a 40-degree angle). I have two AI rifles and both are insanely accurate. By having it rechambered, I would have a rifle that would probably be more accurate and deliver higher velocities as well. My .243AI sends 65-grain Berger boattail match bullets downrange at 3,939fps and prints one-hole .356" five-shot 100-yard groups, so a 6mmAI's greater powder capacity would enable it to break the 4,000fps barrier with the same bullets.

    If it was yours, what would you do?

    Ed
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'd check the bedding again, maybe install a target trigger, and work on load development before AI'ing the chamber. Sometimes AI'ing helps, but often it won't give a big increase over what you're already getting, and in some cases accuracy drops off.

    As for resale value, who cares? Over the years I've bought some very old mint S&Ws and have taken the out and shot them. Why should someone else get to enjoy that?
     
  3. RunGunIPSC

    RunGunIPSC TS Member

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    Have you looked at the 200 & 300 yard groups? It may settle down at longer ranges. That is the first thing I would do but 1/2" for a 6mm Rem ain't too shabby if it's varmints you seek.
     
  4. CLP101

    CLP101 TS Member

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    Try it with 70-75gr bullets. I think(could be wrong here) the twist rate is in the 9 1/4 - 10 range which will give you fits with lighter bullets. My 788 in 243 will give me .25-.35 inch groups with 87gr Hornady bthp's but 1"+ with anything lighter than 75gr. The VLS is a beautiful gun. I would leave it alone and enjoy it as is. Unless your prarie dog hunting @ 500+ yds it's just #s.
     
  5. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I didn't go into all this for the sake of space in my first post, but the trigger has been worked on and breaks at under a pound; I tested loads in it with the factory bedding, the barrel floated and then with the action and barrel bedded to the forend tip. The groups with the most accurate load started out at 1.534", went to 1.866" with the barrel floated, 1.159" with the action bedded, 0.825" with the chamber bedded and 0.505" with the entire barrel bedded.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to a range longer than 100 yards.

    But please keep the suggestions coming!

    Ed
     
  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I've tried 60-grain, 62-grain, 63-grain, 65-grain, 70-grain and 75-grain bullets. The only powder it will consistently shoot well with is RE-15; H414 was the next-best and I've also tried IMR4064, RE19, H4350, H4831SC, H4831, H4350 and H380.

    Ed
     
  7. CLP101

    CLP101 TS Member

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    Have you tried Accurate 4350? It's the most consistant in my 243.
     
  8. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Ed, have you tried different brands of brass? Makes a real difference in my 6MM when it comes to shooting small groups. What's the twist rate on your barrel and have you tried anything heavier than the 70 grainers??

    Hap
     
  9. kkeiser

    kkeiser TS Member

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    Are you shooting fire formed or new brass? I get my best accuracy seating the bullet .010 off the lands. Some guns shoot better at .025. Have you experimented with your seating depth?
     
  10. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    You might want to try one of those barrel weights that you just slip over the muzzle and position at different points on the barrel- they are under 20 bucks -

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS- rechambering is unlikely to make it more accurate- in fact with those lighter bullets it might have the opposite affect
     
  11. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    I'm sure you have but I'll ask, have you tried any Sierra MatchKing BTHP? Almost everybody at my club that shoots a 700 from .223 to .308 is using the Sierra bullet. Also, what scope are you using? BTW, I would leave the rifle the way it is.

    Wayne
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    In order:

    No, the only Accurate powder I have is 3100.

    I'm using all Remington brass and it's new old stuff. How old? It's headstamped ".244 REM"! But I've also tried new 6mm REM brass. All cases were fired in this rifle and only neck-sized for load development. Remington brass is all I use in any rifle and I've never had a problem with accuracy. I know the "designer" brands are more PC right now, but good old R-P brass has been working for me. I trim the cases, uniform the primer pockets and ream the necks. I don't sort by weight or capacity but do keep all of one lot together.

    My bullet seating practice might be crude but it's worked on all my rifles from .223 up to .338 Rem Ultra Mag. I first j-u-s-t seat a bullet in a case and then try to close the bolt. I seat it a hair deeper an keep doing that until the bolt closes. Then I adjust the die seating stem down 1/4-turn and if the loaded rounds fit into the rifle's magazine, lock it down. Crude, perhaps, but it's been effective.

    Gene, I have one of those "barrel-tuning" gizmos but I wouldn't take a rifle out of the house wearing one. I've never needed one before and prefer not to start now.

    Also, while my experience with Ackley Improved rounds is limited to two - that .243AI and a .280AI - in both cases, resulting groups were one ragged hole and the velocity increased 200 to 300 fps.

    I'm leaning toward leaving it alone but wanted to get some other thoughts. Please keep 'em coming!

    Ed


    Yes, the 70-grain bullets were MatchKings; some of the 60-grainers also were Sierras while most of the rest were Bergers.
     
  13. Ohio Bob

    Ohio Bob Member

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    Ed,

    It is a daunting task to say the least to wring out a rifle.

    Unfortunately the newer Remington rifles are managed by bean counters rather than by gun builders, so the quality they once had is no longer there.

    You might benefit from having a GOOD ‘smith do a little blueprinting on the gun. I know they go in and lap the bolt lugs and action so that both lugs make good contact, re-crown the barrel and many more “little” things that can bring a rifle into a good shooter.

    As to reducing the value for down the road, I say not to worry about it and go ahead and “Improve” it. Ackley found that most of the time a noticeable improvement in accuracy was shown when re-chambering for the AI.

    It also makes it a rifle “That dad had built back in 2011” for your son. Again, just have a good ‘smith do the work. Ackley always chambered the rifles about .004 short, so that factory ammunition could be used with no problems. If you want to go all out, have a die reamed with the same chamber reamer to help too.

    I don’t know if those rifles are pillar bedded or block bedded or not at all, but even if they are, they can benefit from the action being re-bedded.

    I’m sure there is more tricks that can be done, so there are just a few. Pick up a copy of “Varmint Hunter” magazine. They have several good ‘smiths advertising. Gordy Gritters always gets a good nod from the shooters and he can build some really nice customs too.

    IMHO anyway.

    OB
     
  14. ColtM1911A1

    ColtM1911A1 Member

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    I'd leave it alone since you have another 6mm rifle that shoots better groups. Unless you are trying to have some type of benchrest rifle (and there are better calibers for those purposes), I repeat - leave it be; it's not a rare rifle and would take decades to become a collector's item, just enjoy it for what it is and develop different loads for different yardages...

    As a gunsmith, I see all sorts of things shooters (owners) do to rifles; leave it be. By recambering it to a 6mm AI, you might just produce a rifle that shoots 1inch groups instead of 1/2 MOA.

    Good luck, and if I haven't said it already, please leave that Remington as is; you'll appreciate that decision down the road....
     
  15. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Ed, it sounds like your rifle is shooting it's limits with what you already done to it. Your 1/2" group is well within the expectations of the rifle and caliber. P.S. if you want to really know what any gun shoots, take 50 of your best loads and shoot 10 5 shot groups then average them out. Just shooting 1 group that is .356 or .505 means nothing.
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    All good advice, I believe. I'm pretty sure it's going to stay a 6mm REM.

    By the way, those group sizes are an average of three groups, not just one fluke.

    Knowing all the things we do to rifles to make them shoot better, I just have to tell this story again (I opened a thread about it a week or so ago). I collect the Model 700BDLs made between 1997 and 2001 that had scroll engraving on the receiver and floorplate. They don't command a premium right now but perhaps that will change in time. Even if it doesn't, they are conversation pieces and not hard to look at.

    Anyway, last year I came across one in 7mm Rem Ultra Mag on GunBroker and bought it. All I did was take the barreled action out of the stock to confirm that it fit into the wood well, adjusted the trigger, removed the factory sights and installed a Leupold VX-3 Long Range side-focus scope in 4.5-14x40 with a 30mm tube. After some brief load development work that yielded 1-1/4" groups, I tried Retumbo powder. I'm still in disbelief - 140-grain bullets at 3,388fps shoot into 0.471" and 150-grainers go into 0.473" at 3,228fps. Every time I've taken it to my club's rifle range, I have guys on either side shooting either custom rifles or highly massaged factory ones looking at it with envy.

    Every once in a while, they make a good one!

    Ed
     
  17. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    Ask Berger what the potential of that bullet is.
     
  18. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Berger does not list a 6mm 62 grain flat base as a varmint bullet.
     
  19. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Well, OK. If you must mess with it, send the gun to the guy in Florida who harmonically tunes the barrel by removing metal.

    (I don't know if he is still around).

    I have a 9 twist 22-250 that was perfoeming sort of mediocre. A friend got out of that caliber and gave me his brass and some loaded rounds.

    the rounds shot fantastic, better than I had gotten. I asked him WTF are these, and it turned out to be a load that was a goodly amount under max.

    Still scratching my head. So try some slow loads.

    HM
     
  20. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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