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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was lucky enough to get a factory Remington 700 SPS Tactical in .223 back in 2008 that turned out to be quite the shooter. I still have the target where I shot (5), five-shot groups that averaged .502 MOA...and that was with very limited brass prep on picked up 5.56 brass from a military range.

I managed to keep that rifle through a divorce...but had to sell off the stock and scope. Later, I built it back up again as a trainer. My F-I-L shot a five-shot group with it at 400 yards that measured 3-3/4" and was hooked. He'd never shot that far before. (Later, he busted about a 4" group at 586 yards with my M24).

For the last year or two, that rifle has only been pulled out to shoot critters on occasion. It is pretty accurate with a stout load behind the 62gr SOST (combat) bullet.

A few days ago, I checked it with my borescope after a thorough cleaning...PITTED to beat heck. Frequently, you can ignore chatter marks or the occasional flaw in your barrel. However, this pitting reminds you of a military surplus barrel from WW II.

Still, a good general rule is you don't junk barrels unless accuracy degrades. So I loaded five rounds of my old standby 1/2 MOA target load for it and took it out this morning.

4 round group of the 62gr SOST - 1/1/4". That is typical. Barrel is now adequately warm, so let's try the target load.

5 round group of the 1/2 MOA habdload - about 1-3/4" with a wild flier. Three shots were down about 1/2 minute...but the others were uncalled fliers...crap.

So time for a new barrel. And while you're getting it spun on, time for getting your action trued. While you're doing that, might as well get rid of the factory firing pin assembly as well as the factory trigger. Plus I've always hated the H-S Precision stock that I put on.

I'll let my kids shoot it when they start wondering where their college fund went. 馃槈

It'll probably be finished 2024.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything is outrageous right now.
Like so many things (cars, guns, etc...) it turns into "how fast do you want to spend", or "how accurate do you want to spend". It could be far more enjoyable at times if you were able to forget that the stock on your rifle costs the same as a nice rifle itself.

The beauty of that little .223 SPS was that you could go up to the firing line and be within a 1/4 MOA of keeping with a rifle that cost 4-5x more. Brass prep was done in a fraction of the time because I just overlooked all of the anal retentiveness steps in the process. Plus it was in one of the most economical cartridges available. It was my way to enjoy shooting accurately at a fraction of the cost.

Fortunately, as I'm older now (and things like reloading components are much more expensive as you noted); I'm able to get back into the OCD-level of reloading. If it takes 4 hours to prep and load 50 rounds, so what? I got 4 hours of enjoyment for the same cost as the guy who furiously labors over a progressive press and all the latest gadgets and gizmos to cut that time in half.

I get more bang for the buck 馃槃.

I'm more irritated at myself for letting the bore get pitted. I still don't know how I managed it. My ca. 1991 .30-06 still looks great through the borescope, and I've had that 15 years longer. I immediately went and checked it fearing the worst after looking at that .223...but no issues there. Shame on me for not taking better care of my stuff.
 

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I'm certainly intrigued by how that bore got pitted.
Do you think there was some foreign ammo with corrosive powder or primers that ran through that barrel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm certainly intrigued by how that bore got pitted.
Do you think there was some foreign ammo with corrosive powder or primers that ran through that barrel?
You and I both Sir. I've been reading up on the steel Remington used for the barrel. Most of that information is gone, but apparently the finish on these guns is a matte blue...so we're going to assume a 4140 steel of some sorts. That stuff is usually pretty good against corrosion resistance, but does have some iron in it. It certainly isn't 416R.

At this point though the 'how' still eludes me. I am just as retentive regarding cleaning as I am reloading. That gun has been in the same safe as my 700 BDL in .30-06, and Ruger #1B in .22-250...but those rifles have 12-15 more years of ownership on them...yet there is no pitting in them.

I can't remember a time where I went shooting or hunting in the rain with it, but the way that the pitting is not present in the first 6" near the action suggests that moisture or something highly corrosive got into the muzzle, and then the gun was stood up in a safe.

Now, the rifle did stay with my in-laws from 2014 to 2018 as I was still away in the 'Corps. It was the only one of mine to stay with them too, as I loaned it to them for animal control. It was still shooting excellent in 2014 as that's when my F-I-L shot the 3-3/4" group at 400, but I can't remember trying that pet load since. I'm certainly not accusing anyone of anything. I never ran a borescope through it when I got it back, nor even detail cleaned it...so that's my fault anyway. But perhaps something started over there that I didn't catch. Rust is a common thing with my F-I-L. In fact, my M-I-L keeps her own set of tools because she hates the extra step of having to apply WD-40 every time she wants to use a set of pliers 馃槃.

What I do know for sure is that I got lackadaisical in my cleaning of the bore after receiving the rifle back in 2018. Lesson learned: every bore will get a nice wet patch annually if it hasn't been shot, and then a dry patch or two before shooting. I'll probably go a step further and borescope everything annually too.

Amazingly, even with the bore resembling a SMLE, it still shot 1.5 MOA.
 

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That鈥檚 been a dream gun of mine since I got introduced into firearms by my wife鈥檚 grandpa a long time ago. Sorry you had the pitting issue. I know that鈥檚 a gut sinking thing to discover on a beloved gun. Sounds like .223 is a sweet round. I always figured I鈥檇 look into a .308 but I will keep that smaller round in mind with the heavier grain.
 

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That鈥檚 been a dream gun of mine since I got introduced into firearms by my wife鈥檚 grandpa a long time ago. Sorry you had the pitting issue. I know that鈥檚 a gut sinking thing to discover on a beloved gun. Sounds like .223 is a sweet round. I always figured I鈥檇 look into a .308 but I will keep that smaller round in mind with the heavier grain.
Don't overlook the lethality of a .55 grain on deer. I've taken a couple dozen nice bucks and does with that weight bullet. Selecting the right bullet and placing it properly is the key. I've seen a deer shot with .338 Lapua Magnum run off into the distance to never be found. There isn't a bullet out there that will make up for a bad shot....well, there is one but we aren't allowed to deer hunt with the .50BMG.
 

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Don't overlook the lethality of a .55 grain on deer. I've taken a couple dozen nice bucks and does with that weight bullet. Selecting the right bullet and placing it properly is the key. I've seen a deer shot with .338 Lapua Magnum run off into the distance to never be found. There isn't a bullet out there that will make up for a bad shot....well, there is one but we aren't allowed to deer hunt with the .50BMG.
I knew a guy back in Oregon who had a huge family ranch along the trask mountain range. Heavily populated with elk. Back in the day when people hunted for food more than sport, the family would spotlight elk with .22鈥檚 and just shoot the eye as it reflected in the light. Shot placement truly is key.
 

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I knew a guy back in Oregon who had a huge family ranch along the trask mountain range. Heavily populated with elk. Back in the day when people hunted for food more than sport, the family would spotlight elk with .22鈥檚 and just shoot the eye as it reflected in the light. Shot placement truly is key.
Night shooting with spotlights is a major problem in Oklahoma.
 

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Missed this thread the first time around.

Pitting, corrosion, rust and mould. Particularly mould. In Cold dry and hot dry Montana I seldom saw any of this. My first year in OK. I saw a lot of this. I am into old antique oil finished guns and those guns in particular sprouted mould-worse the than the veggie drawer in the refrigerator.

Rust came from I am not sure where. But it popped up, Since then I have ran the air conditioner in dry mode full time year around, All the gun safe's have dehumidifiers in them. Periodic checks suggest this system is 99% effective. Not 100% for sure.

The mention of the 700 reminds me I have 700 VLS HB .223 in storage. Used it for larger varmints like coyotes and rock chuck and the occasional badger. The HB 10-22 with Fajen laminated stock was my Gopher gun. Then Hornady introduced the 17 HM2. As soon as I could get my hands on a reamer, I built one on a BSA Francotte Martini 1215. I never got around to doing any of the accurizing things that are done to Martini's as I made a25 yard head shot on a Wasp and called it good. I considered that good to go for the gopher field. Hornady use that wasp shot picture in their catalog. The 700 VLS was still carried to the field, saved for larger game when it was encountered, but seldom used. The 10-22 got put away and i don't think I have shot it since--when was the 2004?

In 2002 I moved from Montana to Washington DC to Customs Headquarters where I be came very important in my own mind. That is a common DC phenomenon.

When I returned to Montana to retire in 2008, I started playing with the 17 HMR, again in the BSA Francotte Martini 1215. Again incredibly accurate and capable at longer ranges in the gopher patch. I have lost count of how many rounds I have put through the [email protected] and 17HMR. Several cases of each. Not bricks, cases. At one count I do recall there was over 10,000 round through the 17HM2's.

in 2013 I went to Afghanistan and stated gathering gear to build me a 17 Hornady Hornet on the 1215. I also gathered gear to build some modern sporting rifles on the AR action.

I built several in .223 variations and 2 in 6.8 SPC. I cannot warm up to the AR. To me it is an awkward, non intuitive noisy gun. All mine shoot good as assembled. But they are not my favorites.

Which brings me back to the topic of this thread-sorry for drifting it a bit Top- the 700 .223. I need to pack up the seasons hunting gear and take it to storage and while there , I need to pull out the VLS while in there.

I like wood stocks better than plastic, even plywood. FWIW these plywood stocks seem to improve accuracy all by themselves, bedding aside. Plastics are cold and noisy.

That old Fajen laminated stock and heavy barrel changed that 10-22 from a plinker to a target gun. That 700 VLS with Rutland laminated stock was (hope still is?) a very accurate gun. The down side is that all the load data I built for the gun is long gone in several old laptops and a number of failed hard drives.

So Top Diggler, I will watch what you are doing with your .223 and just start over.
 
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