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Discussion Starter #1
I fell in love with one of these last week at Gander Mountain and had to have it... Brought it home last Monday with high hopes of having a new pet rifle for deer season.

Got a big fat order in to Midway Monday night for RCBS dies, Lee Factory Crimp die, SSA Brass, 300 of the 115 BTHP that were on clearance, 50 of the Barnes 110 TSX, Burris Dual Dovetail Bases and Signature Rings. Made another stop to Sportsmans Warehouse for some RE10x and Hornady 130 gr. SST.

Put the SSA brass together with Rem 6 1/2 primers & the 130 SST starting the RE10x @ 24.2 grains with loads worked up to 26.0. First shot...pierced primer!!! :evil:

After a lot of thinking, I figured out that the Rem700 is not equipped to handle small primer cartridges. So $32 down the drain on the SSA brass...

Not to have my weekend of bonding with my new girl stripped from me, I made it to the only shop in town that carries 6.8 and chunked down $57 on two boxes of Remington 115 OTM. Ouch! :x

Fortunately, the one shot I fired yesterday was enough to zero the Burris Fullfield II B-Plex to within an inch of POA. So, I set about breaking in the barrel. Fired one & cleaned 5 times, fired 3 & cleaned 5 times, and fired 10 & cleaned twice. So the first five were fired into the same bull & subsequent trios were shot into separate bulls taking care of the first $28.50 worth of ammo.

For the second box I shot the two 5 shot groups, cleaned, and shot two more 5 shot groups. All groups were at 100 yds, except for the last one which was at 200 yds.

Smallest group at 100 was a 5 shot group @ 2", largest group was 3 shot @ 3.6". The 200 yd. group was 4.1".

$750 for a new gun, $250 worth of bases, rings, & optics, and $50 of ammo...and all of this nets me average group sizes of over 2.5"...?

This SUCKS!!!
:(
 

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Remington doesn't make the best ammo for the 6.8spc, I found it dirty and inaccurate. Try SSA ammo, it's clean, accurate, and powerful. I don't think the small primer brass is the culprit. RE10X is not the best powder for this caliber, either. Max load for me was 27 grains for a 115 grain round, 26 grains for a training round. H322 is the best all around powder I have found for velocity, accuracy, and pressure for the 6.8. 26 to 27 grains for the 130's and 28 grains for the 115's, (28.2 max). CCI#41 primers are my first choice for small rifle primers for the 6.8 and the 5.56. They are thicker (or harder) and withstand the high pressure better. If you can't find the #41's try CCI #450 mag primers. I tried some of those Remington 6 1/2 primers in 5.56 and had pierced primers too. In my experience with RE10X the loads close to max show signs of high pressure and still have low velocity. Personally, I would load target ammo with that powder (light loads) to use it up then stick with H322.

Those 115gr HPBT's you ordered are the Hornady OTM's and are excellent bullets and should produce tight groups with H322.

Anyway, try H322, CCI#41, and stick with the SSA brass. Things should get better.
 

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I have experimented with every manufactured 6.8 round available. The Remington offerings are the least impressive. The Hornady VMax seems to be the most accurate in most rifles. Try a box. You may decide to reload with the bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I called and spoke with Art @ SSA today. He seemed quite confident that it wasn't the brass; said there were lots of folks shooting 700s with his brass and to switch to CCI 41 primers. So I ordered a couple boxes of his stuff from Midway today and will give them a try.

Meanwhile, I'm going to give the 130s another try in the Remington brass. Should be able to snag some H322 tomorrow evening. Tried to find some BR4 or #41 primers, but the only heavy duty small rifle CCI primers available around here are 450s, so I guess I'll give those a try. Thanks for the article Paul, that's a bookmark for sure.

I also picked up some gray Marine-Tex today and will see if I can make any notable progress bedding the rifle. I can't imagine that those pressure pads in the forend are helping at all. I haven't tried bedding anything like this before, so I hope I've read all the right articles & forums! :lol:

Thanks for the input and encouragement, I was feeling pretty bummed last night...

8)
 

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It's getting better, but still rather unimpressive...

Made it out again today with some loads to test. It was about 37F with a 5-9 mph headwind. Shot some SSA 110 SP and reloads consisting of H322 with both Rem brass/BR2 and SSA brass/BR4. The SSA was markedly better that the Remington fodder, but still only OK-ish... One of my loads was acceptable, but the everything else was still pretty lame.

SSA 110 SP - 15 rounds, 3 five shot groups
Ave Velocity: 2565 fps, SD 19 fps
5 shot groups sizes of 1.7", 1.6", & 1.4" - not horrible

Rem brass, BR2, 110 Barnes TSX seated to the middle groove - 2.340" OAL
27.5 gr. H322, & 28 gr. H322 both at 2.7" for 5 shots
1st cold shot clean barrel went wild on the 27.5 gr. load with the subsequent 4 shots with 0.9" - might show some promise...
Ave. velocities of 2520 fps & 2574 fps respectively.

Rem brass, BR2, 130 Speer 130 FBSP 2.340" OAL
H322 loads of 25.0, 25.5, 26.0, & 26.5
Respective 5 shot groups of 1.8", 2.0", 2.1", & 1.9"
Respective Ave. velocities of 2224, 2294, 2306, & 2406

SSA brass, BR4, 130 Speer 130 FBSP 2.340" OAL
H322 loads of 24.5 & 25.0 - 25.5" gr. showed excessive pressure???
24.5 grains averaged 2306 fps with a 5 shot group size of 1.5"
25.0 grains averaged 2339 fps (SD of 15.8 fps) with a 5 shot group size of 1.1"

So it appears that the SSA factory loaded ammo with average groups of around 1.5" was notably better than the Rem 115 OTM loads. The 130 Speer loads were a bit better being close to MOA for 5 shot groups.

All this being said...should I try to bed the rifle and float the barrel or send the damn thing back to Remington...? I'd really like to have a consistent .75 MOA gun with occasional groups into the .5 MOA range. Not sure whether to keep plugging away with this thing or cut bait for a Noveske barrelled upper for my AR?

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
:?


I would bed the rifle and free float the barrel. It isn't very hard to do. There are many places that tell you how. In fact here, go to Brownells and they have a tech article on it. http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/GunTech/NewsletterArchive.aspx?p=0&t=2&i=641

They take you through it step by step. As long as you don't have a ultra light thin barrel most benefit greatly from proper bedding and free floating.

If it were my gun I would bed and free float it. I do it to every rifle I have ever had except my TRG which you can't. I have never seen a factory bedding job I thought was great. Just my observation there. At that point if your trigger is good enough to control and your skill is there; I would expect .75-.5 moa @ 100' from the gun. If you do hand loads. Try using your fire formed brass SSA only neck size it ( lee collets dies tend to give the smallest runout), 115 SMK, H322, CCI BR4, OAL to .010 off the lands to just touching the lands. I think just off will work best, but every gun is different. Workup a few different charge sizes of 5 rounds each and shoot them. See what you get. Really pay attention to the trigger to decide how much it is causing any issues.

Hope this helps.

Also I would look at getting some of Tubbs Superior Shooting Systems Final Finish and load some up. http://www.superiorshootingsystems.com/RELOADING-FINAL_FINISH.htmlThey cut group sizes down by lapping the throat and bore.
I have seen and heard great results in Factory barrels. Cheap way to possibly cut your groups in half. Look into anyways.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Tim
 

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I have a rifle like yours. I free floated the barrel and bedded the action also installed a timney trigger in it. Am able to get five shots groups under an inch now with some reloads. I believe free floating the barrel tightened the groups more than any thing.Mine out of the box pretty much shot like yours does. I have had the best groups with H335 powder from this rifle shooting remington 100g and 130g soft point bullets.
 

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hello i'm new here but i'll chime in. i get with my handlaods .5" @100yds for the first 3 rounds then 4-5 are usually high spread.

i seat my bullets out further than spec, i measured my freebore, don't know measurement right now, but doesn't matter every rifle may be diff.
28.2 gr h322, fed match primers and sierra 115 gr matchkings. beatiful on paper and damn ugly on the animals! i wouldn't use this load on bear, but then i have a whole diff rifle for that.

i shoot out to 400 yards. i can ave 3.25" groups @ 400yds and my best with 2 witnesses was 2.4"@400yds. only happened once.

you seem to have alot of pressure, yet low vel. and poor acuracy. something is def wrong there. i would have checked by shop. even if it is one of those unlucky rifles, it could be fixed. did you pillar bed? still wouldn't explain vel issue. bore too tight? scored? crown?
 

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oops re-read yer post, the velocities do kinda look ok. i installed a 16lb firing pin spring and light pin, lot of inertia there. did trigger job with new springs. lapped bolt lugs. installed a choate stock with alum "v" block, yet still skim bedded. total 11lbs. i did all work at once so i can't tell you what gave biggest improvement. so long as i do my part she rings them right in there.

after this hunt season its going to Hart to have action trued, bolt stop installed and crown work.
 

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I have the rem 700 tactical in 6.8mm, and the shot group stinks......i am getting 3" groups at 100 yards and am very disappointed with this firearm. I spent a lot on this gun for a very dismal performance.....to prove it isn't me, i took my rem 700 in .243 today and had a 5 shot groop under an inch at 100 yards with 4 holes touching. i got this to hunt with due to the larger cal hurting my old shoulder.....i guess 3" at 100 yards is good enough for hunting but i also like to closely group shots. this isn't getting it. any suggestions on how to tighten groups down. i an using a 115gr bullet with 23.5 gr of 4198 powder......any suggestions on a better load. thanks,
bob :idea: :?:
 

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Bob said:
I have the rem 700 tactical in 6.8mm, and the shot group stinks......i am getting 3" groups at 100 yards and am very disappointed with this firearm. I spent a lot on this gun for a very dismal performance.....to prove it isn't me, i took my rem 700 in .243 today and had a 5 shot groop under an inch at 100 yards with 4 holes touching. i got this to hunt with due to the larger cal hurting my old shoulder.....i guess 3" at 100 yards is good enough for hunting but i also like to closely group shots. this isn't getting it. any suggestions on how to tighten groups down. i an using a 115gr bullet with 23.5 gr of 4198 powder......any suggestions on a better load. thanks,
bob :idea: :?:
Try H322, Reloaders 10x, Benchmark, or X-Terminator powder. Also, get one of the Sinclair Inernational OAL gauges which will help you getting the optimal OAL.
 

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Made it out again today with some loads to test. It was about 37F with a 5-9 mph headwind. Shot some SSA 110 SP and reloads consisting of H322 with both Rem brass/BR2 and SSA brass/BR4. The SSA was markedly better that the Remington fodder, but still only OK-ish... One of my loads was acceptable, but the everything else was still pretty lame.

SSA 110 SP - 15 rounds, 3 five shot groups
Ave Velocity: 2565 fps, SD 19 fps
5 shot groups sizes of 1.7", 1.6", & 1.4" - not horrible

Rem brass, BR2, 110 Barnes TSX seated to the middle groove - 2.340" OAL
27.5 gr. H322, & 28 gr. H322 both at 2.7" for 5 shots
1st cold shot clean barrel went wild on the 27.5 gr. load with the subsequent 4 shots with 0.9" - might show some promise...
Ave. velocities of 2520 fps & 2574 fps respectively.

Rem brass, BR2, 130 Speer 130 FBSP 2.340" OAL
H322 loads of 25.0, 25.5, 26.0, & 26.5
Respective 5 shot groups of 1.8", 2.0", 2.1", & 1.9"
Respective Ave. velocities of 2224, 2294, 2306, & 2406

SSA brass, BR4, 130 Speer 130 FBSP 2.340" OAL
H322 loads of 24.5 & 25.0 - 25.5" gr. showed excessive pressure???
24.5 grains averaged 2306 fps with a 5 shot group size of 1.5"
25.0 grains averaged 2339 fps (SD of 15.8 fps) with a 5 shot group size of 1.1"

So it appears that the SSA factory loaded ammo with average groups of around 1.5" was notably better than the Rem 115 OTM loads. The 130 Speer loads were a bit better being close to MOA for 5 shot groups.

All this being said...should I try to bed the rifle and float the barrel or send the damn thing back to Remington...? I'd really like to have a consistent .75 MOA gun with occasional groups into the .5 MOA range. Not sure whether to keep plugging away with this thing or cut bait for a Noveske barrelled upper for my AR?

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
:?

First as troubling and disappointing as it was, I would forget about your initial results with the 3" groups. Right it off as bad ammo. Go off the fact you have a 1.5 moa shooter out of the box with factory ammo from SSA. Thats not too bad. Now do some tuning on the rifle and ammo and you should be able to have a sub moa shooter with just a little work. Some rifles just take a little tuning.

I would absolutely bed or have it the rifle bed and free float the barrel,. It isn't very hard to do. There are many places that tell you how. In fact here, go to Brownell's and they have a tech article on it. http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/GunTech/NewsletterArchive.aspx?p=0&t=2&i=641

They take you through it step by step. As long as you don't have a ultra light thin barrel ( whihc you don't) most benefit greatly from proper bedding and free floating.

If it were my own gun I would bed and free float it. I do it to every rifle I have ever had except my TRG which you can't. I have never seen a factory bedding job I thought was great. Just my observation there. At that point if your trigger is good enough to control and your skill is there; I would expect 1.0 moa @ 100' from the gun at that point. Remember the barrel is still rough.

Next I would look at getting some of Tubbs Superior Shooting Systems Final Finish and load some up. http://www.superiorshootingsystems.com/RELOADING-FINAL_FINISH.html It cuts group sizes down by lapping the throat and bore smooth. It removes the rough spots and tooling marks left from the reamers and barrel making processes. I have seen and heard great results in Factory barrels. Cheap way to possibly cut your groups in half. Look into it anyways. If your bore and throat are really rough this will really help. It isn't a gimmick. It will save you clean time and energy and ammo and frustration.

If you do hand loads. Try using your fire formed brass SSA only neck size it ( lee collets dies tend to give the smallest runout), 115 SMK, H322, CCI BR4, OAL to .010 off the lands to just touching the lands. I think just off will work best, but every gun is different. Workup a few different charge sizes of 5 rounds each and shoot them. See what you get. Really pay attention to the trigger to decide how much it is causing any issues.

Since you already have a set group size with the SSA ammo and it is usually very accurate I would use it to see what improvements you get. You may need to hand load but hopefully it will shoe you the improvements of each step.

Recap: With it being a Tactical, free floating if done correctly(not hard) will help and then the lapping will again help even more. I really think unless there is something defective you will have a consistent sub moa. You are already at 1.5 with factory ammo on a new not broken in rifle. That isn't even free floated. Sometimes guns will shoot without their barrels floated. But in general a gun will shoot its best if nothing touches the barrel. Taking into account barrel thickness and length.


Keep us updated on your progress.

Tim
 

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+1 on getting your barrel broken in...

I bought a Howa 1500 .30-06 recently and shot 5 rounds of handloaded 150 gr Nosler Ballistic tips through it... 5" group... I then proceeded to put 100 rds of Greek surplus ball (boxer primed, non-corrosive) through it, running a brush down the bore every 2 shots and a few wet patches every 20 shots... Groups were between 5-7" with the surplus ball initially, but by the time I got close to the end of my surplus stuff, I was holding 3" groups. My handloads shot about 1.5" which isn't bad for the heavy trigger on a hunting rifle.
 

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I've had my 700 for over 2 years and it has been a frustrating experiences to get it to where it is now.
Normally factory ammo won't shoot as well as a good mix of correct oal, bullet and powder match but this tactical would shoot the old SSA combat load like a house on fire, so why stop there?
4 lbs of various powders later, a trigger job, a chamber ream job, replace the follower and spring, religiously torque the action screws it will now put seven 110 sierras into a 1 1/8 group with 27.6 grs of 3031,
a little better than what it could originally do stock with the SSA's.
I've had flattened primers with H322 and 130gr Hornadys.
WLR primers backing out to the point a cleaning rod was required to extract the case. 90 gr Sierra's that would shoot a great group, 2 " to the left of everything else on the day and a good 300 yd load, 29 grs of H4895 behind the 115 Horny you can't even get anymore.
I like the caliber a lot but for a limited production bolt gun there seems to be a lot of them for sale currently. I'lll be hanging onto mine but only time will tell if it was such a good idea back them.
 

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I have been considering building a 6.8 rifle to compete in the "sniper" shoots just to piss some people off. Damn thats not a bit like me either LOL.
I am just going to buy a 223 SPS, chunk the barrel and stock, open up the bolt and slap a Krieger on it. Tim has a line on some .277 bullets 105gr and a .450 BC I think.
A worthwhile reason to live another year huh?
 
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