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Thread: refitting factory remington barrels

  1. #1
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    refitting factory remington barrels

    I will be retro-fitting a 223 Remington factory barrel I got off EvilBay on a standard 700 action. I am a tool and die maker by trade so I am clear on the prcedure. I can either shim or remove stock to get proper headspace and Im ok with all that. I am more interested in the question of setting the barrel back say .125 or so and using a reamer that has a nice throat and chamber diameter thats closer to minimium SAAMI specs. Rent a reamer is like 40 bucks for a good reamer that qualifies. Will I be happier with the nice chamber and throat or will it not matter all that much accuracy wise?

  2. #2
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    What are you waiting on? You said you know how to make chips.
    Go for it!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyDog View Post
    say .125 or so and using a reamer that has a nice throat and chamber diameter thats closer to minimium SAAMI specs
    For openers you will need to set back 2 times that much to cut a new smaller neck.
    Last edited by Dick Grosbier; 05-22-2015 at 06:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    You need a hug there Butch?

  5. #5
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    You think there's a 1/4" of free-bored throat? Could be I suppose. Lawyer proof chamber dims..sigh. I really would just prefer to screw it on and go but I know the chances are its a large throat and maybe big chamber to boot. I have done dozens of BR barrels but have never set one back and rechambered a factory barrel. No idea how much bang for the buck Ill get?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyDog View Post
    I will be retro-fitting a 223 Remington factory barrel I got off EvilBay on a standard 700 action. I am a tool and die maker by trade so I am clear on the prcedure. I can either shim or remove stock to get proper headspace and Im ok with all that. I am more interested in the question of setting the barrel back say .125 or so and using a reamer that has a nice throat and chamber diameter thats closer to minimium SAAMI specs. Rent a reamer is like 40 bucks for a good reamer that qualifies. Will I be happier with the nice chamber and throat or will it not matter all that much accuracy wise?
    Depends.................if the existing chamber is concentric and on axis then just install the barrel and shoot it, if not, then rent the reamer and rechamber. A tighter chamber for tightness sake will not shoot any better than the factory chamber if all accuracy techniques are followed.

  7. #7
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    I am not referring to free bore at all , if you run a smaller reamer.125" into a larger necked chamber you will get a step in your neck. If it is only a couple thou. smaller it won't be much of a step but a step never the less. A friend of mine did it 25 years ago trying to change a .308 win to a tight neck, in this case he had a nasty step in the neck. Luckily he made a chamber cast before he made any new Brass.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Grosbier View Post
    I am not referring to free bore at all , if you run a smaller reamer.125" into a larger necked chamber you will get a step in your neck. If it is only a couple thou. smaller it won't be much of a step but a step never the less. A friend of mine did it 25 years ago trying to change a .308 win to a tight neck, in this case he had a nasty step in the neck. Luckily he made a chamber cast before he made any new Brass.
    This will almost always happen even with a standard SAAMI spec. reamer. Often, there will also be a slight step in the body of the chamber below the junction of the shoulder and the body. This can sometimes be polished out without a problem, the step in the neck is a bit more difficult to deal with.

    There was a time when military rifles, particularly 03 Springfields and 1917 Enfields were "Match Conditioned" by setting the barrel back one turn and rechambering with a minimum size "Match" reamer. The brass fired in these rifles had a noticeable step in the neck and sometimes the body, but as the military shooters always used new Factory ammo, the step in the brass was not an issue and the rifles shot quite well.

    You could do a chamber cast to compare your reamer dimensions before you cut. If I was doing it, I would probably set back enough to get a clean neck.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the hug WallyDog! If the existing chamber is not concentric to the bore, how will even cutting a 1" part off and running a reamer in make it concentric?

  10. #10
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    I have fought this battle, and lost. I don't own a reamer as big as a factory chamber, and it wasn't close to being in line with the bore.

  11. #11
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    Gunsmithing aside, I think the rifle will shoot the same either way.

  12. #12
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    Just order a Green Mountain gunsmith blank for $50 and do the entire thing to your liking. Setting back a factory Remington barrel is just plain silly.

  13. #13
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    You are right Dick. The standard neck length on a 223 is a little more than .200 length. Id need the whole neck gone to get any benefit. The taper per side in .250" is only about .002 so the diameter after cutting off the 1/4" would be minus .004. Id guess since the chamber is likely to be big and probably not dead center of the bore that I have little chance of it cleaning up. The only reason I want to do this is to get 50'gr'ers to touch the lands. Or 45 gr for that matter. This is a project my son wanted to do as its his gun and the barrel is toast that's on it now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
    Gunsmithing aside, I think the rifle will shoot the same either way.
    Probably right Wilbur. Id like to get the lighter bullets to kiss the lands is my only reason really. The gun is my sons project and I doubt he will shoot it much past 200 yds here in Illinois. I had to try though right? Lol

  15. #15
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    Exactly!

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