4 minute read

With Nathan Foster's 'Bolt Action Rifle Accurizing & Maintenance' in hand, I started the first step in preparing my new Rem 700 build. First up was an initial inspection of the rifle bore and action and testing that we had good, even lug engagement.

Remington 700SPS Build

Rifle Accurizing – Bore Inspection and Lug Lapping

Bore Inspection

Rem700Build-(3-of-8)It’s dangerous to assume that a brand new barrel is going to be sound and of optimum quality. Especially for mass produced products. Anyone involved in an engineering or production process will know it is easy for something minute to effect a run and how easily, in reality, it is for one or two barrells to slip through the QA process before these issues are identified and rectified. So, it becomes imperative that one of the first things you do is check out your new barrel for any obvious issues. A damaged barrel is going to kill any chance of Rifle Accurizing early on.

Nathan stress this importance – so first of the block, was a flashlights and a macro lens (a magnifying glass is another good option) to check out the state of my new barrel.

Realistically, most of us don’t have a borescope at home. Maybe one day. But what this practically means is we are limited to inspection of the crown and the bore area just in from there.

The camera was struggling to get a decent shot this evening, but essentially we are looking for marks in the lands and grooves. These are generally caused by part of the manufacturing process, and depending on their nature and severity can sometimes be corrected in the break in procedure.

I wasn’t able to spot anything major in the process – as should really be the case with most new rifles – but it’s not unknown.

Lug Lapping

Rem700Build-(4-of-8)The second step of the ‘pre-checks’ for Rifle Accurizing was to establish the bolt’s locking lugs even contact. Correct lug alignment ensures proper support of the cartridge during firing. Again, not something that should be assumed correct.

The testing procedure is simple. Draw on the back edge of the lugs with a marker pen of some kind. I just happened to have red handy. Put the bolt in and work the action a couple of times. If one of the lugs has the marker pen rubbed off, but not the other, then you have lugs which need a bit of work.

In my case, one side was slightly rubbing off, so, as per Nathan’s book – I applied a little lapping compound and worked the lug in the action – regularly cleaning and retesting while I went. In very little time, I had balanced up the lugs. A good clean of the bolt and the action with some solvent and a bit of grease to ensure everything was ‘squeak free’ and step one (and two) were done!

The next step was pulling the action out of the stock and having a quick check everything was as it should be. I knew the stock was light, but I was interested to see what it looked like underneath. Hello Honeycombs!

I can see why it’s strongly suggested you do something with the standard SPS stock. It’s light and hollow. Not exactly the best platform for a Long Range Rifle Accurizing project.

Stock and Trigger

Rem700Build-(5-of-8)I will be stabilising and then bedding the plastic stock of the SPS. While many people do replace them, I have read that by using Nathan’s stabilising and bedding compound you can achieve a good level of accuracy with the stock, stock. It’s also a cheap stock to do my first bedding work on – if I cock it up totally, then I can just get a new stock without breaking the bank.

While I could just stabilise and bed the stock before shooting – I am going to do some before/after tests – I am interested in seeing the difference it makes.

Finally, pulling the rifle to bits also gave me the first look at the trigger assembly – this is going to be shortly replaced with a Timney Trigger I have already ordered. I can’t see much point in shooting the rifle with the stock trigger – it’s heavy and well, I haven’t read one good thing about it – so it was never going to be in there for long. That’s going to be step two.

Still, ain’t engineering a thing of beauty!

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