I found this info on another site and thought it would be good info for this site.
It seems that all Remington 700 rifles chambered for the .308 Winchester have an abnormal amount of "free-bore", read long lead between the end of the case mouth and that point where the lands start.
Remington does this because they have no control over what people are going to shoot in their rifles regarding cheap military out of spec ammo.
In the case concerning my rifle, a new 700 vsf in .308, I currently am using the Hornady 168 grain hpbt match bullet. 2.958" col has the bullet ogive touching the lands. This measurement was taken using a caliper. This col will not allow the ammo to go into the magazine. Even at a col of 2.900" the ammo will not enter the magazine. At 2.825" to 2.830" col, the ammo will fit the magazine but will not feed reliably. At the industry standard col of 2.800" all is good, but the bullet is jumping .158" into the lands.
Case: Hornady .308 match, fire-formed and sized with the sizing die turned 1/4 turn out from touching the shell holder with ram in the upper most position.
Primer: either federal 210M or CCI-Br2
Powder: 43.5 grains of IMR-4064
Bullet: Hornady 168 grain hpbt match
Muzzle Velocity: approx 2650 ft/sec
This load has posted 100 yard 5 shot groups as small as .497".
I feel sure that if I had Shilen remove the barrel, remove a thread or 2, and re-chamber so that at a col of 2.800", the bullet would clear the lands by about .030", this rifle would group better. The question is, how much better and would the cost be worth the benefit? Since I have shot less than 25 groups thus far, this rifle may still shoot smaller groups left un-messed with by tweaking the loads. Using the load info above but substituting 43.5 grains of ww-748 I shot 3 five shot groups that averaged about .506".
So, the rifle doesn't seem to be very choosey as to what you feed it thus far, but where it is picky is how you shoot it. It prefers my Hoppes benchrest setup. Shooting off the Harris bipod, and using the Hoppes rear rabbit ear sand bag, groups grow to around 3/4" or more. This is probably due to the fact that this is the first time I have used bipods.
Anyhow, the freebore is there and we can just live with it as is and compensate with good load developement, single load and seat the bullet further out , have it re-chambered with a shorter throat or lead, or re-barrel it. It has been my experience in the past that throwing money at a problem doesn't always fix it. But sometimes it does. In the case of my rifle, I am just going to shoot it, enjoy it, keep working on load developement, until it gets to the point where it will no longer group under 1" and the have Mr. Shilen rebarrel it.
Just my thoughts.
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom