June 2011 Cover Page

  June 1940
The Rifleman's Journal
A Collection of Articles Dealing with Rifle Accuracy Topics

This Month:
Hap Rocketto - Hap's Corner
Brian Mayer - Remington 40X International
Rod Vigstol - Old Rusty
Germán Salazar - Rifles and Reloading
Q&A Month - Send in your questions!

15 Cents 

History: Remington 40X International Match Rifle

The Remington 40X International Match Rifle
by Brian Mayer

Remington 40X International Match Rifle (First Issue)

The Remington 40X International Match Rifle (IMR) was made from 1960 to 1973. The rifle was brought out commercially in 1960 strictly as a semi-finished rifle. Though I have the original announcement flier, the earliest ad I find published in the American Rifleman was March, 1962. The stock was only semi-finished allowing the shooter to shape to suit himself which actually was not a bad idea. The standard Remington 40X heavy barreled action was bedded (not glass) to the stock and had the Remington-Hart 2oz trigger. This was at a time the NRA required a 3 lb. minimum weight of pull. Two points to consider are that you, the buyer, had a choice of two triggers: the standard 2 oz. or the special order 1/2 oz. set trigger. However, to clarify, the 2oz. came standard on the rifle at $361, the 1/2 oz. set trigger, if wanted, upped the price to $478. The triggers were an option, but one you paid for. According to John Gyde's book on Remington .22 rimfire rifles, this 1/2 oz. was only available during the first year.

The second point was that although Remington would provide the standard weight barrel on special order, they recommended only the heavy barrel. The Remington heavy barrel together with the heavy laminated stock could easily turn a long match into an endurance contest.

John also notes that 123 rimfire IMR rifles were manufactured from 1960 through 1973. He further breaks this down by year.

As a personal note, in 1961 I was going to buy a new rifle and considered the Remington IMR. It came as described above to include a two piece butt assembly (hook and prone plate by Guymon) and forearm hardware (hand stop and palmrest by Dunlap). No sights included for $361. At the same time the Anschütz1413, completely finished, with all hardware and sights and 3 triggers sold for $248.

The stocks, until the third issue in 1972, were laminated Walnut and the early trigger guards an "L" shaped steel stamping. After the first year the trigger guards were "L" shaped aluminum and slid in the accessory rail and locked in place with a set screw. This allowed easy access to the trigger. The accessory rail ran through the trigger area and under the tang. Early first issue rails (40X) (1960-63) were blued steel while rails brought out in the second issue (40XB) were aluminum. These first two "issues" of stocks for the 40X and the XB were basically the same differing only in bolt root cut (straight or angled) and the rail material.

Remington 40XB International Match Rifle (Third Issue)
  The third and last IMR issue was rather plain straight grain walnut, appearing similar to a sporter. In spite of its unconventional appearance it was very comfortable to shoot. This last stock came finished from the factory.

Of special note is the tang attachment. The standard 40X tang is drilled and tapped to accept a receiver screw up from the bottom. This was a problem with a free rifle that required the pistol grip be close to the trigger. Some stock manufacturers would cut slots or deep holes to accommodate the tang screw up from the bottom. Remington drilled out the receiver tang screw hole added a slight counterbore and put the receiver screw down from the top into the tapped extended rail. Roy Dunlap had been doing that since the 1950's

Although this discussion is directed to the rimfire version This rifle was made in a centerfire version as well; the stocks were the same and interchangeable. In my own opinion, I would suggest that Remington had more success with the centerfire version as there was no lower priced opposition that the rimfire faced.

Unfortunately some of these rifles were stripped to make Benchrest rifles from the barreled actions and the stocks discarded. I acquired my 1st issue stock in this way.

From the beginning this rifle was built to be a match rifle and so they were. Many now have different actions, barrels and triggers with only the basic stock that can be recognizable as a Remington International Match Rifle. These rifles are very comfortable to shoot and very user friendly. Of course it also depends on to what degree they were finished. One thing about it no two are the same.

Equipment: "Old Rusty" Kimber M82G

"Old Rusty"Kimber M82G
by Rod Vigstol

I finished assembling my "Rusty" CMP Kimber 82 Govt Target last night and took a few pictures to share.

I completly stripped stock down to wood, tru-oiled 12 coats and rubbed it with 0000 synthetic steel wool. I installed the Tubb 4- adjustable butt assembly, but had to make an adapter as the OD profile of the Tubb mounting plate was smaller by 0.150" than the stock contour. I did not want to remove that much wood and risk messing up the symmetry of the butt stock. So I started with .250" 6061 bar stock and whittled away.

Over all I am very happy and cant wait to shoot it. Best 400$ I ever spent on a rifle. Guys are doing what I did and turning around and selling them $750 - $800 without the addition of the Tubb buttplate. One guy did what I did added both an adjustable butt & cheek piece and got $1500. But mine is not for sale. Did it for myself and hope to learn classic 3-P shooting this coming winter...

The CMP is selling these as is "Rusty". Rusty my arse, I have gotten more corrosion from leaving a shotgun in the case overnight... Thing came in mint shape, just covered in preservative.. I know its not an Anschütz or a 40X, but it sure turned out purty and am sure it is far more accurate than I am capable of.

Reloading: .308 Chamber for 175 - 185 Berger

Reloading: .308 Chamber for 175 - 185 Berger
by Germán A. Salazar


I was hoping you might be able to help me with some information. I am getting ready to send parts to a gunsmith to have a dedicated F-TR rifle built. I want to shoot Berger 175 and 185 long range boat tails. What do you think would be a good reamer to use for these bullets? I appreciate any information. Thank you very much.


Hi Jarrad,

My .308 reamer design is optimized for use with the Sierra 190 and has a 0.114" freebore. That's a bit more than is needed with the 175 and 185 Berger. I've used the PTG (Dave Kiff) Palma 95 reamer with the 175 Berger and it's great for it; the 185 would be fine there also. The freebore dimension for the Palma 95 is 0.050", so it's quite a bit shorter than my 0.114".

I did a mock-up of the Berger 175 and Berger 185 in a new Palma 95 chamber using cutaway cases so that you can see what the seating depth is with the bullets just touching the lands. Looks real good for both bullets. The 175 is the top one, the 185 is the lower one.

The only thing I don't like about the Palma 95 reamer is the large neck diameter (0.342"). I use Winchester brass and turn it a little, so my loaded rounds have a 0.333" neck and thus I use a 0.336" chamber neck. Lapua brass is a lot thicker, so this all depends on brass and whether or not you turn necks.

Moly-Coating: A Few Questions

Moly-Coating: A Few Questions
by Germán A. Salazar

Hello Germán!

I have read all the articles on moly-coating and am about to proceed with the process. My question has more to do with cleaning. I acquired a Remington XP-100 pistol in .221 Fireball that I use for predator hunting. When I bought the firearm I was informed it was broken in with and shooting moly bullets; I was told not to use naked ammo as this would copper foul the barrel.

I know you said you use Shooter's Choice, Kroil and IOSSO paste. Do you mix the Kroil and Shooter's Choice? I guess I was hoping for a more detailed cleaning process as I am new to this, especially to the moly-coating business. Also, after cleaning do you still need a fouling shot or do you recoat the barrel with a moly product, or do you just shoot your moly loads?

I look forward for your opinion as I hope to use moly bullets in my rifles. Thank you again for your time and help. I love the groups I get with my Fireball; however, only owning it for a year I have not shot it a lot because of not knowing how to properly clean it.

Thanks again,


Hi Andy,

Thanks for writing, I hope the past articles on moly-coating were useful. Your letter brings up a few worthwhile items, so let's have a look at each of them.

Fouling Basics

1. The root of copper fouling is, of course, the friction between the jacket and the bore. Moly-coating is a simple lubricant between those two surfaces which acts to reduce the fouling process by reducing the friction and thus the heat which is part of the fouling process. To the extent that a particular barrel fouls because it has a rough surface, moly-coating will be less effective at reducing fouling.

2. Higher muzzle velocity increases bullet to bore friction (heat) and thus increases copper fouling. Moly-coating can be particularly helpful for reducing the rate of copper fouling buildup in these situations.

3. For any given caliber, longer bullets will tend to foul more than shorter bullets. Simply stated, there is more total contact area between the bullet and the bore in a long bullet, thus causing more friction and higher temperature - thus more fouling as the jacket material transfers to the bore surface.

In your case, with the .221 Fireball and a 1:14" twist barrel, you'll be using bullets with a very short bearing surface such as the Sierra 53 gr. Match King at a relatively modest muzzle velocity; if the barrel's interior surface is good, you should experience very little copper fouling with or without moly-coating. Many people worry about shooting bare bullets and then moly-coated bullets in the same barrel. I have done this many times and there is no ill effect whatsoever. Ideally you should clean well in between types; but if you can't, it will all settle down within a few shots.

Cleaning Technique

1. Upon returning home from the range, I run four or five wet patches through the barrel with a very tight fitting jag (Bore Rider). Each patch has a good application of Shooter's Choice and then a couple of drops of Kroil at the center. Patches are run through one way and are not re-used.

2. The procedure is repeated a few hours later, then in the morning and evening of the following few days, I push one patch through with the same solvents (usually as I leave for work and when I arrive home).

3. By the third or fourth day, any carbon fouling will largely have been dissolved out and any copper fouling will be nice and soft from the continuous soaking. I then apply IOSSO paste to the patch (rub a small bead into the patch with your finger) and run it through three times (remove it at the muzzle and re-use).

4. I then clean the bore out by patching it with Shooter's Choice, dry it and check with a borescope. In most cases, it is perfectly clean and ready for storage. In some cases, with older barrels more IOSSO may be required. As barrels age (by round count, not time) they tend to foul more as the throat roughens and picks up more copper. This is something you'll see develop over time and you can adjust your cleaning accordingly.

5. If you don't have a borescope for the final check, just put a wet patch through the barrel and check it a few hours later; if it has more than a trace of green (copper) then re-apply the IOSSO.

6. I usually find that it takes about two shots for the rifle to hit its normal point of impact from a clean barrel.

Enjoy the XP-100, it's a great design and super accurate!


Equipment: Annealing Cartridge Brass

John writes to ask about cartridge brass annealing, an increasingly frequent topic.

Annealing Cartridge Brass
by Germán A. Salazar


I hope your recuperation is on track. I have a question, is annealing a good thing to do to the brass? If so, how often?

I have found a guy who stays within about 60 miles of me who has one of the following machines and I am planning to get him to anneal some of my 4, 5 and 6 times fired Rem 260 Remington brass for me.




Hello John,

The recovery is very slow but the physical therapist tells me I'm relatively on track. Certainly not as quick as a 20 year-old might recover, but not terrible for 51.

Getting to your question, I'm genuinely puzzled by the sudden popularity of case annealing. Really we should say re-annealing, because it is certainly done by the manufacturer in the case forming process. I don't know why this is now the "must-do" procedure. Maybe it's the appearance of several annealing machines on the market creating a solution in search of a problem.

Whenever I'm presented with a new process or idea such as case re-annealing, I first ask: "What problem is this supposed to solve?" This is quickly followed by: "Am I experiencing this problem?" and "What is the potential harm/danger of this idea?"

Certainly as metal is cold-worked it becomes more brittle, so a cartridge case fired repeatedly in a chamber with large neck clearance and resized with a standard die will have neck splits after a few firings. In such a situation, annealing might delay the onset of the neck splits for a few more firings. However, the real solution in the long term is to more closely match the chamber, brass thickness and die dimensions to avoid the excessive working of the brass. I don't have a neck splitting problem, so nothing to solve there.

Brass won't last forever, of course, but neck splits are not often the cause of failure for a well matched system. Full-length resizing will always case a case to stretch a bit at the web and incipient head separation is the more usual cause of case failure. How many resizings a case can tolerate depends on a few factors, principally: case length, case taper, and amount of shoulder setback on resizing. A long and tapered case such as the .30-06 is good for about 10 reloadings with 0.001" shoulder setback. On the other hand, a short an relatively straight case such as the 6BR is good for more than 20 resizings (perhaps well past that number but that's my limit). Annealing can't do anything about this normal mode of failure.

I also frequently hear of annealing as a way to ensure equal neck tension for a set of cases. That's possible, I suppose, but I don't really see a neck tension differential problem in my brass now. I turn the necks to a uniform dimension, have chambers that allow for minimal expansion (0.003" typically) and resize with a die that just brings them back to the desired size without an expander. Frankly, the neck tension is as uniform as my hand can detect when seating bullets and if an odd one comes across, I set it aside (but that's quite rare). As always, my opinion is based on my experience in Highpower shooting, not Benchrest or any other form of shooting, so bear that in mind.

The potential downside, apart from the cost of the equipment and the danger of setting up an open flame in my reloading shop (neither of which is insubstantial to me) is that improperly annealed brass is dangerous itself. Brass hardness and thickness are a very important design element for the factories and they both vary along the length of the case. I don't think that I know more about this process than do Winchester, or Lapua, or Norma, or any other manufacturer. In fact, I'm pretty sure they know a heck of a lot more about it than I can ever hope to learn. Annealing is a manufacturing process and I'm perfectly happy to leave it to the manufacturers. If that means replacing my brass a bit more frequently, I can live with that.


Hap's Corner: A Reporter's Tools

A Reporter’s Tools
by Hap Rocketto

In my most grandiose daydreams about my writing I like to reflect that Mark Twain, one of my favorite authors, and I have much in common. We both lived in Connecticut, were educated in Missouri, we both had humorous and undistinguished military careers, and we both wrote short stories.

Twain, of whom no less a literary light than Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since” began writing in Virginia City, Nevada during the days of its booming silver rush for the Territorial Enterprise, a prosperous newspaper that was for many years the most powerful western journal outside California.

The demand for news was so great that Enterprise Editor William Wright hired a down on his luck miner named Samuel Clemens to help fill column inches. A life time friendship soon began and both eventually adopted nom de plumes that would go down in literary history. Wright became Dan DeQuille and authored the definitive study of Virginia City’s boom years History of the Big Bonanza, sub titled An Authentic Account of the Discovery, History, and Working of the World Renowned Comstock Silver Lode. In his time he was a highly regarded newspaperman and humorist widely considered by contemporaries to be on the same plane as his friend Clemens, who had changed his name to Mark Twain.

Growing up and living on the nation’s frontier Twain was, of necessity, familiar with firearms and their quirks and advised that one should not,”…meddle with old unloaded firearms. They are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don’t have to take any pains at all with them; you don’t have to have a rest, you don’t have to have any sights on the gun, you don’t have to take aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his mother every time at a hundred. Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been boys armed with old rusty muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their female relations. The very thought of it makes me shudder.”

In his highly imaginative account of his early days in the west, Roughing It, Twain, who was aware of the dangerous nature of sidearms and pocket pistols, wrote about George Beemis who, “wore in his belt an old original “Allen” revolver, such as irreverent people called a “pepper-box.” Simply drawing the trigger back, cocked and fired the pistol. As the trigger came back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the hammer, and away would speed the ball. To aim along the turning barrel and hit the thing aimed at was a feat which was probably never done with an “Allen” in the world. But George’s was a reliable weapon, nevertheless, because, as one of the stage-drivers afterward said, “If she didn’t get what she went after, she would fetch something else.” And so she did. She went after a deuce of spades nailed against a tree, once, and fetched a mule standing about thirty yards to the left of it. Beemis did not want the mule; but the owner came out with a double-barreled shotgun and persuaded him to buy it, anyhow. It was a cheerful weapon–the “Allen.” Sometimes all its six barrels would go off at once, and then there was no safe place in all the region round about, but behind it.”

Twain grew up in an age when firearms were common companions to men and boys and he knew his way around them. From his writings we can also presume that he knew that firearm safety was a state of mind and not a mechanical device. He certainly carried one from time to time as it was often that said the journalists who worked for the Territorial Enterprise “usually carried three essential tools of their trade: a notebook, a pen and a revolver.” I would like to think that I also fit into that adventuresome mold when I cover Camp Perry and other shooting events, except I would simply substitute rifle for pistol.

One day, and I know that day will never come, I would be delighted to find a Hap’s Corner included in an anthology of short stories alongside “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” For all of our perceived similarities I know it won’t ever happen. Let’s face fact, if the Nobel laureate Hemingway does not consider himself in the same class as Twain, who never received the accolade from the Noble Foundation, then certainly neither can I. My situation is best put in the words of another Nobel laureate and one of my favorite authors, Rudyard Kipling: “never the Twain shall meet.”

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