The Remington 700 is a classic that has been around for over 60 years and today provides the basic building block for some of the most depended-on precision rifles in the world.
What to Look for in a Quality Remington 700
Before you purchase a Remington 700 rifle, consider a few points.
1. “3-Rings-of-Steel” Construction
Exceptionally strong, the Remington 700’s design protects the cartridge head with three overlapping rings of solid steel– the bolt head, barrel, and receiver itself, the latter of which was machined from a single billet of ordnance steel and honed for uniformity.
2. The “Super Bolt” & Cartridge Variety
Using a butter-smooth action and a “super bolt” with double-locking lugs and a recessed bolt head without an extractor cut that, when introduced, was individually hand-fitted to the rifle, Remington was able to offer the rifle chambered in no less than 15 popular game cartridges right off the bat from .222 varmint rounds to .458 Mag safari calibers. This would later grow to over 50 different factory chamberings during the span of the rifle’s run.
3. Remarkable Popularity
Keeping its famed “3-rings-of-steel” construction, the Model 700 became the most popular commercial bolt-action rifle in history, with over 5 million sold by 2012. Only mass-produced military models, such as the Enfield .303, Mauser 98, and the Russian Mosin-Nagant were made in greater quantity.
Remington 700 Rifle Reviews
Now that you know what to look for, here are the best Remington 700 rifle options currently on the market.
Weight: 7 lbs
The basic ADL was the most prolific model of the Remington 700, dating back to the rifle’s introduction.
Chambered in dozens of popular calibers over its run, it was offered in rifle length (with 22- and 24-inch barrels) as well as carbine/youth length (20-inch) with a matte finish. Originally just seen with a checkered walnut Monte Carlo profile stock, this was later replaced by a cheaper brown laminated stock in the 1980s and, increasingly, fiberglass-reinforced synthetic stocks after 1996 with declining quality.
For most of its run, the ADL was the standard Model 700 seen in the rifle cases at big box stores, and millions were sold, primarily in .223 Rem., .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag.
Weight: 7.375 lbs
Starting life in 1994 as the Alaskan Wilderness Rifle, this Model 700 variant was built for extreme conditions, sporting a black synthetic fiberglass/Kevlar stock along with a black stainless-steel action and barrel with a hardwearing Teflon coating. Other features included a precision Model 40-X trigger and machined stainless steel trigger guard and floorplate.
Recast as the American Wilderness Rifle in 2017, later models used a Grayboe fiberglass and epoxy stock and was offered in hard-hitting calibers suited for dangerous game such as .338 Win. Mag., 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 Rem. Mag., and .338 Rem. Ultra.
Weight: 7.375 lbs
The BDL was always Remington’s more deluxe offering in the Model 700 series. Introduced in the 1960s as an early variant, they typically carried upscale features such as an expertly finished walnut stock with cut checkering and an ebony forend cap, white line spacers, and high polish bluing.
Don’t let this aristocratic rifle fool you, the BDL was also ready to clock in for work and was chambered in over 30 calibers from .17HMR to .375 H&H across its production run. Big Green often released short runs of commemorative edition (200th anniversary, Boone & Crockett, et. al) BDLs with engraved floorplates in the 2000s, usually listed as “CDL” or Classic Deluxe models.
Weight: 9 lbs
Pitched as a gun capable of precision shots past 500 yards, the Model 700 Long Range uses a longer (26-inch) heavy contour barrel with a graphite and fiberglass Bell and Carlson M40 tactical stock incorporating an aluminum bedding block.
As its name would suggest, it was chambered in rounds capable of a serious ballistic coefficient downrange such as .25-06, .30-06, and .300 Remington Ultra Mag.
5. Magpul Enhanced
Weight: 8.5 lbs
While Magpul made lots of coin producing their fully adjustable Magpul Hunter aftermarket synthetic stock for the Model 700 short action, Remington gave the people what they wanted and introduced the Model 700 Magpul edition in 2017.
Complete with a free-floated carbon steel barrel with a threaded muzzle and an externally adjustable trigger, the rifle was offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .300 Win Mag.
By 2018, the Magpul Enhanced model upped the ante by utilizing a suppressor-ready heavy barrel with LTR flutes, a top Pic rail, and a black Cerakote finish, along with a 10-shot detachable mag and a Magpul Hunter stock in FDE.
Weight: 10.5 lbs
Remington’s Precision Chassis Rifle promised out-of-the-box 3-shot MOA accuracy because it was centered on an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy chassis supporting a 24-inch suppressor-ready barrel with 5R rifling, free-floated in an aluminum handguard with a user-configurable Magpul PRS Gen 3 stock.
The PCR was debuted in 2018 in .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.
7. SPS Tactical
Weight: 8.5 lbs
Intended for LE sales and building on M24/M40s reputation as a dependable sniper rifle, the Model 700 Special Purpose Synthetic was introduced by Remington in 2005.
Typically seen with a handy 20-inch heavy-contour barrel, which dropped the overall length and allowed the rifle to be better stored in the trunks of cruisers, the SPS came standard in either .223 Rem or .308 Win, with some offered in .243 Win, which was seen for a while as a good intermediate round for police counter-sniper use.
Later versions of the SPS used a treaded barrel, Hogue overmolded pillar-bedded stock, and hinged floorplate mag.
8. Stainless 5R Gen 2
Weight: 7 lbs
Using the same 5R rifling as the Army’s famed M24 and M2010 sniper rifles, Remington in 2018 introduced what could be seen as a sporting equivalent of that precision rifle in the Stainless 5R.
Chambered in a choice of either 223 Rem., .308 Win., or .300 Win. Mag, the rifle offered a threaded stainless steel barrel set in a green patterned H-S Precision stock. The follow-on Gen 2 model doubled down on all the above but was also offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and used a black Cerakote finish on the stainless fluted barrel.
Weight: 7 .625 lbs
Developed for use by prairie dog hunters and the like, the Varmint Target Rifle was introduced to the Model 700 line by Remington in 2008. Chambered for light, fast rounds such as .17 Fireball and 22-250 Rem, the barrel was distinctive, using a triangular-shaped contour with an integral muzzle brake.
10. XCR Tactical
Length: 45 3/4″
Weight: 8.5 lbs
Moving to a more durable platform, Remington announced their Xtreme Conditions Rifle, or XCR, series Model 700s in 2005.
Using a stainless-steel barrel with TriNyte corrosion control, adjustable. trigger, and patented black Hogue overmolded stock with R3 recoil pad, they were durable and lightweight, coming in at about 7-pounds.
The XCR II followed in 2010 and was noted for its green Hogue stock as well as other improvements. Then came the XCR Tactical, with a 26-inch fluted barrel with full-length bedding and an olive drab Bell & Carlson Aramid fiber reinforced stock. The XCR Tactical also brought the far-reaching .338 Lapua Mag to the family.
Where did the Remington 700 come from?
Just 20 years after the Civil War– a conflict in which the common soldier used a percussion-fired muzzleloader that even the most highly trained marksman could only fire three times *per minute*– Remington leap ahead in firearms technology by bringing a bolt-action repeating rifle that fed from a box-magazine to the market– James Paris Lee’s Model 1885.
After that, Remington was heavily involved in making P14 and M1917 Enfield-pattern bolt-action rifles in World War I, first for the British and then for Uncle Sam. Continuing production of that famed bolt gun– used by Sergeant Alvin York in his famous action on the Western Front– Remington marketed the incredibly strong M1917 action on the sporting market as the Model 30 until the Second World War.
Speaking of WWII, Remington went back to work making bolt-action infantry rifles for the war effort, cranking out at least 1,055,714 Model 1903A3 rifles for the Army, many of which remain in service today in isolated roles. They proved exceptionally accurate and M1903A4 versions, complete with Weaver optics, were issued to snipers, remaining in service until as late as the early 1960s.
Speaking of the 1960s, during that time Remington engineer Merle “Mike” Walker had been heavily at work on a new bolt gun for Big Green. Over his years at Remington, Walker was granted more than 20 patents for innovative mechanical ideas, and the Model 700 rifle, introduced in 1962, was his baby.
Accuracy of the Remington 700
While in production, the Remington 700 earned a reputation as “the most accurate out-of-the-box production rifle on the market.”
Paired with a precise rifled hammer-forged barrel that was hand-bedded, soon after it was introduced, the rifle earned a deserved reputation for accuracy to match its strength and reliability and became the basis of other rifles such as the 40X series.
The rifles proved so popular that they soon became the top choice of elite military snipers.
When the Army and Marines first became involved in Vietnam in the early 1960s, the standard sniper rifle was an accurized version of the M1 Garand leftover from the Korean War– which was only available in small numbers.
This was soon augmented by heavy barreled Winchester Model 70 match rifles sent over from competition marksmanship teams, but it soon became apparent that something more practical was needed. With that, the newly introduced Remington Model 700 was soon rushed overseas chambered in 7.62 NATO and outfitted with a Redfield 3-9X Accu-Range scope.
Designated the M40, it became the preferred rifle of Marine snipers to include the famed Carlos Hathcock and Chuck Mawhinney[3,4,]. Not bad for a rifle that did not even exist just a few years before.
The M40 has remained standard with the Marines since 1966 and the current model, the M40A5, continues to serve today, albeit in limited use as the Corps is moving slowly to a new MK 13 platform in .300 Win Mag. Nonetheless, it remains in frontline service with allies overseas.
Likewise, the U.S. Army in 1988 adopted the M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS), a modified long action Model 700 with 110-degree tapered 5R rifling rather than the normal 90-degree 6-groove rifling.
The 5R format produced both better accuracy and less fouling and bullet deformation. Chambered in 7.62 NATO, the M24 remained in Army service until 2014, when Remington rebuilt the older guns into a chassis system model chambered in .300 Win Mag, the M2010, which still serves today.
Besides military use, the Remington 700 series was a hit with police tactical teams going back to the old-school LAPD SWAT days for use in a sniper/counter-sniper role. A dedicated model of the series, the Special Purpose Synthetic, or SPS, was introduced in 2005 with such customers in mind and sold briskly, especially in .308 Winchester and .223 Remington.
The Model 700 SPS was marketed by the company as “unequaled in tactical precision.” Going past the SPS, specialized police models of the 700 series, sold exclusively to LE agencies and military customers through Remington Defense, included the 700P and 700P LTR.
Finally, just as the famed Mauser 98 bolt-action action went on to live a life all its own, far outside of Mauser’s production, scores of custom rifle makers utilize the proven 700-series compatible short and long actions and chassis layouts as a basis for their triggers and bottom metal. You just don’t see that with Winchester 70s or Browning A-bolts and the like.
Pitfalls of the Remington 700
Between 1962 and 2020, over 20 distinct versions of the Remington 700 were cataloged by the company. When you multiply this by barrel length, finish, caliber, and furniture options, there are over 1,000 subvariants. There were even muzzle-loading and pistol varieties.
With so many flavors of the Model 700 cranked out over the years, the line can have big shifts in quality from one rifle to another.
For instance, an entry-level 700 ADL of the sort sold at Wal-Mart in the 1990s for $339 with a black nylon stock and pencil-thin 24-inch barrel is far and away a different animal than a 700 Sendero with a match-grade stainless steel fluted barrel and carbon fiber furniture.
Sure, they are in the same general family, like how a house cat and a Jaguar are related but don’t confuse they are the same thing.
One possible safety issue with Remington 700s is the Walker trigger controversy.
Plagued by high-profile lawsuits claiming that the X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism, used on the rifle between 2006 and 2015, as well as earlier trigger systems, could “discharge without a trigger pull under certain limited conditions,” a factor that allegedly led to injuries and even deaths, Remington offered a settlement to replace or upgrade potentially millions of triggers.
With a deadline that has already expired, it is unlikely that all the impacted guns with the trigger were retrofitted. To be sure, proper muzzle discipline with any firearm is a 24/7 requirement and, in the end, Remington denied any wrongdoing, but it is still a blinking red light on any pre-2016 Remington centerfire bolt gun with the original trigger.
Is the Remington 700 still in Production?
Following a spate of declining sales and rising costs, Remington Outdoors went into Chapter 11 in 2020 and, falling under the jurisdiction of a federal bankruptcy court in Alabama, had all its assets auctioned off to the highest approved bidders.
Long story short, the factories, patents, trademarks, and inventory were split between big players in the firearms industry such as Ruger, Vista (Federal/CCI), and Franklin Armory.
One big piece of the pie, made up of the historic factory in upstate Ilion, New York, and the Remington-branded firearms made there, were acquired by a company that rebooted the gunmaker as RemArms LLC in early 2021.
Among the promised firearms headed back to the market from RemArms are 19 700-series rifles in 96 sub-variants when calibers and barrel lengths are taken into account, although it is not clear if that is realistic.
- Marine Corps Times, Marine snipers are getting new Mk 13 rifles
- Remington Society, 1903 and 1903A3 Production and Serial No table.
- American Rifleman, USMC Sniper Rifles: Hands On History
- The Firearm Blog, POTD: One Shot, One Kill – M40 Sniper Rifle with Redfield 3-9×40 scope –
- Web Archive, www.remingtonfirearmsclassactionsettlement.com
- Remington Firearms, Model 700
- Remington Firearms
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