America’s rifle, the Remington model 700. I recently purchased a Remington model 700 chambered in 7mm rem mag and I’ll tell you about the build so far and why I chose this gun, caliber and accessories. Although we do some archery hunting, we mostly hunt with a gun and it’s the Remington model 700 that’s taken the majority of our animals.
My first rifle was a 300 Weatherby vanguard topped with a Nikon 3-9x40 prostaff. It was a Walmart combo special, but at 16 years old I was beyond excited. I took my first buck with that gun, along with a couple of black bears. After a few years of driving logging roads and doing day hunts, I took up an interest in backcountry hunting. My Weatherby wasn’t the fanciest and was on the heavy side. So I decided to buy a Tikka T3 superlite chambered in 308 Winchester topped with a Nikon monarch 4-16x50. That rifle took a handful of bucks and another black bear. Last year, we decided to pack in and give the high buck hunt here in Washington a try. There were four of us packing in and figured that we’d only need two rifles since we’d be hunting in teams of two. Patrick brought his Kimber chambered in 6.5 creedmoor and Jeff brought his Remington 700 chambered in 7mm rem mag. Pat’s rifle is very light and Jeff’s is on the heavy side. After eight days of hunting we all harvested deer and the Remington 700 put them all down. Most of our shot opportunities were around 400 yards and Jeff’s gun was better suited for long range. Obviously the 6.5 is capable of shots that far but we hadn’t practiced taking pokes at those distances with the Kimber. The 7mm had been shot through a chronograph and dialed for longer ranges. After seeing this rifles performance first hand, I knew that I had to have one for myself.
The Remington 700 was introduced in 1962 and since then, more than 5 million rifles have been sold. There’s something to be said for that many sales. They have been known to be very accurate and have tight barrel and chamber tolerances. Something that any hunter or marksman can appreciate. The M24 and M40 military sniper rifles used by the US Army and USMC are both based on the model 700 design. If our armed forces trust taking this rifle to war, I think we can rely on it while in the field chasing game. It just so happens that the 7mm rem mag was introduced in 1962 as well and they have been best friends ever since. Like peas and carrots. While I realize that a 243 could kill any game animal in the lower 48 at a reasonable distance, there’s just something about the 7’s ballistics that put a smirk on my face. It is very fast, flat shooting and has a high ballistic coefficient. It also has great sectional density, which is what you want for penetrating an animals thick hide and destroying its vitals.
The model of my Remington 700 is the long range. I believe that the only difference from the standard version is that mine came with a heavy barrel and a Bell & Carlson M40 stock. I had an idea of what modifications I wanted to do to the rifle before I even bought it. An aftermarket trigger, muzzle brake and an extended bolt handle are the only mods that I’ve made, so far. Benchmark Barrels out of Arlington, Wa did all of the work and I highly recommend them. They did all of the work on Jeff and Patrick’s rifles as well. Triggers were the first thing that I did a lot of research on and I ended up going with a Triggertech Primary. By upgrading your trigger, it’s one of the cheapest ways to improve accuracy. This trigger features frictionless release technology, provides a true zero-creep break, extremely short over travel and offers outstanding reliability. The pull ranges from 1.5 to 4 pounds and I set mine at 2.5. I figured for hunting situations I wouldn’t want it so light that I couldn’t feel it if my fingers were numb, or if I had gloves on. Another way to improve accuracy and significantly reduce felt recoil is to install a muzzle brake. I went with a Miller three port brake. The larger bolt handle that I had installed will help with quicker follow up shots and make it a lot easier to grip and chamber another round. Harris bipods are what I’ve always used so that’s what I went with for this gun. I’ve found that cantering can be an issue while mountain hunting so I got the S model that allows you to tilt and lock the bipod to keep the gun level. With so many options for a scope, I wanted one that would be reliable and could be used for long range and closer shots. I ended up going with the Vortex Viper PST GEN II 5-25X50. Jeff runs this scope on his rifle and it’s worked out great for all of us. So, that made my decision making on which scope to go with pretty easy.
I am really looking forward to getting this rifle out into the field and getting time in at the range. Since Jeff, pat and I will be shooting the same caliber and a similar rifle setup, it’ll be nice to know that if something were to happen to one of them in the backcountry, we could easily use one of the other rifles with confidence. Keep in mind that I don’t think that this rifle or caliber is better than any other that people are using. It just happens to be what works for us and our personal preference. Until next time, happy hunting.