The story of one Remington 700
This is the story of one gun that I have used for 6 years for competition, hunting and also as a test platform for various components and accessories... It is a Remington 700 Short Action stainless system that was originally a 5-R model chambered in .308 Winchester. I've replaced many components on this gun over the years and I'll cover those in more detail with a critical review...
This was the very beginning. Stock Remington 700 5-R Gen 2 in black Cerakote finish. I knew from the beginning that the original stock would not be very suitable for my purposes - both in shape and thanks to the integral magazine box. For Tactical and Dynamic shooting I wanted a chassis with a pistol grip, folding stock and regular magazines. And from the beginning I wanted "the best", or at least what I thought was...
As you can see in the picture, it was an Accuracy International AICS AX chassis, a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x56 scope, a Badger mini FTE brake, a Timney two-stage trigger, and initially Harris bipod. The scope rail was Accuracy International high with a 20 MOA tilt, which fits to the AX chassis.
And then assembled it looks like this. The only modification was the replacement of the end of the bolt handle - I replaced the "olive" with a "ball".
The reason was simple - with a ball it fit better in the hole in the stock. This is because it folds to the right and the bolt handle is thus covered by the stock. When the stock is folded down in the transporting case I don't have to remove the bolt - because there is no risk of damaging it. The folding stock over the bolt handle is an excellent thing, and especially for a tactical weapon, I wouldn't want anything else...
However I soon came across several things that limited me. I've had decent results with this build but I honestly expected a little more. And so I started to solve why it is like that and how to change it...
First of all there was a change of caliber. After the first season it became clear that the .308 Winchester was simply not the best choice... Not only did I see the results of other shooters with other calibers, but I myself had a Tikka T3 in 6.5x55 SE before this gun and so I had direct comparison - from which it was clear that the 6.5 are simply a much better calibers. Of course this Remington is a Short Action and the 6.5x55 cannot be used in it. I had a choice between the 260 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor, which was not yet so widespread in our country (it was in 2017). But based on what I saw at competitions abroad I decided on the 6.5 Creedmoor and it was the right choice. The barrel of the rifle got a length of 26" (660 millimeters) instead of the original 24" (610mm) and it was a Benchmark barrel. They are good barrels in the high class. Next a friend gunsmith who did this and I opted for a quick-change barrel system - so she was still able to use the original .308, which was far from weathered... I'll come back to this system later.
I also wanted significantly more stable bipod than the Harris type, and the choice fell on the Fortmeier H210 with a quick-release adapter. In order to avoid mounting the adapter on the Picatinny rail, I significantly modified it for direct mounting on the forearm. This was also the moment I cursed the original AI KeySlot sytem (as well as all KeyMods and the like) to the deepest hell. I will never get my hands on something that stupid again... M-LOK is golden or just good old threaded holes!
The other two things I modified and changed were the grip and the Bag Rider. I made the bag rider angled, big and strong from nylon.
The bigger problem was the grip. The original one may suit some, but I have smaller hands and it's simply not possible to sensibly grab, hold and trigger it properly... It's downright anti-ergonomic for me. So hand saw and away with it. A friend and I made a block of aluminum on which any AR grip can be installed. In this case the Ergo Grip deluxe. You can tell the difference immediately and it's huge! Finally it could be held nicely and fired properly...
Another significant change was the replacement of the original Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x56 SPF riflescope with the "top" among riflescopes - Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 FFP. And also camouflage spray, because at that time I was participating in many large international tactical competitions.
However the choice of S&B rifle scope was not the best... The reticle was not bad, but there were already much better choices for tactical and dynamic shooting at that time. The next thing was the turrets
. It was locking, but it was extremely stiff, so it was better not to lock them, because unlocking them while lying behind the gun was a bit of a problem. The fact that the dials had the reverse operation of the vast majority of other riflescopes was an even bigger problem that bothered me until - at that time I already had several guns with different riflescopes and all the others had standard controls.
What was really the problem, that I had to return it 3 times for warranty repair!!! These were mechanical defects of the turrets and also a chipped lens inside the scope.
I have achieved many successes with this setup, both in Long Range competitions (up to a kilometer) and in tactical competitions.
And that despite the fact that this assembly was definitely not "user-friendly"... I can't help but mention how little this scope forgives mistakes (eyebox, parallax). Which is unfortunately also a problem with the AX AICS chassis. In the combination of these components (albeit "absolutely top"), the rifle became a really vicious bitch which did not forgive me absolutely any mistake! Any slightest mistake was immediately punished by missing the target. Each shot had to be executed precisely and perfectly in terms of - trigger, position, position of the eye behind the scope and adjustment of the scope.
However, this is completely unsuitable for tactics and dynamics. If I shot prone and had enough time for each shot - it wouldn't be such a problem. But that's exactly what I just didn't want or need... It became a major problem when we started shooting Dynamic Precision Shooting. Short times, unstable positions... A nightmare with this set-up!
And so there was a fundamental change and I threw AX AICS, Schmidt & Bender and Fortmeier out of the house, slammed the door behind them and won't let them ever back in... That was a rather important realization - that even "top and famous" components simply don't have to be always the right thing.
Instead I used an MDT ACC chassis with Atlas PSR bipod and a Vortex Viper PST II 5-25x50 FFP scope. I also replaced the muzzle brake with an MDT Elite. The original Badger mini FTE isn't bad, but this MDT is just better. So far I have the Mini FTE in .223 Rem and it has proven to be ideal there. I then have a large FTE on a magnum rifle in 7mm Practical caliber and I am happy with it there as well...
MDT ACC was an immediate hit for Dynamic Precision Shooting. The possibilities of adapting this chassis to the shooter, its ergonomics and the overall feel of it - all this is in great contrast to the previous chassis. Working with it is simply a joy and it doesn't really matter how I build a position or how I put my hand on the grip - I'm always sure of a hit. The customization options are huge. The weight system (internal and external) is well thought out and functional. The ARCA rail along the entire length of the forend is extremely practical - also because the forend has a flat underside that serves as a stable platform when placed on a bag. The original Bag Rider is another little thing that will really help for sure control in speed and stress.
The Atlas PST bipod is another piece of the puzzle. For DPS and tactics and my shooting style it is just perfect. They have no play and, on the contrary, they have many options for adjustment, extension (also with external extensions) and also replaceable shoes. All without the use of tools. For heavier weapons or magnum calibers, I use the larger model Atlas 5-H, also to great satisfaction.
The Vortex Viper PST II 5-25x50 EBR-7c was also an excellent choice. Although its price is less than 1/3 of the price of the original S&B, it is significantly easier, safer and trouble-free to work with. This scope suddenly allowed me to hit in situations where I would definitely have no hits with the S&B. Thanks to the standard controls and overall user friendliness, as well as the great reticle, I simply get better results.
The EBR-7c reticle is the "Christmas tree" type and is absolutely ideal for quick hold over... Working with it is easy, fast and intuitive. The scope is optically good and mechanically reliable.
By the way - I still get a lot of questions: why these colors? THAT'S WHY!!!
The barrel reached its end of life after 2,246 shots (toward the end the performance was no longer ideal) and in addition I finally had the new Ultimatum competition system for the ACC chassis, so it was clear that this Remington 700 would get a role other than the "main competition rifle"...
And so the next barrel is stainless steel in combination with carbon fiber from the company Proof Research again in caliber 6.5 Creedmoor. These carbon barrels are above all light. And therefore it is obvious that this set is designed and suitable primarily for hunting. I also used the original stock to which I added an adjustable cheek piece for better ergonomics as well as a magazine well. And the good old Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x56 SFP came back. I thought this magnification would be sufficient for hunting.
This setup with the Atlas CAL bipod consistently achieves sub 1/2 MOA accuracy which I find to be perfectly adequate for a hunting setup... However the stock just isn't ideal for me. I was not satisfied with it for several reasons - even after the modifications. And so I was able to have such results only at the range, but not in the forest, or with a DPS style of shooting.
I just replaced the stock with an ORYX chassis and again the PST II scope, which is FFP, and everything was immediately flooded with the setting sun colors again... The ergonomics of the whole assembly, ease of use, forgives mistakes. It's just there...
I also tried the combination of the ORYX and the SFP scope, but I just got so used to the comfort of the FFP scopes and I sold the Nightforce with a heavy heart. Although it is great both optically and mechanically, but if I make mistakes with it, there is no point to struggle...
Then I chose the MDT LSS XL Gen2 chassis for the Remington and again its usability got better. Thanks to the barrel exchange system, I had another barrel made in caliber 22-250 Remington, which is primarily intended for LKS - Hunting Precision Shooting competitions we have here. I chose the Vector Continental 4-24x56 FFP scope.
The following video describes in more detail the entire assembly, the barrel change and individual components.
I have already tried this set-up at the PRS competition up to 500 meters and with success - third place with a hunting rifle among DPS custom rifles is nice. We shot not only during the day in daylight, but also in darkness and at night. And this scope turned out to be very good. It's interesting - over the years I've gone from a "premium" Schmidt & Bender to a "Chinese" scope for 1/5 the price and I'm much happier... So overall I am very satisfied with this setup.
However, I also wanted to find a suitable hunting style stock for hunting. Chassis are good for competition, no doubt about that. They are also practical in the forest too. But from an aesthetic point of view, I thought something else could be better for a hunting rifle. So I tried this Manners T4 stock. The picture shows the individual components of the disassembled assembly.
The trigger is worth mentioning. I replaced the original Timney with a TriggerTech. I did this after my Timney quit working at a tactical competition - it stopped firing because dust and sand got into it. That can happen, the wind was blowing, dust and sand were flying around... And I wasn't the only one. I've seen similar problems with other Timney, Bix'n Andy or Jewell, but never with TriggerTech yet.
Complete set. I have already tested it at the shooting range and the accuracy is similar to that of the MDT chassis, i.e. better than with the original stock. Manners stocks are carbon and therefore weigh less than aluminum chassis. This assembly without bipod weighs just over 5.5 kilograms. Ergonomically, it is also very good, the forearm is wide and flat underneath, so it rests well on bags and is stable.
But the question is - will this stock be practical in real conditions? Will it hold up even in DPS or hunting?
And the answer is yes. Indeed, this set-up is also practical for real hunting and use at speed from various shooting positions. The stock convinced me relatively quickly, and the combination of this Vector optics and the Pard N007 rear mounted night sight works very well even at a distance of around 300 meters (not only optically, but also in terms of hit accuracy, which I tested on a targets up to 300 meters at night).
So I would put it this way: this Remington 700 is a really proven and reliable system. Along with our quick change barrel system, this is a multi-purpose weapon that I will continue to use for hunting, hunting competition shooting, as a backup weapon for DPS, and especially for testing various new components. It's my most versatile weapon and I can honestly say that it's just great...