Remington 50th Anniversary Model 700 Bolt-Action Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 10th, 2012

 

 

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trigger is slightly adjustable for pull weight.

 

 


Two-position safety.

 

 


Cocking indicator.

 

 


Recoil lug.

 

 

 

 


Superb accuracy!

 

 

 

 

2012 marks fifty years of production of the Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle. The Model 700 is one of the most commercially successful rifles every built, with well over five million produced. The Model 700 is one of the most-trusted rifles in the world, and is widely used by hunters, target shooters, law enforcement, and is the basis for our nationís military thirty caliber bolt-action sniper rifles. The Model 700 has been chambered for most every modern sporting rifle cartridge in existence at one time or another, with many variations of the 700 offered over its fifty-year run.

This Anniversary Model 700 BDL shown here is available for a limited time, and chambered only for the 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge, which was also introduced in 1962, with 2012 marking the cartridge's fifty-year successful run as well. The BDL wears a very well-figured and fitted walnut stock, and has nostalgic white line spacers at the grip cap and forend cap. The stock is finished with a satin sheen. The checkering is a cut Fleur-de-Lis pattern. The butt is capped with a ventilated recoil pad, and as should any hunting rifle, the 700 BDL wears sling swivel studs.

The barrel and action wear a semi-matte finish, with the finish matching that of the aluminum floor plate and trigger guard very well. The hinged magazine floor plate drops to empty the three-shot magazine, and the floor plate is engraved to commemorate the rifleís 50th anniversary. The barrel is twenty-four inches in length, and has a sturdy set of open sights mounted. The receiver is drilled for scope bases, and I attached a Leupold VX-III 3.5 to 10 power scope with the Boone & Crockett ranging reticle using Burris bases and rings. This Leupold scope is ideal for such a hunting rifle as this 7mm Magnum 700 BDL. The 7mm Mag is a really fine hunting cartridge, and easily pushes bullets to magnum velocities without pushing the limits of the cartridge case or the rifle. The case has plenty of powder capacity, with no need to use compressed charges to achieve high velocity.

The Remington Anniversary BDL is a full-sized rifle, and balances and handles as a proper hunting rifle should. The 700 BDL shoulders well, and the Monte Carlo cheek piece places the eye right behind the scope, as it should. My sample rifle weighed in at eight pounds, two ounces. The trigger pull released crisply at three pounds, six ounces. The 700 X-Mark Pro trigger is user-adjustable within a short range for pull weight.

I tried two very good 7mm Magnum factory loads in this 700 BDL, along with a couple of 7mm bullets that I have been anxious to try. The Federal load tested uses the excellent Barnes Tipped Triple-Shock homogenous copper hollowpoint that weighs only 110 grains, and should be a superb whitetail load, exiting the Remingtonís barrel at varmint rifle velocities, yet the Barnes bullet doesnít behave like a varmint bullet, holding together very well upon impact. The other factory load that I tried was a bit of a nod to nostalgia; the dependable and time-tested Remington Core-Lokt pointed soft point in the familiar green and yellow box. This bullet design has been used for decades by hunters, and is still as good as it ever was. Both of these factory loads exhibited superb accuracy from this 700 BDL; much better than I expected, and it is a testimony to the quality of both the rifle and the ammunition. I usually mount a high-powered target scope for accuracy testing, but left the Leupold VX-III atop the BDL for all shooting, and it delivered. I had no chance to try the Remington at long range, but tested for accuracy at a distance of 100 yards, after getting the rifle sighted on paper at fifty. Both factory loads amazingly fired half-inch three-shot groups at 100 yards, consistently. From the beginning, the rifle performed very well, and the accuracy did not change, from the first group fired to the last. It is unusual for a rifle to shoot every group the same size, but there was not even one-eighth inch difference between the smallest and largest groups fired, with the best measuring just under one-half inch, and the largest groups opening up to almost nine-sixteenths, with the average remaining at one-half inch. I was impressed.

For handloading, I have had sitting here for a couple of months some Cutting Edge Raptor 7mm bullets. These bullets are of homogenous construction, having no lead core. The shank of the bullet is sized to ride the bore, with four driving bands to engage the rifling. In profile, the bullets are symmetrical, but one end is solid, and the other has a large hollow cavity. The Raptor can be loaded as a solid or as a hollowpoint, and in the hollow end, a synthetic tip can be snapped in to improve the ballistic coefficient for long range shooting. I loaded the Raptor all three ways, and it shot very well in each way loaded. The bullet can be loaded as a solid, which has a large, flat meplat, for deepest penetration and no expansion. For game hunting, I prefer to load it as a hollowpoint. Around here, three hundred yards is a long shot, so the ballistic tip makes little difference in trajectory. Hopefully, I can later test this bullet at long range, comparing the flight characteristics with and without the ballistic tip installed. I also tried out the low-drag 160 grain copper hollowpoint boat-tail bullet from Cutting Edge, but have not yet found a satisfactory load for that bullet in this rifle. I am satisfied with the velocity, but the stability of that bullet in this rifle so far is not up to my expectations. The BDL has a one-in-nine-and-one-quarter inch rifling twist, but so far, it does not seem to be fully stabilizing this long bullet. I might need to push it a bit faster than the 2900 feet-per-second nominal velocity to stabilize that bullet. However, the Cutting Edge Raptor is performing very well, and I hope to get to try that one on game later this year.

Chronograph results are listed in the chart below, with velocity readings taken at a distance of twelve feet from the muzzle. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains. Powder charge weights are also listed in grains. Velocity readings were taken on a calm, clear day with an air temperature in the fifty-five degree Fahrenheit range and a relative humidity of thirty percent, at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Accuracy testing was done over a period of two days, with temperatures remaining relatively steady, with a slight breeze.

Factory Loads

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Remington Core-Lokt 150 2991
Federal Barnes TTSX 110 3502

Handloads*

Bullet Bullet Weight Powder & Charge Velocity
Cutting Edge Raptor 130 Hybrid 100V, 62 grains 3160
Cutting Edge LD-HPBT 160 Hybrid 100V, 60 grains 2910

I was very well satisfied with the velocities of both the factory ammunition and the handloads. Impressed with the fine accuracy of the Cutting Edge Raptor with the load listed, I did not try to push for more velocity, as reaching almost 3200 FPS with the 130 grain bullet will do the job. Recoil with all loads tested was easy to tolerate. There was no pain at all to the shoulder, even after long sessions at the bench. Muzzle blast is fierce, as it is with any modern bottle-necked magnum cartridge.

The Remington Model 700 celebrates its well-deserved milestone of fifty years and millions of rifles sold and still in service. Not many centerfire sporting rifles can make that claim, but the Remington 700 remains at the top of the heap, and is modern enough to easily go another fifty, and then some.

Check out the Model 700 and other Remington products online at www.remington.com.

To order a Model 700 rifle online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.

To order quality 7mm Magnum ammunition, go to www.luckygunner.com.

To order the Cutting Edge bullets, go to www.cuttingedgebullets.com.

Jeff Quinn

*NOTE: All load data posted on this web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data. The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the potential user of this data.  Always use data from respected loading manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated in the source manual.

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 


Leupold 3.5 to 10 Boone & Crockett VX-III.

 

 


Cutting Edge 160-grain Low-Drag hollow point boattail copper bullet.

 

 


Cutting Edge 130- grain Raptor solid / hollowpoint / tipped bullet.

 

 


Factory ammo.