By Bruce Potts
Saturday, 05 December 2009
Remington 700 rifle review: Bruce Potts admire the 40-year old Model 700 whose bolt action rivals the best for strength.
Since its introduction in 1962, the Remington Model 700 is still going strong, and its longevity is testimony to the appeal and quality of the rifle. The Model 700 was actually an offshoot of the much acclaimed older model 721/722, which was introduced in 1948 and then subtly redesigned. The 700 was offered in two grades: the ADL with a solid floorplate and plainer walnut stock and the BDL, which possessed a hinged floorplate, QD swivels, a black plastic fore-end and pistol cap and higher-grade wood. The heart of both rifles lay in the action design, created by Mike Walker and billed as the world’s strongest bolt-action design. Few would argue with that, even today.
A gun of many guises
Modern Remington 700s come in many guises, not least a synthetic and laminated stock version, as well as a stainless steel, fluted barrel variety and Tactical rifles.
Its inherent strength stems from the receiver starting life as a solid piece of round bar stock, which is milled into shape to resist distortions. The bolt is substantial in construction and the lock-up is achieved via a pair of opposing locking lugs. The bolt face is recessed to cover the rear portion of the cartridge and there is a plunger-style ejector with space for the extractor within the bolt face. Though small, it cleanly removes a spent round from the chamber.
Counterboring the bolt face to fit snugly into the back of the barrel enhances the strong, rigid lock-up characteristics of the system and lock time is good. Approximately 0.3in travel of the firing pin helps to achieve accuracy.
The trigger unit is a detachable one-piece design with a factory setting that can be heavy, but it breaks cleanly. This is the one area that definitely benefits from a makeover or the fitting of a custom unit.
You load the ADL and BDL models through the breech, but the BDL model has a hinged floorplate to allow unfired rounds to be conveniently dropped from the internal magazine. Detachable magazines came in later.
Finishing off the receiver are the scope mounting taps, to which a variety of scope bases can be fitted: permanent, two piece, bridge, quick-release or whatever you choose.
At first wood choice was a plain walnut with a pressed chequered stock for the ADL model and walnut fleur-de-lis chequering on the BDL model. Both were pure Sporter profile with a Monte Carlo comb and cheekpiece.
More than 40 years later, the Model 700 remains an excellent hunting arm. It is the first choice among custom rifle makers for its strong action and the limitless custom accessories offered for this model.
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