Remington's Model 700 is one of the most copied guns in the world - and not without reason. Bruce Potts tests the latest stainless steel design
It’s the first shot that counts and a nimble, agile rifle, even when a scope and moderator are fitted, really helps these days.
Looking at the Remington Model 700 Mountain SS
- The Mountain’s synthetic, weatherproof stock has a great feel to it. It maintains its structure under compression so that, regardless of hard use, recoil and temperature change, your zero stays the same.
- For this model, Remington uses the excellent Bell & Carlson Aramid fibre stock, with a weave of Aramid fibres adding strength yet maintaining a light weight.
- Overall the rifle weighs a little over 6lb.
- I like the solid feel of these stocks with their stippled, grippy surface texture. The black background colour and grey spider’s web are really appealing.
- The beauty is not only skin deep because the stock also hosts an integral aluminium chassis that the action is bolted to. Again, this enhances accuracy and consistency, and stops warping caused by extremes of temperature.
- I have used these stocks on custom rifle projects and had excellent results, though the length of pull is a little short at 13.5in. Two sling swivel studs and a SuperCell recoil pad complete the stock.
Keeping to the Mountain’s lightweight theme, the barrel is stainless steel for anything the environment can throw at it. It is profiled to a No2 style to reduce weight and shortened to 22in. This means a muzzle diameter of 0.568in with a 14/1mm thread, while the outside diameter (OD) at the fore-end is 0.578in with a starting OD of 1.2in at the receiver — so a very pronounced decrease in rifle barrel diameter to reduce weight overall.
What does this mean in real life? You have a very handy little rifle that — even with a scope and sound moderator — will not weigh you down on a long trudge up a hill.
It does mean, though, that the barrel heats up quickly, which may affect accuracy. It’s free-floating from the stock, which certainly helps in this regard. Heat is no concern on this model, as once sighted-in it’s the first shot that counts. With a second or third shot, I had no zero nor change in accuracy.
The action is Remington’s timeless Model 700, introduced in 1962, which I have written about on countless occasions. Remington got it right first time, which is why it’s copied so often. A really solid, reliable bolt action that has a short lock time for accuracy, strong lock-up for safety, a bit of a weak extractor, in truth, but overall all good design — especially in stainless steel for the type of hard life this rifle will probably have. The trigger is the X-Mark Pro version that is adjustable, but leave it alone; as set on this rifle at 3.85lb, it was fine for real hunting and cold hands.
The floor-plate magazine
system works well and holds four
7mm-08 rounds that the test rifle was chambered in — five and 10-round aftermarket magazines are available.
I can’t emphasise enough how light the Mountain is with its 22in barrel. I owned a laminated LSS version in .260 Rem some years ago for roe on the hill. Why did I ever sell it?
- I decided against a moderator to save weight and fitted my favourite Kahles CSX 1.1–5x aluminium-tubed short woodland scope.
- The 7mm-08 Rem case is basically a .308 Win necked down to 7mm and provides a flat shooting, mild recoil round, perfectly suited to this rifle.
- I fitted a one-piece Weaver-type rail to the action top and Leupold 30mm quick-detach release mounts.
- I had a few factory loads. With a slim barrel it’s essential to allow the barrel to cool between each grouping for the best results. That’s in a sighting-in and testing routine, where you are shooting relatively quickly compared with hunting.
- I shot six to seven rounds before the point of impact wandered, so in any real hunting situation that’s not going to be a problem.
- The Remington 140-gr Core-Lokt rounds shot 2,757fps for 2,364ft/lb energy, with three-shot groups hovering around the 1in to 1.25in mark. The heavier Federal 150-gr loads produced 1.25in groups at 100 yards and 2,655fps for 2,348ft/lb energy.
- I also had some Barnes V0R-TX bullets with a tipped TSX boat-tail design. They have superior ballistic coefficients and expand controllably, as well as being environmentally friendly with their lead-free, copper construction. These shot two bullets touching, then the third off to the right 1.25in — but those first two were spot on.
- Reloads genuinely do help with slim barrels because you can make a load that matches your barrel timing (vibrations), thereby enhancing accuracy to find that all-important sweet spot.
- The best load I had was the Sierra Pro-Hunter 140-gr with 42.25 grains of Alliant RL-15 powder to produce 2,791fps and 2,422ft/lbs with 0.95in groups.
- A lighter Nosler 120-gr Spitzer bullet achieved 2,978fps and 2,364ft/lb energy, again hovering around the 1in mark for accuracy with 44.25 grains of RL-15.
- I am compiling a ballistics test media log for bullets, so for this hunt I wanted to use those 140-gr Barnes rounds and see how they performed in real life.
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Need to know
- Name: Model 700 Mountain SS
- Manufacurer: Remington Arms
- Type: Bolt-action Sporter in stainless steel
- Barrel length: 22in
- Overall length: 41.25in
- Calibre: Various. 25-06 Rem to .308 Win
- Stock: Bell & Carlson synthetic
- Weight: 6.2lb
- Trigger: X-Mark Pro externally adjustable single-stage
- Magazine: Floor-plate, four shot
- Contact: Raytrade Ltd 01635 253344
- Price: £1,380