This heavy, tack-driving rifle from Remington may be the best bargain going.
Remington Model 700 Long Range
I know a bunch of deer hunters, and for the vast majority of them the most strenuous part of their hunt is climbing a 10-foot ladder to their stand. Many ride a four wheeler within yards of it, because what's the difference if it looks out over a 500-yard crop field or a corn feeder where they expect deer to show? I'm not knocking this style of modern hunting. I'm actually opining that it opens more possibilities for that hunter's rifle of choice. Why not carry a 10.5-pound rifle with a scope the size of the Hubble if the most you'll be carrying it is a few dozen yards? If it increases your range and you don't plan to lug it around all day, I can't think of a reason you shouldn't look into Remington's Model 700 Long Range rifle.
You know the Model 700—perhaps the most popular deer rifle of all time—and you likely know why its action was and is used by Marine snipers since the Vietnam War forward. If you don't, I'll tell you, and it wasn't because of some government-mandated contract. Rather, it's because the action is inherently accurate. For its new Long Range rifle, Remington took its coveted 700 action, mated a medium contour, heavy barrel on it, placed it in a top-notch Bell and Carlson M40 target-style stock and installed its excellent X-Mark Pro trigger.
The Monte Carlo-style carbon-fiber stock features an aluminum chassis that provides the action with a platform on which it can deliver its peak potential. The trigger can be adjusted by the user with a simple Allen wrench, down to 2 pounds. Mine came from the factory at 3.5 pounds. It's as light and crispy as Lays potato chips. As such, it's amazing how much a great trigger improves my groups by it alone.
But for Remington to take its 700 action and combine it with a heavy barrel, premium stock and tuned trigger is nothing new. In the '90s Remington did it with its heavy and very accurate Sendero rifle. So what's the big deal with the Long Range? Well, the Sendero is still around (it's now called the Sendero II) and it lists for $1,465. But you can get a Long Range for $699 right now at Cabela's. That's saying something. In fact, if you were going to build a custom rifle, for benchrest or long range hunting, this wouldn't be a bad buy just for the action and stock alone. But I'm leaving my test unit as is.
Out of the box with Black Hills 168-grain BTHP Match ammo, my .30-06 test rifle averaged .57-inch groups! One of those 3-shot groups was my personal best ever, a .219-inch cluster that looked like one ragged hole. Granted, two other loads—Federal 150-grain Ballistic Tip and Remington Premier 150-grain Swift Sirocco Bonded shot much more pedestrianly, recording groups of 1.1 inch and 1.42-inch, respectively. This wide accuracy variation was surprising, especially for such a heavy rifle that usually isn't as ammo-choosy as a light rifle. But as long as it shoots at least one type of ammo well—which it did in spades—it's fine with me.
The Long Range is chambered in .25-06 Rem., 7mm Rem. Mag., .30-06; .300 Win Mag. and .300 Rem. Ultra Mag. It weighs 9 pounds naked and is 47-inches in overall length. As such, even these magnum chamberings are tamed significanlty and made easier to shoot. I'm not advocating shooting an animal at long range, but if you do, it better be with a rifle that you know is cabable of delivering a swift, sniper-like kill.