Ride The Wave
CHAMBERED IN 6.5 CREEDMOR, REMINGTON’S 700 PCR SCORES IN PERFORMANCE, AFFORDABILITY
With the new Remington 700 PCR, think looong range and smaaall groups
Anew trend in precision rifles has been blooming over the past few years: the chassis stock. Rather than using a bolt-action rifle with a traditional hunting-type stock, next-level shooters have been utilizing these lightweight aluminum stocks that feature a vertical pistol grip more often associated with their semi-automatic counterparts.
In January 2018 at the annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Remington unveiled their version of the chassis rifle: the Remington 700 PCR (Precision Chassis Rifle). When they asked us if we wanted to demo the rifle, we could not answer fast enough!
The rifle was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. In case you have been living under a rock for the past decade, this round is becoming the king of long-range shooting. We were slow to get on the bandwagon, but the round is breaking and setting new world records for accuracy and distance almost every other week.
Let’s now take a look at this rifle.
At first glance, the forend appears to be Key Mod, but in actuality the teardrop-shaped holes are what is known as Square Drop.
This was a system developed by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), a division of Remington a few years back. It is completely compatible with Key Mod, but it has its own distinctive look. Personally, I find Key Mod and Square Drop easier to work with for installing and removing accessories. There is nothing wrong with M-LOK; I just find these other two systems a bit more userfriendly for attaching lights, bipods, sling swivels and other necessities.
For a stock, Remington wisely chose the Magpul PRS Gen 3 stock. I have been using a first-generation model of one of these stocks on a precision AR for almost a decade and have nothing but praise for it. The cheek piece height and length of pull are completely adjustable should you need to
change shooting positions.
The pistol grip is a standard Magpul MOE type which works well for testing, but the beauty of the chassis is that you can swap out to another grip if you prefer.
The knob on the bolt handle is threaded to give the shooter the option of changing this out at a later date. This is not something that I would have thought of, but I am glad that Remington went this route, as having a gunsmith cut, thread and replace a bolt handle is easily a $125 job.
Moving down to one of the most critical components on a precision rifle, we come to the Remington X-mark Pro trigger. This is a factory precision trigger that has been shipping on most 700 models for nearly a decade. The X-mark has virtually no creep and “breaks-like-glass.” There is an external adjustment for trigger-pull weight with a 2-pound range of adjustment. The factory setting is 3.5 pounds, so you can take it down to about 2 and go as high up as 5 pounds.
Despite these custom features, you still need to add a few things to the Remington PCR in order to shoot it.
“That last group represents a .73inch MOA, which was much better than our initial groups at 100 yards.”
Obviously, we needed an optic, and Remington was gracious enough to supply us with a Leupold Mk IV and a set of 34mm rings. Mounting the scope was relatively quick, but bore sighting gave us a bit of a headache when it came to the elevation turret. We had to remove it and set it back to zero, once the crosshair was lined up with the bore sighter.
There is no swivel stud for a bipod, but to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out of the Remington PCR, we knew that we would need one. Although we run Harris bipods on most of our rifles, we wanted something a bit different, and reached out to Accu-tac.
The Accu-tac HD-50 is a rock-solid bipod that was designed for use on .50 BMG sniper rifles. It has the ability to cant, the legs are telescopic and instantly retract, the feet are removeable without tools, the stance on the bipod is so wide that it is impossible for the rifle to tip over and this robust piece of Cncmachined aluminum is backed by one of the best lifetime warranties in the industry.
Accu-tac bipods install on M1913 Picatinny rails, so we added a short section of Key Mod compatible rail to the underside of the forend and were able to add our bipod.
We are firm believers in suppressing every rifle with a threaded barrel that comes our way, so we reached out to Silencer Shop for a Bowers VERS 30T.
The Bowers Group has been a longtime manufacturer of sub-gun and large bore suppressors. Tom Bowers took his experience from the “specialty” arena and into the .30-caliber realm for a 15-ounce precision can.
The VERS 30T is a titanium-tubed silencer finished in matte black Cerakote. The internals are based on the long-standing (and high-performing) Bowers baffle stack. Also adopted from the venerable VERS line of silencers is the Versadapt insert system, which brings the reliability and consistency of a direct-thread system but the versatility of an ability to change thread pitch. In this instance, we ran it direct thread.
Direct-thread mounting is typically the way most long-range precision shooters mount their silencers. The primary advantages of direct-thread suppressors are simplicity, increased accuracy and more repeatable point-of-impact shifts. The primary disadvantage of direct-thread suppressors is that they can tend to come unscrewed on their own if you're doing a lot of shooting. This is more often when used with a rapidfire weapon as opposed to a bolt-action rifle or single-shot rifle.
The Vers 30T is quiet, due to its construction, as well as the fact that the bolt-action design is closed off and prevents any gas leakage that might be encountered with a semi-auto.
At the Range
For testing, we used a variety of ammunition types by Remington and
Barnes. By far the best performer was Barnes Precision Match Ammunition 6.5 Creedmoor 140-grain Open Tip. We clocked it at 2,717.5 fps using our RCBS chronograph and taking a 5-shot average.
Our four 5-shot groups at 100 yards measured 1.1 inch to 1.45 inches. That may sound underwhelming at first, but the beauty of 6.5 Creedmoor is that the groups get relatively tighter at greater distances.
Moving out to 300 yards we knew we had to account for about a 12-inch drop, and the rifle shot true to point of aim. The two 5-shot groups measured 2.85 inches and 3.53 inches, respectively.
“… the Remington 700 PCR is still the lowestpriced factory chassis rifle available.”
Unfortunately, the smoke from the local wildfires currently plaguing Northern
Nevada kept us from using our extreme long-distance ranges so we had to settle for 600 yards for our final test. We did have a steel barrel to ring at 900 yards at this particular range, but we had to be content with just hitting the steel on that one on our shooting day.
At 600 yards, our drop was estimated to be almost 90 inches. That is 7 feet, 5 inches, if you want to get a more realistic idea by stepping outside mils, MOA, etc., for a few seconds. Our first group was a few inches higher than we anticipated. This might have been due to the haze from the wildfire smoke creating mirage, the 600-yard walk back from our target in the smoky air, or it could be that we are not the excellent long-range shooters we once thought ourselves to be.
Our first group was 6.62 inches, but the second one shrank down to 4.38 inches after we took a 10-minute break. That last group represents a .73-inch MOA, which was much better than our initial groups at 100 yards.
With performance like this, the Remington 700 PCR is still one of the lowest-priced factory chassis rifles available. Many times, an aftermarket stock will cost as much as this rifle itself costs. While we were very pleased with the rifle’s performance, we are sure that a better shooter could achieve better results than we were able to accomplish.
“… the beauty of the chassis is that you can swap out to another pistol grip if you prefer.”
Bowers VERS-30T proved to be a versatile, rugged and quiet suppressor.
We tested the Remington PCR with the essentials, such as an excellent bipod by Accu-tac, Leupold scope and aBowers suppressor. A dedicated shooter can take this further by changing the pistol grip or bolt handle with a few turns of a wrench.
While AAC'S Square Drop rail system resembles KeyMod and is fully compatible, it has a bolder and more distinctive look.
The ergonomics of the Remington PCR are more like an AR-15, as opposed to a traditional bolt-action rifle, making it pleasing to the current generation of shooters.