BIG GREEN’S PRAC­TI­CAL TAC­TI­CAL RI­FLE

REM­ING­TON’S MODEL 700 5-R STAIN­LESS THREADED GEN 2 RI­FLE, A NEW AD­DI­TION TO BIG GREEN’S TAC­TI­CAL LINE, IS SUIT­ABLE FOR A WIDE RANGE OF AP­PLI­CA­TIONS. WE PUT IT TO THE TEST AGAINST TEXAS HOGS.

Gun World - - Contents - By Mike Dick­er­son

Rem­ing­ton’s Model 700 5-R Stain­less Threaded Gen 3 ri­fle, a new ad­di­tion to Big Green’s tac­ti­cal line, is suit­able for a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions. We put it to the test against Texas hogs.

“HERE THEY COME,” I WHIS­PERED. “GET READY; I’M GO­ING TO SHOOT THAT BIG­GEST HOG IN THE FRONT.”

Rem­ing­ton videog­ra­pher David Burleigh, who was shar­ing the blind with me, scram­bled to get his cam­eras rolling as a group of hogs en­tered our field of view from the left, trot­ting sin­gle file through the brush like an in­fantry squad on the move.

Their des­ti­na­tion was a stock pond on the Spike Box Ranch, a 90,000-acre work­ing cat­tle ranch north of Abi­lene, Texas. We were tak­ing a break from hunt­ing tur­keys to see if I could am­bush a hog with the new Rem­ing­ton 700 5-R Stain­less Threaded Gen 2 ri­fle, cham­bered in 6.5 Creed­moor, as they came to wa­ter on a warm af­ter­noon.

Ev­ery­thing went ac­cord­ing to plan ... un­til the hogs reached the wa­ter. They lined up to drink, side by side, but the hog I wanted to shoot, a 125-pound sow, took a po­si­tion 120 yards away on the far end of the line be­hind other hogs that were block­ing my shot. I had to wait un­til the pig clos­est to my tar­get fi­nally dropped a lit­tle lower on the bank, giv­ing me just enough space to sneak a bul­let over its back. I touched off a Rem­ing­ton HTP Cop­per round, loaded with a 120-grain Barnes TSX bul­let.

When the bul­let struck home, the hog un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously plunged into the wa­ter, rolling over like a tor­pe­doed freighter, while the re­main­ing pigs wisely charged back in the di­rec­tion from which they had come. I’ve watched that video sev­eral times since David caught the mo­ment on cam­era, and if I hadn’t been be­hind the ri­fle, my first thought would have been, How did that bul­let squeeze in there?

Of course, the view through the ri­fle scope, a Bush­nell Tro­phy Xtreme X30 2.5-15x50 model, was con­sid­er­ably dif­fer­ent than the view through the cam­era, but the video il­lus­trates as well as any­thing

I’ve seen lately the value of a ri­fle that lets you place bul­lets pre­cisely where you want them to go.

GIVEN HOW WELL THE RI­FLE SHOT WITH THE HEAVY TRIG­GER PULL, I’M CON­VINCED THAT IT WOULD SHOOT EVEN TIGHTER GROUPS WITH A LIGHTER TRIG­GER.

UP­GRADED FEA­TURES

As I dis­cov­ered on that hunt—and at the range—the new 700 5-R Gen 2 ri­fle de­liv­ers the ac­cu­racy needed to make the shot when it counts most. While the ri­fle has fea­tures that place it within the Rem­ing­ton 700 tac­ti­cal line, weigh­ing 8.5 pounds as a re­sult, I would have no qualms about hunt­ing with the ri­fle in sit­u­a­tions for which long stalks aren’t part of the plan. It fits nicely into the con­cept of “tac­ti­cal,” yet it is ver­sa­tile enough to meet my def­i­ni­tion of “prac­ti­cal.”

As its name im­plies, the Gen 2 gun is an up­grade from the orig­i­nal 5-R ri­fle, and some of the dif­fer­ences are ob­vi­ous at a glance. While the orig­i­nal has a stain­less ac­tion and bar­rel, the Gen 2 sports a stain­less bar­rel with six lon­gi­tu­di­nal flutes that re­duce weight and help dis­si­pate heat. The ac­tion and bar­rel of the new gun also wear a pro­tec­tive black Cer­akote fin­ish that elim­i­nates any re­flec­tive glare and makes the ri­fle vir­tu­ally im­per­vi­ous to the el­e­ments.

The 5-R Gen 2 bor­rows a bit from the M24 sniper weapon sys­tem ri­fle by us­ing cold-ham­mer-forged bar­rels with 5-R ri­fling. This ri­fling has five lands, ver­sus a tra­di­tional six-land ar­range­ment, and none of the lands is di­rectly across from an­other. The lands are ta­pered at 110 de­grees, rather than the sharp, 90-de­gree an­gle of lands in con­ven­tional ri­fling. Com­monly claimed ben­e­fits of 5-R ri­fling in­clude less bul­let de­for­ma­tion and fric­tion, bet­ter ac­cu­racy, less foul­ing and in­creased bar­rel life.

In my mind, the jury is still out on some of these claims, but I have found that ri­fles with 5-R bar­rels are much eas­ier to clean, and they do seem to ac­cu­mu­late foul­ing at a much slower rate. Of all the 5-R-ri­fled bar­rels I’ve pushed bul­lets through, I haven’t found any of them to be any less ac­cu­rate than ri­fles with tra­di­tional ri­fling, and some have de­liv­ered tack-driv­ing ac­cu­racy.

While the orig­i­nal 5-R model had a 20-inch bar­rel on ri­fles cham­bered in .223 Rem. and .308 Win., and a 24-inch bar­rel on ri­fles in .300 Win. Mag., the Gen 2 gives you more op­tions. It’s avail­able with ei­ther 20- or 24-inch bar­rels in the .308 Win., while ri­fles in 6.5 Creed­moor and .300 Win. Mag. sport 24-inch bar­rels. Muz­zles are threaded 5/8x24 for at­tach­ing sup­pres­sors or muz­zle brakes and are topped with a thread pro­tec­tor that stayed put dur­ing test­ing.

Bar­rels have ap­pro­pri­ate-for-cal­iber rates of twist, and all ri­fles have a mag­a­zine ca­pac­ity of four rounds—with the ex­cep­tion of ri­fles in .300 Win. Mag., which hold three rounds in the mag­a­zine. The ri­fle bucks the cur­rent trend of stick­ing de­tach­able poly­mer mag­a­zines on ev­ery­thing that leaves the fac­tory, re­ly­ing in­stead on a tra­di­tional hinged-floor­plate mag­a­zine.

Like the orig­i­nal, the Gen 2 ri­fle uses an H-S Pre­ci­sion stock, with a full-length alu­minum bed­ding block that truly freefloats the bar­rel. It has a flat, bench rest-style bot­tom and hand-fill­ing grip, and I find the sand-with-black-spi­der­web color pat­tern to be pleas­ing to the eye. At the front of the stock, you’ll find dual front swivel studs for mount­ing both a bi­pod and sling. The rub­ber re­coil pad is con­sid­er­ably slim­mer than most; but, given the ri­fle’s weight, re­coil wasn’t very no­tice­able in the 6.5 Creed­moor-cham­bered ri­fle I tested.

Only one com­po­nent of the ri­fle—the X-Mark Pro trig­ger— didn’t get a fully pass­ing grade from me. Out of the box, the trig­ger was creep-free, but it broke at a rather hefty av­er­age pull weight of 5 pounds, as mea­sured on a Ly­man trig­ger gauge.

THE RI­FLE

BUCKS THE CUR­RENT TREND OF STICK­ING DE­TACH­ABLE POLY­MER MAG­A­ZINES ON EV­ERY­THING THAT LEAVES THE FAC­TORY …

I am, ad­mit­tedly, the worst sort of snob when it comes to trig­gers, but on a tac­ti­cal-/tar­get-style ri­fle, that pull weight is just too heavy. The trig­ger is sup­posed to be ex­ter­nally ad­justable within a range of 3 to 5 pounds, us­ing noth­ing more than a 1/16-inch Allen wrench. Per­haps it was just the luck of the draw with this par­tic­u­lar trig­ger, but I was un­able to lighten the trig­ger pull, even with the ad­just­ment screw turned out as far I dared.

PUSH­ING A VA­RI­ETY OF BUL­LETS WEIGH­ING BE­TWEEN 120 AND 143 GRAINS DOWN THE BAR­REL, I WAS STRUCK BY HOW CON­SIS­TENTLY THE RI­FLE SHOT ACROSS THE RANGE OF BUL­LET WEIGHTS.

Given how well the ri­fle shot with the heavy trig­ger pull, I’m con­vinced that it would shoot even tighter groups with a lighter trig­ger. If the ri­fle were mine, I would re­place the trig­ger with a solid af­ter­mar­ket trig­ger such as a Tim­ney (as I have done on quite a few ri­fles from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers).

CON­SIS­TENT AC­CU­RACY

In han­dling, the bolt cy­cled smoothly, with no bind­ing, and it’s easy to run this gun fast. That’s partly thanks to the “tac­ti­cal” bolt knob, which is some­what over­sized and knurled for ease and speed of op­er­a­tion.

Any­one who has ever op­er­ated a Rem­ing­ton 700 will be fa­mil­iar with all the con­trols. The hinged floor­plate re­lease but­ton is pro­tected in­side the trig­ger guard, where the bolt re­lease but­ton is also housed. The two-po­si­tion safety rides just aft of the top of the bolt han­dle. It does not lock the bolt down, so you can safely cy­cle rounds through the ac­tion with the safety in the “on” po­si­tion.

Clock­ing five dif­fer­ent fac­tory loads over my CED M2 chrono­graph pro­duced av­er­age ve­loc­i­ties, based on three­shots per load, that were quite close to fac­tory-stated ve­loc­i­ties. That was not sur­pris­ing, con­sid­er­ing that most ammo mak­ers test 6.5 Creed­moor ammo with 24-inch bar­rels. Vari­a­tions from fac­tory num­bers ranged from 40 fps faster for a Hor­nady Su­per­for­mance load to 24 fps slower for a Winch­ester match load.

All test­ing with the ri­fle was done on a day when the wind made things chal­leng­ing—vary­ing be­tween 7 and 15 miles per hour and of­ten chang­ing di­rec­tion. De­spite this, the ri­fle turned in what I con­sider to be a very good per­for­mance un­der those con­di­tions.

Push­ing a va­ri­ety of bul­lets weigh­ing be­tween 120 and 143 grains down the bar­rel, I was struck by how con­sis­tently the ri­fle shot across the range of bul­let weights. Shoot­ing three five-shot strings per load, all five tested loads pro­duced av­er­age groups of un­der 1½ inches, and two loads de­liv­ered sub-MOA best groups. The ri­fle shot best with Winch­ester’s 140-grain match load, pro­duc­ing 1-inch av­er­age groups and a best group of 0.88 inch. Rem­ing­ton’s HTP Cop­per 120-grain load wasn’t far be­hind. All tested loads de­liv­ered per­fectly ac­cept­able hunt­ing ac­cu­racy, de­spite the wind, but I couldn’t help wish­ing for a bit more from the gun.

I would bet the prover­bial farm that those test groups would have shrunk con­sid­er­ably if the trig­ger had a lighter pull weight—and if test­ing had been done in more fa­vor­able wind con­di­tions—but my range day with the ri­fle pro­vided a good test of how the ri­fle can per­form in less-than-ideal con­di­tions.

WHEN THE

BUL­LET STRUCK HOME, THE HOG UN­CER­E­MO­NI­OUSLY PLUNGED INTO

THE WA­TER, ROLLING OVER

LIKE A TOR­PE­DOED FREIGHTER …

To the ev­er­last­ing dis­may of one Texas hog that took an un­in­ten­tional bath, the ri­fle per­formed quite well, in­deed. GW

The au­thor used a Bush­nell Tro­phy Xtreme X30 2.515x50 scope for range test­ing and to make a tricky shot on a hog.

The 5-R Gen 2 ri­fle weighs 8.5 pounds and might be part of Rem­ing­ton’s tac­ti­cal line, but the au­thor found it suit­able for a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions. The bar­rel is threaded 5/8x24 for at­tach­ing sup­pres­sors or muz­zle brakes.

The H-S Pre­ci­sion stock has a slimmed­down rub­ber re­coil pad—and that’s all that’s needed, given the test ri­fle’s 8.5-pound weight and the mod­est re­coil of the 6.5 Creed­moor ammo.

The au­thor found the X-Mark Pro trig­ger’s pull weight to be a bit heavy for his lik­ing and would likely swap the trig­ger out for an af­ter­mar­ket re­place­ment.

Com­monly claimed ben­e­fits of 5-R ri­fling, such as that used on this new Rem­ing­ton 700 vari­ant, in­clude less bul­let de­for­ma­tion and fric­tion, bet­ter ac­cu­racy, less foul­ing and in­creased bar­rel life.

The ri­fle uses a stan­dard Model 700 bolt with two largelock­ing lugs.

Mag­a­zine ca­pac­ity in the Gen 2 ri­fle cham­bered in 6.5 Creed­moor is four rounds. The ri­fleuses a hinged­floor­plate de­sign.

Dual front swivel studs al­low for mount­ing both a bi­pod and sling.

A two-po­si­tion safetydoes not lock the bolt down, al­low­ing you to cy­cle rounds through the ac­tion with the safetyen­gaged.

The au­thor used the ri­fle to make a tricky shot on this 125-pound Texas hog.

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