MAGPUL is a well known shooting accessory company founded in 1999 by former United States Marine, Richard Fitzpatrick. The original products were called MAGPULs, rubber loops attached to the bottom of a standard GI magazine to make allow faster removal from a magazine pouch (at the time, guys in the service would sometimes have paracord loops attached to the bottoms of their magazine for this). As they say, the rest is history. Today, MAGPUL is a large, established manufacturer well known for their line of Polymer AR-15/M16 M4 accessories ranging from the ubiquitous PMAG to a wide range of stocks and grips. In addition to their manufacturing ability, MAGPUL also makes some of the coolest commercials and online videos in the business. In late 2015, MAGPUL created quite a buzz with the announcement of the Hunter 700, a stock for the Remington 700 rifle.
Leave it to the guys at MAGPUL to make scrambling eggs, pull ups and Navy Achievement Medals (I was tempted to take a picture of mine for this post) look cool and relate it to a rifle stock, but they did. Here is the video:
The Hunter 700 is a currently available for both long and short action Remington 700s. The core of the stock is a cast aluminum bedding block that mates to the rifles action. The block is surrounded by a polymer shell. MAGPUL offers a reasonably priced polymer bottom metal for the Hunter 700 that accepts AICS style magazine.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Hunter 700 is its price. The basic stock costs a little over $200, when configured to accept AICS magazines, the system is just over $300. While there are plenty ways to upgrade your 700 to a new stock with a DBM, this stands out as being a fairly inexpensive option.
If you want to know how one shoots, good luck finding a review with actual data. The original tagline for this post was going to be, “Hey guys, how about a MAGPUL Hunter 700 stock review where the reviewer actually shoots the stock and reports back on accuracy? Sure thing, here it is!”
This is our test gun for the Hunter 700. The receiver this rifle was built on has quite a history. A “C” serial number Remington 700 short action, this rifle started life as a wood stocked hunting rifle. About 3 years ago, a good friend decided he wanted to make it into a switch barrel tube gun. He ordered a Eliseo tube chassis so we blueprinted the action and chambered 260 Remington and 308 Winchester barrels for the action. After he decided the chassis didn’t quite fit his needs, he sold it and kept the parts. A few years later, after MAGPUL introduced the Hunter 700, he felt it would fit his needs and budget. He ordered a Hunter 700 and magazine well from Brownells and we put it all together.
The rifle’s specification are:
- Blueprinted Remington 700 action
- Holland recoil lug
- Triggertech drop in Remington 700 trigger
- 23″ Bartlein Remington Varmint contour barrel chambered in 260 Remington with a 1:8″ twist
- PTG one piece bolt (out of specification when we got it)
- Badger mini FTE brake, clamp style
- Nightforce aluminum 20MOA rail
- Nightforce medium rings
- Nightforce SHV 4.5-14x50mm scope
- MAGPUL Hunter 700 and magazine well
- Surgeon bolt knob
Installation of the Hunter 700 is a piece of cake. Simply place the barreled action in the stock and screw it in. Done. The stock has a sleek modern look. I think it is reminiscent of a Steyr Pro Hunter I had in the late 90s.
To adjust the length of pull, the screw on the rear of the stock is loosened, the recoil pad is pulled out, spacers are added and removed, and the pad is pushed back into place and the screw is secured. The cheek piece can also be changed this way. Easy.
Handling the stock is interesting. The ergonomics in alternate positions are excellent. The bottom of the fore end is flat to shoot off bags, and the narrow grip allows for excellent hand position when shooting.
The design of the stock does make cleaning a bit challenging- you’ll need a really long cleaning rod. Note the handle of the bore-tech rod hits the cheek piece in the photo above.
The bottom of the stock has two dimples and an M-LOK slot to allow for the attachment of a bipod by either a traditional QD stud of M-LOK adapter. Above is an inside view of this interface. Note the M-LOK bipod adapter attached to the inside of the stock. Fore and aft of the the M-LOK slots note the two plastic pillars to accept traditional QD studs. I would have preferred a more durable way to attach a bipod.
I loaded up some 130 grain Sierra Tipped MatchKings (TMK) and 142 grain Sierra MatchKings (SMK) to test how well the barreled action shot in the MAGPUL Hunter 700. The other components of the loads are Lapua brass, H4350 powder and Wolf large rifle primers (we always have the best results with Russian primers in large rifle cartridges).
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All shooting was done prone with a Harris BRM bipod and rear bag. A 1″ orange dot was placed at 100 yards.
With the 142 SMK, group sizes ranged from .268″ to 1.388″ (note the .268″ group was a 3 shot group and the others were 5 shot groups). For the 41.5, 42,0 and 42.5 grain groups, three bullets went through the same hole and the 4 and 5th rounds opened the size up significantly. Normally, when I test rifles, this indicates some sort of stock issue.
Group size for the 130 TMK ranged from .596″ to 1.319″. As was the case with the 142 SMK, in some of these groups a wild flier opened up the groups.
While the Hunter 700 managed to produce some sub MOA groups, we weren’t completely satisfied with wringing every ounce of accuracy out of the Hunter 700. Time to take some aggressive action and bed the stock.
I took apart the Hunter 700 to expose the cast aluminum bedding block (above). This simply required the removal of A LOT of screws. I figured stripping it down would prevent bedding compound from going everywhere it wasn’t supposed to.
While the bedding block is exposed, you can see how much room MAGPUL gives you for a recoil lug. This is a mil-spec M40A3/A5 lug, one of the larger lugs on the market and it has plenty of extra room. I wish more stock makers would do this.
To prepare the stock for bedding the mating surfaces by the recoil lugs and sanded with abrasive cloth.
The barreled action and “bottom metal” are coated in release agent and voids in the stock are packed with modeling clay.
The bedding material is applied to the surfaces. I like to use Marine-tex epoxy, I work with it often and have had great results.
The bedding block is attached to the barreled action with the factory screws. The excess epoxy that squeezes out will be cleaned up with cotton swabs and alcohol.
After 24 hours of cure time the action is removed from the bedding block and the job can be inspected. Not too shabby.
I cleaned up the squeeze out on the milling machine to make the job look clean. This could also be accomplished with files and sandpaper. Note in the image above that no part of the bedding block contacted the recoil lug. This raised my hopes that bedding the stock would help.
Top view of the finished job. Bedding the MAGPUL Hunter 700 was fairly simple and straight forward, one of the easiest bedding jobs I’ve done.
I put everything back together and headed to the range with the same loads I used on the first outing. The results improved for some loads, not for others. Again, a 1″ orange dot was shot at 100 yards, prone, from a bipod with rear bag.
The 142 SMK H4350 loads.
The 130 grain TMK H4350 loads.
This was the best five shot group I was able to achieve with the MAGPUL Hunter 700 and 142 grain SMKs, .451″ (.431 MOA)… not too bad. Results for both round of accuracy testing are shown below.
Oddly enough, while the 142 SMK performance improved in the bedded stock, the 130 TMK didn’t. I’m a bit stumped as to why.
While I was shooting, I’ve been extremely please with the performance of the Triggertech trigger. It has a nice, crisp break, without any detectable creep. The Badger Mini FTE brake worked exceptionally well, mitigating recoil and keeping the rifle on target.
Final thoughts on the MAGPUL Hunter 700:
- Excellent ergonomics. I like the feel and handling of the stock in prone and improvised positions. The wide fore end with a flat bottom works well for a bipod or off of a bag. The neck of the pistol grip is much thinner than a typical tactical stock like a McMillan, I like this.
- Reasonable entry level price. Compared to a McMillan fiberglass stock or chassis system. the stock itself is fairly inexpensive. As options are added the price rises, but not uncontrollably. The stock as configured above, uses the magazine adapter, front and rear sling adapters, as well as a bipod adapter.
- Accuracy is OK. The stock is mostly plastic with a small cast aluminum bedding block. While this keep costs down, it isn’t necessarily great in helping accuracy. The stock was sub MOA with some loads from the factory and capable of sub half MOA 5 shot group performance after I bedded it. Many of the 5 shot groups that were over 1 MOA were bug hole 3 shot groups before I let the final two rounds go downrange. If I shot 3 shot groups the results would have been markedly different. Note MAGPUL is marketing this rifle as the “Hunter”, not a precision rifle platform, for hunting, this level of accuracy is excellent.
- MAGPUL paid attention to shooters. I like the fact that MAGPUL left plenty of room for aftermarket lugs in the design. Many high end chassis manufactures don’t do this.
- It is light. At 3 pounds with 2 spacers, it is fairly light for a stock of this type.
- In the future I would suggest MAGPUL finds a way to make cleaning the rifle easier. I would also suggest finding a more secure way to hold the bipod.
Overall the MAGPUL Hunter 700 offers some unique features for an entry level price point, if it meets your needs, it is definitely worth a look!
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