Remington Model 700 MAGPUL review

Remington Model 700 MAGPUL Review

Perhaps the most frustrating part of being a shooter is the glacial pace of change in the shooting industry.  Big changes seldom occur and when they do, they come slowly.  Look at the contemporary version of the precision rifle.  Typically it will have some sort of Remington 700 action (or 700 clone), an AICS style detachable magazine system and will be chambered in one of the newer 6 or 6.5 mm cartridges with a fast twist heavy barrel.   Multiple businesses and small manufacturers have flourished building rifles like these.  It wasn’t until the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR- and trust me, no fan here) that the big boys took notice and started treating the precision rifle market seriously.  In the build up to SHOT Show 2017, Remington introduced the Model 700 MAGPUL.

Deja vu.  Back in July of 2016 I posted a comprehensive review of the MAGPUL Hunter 700 stock.  To outfit the stock I used a Remington 700 short action with a 23″ 1:8″ barrel chambered in 260 Remington.  It had a tactical bolt knob and looks eerily similar to the newly released Model 700 MAGPUL rifle (see image below)!

The Model 700 MAGPUL mates a M700 short action receiver with a 22″ varmint contour barrel in a MAGPUL Hunter 700 stock.  This is the first production model M700 to use an AICS magazine and the first to use the MAGPUL Hunter 700 stock.  Available in either 308 Winchester with a 1:10″ twist, or 260 Remington with a 1:8″ twist, the Model 700 MAGPUL also includes a Cerakote finish, tactical bolt knob, and threaded muzzle with protector.  This is what thousands of shooters have been converting their rifles into.  Here it is, already assembled, direct from Remington as the 700 MAGPUL.

Our test rifle is chambered in 260 Remington (model# 84291).  Street price at the time of this writing (2/17) is in the $875-975 range, making it considerably cheaper than either configuring a 700 SPS in a similar manner or buying a new Ruger RPR.

The addition of the MAGPUL Hunter 700 stock gives the rifle a detachable magazine, adjustable comb, adjustable length of pull and M-LOK mounting surfaces along its forearm.  This is a great stock for an entry level gun (to read the best review ever written about the Hunter 700 stock, click here- spoiler alert, I actually shot a rifle in the stock before I posted a “review“).  Notably, the stock DOES NOT include a QD mounting stud for a bipod (shame on you MAGPUL), however it does include an area to mount one so I drilled and tapped the stock for a QD stud.  Alternatively, a M-LOK bipod adapter (~$18-MAGPUL must sleep on piles of money) could have been added to accomplish the same thing.

Remington includes a MAGPUL polymer 5 shot magazine with each 700 MAGPUL rifle.

Remington’s factory supplied X-Mark Pro trigger averaged 6 pounds 1 ounce out of the box.  Using the external adjustment screw, the lowest I could adjust it to was 4 pounds 12 ounces.  While the trigger is serviceable, it is less than ideal.  I would suggest replacing it with a Timney model 510.

Headspace on the rifle measured 1.631″, or .001″ above SAAMI minimum.

The factory Cerakote finish is a nice upgrade.  The corrosion resistance of Cerakote is a vast improvement over the matte blue finishes commonly encountered on carbon steel rifles.  I’ve been applying Cerakote since it has been marketed to the firearms community and have found it to be a game changer.  I’ll often shoot in the rain without worrying about wiping down the rifle to prevent the surface rust traditionally associated with the blue finishes of the past.

To outfit the rifle for the range I added the following:

Before we get to shooting, please note the disclaimer below:

WARNING: The loads shown are for informational purposes only.  They are only safe in the rifle shown and may not be safe in yours.  Consult appropriate load manuals prior to developing your own handloads. and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

In order to gather an accurate representation of how well the rifle shoots, I selected three of my favorite 6.5mm bullets from Sierra, the 123 gr and 142 gr MatchKings and 130 grain Tipped MatchKing.   I loaded these over H4350, H4831SC and IMR 4166 in a Lapua case with a Wolf primer.  Since this is a magazine fed rifle, cartridge overall length was limited to 2.860″.

All shooting was conducted prone, from a bipod with a rear bag.  Target was a 1″ orange dot at a distance of 100 yards.  Velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel mounted ballistic chronograph.

A summary of load information can be found in the table below.

Group sized ranged from .418″ (.399 MOA) to 1.807″ (1.726 MOA) with an average groups size of 1.040″ (.993 MOA).   I’m certain, with further load development and tuning, the rifle’s precision could be improved.

Due to a limited supply of Lapua brass on hand, one load was fired with a 3 shot group and another with a 4 shot group (above).  The four shot 142 SMK and H4831SC load (above) has been a pretty reliable performer across a number of rifles.  While the SD (16.1)  was a little higher than I liked, I wouldn’t hesitate to head to the range with it.

My thoughts on the 700 MAGPUL:

  • About time!  I always wondered why Remington didn’t offer more 700s configured like this.  Pretty much everybody I know wants an AICS magazine on their rifle!  Not only does this give you an AICS magazine, it gives you an adjustable comb, adjustable length of pull, threaded muzzle, Cerakote finish, and a tactical bolt handle.
  • America!  US made rifle and stock!!! The freedom burns my eyes.
  • Why not Creedmoor?!?!?!  I don’t get it.  Remington, pull a Ruger and listen to your customer base.  260 Remington is a great cartridge, but in many ways the 6.5 Creedmoor is an improvement (and more popular with today’s shooters).  Or, let’s get crazy and introduce a 6 Creedmoor, I guarantee you’ll be ahead of the power curve if you do.
  • Accurate enough!  Group sized ranged from .418″ (.399 MOA) to 1.807″ (1.726 MOA) with an average groups size of 1.040″ (.993 MOA).   While this level of precision would qualify this rifle as a sub MOA shooter, and in some cases a 1/2 MOA rifle, it didn’t perform as well as a Remington 700 SPS in 243 Winchester we had previously tested.  The 243 SPS had an average group size of .720″ (.688 MOA) across 10 different loads.  To read more about our 700 SPS review, click here.
  • 700 Action!  I am a big fan of the 700 action.  The availability of aftermarket parts is unrivaled in the bolt action rifle industry.
  • Why black?  I realize today’s FDE is yesterday’s pale blue suit, but why not gray?  Or green?
  • Nice bolt handle.  I like the extended bolt handle.  Remington did a great job on the design.
  • MAGPUL stock precision?  The MAGPUL Hunter 700 offers a lot for the money, but I still have my doubts about the level of reliable precision that can be achieved with it.  Note the groups are similar to those I shot during my review of the stock in July.  With both rifles in both stocks, one or two errant rounds would significantly open groups up.
  • Call Timney.  Remington has had bad luck with 700 triggers.  While I am unsure of the merit of the lawsuits filed against them over the years, I am sure they could do a better job designing a trigger.  Why can Tikka and Savage offer far better triggers on rifles that cost the same or less?  I don’t know, but it can be done.  In Remington’s literature, they claim the “X-Mark Pro Externally Adjustable Trigger”, “Breaks like glass, has virtually zero creep and offers level shot control unmatched by any factory trigger today”.  Yeah, it breaks like a brick getting thrown through a plate glass window.  Until Remington gets their triggers figured out, go buy a Timney 510.
  • A good entry level offering.  While I may have been critical of the responsiveness of Remington to its evolving consumer base and their 700 trigger, the rifle really does represent a solid value for the beginning precision rifle shooter.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the 700 MAGPUL from Remington.

When I worked at a retail store back in 1999 my Glock rep told me they were getting ready to introduce a single stack 9mm.  Nearly two decades later they introduced the G43 and it’s a winner.  I’m hoping Remington has a similar experience with the 700 MAGPUL and they continue to adapt to the marketplace and respond to consumers.

To buy a Remington 700, check out Brownells.

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