Great rifles that got away!
Believe it or not there was a time when Remington (who still refuses to introduce a 700 in 6.5 Creedmoor because they must be afraid of the piles of money they would make) was cutting edge and pushed boundaries. Not only did they push the 6.5mm in the USA before any other major manufacturer with the 260 Remington (or 6.5-08 A-Sqaure), they had rifles with titanium actions and electronic firing pins! This post is about the 700 Titanium.
Back in 2001 Remington introduced the 700 Titanium. Sporting a titanium action, thin sporter contour barrel, helically fluted bolt and kevlar stock, this rifle looked as modern and up to date back then as it does now. With an MSRP of $1,199 it wasn’t the cheapest rifle, however, it was less expensive than an a Weatherby in a standard cartridge.
I bought one as soon as they came out in 01 and added a compact Leupold 3-9 compact scope with rings that hugged the action. The gun had a listed weight of 5.5 pounds and handled like a feather. Mine was chambered in 30-06 Springfield, the one rifle that was readily available. When you’d look down the bore you could still see the hammer forging marks. After careful inspection, my buddies and I determined there was no way a gun this light, with this thin of barrel could possibly shoot. Well, we were wrong.
Heading to the firing line I had my doubts. This is back in the day when I didn’t have a lot of money, knowledge, or a spotting scope. The Town ran the rifle range and it was open during hunting season at night time. The large incandescent lights cast an orange hue over to the target area while the odd shadows danced around down range. I had bore sighted the rifle prior to heading to the range, placed a target up at 100 yards, zeroed in from the bench and took a shot. With the combination of small scope, dim light, and odd shadows I couldn’t see an impact anywhere on the paper. I was half expecting it wouldn’t shoot, but could it really be this bad? I was convinced the light barrel was the culprit. I fired two more shots, hoping to have one on paper for the upcoming ceasefire. Finally I saw the third round hit, right outside my point of aim. I was scared, was this thing shooting four foot groups?
During the ceasefire I made the 100 yard walk of shame to the target and was pleasantly surprised. The first two rounds were right inside the center of the target. I didn’t see that coming. Somehow this rifle was nothing short of impressive, and I have no idea how this happened. How on earth had I managed to bore sight it so well with the first round impacting the target?
As I shot it more, I did notice that the rifle could handle 3 rounds groups (see below), but consistently opened up for the fourth and fifth shots. It was a hunting rifle and I was fine with that.
I never got around to hunting with it and as my priorities in life changed, I sold it to a friend for $700 (who still has it). Turns out he got a good deal, they sell for quite a bit more now then they did back then.
I did manage to find the one remaining digital photo I had from back in the day.
It was a pretty clean looking rifle, wasn’t it? Note the lightened bolt handle, blind magazine and helical fluted bolt (really rare back then). In the center are two 5-shot groups. If you zoom in on the image you can see the measurements. The left group is .425″ for 3 shots, and 1.495″ for 5. The right group is .386″ for 3-shots and 1.308″ for 5. Not bad for a factory rifle! Interestingly enough, those are two three shot groups to the right shot with a 270 Weatherby Accumark, one of the most inaccurate rifles I’ve ever owned- but that is a story for another day.