Thoughts on the Remington 700 Varmint SF?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Idempotent, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    I've been thinking about buying a centerfire rifle for awhile (for reference, see this post and this post), and I think I've finally found exactly what I want, and I'm about to pull the trigger.

    What I want is the Remington 700 Varmint SF in .308 Win. I'm looking for the best possible shot at extremely long ranges (for target shooting) and the Varmint SF, with its 26" inch heavy barrel, seems to fit the bill. Various sources that I've found online all confirm that the Model 700 Varmint rifles are the most accurate Model 700 (well, except for the really expensive ones).

    I think I can get a new 700 Varmint SF for $750, which is $170 less than MSRP, and puts it just in the range of affordability. I haven't had any luck finding it used anywhere either (not in .308 anyway).

    I am having some doubts over my choice of the stainless steel model, however. The basic SPS Varmint, with blued barrel, is a bit cheaper, though I can't find it online at nearly as much of a discount to its MSRP as I can with the Varmint SF. So it's basically a differential of $150, and heck, I'm willing to pay $150 for the stainless model because I think it looks much better. And if I do ever go hunting with it, some camo-wrap should take care of the shiny gun syndrome.

    Also, another question -- since I'll be buying it new, it won't be coming with a scope. What should I be looking for? Some scopes are insanely expensive ($1,500+ for a good Leupold!). Clearly I'm not looking to spend that much. I've done a lot of research on rifles but I haven't done much on scopes yet. Can I pretty much buy any scope and it'll work, or do I need to make sure it'll be compatible somehow? And how much should I be looking to spend on a scope? Can I get a decent one that'll be sufficient out to, say, 400 yards for $200 or under?

    Again, thanks a lot for all of your help. I'll definitely be posting pictures when I get it!
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    If i were you and looking for that type of rifle Id save up a little more and get a 700 R5. With a leupold VX3 with target turrets. the package (rifle and scope) will run you about 1500 but the guys i shoot with that have one swear by them, and they are very very accurate rifles. The R5 rifling makes the difference...
  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    The Rem rifles are good. I dont use the Rem I have a Savage Varmitter in 308 and use it in NM. 400 yrd shots are no problem. I have a bushnell elite 4200 milldot 6x24 on top of it. Works great. I do think you will have to step up the $ for a better scope. I dont think your going to find something in the 200.00 dollar range that will serve you well. Heck I spent close to 100.00 on the rings and bases. Make sure you get steel rings and bases. Warne makes a good set and the price is right.

    Good luck on the Rem 700. Oh by the way try the superformance hornady 165gr sst's. They use a special blended powder that will give you more velocity. I use this for long range hunting.

    You may want to get a chrony too. Once you have that and consistant ammo its just a math problem from there.
  4. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    Ooof, I wasn't aware of the R5. That's looking very tempting now. And now I hear that a scope is going to be a bit more than I would've liked. Eeek. How much for a decent scope then?
  5. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    Of course, it's all moot if I can't find a relatively close range that even has really long ranges, and so far I haven't had much luck.

    It's almost like I'd just need to know someone who had a lot of farmland and a backyard range. There's no shortage of farmland within easy driving distance.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Id say somewhere between 4 and 8 hundred. you can get a VX3 for around 5 and a half if you shop. I know they hurt the pocket book but if smacking a deer in the head at 900 yds is your idea of a good shot then this kind of equipment is very necessary.

    The R5 concept basically combines the uniformity of 5 equal lands and grooves for uniform bullet obturation, with the inherent accuracy and gas sealing ability of the 'polygona'l rifling design. The 5 stands for the 5 lands and grooves and the R stands for radiused. Bullets seal perfectly in a properly prepared bore giving uniform ballistics even in cheaper factory ammo... Some of the guys i shoot with were getting 3/4 moa with winchester white box .308 147 gr fmj. Another started handloading right off the bat with varget, lapua brass, and berger VLD 168 gr bullets and was getting better than 1/2 moa before tweaking the loads. they all were using good scopes like the VX3 and the bushnell 4200 tactical.
  7. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    Hey JLA, now I'm conflicted. I've found some more reviews of the 5R and they're not all glowing. This guy says that the 5R costs a bit more without any actual increase in accuracy (as compared to the 700 Tactical rifles). So I don't know if I'd want to spend an extra $200 for no real purpose other than looks (and the 5R rifling is apparently easier to clean).
  8. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    That one review may be somewhat of an outlier (maybe he just got a not-so-good copy of the gun). Some other reviews I've read since do say it's the most accurate factory rifle they've ever gotten their hands on.

    Hrmmm ... I guess the real question is, how much am I willing to spend? If I buy the Varmint SF but I'm always left wanting for more, then it's not worth it. If I get the R5, though, what else could I want to replace that in the future? $1,000 may be a decent chunk of change, but spread over the many years the rifle is expected to last ... hrmmm ...
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    maybe that guy had some legitimate problems, but I have had hands on experience with it and have seen the accuracy results with my own eyes in person when the rifle is properly set up and proper loads used. I would bet this one guys review was based on the accuracy of Wolf steel .308 ammo. A decent load with decent components will yield exceptional results in this rifle...
  10. Idempotent

    Idempotent New Member

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    All right, you convinced me. The 700 5R is essentially a done deal; my local FFL guy is faxing the gun store and I'm mailing payment tomorrow.

    In the end, what sold me, is the following thought process: Do I want to spend $800 and get something that might always leave me wondering if I could have gotten better, or do I want to spend $250 more and never worry about not having the most accurate possible rifle? The 5R .308 could pretty much be my only centerfire rifle for a lifetime (well, maybe there'd be a .223 in the future). But the 5R will do anything I could possibly want it to: It'll be the most accurate rifle at the range, and if I ever want to go game hunting, or especially varmint hunting, it'll do pretty well there too. Now granted the 5R isn't the best possible style of rifle for, say, deer hunting, but it's good enough!
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    But it is ID, With one such as this you need not wag it into the woods to your tree stand but pull into your lease and simply wait in the pickup truck. Then with the spotting scope or a good set of binoculars you spot a deer, a nice buck, say a flawless 10 pointer, exit the woods accross the lease to graze the treeline, say a shade under 900 yds. You casually get out of your truck, put down your coffee, unpack your weapon and unfold the bipod and rest it across your hood. flip the scope covers, calmly take out your ammo box and place a highly refined handload into the chamber. Range it..., 877 yds..., 10 mph crosswind, set elevation, set windage, check range..., 877 yds, hold steady. the deer doesnt have a clue hes about to have a really bad day. He raises his head to scan the horizon, you have a perfect broadside shot. breathe, steady, touch, press. The rifle goes off and you watch through the scope as 168 grains of hot metal drop him like a sack of taters... And you didnt even change into your camo. Now wasnt that a fantastic thought;)
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah, dont forget the pics...;)
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