Being named one of the best rifles in history, there really isn’t much to say about the Remington 700 that hasn’t already been said. Right out of the box the rifle can guarantee a bullet will hit its target at over 500 yards, and not a lot of rifles can live up to that reputation. So the 700 SPS Tactical should basically be a slight improvement over its predecessor with a 20″ heavy barrel, Hogue pillar bedded stock, and Remington’s X-mark Pro adjustable trigger.
Right from the beginning, I felt the weight of the 700 SPS Tactical. Even though there isn’t much of a weight difference between a 700 SPS Tactical and a 700 SPS, the weight has shifted more towards the shooter because of the shorter 20″ heavy barrel. This shorter barrel also makes the rifle easier to maneuver without a loss in accuracy. I feel this would be a major advantage for anybody stalking Bullwinkle in the thick, dense bush as long as that stupid flying squirrel stays quiet.
The Hogue Pillar bedded stock feels comfortable and has an awesome rubber grip covering the entire stock. Having chosen, this stock seems like a perfect match for the rifle, but I feel Remington could have done better. Shooting with a bi-pod, the flex, which haunts all types of injection molded stocks by touching the barrel, is still present. I would prefer if Remington upgraded to Hogue’s Aluminum block stock as it has a very rigid construction. But I guess the rifle would lose its affordability as the upgraded stock would put it closer to the $1000 mark.
The X-mark Pro Trigger. I really want to say good things about this trigger but I’m personally not very fond of it. Maybe because I might be a little biased to Browning’s Feather trigger or Savage’s Accutrigger, but I find the X-mark Pro is not crisp enough and a little sloppy. Maybe a trigger job from a gunsmith could change my mind, but I feel a manufacture’s prize trigger shouldn’t have to see a gunsmith for improvement.
Like all Remington 700s, the 700 SPS Tactical hits its target flawlessly. With standard Federal blue box 150gr ammo, I was able to maintain a 1″ three shot group at 100 yards. Upgrading to Silvertips, the groups shortened to just under 0.75″. This shows the awesome advantage of having an accurate, short barrelled rifle when walking through the bush. Deer and other big game won’t know what hit ‘em!
I originally thought the 700 SPS Tactical was a perfect compact package for around $750, until I noticed its main flaw. There are only two cartridge choices, .223 Remington and .308 Winchester. In Canada .223 is illegal to hunt big game with in “most” parts of the country. I can’t find a good answer in the Ontario regulations, so .308 really is the only calibre of choice. Not trying to shoot down .308 like I did with the X-mark Pro, but I feel having more variety would really put this rifle above and beyond its predecessor. As an example, this rifle would really kick ass if it was chambered in 300WSM, though it’d probably need a longer barrel to avoid throwing all that extra powder out as a big bad fireball.
As a part of the 700 family, the Remington 700 SPS Tactical continues the long reputation of being an accurate hunting rifle. Even with a few drawbacks like a one hunting calibre choice, this rifle is definitely a good pick for anyone who gets up close and personal with their prey. If I were to have one in my arsenal, I would have a gunsmith do a trigger job and possibly upgrade to the Hogue Aluminum block stock. And hopefully afterwards my wife wouldn’t shoot me with it once she saw the total bill!
8.1 Out of 10