I own one of the most popular bolt-action rifles of all time – the Remington Model 700 rifle chambered in .270 Winchester.
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Remington Model 700, Explained
The Model 700 is a favorite among deer hunters and military snipers. The Model 700 has been available for over 50 years and continues to be a hit. Over five million have been sold. There are numerous variants from wooden and synthetic stocks to stainless steel barrels. There are also long-range hunting and tactical versions. The M24 sniper rifle is based on the Model 700, so it is nice to know that military and police shooters have used the M24 in some dangerous places over the decades. I have enjoyed my Model 700 as it is a versatile rifle for hunting and target practice.
Transition to Deer Hunting Only
In my younger days, I hunted pheasant and turkey, I was not very successful at bird hunting and later decided to switch to deer hunting only. I normally use a shotgun when deer hunting because I have lived and hunted in “shotgun-only” states. I used my Model 700 in West Virginia where it is customary for hunters to use high-powered rifles during deer season.
First Deer With the Model 700
During the hunt where I took my first buck in West Virginia, I set up on opening day with my Model 700 .270 at the top of a draw that had a deer trail. I didn’t have to wait long as a buck ran up the draw. After deer hunting only with shotguns with no sights, I couldn’t believe my sight picture with a scope. Even though the deer was moving toward me fairly fast at about 100 meters, I took an easy shot and downed the buck. This was the first shot among my deer-hunting friends that morning.
Get Out of the Woods Early
It is always better to take a buck early in West Virginia because there are so many hunters in the field at once. Deer hunting is one of the state’s most popular past-times and hunters often fire indiscriminately at movement (this can mean they are shooting at you) or they will shoot over other hunters’ heads if they enter private property. An early one-shot-one-kill gets you out of the field before any accident can happen.
My dad uses his Model 700 for coyote hunting. His favorite beagle was once attacked by a group of coyotes and my father has always had it in for the pack hunters. He uses a 90-grain high-powered round that runs flat and true. The Model 700 is also good for plinking other varmints such as groundhogs.
Target Shooting with the Model 700
My Model 700 is fun at the range, but the .270 has ample recoil, even though it is highly accurate. I can hit targets out to 500 or 600 meters with no problem. I once shot so many rounds at the range that my shoulder was black and blue. That’s how fun it is to shoot. The .270 is not my only favorite cartridge. I also like the 7mm Remington Magnum and the .30-06 Springfield. But the Model 700 in .270 was a gift from my father and I didn’t complain.
Smooth Action and Customizable
The Model 700 comes in two lengths – short and long. The bolt has two forward lugs in lockup style. Bryce Towsley from Gun Digest wrote in a review that the action is strong and accurate.
Loading is simple and I have always considered the bolt action to be smooth. Field stripping and disassembly for cleaning and maintenance are easy. I’m not a custom gun builder or hobby gunsmith, but I hear that folks who are hobby gunsmiths love the Model 700 for its ability to customize.
The Model 700 Is the Only Rifle I’ll Own
I don’t plan on ever owning another rifle aside from my Model 700. The only other firearm I own is a Winchester Model 1300 12-gauge shotgun. I feel like both fit my needs when deer hunting. However, if I hunted elk or larger mule deer, I would want a different and more powerful caliber rifle, but I plan on sticking with hunting white-tail. The only place I would maybe go hunting for elk would be New Mexico, but it is difficult to acquire hunting tags for elk in that state.
The Model 700 is one of America’s favorite rifles in history and for a good reason. It comes in numerous variants, is affordable, can be customized for many needs, and you can rest assured that some of the best snipers in the world use the M24, which is based on the Model 700. With a Model 700, you join a large community of shooters that will share knowledge with you. It is a standard rifle in most collections and would be a great addition to your own.
Serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.