Remington Model 700 Integral Scope
One of my recent reviews has been a Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD Rifle which I decided that I would pair up with a Bushnell Elite Tactical 4.5-30 x 50mm Mil-Dot Scope. Having the scope picked out, I was faced next with a decision on what type of mounts to use for this rifle/scope combination. Should I go with a Picatinny Rail and Rings or use the Remington Integral Mounts? I decided to go with the Remington Model 700 Integral Scope Mounts (High) for three reasons. First, I like the idea of less parts between the scope and rifle. The integral mount reduced the need for a separate base and rings. If this scope had a 1" tube I would have selected the Remington Integral Mounts specifically for the 1" tube. Since the scope has a 30mm tube, the model I selected will fit either but uses a set of bushings (more parts) to adapt from 30mm to 1". Second, it is hard to beat the value of these mounts at $27. The interval mounts are listed at the Remington site for $32, but I found mine at CheaperThanDirt.com for $27 plus S&H. This is a pretty low investment and if for some reason I'm not pleased or just need other mounts in the future (i.e. ones with a 20 MOA slope), then there is no significant loss other than time and money at the range. Third, I have a good friend who uses these mounts on his Model 700 rifle matched up with a Night Force scope and he has been very pleased so it seemed like these value mounts would be a great review item.
During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Remington website on 11/12/11 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Remington Integral Scope Mounts. The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both. I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.
Key Features & Specifications
The Remington Integral Scope Mounts come packaged as shown below. Simple and effective. I also liked that the back will fold open and you don't have to destroy the packaging to get the mounts out.
Inside the package were the following parts.
These next two photos show you the mounts in the 1" tube configuration (with spacers) and the 30mm configuration (without spacers). You should also notice the difference between the mount lug heights. The rear mount requires a higher height due to it being mounted on the rear (lower) position on the receiver. Also notice that there are two different curvatures on the bottom of the bases which is needed to match the profile of the receiver.
These mounts are the "High" mounts. The rear mount measured 0.685" from the lower surface that is in contact with the receiver up to the inside surface that is in contact with a 30mm tube. The forward mount measured 0.565".
The rear mount has the Remington "R" symbol cast into it's right side. These rings are advertised as being made from the Z2 Alloy. The best I can tell is that Z2 Alloy is basically Zamak 2 which is part of the zinc aluminum alloy family. This zinc based alloy is well suited for making these types of small cast parts and the alloy #2 has the greatest strength of the Zamak alloys. If there is a difference between Z2 Alloy and Zamak 2, I would bet the difference is minimal. The claim of the Z2 Alloy being 50% stronger than aluminum just depends on which aluminum alloy you compare against. The greatest strength advantage you get from these mounts is that the bases and ring lower halves are integral parts.
These next two photos show you the other sides of these mounts. The mounts are coated in some type of black matte finish which I believe is applied by a dip coating method.
Each mount can be used with or without the plastic spacers. If you use the spacers, you need to make sure the index notch is nested inside the cutout in the base or cap.
The bottom of the mounts have some cutouts to reduce the weight of the mounts. Also notice that the right threaded hole in the left mount below appears more shiny than the others. The coating inside the holes made it difficult to screw the screws in place. I took a 8-32 tap and cleaned the threads. Eventually I cleaned the threads in all the holes. I feel it is extremely important for you to make sure you have clean threads because the added friction due to the coating inside on the threads reduces the clamping forces you get on your scope tube when you torque the screws.
The mounts weighed in at 6.25 ounces for the 1" tube configuration and 6 ounces for the 30mm configuration.
The cardboard insert in the package contains installation instructions as shown below.
When installing the mounts, the rear mount can only go in one position because the mounting holes are not the same distance from the ends of this base. The front base can actually be rotated in either direction because the mounting holes are the same distance from the ends of this base. I agree with the instructions that it is best to orient the rings at the maximum distance apart provided this configuration will work with your scope. The greater distance helps to reduce the moment (lever) forces that go into the mount screws.
In my opinion, the one thing I think the instructions lacked were torque values for tightening the screws. The bases come with high strength (Grade 8) screws and most likely the material in these screws is stronger than that in the bases and receiver. If you over tighten the screws, then the material in the bases or receiver may become stripped, not the screw. In general I find it hard to go wrong by using a torque of 15-20 in-lbs on the base and cap screws but you should consider the manufacturer's installation instructions as the guide.
To install my scope, I used the Wheeler Engineering Professional Scope Mounting Kit and actually reviewed the kit while performing the installation so I'm going to refer you to that review to see the details of the installation. Click here to jump to the Scope Installation part of that review.
In summary about the installation, I was overall pleased with the installation but do feel that lapping these rings was needed to ensure maximum contact area between the mount rings and scope tube. These next set of photos show the scope installed on the rifle. The black finish on the rings matched the black finish on the scope perfectly.
Considering the $27 cost of these mounts, it is hard to beat the value you get with the Remington 700 Integral Scope Mounts. I was pleased with how well they matched the finish of the Bushnell Elite Tactical Scope. Using the Wheeler Engineering Professional Scope Mounting Kit to lap the rings ensured that the rings were mounted properly without any pre-stress on the scope tube. With a centered erector, an initial bore sighting indicates good alignment on elevation but some misalignment on windage. Misalignment can come from many sources and is not always due to the mounts. For most hunting setups you will zero your scope and never worry about the amount of turret adjustment you used up during the zeroing process. It would be hard to argue that your scope zero being close to a centered erector is not a better optical situation, but in reality this is not a requirement for your scope to function properly. For tactical and competition shooters this misalignment becomes a greater concern since you use up your turret adjustable capability and you will have to decide for yourself on what is an acceptable amount of misalignment for your shooting situations. Bottom line: You will have to look at your own planned use for your rifle and decide for yourself if you want to try out these value mounts or start out with a more expensive set of mounts and rings that may give you more options for adjustment of your scope prior to using your scopes elevation and windage adjustment turrets.
After about one year, I discovered that the torque on the screws that mount the scope to the receiver had decreased significantly. The lesson I learned here was to always put some type of thread locking compound on the screws when mounting a scope. For small screws, the purple Loctite should give you thread locking capability, but it is still possible to remove the screws in the future. I recently swapped out the these mounts for a Nightforce Direct Mount and bedded the Nightforce mount to the receiver.