Remington 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD Review
Part 3 - External Features
January 2, 2012

Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

In this part of the review I'm going to cover all the external features of the Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD Rifle.  You can click on any photo in my reviews to bring up a higher resolution photo showing more details of the rifle.  In these next four photos I use a bipod to support the rifle, but the rifle does not come with the bipod shown below.  Although this rifle is a relatively plain, it has a nice accurate look with the heavy barrel.  Once I get a set of mounts and a scope on the rifle, I'm sure the appearance will seem much more substantial.

Figure 1
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 2
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 3
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 4
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The rifle measured 39.75" in length.  The online specifications stated 39 5/8".  I would not have expected there to be an 1/8" difference so I checked the current Remington 2011 Catalogue and it states 39.75" so the shorter length dimension is most likely an error.  I included these next four photos from Part 2 of the review so that you can see a direct view of all sides of the rifle without the bipod installed.

Figure 5
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 6
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 7
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 8
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The rifle weighed in at 8.23 pounds which is significantly different than the specification weight of 7.3 pounds.  I believe the specification weight is an error.

Figure 9
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

One of the key features of this rifle is the threaded muzzle which allows you to install a suppression device (SD).  This photo below also shows the barrels non reflective (matte) black oxide finish.

Figure 10
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

When you remove the 0.63" long steel thread protector you can see the 0.63" length of exposed 5/8-24 thread for the muzzle device of your choice.  Also you should notice the light countersink at the front of the barrel to protect the ends of the rifling.

Figure 11
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The heavy barrel measured a true 20" in length and measures 0.860" in diameter at the interface to the thread protector.  The barrel has a slight taper and measured 0.901" in diameter 7.6" down the barrel at the end of the stock forearm.

Figure 12
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

On the right side of the rifle is engraved "Tactical Rifling 1 in 10".  This 1:10" twist is another unique feature for this model rifle chambered in the .308 Winchester caliber.  The standard (non AAC-SD) SPS Tactical rifle comes with a 1:12" twist and the 1:12" twist is the more common twist rate for a .308 Winchester.  The faster twist rate of this rifle is capable of stabilizing  longer bullets, which in most cases refers to heavier bullets.  Taking a quick look at Miller's Twist Rule for calculating the ideal twist rate and assuming a safe stability factor of 2, a Hornady Superformance Match 178gr BTHP would require a 1:9.92" twist rate.  If you shot this same cartridge in a rifle with a 1:12" twist rate, the stability factor would be 1.36.  In general, a stability factor of 1.4 is considered the minimum.  Also higher twist rates are generally OK and the twist rate on this rifle is nearly ideal for the 175/178 grain rounds on the market today and also provides the ability to stabilize even longer/heavier bullets.  What does all this buy you?  You should have a good stable 175/178 grain bullet out to 1000 yards.  This weight bullet is generally the longest/heaviest you would find with manufactured ammunition.

Figure 13
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

On the right side at the base of the barrel, you see the proof marks of "J" inside a triangle and "REP" inside an oval.  The "REP" indicates the barrel was proof tested and the "J" indicates that some type of quality test (probably magnaflux) was performed.

Figure 14
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The barrel is made from low carbon steel and is hammer forged.

Figure 15
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

On the left side of the barrel is stamped "REMINGTON ARMS COMPANY INC, ILION, NY 308 WIN".  Obviously, this rifle is chambered in .308 Winchester.  Based on SAAMI recommendations, it is safe to fire the 7.62x51 NATO round in this rifle.

Figure 16
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The "CF" stamped in the left side of the barrel is the date code and the "C" represents April and "F" represents 2011.  You should also notice the stippled texture of the forearm in the photo below.

Figure 17
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The Hogue Overmolded stock provides generous float room around the sides of the barrel.  The forearm has a wide base (semi-beavertail) for added support when shooting from a bench.

Figure 18
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The forearm has a single swivel stud and has a nice texture on the sides and lower surface.  The Hogue stock has a rubbery/sticky feeling texture.

Figure 19
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The rifle has a fully floated barrel when not supported at the front of the forearm.  When the rifle is supported at the front of the forearm by a bipod, the forearm deflects slightly and lightly contacts the barrel.  I have a hard time believing this was the plan for this rifle and feel it should not contact under normal shooting conditions from a bipod or bench rest.

Figure 20                                                             Figure 21
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review   Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

On the positive side, the front of the stock has a very short area that could be sanded with a Dremel to prevent this contact from occurring.

Figure 22
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Update 11/30/13:  I eventually sanded this area down to give some clearance between the stock and barreland these next two photos show the results.  It was very easy to do and I used a Dremel and round sanding drum.  I took my time to make sure I kept a professional look by trying not to round the visible edges and trying to keep the curve looking smooth and uniform.  The photo below shows the final results.

Figure 22a
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

This next photo shows the configuration of the rifle when I took the photo above.  Also, the range tests shown in Part 5 were prior to me making this modification.  I cannot say for certain that this modification made a big difference in group size, but it did make me feel better.

Figure 22b
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The receiver of the Model 700 SPS Tactical is made from low carbon steel and has the same matte black oxide finish as the barrel.  The bolt is also finished with the same matte black oxide finish.

Figure 23
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 24
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The front of the receiver is higher than the rear of the receiver which requires your scope mounts to be at different heights.  There are no visible markings on the right side of the receiver when the bolt is down.

Figure 25
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

When you rotate the bolt up, you can see that the serial number of the rifle along with a 2D bar codes is stamped on the receiver.

Figure 26
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The left side of the receiver is marked with the serial number along with "Remington MODEL 700 AAC-SD".

Figure 27
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The receiver is drilled and tapped and comes with four plug screws installed.  I removed one of the screws as shown below.  I'm always amazed at how little thread engagement is used for mounting scopes and wish that manufacturers would shift towards including an integral Picatinny rail section on their receivers.

Figure 28
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

In these next two sets of photos I'm trying to show the receiver and bolt in both the closed and open positions.  The bolt has a 90 degree throw for opening and closing.

Figure 29
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 30
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 31
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

Figure 32
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The rifle comes with a two position safety; Safe and Fire.  The photos below show the safety in both positions.  Also notice that the silver surface which is the end of the firing pin assembly is in the rear (cocked) position in the left photo and is in the forward (fired) position in the right photo.

Figure 33                                                                   Figure 34
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review    Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The trigger guard assembly appears to be made primarily from an aluminum alloy and comes with a matte black highly textured finish.

Figure 35
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The trigger guard assembly comes with a hinged floor plate to allow a simple and quick unload sequence.  The magazine capacity on this rifle is 4 rounds.

Figure 36
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The trigger is made from stainless steel and the rifle includes the Remington X-Mark Pro Trigger System.  This trigger system is externally adjustable by a set screw in the top of the trigger.  According to the advertising, this trigger comes set at 3.5 pounds and had an adjustable range of 2 pounds (2.5 to 4.5 pounds).  My rifle came adjusted to an average of 6.2 pounds based on 10 trigger pulls using my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge.  I was able to adjust it down to an average trigger pull of 5.8 pounds and up to an average of 8.8 pounds.  The trigger also had a very crisp pull but was clearly not adjustable in the rage specified by Remington.  In front of the trigger is the bolt stop release (stainless steel).  By pressing up on the release, you can remove the bolt from the receiver.  In front of the bolt stop release is the magazine floor plate latch (black).

Figure 37
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

I measured the length of pull of the rifle to be 13.7".  Although drop at heal and comb may seem like a simple measurement, I struggle what represents the line of sight on a split level receiver so I made my measurements from the front (high) area and got a drop at heal of about 1.5" and drop at comb of about 1 ¼" which where the same as the Remington Catalogue.  I was very pleased with the marble-ish look of the Hogue Overmolded Ghillie Green Stock.

Figure 38
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

A rear swivel stud is mounted on the rear of the stock.  The bottom of the pistol grip area contains a black ring with the Hogue name and symbol.

Figure 39
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

The end of the stock has a Hogue recoil pad.  This pad is extremely soft and should do a nice job at helping to reduce the felt recoil of this rifle.

Figure 40
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Review

 

Thoughts

Overall, the Remington SPS Tactical AAC-SD Rifle has the makings of a real accurate platform.  It would have been nice if the barrel was fully floated while on a bipod as intended, but I feel a Dremel to the front contact area will take care of that issue quickly.  I was pleased with the fit and finish of the rifle and feel that the photos should have given you the same impression.  The lowest trigger pull that I was able to set on this rifle was 5.8 pounds which was no where near what was advertised for the X-Mark Pro Trigger.  For a trigger which should have come from the factory set at 3.5 pounds and adjustable ±1 pound, this was a little disappointing.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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