Thursday, February 09, 2012
Remington Model 700
|50 years old and still going strong.
When someone asks: “Where were you in ’62?” I have no trouble answering the where, but also the what. Two of the “whats” from ’62 were the then-brand new Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle chambered in the also new 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge. I got one then, and another one later – the first an ADL, followed by a BDL. Both are first-year (1962) rifles, and I still use them both.
At that time, I was a budding gun freak and kitchen table dealer. Although there was then, and continues to be, a lot of hoopla associated with that particular rifle/cartridge combination, I don’t recall any added excitement at the time. Seemed like a fun thing to do, so I got one.
Over the years, I have hunted extensively with both rifles and have yet to need any of the extra rounds in the magazines. Ranges have gone from close to far.
The story could end there and be worthwhile. But there is so much more. Following what amounted to a full global career as a mainline photojournalist, I got into the shooting sports industry decades ago.
One of my early mentors in this part of the business was Dick Dietz, who at that time was Remington’s main tub-thumper and just one heck of a nice guy. Over a couple of decades back then, I used a lot of different Remington 700 rifles chambered for a myriad of cartridges all around the globe for all manner of game.
Dick is still around, shooting a lot of skeet and spending time with his family. He was telling me last fall that Mike Walker, who designed the 700, is still around, as well. I haven’t talked with Mike in a long time. Nice guy. Maybe I’ll give those two fellows a call this year.
During its half-century of life, there have been more than 5 million Model 700 rifles made. In addition to hunting and target shooting, the design also has been used extensively by the military and with great results.
Certainly there will be those who might want to wax poetic about this particular rifle, and justifiably so. But for me, the ultimate salute is the acknowledgement that the Model 700 is a straightforward, honest and effective rifle.
I’d hesitate to guess at the total number of Model 700 variants that have been offered through the years, especially if one considers not just the catalogued variants, but also all of the one-offs that have left the factory. I have several of the one-offs.
My two first-year 700s in 7mm Remington Magnum both still sport their original 23-inch stainless steel barrels. When all else is really right, they both deliver sub-MOA groups predictably and repeatedly. What’s not to like?
To celebrate its golden anniversary, Remington this year is offering a 50th Anniversary 700 BDL. Of course, it is chambered for the 7mm Remington Magnum, which also celebrates its 50th year.
Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MODEL 700 FROM REMINGTON chambered for the 7mm Remington cartridge is the combination of rifle and cartridge that celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. Remington is offering a special edition, recognizing the milestone.
ETCHINGS ON THE 50th Anniversary edition of the Model 700 Remington note the momentous occasion of a half-century of production in which more than 5 million rifles have been made.