I recently put together a short barrelled (16.5") Remington 700, which has been the subject of an article on this website previously. This rifle was intended to be a light and handy rifle to cover most situations i would find myself participating in. The intention was never to build a dedicated long range rifle but the results have been suprising.
Since the original project was completed i have made some adjustments to the rifle. The first thing i did was add grip/texture to the forend and grip areas.
To do this texturing i did the following:
- Roughed up the areas needing texture using coarse sandpaper
- Cleaned and then degreased the stock to allow for proper adhesion
- i purchased body filler from supercheap auto , their own brand and mixed it up in small lots to do each side of the forend at a time
- once the area was covered to the desired thickness i used some icy pole sticks and tapping them on the sticky filler it created the uprisen grippy part
- once it was uprisen i wet my finger and gently ran it over the area so it did not dry in shap peaks as filled dries pretty hard so it would be uncomfortabe.
- i completed the same for the other sides
- once dry i ran over very lightly with some fine sand paper
- All done and ready for another clean up and paint (it dries pink)
After that was done i hit it with a different paint job just using white as the base and OD green in a netted pattern. I then swapped out the X Mark trigger with an older style remington trigger given to me by a mate, which is much nicer and breaks clean at just a tad over 2lbs. I also swapped out the cheaper rail with a Larue 20MOA rail.
I have also shortened the butt by 1 inch and added a Pachmyr recoil pad.
Performance at the range
After these modifications i took the rifle to the range to try and find an ideal charge weight. I ended up resting on 46.0 Grains of AR2208 with a COAL of 71.45MM. This load was feilding results of around the 0.55MOA mark.
Getting behind the rifle it is noticable how much the action has slicked up after a few hundred rounds. It was never bad to begin with but it feels a lot more controlled now. The trigger had a noticable effect on lowering the group size and i cant explain how much i disliked the X-mark. after trying to adjust it using the screw it made no difference to the weight.
the grip has made a big difference for indexing my firing grip and has added some extra width as well to the forend which is nice for offhand shooting.
Field firing and performance at 1000M +
So as i stated earlier this rifle was never intended to be a dedicated long range platform however the results in this area have been a big suprise to me.
I have fired this rifle ikn the field at 300M , 600m, and 1045M with great success at every range in multiple positions.
The data i am currently using and is correct involves 14.9MRAD of elevation for dead center hits on a 500mm X300mm plate at 1045M . These shots were taken in a 10KPH wind with gusts to 25KPH in 30C heat. The wind effects were multiple due to shooting over the intersections of 2 valleys.
This may seem like a lot and by all means its not ideal but the suprising point i took away is that it is consitent with the only shift from wind and not elevation. I made multiple hits at 1045M from kneeling over rocks . this is another time where the short barrel was great. it is very easy to setup and find room for in confined firing positions.
At 600M I have shot 100mmX100mm plates consitently in wind which was around 10kph , equating to approx 0.75MOA.
Don't believe everything you hear about ideal barrel lengths. it will change depending on circumstances and anyone who makes a blanket statement about the best barrel length will probably be reinforcing their purchases , rather than discussing actual facts. Now this is certainly not to say that 16.5 inches is what works best for me. for an all round rifle i tend to think 20inches would be best. but for my long range competition and field rig i will use 24 because i believe i can cover all situtions. but you probably cant hunt pigs well with a 24 inch barrel in thick scrub.
All this proves is that you can shoot a 16.5 inch barrelled .308 at 1000M and be effective with the right ammo .
The real gain for me from this rifle was some extra confidence in my skills at LR shooting and really the practical knowledge gained from some of the work i have done on the rifle as well as the ballistic data.
- Handy, well balanced
- Stable at 1000M with correct ammo
- compact for packing and carry
- flexible for multiple shooting applications
- Slower velocity means more drop at distance
- can be louder than other .308's
- muzzle can be prone to jump if your position is not good (ie not straight behind the rifle)