Rem 7400 as battle rifle?


March 30, 2003, 02:23 AM
I've been flirting with this idea for a while now, so I thought I'd start a thread on it.

Let's discuss the Remington 7400 as a potential battle rifle, or homeland defense rifle, if you prefer. The points I'd like to cover are:

1. How would the action stand up to rapid fire?
2. Does 30-06 kick too much to be practical? What's the ideal cartridge for this rifle?
3. How's the availability of ten round magazines? Are there really twelve round magazines out there?

If you enjoyed reading about "Rem 7400 as battle rifle?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 30, 2003, 06:05 PM

With all due respect, they wouldn't stand a chance! Moreover, I would never put my life at risk by relying on one of them. They will not take abuse, sustained firing, etc. without failing. They are built for light use, such as hunting where you might fire only a few rounds. That said, if it was all I had, I would be happy, as I could still prevent a criminal attack with one. If owning one will make anybody happy, I say, go ahead, but don't expect it to perform like an HK 91. Just my 3 cents.

March 30, 2003, 06:11 PM
I owned one in .30-06. REcoil was very light, and the gun was pretty.

Other than that, I hated it. Bizzarre manual of arms, poor sights, and it felt very fragile. A .30-06 with an alloy receiver! Ha!

Essentially, it's designed like a self-loading shotgun. But for someone that's used to military pattern weapons, I found it difficult to take apart to clean and somewhat unreliable, especially with aftermarket 10 round magazines.

It could be made to work, though, if you put some effort into it and find some decent magazines.

I'd much sooner go with a Saiga .308, myself, which costs about half as much, but if you live in Kali, for example, the Saiga isn't an option.

March 30, 2003, 06:21 PM
Everything I just wrote got wiped out because of a duplicate image! Sorry, I have to try again by copying the other thread url and the post...

I highly recommend the Synthetic Carbine model.

My 7400 Carbine Synthetic .30-06 is reliable and fun to shoot because it's accurate enough. Averaging 1-1.5" @ 100-yds.
I've used Remington 180 & 220 gr. PSP and SP respectively with the heavy units shooting about 3" higher with the same POA.

The gun is currently going back to a more 'standard' appearance. I've been slow in getting the buttstock screw for the new Bell&Carlson stock. The standard magazines work best in this rifle.

Shown is the rifle in a slightly filed down Choate 870 Shotgun buttstock and the standard magazine, next to it's 870 stablemate, both in what I called 'Y2K' trim.
The rifle was tested this way at the range and always shot well as well as received favorable comments.
That's a Leupold 4.5-14x40 Vari-X III in Redfield JR base/rings.

Everything about this gun in this configuration was great; especially since it bucked the norm and would drive some gunwriters to nightmares!
"Bbl. too short; stock not wood; stock has pistolgrip; rifle is an autoloader; scope too big; not a rifle a 'guncrank' would 'dote' over; etc."
It was fun to build it this way, though.

March 30, 2003, 06:25 PM
This is a 100-yd. 3-shot group with 220-gr. from that 7400.


March 30, 2003, 06:26 PM
We have one of these, which has proven itself utterly reliable with IMR reloads. It is as accurate as any bolt action in the house, and it has in fact been rapid-fired in 95 dergree weather, from the hip and as fast as 5 round can be triggered. It stood up to this fine, but got quite hot as it has no inherent heat-dissipation system. An awful lot of this abuse would not be good for the weapon and might well result in cook-offs.

The 74-series Remingtons as a group are not known for exemplary functional reliability, and they are particularly problematic as they get dirtier. They are also a complete pain in the a$$ to work on. I would suspect that most of the aftermarket 10-round mags would not be remotely as durable as their military counterparts. There are innumerable better choices for a fighting rifle intended for battlefield conditions, beginning with the AK and culminating with the Garand and the M1A.

The 7400 is, in its current iterations, a right decent semi-auto hunting rifle. If you want a battle rifle, do yourself a favor and get a tool designed for the job.

March 30, 2003, 09:18 PM
I already own a M1 Garand, and I love it. But I always considered the Remington 870 to be a very fetching firearm, so I was curious about the 7400. Plus the price is tempting.

Without the ten round magazine, though, it loses some of it's appeal.

At the risk of steering this thread in another direction:

My Garand has some quirks that have left me a little dubious about it's ability to perform as a MBR. I have valiantly attempted to fix these foibles, the most annoying of which was a problem with premature ejection. Jokes aside, I replaced the parts mentioned in the US manual but have yet to take it to the range. If the problem has been fixed, great... but what if it comes back? I can't risk my MBR dumping half a clip of ammo on top of me in the middle of combat.

I have been tempted to save up my money and buy either a brand new Garand in .308 or a M1A. I've also looked with interest at the FN-49 in .30-06, but for all I know I might end up with ANOTHER finicky old rifle that leaves me doing this :banghead:

March 30, 2003, 09:58 PM
But don't you think that the main battle rifle that served the U.S. military through WWII and the Korean War would have a slight edge in battlefield performance over a sporting rifle based on the Remington 870 receiver?

Having said that, we no longer have the corps of M1 Garand armorers, and the 5th echelon depot repair facilities we once did, to keep all those M1 Garands in tip-top shape. Nor is the supply of new replacement parts quite as bountiful as it once was. Chances are, your own M1 Garand has probably got some parts that fall a little bit to the side of milspec nowadays. I know my two DCM Garands did. The fix to your Garand may be something as simple as a parts swap, like you said. Give that route a chance, then let folks like Fulton Armory or Orion 7 have a go at putting the old girl back to full milspec reliability.

Unless, of course, you plan on taking out that entire blue-helmeted U.N. brigade coming up your street tonight.
In which case, you're probably sunk. (Since you did say you plan on going into combat against some unseen foe armed with an M1 Garand, perhaps another SHTF/tinfoil helmet scenario?)

Art Eatman
March 31, 2003, 12:07 AM
I'm quite pleased with the accuracy and reliability-to-date of my 742K in '06. That said, it would not be my choice for sustained hostilities. Few sporting rifles can deal with dirt or a buildup of grunge.

I'd bet that for what I'd ever envision as some sort of home-defense scenario, there would not be all that much "busy" time vs. down time for normal maintenance. In such a scenario, I'd not worry about the 74-- series.


March 31, 2003, 02:55 AM
the problem with your Garand is a weak recoil spring

March 31, 2003, 03:19 AM
Ah, yes, the spring has been replaced as well. Hopefully my next trip to the range will reveal a newly happy rifle.

March 31, 2003, 03:59 PM
While I do sometimes find SHTF threads a fun diversion or even an interesting intellectual exercise it 'ain't likely to happen (other than some limited localized SHTF like a riot or certain types of terrorist attacks where your usual HD setup is what you need anyway).

If the impossible happens and we're invaded by a foreign army or somesuch (I refuse to humor even pretend scenarios against US troops) then why would you want a battle rifle/assult rifle/whatever? You'd be one guy against at least a squad (possibly more) of well armed and presumably well trained professional soldiers who are also backed up by air and artillery should they need it. In CQC you'd be sunk. What you'd want in such a scenario is something that can hit hard and accurately at a relatively long distance to snipe at the BGs. For that the 7400 would be almost perfect (perfect being a single shot or bolt rifle where the noise of the action is less likely to give you away- one shot and no more noise from about 3-600 yards and you may have a chance at getting away before they pinpoint the location of the shot).

If you simply want a MBR/assult rifle than go ahead and buy yourself one. An AR may be pretty expensive as would a Garand or M1A but an AK is pretty cheap, an SKS is very reasonable and even a Mini-14 or AR 180, while not technically a military rifle, is military style and may be something you'd be more satisfied with if you want "military style" on a budget (the Mini-30 in 7.62x39 would work if you want a bigger bore).

Conversely, if you are simply trying to talk yourself into the 7400 (as am I) then you obviously want one, go ahead and buy it. The price is good and it seems like it has potential. If you are a hunter it should be great for hunting. It is nearly as accurate as most bolt rifles and in calibers that are typically bolt calibers, yet it is an autoloader for those of us who prefer that. It can be pimped out with a polymer stock (or even bought outright that way), 10 round mags, it can be scoped, used w/ a bipod, etc. It can be a fairly accurate range gun. If you want it, why not just get it (and it can be your "MBR" until your Garand is fixed or you buy something else for that job).

March 31, 2003, 10:16 PM
I have a great Remington 742. This one has the 1776/1976 scroll work in gold on the receiver. Quite accurate, reliable to date, and nice looking.

However, a MBR, it is not. Way too difficult to field strip and clean. Magazines are a problem, and it is just not designed to take the abuse a battle rifle runs up against.

There is a reason why US troops are not armed with Remington 7400 rifles. If you stop and think, most of us can figure those reasons out.

April 1, 2003, 11:59 PM
I think a 700 would make a better last resort MBR than a 7400, especially where reliability and abuse is concerned.

April 2, 2003, 02:54 AM
I always appreciate a sincere reply.

If you enjoyed reading about "Rem 7400 as battle rifle?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!