Hunting with 700 SPS Tactical


December 2, 2008, 07:19 PM
As of today, I have a Remington 700 SPS Tactical on the way! I know there are a lot of threads talking about this rifle, but I'm having trouble answering my specific question, which is how practical is it for hunting?

I recently began looking for my first bolt action rifle, and decided it would be between a Rem 700 SPS 30-06 or the SPS Tactical .308. As my only bolt action, this would be an "all purpose" rifle, meant for both casual range shooting and South Georgia deer hunting. I did not consider the Tactical for its accuracy, as either rifle would be more accurate than my ability. I like Tactical for the X-Mark trigger, Hogue stock, and shorter barrel, and thought that was worth an additional $100. However, since I'm hunting (mostly in a stand), I was concerned about the weight. But Remington's specs say it is 7 1/2 pounds, very close to the SPS's 7 3/8. I've since read in other forums that it is actually 8 1/2 pounds, and not recommended for hunting. That sounds more like what I would think it would weigh. The prudent thing to do would have been to hold one, but nobody can keep them in stock and they are backordered everywhere, so when one came avaible to me today with a very short timeframe to make a decision, I jumped on it.

So, now that I've already paid for it, have I bought myself a rifle that I'm not going to want to take hunting?

Thanks for any advice, and sorry for the lengthy backstory.

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December 2, 2008, 08:05 PM
I think it will be fine, based on your information.

I have a heavy barrel .30-06 that weighs 13 lbs with a scope. I use it for hunting from a fixed stand (fixed position.)

I also have a "lighter" .30-06 that weighs 10 lbs with a scope, and I use this for still hunting.

There are rifles available that weigh 5-1/2 lbs, slightly under 7 lbs with scope. New Ultralight Arms (NULA) is one such manufacturer. The general tone of comments on ultralight rifles is

1) They are much easier to carry in mountainous terrain.
2) They tend to kick like a mule.

If your rifle weighs 10 lbs with a scope, this will probably have moderate perceived recoil with .308, which is a good thing. As you're not climbing cliffs at 10,000 ft, the weight will probably not be so bad you can't tolerate it.

Most varmint hunters have a heavy rifle for consistent accuracy with frequent shots. Sometimes they shoot all day, and shoot off portable shooting tables. They don't like to carry this rifle very far from the truck, however. For hunting coyotes, etc. which require calling, moving and other tactics, they prefer a lighter rifle, sometimes called a "walking varminter". It may not have consistent accuracy as the barrel heats, but it can do a very nice 3 shot group.

I believe similar logic applies to deer hunting. If you aren't still hunting, you probably can pull double duty with a fairly heavy rifle that might be classified as "target" or "tactical". Once you get to your stand, you don't have to carry it any further... :)

December 2, 2008, 09:17 PM
I think it will be just fine, maybe it will get a little heavy after 10-12 hours of hiking for mountain goats, but just cowboy up.

For most of the hunting I do, stands or rattling, I'm not moving far or fast, so weight isn't really an issue. And 8 1/2 pounds just isn't that much weight anyway.

December 2, 2008, 09:20 PM
I have a REMI 700 ADL in .270, love it. I really don't even consider the weight at all.

December 2, 2008, 11:47 PM
It will be fine, particularly if you are in decent shape

December 2, 2008, 11:53 PM
The only rifle I have used this year is my SPS works great. I have not actually weighed mine...but its no trouble to carry, for me anyway.

Here is the proof that it works...not a big deer, but he's in the freezer.

December 3, 2008, 12:37 AM
since I'm hunting (mostly in a stand),

Since most of your hunting is from a stand, weight is not an issue. Good luck on your hunt.

December 3, 2008, 06:29 PM
Thanks, that helps put me at ease. I'm 6'1, 230lbs so it sounds like I'll be fine. I was mainly worried I went overkill andchose "cool factor" over practical.

Definitely looking forward to getting this thing, putting on a scope, and getting it to the range! I keep hearing great things about it.

December 3, 2008, 06:38 PM
My friend hunts with his LTR (Police version of the SPS) and if I were to choose, I would take the LTR on a hunt over my PSS. The short fluted barrel is very well balanced even with an optic.

December 3, 2008, 06:43 PM
I would love to have one of those fluted barrels, I think that would be the ideal hunting setup.

December 3, 2008, 06:49 PM
My M1A weighs more than that. Once I get to my spot I don't do much moving around when I deer hunt so for me it's not an issue. I could see if I did a lot of drives or had to hike in and out a few miles then it might get to be a bit much. We tend to make exceptions for the things we really want though or like very much :)

December 4, 2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks, that helps put me at ease. I'm 6'1, 230lbs so it sounds like I'll be fine.

I'm 5'9" and weigh 160, and I use my remington 700 5R for everything. That is about the same profile as an sps, although my barrel is 24". I hike all over the mountains of the west with it without an issue.

December 4, 2008, 01:48 PM
Some people are getting the SPS mixed up with the SPS Tactical.

They are 2 very different models...the SPS Tactical has a 20 inch heavy barrel and is ONLY available from Remington Premier see it go to Remingtons website and look in the Tactical section... here is the SPS Tactical

The LTR has a lighter profile barrel with flutes. The LTR is a short 700P with flutes...

The plain SPS has a 26 inch barrel...not even a heavy barrel...

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