Remington 700 .223 VTR - Cabela's Version...


March 5, 2009, 12:45 AM
There have been several threads on the Remington 700 VTR that have hashed over the triangular barrel, muzzle brake and the plastic stock. I was looking for a .223 bolt with a 1-9 twist and had looked at the VTR a few times. However I didn't like the muzzle brake and the fact that the 22" barrel was really only 20" after counter boring for the brake.

In early Feb., I was in the local Cabela's and saw a VTR on their rack in .223 with no muzzle brake. It also had a 24" barrel in place of the regular 22" barrel. I called Remington Customer Service and found that this was a special run of VTRs made to Cabela's specs. Was the barrel still a 1-9 twist? Yes, I was told, as part of the VTR line, the .223 did have a 1-9 twist.

So last Saturday, I bit the bullet and bought one, had a scope mounted and took it to the local indoor range on Sunday. I broke in the barrel with "1-shot-clean" repeat 10 times. Then "3-shots-clean", repeat 5 times. Total of 25 rounds at this point. I then shot 5 Black Hills Red Box 50g V-Max rounds. Not a bad group under the circumstances - under .5" at the range's max distance of 50 yards. Next I fired 5 BH Red Box 60g V-Max rounds. This group was fairly impressive with 4 of the 5 shots grouping under .25" - shooter error on shot #3 which I pulled a bit - picture attached.

The next group was also impressive, but for a completely different reason. I fired 4 BH Red Box 68g match rounds and the spread was just over 3" and none of the holes were round. The 4th bullet was almost completely sideways at the target - picture attached. (Hmmm... Can you say "keyhole"?) I knew the ammo was good because I had shot rounds out of that same box through my AR-15 with a 1-9 twist and had good accuracy (for an AR with a 16" barrel and crappy trigger).

I fired two more groups with the VTR, one each with the 50g V-Max and 60g V-Max. At 50 yards, both of those 5 shot groups were under .5" and could be completely covered with a dime.

So when I got home from the range, I ran a patch down the barrel, marked the cleaning rod and measured. Yep, 1-12 twist. Called Remington again. They said I could send the rifle in and if they found it had the wrong barrel, they would replace it.

Okey dokey, then. Obviously the rifle I ended up with wasn't quite what I thought I was buying and it won't shoot the heavier bullets. Still, would you send in a rifle for a barrel replacement if the current barrel was giving you sub-MOA groups with off-the-shelf ammo when barely broken in? I'm thinkin' I'll just use it the way it is...

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March 5, 2009, 07:40 AM
i would be perfectly happy w/ that rifle as is. it is important to note, however, i don't have much use for heavy bullets in a 223, and 60 grains is as heavy as i would ever go - the red mist factor drops off too fast after 50 - 55 grains...

March 5, 2009, 08:37 AM
If the smaller bullets would not accomplish the job the gun was purchased for then yes I most likely would send it in and let them replace it but if I could accomplish what I needed with the smaller bullets then heck no I would not send it in and have the barrel changed.

March 5, 2009, 08:38 AM
P.S. nice shooting...looks like you have got a REAL shooter

March 5, 2009, 08:46 AM
I'd keep it and not worry about it. I shoot up to 55gr in .224 calibers. Anything over that I go to the .257 roberts.

March 5, 2009, 09:03 AM
Send it in...without the barrel. :)

March 6, 2009, 02:14 AM
An update on the situation... The folks at the local Cabela's firearms department kindly spent a couple of days checking this out. They were able to locate the internal folks involved in developing the specs for this special version of the VTR. It turns out that Cabela's specified the 24" barrel and no muzzle brake. They didn't indicate what the rifle's twist rate should be.

Next, they contacted the fellow at Remington who was on the receiving end of the request. Apparently the decision was made to go with a 1-12" twist simply because of the 24" heavy barrel. (Or maybe they had an overrun of 26" barrels for the SPS Varmint that they could cut down to 24" and add the milling for the triangular contour...)

At any rate, it appears that contrary to what the Remington Customer Service folks told me on my original call to them, this rifle was intended to have the slower twist.

March 6, 2009, 12:10 PM
I would keep as is. Looks to be quite accurate for the lower weight bullets - nice varmint rig. If you need to shoot the 68+ gr bullets, you have an AR that handles them.

No sense in messing with something that accurate. You may get a 1 in 9 twist barrel and find it doesn't have the same accuracy which would be a big disappointment.

PS - Let's see a pic of the rifle!

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