Turning a Remington 700 into a Scout rifle


September 22, 2009, 04:06 PM
Over the next few months I've decided to buy a Remington 700 SPS DM (Detachable Magazine) in 7mm-08 and turn it into a scout rifle. I intend to mount a Leupold FX-II 2.5x scope on Leupold quick detach rings and use XS System sights. I also want to have the barrel cut down to 18" including a muzzle brake (preferably one that doubles as a flash hider) and will need to have it set up to mount the scope forward of the receiver, and have the trigger cleaned up.

My questions are should I go ahead and rebarrel it when I do the barrel modifications? And does anyone have gunsmith recommendations for the barrel work? Also, is it worth replacing the stock and having it bedded? I'm new to rifles that aren't Army issued :) I'm trying to keep the entire project at or under $1500. The rifle, scope, rings and sights come to about $950.

Thanks in advance!

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September 22, 2009, 04:21 PM
Welcome to THR...don't drink the kool-aid!

A few things that you may want to consider a bit more carefully...the scout rifle concept, cutting a perfectly good barrel that short, and adding a muzzle brake. The scout rifle doesn't hold up too well in practice, the scope being further out increases the perceived weight of the rifle and the field of view (FOV) is dramatically decreased. As far as barrel (bbl) length, the 7mm-08 was designed for a moderate-long barrel, about 24" is ideal, any shorter and you will be better off with a larger caliber (like a .45-70), personally I wouldn't consider one in a bbl less than 20" (and that is a bit short). Have you fired a rifle with a muzzle brake (not a flash hider)...they are LOUD and muzzle blast is severe especially out of a short bbl, making them very unpleasant to shoot IMO. FWIW the SPS comes with a decent stock and should not need bedding. :)

September 22, 2009, 04:28 PM
Nope I sure haven't shot a muzzle break. I'm just a fan of quick follow-up shots so I don't want something that kicks too hard.

As for the length, mostly I want a rifle that is around 36-38" long. I find anything longer than that unweildy. I like the scout concept and forward weight doesn't bother me too much as I'm used to M4s with all the doodads. If there is another concept with a forward mounted optic on a lightweight rifle that will take deer out to 300m I'm all ears. I'd prefer a bolt action as I like the classic appeal. What calibers would be good for a 16-18" barrel?

September 22, 2009, 04:38 PM
What calibers would be good for a 16-18" barrel?Not too sure in a turn-bolt, a .357Mag, .44Mag, .45LC, .454Casull, .45-70 are all good...and all lever rifles. The recoil on the 7mm-08, and all of the .308Win. derived cartridges isn't all that bad; but if you want less: have you considered a 7.62x39 it has less recoil and is available in a turn-bolt made by CZ, though it would be a little anemic for 300yd shots on deer. What about a .308 with a 20" bbl and no brake? Should be pretty close to your desired length and the .308 will be able to take a little more advantage of the shorter barrel than the 7mm would. :)

September 22, 2009, 04:57 PM
The .308 isn't offered with a magazine but I'm comparing the ballistics now. I was told the 7mm-08 has less recoil than the .308. Even the higher end brakes like from JP Enterprises still have the noise problem?

September 22, 2009, 05:04 PM
I was told the 7mm-08 has less recoil than the .308.The difference between the two is inpercievable...at least to be. Might be 5% at the most.

Even the higher end brakes like from JP Enterprises still have the noise problem?Absolutely, the better (or more efficient) the brake the louder it will be...the JP tank break is one of (if not the) best made as far as efficiency with respect to recoil and loudness. It is one of the best loudeners that money can buy. :D

Jim Watson
September 22, 2009, 05:16 PM
The JP brake is possibly the loudest muzzle appliance I have ever seen or heard.

There was a Model 7 with Leupold Scout Scope in the Burris mount that circulated in and out of a store here. Somebody finally got it who knew what it was good for and kept it.

True, it didn't have all the Jeff Cooper do-it-all bits but it seemed like a neat and handy hunting rifle.

September 22, 2009, 05:59 PM
My "scout" is a limited issue Remington 700ADL that came with a camo synthetic stock back in the late 80's. I did nothing to the barrel besides getting it cut and crowned to 19". The trigger is a Timney, set at 3lbs. The mount is a Burris, and the scope is also Burris 2 3/4x IER. It is a .30-06, and shoots 3/4 minute @ 100yds. I used it as a substitute Tactical rifle in a law enforcement rifle instructors class (a fellow st;udent's rifle crapped out and I loaned him my Rem PSS), and it held it's own against Remington PSS rifles, etc. As far as fast follow up shots and recoil, you will probably not notice the recoil of a .308 or .30-06 as you generally have to "shift" your body a bit to cycle the bolt (try it with an empty gun....dry firing twice). I have no problem getting on a target quite fast after firing, the balance of the gun, even with scope forward, does not throw me off a bit; it might even give the gun better stability in the wind. I can't recommend doing a Model 700 enough. It is my "do anthing" gun. For the first four shots, or targets (it is so deadly, one shot per target ought to be enough), I'd stand it up against ANY rifle in existence for speed and accuracy on targets 50-350yards. A scout rifle handles that much better than conventional rifles. For longer shots, speed is not that needed, and a more precision scope might be called for. The .30-06 would be more than enough cartridge for shots out to 1000. Oh, I think I had about $725 in the whole package back then. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC05326.jpg PS: Yes, it is left handed.

September 22, 2009, 11:41 PM
If you like the Col Coopers Scout rifle idea by all mean build your self one.

My "scout" is a Remmy 721, 30-06 with a 20" barrel and a standard 2X7 Burris scope.
I did not mount my scope on the barrel. It is in the standard over the action location.
The scope is mounted in Leupold quick detach rings onto a one piece weaver mount.
If the scope should be damaged or fail I have options. More important is that the stock fits me so that my scope eye relief perfect when the rifle is shoulder. The scope is carried set on 2 power. Detachable Magazine would be nice... but I would leave the magazine in the pickup truck...ugh/

Col Cooper is no longer with us, so can we say that there maybe basic flaws in the bolt action, forward mounted scope configuration scout rifle? Or if you wish a better way of doing it today? Think M4 with modern optics.

September 23, 2009, 12:10 AM
lefteyedom, sounds like a great rig you have there. I think if the OP built something similar in .308 it would suit him equally well. :)

September 23, 2009, 03:47 AM
Take a look at B-square mount #15580 (bottom of the page):

"Remington 700 Centerfire
Fastens by replacing rear sight and front action screws. Requires using a long eye relief pistol scope. Weaver dovetail.(Rings not included)"


September 23, 2009, 08:05 AM
Appreciate all the input. I still have ideas for a few different platforms, including just getting a M1A scout and mounting a scope and .308 AR build (been a while since I built one but I remember it being fun). I'm not sure I want to go that route or if I'd rather get a rifle that is a few pounds lighter and simpler, and likely cheaper. Also bolt action hunting rifles are a lot more inconspicuous than 'assault' rifles. Don't get me wrong, I believe we should be able to own any firearm that police can have... but reality is we have gun control issues here and I'm going for the 'one rifle all purposes'. If I get the extra $ up for a second rifle, it will definitely be an AR build.

September 23, 2009, 10:46 AM
A Remington 700 Scout is called a Remington 600 (:):)). The 600 is a short action version of the 700 specially made for cartridges like the 308. I think the current version is called a 632 or something like that. Great rifle.

September 23, 2009, 11:16 AM
By the time you get done doing all the changes, you might be better off just getting a Steyr Scout and be done with it.

September 23, 2009, 11:29 AM
I've never seen a scout/sniper rifle with backup sights.

If you're not planning on changing the caliber, you might just want to leave the barrel as-is. Have you tried it with match-grade ammo for accuracy? If you want to improve it, have the crown looked at, have the barrel screwed in another half or full turn, but by the time you do this, you might as well re-barrel it anyway.

In chopping the barrel off, you lose a lot of velocity and range. In using a 2.5 scope you are limiting range as well. You're making a 1000 meter rifle a 500 meter rifle. The new stock, bedding, etc will quickly become irrelevant. You tune the trigger and bed the stock when you are trying to squeeze that last bit of accuracy out of a stock rifle. Doing this won't make up for the range you lost in chopping off the barrel.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 23, 2009, 11:30 AM
Should work nicely - only thing is, muzzle brake is a *horribly bad* idea for a scout rifle or any hunting rifle for that matter. Flash hider, sure, why not. Brake, no way. Please post the finished product. I think the 18" bbl will be just fine, although personally, myself, I'd run with 20" or maybe 19". Good caliber choice.

September 23, 2009, 11:40 AM
For 7mm-08, or .308, you will be just fine chopping the barrel to 18", but 20" is optimal.

Tac-ops, who builds arguably the best sniper rifles in the world, considers 18" the optimum length for an urban environment.


30-06, with its slower burning powders, would be better served by a 22" barrel if you are planning on longer shots.

September 23, 2009, 12:20 PM
I'd go for 20" rather than 18 and you do not need a muzzle break on a 7mm-08. Not worth the extra noise.

September 23, 2009, 12:50 PM
For 7mm-08, or .308, you will be just fine chopping the barrel to 18", but 20" is optimal.I believe that 24" is optimal for the 7mm-08, and know that a 22" bbl is optimal for the .308. :)

September 23, 2009, 01:05 PM
The scout rifle doesn't hold up too well in practice

I whole-heartedly disagree... and so does the late Col. Cooper.

I love my scout. If there was ever such a thing as a jack of all trades rifle, that is it.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 23, 2009, 02:08 PM
My 'pseudo-scout' doesn't "make weight" - not even close - it's a heavy beast. But it sure is cool:

It's a (so-called) "No. 6 Jungle Carbine", which is to say, an Ishapore 2A Enfield in 7.62x51mm cut and made to look like a No. 5 Jungle Carbine, with an XS forward-mounted rail, sporting a Nikon Slugmaster 1.65-5x36mm. Yes, this scope provides plenty enough eye relief for this application up to around 2.5 power, maybe 3. The rifle has a No. 5 bayo on it, so it's the ultimate piggie gun - literally a pig sticker.

November 10, 2009, 09:46 PM
I have a Ruger Frontier model in .308 that I love. Most of my shots hunting deer are less than 200 yards, not to say you couldn't take a longer shot. http://www.shootingtimes.com/longgun_reviews/77_062405/

November 10, 2009, 10:06 PM
I was thinking about something similar, sans scope - cutting a .308 barrel down to 18" and putting on an M14 flash suppressor/bayo lug, and an M1 carbine aperture sight on the back of the receiver...i know, there are already guns that are similar...but not lefty!

Then i ran into an FR-7 in the used rack...

November 11, 2009, 01:11 AM
I say go with the Savage 10(I think the it's a 10fcm) scout, or a Ruger Frontier or build one from a surplus rifle. Savages have BUIS and if you use an Enfield No 4 or 5 they too will have back up iron sights. I'm not sure if the OP wanted BUIS or not but I've always liked the idea of having them. When I build my scout rifle someday I'll probably go the Enfield No4 route.

November 11, 2009, 02:10 AM
I am building one now, or having the preliminaries done now anyway.
Marlin 336 SC 30-30, 16 1/4 in barrel scout scope and tac light will round it out. I may shorten the stock a bit, to bring it back to length with a recoil pad.
I am sure that makes the lever gun purists cringe when they think about it, but it came in cheap and should be under $600 when I am done.
I cant wait to get home and finish what in my mind will be a great truck gun/scout rifle.
I put a muzzle break on a Garand I had shortened and it is ungodly loud. I believe it is a Smith's out of Az, it is very effective though. follow up shots are very fast.
At some point you just say the heck with it and do things that aren't what others would not do, often times thats what makes great ideas work.

November 11, 2009, 02:40 AM
JMO, but before I built a rifle I would take a hard look at this Savage Scout. It is available in .308 or 7mm-08 and it is $612.


November 11, 2009, 12:19 PM
For ranges under 300 yds. I wouldn't hesitate shortening the barrel to 16.25" unless you plan on going to Canada. With your experience using GI rifles, if it was M-4 you will appreciate the compact package as well as the both eyes open concept. You no doubt will have an understanding of the terminal ballistics at 300yds of a caliber much less potent than 7-08 or 308 so you need not worry about the loss of velocity at that range and under.

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