Optics or Stock replacement first? (REM700 308 Varmint)


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mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 12:26 PM
Hi folks. I will answer my question first, so you know what I think I have learned regarding this topic...

I just purchased a new Remington 700 SPSV Heavy Barrel varmint rifle. I want to turn it into a 100-200 yard bench shooting rifle. My intention is to replace the optics first as I feel it will have the biggest impact, and will allow me to get used to the rifle in it's "simple" configuration before replacing the stock.

Is this sound reasoning? What would you do?

Some constraints I have are time and money... it will take me time to get the money so doing them both at once would be difficult. I will have $200 - $300 to spend on each item.

The gun will almost exclusively be a bench gun at a 100 yard range.

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chad1043
December 10, 2012, 12:30 PM
What scope does it have now?

VA27
December 10, 2012, 12:47 PM
Glass first, the stock wil be fine. You may want to spend your whole budget + some for a scope.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 12:53 PM
Chad, tasco quality scope. No brand markings. My budget is $200 - $300 for each item. I know, anything under $1000 is junk, but this is my first time buying a scope you could not get at walmart so it is a step in the right direction.

chad1043
December 10, 2012, 12:58 PM
I think the "under $1000 is junk" is false.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 01:00 PM
I think the "under $1000 is junk" is false.

I hope so too.

chad1043
December 10, 2012, 01:03 PM
You can get a very nice scope from $300-500... For what you are shooting I would not spend any more..

joed
December 10, 2012, 01:15 PM
I also think you're being realistic on the scope. But let me ask you something first. How big are the groups right now? If you answered 1" to 1.5" that's not bad, that's what my SPS VS shot with a Leupold VXII 6x18 on it. A new stock and Timney trigger brought it to less then .5". If it were me I might do the stock first and live with the scope for awhile, I think the SPS stock is that bad.

There are some on here claiming to shoot .5" groups with the SPS stock on their rifle. Sorry, I flat out won't believe it. The biggest handicap that rifle has is the stock and second the trigger.

My trigger broke at 6#. Adjusting it brought it down to 5#, wouldn't go any lower then that. I don't have a high opinion of the xmark trigger, but I can't blame Remington for that with all the fuss about their last trigger.

I purchased a nice B&C Medalist stock for $230 and spent $110 on a Timney trigger. That brought the price of the rifle up to around $800 which gets you a pretty accurate rifle. You could probably save some money by having a gunsmith do something with the xmark.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 01:15 PM
You can get a very nice scope from $300-500... For what you are shooting I would not spend any more..

I am addressing the scopes in another thread, this thread is to confirm that replacing the scope first is the best course of action.

$300 is my max... 300-500 is out of my budget.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 01:18 PM
Joed... I am not a good rifleman. My groups were about 2-3" average with the cheapo scope. I have only put 40 rounds through the rifle.

joed
December 10, 2012, 01:47 PM
The first thing you need to do is become a rifleman. We've all been there and I still have my days. Have you let anyone else shoot the rifle to see how they do? It's all in the breathing, hold and rest that you have it sitting on.

The biggest handicaps the SPS has is the stock and trigger. I was very disapointed in mine. But I paid $460 for the rifle, $230 for the stock and $110 for a trigger. What I really wanted was the 700 vs sf II which costs about $1100. For $800 total I think I did better.

The trigger on my rifle was so bad that it was a total surprise to me when the gun fired because it felt like I pulled the trigger forever.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 01:51 PM
Thanks joed... I have been shooting rifles a long time, but only for minute of deer accuracy. My .243 Savage, and 30/30 Savage bolt actions shoot arounf 1.5" groups at 100 yards but only because they are setup better.

I am seeking some one on one training from someone with experience. I had that with handguns and it made all the difference in the world.

Delmar
December 10, 2012, 04:00 PM
Before you toss that scope in the trash, make sure it will hold zero first. Might be that the scope/rings/bases are giving you issues.

First off, make sure the scope bases are tight-I put a high strength loctite on mine.

Same with the scope rings.

Sandbag your rifle securely and take a look thru the scope on a good target paper that you can see, preferably a target divided into 1 inch or so squares. Turn the magnification up and down, see if the crosshairs move. I had an issue with a scope years ago, which had an adjustable objective. I did the above and at 50 yards, the reticle was making about a 2 inch circle when I turned it.

This will tell you at least if the scope is okay.

Dont know about these newer stocks Remington is using. I have a 10 year old 700 VS which came with an H&S composite stock, aluminum bedded. Wonderful piece of equipment, and I use a torque wrench to set the screws. Just to see what would happen, I fired a few shots out of it, let it cool down, removed the action and remounted. Hit exactly the same place. It might make a difference at longer range, but I was very happy with the result.

Rob96
December 10, 2012, 06:26 PM
There are some on here claiming to shoot .5" groups with the SPS stock on their rifle. Sorry, I flat out won't believe it. The biggest handicap that rifle has is the stock and second the trigger.


I guess you would call me a liar then. I have the ADl version as sold by Dick's. With a Meuller APT Tactical scope it shot consistent .65moa groups with the 26" barrel. I had the barrel cut down to 20" with a recessed target crown and dropped the groups to .55moa. This is with the factory stock.

floorit76
December 10, 2012, 06:51 PM
Scope first. I have the same rifle.

mcdonl
December 10, 2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks floorit... It is a good rifle.

jmr40
December 10, 2012, 07:25 PM
No reason that rifle won't shoot 1/2" groups with good ammo and an experienced shooter. If it wouldn't come darn close to that with no tweaking I'd be sending it back. I've seen several Remingtons and other brands shoot well under 1" groups even in the cheap plastic stocks.

Is this the Hogue stock?. If so it will shoot as well as any other stock. I don't like them and would upgrade eventually if it were mine, but not because of a lack of accuacy. If it is the cheap tupperware stock then the need to replace it would be more pressing.

For $300 you can get a Leupold VX-2 and definately have a quality scope. They actually have very good resale value if you decide to upgrade in the future. You could spend $50 less and have a scope that has almost Zero resale value later. You may find you don't want to upgrade. I have more expensive scopes, but a $300 Leupold does everything I need a scope to do.

For your use the B&C stock at just over $200 is fine. I don't like them on a hunting rifle because of the weight, but for this rifle they are fine. Spending $600 on a McMillan will get you a stock 1.5 lbs lighter, but no better. I would, and have, spent the money for a hunting rifle for the weight reduction, but wouldn't on this rifle.

floorit76
December 10, 2012, 07:35 PM
These have the cheap-o plastic stocks with no bedding, no pillars, and isn't even free floated. I bought mine at Dick's on black friday for $350. It came with a cheap-o 3-9 scope that only says China on it.

allaroundhunter
December 10, 2012, 08:10 PM
If you are shooting 2"-3" with it as is, then I would replace the scope first. The stock that the gun comes with will have you shooting around 1" with Federal match ammo.

Once you are able to keep the groups around an inch, then you can swap the stock and notice a difference.


My SPS-V in .308 shoots 1/2 - 3/4 MOA out to 500 yards with the stock that came in the packaging...

allaroundhunter
December 10, 2012, 08:13 PM
There are some on here claiming to shoot .5" groups with the SPS stock on their rifle. Sorry, I flat out won't believe it. The biggest handicap that rifle has is the stock and second the trigger.

Yes, the biggest handicap is the stock, but my trigger was not that bad... Mine breaks clean at 2.5 lbs with no take up at all...

And I guess I'm a liar too, oh well.

CraigC
December 10, 2012, 08:25 PM
Definitely glass first. I've had too many Tasco-level scopes give up the ghost to ever trust one again. Spend all you can on the scope, that $300 VX2 suggestion sounds good to me.

Edarnold
December 10, 2012, 09:02 PM
Hi folks. I will answer my question first, so you know what I think I have learned regarding this topic...

I just purchased a new Remington 700 SPSV Heavy Barrel varmint rifle. I want to turn it into a 100-200 yard bench shooting rifle. My intention is to replace the optics first as I feel it will have the biggest impact, and will allow me to get used to the rifle in it's "simple" configuration before replacing the stock.

Is this sound reasoning? What would you do?

Some constraints I have are time and money... it will take me time to get the money so doing them both at once would be difficult. I will have $200 - $300 to spend on each item.

The gun will almost exclusively be a bench gun at a 100 yard range.
Based on my experience you would do well to look at the Choate Ultimate Varmint stock. Molded-in aluminum bedding block, full floating barrel, a wide flat fore-end fore stability off a rest, adjustable length of pull and cheek piece, priced at half of what a McMillen would run you. Does the job, just doesn't have the fancy name and price tag.

For a scope, a fixed power 8x or 10x by a good maker is more appropriate than a variable. That may get you better optics and mechanicals than a similarly priced variable: you don't need 3x on a bench rifle, why pay extra for it?

IMHO

joed
December 10, 2012, 09:13 PM
I guess you would call me a liar then. I have the ADl version as sold by Dick's. With a Meuller APT Tactical scope it shot consistent .65moa groups with the 26" barrel. I had the barrel cut down to 20" with a recessed target crown and dropped the groups to .55moa. This is with the factory stock.
Then you probably have a .223 if you can get under 1" with the standard stock.

Rob96
December 11, 2012, 05:06 AM
Nope, I have the 308 which I handload for. I did have an SPS Tactical with the same stock in 223 that would not shoot worth a damn.

mcdonl
December 11, 2012, 08:49 AM
For a scope, a fixed power 8x or 10x by a good maker is more appropriate than a variable. That may get you better optics and mechanicals than a similarly priced variable: you don't need 3x on a bench rifle, why pay extra for it?IMHO

Thinks for this information. Is there a big price difference... And, yeah this gun will be used just about exclusively on a bench.

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