There are few weapons around the world that have been as much of a proven workhorse as the Remington Model 700 rifle. Seen in a wide variety of configurations, the Model 700 has become a part of the American gun culture. From hunters looking for a trophy buck to highly trained special operations personnel on missions behind enemy lines, Remington has developed a flavor for every taste.
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Remington is not a company to sit back and admire its work, however, and it constantly strives to improve its products. Enter the Remington Model 700 Tactical Chassis. This collaboration of action and chassis has been a point of curiosity for some time, and I answered with a hearty “yes” when given an opportunity to run it through its paces. It takes the venerable Model 700 action and mates it with the popular MDT TAC21 chassis.
I recently tested the Remington Model 700 Tactical Chassis chambered in .338 Lapua. (Remington also offers the rifle chambered in 7.62mm and .300 Winchester Magnum.) I immediately recognized the fluid motion of the Model 700 action like an old friend. Fitted with Remington’s target bolt handle, it was smooth and solid. The rifle was set up with a 26-inch, stainless barrel with a 1-in-10-inch twist rate and topped off with an AAC 90T ratchet-mount muzzle brake. The entire action and barrel were coated in black Cerakote for a durable, clean finish.
Designed for using detachable box magazines, the kit included an always solid, single-stack magazine from Accurate-Mag. The rifle also sports the externally adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger, which was set at a crisp 3.5 pounds on my test model. While technically irrelevant, the gun was gorgeous. It was smooth with very few hard edges. Unique to this rifle in the MDT chassis is the safety. Seated on the right side of the rifle, just below the bolt, it operates by pushing the indicator along an arc from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock. I found it to be neither a hindrance nor an advantage, but it’s still an interesting feature.
The chassis was equally as interesting. Made by MDT, the TAC21 chassis is a modular, drop-in design with the sole purpose of improving accuracy. According to MDT, the chassis is “a combination of benchrest accuracy, superior ergonomics and specialized design. This chassis brings the Remington 700 to the next level in versatility and modularity, with an instant improvement in accuracy.” The chassis is built to accept magazines and is milled to allow the installation of Picatinny accessory rails on the forend and the side of the action housing. Obviously designed to free-float the barrel, the chassis offers some solid perks. The rifle only makes contact with the chassis on the V-shaped bedding block and the recoil lug. This is a major contributor to enhanced accuracy. MDT boldly claims the chassis will improve accuracy by up to 30 percent.
The TAC21 chassis is made from aluminum that is mil-spec Type III hardcoat anodized before being given a Cerakote finish in black or Flat Dark Earth. The chassis itself only weighs 3.5 pounds and features a built-in 20-MOA top rail. Wrapped up with a pistol grip, a Magpul PRS adjustable stock and measuring out at 50 inches, the rifle is by no means your grandfather’s Model 700.
Going The Distance
I was fortunate to be able to test the Remington Model 700 Tactical Chassis at a private location with ample room—1,100 yards of flat open range to be exact. The weather was almost painfully beautiful, with no wind and sunny skies. The glass I used for my range adventure was a U.S. Optics 1.8-10X MR-10 scope mounted in U.S. Optics 30mm rings. While the ER-25 5-25X would be more fitting for this long-range machine, the clarity and quality of the MR-10 scope would serve me perfectly for this session because I was “limited” to 1,100 yards.
After spending some time adjusting the scope and breaking in the barrel, it was time to let the Model 700 Tactical Chassis out of the starting gates. One of the first things I noticed was the lack of serious recoil. While many .338 Lapua-chambered rifles can be less than friendly in the recoil department, I found the Remington to be a pleasure to shoot. This is attributed to a good muzzle brake and the weight of the gun itself. Where this really matters is in follow-up shots. It was easy to stay on the scope and prepare for my next shots. The trigger also broke cleanly with no take-up or noticeable overtravel.
For the data books, I shot groups at 100 yards with three different rounds to set a general baseline. To get a real feel for the rifle’s capabilities, I ran a spectrum of ammo: Remington Express 250-grain Scenar Match rounds, Federal 300-grain Gold Medal Match SMKs and Prvi Partizan 250-grain FMJs.
As you can see from the performance chart, the rifle was very accurate. These tight accuracy patterns continued as I pushed farther and farther out. Jumping immediately to 500 yards on steel targets, I easily kept 1-MOA or smaller groups with the Federal and Remington ammo. The power of the .338 Lapua never ceases to amaze me. Its ability to punish steel at over a quarter-mile is a reminder of the punch behind this round. Essentially a necked-down .416 Rigby, the round was specifically designed for long-range military engagements, and it definitely excels in this assigned task.
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By design, the Model 700 Tactical Chassis really came into its stride when the target was moved beyond 1,000 yards. All of the rounds impacted tightly together. Which brings us back to the combination of trigger, muzzle brake and gun weight. I was consistently able to deliver multiple shots on target with little if any readjustment. After shooting enough .338 Lapua ammo to fund a Central American economy, the sun began to drop and it was time to clean up.
The Remington Model 700 Tactical Chassis is a world-class rifle. With its modern-day modularity, it is a versatile tack driver. The Remington Model 700 action and MDT TAC21 chassis are an exceptional match. Together, they provide a solid platform for the .338 Lapua round, which is still growing in popularity. My only regret for the range day was that I did not have more room. This rifle was just warming up at 1,000 yards, and I find myself wondering just what its accurate outer limits might be. While I have seen many rifles come and go through the range, this is one that will join my personal collection. I just need to polish up my well-worn “justification” speech for my wife when she gives me that look.
For more information, visit remington.com or call 800-243-9700.