Today we’re going to talk about one of the most successful bolt action rifles in history, the Remington 700. The 700 and its many variants are among the bestselling bolt action rifles ever made and have been since its initial release in 1962.
The history of the Remington 700 began with the Remington 721 and 722 bolt action rifles, which had been released back in 1948. The 700 was designed from the beginning to by much cheaper to manufacture while still offering a high level of quality in order to compete well with other bolt action rifles of the day such as the Winchester Model 70.
When the 700 was first released, it took the firearms world by storm. It was available for much less money than the Winchester Model 70 was, and sold very well. In fact, Winchester had to cheapen many of the parts and design process for the Model 70 in order to make it more affordable so it could compete with Remington’s new offering.
The Model 721 and 722 models themselves were refinements of the Model 30, which had been Remington’s primary offering for a bolt action rifle before World War II. The Model 721 utilized a syndical receiver that was very cheap to manufacture, but also came with several stamped metal parts and not the best finishing work either. The 721 and 722 turned into the 725, which then developed into the Model 700 by 1962.
The Model 700 was designed from the beginning to have much tighter tolerances than previous Remington bolt action rifles in order to drastically improve its accuracy. Designed for mass production, the initial variants of the Remington 700 were the ADL and the BDL variants, or the long and short action variants in order to accommodate the chambering of most of the major cartridges of the era.
The Remington 700 had a major difference from the competing Winchester Model 70 in that it uses a push feed action rather than the Mauser style controlled feed action like the Winchester was using. The push feed action is much simpler and cheaper to manufacture.
The 700, depending on the caliber, comes standard with a 3 to 5 round internal magazine. Some magazines have a hinged floor plate, while others use a detachable box magazine in order to facilitate faster reloading.
The Remington 700 has a countless number of variants today, and it also serves as the basis for the M24 sniper rifles like are used by the United States military.
The standard Remington 700 uses two dual opposed lugs with a recessed bolt face that completely encloses the base of the cartridges. The C-clip extractor is located within the bolt face. The bolt itself is of a three piece design, consisting of the head, bolt handle, and the body.
Today, this basic design to the Remington 700 has been replicated in countless other bolt action rifles. In fact, most bolt action rifles of today rely on the push feed bolt action mechanism rather than the controlled feed system. The includes, but is not limited to, the Weatherby Vanguard, Howa 1500, and the Tikka T3.