A History of the Remington Model 700It was 1962 when Remington Arms first introduced the Model 700 that would go on to become "America's most popular bolt action rifle on the market". With its simple yet elegant design, the Remington Model 700 would prove to be the staple by which all other rifles are compared. It's out of the box accuracy and rugged durability is a statement of it's longevity to any shooter who owns a Model 700. It would be these simple qualities that would also make the Model 700 an attractive choice by the United States Marine Corps., and later the U.S. Army.
Mention the term "sniper rifle" and one will instantly bring to memory the name "Carlos Hathcock". He is perhaps the most well known sniper in the Vietnam era. Although his work was accomplished using Winchester M70, it would be in 1969 that the USMC first adopted the Remington 700, calling it the M40, as its primary sniper weapon. Why did they choose the Remington over any other model of weapon? The answer is simply this: the Model 700 action is a straightforward and ruggedly designed action. The 700 action is more easily blueprinted than the Winchester. With the right machining equipment, you can virtually keep any Model 700 functioning at peak performance throughout its entire life span.
The bolt design is unlike any other. Its bolt face is deeply recessed into the bolt body. This means that the entire rear of the shell casing is surrounded by three overlapping rings of solid steel. The bolt also has two large lugs that lock the bolt securely and firmly in place when closed. This simple design is a contributing factor to its known out of the box accuracy. There were some weaknesses early on however, and the USMC eventually replaced the wood stocks with McMillan fiberglass stocks. This new rifle would become known as the M40A1 that would stand for more than three decades before being upgraded further into the M40A3. However, the 700's story doesn't begin with the military.
It all started with the introduction of the model 721/722 line of firearms shortly after World War II in 1948. These rifles were quickly liked by many hunters and civilians because of their rugged durability. They were also some of the most accurate rifles out of the box for that time. Most factory rifles were not able to match the performance of the Remington. Despite it's phenomenal accuracy out of the box, the 721/722 would have a relatively short life. When the Model 700 first hit the market in 1962, it was an instant hit. Sporting a new; more graceful look and many other cosmetic changes, would make this rifle a lasting staple in American history.
Today, the Remington model 700 is still known for it's out of the box accuracy and it's classic look. Since 1962 it has been produced in more than 50 variants, from classic wood stocks to the space age synthetics. It has also enjoyed a wide range of caliber selection, all the way from 17 Remington to the 458 Win. Mag. With nearly 3.5 million being manufactured since it's introduction, it will continue to be a top contender for many years to come. With a history like the Model 700 has enjoyed, it truly is, "America's most popular bolt action rifle!"