Please note that what follows below can be applied to any high-powered rifle. We are using the Remington Model 700 as a base, but depending on the task at hand, which will vary, a different optics system will be mounted on a different type of Remington 700 rifle.
The Remington 700 is a time-honored rifle design, all of it based on action alone. This action has been used by military snipers, law enforcement urban marksmen, and countless hunters and target shooters across the world.
In my selective group of test rifles here at Ballistics Research & Development, I have no less than seven of these rifles, all designed for different work in the field or on the target range. While one rifle will be earmarked for strictly long-range shooting, another will be doing the work of a brush rifle designed for timber or jungle environments.
Hunting Mark have given me a list of rifle scopes to review. Based on level of performance and specifications, I will match each scope to a different type of Model 700 Remington. Your own rifle may be totally different to any reviewed here. Therefore, you can mix or match based on what I have to say about each scope applied to my own selection of receivers in Remington 700s.
Also, be aware that the selection of rifles I present retain both long and short actions. Yes, the Model 700 Remington comes both ways, and it is because of the cartridge length being applied.
The long actions are best applied to ammo like the 30-06 Springfield, 270 Winchester, and 300 Win Mag. Any cartridge that comes into that basic length overall will require a long action rifle.
Short action rifles generally shoot ammo like the 243 Winchester, 22-250 Remington, .224 Valkyrie, and 7.62X39 Russian cartridges. There are many more additional cartridges, but this is enough to give the reader a general idea of how the whole process works.
Vortex Optic Viper
Leupold VX Freedom 3-9X50
AccuShot UTG 2-16X44 30mm Scope
Bushnell Elite Tactical Rifle Scope
1. Vortex Optic Viper
The first rifle scope in this review is the Vortex Viper 6.5-20X50. This scope is a big glass tube and, as such, demands the long action rifle in the Model 700 Remington. I shoot several of these long action receiver designs and in each case I run the glass that mirrors the scope being discussed here.
This Vortex scope has a second focal plane (SFP), meaning you're going to see your target magnification but the crosshairs (sub-tensions) will remain the same. The scope uses the 30mm tube, thereby giving ample room for large turret elevation and windage adjustments. The Model 700 in 25-06 that I own is right on the money for this type of optical system.
The scope is best mounted with high rings or rings attached to a 20 MOA picatinny rail. This glass, being 6-20-0234, boasts ample magnification when hunting long-distance plains game.
The rifle I use has been restocked with a laminated bamboo and glass beaded by a custom stock manufacture. The hunting rifle in this case, with good long-range glass, is clearly capable of taking antelope to 400 yards all day long.
The manufacturer offers their glass sight with multi-coated lens surfaces and capped turrets that still allow for quick indexing regarding elevation and windage, and the scope also has an Armortek lens coating that protects the surfaces from harsh field conditions.
I have shot this scope under test and also keep several Vortex products at my home range in western South Dakota. The Vortex is a very reasonable buy in terms of value for the buck, and in general I have had no issues with several of these glass sight systems.
2. Leupold VX Freedom 3-9X50
As a second option here, and a solid system when tacked onto an ADL or BDL Remington turn-bolt rifle in standard calibers that also makes use of a normal 22 through 24 inch barrel, is the Leupold VX-Freedom series hunting scope.
When selecting this rifle scope, both the short and long action rifles apply as the scope is not small by any means but is within the range of “normal” when applied to general-use optics. You can't go wrong with optics from this company and, in my opinion, they are just about the best glass going for the hard-earned dollar you're putting down on the sporting goods counter.
An illuminated FireDot reticle allows the scope to be used very early in the morning and also in later in the day when hunting right to the last legal time limit for big game. Mounting a 50 objective lens, this scope is lightweight and, with the American-manufactured sub-tension system, the scope is class among deer hunters and general varmint shooters alike.
The main tube is built from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and tested to hold together for a hunter's lifetime in the field. This scope type is mounted on several of my rifles.
In the Remington 700 department, this model would be ideal for use on my Remington Model Seven. This is a short action Model 700 that is matched to a 22” barrel on a mountain-style rifle. Chambered in 243 Winchester, it is a coyote-killer and a very good all-round deer/antelope hunting rifle as well.
When the Freedom 3-9X50 is mounted on a rifle like this, it will not use junk parts, and all lens installments are placed and fitted permanently, lacking the glue used on some lesser brands.
The VX series of scopes is offered by this manufacturer in a wide range of tube body lengths, power settings, and sub-tensions. When buying the Leupold, the options are enough to allow the buyer to choose between a scope that fits the rifle well or one that just gets by. You want the first choice to be sure.
3. Leupold Rifleman
When shooting a short stroke action in the Model 700, one of the best options for a light rifle such as the 204 Ruger chambered round, for example, is the Leupold Rifleman scope. This is a modestly priced glass sight that will get the job done on the ranch, rifle by the door in a saddle scabbard, when working cows, or just being there for those few days of a local deer season.
This scope has capped turrets, a one inch main tube, and 40mm objective bell housing. The scope is general purpose and can get the job done anyplace it is required.
The Rifleman uses duplex crosshairs that allow quick centering of running game, and also the manufacturer's “Twilight“ light management system, giving the hunter those few extra minutes of shooting light each day.
The scope is fully designed, machined and assembled right here in the USA. No sparse parts, please.
When most shooting with scopes is completed with less than 6X magnification, the added ability of the optic to push the limit to 12X means that it is a walking spotting scope, a solid target scope at longer-range, and a very workable big game applied glass optical system as well.
As for Model 700 Remingtons, this rifle scope is workable on any and all of them being short or long action not withstanding here.
The best part, other the quality function of this manufacturer's glass, is that the price tag from Amazon and the MSRP-related pricing is a modest $269.00.
4. Vortex Diamondback
While I don’t currently run this glass on a Remington of any type, I do shoot it on my ArmaLite 300 Win Mag sniper rifle. This can be transferred to my Remington heavy varmint VS in 22-250 Rem as well. The scope is set up as a first focal plane (FFP) system, and is powered at 4-16X44. The sub-tensions are etched in MRADS, making this scope a natural for long-distance work.
The scope retains extra dispersion glass and it is fully multi-coated in order to transmit a clear, sharp image.
The precision-glide erector system uses high quality components to make turret adjustments smooth and repeatable. This scope uses tactical-style open turret adjustment knobs. Speed is critical when adjusting for longer-range targets beyond the setting indicated by the basic zero.
Parallax adjustment is taken care of with a left side adjustment knob on the turret that is easy to read and operate.
This scope uses the larger 30mm main tube and that again allows the use of more robust parts internally. Remington chassis rifles with 700 Rem actions are classic candidates for use with this sighting system.
This rifle scope has features found only in scopes that carry a price three times the amount of the MSRP associated with this glass sighting system system. It is available for $349.00 from Amazon (MSRP).
5. AccuShot UTG 2-16X44 30mm Scope
Here we have a scope set-up for an entry class shooter who is watching funds with care but who wants to shoot a better grade rifle and needs starting optics that will work on the target range or in the field. This scope is priced at just over $159.00 and is not going to carry the materials and workmanship of the higher priced glass sights.
In terms of Model 700 class rifles, I would keep this scope on a rifle in a short action and chambered in the smaller .223 Rem cartridge. Why? Because of range effectiveness and a clear sight picture being obtained beyond 300 yards.
I realize that I'm saying that this scope is not cut out for pushing range, gathering light, and lasting a shooter his or her lifetime. But it is also my job to keep the subject on track and as such I can not certify this glass as more than what it is.
Tied down to a Remington short action Model 700 in a light caliber and cartridge, the scope will produce workable results. It allows the user to learn the workings of a multi-power glass sight, handle open-style turret adjustments, and dial in a clear sharp sight picture with the side focus knob on the left-hand side of the turret.
This rifle scope uses a German #4 dot reticle that has etched glass. I am impressed to say the least. Etched reticle at this price and German glass. Wow!
The AccuShot UTG uses a 2-16 set-up, making it workable for long- and close-range applications. The reticle is lit by both red and green colors, and can be regulated to the settings of 36 different levels in order to accommodate any light condition the shooter may encounter.
The scope is parallax-adjustable with a side control from 10 yards to infinity. Elevation and windage clicks are set at ¼ MOA per click.
6. Bushnell Elite Tactical Rifle Scope
Going another way and off the far side of price points, I have selected the Elite Tactical as my final offering when applied to a large caliber long-range specialized rifle, in this case the Remington XCR Tactical Model 700 in 338 Lapua.
I selected this rifle in the Remington line because it is a big boss among all of the Model 700 offerings, and I shoot the Bushnell scope (same one), but applied to my Montana Model 1999, which is very much like the Model 700 Remington but in a custom grade and Mauser classic action design.
Think the Remington is not at the cutting edge of design regarding long-distance rifles? Another example that would fit right in here is the Remington 40XS Tactical, again in 338 Lapua. I have stayed with the 338 Lapua because it is a true one mile rifle even at sea level, where smaller cartridges can push bullets that far but need to be shot at mountain altitudes where the air is thinner.
We'll come back to this another day, however, as it is complicated.
My Bushnell Elite when tied on to my 338 has been an outstanding choice when I run my MRAD setting up to 19.5 clicks, setting onto the bench and sending a bullet that takes almost four seconds to arrive on the FBI 100-man target down-range at 1760 yards (one full mile).
When shooting the Bushnell, my sight picture is clear with my parallax, adjusted by a side control knob. The clicks are locked-in with a zero-stop turret that is massive due to the large 33mm main scope tube that houses it. It has ample amounts of windage and elevation.
MRAD-installed reticle sub-tensions and elevation advancements make for major sighting changes at longer ranges with a minimal amount of turret knob rotation required.
This scope is the flagship in the Bushnell line of rifle optics. It is classed as and sniper-grade constructed, and built for professional applications in the field. I know for a fact that I could not shoot to the range and accuracy levels I do without my rifle cartridge choice and Elite scope set-up. The quality that is built into this rifle scope makes success happen.