When it comes to bolt action rifles, the Remington 700 platform is almost ubiquitous. Big Green has created over a dozen varieties and flavors of bolt guns based off the platform because of its success and time-tested reliability. Police and Military have used the 700 for quite some time, and it's no stranger in the field for both big and small game. Variety is the spice of life, and Remington has something to offer most consumers no matter the niche they are after.
The 700 SPS Tactical is designed as a compact tactical rifle with a shortened 20 inch varmint (heavy profile) barrel, BDL floorplate, and a Hogue overmolded stock that's usable in any weather condition and makes grip & recoil both manageable. It is chambered in both .308 Win and .223 Rem. The Hogue stock has a flatter type forend and a low, straight comb. It's really more of an entry-level tactical bolt action rifle meant to be accessible to a greater range of the market. The AAC-SD variant is the same rifle, but with a "ghillie" Hogue stock that's green with flecks of color and swirls. It has the letters AAC stamped on the receiver, and is only available in .308 Win although I've seen some in 300 Blackout floating around.
I snatched up the rifle because of the hype and it already having a threaded barrel. On the shelf, initial impressions are pretty high. It shoots fairly well, many owners have claimed MOA or sub-MOA out of the box. Mine wasn't exactly as consistent, and has lead me down the path of reading, learning, and smacking myself in the forehead a couple times. The first thing that needs replacing is the stock. I would have paid an extra $200-250 if it had come with an HS precision or B&C stock, but perhaps it was thought that shooters who want to invest in greater accuracy would take the trouble to do so already, and so they slapped on the Hogue stock as a lowest price point option. The hogue stock has flex to it, sure it has aluminum pillars but the forend WILL touch the barrel when using a bipod or any support. That's a bad thing if you want your bullet holes anywhere close to each other. I opened up the last 2 inches of the stock with a dremel to compensate for this which had to help some, but ultimately if you are after a rigid stock with solid contact with your rifle and a free floated barrel, you have to ante up and upgrade. The difference could be 0.5"-1" tighter groups at 100 yards, which may or may not be a concern for your own level of confidence and satisfaction.
I decided to pick up a Bell & Carlson Medalist/Tactical "M40" type stock. There's alot of options out there, and how I decided really was price, and how good did this same rifle look in each stock during a google images surf session. The time tested military style M40 riflestock was introduced in the 1970’s, replacing the wood stocks on standard issue U.S. Military sniper rifles. Even though the U.S. military has moved into other configurations, this M40 silhouette's popularity continues to increase to this day as the chassis is hard to improve upon. B&C's M40 was found at just under $250 through Redhawk Rifles, and it was only 2.5lbs which addressed my total weight concern. I plan on using this as a hunting rifle as well as shooting from the bench so a compromise in weight was needed.
Now if I was a really thorough reviewer, I would have photographed groups with the factory stock, groups before bedding, and groups after bedding. But I didn't get around to it, so you'll have to take my word that the above photo with a 3 shot group under 1 inch at 100 yards is the best I've shot with this gun, and that was with cheap 150gr factory ammo. I'm confident now that working up some reloads in the 168-175 pill range will produce some very good results.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame:
R700 AAC-SD: Highly maneuverable and suppressor ready with pinpoint accuracy.
B&C M40 Stock:
Bell & Carlson's Medalist Varmint/Tactical Stocks were designed from the ground up to help maximize a rifle's performance by providing a rock-solid, ergonomic firing platform incorporating the accuracy enhancing characteristics demanded by today's serious shooters with the resilience necessary for use in extreme environmental conditions.
R700 AAC-SD: Hunters and Intermediate range target shooters, especially those looking for a suppressor host.
B&C M40 Stock: Bolt Action rifle owners looking to increase performance / rule out equipment as a variable in shot group size
FNBs: (Features and Benefits of this product)
- 308 Win with 20” Heavy Barrel with 5/8-24 Threaded Muzzle
- Shipped with Thread Protector Installed
- Accepts AAC® and other 5/8-24 Threaded Flash Hiders, Muzzle Brake and Suppressors
- 1 in 10” Rate of Twist for increased bullet stability
- 7.3 lbs
- Hogue® Overmolded Ghillie Green™ Pillar Bedded Stock
- X-Mark Pro® Externally Adjustable Trigger Set at 3 ½ Pounds
- BDL hinged floor plate
B&C M40 Stock:
- Designed as a drop in fit for heavy barrel Remington 700 short action or long action rifles.
- Free floated barrel channel
- Full aluminum bedding block that extends from the grip to the front swivel stud
- Dual front swivel studs to allow for bipod and sling attachment
- Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad
- BDL hinged floor plate design
- 14" LOP
- 2.5 lbs.
- Raised comb for better eye alignment with scope, notch built into comb to accommodate bolt removal.
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?
R700 AAC-SD: Hogue Overmold Ghillie Stock only. Many aftermarket stocks available is various colors.
B&C M40 Stock: Black, Black w/ Gray web, Gray w/ black web, Olive Green w/ Black web, Tan w/ Black web,
What others are saying?
R700 AAC-SD: "If you’re looking for a relatively cheap but accurate bolt action rifle that can put your silencer to work, the AAC-SD is a bullseye. If you don’t have a silencer, if you’re simply looking to put rounds on target, you can buy a factory fresh Weatherby Vanguard S2 and kit it out for less than a standard Remington 700, let alone this one." The Truth About Guns Review
"Great rifle for what I paid, makes an excellent budget precision starter kit. I did change out the stock, because the Hogue overmold stock, although attractive, was way too flexible. On a bipod I can actually watch the stock contact the barrel, negating the free float. It would be 5 stars if not for the stock, which I consider to be a conceptual flaw. This is meant to be a tactical rifle, with the ability to make multiple accurate shots. This is not possible form a bipod with the included stock. " Buds Guns Review
B&C M40 Stock: "The B&C Medalist stocks (of which we are discussing) are a hand laid Kevlar and composite shell with fiber reinforced foam over an aluminum inner chassis. The aluminum skeleton runs "grip to tip". I have several of these. I can tell you they will stand up to more than most on here will ever put their rifles through. I will say that in my opinion the B&C Medalist stocks are higher quality than H&S Precision stocks." Sniper's Hide Review
R700 AAC-SD: MSRP= $833.00
Retail= $656.00 Buds Guns
B&C M40 Stock: Retail = $289.00 on MidwayUSA
Best Value= $249.99 on Redhawk Rifles
I need it now! Availability:
R700 AAC-SD: Check local gunshops, and popular online dealers, the AAC-SD is commonly listed but mostly out of stock.
B&C M40 Stock: As of time writing review, sold out in every color on major dealers, I got mine at Redhawk Rifles and their getting low on certain colors, so hurry!
+ Short bull barrel achieves accuracy through rigidity, easy to transport with shorter OAL.
+ Will make a great suppressor host.
+ Trigger is satisfactory IMHO, 3.5lbs is light enough for me.
+ Its a Remington 700, one of the most customizable, blueprinted actions out there. Aftermarket options are very good.
- Factory Hogue stock is the weakest link, a must-replace for any serious shooter.
- Remington's 700 bolt handles aren't as robust as they were in the past, can be broken if dropped or prying bolt open on stuck casing. (Had mine tapped and secured with a screw for extra support)
B&C M40 Stock:
+ Absolute drop-in fit with no modifications needed (on this particular rifle, your results may vary) hinged floorplate operates correctly.
+ Improves groups greatly from factory Hogue stock
+ Precise CNC-machined aluminum bedding block ensures a perfect metal-to-metal fit along receiver, aligns the barreled action, stiffen the forend, and eliminate the need for conventional bedding methods (Although glass bedding will still help create a perfect, gapless bed.)
+ Freefloats the barrel
+ Weight kept down compared to other model stocks 3lbs + over
+ Stock comes with a lifetime factory warranty on materials and workmanship.
- Inside factory inletting was a little rough on this particular stock, but got filled in during glass bedding process anyway.
- Outdated company website (call me, B&C!)
Score: 6.5 OK
R700 AAC-SD: Reasoning - for the MSRP amount and AAC's name attached I expected more innovation or at least a better all around rifle instead of an SPS w/ threaded barrel and different color stock. It's still a good rifle, but a tackdriver or tactical rifle out of the box it is not. Cost saving corners for Remington are pretty obvious. For $600-$800, better performers are available.
B&C M40 Stock: 8.5 Great