“Revolutionary” is a term that is frequently overused, but every once in a while something comes along that gets our attention in a major way. Remington’s latest cartridge is definitely revolutionary because it delivers the ballistics of a .300 Win in a cartridge the length of a .308, the Remington .300 Remington Short Action Ultra Mag (.300 RSAUM). Although developed as a hunting round, it didn’t take Remington very long to develop a version of cartridge and rifle for military and law enforcement to go with it. The .300 RSAUM cartridge is almost identical in length to the .308, but .300 RASUM match round ballistics are identical to the longer .300 Win Mag.
The .300 RSAUM kicks a Sierra 190-grain Match King bullet out of a 24-inch barrel at 2900 feet per second (fps), the same as the .300 Win Mag. In fact, downrange ballistics of the two match grade cartridges are identical. The .300 RSAUM’s case length is virtually identical to that of the .308 as is overall length.
A major advantage of the .300 RSAUM is that it can be used in the Model 700 short action, rather than the long action required for the .300 Win Mag. Thus, the bolt throw is much shorter and somewhat faster, not to mention that the bolt doesn’t come back into the shooter’s face as is the case with the long action. The short throw is less disruptive to the shooter and gives faster follow-up shots. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the rifle selected for the .300 RSAUM police version was the venerable Model 700P LTR (Light Tactical Rifle).
Remington’s classic Model 700 has been a mainstay of civilian, military and law enforcement users since its introduction and continues to soldier on after nearly 50 years in production. The Model 700 action is so strong and so flexible that is has served as the basis for both the US Army’s and US Marine Corps’ sniper rifles: the Army’s M24 and the Marines’ M40 series. Because of its basic excellence, the Remington 700 action is usually the action of choice for custom rifle builders. The latest in Remington’s precision tactical rifle lineup is the Model 700P LTR in .300 RASUM, also available in .223 and .308. The Remington 700P LTR bolt action is the basis of our test.
Like all Model 700s, the bolt face, barrel and receiver surround and support the cartridge with three concentric circles of ordnance steel. The receiver is machined from a block of solid steel, and is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Our test rifle, along with .223 and .308 rifles, use the Remington 700 short action. Our test rifle came with a fully free-floated 20-inch barrel with a match crown at the muzzle, fluted for extra stiffness and heat dissipation.
The 700P stocks are made by HS Precision of composite reinforced by Kevlar and fiberglass. A solid aircraft aluminum bedding block runs the entire length of the receiver. The aircraft aluminum floorplate is hinged to facilitate an immediate “ammo dump” should the need arise. The forend is the classic beavertail pattern that facilitates control with a thick rubber butt pad to help absorb felt recoil. The recoil pad had a “tacky” feel that again enhanced control by keeping the butt in place against the shooter’s shoulder. The stock has three sling swivel studs, two of which are typically used for the sling and the other for mounting a bipod.
The trigger of our test rifle was Remington’s older Model 700 trigger, set at the factory at nominal 2.5 pounds pull weight. Our test trigger broke with zero creep or overtravel at just under 3 pounds, ideal for a precision tactical rifle. The overall fit and finish of our test rifle was on a par with many custom rifles we have seen that cost much more. The barrel fluting was evenly spaced and well executed. In keeping with law enforcement precision rifles, the 700P LTR is finished overall in a matte black.
As we have noted on numerous occasions, a rifle, no matter how good it is, is one component of a total shooting system that incorporates much more than the rifle itself. Because of this we set up every rifle we evaluate as a shooting system that is as close to what precision tactical marksmen might choose for their personal duty weapon. The operative word here is personal. Most precision tactical marksmen of our acquaintance tailor their duty rifle to their individual tastes and operational requirements and our shooting system consists of the items that fit our needs.
First was a mounting rail from LaRue Tactical. Our 700P LTR was drilled and tapped, but came without a mount. We prefer a MIL-STD-1913 mount that mates to our LaRue Tactical scope mount and so ordered a MIL-STD-1913 mount from the same source. Our scope was a Horus Vision 4-16x with the company’s H-25 precision tactical reticle. Our spotting scope is a Leupold 12-40x that also has the Horus Vision H-32 reticle mounted on an Ashbury International Group TACT-3 tripod. The TACT-3 tripod is the most versatile item of its kind available. The excellent Leupold optics coupled with the matching reticles make second shot corrections a breeze. The Horus Vision reticle should please virtually any precision tactical marksman, as the scope’s optics are excellent and the reticle is arguably the most versatile and fastest available. We know of several SWAT precision tactical marksmen who use Horus Vision Scopes, one reason being that they can use supersonic and subsonic ammo without making any external adjustments to the scope.
Having obtained the gear for our Remington, we proceeded to set it up as it might be for tactical operations. Once we got the scope mounted, we found the comb of the rifle’s stock to be too low for us to obtain the best eye relief, so we went to Brownells for a Smith Enterprises Cheek Rest that raises the comb for a better cheek weld with optics and cushions the recoil from cartridges like the .300 RSAUM. We also ordered one of the Brownells M1907 type leather slings that are preferred by many precision tactical marksmen and competitive shooters.
Finally, we added a Keng’s Firearms Versa-Pod. We generally prefer the Versa-Pod to others because it is high quality, plus it can be rotated side to side and then fixed in place by leaning into it. The latest versions also have knobs to lock the bipod into place both for side-to-side movement and to lock the bipod legs either up or down. One of the Versa-Pod’s best features is the ability to instantly change bipod height by simply exchanging one set of legs for another by simply pressing the locking button that retains the legs on the bipod mount.
With our 700P LTR set up just as we like it, we headed for the range. On the range, the LTRs performance was typical Remington. The bolt moves smoothly back and forth. Feed was butter smooth. For single shots, the shooter can simply drop a cartridge into the receiver and close the bolt with no more effort than feeding from the magazine. As mentioned, the trigger broke at just less than 3 pounds with zero creep or overtravel.
Although recoil was “stout” as expected with a rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag, it was manageable and the rifle controllable for quick follow-up shots, thanks to the overall design, the efficient recoil pad and the Smith Enterprises cheek pad. Out of the box, the 700P LTR rifle was a “tack driver,” delivering sub minute of angle accuracy at 100 yards. Once the barrel gets broken in with a few hundred rounds through it, accuracy can only improve.
Remington’s latest efforts towards providing “out of the box” precision tactical rifles at reasonable prices are truly impressive. Moreover, Remington’s latest offering delivers .300 Win Mag performance in a much more compact package. This rifle and previous Remington 700 series precision tactical rifles we tested proved to be as accurate and reliable as some custom rifles that cost twice the price.
The bottom line is that based our experience with them, any of Remington’s 700P LTR precision tactical rifles are ready for the military designated marksmen or a SWAT sharpshooter team right from the box and we recommend them without reservation.
“Revolutionary” is a term that is frequently overused, but every once in a while…
by Jack Satterfield / Feb 21, 2009