Remington has been making arms for the military and police for many years. They include shotguns, patrol rifles and carbines, sniper rifles, and various arms classified under the National Firearms Act, including select-fire and fully automatic weapons. The company had not made these products available commercially, but at an event in early December of 2014 held at Gunsite Academy, Remington announced that, beginning in 2015, certain law enforcement and military weapons would be made available to retailers for sale to the public. Because these guns have not been sold to the public before, many people do not even know they exist. And that’s understandable. But a lot of people are going to be surprised and will want to acquire some of these interesting guns. After all, they will continue to be used by people who get paid to use them in high-risk situations.
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Although not a select-fire gun, the Remington Model 700 Police 5R RACS nevertheless has not been available commercially until now. Most everyone has heard of the Remington Model 700 rifle, and many people know that there is a version made for police and military sniper use. While the basic 700 on which this gun is based is nearly the same, Remington replaced the normal stock with what the company calls the Remington Accessory Chassis System (RACS). The RACS allows for the attachment of many useful accessories and is loaded with user-adjustable features designed to allow the shooter to adjust the rifle for a comfortable fit.
Starting with the Model 700 action, Remington makes even more modifications so it is not the same as the basic rifle used by many for hunting. Instead of the standard trigger usually found on Remington 700s, one borrowed from the 40X rifle is installed. This is a nice trigger with a snappy break that is externally adjustable for pull weight. The one on the gun I received for testing broke cleanly with no discernible take-up at 3.5 pounds followed by no perceptible overtravel.
A special barrel has also been installed on this gun. A typical barrel will have an even number of lands and grooves, but this gun’s 5R barrel has five. The design also features lands that have angular instead of sharp, square edges. The five lands reportedly deform the bullet less as it travels down the barrel, and the angular edges allow the bullet jacket to more easily form to them, making for a better gas seal that results in less carbon buildup, less copper fouling, easier barrel cleaning and greater velocity—not to mention better accuracy. The user has to be the judge of all the claims, but my test gun did prove to be accurate. More about that later.
My test rifle featured a 20-inch, carbon-steel barrel featuring a Parkerized finish, a 1-in-11.25-inch twist rate and 5/8×24 threading at the muzzle for the attachment of a suppressor or other muzzle device. A thread protector was supplied. (Remington also offers 24-inch barrels for government orders.)
For government entities, Remington makes the 700 Police 5R RACS available with an optional Tactical Weapons System (TWS) package that includes a Leupold VX-III 3.5-10x40mm scope with a duplex reticle and flip-open lens covers. Also supplied with the TWS option is a Harris bipod, a Michaels 1-inch Quick Adjustable sling with swivels and a Pelican hard case. Whether the TWS option is purchased or not, the gun comes with two 10-round detachable box magazines.
Accessory Chassis System
What makes this gun remarkably different from the other Remington 700 Police models is the RACS, which allows the operator to install accessories that are often difficult to add to a gun with a sporting or tactical stock. But the first, and most obvious, feature of the RACS is the pistol grip. The one on the test gun appeared similar to an Ergo grip but was not marked as such. It appeared that the grip could be removed and replaced with another AR-style grip. In any case, the grip supplied was comfortable and worked well. Be aware, though, that with the pistol grip, to manipulate the receiver-mounted safety that is on the right side, near the back of the bolt, the hand must be moved from its firing position. The shooter cannot manipulate it while keeping the hand on the stock, as can be done with a sporter.
The other most obvious feature of the RACS is the tubular handguard—similar to an AR-style handguard—that allows the barrel to float freely for enhanced accuracy. Made of 7075-T6 aluminum with an anodized finish, and extending to within about 2 inches of the muzzle, the handguard has eight sides with holes pre-drilled and tapped to allow the operator to attach Picatinny rail sections for mounting various accessories like lights, laser aiming devices or bipods. The handguard also has cable-routing guides, or grooves, so that cables from electronic devices are recessed just below the contour of the handguard instead of being taped or tied down and protruding from the surface, where they can snag on twigs or other objects. The handguard also has sling swivel sockets for quick-detach (QD) sling swivels located at the rear on both sides and the bottom, while rail sections with sockets can be attached to the handguard at the front.
Along the top of the handguard and extending all the way to the rear of the receiver is a Picatinny rail that has numbered slots so that accessories like scopes and night-vision devices can be mounted, dismounted and then reinstalled in the same place to retain their zero. Additionally, the top rail has a cant or bias of 20 MOA built in. This allows for a greater range of a scope’s elevation adjustment to be used, which aids in longer-range shooting. With a standard rail that has no bias, the scope is mounted parallel to the axis of the bore, so at 100 yards, only a little adjustment is needed to achieve zero. The scope’s reticle remains positioned somewhere near the center of its elevation travel. By adding a bias of 20 MOA, the scope’s axis points down towards the muzzle, so that at a 100-yard zero, the reticle is at the upper part of the range of travel. By doing this, a greater portion of the scope’s range of elevation adjustment can be used to center the reticle on targets at extremely long ranges instead of having to estimate holdovers.
A word of caution, though: Some scopes do not have enough elevation adjustment to allow for a 100-yard zero if attached to a rail with a 20-MOA cant. With such a scope’s reticle at the end of the travel range, the point of impact will be a few inches high at 100 yards, so the scope and its mounts should be chosen carefully.
At the back of the RACS is a folding buttstock with a number of adjustments to make the gun fit the shooter. The buttstock folds to the right side and has short rails on each side and the bottom. So that the shooter can align his eye behind whatever optic is chosen, the cheekpiece is adjustable, up and down, and locks in place with a thumbscrew. The length of pull is also adjustable, allowing the overall length of the gun to be adjusted from about 38.5 inches to about 40.25 inches. And when the stock is folded, the gun is 30.25 inches long without a muzzle device, making it pretty compact. The RACS is available in black for civilians and LEOs.
Obviously, this turnbolt has a lot of great features, but the big question with a gun designed for accuracy and precision is how does it shoot?
My sample gun had been run hard and shot a lot by the time I received it. It showed some wear and had not been cleaned, as evidenced by some external scratches, plenty of fouling and a good deal of copper buildup in the bore. Usually a company will send a new gun to a gun writer so it is representative of a gun bought off the shelf. Nevertheless, I cleaned the bore of carbon fouling, but because of the press of deadlines, did not devote any time to removing copper fouling. The gun was going to shoot like it shoots, but since this was a law enforcement sales demonstration gun, I figured it would probably shoot pretty well even when fouled.
My suspicions were right. Using a Steiner Military 5-25x56mm scope mounted in a LaRue Tactical QD mount, and using quality match ammunition from ASYM, Black Hills and Eagle Eye, the average group with all loads was less than 1 MOA at 100 yards using the supplied tripod while shooting off a bench. Take a look at the performance table for details.
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For military, law enforcement or sport shooters who need a reliable and accurate turnbolt, the Model 700P 5R RACS is certainly one to put on the list for consideration.
For more information, call 800-243-9700 or visit remington.com.