The review below originally appeared at Tactical Life
Remington 700 XCR Tactical Long Range Review
The Remington 700 XCR Tactical Long Range is aptly named, with sub-MOA accuracy at 300 feet, and shown here with a Vortex Viper Scope and Harris bipod.
Short-barreled precision rifles are convenient to carry and extract from a vehicle, and they’re also more difficult to steady. The short barrel reduces velocity if you want to stretch the range; velocity matters because it flattens trajectory; this makes range estimation less critical. When shooting distances extending beyond 500 yards, there’s no substitute for a long barrel and Magnum performance. Remington’s Model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range rifle is a “reach out and touch them” kind of rifle.
Remington has a long history of manufacturing tactical bolt-action rifles for military organizations and law enforcement use. When the department I first worked for established a designated marksman team, they acquired a Remington tactical-style bolt-action rifle in .308 Winchester. This was all the rifle they needed as a municipality since shots were most likely to be inside 200 yards. That’s not the case with all law enforcement agencies.
Remington offers their 700 XCR Tactical Long Range rifle in .223 Remington and .308 Winchester, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. The Magnum offering provides a distinct performance advantage at a long-range. For example, between 900 and 925 yards, the Federal 175-grain Sierra MatchKing load for the .308 Winchester will drop 2 feet. Federal’s 190-grain Sierra MatchKing load for the .300 Win. Mag. only drops 17 inches.
The forearm on the stock has a nice palm-filling swell that is appreciated when shooting off-hand or from hasty field positions.
This may not seem like that big of a deal. After all, you click in your elevation adjustments for the specific range you’re shooting. However, range estimation is the hardest part of long-range shooting, and you can’t take your range estimation using a mil-dot reticle or a rangefinder as gospel. It’s effortless to make a 10- to 20-yard mistake at 900 yards—the increased velocity of the .300 Win. Mag. makes small range estimation errors less critical and increases the odds of first-round hits at extreme range.
A flatter trajectory is not the only plus. As impact velocity drops, so does the ability of the bullet to expand and create large wound cavities. The velocity increase between the .308 Winchester and the .300 Winchester Magnum stretches this workable velocity range by at least another 150 yards or so.
The rifle’s action is standard Remington 700 with a two-position safety. Note the black webbing on the rifle’s green finish.
One of the common characteristics of many long-range rifles is notable weight. Remington’s Model 700 Target Tactical rifle is a perfect example; it weighs 11.75 pounds. Dress one of these rifles up with a tactical scope and a bipod, and you’re pushing 15 pounds. The model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range is a lightweight, long-range rifle weighing 3.5 pounds less than the Tactical Target version and many other long-range rifles from other builders.
This lighter weight is achieved with a unique, slim, and trim Bell & Carlson stock, which has a molded-in aluminum bedding block that allows full-length barrel free-floating. The stock also has a uniquely shaped underbelly with a cut-out for a rear bench bag. Alternatively, you can also use the cut-out as a hook for your off-hand when shooting from the prone position or when shooting from a rest. I tried this while shooting with a bipod—the stock is also fitted with dual, front swivel studs for bipod mounting—and it worked perfectly. This was true when both using just my hand under the buttstock or when I used a small beanbag and squeezed it with my hand to adjust my aim slightly.
Another aspect of the stock I found very appealing was the color and finish. Some manufacturers think that the only appropriate color for anything tactical is black. That was Remington’s approach for a long time; the Remington 700 police rifle that my old department purchased years ago was available in any tactical color you wanted as long as that color was black.
The Remington 700 XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle comes with a hinged floorplate to ease speedy unloading.
For lack of a better term, the finish on this rifle’s stock features a ghoulish green background color streaked with a black web that provides a tactile feel and provides a medium shade of color to better blend with surroundings in the field or in urban settings. I liked it and considered the stock the best feature of this model 700.
In addition to this special stock, the rifle features a unique (Please turn to page )
fluted triangular-shaped barrel as well as the impressive 40-X externally adjustable trigger. The XCR designation means the rifle is made of 416 stainless steel, and all metal surfaces are coated with the black TriNyte Corrosion Control System.
As weird as the triangularly fluted barrel looks, it is cool. It is also another way Remington cut weight from this rifle but kept the long 26-inch tube that lets you extract all the performance you can from the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge.
On the other hand, the trigger is not anything new but is still outstanding. For this rifle, Remington stepped away from their new X-Mark Pro Trigger that comes standard on the Model 700 and went with their 40-X trigger. This trigger broke consistently on at just a shade over 2 pounds. More importantly, this was one of those triggers that let you feel when it would break—no creep and no surprises. This is the trigger Remington uses on the famously accurate 40-X line of custom rifles. These triggers are user adjustable from 1.5 to 3.5 pounds. And, adjustments can be made without removing the action from the stock by means of a small hex-head screw.
The bottom portion of the stock is cut out to interface better with a rear support bag or the shooter’s support hand.
When I received the model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range rifle for testing, I was preparing for a West Texas mule deer, whitetail, and aoudad hunt. I’d hunted this particular ranch before and knew that shots could be long, and this would be a terrific way to check the long-range performance of this tactical rifle. With that in mind, the three loads I tested in this rifle were all generally considered hunting loads. However, both of the Barnes VOR-TX loads would work equally well in tactical situations.
I was genuinely impressed with how this rifle shot. The trigger was superb, and the rifle was heavy enough that the big .300 Win. Mag. did not give me any recoil pain but light enough that I did not mind lugging it around. I was also enamored with the accuracy and consistency of the Barnes VOR-TX ammo. Both loads produced standard velocity deviations in the single digits and averaged less than an inch for three five-shot groups at 100 yards.
The XCR Tactical Long Range’s 26-inch barrel is not a compact rifle that would be easy to dig out of a patrol car. But, it is not overly heavy, and if you are toting this rifle up multiple flights of stairs or a steep hillside, you’ll accept the long barrel and savor the light heft. From a purely tactical standpoint, my only complaint would be the absence of a detachable magazine. Like many versions of the Remington 700, this rifle has the common hinged floorplate. For agencies looking for an accurate, long-range rifle that’s easy to carry, the Remington model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range in .300 Winchester Magnum looks to be a viable option.
As it turns out, I never needed the rifle’s reach during the Texas hunt but could not resist killing a nice, flat rock out at 660 yards. The rock was not a menace, but I couldn’t resist the temptation. I center punched the rock and then, for grins and giggles, did it a second time—to be sure. And maybe to show off just a little.