Gun Review: Remington 700 ADL Varmint

39 responses

  1. avatar
    Brad
    January 8, 2013

    Actually, this makes me feel better about missing out on getting a .308 that day. I arrived at a little after 0800 at Dick in Fairfax. The line was out the door and all they had left were .223′s and a few of these reviewed here. For $350, getting a budget .308 that has feed problems and a crappy scope would have felt disapointing. Plus I am NOT big on moss oak or other camo pattern stocks.

    Excellent write up. Thanks for reviewing it.

    • avatar
      Joe Grine
      January 8, 2013

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that the that the Remmy 700 ADL has feeding “problems.” It does, after all, work as intended. Its just harder to load than a box magazine, esp. if you are in your shooting stance and you try to load the rifle without looking at the chamber. Given that this is primarily a hunting rifle, I don’t think that it THAT big of a deal – in most cases you will be loading the magazine before you get to your stand in otrder to minimize movement and noise.

    • avatar
      pat
      January 8, 2013

      You wont get a better rifle for the price……ever.

      • avatar
        Kory
        January 9, 2013

        I wouldn’t say that. I happen to see some K31s for about $200 a few years ago that were more than capable, plus they have detachable magazines.

      • avatar
        Joe Grine
        January 9, 2013

        I love me some Karabiner Model 31 (K-31). I have 4 of em that I got in the 2005-06 time frame, $100 each at Big 5. I’m guessing that new ones would cost 2K if they were made today. All are MOA capable using surplus Swiss ammo.

  2. avatar
    Matt in FL
    January 8, 2013

    That’s a familiar-looking rifle. Thanks for the writeup. It’s nice to hear about my gun from someone who knows more about them than I do. I know it currently shoots better than me, but I didn’t know how well it was capable of shooting, so I’m happy to see what you found.

    I’m still using the stock scope, rings, and mounts, and yours are much nicer. Matching is important! I knew the rings were bad when I saw that the “clamping side” was a piece of bent steel rather than a block of aluminum. I had the rings on and off about 3x before I was satisfied, and each time I was able to tighten the screw about 1/8 turn further before it was “tight.” I used a scope mounting kit (the kind with the fat bars with the pointy ends that are supposed to line up) and they were pretty far off, so I ended up swapping the ring tops and turning them around in about 5 different configurations before they got close, and then I lapped them down ’til they were perfect. The rings are definitely high on the “replace soon” list.

    Your comment about “bull barrel… lots of bullets” leads me to a question. On my first (and so far only) range trip with this rifle, I put my last 8-10 rounds down the barrel in pretty quick succession (maybe over 4-5 minutes), as the last range session was wrapping up and I got a little silly. Naturally accuracy (probably much more mine than the gun’s) suffered as a result. When I was done, the barrel was too hot to touch for easily 10+ minutes. I realize I was basically burning money at that point, and probably won’t do that again, but realistically, how many rounds in rapid succession does it take for the rifle’s accuracy to really suffer with that bull barrel? Mine’s in .243 Win if it matters.

    • avatar
      AlphaGeek
      January 8, 2013

      I’m interested in the answer to the barrel-life question as well. Perhaps Dyspeptic will make an appearance later today to enlighten us.

      While I like the ballistics of the the 22-250, I really don’t like the idea of a barrel life of only a couple thousand rounds. I’m a big believer in buying the best I can afford and keeping it for the long term, and the idea of a barrel which would only last 5-10 years before replacement just doesn’t seem attractive.

      Then again, we ARE talking about a sub-$500 gun, so maybe it’s better to think of these as consumable items instead of durable goods…

    • avatar
      AlphaGeek
      January 8, 2013

      Also, Matt, you should invest in at least a few gunsmithing screwdrivers. Craftsman wedge-shaped screwdrivers will be the death of the screws on your firearms. Ask me how I learned this. :\

      • avatar
        Matt in FL
        January 8, 2013

        Heh, thanks. By gunsmithing screwdrivers, I assume you mean some that have a tip profile like |_| instead of \_/, right?

        In this case the big one was for the massive thumbscrews that held the ring bases to the rail, and the little one was just for removing the little studs that were in the threaded receiver holes, so that won’t be an issue again. (Incidentally, is there any reason to keep those little studs? It’s not likely that this rifle will ever have the scope mounts removed permanently.)

      • avatar
        AlphaGeek
        January 8, 2013

        Close. Check out the hollow-ground vs conventional tip diagram partway down this page:

        http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/apples_custom_screw_hullabaloo_hollow-ground_bits_and_why_a_vintage_sewing_machine_repair_brought_me_to_the_gunsmiths_18355.asp

        Every machined product I own, especially firearms, has its own large zip-lock bag in my parts storage boxes with all of the “leftover” stuff, including filler screws like the ones from the mounting holes. Tiny stuff like those screws get their own small bag. It’s come in handy enough for me to make it a standard practice.

        That’s also where I keep the original receipt, manuals, and other useless stuff that suddenly comes in handy if you ever want to sell or give that equipment to someone.

    • avatar
      Joe Grine
      January 8, 2013

      I really don’t know the answer to your question, But I was always taught that letting the barrels get really hot negatively affects the life of the barrel somewhat. That could be an old wives tale for all I know, but it seems to make some sense. I will try to do some tests the next time I take the gun to the range (assuming I can find more ammo for the dang thing!) I feel pretty sure that you could run a box or two of ammo through the bull barrel in a fairly rapid manner without any significant POI shift. My HK 93, on the other hand, has a skinny barrel, and it will experience a noticeable POI shift after 30 round of 5.56 fired at 1-2 second intervals. Shot number thirty will be an 1 & 1/2 inches high and slightly to the left!

      Just out of curiosity, what kind of groups are you getting, and what ammo are you using? .243 Win comes in a wide variety of bullet weights, from little 52 grainers up to 100 grain or so. By guess is that your rifle will shoot some bullet weights better than others.

      • avatar
        Matt in FL
        January 8, 2013

        I only had time to put a little over 30 rounds through it on my only range trip so far. That was a box of Remington Core-Lokt and a half box of Win Super-X, both in 100 grain. As Michael said below, it took me about half the box of Remington to get it sighted in, and I ran through the last half dozen, so only about 15 “fire for effect” rounds. In that, I could pretty consistently put 3 rounds in 3/4″ or less, but the fourth and fifth would always be another 1/2″ or more out. I was slow-firing, so I know it was me, not the gun. It’s clearly capable of better than me at this point.

        I’ve got some 80 grain and some 55 grain, so I’m going to try to make an effort to get to a range in the next couple weeks and allow more time on this trip.

  3. avatar
    Jewish Marksman
    January 8, 2013

    I got the same in .223 on Black Friday from Dicks…I would have taken a rain check on the .308s but the guy at the desk couldn’t figure out how to make that happen…he was otherwise helpful.

    Dick’s made me fill out a number of release forms aside from the standard ATF form, I didn’t care for that.

    Haven’t shot the rifle yet, but trigger does dry-fire very nice.

    • avatar
      AlphaGeek
      January 8, 2013

      And here you thought you were making a good decision because it shoots some of the most commonly available rifle ammo on the planet. :)

  4. avatar
    Colin
    January 8, 2013

    Bastards. I missed the last ones at my local Dick’s by ten minutes. :(

  5. avatar
    Ing
    January 8, 2013

    Good stuff. One of these days I’m going to get a bolt-action rifle, and my income being what it is, I’ll be buying at the bottom end of the market. This one’s going on the short list.

  6. avatar
    Powers
    January 8, 2013

    Glad to hear you got a great deal. I am always weary of low cost firearms from well known companies like Remington..for no logical reason, I have this stupid feeling that because it’s cheap it was not well made or designed carefully like the other “better” weapons in their line-up. I know there are different features and even different manufacturing technique, they probably have just as good engineering as everything else. I need to be more open minded and I appreciate reviews like these. Good info, thanks.

  7. avatar
    Lance
    January 8, 2013

    OH no to Obama’s military brainless buddy McCristal that .223 rifle is a too powerful sniper rifle for those poor varmints….. Get a .50 BMG Barret instead!!!!!!

  8. avatar
    Michael
    January 8, 2013

    I got a .308 version of the same for a basic whitetail hunting rifle – I’ve been quite happy with it; it has been out about 3 times now and put one doe in the freezer last month. It took almost a box of ammo to get the included scope on zero, and another half a box to get comfortable with it. It’s more accurate than me, for now. I’ll eventually buy nice glass but the freebie works, although it is blurry.

    Dick’s was a PITA. I’m still waiting on the $100 MIR to come back, but I did haggle an extra $40 off at point-of-sale, basically negating sales tax, because I had already been to the store twice to try to complete the sale. I had to go back a third time to get the correct forms for the MIR. They couldn’t run NICS or take payment during the Black Friday sale, etc. If the rebate ever comes back, I’ll have $346.88 in this gun – and that to me is a fair price for a hunting rifle that can take a beating for years, and a solid platform for future upgrades should I ever desire.

  9. avatar
    Ted
    January 8, 2013

    I got one of these in .308 at midnight on black Friday:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Kapq9vd7HhBTZcC3wKgmcBEuTXilBpsBld6HwyXqFXE?feat=directlink

    Still haven’t gotten my rebate yet.

    The rifle shoots well – probably better than I do. Using the crappy scope at 300 yards I was able to get my shots to land in my friend’s spinner frame, but I couldn’t see the target well enough to hit the 3″ spinner.

    100-200 yards was no problem with the included scope.

    New glass is a must for this rifle. I think a new Leupold might be on the list for the next birthday.

    • avatar
      Matt in FL
      January 8, 2013

      The rebate said 8-10 weeks. You should have gotten an email by now, if you sent it in right after purchase. Hell, I waited a week and I still got my email on 12/27. There is a website where you can check your status on the form, and in the email.

      • avatar
        Ted
        January 9, 2013

        Just checked – rebate is on its way!

        Thanks!

  10. avatar
    KnowWhatIamTalkingAbout
    January 8, 2013

    A word about the Nikon BDC Reticle and how it works: in a nutshell, if you have the time to plan and take your shot while estimating your range and figuring out which part of the circle or in between to hold over, then fantastic. In reality, you won’t have the time.

    Perhaps I was doing something wrong or not doing it right, but what you do is once you have the Nikon scope mounted with the BDC reticle on your rifle of choice, you can use their BDC software to tailor your exact round, caliber, etc. to the reticle, and once you know where your rifle is zeroed (200 yards for example), then you can plug in some number and voila – print out ballistics sheet (hold over points for that load at various ranges – generally 200 yards to say 600 yards) that can be taped to the inside of a scope cover – which is what I did – except I had to do it 3 times. Yep, 3 small ballistics tables for my load showing the hold overs FOR 3 DIFFERENT MAGNIFICATIONS (4.5x, 9x, and 14x). Yes, Sir. You change the magnification on your variable power scope and that changes the point of impact for each circle – top, middle and bottom. The change could be as high as a 50 yard difference and unless you overcome your buck fever and can memorize all of the hold overs, then you are basically back to a sort of Kentucky Hold Over/Guesstimation.

    It is not a bad set up, but I think it benefits precision shooters who can take their time before they shoot. Regardless of what game animal it is, you probably won’t have the time to range, check the ballistics table, double check the magnification in relation to the table, breath, and then shoot.

    Just my two cents on that – it is what it is. I like to generally know where my hold over is and running it through software for my load and grain weight is great, but again, you have to know the set up well and recognize its limitations before you really put too much faith into it.

  11. avatar
    Mark
    January 9, 2013

    Thanks for your review. I have seen some others that have come to similar conclusions. I bought one of these in .308 on Black Friday. After the $100, mine was only $299. For that price for a heavy barrel .308, I had to be all over that.
    Was first in line, filled out the 4473 form, but the NICS check was so swamped, it shut down. Had to return the following morning, and paid for it then.

    Haven’t shot it yet, and ammo is getting very scarce. I am looking forward to going to the range, though.

  12. avatar
    brcSVO
    January 24, 2013

    Almost exactly 2 years ago I was shopping for my first “deer rifle” and had a $100 gift card for Sports Authority. I walked out with a 700 ADL in 30-06 with a stainless steel action and barrel.

    I had the same experience with the scope/scope rings being crappy, but the rest of the gun being otherwise pretty nice. I have since upgraded the scope to a Leupold VX2, and I have installed the Remington spacer kit (I’m 6ft2, so I tend to like a longer LOP).

    I have to admit that I’m still not getting the groupings that I would like, but I think it has more to do with me (I have to work hard not to flinch or possibly using CMP mil-surp 30-06.

    • avatar
      Joe Grine
      January 24, 2013

      You mention flinching, which is telling me that you are having problems caused by the recoil of the weapon. I don’t think a .30-06 is a good “beginner’s” gun, because the recoil is noticeable (not as compared to a .458 Lott or .375 H&H, but still). I know lots of guys swear by it for deer, but I think it is overkill, esp. blacktails and whitetails. I think its better to very accurate and hit vitals rather than using brute force to compensate for poor shot placement. If you can’t shoot an apple sized target at 200 yards then you really can’t shoot well, IMHO. For deer, I really prefer milder rounds like the .30-30, .357 Magnum, .243 Win, 7mm.08, 7x 57, .257 Ackerly, etc. If you actually can hit a vital, a 95 grain .243 Win is more than enough bullet to quickly put a deer down.

      Recently set up a female friend of mine with a Stevens (Savage) Model 200 in .25-06 that bought off a friend for $200 and change. It was fairly mild shooting rifle and also very accurate (Most groups were in the 1/2 MOA range, but I shot a 1/4 inch group at 100 yards with that rifle). She killed a deer with it on her first hunting trip.

      A muzzle brake will tame the recoil of the 30.06, but most brakes have the downside of increasing noise levels significantly. Also, get some snap caps, and practice dry-firing the rifle. Have a friend balance a penny on the barrel (near the muzzle) and work on dry firing the rifle without tipping the penny off of the rifle.

      I have a couple thousands rounds of the CMP .30-06 – the stuff I got was de-linked machinegun ammo. Its not the most accurate stuff in the world by a long shot, but it is fairly low powered so it won’t beat the hell of a Garand’s op-rod like commercial ammo will do. For your purposes, I would try a few boxes of Hornady, Black Hills, or Federal (their Fusion line is great ammo and fairly good priced for what you get), and see what that does to your groups sizes. Good luck.

      • avatar
        brcSVO
        January 25, 2013

        You are correct, I started out with tons of recoil issues with the gun. The biggest one was that the cheap factory scope had such a short eye relief that 4 out of 5 shots would result in the scope hitting my safety glasses and cutting the bridge of my nose.

        I upgraded the scope to the Leupold VX2 (much longer eye relief) and shot it some more (multiple trips to the range), but still didn’t get great groupings (still larger than 4″ at 100 yards).

        After that, I attended the RWVA Appleseed camp twice and qualified as a Rifleman. I also installed the Remington stock extension so that the LOP was long enough I could actually use my right arm to pull the gun in. Having the correct LOP and using the lower power CMP ammo have both reduced the felt recoil, but my groupings haven’t improved.

        I could still be flinching (I’ll have the fiance’ watch for that next time I go out), but I feel like I’ve reduced the recoil a noticeable bit, and I am doing everything I can to slowly squeeze the trigger and follow through with the shot. Also I can get good groupings out of other rifles in similar calibers. Maybe I still associate it with being a nose smasher?

      • avatar
        Matt in FL
        January 25, 2013

        I know this is something people usually do with handguns, but if you think flinching is still a real possibility, have you tried snap caps? They’re about $9 for a pair of ‘em at Bass Pro.

        Have someone else load your magazine (maybe even chamber a round — live or not — for 4+1 if you’re feeling froggy) without you looking. Have ‘em put some random number of snap caps in with the live rounds (although I wouldn’t recommend zero because that would negate the exercise). Then when you pull the trigger, if it’s on a snap cap you’ll see real quick if you’re flinching.

        One note: if you work the bolt at medium speed or slower, it’s really easy to tell when you’re chambering a snap cap versus a live round. They’re aluminum and have a machined finish on them, so you can feel them “zip” into the chamber. But I’ve found that if you’re not babying the bolt, it’s really hard to tell the difference.

      • avatar
        brcSVO
        February 19, 2013

        Finally got the 700 out to the range yesterday. I discovered my problem is not so much flinching, as it is poor trigger discipline.

        To elaborate, most of my other firearms have triggers that have a decent amount of take-up. In comparison, my 700 ADL has very little take-up. Turns out I have developed a bad habit of getting close to on target (within an inch or so)…squeezing out the take-up…getting on target… then following through with the shot. Not only is this process less than ideal for all firearms, but with the short take-up of the 700 ADL I sometimes find myself firing before I’m completely on the bullseye.

        So now I have trigger discipline to work on through dry firing.

  13. avatar
    Cowboy T
    March 21, 2013

    That ADL was a heckuva deal. It’s hard to say no to a quality piece like this, at such a bargain basement price tag. Several big-box stores carry ‘em, like Walmart, so that’s a good place to catch ‘em on sale as well. For $350, what’s not to like?

  14. avatar
    Joe Grine
    April 4, 2013

    Hey, Thanks. That comment made my day! Well,…. that and shooting an Accuracy International AX 308 ! :-)

  15. avatar
    Jim
    April 23, 2013

    I saw a video on 8541 tactical where he took the action from that same gun a put it in a chassis stock. he stated the action is the same action that is in the upper end 700s. from what I saw in the price of actions it was worth it to buy the gun just for the action and the heavy barrel. Im thinking of doinf the same for a .223, already have a .308 with a tactical/ varmint Bell & Carlson Stock

    jim

  16. avatar
    Joe Bob
    May 20, 2013

    Just got one of these in 308. Put on a Nikon 6-18×40BDC that I had laying around. Printed 3 holes touching at 100yds with Black Hills 168gr BTHP. Best group I ever shot. Needs a trigger as this one feels like 5 #’s. This is my 5th Remy 700 acquired over the years and they all shoot sub moa with match ammo.

  17. avatar
    Nate
    July 2, 2013

    There is a kit available to convert the ADL to a BDL.

    http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/triggers-bottom-metals/adl-bdl-conversion-kits/remington-700-adl-to-bdl-kits-prod340.aspx

    This is another reason that the ADL is worth it’s price all day long. You can start there, do the conversion later on and also replace the stock, and so on. The price difference is about $350 between ADL and BDL, that’s pretty much where you would be at after the conversion and a decent aftermarket stock.

    • avatar
      Matt in FL
      July 2, 2013

      That’s pretty damn cool, Nate. Thanks!

  18. avatar
    PhilyB
    September 2, 2013

    Going to pick up my first Remmy 700 ADL later today my local wallyworld stocks them in almost every cal I think I wil go with the 270 and for 417.88 its still not a bad price seeing as they dont charge for background check

  19. avatar
    Joe S.
    December 16, 2013

    I purchased a Remington 700 ADL Wood Tech in .308 this past fall. It was a scoped “combo” that came with a bushnell 3-9×40 banner on sale for 549.99. The only .308 ammo that I could find at the time was Hornady’s American Whitetail loaded with 150 gr. interlocks. the first thing I noticed was the action was surprising smooth. The second thing I noticed was the fine accuracy this rifle is capable of, 1/2 MOA 100 yd. groups easily obtained from the sporter pipe. The third thing I noticed was the last round in the magazine would not feed…ever. Its a common ADL issue. A different bullet may solve this problem, but I think a BDL or DM conversion is the best solution for any ADL rifle.

  20. avatar
    Rook
    March 11, 2014

    What’s .270 Rem? Is there a magical new .270 cartridge apart from the .270 Winchester?

    • avatar
      Joe Grine
      March 20, 2014

      Correction made!

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