Not too long ago I did a series of articles trying to get a bone stock Remington 700 to shoot a good grouping at 1,000 yards for less than $1,000 total. It worked, but it took a lot of fiddling and I still didn’t have a rifle I was happy with at the end of the process. After a weekend playing with Red Hawk Rifles’ latest offerings it turns out I could have just ordered one from them, paid a hair over $1k for the package, and gotten something pretty close to ideal.
The folks over at Red Hawk Rifles have a plan: take the accuracy of a precision long range rifle and make it available to the masses. Normally these long range precision shooting irons run somewhere around the same price as a down payment for a brand new Mercedes Benz, well above the price point where the average entry level shooter would be comfortable plopping down their cash. Red Hawk Rifles found a way to balance the quality and precision of a long range bolt action gun while keeping the price in check by using some well known manufacturers and taking a well-placed bet on a new entry in the market.
RHR starts with a standard Remington 700 rifle in the caliber of your choice. The first thing they do is “blueprint” the rifle, making sure that the actual firearm has been produced to the proper specifications. They also lap the lugs for a better lock-up, borescope the barrel to ensure that there are no defects, and fine tune the existing trigger pack for a better trigger feel.
Once the rifle has been polished up they drop it in a stock of your choice — the example I tested had a Grayboe stock. Grayboe is a new stock manufacturer, but that’s not the whole picture. They’ve only been shipping for a couple months but they were started by the prestigious McMillan family and their entire shop operates in the shipping department of the McMillan stock factory. In short, they’re pretty darn good. The stock has all the benefits of a proper McMillan but at a fraction of the price.
Now that you’ve got a good rifle in a proper stock good things start happening. I had the opportunity to test out this rifle on the Cow Town range in Phoenix, Arizona where I was happily nailing targets out to 1,098 yards. The dope card I had from the rifle maker only went out to 800 yards, but with a little help and a good spotter we stretched that all the way past the 1,000 yard mark.
There are some things that I’d swap out on this rifle. First on the list is the trigger — the stock Remington trigger is good for the average shooter but miserable for precision shooting. Timney makes some amazing drop-ins at a remarkably low price point which will definitely help improve your group size. Another change is the bottom metal — the standard rifle comes with a hinged floorplate, but a removable magazine is much more my style.
Truth be told, when you’re all said and done you’ll be looking at about a $1,500 expenditure to do it right. But even at that price the gun won’t break the bank. For novice long range shooting enthusiasts this will provide an excellent platform with which to start stretching your legs and ringing the long distance steel, showing you what you like and what you want to change for your next “better” rifle. And because it’s a Remington 700 the thing will last forever, for when you have a younger, budding long range shooter you want to bring into the fold.
Naturally we’ll be looking to get one for a proper review, but the initial indications are great.