The Remington 700 5-R Stainless Threaded Gen 2 is one of the latest additions to their classic 700BDL hinged floor plate design. The short action rifle comes in two barrel lengths: 20″ and 24″. If you opt for the 24″ barrel, you can buy one chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win Mag and .308. The gun tested here, a 20″ version chambered in .308, could well be the Goldilocks gun.
At 8.5 lbs naked, our T&E 5-R Stainless wasn’t light. But at just under 40 inches of overall length long, it’s quite handy. The short, rigid barrel is maneuverable and, as we will see later, extremely accurate.
The 5-R Stainless Gen 2 comes threaded from the factory for a muffler; this rifle absolutely begs for one. In fact, even at first glance, you can see that suppressor-favoring tactical and competition shooters have influenced the firearm’s design. Remington’s taken cues from some of the most common and proven configurations of custom short action bolt guns and applied them here.
As the name implies, the 5-R rifling on the 20-inch stainless steel, hammer-forged barrel is one of the rifle’s major features. It stands apart from most modern barrels’ six lands configuration. First, there are . . . wait for it . . . five lands. They’re taper-cut at a 110-degree angle to the grooves (as opposed to the usual 90 degrees) and none of them directly oppose another land.
This design leads to longer barrel life, less fouling and more consistent shot strings over time. Well, that’s what a lot of shooters swear by, and what Remington claims.
After shooting 310 rounds through this rifle, I didn’t perceive any significant advantages over other quality barrels. That said, plenty of folks feed their bolt guns a whole lot more than rounds than that. They can go through two barrels or more a year. So 5-R-related barrel longevity could be a thing.
What I can confirm: this is the same rifling found on the U.S. Army’s M24 Sniper Weapon System. The Army’s testing protocol for these barrels is extremely rigorous; it’s the kind of testing that only gets done when Uncle Sugar is paying the bill.
The 5-R Stainless Gen 2 comes equipped with Remington’s X-Mark Pro trigger. I’ve seen this trigger on several post-2014 700s and shot them quite a bit. For a stock trigger, the X-Mark has a great feel: nice and crisp with no grit at all. In that sense, it’s just as good as most aftermarket triggers.
Unfortunately, the X-Mark Pro trigger’s externally adjustable screw is not my friend. If you back it out far enough to really lower the trigger’s pull weight, it sticks out too far and becomes uncomfortable. Worse, I’ve never found one that dials down far enough. The literature says the trigger adjusts down to 2 lbs, but I’ve never been able to get one below 3 lbs.
Some people remove the adjustment screw entirely and report no ill effects. I haven’t tried that, nor do I recommend it. As it is, I’d bet that most precision shooters will replace the stock X-Mark Pro trigger with an aftermarket drop-in trigger, as was done here. (A Timney trigger was the only modification from our test gun’s factory configuration.)
Remington should have set the 5-R Stainless Gen 2’s trigger at 2 lbs. This isn’t a hunting rifle. It’s a target and “tactical” rifle. A crisp 2 lb. trigger pull would be entirely appropriate and save customers the time and expense of fitting an aftermarket solution.
Remington made a great choice, though, in blessing the 700 5-R Stainless with an H-S Precision stock. H-S Precision has been the go-to stock for thousands of shooters over the years, and for good reason. (It’s also the stock of choice for the Army’s M24 rifle, although the 5-R Stainless doesn’t offer the Army stock’s adjustable length of pull.)
These stocks start with a CNC machined aluminum bedding block set into a Kevlar, fiberglass, and carbon fiber mold. They’re slightly wider than most sporting gun stocks. That wide, flat fore-end makes them right at home shooting from a bench rest or bags.
The 5-R Stainless Gen 2’s stock features dual front swivel studs (removed by the owner of our test gun), and an absolutely ideal ambidextrous palm swell for those of us who like to keep our thumb down for accuracy when shooting. There isn’t much of a recoil pad, but there really isn’t a need for one – although a recoil pad’s the easiest place someone like me with long arms can make some LOP adjustment.
The factory 13 3/8″ length of pull is a bit short for me, even wearing heavy winter clothes or a shooting jacket. For most folks under 6’2″, it should work well. The 5-R Stainless’s stock lacks an adjustable cheek riser; I had to lightly keep my check on the stock to be in the right position for the scope.
I like to let the weight of my head crush down on the stock for a solid cheek-stock weld. I consider my head properly positioned if I can nap on the gun without getting a crick in my neck. The 5-R Stainless’s cheek height is easily modified with a kitchen sponge and some duct tape; the fix for many a soldier’s rifle for decades. If you want something a little more elegant, I recommend either the Karsten Custom Cheek Rest or the Bradley Adjustable Cheek Rest.
Taken as a whole, the 700 5-R Stainless Gen 2 isn’t a bad looking gun, and very tame on the “tacticool” side. The H-S Precision stock sports what has become a classic sand a splash-web pattern, while the barrel and all other metal is Cerakoted a flat(ish) black. I’d actually prefer a flatter black than this, like the Armorer’s Black or Graphite Black, as there’s no need for gleam.
The 700 5-R Stainless Gen 2’s medium contour barrel sports six longitudinal flutes, reducing weight and adding surface area for cooling. The longest string I shot was 60 rounds. At the end I could still hold the barrel firmly without distress. The large, easy-to -find knurled bolt knob enabled rapid manipulation and added to the modern tactical rifle gestalt.
The venerable 700 action performs exceptionally well on this gun. There’s little to no play in bolt at the rear. Once you start it moving forward the bolt glides solidly on the rails until it locks home.
Bringing the bolt down on a round, I felt no hesitation or sticking. Just a smooth, fast operation all the way through the cycle. Sitting behind the gun, cycling the bolt and trigger as fast as I could while looking through the glass, I got nothing but a sure and confident feed.
Truth be told, I haven’t always been a fan of the Remington 700’s action, at least as compared to the Winchester Model 70. From a design standpoint, it’s just not as good as the Winchester’s improved Mauser action. But for what it is — a push feed design — this gun performs exceptionally well. If I’m getting a fast, smooth action with a great lock-up and sure extraction, I’m not asking for anything more.
I didn’t have any issues with loading, unloading, cycling or firing this gun. The data book that came with the Remington 700 5-R Stainless revealed that someone had put over 600 rounds through it. As I mentioned, I put another 310 down range. Neither my experience, nor the data book recorded any malfunctions of any kind across multiple types of rounds from multiple manufacturers, in a fairly wide weight range.
I shot rounds from Fiocchi, Remington, Hornady, and Federal in weights from 125gr to the exceptionally well performing 185gr OTM Juggernaut. All performed smoothly. I’ve had problems with other bolt-action rifles: sticky bolts or the magazine follower getting hung up. Not here.
But in the words of HughTazmanian Devil, “blah blah blah, yakety schmackety.” None of that matters in the least if the gun won’t print tiny groups. And this gun prints tiny groups.
I had this gun for far longer than I should have. That’s because none of the shooting was just done for “fam fire“. For this review, after using 10 of the Fiocchi rounds to dirty the bore, I shot 50 un-timed five-round groups. None of the groups shot by the 5-R Stainless were bad, but some were much, much better than others.
The “worst”-shooting round was, oddly enough, the Remington 150gr CoreLokt bullet, right at 1MOA. The Federal 150gr “Non Typical Whitetail” soft point scored 3/4-inch groups, on average. Things got much better once the bullet weights increased.
The Federal 168gr Sierra Match King scored .51-inch. Hornady 168gr AMax Black round printed .37-inch and the 185gr Federal Gold Medal Berger 185gr OTM Juggernaught rounds scored a truly impressive .31″ average group. I shot the rounds off bags at 100 yards. I shot each 20-round box in four strings of five rounds. I finished by shooting 10 rounds from the kneel and 10 rounds standing with Hornady’s 125gr Custom Lite SST loads.
These results are from a factory rifle, shooting multiple factory rounds, achieving 1/2 MOA or better. I’ve hammered Big Green in the past for their lack of quality control. But the gunmaker is right on point with the 5-R Stainless Gen 2.
To see if this particular rifle was the proverbial “blind squirrel finding a nut” I asked around on a few forums. Shooters reported that our test 5-R Stainless’s level of accuracy holds across numerous examples. That makes the 5-R the best bang for the buck, accuracy wise, of any rifle I’ve fired in a long time. Maybe ever.
I make it a point to not check prices until the end of a review, and given its performance, I was expecting this rifle to have a custom shop price tag. Imagine my surprise to find an MSRP of $1,250 and availability online for $100 to $200 less.
If I was going to go out and buy an all-around bolt action rifle — one I could compete with, target shoot with and even hunt with — this gun would be extremely hard to beat. In fact, this is the gun that made me fall in love with Big Green, again.
I got this gun just before I wrote my review of the 700 American Wilderness. While both rifles are Remington 700’s, they couldn’t be farther apart in quality. Everything about the 5-R Stainless was done right: good components, great execution. It left me wondering how these two rifles are made by the same company.
While it’s not my place to tell gun companies how to run their businesses, Remington should find the people who designed and produced the Remington 700 5-R Stainless and put them in charge of all 700 production.
SPECIFICATIONS: Remington 700 5-R Stainless Threaded Gen 2
Caliber: .308 Win
Order No: 85196
Magazine Capacity: 4
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Twist: 1:11-1/4 RH
Overall Length: 39 3/4″
Length of Pull: 13 3/8″
Drop at Comb: 1 1/4″
Drop at Heel: 1 1/2″
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Barrel Finish: Black Cerakote
Stock: H-S Precision Stock
Stock Finish: Sand Color with Black Webbing
Weight: 8.5 lbs
MSRP: $1,250 (found online for $100-$200 less)
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
A bit on the tactical side, but well done. Black Cerakote over stainless steel is a durable, good looking combination. No fancy wood, no fancy anything, but a great “working” gun. A working man’s gun, a shooter’s gun, and one I wouldn’t mind throwing up on the hood for a shot a wild ram in West Texas.
Ergonomics * * * *
The H-S Precision stock is well made and performs extremely well. One star off for no length of pull or cheek riser adjustment, but that’s easily and relatively cheaply remedied without a gunsmith.
Customize This * * * * *
Remington has done most of the work for you. Then again it would be hard to argue that any other bolt action rifle on the planet has more aftermarket parts available than the Remington 700BDL.
Reliability * * * * *
Perfect across lots of rounds of different types and weights. No sticky bolts and no discernible loss of accuracy across the entire 310-round string.
Accuracy * * * * *
This is where it counts and Remington absolutely nailed it. Multiple brands and weights hit the 1/2 MOA mark from a factory gun with factory ammunition. I have no doubt a pet load would get you to the 1/4 MOA range.
Overall * * * * 1/2
The lack of an out-of-the-box lightweight (2lbs or less) trigger and the static LOP keeps this gun just out of the 5 star category. Otherwise, the Remington 700 5-R Stainless Threaded Gen 2 performs well above its price range. I’ve started wearing my old “Remington Defense” T-shirt again.