On a recent hunt sponsored by Remington, the product rep brought out several new models. I’d reviewed some of them before, some favorably some not so much. Of course, the one super-cool thing they had there was embargoed until next year. I thought I’d shoot some pigs, maybe some deer, but otherwise nothing caught my eye. Until one rifle did. I had previously dismissed the Model Seven just as the 700’s little brother. After some range time with this great little gun, I think the Model Seven SS HS Precision is the Remington bolt gun I should have been hunting with all along.
The lesser known Model Seven is the “compact” version of the 700 released in 1983. The entire receiver ½” shorter than the standard short action 700. The bolt is the same 3 piece bolt as the 700, but it’s obviously shorter as well. I had always discounted the Seven as a “less than” version of the 700. It’s nothing of the sort. It’s just shorter, and therefore doesn’t fit as many different cartridges.
There are a few differences between the Seven and the 700 that mean many key parts are not interchangeable. If the Model 7 has a weakness, that’s it. It’s just not as widely accepted as the earlier 700, and there’s not as much aftermarket support for it. For a true detailed look at all the differences, I’d recommend looking at the parts catalog from Brownells. Here for the Seven, and here for the 700.
The Remington Model 7 is limited in chamberings. Obviously, with a receiver slightly shorter than a short action, there are no long action calibers. The .308 Winchester rifle I tested is the heaviest chambering offered. It also comes in 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, and .243 Winchester. Chambered in 7mm-08, this rifle would be about the perfect combination for an all-round Texas hunting bolt gun.
Pull off the receiver and you’ll find the same pass through metal and full length aluminum bedding block found on their exceptional 5R rifles (which I bought after my last review. Many pigs and a couple of deer are sorry for it.) HS Precision has been famous for their stocks. Specifically, becoming a longtime standard for stiffer-than-a-board precision stocks, and Remington’s inclusion of them in several of their rifles is a welcome addition, especially at the mid-range price point.
The trigger on this model is one of the newer adjustable X-Mark Pro Triggers. Like the 5R’s, it is light years beyond the old, duly recalled triggers of the 700s. I’m a trigger snob, but I see no reason to upgrade a crisp trigger you can set below 3lbs, which is what you get here.
The bolt handle is the same as the stainless 700’s. It’s well textured with a bead-blasted finish. Driving forward with the web of my hand, the short throw made fast loads and reloads simple, which is especially nice on a running group of feral hogs. Or, I guess, from their point of view, not so nice at all.
This was a Trial and Evaluation gun that had already been hunted with before I got my paws on it. Heck, it had taken a gorgeous 10 point buck earlier that very day and still had a few blood specs on it here and there. But the bead-blasted finish on the stainless steel looked great. Even better, the stock-to-metal fit was good, with no obvious gaps or chips. Coming from HS Precision, this didn’t surprise me.
What did surprise me at this price point was the jeweled bolt. I’ve mentioned before how on lower priced models of some guns, the jeweling was done haphazardly, making for a worn appearance. This was done quite well, and gives the gun a fine custom shop look.
The lightweight barrel is free-floated, but without the yawning gap I’ve often seen between the barrel and stock with thinner barrels on precision stocks. Because the Model Seven’s footprint is a little different than the 700’s, HS Precision had to a make a different stock anyway, but it was good to see they didn’t just cut a “one size fits all” barrel channel.
I was a little concerned about the accuracy of the rifle. Billed as a “fast handling platform” the entire gun was built to be light. It’s only six pounds total. To pull that off, especially with the heavier stock, Remington has included a 20-inch light contour barrel. I’m not a fan of light contour barrels. They heat up too fast, they whip around too much, and far too often show poor results on the bench.
Off a less-than-ideal bench set-up and using a nine-power Leupold hunting scope, my shots with the Model Seven averaged a 1-inch five-round group at 100 yards using the Barnes Vor-TX 150gr TTSX BT commercial cartridge. I shot some of the 175gr BTHP surplus rounds I had in my truck as well, and those five rounds shot at 1.25”. That includes a called flyer.
One-inch groups with store-bought ammo makes the reloader in me giddy. I know I could get this down to ¾ MOA with a pet load. Even with commercial rounds, the precision of this lightweight rifle means a competent marksman can ethically take any North American game animal, including elk, save grizzlies, at 300 yards or more.
I had no issues with any round loading, firing or ejecting. I had no issues with single-loading individual rounds, or going through the magazine. The magazine never failed to swing in and lock easily or release easily as well, and never bound while loading rounds.
As you can expect, the ease of use and handling of this rifle was outstanding. It’s just a great little gun. For those of you that want an accurate, easy-to-use short action rifle, this thing is about perfect.
The Model Seven provides what most hunters actually want. A compact, capable bolt-action rifle that’s easy to carry, easy to get in and out of a blind or a vehicle, and shoots well. I’m sorry it took me this long to find it. These rifles won’t hit the Remington website until later this year, but can be ordered now directly from a Remington dealer using the order numbers listed below. I’ll take mine in 7mm-08.
Specifications – Remington Model Seven SS HS Precision
Order Number: 308 Win – 85970, 6.5 Creedmoor – 85971, 7mm-08 Rem – 85972, .243 Win – 85968
Caliber Tested: .308 Win (other calibers available)
Magazine Capacity: 4 rounds
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Overall Length: 39.25 inches
Barrel Material: Stainless steel
Barrel Finish: Satin
Stock: HS Precision
Weight: 6 lbs (unloaded, without optic)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
The green of the stock goes surprisingly well with the bead-blasted stainless. I wouldn’t have guessed this combo, but it works. The metal-to-stock fit is above average, and the finish is smooth and even throughout. The jeweling on the bolt is a nice touch.
Customization * * *
There are fewer calibers, fewer stocks, fewer triggers, fewer everything available for the Model Seven when compared to the 700. When compared to most other lightweight models, it’s got about the same number of options.
Reliability * * * * *
If your arm works it works.
Accuracy * * * *
I’d have liked to see this rifle break the 1-inch mark, which more mid-priced rifles are doing these days. Still, 1-inch groups with a thin contour is very good.
Overall * * * * ½
I can’t give a bolt gun that didn’t get under 1” groups five stars, but that’s about it. Obviously, this rifle surprised me, and in a very good way. An outstanding Hill Country rifle.