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Yes, you read that correctly – this is a review of the Remington 700 ADL. I’m not talking about that dusty, walnut-stocked bargain gun your grandfather bought back in the 1970’s. I’m talking about the cheapest Remington 700 that you can buy today.

A Model 700 so cheap that Remington barely acknowledges its existence. You can’t find these ADL’s in any Remington catalogue or website listing. Nope, these cheaper-than-cheap guns are available in limited areas and only in limited stores – mainly “big box” retailers like Wal-Mart, Dick’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and a few others.

Recently I’ve been making friends at the local range and I finally found someone to take me coyote hunting out here in the desert (yay!). When going through my inventory, I realized that there was a gun “hole” – a gap in my firearm selection if you will. Everything small was either too small, (such as the Savage 93R17 .17HMR I reviewed in November) or, if the caliber was right, it was too heavy (namely all my AR’s) for this type of hunting (stalking, sitting, calling, stalking, sitting, calling, etc).

I love buying used guns and have literally bought dozens of them over the past few years. With the exception of the S&W 629 Mountain Gun that wouldn’t shoot worth a damn, I have had nothing but the best of luck with them and at a significant price savings. I tried my hardest to find a used .223 or .243 – every gun and pawn shop within 50 miles has been thoroughly searched each week for the last two months. So I got frustrated to the point of looking into a new gun and quickly spotted a potential candidate.

At my local Wal-Mart, there was a Remington .243 ADL for a whopping $399.97. I didn’t even realize they still made the ADL but apparently in an attempt to sell rifles at Savage-like price points, Remington still offers the ADL to a few big-box retailers. For the record, both ADL and an equivalent Savage .243 were the exact same price. I went with Remington because I have an extra BDL trigger guard for a short-action and an adjustable OEM trigger hanging around if I should so desire.

After looking around, at less than four bills, the ADL is actually a pretty good deal – after all, you’re getting the same M700 action that all other 700’s get, the X-Mark Pro trigger, and a 3-9x scope. Since the SPS is nothing more than an ADL with a hinged floorplate, I couldn’t justify spending $200 more (or more, considering you are getting a 3-9x scope) for the trigger guard that I already had.

Out of the box…

The barrel has a 1-9.125″ twist rate which should be sufficient enough to send 100 grain projectiles down range sufficiently stabilized. Since I’ll be using this for coyotes and coyote food (i.e. ground squirrels for bait), I’ll be working up some handloads in the 50-85 grain range. For those of you who live in whitetail country, the .243 with 100-grain Core-Lokt rounds have proven to be quite effective for many hunters. Since I also will be putting in for a javelina tag, I picked up a couple of boxes of the previously mentioned 100-grain Core-Lokts for testing purposes.

The scope comes mounted and bore-sighted and from what I can tell, is nothing more than a Tasco World Class 3-9×40 available elsewhere for $50-60 – except that this scope has a Remington “R” on each of the turret caps. Like previous ADL models, there is no floorplate, simply an internal box magazine that holds 4+1 in the short-action calibers. The trigger is an X-Mark Pro trigger but is adjusted from the factory and has no provision for any external adjustments. Surprisingly enough, the trigger breaks cleanly at 5 pounds and has no perceptible slack or creep. Certainly not a target trigger, but it works well enough for coyote hunting.

At the range…

Unfortunately, the wind was gusty on the only day I could give the gun a test – 10 mph was the normal wind speed and gusts up to 25 mph weren’t uncommon. I figure if I could shoot between gusts and swells, I could at least test the action and check pressure tolerances of my handloads.

Apparently when Remington says that the scope is bore-sighted they mean that the scope is pointed in the general direction that the muzzle is. As it turned out, the first couple of rounds downrange couldn’t even hit paper on a 2’x3’ board. After pulling the bolt out and bore-sighting by eye, I found paper and was only a little off. After a couple of clicks here and there, I was centered and ready to begin testing for real.

Since getting my Beta Chrony from Brownells a few months ago, I seem to be using it all the time, even when testing factory ammunition. I started with the 100-grain Remington Core-Lokt PSP rounds and as expected, they shot fine and showed moderate accuracy. Trying my best to deal with the wind, I was able to keep a 10-shot group under 2-1/2”. Not great, but not bad for the conditions. The Core-Lokts clocked in at an average speed of 2942 f.p.s. (10’ from the muzzle) with an SD of 15 and an ES of 51.

I did some handload testing to see how the ADL held up to high pressures and was happy to find that I could get the velocity that I wanted without any signs of pressure. I tested the 75 and 87-grain versions of the Hornady VMAX rounds loaded in fully-prepped R-P brass. Velocity measurements were as follows:


IMR 4064


75-gr VMAX


Charge Wt

Velocity Measurements @ 10 ft





























IMR 4064


87-gr VMAX


Charge Wt

Velocity Measurements @ 10 ft




























The best group I was able to squeak out was a 1” (3-shot) group from the 75-grain VMAX (with 40-grains of IMR 4064) and 1-3/8” (3-shot) group with the 87-grain VMAX (using 34.8-grains of IMR 4064). Again, remember that 10 mph wind and 20+ mph gusts were making things difficult.

For my handloads, I was using 2x and 3x used brass that I picked up alongside a set of dies off of I have some more load development to do – mainly I want to try a few lighter bullets and some new brass, but was overall happy with my results. The 75-grain bullets will certainly be enough for coyote, so I at least have a “go to round” in the mean time.


Anyone who has tried to squeeze accuracy out of an SPS stock with a bipod knows that they’re better used as a boat paddle. The ADL stock is no different and it’s on top of my list of things to upgrade. The Remington-badged Tasco scope is a close second. It works, but suffers from only having around 2” of eye-relief, blurred edges, and a very stiff magnification knob.

However, despite the pitiful stock and a scope that leaves much to be desired, the Remington ADL still represents a great value for the money. Remington 700s are easily modified and tuned into any “gun” you want. For me, this gun will be dragged through scrub desert, leaned against Golden Barrel cacti, and likely bungee-strapped to an ATV mounted gun-rack.

For those who may be just getting into hunting or are trying to find a “back up” gun for the occasional friend or relative that comes to shoot/hunt with you, the ADL is a great choice. At my local store, they are available in .223, .243, and 30-06 – three calibers that should cover almost every game animal in North America.


Brand: Remington Arms
Model: ADL Synthetic Package
Caliber: .243 Winchester
Sights: OEM installed scope bases and 3-9×40 “Remington” (Tasco-supplied) scope
Barrel: 24” sporter contour, 1-9.125” twist rate
O/A Length: 44”
Weight: Around 8 lbs. with scope
MSRP: $ Unknown, retails for $399.97 at Wal-Mart in the Phoenix Metro area


Ratings (out of five stars)

Remember – all of these ratings are both subjective and relative to the class of firearms they are in. A 5-star “budget” rifle is not on the same playing field as a 5-star custom 1911.

Style * * *
I wouldn’t call it “stylish”, but it certainly looks better than a “Sporterized” Mosin-Nagant in an ATI stock.

Ergonomics * * *
Like most stocks, I have a problem with my cheek-weld – most end up being “chin welds.” I need to pay attention to solid and repeatable placement, which is why I prefer adjustable comb stocks on my target guns. Overall, the ADL handles just like any SPS so use that as a reference.

Reliability * * * *
Two boxes of factory ammo and 50 handloads that approached maximum loads with no problems to speak of. The barrel cleaned easily but required some Hoppe’s 9 to get all the copper out. A few good soaks and it was as clean as new. I’ll add the 5th star after taking it through the desert a few times. Maybe.

Customizable * * * * *
Well, it’s still a Remington 700 so the sky’s the limit when it comes to customizing. I’ll be adding a B&C Alaskan II stock and a nicer scope ASAP. The advantage of the ADL is that you’re not paying for any “extras” that you don’t need.

Overall Rating * * * *
A great backup or entry-level “starter” gun. I’d give it a 5th star if it had a better scope, but  considering that the ADL package is almost $200 less than a stock SPS (which doesn’t include scope or bases), it is worthy of at least 4 stars.

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  1. Hey! They arent all that cheap and that plastic-y!
    I had a Rem 700 ADL .243 in beautiful walnut (not laminate either). I assume we are talking about the same gun, breach loading, no floor plate…Mine had a nice polished bolt though.
    Now I know mine was worth more than $4….
    Good review, Thanks for sharing….

    • @brigo05 – you’re correct – this is the “new” version of the ADL. The previous models (I have one in .270) had nice walnut and no floor plate. It wasn’t as nice as the BDL or CDL line, but still very attractive.The SPS replaced the ADL and went to synthetic, although Remington maintained the wood-stocked BDL and CDL lines.

  2. For coyote hunting I go with a 58 grain Hornady high velocity (3750 fps) round. Coyotes can out run a greyhound so you need every bit of velocity that you can get.

      • Factor, but I bet you could handload an equivalent round.

        I will start handloading again when I retire later this year.

    • The 58gr. V-Max is my go-to bullet for .243. The accuracy and terminal performance is incredible. The Sierra 60gr. HP flat base is another top choice. Varget and Benchmark have been excellent powders for me.

  3. +1 for the cheap gun. You shouldn’t take a 1000 dollar gun out in bad conditions like that where you are concerned about scratching it up. Stainless steel and polymer are best choices for all weather all terrain guns. If your groups are smaller than a coyote then you’re good to go

  4. The things people blithely say without explaining are kind of amazing here.

    A 7.18 pound 39.5″ AR-15 style rifle is too big and clumsy for shooting coyotes? So you buy an 8 pound 44″ long bolt action rifle? I don’t get the logic.

    Good for you for buying a new rifle and having fun with it, but it’s kind of silly to say that a full sized M-16 which has been used for generations to hunt and stalk people on battlefields isn’t suitable to shoot varmints like coyotes.

    • Thank you, Skyler! I was gonna say something similar, but you beat me to it. An AR would have worked just fine. Most ARs are lighter and shorter than the ADL. If you wanted a different caliber – okay. If you wanted a bolt-action – okay. I don’t know how heavy/long your AR is but there’s no reason you couldn’t have just added a $60 optic on it and been good to go. Also, there’s the added benefit of rapid follow up shots with the semi-auto (in case that crazy wind comes around again). Otherwise, nice review of the ADL.

    • @Skyler – Overall, it was the combination of acceptable weight, size, accuracy, but most importantly it was the price that won me over.

      You make a good point but perhaps misread what I said. I said that “my” AR’s are too heavy, not all AR’s- my lightest AR with scope installed comes in at 9.5-lbs unloaded and it is also front heavy and not something I want to drag through the desert. I almost considered getting a SIG M400 Hunter (and may still just for the hell of it), but at $400 this cost 60% less than the SIG and it came with optics. Although the scope is less than ideal, it is acceptable for dragging through the woods (or scrub).

      Also, keep in mind that this is a .243 and it is actually a hair under 8lbs (I rounded up). A .223 with 22″ barrel is even lighter. To get a comparable AR-based gun, you’d have to go with an AR-10. Even a basic ML AR-10 A2 comes in at 8.5lbs before optics and ammo; FL AR-10’s are over 9lbs. Weight wise, they are comparable, with a slight edge going to the ADL.

      • Fair enough, but I dare say that the fad of putting a lot of gear on the rails seems to be based mostly on the fact that there are a lot of rails.

        Iron sights work fine for shooting coyotes out to five hundred yards with an AR and 5.56mm rounds (though I find the scope to be very useful as my eyes have gotten older). Anything else might be fun, but isn’t strictly necessary.

        So unless you really just like buying new rifles, and there’s nothing wrong with that, perhaps another course of action would be to put your AR on a diet. Or just man up and carry it if you make it so heavy. 🙂

        I see a lot of Marines putting gear on their rifles overseas, but I’ve rarely seen it be useful.

        • Don’t you think that it’s a little, I don’t know, unsportsmanlike to use a gun that is pretty much based off an M-16? It would make more sense in a security guard hands in a tower ( Prisons, maybe? ), than in a hunter’s hands hunting coyote ( Which is what I would do with a simple bolt action rifle like the one discussed in the article) .

        • @Nathaniel Miller – what is wrong with an AR for coyote/varmint hunting? While some may prefer bolt guns, AR’s are quite capable of small game/varmint hunting. They may even be ideal for certain situations…

          I supposed you may be trying to make the argument that it is “too much” firepower (i.e. too many rounds to shoot too quickly). I wonder if you would make this same argument if it were 100 years earlier and bolt-actions guns were being used in the woods instead of blackpowder guns? Some people will go “trigger happy”, but that is a small percentage. Semi-auto guns have been around and been used for a long time (think Mini-14, Remington 760, etc) and no one has an issue with them, just as long as the gun has a walnut stock…

    • The things people blithely say without explaining are kind of amazing here.

      Which is why I’m so happy to have you here to set us all straight. We’re not even worthy enough to bask in your reflected glory.

      I said that blithely and it requires no explaining.

    • Amen to that. The AR-15 is also way more fun to shoot than a bolt with less than match – grade accuracy. I’d rather blast out a 10 shot 2 1/2″ fast group with an AR than slowly eke out a larger than MOA 3 shot group with a bolt gun. My bolt guns are all MOA or better, which makes them more fun to shoot than less accurate bolt guns. Especially at public ranges, where the guy next to you is checking out your groups. Again, my opinion.

      Not only have AR’s been carried, dragged, and “low crawled,” all over the world, so also have heavier guns such as the MK 203 and M249 SAW.

      But I don’t want to sound like a gun nut (’cause I just read and commented a previous TTAG post), so let me congratulate you on a sub 400 dollar gun purchase. Certainly can’t do that with an AR-15! Hooah!

      • @Accur81 – more fun to shoot? 10-shot group? Ummm, I did mention that this was going to be used for hunting right? I have enough AR’s, AKM’s, and an SKS to shoot when I want to blow through a ton of ammo….

        And obviously AR’s have been beat to hell around the world – but mine haven’t 🙂 I don’t know of many Marines shelling out their own money for their own M4’s or M249’s. While I don’t have many safe queens and I love me an Arizona “pin stripe” on an XJ/TJ/YJ, my $2000+ AR’s are best kept pretty (or as pretty as possible)!

        • Back in 1985 I came really close to blowing $7000 on an M-60E3 that was for sale in a small gun shop in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I should have bought it.

        • Ah, well. A beat up AR has more street cred!

          I have lots of fun shooting sub MOA with expensive bolt guns and optics – but that accuracy isn’t necessary for hunting (my first deer gun was a Marlin .30-30 around 3 MOA with a Simmons scope). Most of my hunting shots have been standing offhand. And some of those, truth be told, were flat out misses. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of “operator error.”

          To each their own, eh? One could potentially argue that the AR craze is a little long in the tooth…but I’m not a gun nut, so I wouldn’t know…

        • Its an AR!! They should not be pretty, they should be rugged!! If its worth $2k! It should either be set up with the prooer cqb gear (i.e. light, reflex, can, or similar) or it should be a purpise built D.M. rifle. This coming from a former marine with a couole of my own AR’s, and if it wasnt for the arbitrary NFA rules i would have real M4’s, and maybe not a 249 saw (because they are junk) but a shrike upper on an auto lower for the same abilities with less weight, better ergonmics, and just the shear jiy of firing belt fed.

    • I don’t see the big deal with rifle weight when you are out hunting. It’s not like you are packing 80lbs of ammo, rations, grenades, body armors and other gear. If you can’t carry a 9 lb rifile and a few rounds of ammo you aren’t in good enough condition to go hunting.

      • “I don’t see the big deal with rifle weight when you are out hunting.” .

        .. spoken like a true non-hunter!

        • Guessed wrong. When I go deer hunting I carry a small backpack with water, some food and knives.;
          A Remington 700 with 5 rounds of ammo. If I end up running out of ammo then I had a really bad day. I have spent all day in the woods without getting fatigued. I am not Rambo. I am a 62 year old (well last season 61 year old) guy in pretty good shape. The difference between 7lbs and 9lbs is in the noise.

          • Depends on the kind of hunting as well – I know elk hunters who do the “backpack” method, carrying as much as 60 lbs of equipment on their hunts

            I do a lot of hiking and camping with my wife and we aim for the lightest load possible. Even still, my pack on a 3-day camp is around 60-65 lbs (depends on season). Having walked up many, many canyons I can say that the lighter the load the better.

            The same applies to hunting for me. However, there is a limit. I don’t carry light or featherweight guns nor do I have any interest – that obviously wasn’t my intention with this one. On day hunts on relatively flat ground, who cares. I had a monster 12-gauge for turkey hunting and never thought twice. I used the same gun for pheasant hunting and was in misery half way through the hunt.

            Again, people are making a mountain out of a mole hill here – weight was a small factor for me.

          • I agree with you (and I’m pushing 50) and I frankly don’t see the obsession with these “mountain rifles” – a bolt gun stripped down to under 7lbs in some ferocious caliber that kicks so hard it nearly knocks your teeth out.

            I very much prefer a 9lb rifle which is comfortable to shoot, reliable and stout. To me, the only (and I mean only) possible justification for going with a light rifle is to carry more water on desert sheep hunts. I’m not carrying any less weight, I’ve merely shifted what I’m carrying.

  5. Standing offer… I’ll give ya $200 for it if you really think its so underwhelming . Just drop me an email.

    Thats an every-man’s gun in every sense of the word, and it will take deer out to 300+ yards with the best of them. I love me some .243!

  6. Good review. I keep eyeballing the same rifle every time I’m in Walmart, might be worth checking out the 30-06 version.

  7. Every year around hunting season the stores in my neck of the woods (Portland Or) put Howa 1500 rifles on sale for $429 +/-. They come with a really sweet Hogue overmolded stock and a Nikko Sterling scope (which I have never owned, but did not appear to completely suck at first glance). If I needed a cheap deer hunting bolt gun, I think that would be my first choice. The only advantage I see in the Remington is that it appears to have a more weather-proof finish, instead of the traditional blueing of the Howa.

    • That sounds like a great deal! Plus I live in the desert, we don’t have rust for the most part 🙂

  8. I picked up a .222 Rem savage 860E for 200 dollars used that will lay a coyote right out. At 3150 fps a 50 gr vmax with a poly tip will do the job. Great for groundhogs too. These are not heavily skinned animals and most weigh around 40 lbs.

    • I couldn’t find a single used, sub-30 cal, non-rimfire rifle to save my life! I looked all the time and know most of the shop owners by name. No one had anything I was looking for on the used rack (or new rack for that matter)… I almost picked up a .22-250 built on a FN action and a custom laminated stock. Unfortunately, the barrel bore looked “grey” and dull and I was hesitant about getting it.

  9. I scored a .270 Winchester Remington 700 ADL back in law school for $250. The trigger is probably a lot like yours: a bit heavy but very short and crisp. Mine has proven to be extremely accurate, and Joe Grine has seen it shoot sub-1″ groups at 300 yards with handloads. (The stock was junk, so I replaced it with a heavy pillar-bedded John Plaster stock.)

    If you’re looking to customize a Remington 700, the ADL is a great place to start as long as you’re happy with the sporter-weight barrels of the ADL. It’s also a perfectly decent budget rifle in its own right, and perhaps superior to other Big Box rifles because of its customization potential.

  10. I love my Remington 788 in .243. Nothing fancy, but great for getting rid of pests.
    Bought the gun cheap at Target when they were getting out of the gun business.

  11. .17 HMR will kill coyotes all day long if you place your shot correctly.

    Been there, done that. I’ve killed coyotes, rabbits, badgers all deader than a wedge with a .17 HMR at ranges from 60 to 225 yards. It is a very deadly round when you use the 17gr V-Max pill.

    As for Remington: They’re the Walmart of guns. Finding new ways to make guns cheaper every year since the early 60’s.

    • I researched this topic and couldn’t come to a true consensus and thus decided to go with a centerfire. Some people have good luck, some say a .222 is the minimum caliber for ‘yotes. I don’t know the answer and may perhaps give it a try some day!

  12. My older ADL has a beautiful walnut stock. It is also a .243 and bought used last week for $399 plus tax. The bonus? It’s got a world-class Kahles 6x scope on it.

    It’s more accurate than I am.

  13. I own 2 ADL’s. A 30-06 and 243, both of which shoot 1 in. groups at 100 yds using my favarite hand loads. The 30-06, I have glass beaded and floated the barrel. The 243 I floated the barrel and made trigger adjustments. My 30-06 has burled walnut stock and I prefer wood over synthetic. Remington rifles have tighter chambers and this is one reason they shoot soo well. I don’t shoot them as often as I should because I have a 340 savage that is deadly on groundhogs and coyottes. Savage 340’s have a 1 in 14 twist 24 inch barrel on the 22 hornet and thus will handle most longer bullets in my humble opinion.

  14. I have the earlier version of Remington’s ADL mounted with a Weaver 2.5x fixed power scope and the hard plastic stock. It is light and fast. The groups I get are in line with Patrick’s. Not great, but good enough for <300 shooting on deer size targets. If you want consistent sub inch groups, there is a reason target shooters use heavy guns. I am sorry, but 10 lbs pound rifles suck if you are going to be carrying them all day. If you are hunting over five thousand feet, don't even think about carrying that heavy cannon. You young guys, do what you want… you have plenty of time left to learn life lessons, but for us older guys, I just as soon have a light rifle like the Remington ADL. So what is the best rifle to have? The one you have in your hand when you see game.

  15. Patrick, are you still monitoring the replys to this article? If so please respond, I have a few questions for you.

  16. I have a ton of coyotes and deer on my land…I want to kill both…the people at the gun store told me to go with either a .243 or 7-08 any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Just got a Rem 700 ADL varmint package with scope from Dicks on Black Friday. 26″ bull barrel 308 for $349. I might put the scope on a 22lr or something and change the stock after shooting it for a while. You simply will not get a better deal moneywise than this buying any other gun in the USA.

  18. I bought a Remington 700 ADL at a garage sale down the street 30 yrs ago. Glass bedded and free floated the barrel. it shoots 3/4 groups at 100 yds. it is a 270. Shot deer mostly and a few coyotes with it over the years. I think of it as a beater gun. Few scratches here and there from the years in the field and she still shoots as good as I can. Nice gun. Just like me, a little rough around the edges but gets right to the point when the time comes.

    • That’s the same idea that I came up with. Why throw away a stock for bragging rights, when you can rough the inner works and glass bed it? The bedding increases the accuracy of the rifle 3 fold. Bed the scope base (A recoil lug type helps keep the scope zeroed.) and Lock Tite it all and you’ve got one hell of a big game rifle. (Love the .270.. a real flat shooter.)

  19. 62 grain barrnes varmet gernade bullets and Varget ,
    created .50 inch groups at 200 yards.
    out of my new .243 out of the box after sighted in .
    these rifles are high quality and 50 year preformers.
    I have a 270 and 3006 also.
    on the down side the scope a bushnell/remington does not focus or clear well and only has les than a 2 inch eye relif witch is great for eye cuts

  20. Just bought a NIB Remington 700 short action in .243 { 22″ barrel } from an old friend who bought it new at Wally-World years ago, and NEVER shot it, for $375.
    I’m in the process now of getting a bi-pod, etc., for it.
    I already have a Nikon Monarch { 3.5x10x50 } scope with Weaver mount & rings installed . Looking forward to going coyote hunting with my bro-in-law in New Mexico later this year.

  21. I know a lot of people here will think I’m nuts, but to each his own. Hunting for different game, in different places on different terrain and at different distances, requires different tools. By that I mean gear AND weapon(s). It’s a tool box. You can’t work on a vehicles motor using just an adjustable wrench. You can’t build a house using just a hammer. So why would anyone, when they are hunting, think that they can do everything with just one rifle?

    I recently started out on a project to make an acceptably rugged, that will hold zero and produce sub MOA rifle that gives me 1000 yards of take down power, but with the self imposed stipulation that I keep the whole top to bottom creation under $1,000 dollars. So far, I have $804 total in the development. I started with the basic Remington ADL in .308 Win. for $374, and have scoured the net for the cheapest deals on what I’ve added to this package. So far, I came up with a NIB Seekins 20MOA base and Burris ETR rings for $129 combined, A NIB Nikon 4.5-14 BDC scope for $301. I’ve pillar mounted and free floated the barrel and action by .040 using a heavy walled, damaged aluminum arrow that I broke target shooting that fit the factory bolt holes perfectly. (Ran a tap in the hole, grooved the arrow pieces and epoxied them in the factory stock. Add $21 for Acraglas gel and $5 worth of aluminum powder to reinforce the bedding gel, and that brings the whole price so far to $830. That still leaves me enough for a Harris S-BRM 6-9 pod (Found one for $94 w/free shipping.) And I think I’ve made my new “cheap” hunter/target toy that can stand with the big boys. I don’t plan on shooting competition going through a hundred rounds in a session. But I can get the same MOA in a 3 shot group that the heavier much more costly “tactical” monsters can do. But like I said, it’s a tool box. I wanted something that could reach out and get bigger game, but at the same time cheap and versatile. I configured this and set guidelines to go by for this. But in the end it “ain’t for squirrel hunting”.

    • “So why would anyone, when they are hunting, think that they can do everything with just one rifle?” I don’t think the author said this was the “do everything rifle”… using a .243 for coyote and deer is hardly a “do all” caliber. I think he was implying that the gun was versatile in this caliber, nothing more. A great “do all North American” caliber is probably the 30-06, but even then there are better calibers depending on purpose.

      Also, not only does the 308 have relatively little useful “take down” power at 1000-yards, it takes a serious skill set to be able to effectively place a single shot on target at this distance. Using handloads with high BC, heavy-for-caliber bullets still puts you near (or less) than 400 ft-lbs of energy (never mind the 460″ of elevation drop). How “big” of game are you talking here? For elk, the rule of thumb is 1500 ft-lbs of energy (bull) and for whitetail it is around 700 ft-lbs of energy (buck), assuming good shot placement.

      “And I think I’ve made my new “cheap” hunter/target toy that can stand with the big boys” – not even close! Hitting the target with 3 cold bore shots is not even close to hitting a 2.5″ target 22-26 times per string, 3 strings for match (or more). Just because you park a Honda Civic Si next to a GT-R, it doesn’t mean you have a race car.

      • Well You know what they say about opinions and what they are like. I’m making this into a one shot, one kill gun. I already have the harmonics under control to the point that the vibration “dead zone” is located at the muzzle. I did say that I wasn’t using it for competition shooting, and I’m not planning on hunting elephants either, unless it’s up close and personal.

        What YOU may consider pertinent in a rifle is of no consequence. The .308 is a very effective round on the same level as the 30.06 but with a milder recoil. I’m not going to defend my position with someone who thinks that hunting with a 155mm howitzer is what you need for a kill at 1000 yards.

        I’ll keep my long range guns light (And this one much cheaper.) You carry your mini-cannon (Or roll it if you must.) and we’ll both be happy. How’s that?

        • Where in my response did I imply a “howitzer” was required? A “one shot, one kill gun”? Perhaps you’ve been listening to Karl Lippard for too long. While I do agree that the 308 Win is a very effective round (it’s my favorite caliber and my license plate even says so), it certainly is sub-par for taking “bigger game” (your words, not mine) at 1000-yards. Since you still have not yet defined what you meant by this phrase, one has to assume that you mean at least CXP2 game and larger. In North America (assuming), it means thin-skinned, hoofed game averaging under about 350 pounds in live weight (deer, pronghorn, sheep, goats, black bear and most feral hogs). Since I am no ballistic/wound expert, nor have I ever played one on TV, I have to also refer to credible sources. How about Hornady? They seem to know a thing or two about bullets, wouldn’t you say? For the sake of brevity, I will quote their CXP2 guidelines directly: “Minimum caliber, 6mm (.243″); HITS rating, 500-900”. You can use Hornady’s website to figure out how to calculate the HITS rating of the 308 Win and then adjust it accordingly for its terminal performance at 1000-yards. We can even ignore the fact that most hunting bullet construction won’t expand at those velocities. We wouldn’t want to poke too many holes in your logic.

          You have every right to think what you want to think. You can also believe what you want to believe – one of the great things still afforded to us as Americans. Hell, you may think that 2+2=5. You may even believe it. Unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps), it doesn’t necessarily make you correct. Obviously ballistics, down-range effectiveness, logic, and ethics aren’t as black-and-white as simple arithmetic, but there is a certain level of “correctness”. Sure, you “can” hunt CXP2 game at 1000-yards with a 308 Win, I’m sure it’s been done before. You can also hunt geese with a 28-gauge. It doesn’t make it ethical or a generally wise-choice. Taking ANY game, large or small, with a cartridge that is far less than optimal is not only unethical, it also helps reinforce the “crazy redneck” perception of the non-hunting public. Now, I normally could care less what the “public” has to say, but I wouldn’t want to “turn off” a potential hunter from trying out the sport due to another hunters obvious ill-fated decision making skills. Hitting paper and hitting a living creature for the sake of turning it into a meal is FAR from being even remotely related…

          In UT, CO, AZ, NM, etc. there are thousands upon thousands of hunters who successfully stalk game in relatively open country. FWIW, my “howitzer” for canyon/open-plain hunting is a Remington Model Seven chambered in 300 SAUM. With a Zeiss scope, sling, Talley rings, and ammo, it’s a little over 8lbs (8lbs 3oz according to my Berkley fishing scale). I too like my guns and packs light in weight – my 2-day/3-night hunting pack is under 45 lbs with shelter, gun, food, and ammo. It also had the same exact MSRP as a similarly chambered Remington 700. Not bad for a “cannon”, eh? If I do my job, it will put 3 cold/clean bore shots into a 1″ paster at 100-yards. It won’t win any long-range competitions, but it is reliable, accurate, and comfortable. With its tight chamber and my handloads, I can safely and conservatively come within 2% of 300WM power levels – a known performer in terms of long-range hunting and one of the MOST popular cartridges in CO/UT. Recoil is moderate and quite manageable with practice and technique. It is an “honest” 600-yard hunting rifle, even if I’m a practiced 1000-yard shooter. So, how is an identically priced gun, with 45% more energy, and 30% less drop not a significantly better option as a “cheap and versatile” tool?

          Since I don’t “live off the land”, I see no reason – nor could I imagine one, as to why you would need to build a 308 to “hunt” (injure being the statistical probability) “bigger game” at those distances. At this point, I can’t tell if you’re trying to “prove” something, or are doing it simply for the bragging rights/thrill, but there are much better choices for a long-range hunting cartridge and there damn sure are better options for taking game in general (like getting closer), even if you don’t want to accept this fact. BTW, I’ve hunted all over this beautiful country – if you intend use a 6-9″ SBRM bipod on your “one shot killer”, you’ll likely never get a shot off. In the 20 years and 20 states that I’ve hunted in, I can only think of a handful of times where even a 9″ bipod would allow the barrel to clear the vegetation.

  22. Well Pat, I’m not knocking your “statistics”. I don’t study them, so I can’t argue the points that you’ve made. I know what works and that’s all. I was once in a fishing boat (trolling speed) out on lake with one of the Quantico boys who pointed to a bird (A type with a long pointed beak about 12″ tall.) He knew I carried a .45 1911 with military ball and dared me to shoot this what he called, “A fish eatting son-of-a-*****”. We were 30 yds. from the bank and the bird sat about 20ft. high off the bank. He said that the shot couldn’t be made from a moving boat. 1 shot and the bird went down. (It was “impossible” I was told.) I once took a buck in a full run at over 200 yds with my .30 cal. M1 carbine. (Standing offhand.) It was “impossible” I was told. The experts said the effective range of the M1 to bring down a deer (Statistics) was 150 yds. My shot was 220. And this is going to sound like complete bull to someone who believes in statistics, but I once killed a field mouse shooting it with NO bullets. I shot it at a distance of 5 ft. with a starting pistol. (Guess it had a heart attack.. I didn’t perform an autopsy.) I’ve took rabbits with a slingshot, and a deer (Doe) with a 35lb. recurve bow. “Impossible” I’ve been told. I saw a hunting pal of mine from Special Forces take down 3 woodcocks in total darkness with a 16 ga. shotgun, aiming at just the sound their wings made as they came up off the ground. “Impossible” people say. Speaking of shotguns, way back in the early 1970’s when I took a job in law enforcement I bought one of the original Hi Standard Model 10A’s. The “experts” said they wouldn’t have one. It was unreliable. The fellow that I took out with it while he was robbing a drugstore would disagree with the experts. A 12ga. bullpup with .00 vs. a his .45 auto. Guess who came out on top? I’m not one to argue with statistics, but I know what I’ve done and seen others do. I didn’t start out on here to try to offend anyone’s ideas of what has to be before you can do it. I simply meant to show some that might not have the budget to build a long range “field rifle”, that they could get great performance a whole lot cheaper than they might think. I have a heavy barrel SPS V in .308. with a Choate “ultimate sniper” stock and a Leopold. It’s a tack driver, but it’s too heavy to lug on a 8 mile hike up and down hills and mountains with any comfort. I know about the .270 you spoke of. I had one. A Remington 742. Took a deer at 240 and missed the heart by 1″. Love that cartridge. I understand that the .243 is on the same scale but with a bit more distance. But I’m very familiar with the .308 and it’s trajectory capabilities. That’s why I choose it for my personal choice. Heck I saw an MP in Vietnam take out a deer with a rocket launcher too, but there wasn’t much left. People can call me a “redneck” all that they want. (I can think of dozens of names to call them right back.) I really could care less. This is still a SOMEWHAT free country, and I’m not wearing pretty pink panties because some wimpy coward says it’s politically correct. I remember seeing a lot of what I can call (I’m no spring chicken myself.) “old timers” shoot game at incredible distances with iron sights using 03 Springfield’s and 30.06 Garand’s. I personally like to stay above the .30 mark, because of laws in places making it illegal to hunt with the smaller calibers. If I’m going to be in the woods after deer, I use my Marlin .35 lever action using the irons. If I’m going to be in open ground, I prefer my .308’s. I’ve caught young guys out in the woods using AR-15’s and one even had a .22 LR for deer hunting. (Not exactly Kosher, but I’m no game warden.) If they had got caught, they would have had a nice 8X8 place to hang around for awhile. I guess in the end, it’s what a person is comfortable with and/or familiar with that I think is most important. Or in other words, to each his own. And worry about what some Disney Cartoon watching vegetarian pansy thinks about hunting? Not me.. I don’t tell them when to watch “Honey Boo-Boo”, or how to eat their Tofu so they can keep their traps shut around me when it comes to hunting.

    • My Father-in-law never believed in statistics and claimed he could aim straight at an elk with his Winchester 30-30 lever action and hit it no matter how far away (open sites and all)! Damn near every day I have had to dodge those bullets circling the earth; and I must say Budd, you and my Father-in-law would get along like peas in a pod for sure. Ha Ha Ha

  23. By the way. I don’t know what your problem is with me, maybe you have a problem with everyone who doesn’t accept you as the foremost authority on ranges, calibers, bullet drop and expansion. But it seems to me that you’ve spent more time reading statistics off of ammo boxes and websites than in the field.

    OH, and…
    1.) I don’t have a clue who Karl Lippard is/was. But it sounds as if YOU do.
    2.) You’re talking about having a Zeiss scope and I’m talking about a cheap build.
    3.) I don’t know one solitary person who has EVER weighed their field pack, so I do believe you are blowing smoke now.
    4.) I think it is YOU who are here to “brag”, since all you have done since you butted in on my post is do exactly that.
    5.) I’ve attached the bi-pod on several different occasions and took the shot. So you either find some really crap places to take a shot from, or you don’t know about position and location to begin with.
    6.) And you must be a very popular fellow to know thousands and thousands of hunters that hunt YOUR way.
    7.) You sound like my daughters boy friend. Him: “I’ve got a .50 cal. Barrett!” Me: “Really? What do you need something like that for?” Him: “It’s what everyone is using now!”. Me: “OH… For snakes and such?”
    8.) And you say you can’t get your head around why I would want a .308 hunting rifle. Of course you can’t. It isn’t written on the back of a Hornady box.

    • 1.) He’s hysterical… thinks a 1911 chambered in.45ACP is an effective 600-yard defensive pistol…
      2.) Price had nothing to do with my response. I was providing counterargument to your assertion that I just hunt with a “canyon” that I have to “roll” through the hills. It could be any similar weighted scope. My point was that the gun is light and effective in its caliber.
      3.) Then you’ve never hunted out west or at least have never backpack hunted. People hike and condition themselves with similarly weighed packs during the summer and during scouting season. Hiking/scouting with a 10-lb Camelbak is a lot different than a 40+ pound hunting pack. Like most other activities with guns, your “practice how you play”. If you get an elk or sheep that requires deboning/quartering, many guys aim to keep their “pack weight” consistent. It makes hiking out much more comfortable and predictable. FWIW, I use a cheapo Berkley fish scale (Got it from Cabela’s for $15). A lot of people out here also are into “thru hiking” with ultra light gear. Weighing a pack isn’t some uncommon concept, just perhaps to you it is…
      4.) Lets be realistic – you started your initial post with a disclaimer, not me…
      5.) In 2 decades, I’ve only ever “picked” my shooting location from tree-stands during hunts back east. In stalk-type hunts, I could count the number of times I was able to lay prone and clear brush with a 9″ bipod. Perhaps you’ve just been uber lucky to clear ridgelines without be spotted. Apparently we all aren’t 6th generation ninja. Talk all you want, but hopefully others who may read this can rationalize this concept and make an informed decision.
      6.) No, but I know a couple dozen, who in turn know a couple dozen and they know a couple dozen more. I’ve also been on guided hunted with people who have stalked successfully. It’s called extrapolation. I can assume that throughout the past few years/decades/centuries, that thousands upon thousands of hunters have stalked prey. It isn’t my method, it’s been around for a while 😉
      7.) I don’t know how you equate a short-action magnum to a 50-cal, nor can I understand how 4-5 lt-bs of recoil energy turns a gun into a “cannon”. Exactly how many deer do you intend to drop at 1000-yards at one time? BTW, your daughters boyfriend sounds like an awesome guy!
      8.) I said I can’t get my head around using a 308 for hunting at the yardages that you are intending to hunt. My Model Seven in 308 makes a great whitetail and hog gun. Recoil is light, as is the gun. My furthest ethical shot at full-size buck would be 500-yards, though in all my years I’ve only ever taken a shot at game further out than 200 yards less than a half-dozen times.

      I would point out that you were the one stated that guns and gear are “tools”. My original response was to the validity of your “tool of choice”. As I said, you “could” use a 308 at 1000-yards much as you could use a flathead screwdriver as a chisel, can opener, paint/caulk scraper, toothpick, ignition key, etc. No matter how effective that screwdriver may be, it doesn’t mean there aren’t tools that can do it better. You never said that you were “limited” to only one tool, so I was simply trying to understand why you picked what you did. I have no problem with you, or whatever you do and I have done nothing but defend a position. You on the other hand have done nothing but become defensive.

      • OK… How about we just call this one “game over”. Because somehow I think I’m talking apples and you’re talking oranges. One of those, “East is East, West is West….” kinda things.

        • Fair enough! Good luck with your goals and intentions – safe travels and safe hunts 🙂

  24. Sounds like 2 old Hugers around a camp fire lolol.. One time me and one of my friends was talking about Lightening,, Positive on the ground or positive in the sky,,,, The listeners was laughting their rear off, cause we was both right and was still arguing LOLOL..Thanks guys for the post I really enjoyed all of them,, TKO is what counts, and that’s a small number, 😉

  25. Just bought a youth model for my son in 243. Hoping its as good as the the one my dad bought me when I was younger. That things got more miles on it than my old truck and still holds a good group. I’ll find out this week.

  26. Bought one of these about 16 months ago for my daughter in a Youth and it is still shooting in the red every time! I was amazed at the accuracy and clearness of the scope.

  27. Thanks guys for all the outstanding reviews on multi shots verses bolts verses loads verses how much weight to carry,, I reload my bullet myself so I just load them to the minimum that way it makes my Rifle lighter, 😉

  28. Thanks for the review of the newer ADL’s. Now that we’ve got the Savage Axis, the Ruger American, Remington’s “new” 783, it’s nice to see a traditional M700 for sale at a good price. Tack driver like a custom competition rifle? Obviously not. But so what? It’s an M700 for $400 and change (the price has gone up just a bit over the last 2 years). Can’t beat that with a stick. The other comparable, really good deal would be the Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter series.

  29. I bought the scoped youth Walmart version. It shot about 2 ft low at 50 yards out of the box so don’t start to far out when sighting in. I also bought a good pair of ear muffs for my son. He watched and after a few rounds I had it on target at 50 yards. My son is 7 and he was able to keep them inside the 10 ring. Moved out to 100 yards with the same results. We hunted all year long. He bumped that rifle against trees, the ground, and a few deer stands. He killed his first deer, a little spike, on Dec 28th with an 80 yard shot. I didn’t really trust the scope to much but it works well. I would suggest something with a bigger eye relief for a young hunter. My son has problems finding the target sometimes. Other than that I have no complaints. Its a solid little gun for around 420$. Academy sports normally has them cheaper without the scope. I would have gone that route but they never have youth models. I think its a solid 4.5 out of 5 for my purposes.

    Take a kid hunting. You think killing a deer is exciting… help a kid get his first one.

  30. I was intrigue to read this article. My first and only deer rifle is a 700ADL 243, I bought it in 2004 with a Nikon scope($350 for rifle, $149 scope). I have shot a deer every year since, deer hunting in North Dakota is shooting deer on the run. Until someone told me that my stock was shitty, I didn’t even notice. I would have no problem buying this gun again in a different caliber. Excellent first gun!!

  31. I bought my 700 ADL in .270 win back in 1972, when I was 12 years old for my first deer hunt. The ADL was walnut-stocked back then. Since then it has accompanied me on every deer hunt, and nearly every elk hunt. I can’t even count how many or each this gun has taken over the years. At the range this thing is a tack-driver still. I have never once had a functional problem with the gun. I’ve since had it partially glass-bedded and replaced scopes a time or two. I also stripped that horrible shiny finish and refinished the gun in a nice oil finish. I’ll keep using this gun till my hunting days are over and my sons can bargain over it when that time comes. If the new guns are made like mine, they are one heck of a bargain at this current price. ( I paid $120 for my scope-less gun back in 1972). Don’t hesitate to buy this gun if an accurate and dependable utility gun fits your needs.

  32. Yeah, Iv’e been reading comments on the 243 rifle. I noticed that there were mentions of the 700, and 788. But none of the 770 which I bought at walmart for $279. which I thought was a steal! My question is, is the 770 series a reliable rifle for deer? Any responses would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 PS: was thinking of using it for bear as well.

  33. Why say the old walnut ADL’s were bargain benders? The old 1970s, 1980’s ADLs were/are fantastic rifles:
    oiled satin walnut stocks, perfect polished blueing, iron sights, jeweled bolts…How are the BDL, CDL any better?
    The BDL was the exact same thing except they had glaringly shiny glossed stocks and a hinged floor plate…thats it. The CDL is basically an ADL with a floor plate..oiled satin stock rather than a shiny one and a black end cap (I prefer no end cap..just personal appearance preference)
    But today the BDL has irons and the CDL doesn’t. This makes no sense to me. Why doesn’t Remington put iron sights on the would be the perfect hunting rifle if they would. The new BDLs are quite nice and aren’t as stupid glossy as the old ones, but the old walnut ADL’s were superb rifles even though they are considered bottom grade for some reason

  34. Daylight and couple years short (or long I should say) on this post. I bought the exact 700ADL .243 gun the author is talking about at acadamy in spartanburg sc, without the scope for couple penny’s less than $400 . I suffered a serious cervical spinal cord injury (which required major surgery) couple years ago, so i cant shoot my big boy calibers anymore due to recoil. I have always known about the long range accuracy of a .243, but preferred the so called big boy calibers. I have taken several deer with .223 but i like to hunt a couple farms where 350 yard shots are available. The .223 just wont put them down good past 200 yards (150 yards is actually the more ethical limit from the ones ive shot), but 223 really is about the most recoil i can safely stand. So after doing some research decided on a .243, filled the stock with lead (to weight it to 9+ pounds) and shoot a good quality bullet that weighs 80 grains instead of standard deer load of 100. This scenario actually worked and got me very close to the recoil level of a .223. What impressed me first, was the flat trajectory of this riffle using a 80 grain round. 6/10th inch, 3 shot groups (100yrds) out of cold barrel (it was locked in a led sled and no wind). I also shot a 3 shot group at 317 yards (max distance on my shooting range on my property) that was less than 2.86 inches. Not gold medal qualification but damn impressive for the little gun not having anything done to it but added $125 simmons 44mag 3x12x44 scope to sit on top. The 80 grain soft points can still break bone and fully penetrate up to 150 yards, but should be put in boiler room after that . Ranges out to 300+yards will still anchor them if you keep it in vital area. Ive built and tinkered with many a gun in my day, but this one definitely is the most special cause it lets me still hunt at all ranges with my spinal injury. My .300 win mag, 7mm rem mag and 30-06 are all 700 actions. Regardless of caliber, a 700 action is just plain hard to beat out of the box and this little gun has proved it. Sometimes less can definitely amount to so much more…..

  35. I have the ADL in .243. You are right about the scope. Put a Nikon 3×9 x 40 BDC reticle. The rifle is more capable than me. I can consistantly disintegrate milk jugs fill with water at 200 yards. Haven’t noticed anything undesirable about the stock but I am no expert. I primarily shoot Hornaday58gr V-Max ammunition at 3975fps. Great for varmits. Capable for dear but am unable to hunt dear with this in my region. I have several loads for this rifle. Excellent rifle for under $500 for the whole package.

  36. Hey the guy just reviewed the walmart ADL in 243 which I appreciated because i am looking for a reasonable back up to my 308 bolt gun when I go out west for deer and antelope. Why get into defending ARs? Some guys like bolt guns. Some guys like me who are 66 and a bit old school when it comes to hunting. Yes I am a vet and was trained on the old M-16. And have nothing against it, but I prefer to hunt with a bolt gun and lever actions. Sometimes I even use a single shot.

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