Long-ish Range Capable Factory Rifle Suggestions (7mm Rem Mag)

Brittereiser

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I would recommend a Tikka, about $800, and make a couple upgrades.
New stock, $600 (I just put an AG stock on a Tikka)
New barrel with 1:8 twist, $400-$900 (steel vs CF)
 

Newtosavage

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If that was my budget, I'd just get a Savage Ultralight in 7RM and be done with it. OR, if I wanted to tinker and liked the stock you have already, I'd put a Remage barrel on it.
 
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MedServ60Driver

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I didn’t see in the thread where you stated how much bigger your groups were before so hard to gauge what improvement your recognizing. Something I have found in my 7 mag with a 9.5 twist is it does not like the long skinny high BC shaped bullets. So a 150 silvertip might shoot great out of it but a 155 terminal ascent is not great. In theory the twist should stabilize up to a 168 grain but that the shape has definitely had a big impact on accuracy. The bullet stability calculator on Berger’s website kind of put it together for me when I looked at my log of what ammo shot well and poor.
My apologies. I actually don' have an original thread.

Besides the 150gr Power Point, I'm not seeing any significant improvement with the other loads. Most are shooting 1.5-2 MOA, especially the heavier bullets. I find it odd that the cheapest ammo is shooting the best, but according to ballistics tables it should still be alright out to 500-600 yds if the accuracy holds.
 

jgill_pursuit

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Thanks for the input everyone. To answer questions, and also provide an update:

- I don't have much much trigger time behind magnums, but with the muzzle brake recoil is quite mild. I am genuinely not concerned about my form, though there is always room for improvement
- I have cleaned the barrel thoroughly with a copper solvent
- The rifle wears a Nightforce SHV 4-14x50, and this is the 3rd scope I've had on it

NOW, for an update:

Following the advice of a hunting partner, I took out all the action screws and re-torqued everything. Torqueing the front action screw down first, I got everything as close to 65 in lbs as I could using a FAT wrench. I then hit the range again. The results were somewhat surprising:
- Winchester Supreme X 150gr Power Point (by far the cheapest ammo): .5" cold barrel, .75" hot barrel
- Winchester factory loaded 168gr Accubond LR's: 1.2" or so
- Federal Premium 160gr Partitions: 1.75"
- HSM Berger 168's: 1.5"
- Norma Professional Hunter 156gr Oryx: 1.25"

Maybe this gun just likes the lighter bullets? I allowed the barrel 2-4 min to cool between each shot, so I don't think a hot barrel is the culprit. I'd prefer to run heavier bullets, but for my goals it may not really matter.

Thoughts?
On a factory 700, this doesn't surprise me. My Father in Law has a Sendero that he runs 130's through with just absolute stupid accuracy, but anything above about 140 doesn't shoot worth a darn. My dad's 700 from the 80's taps at about 150's. Heavier stuff doesn't shoot well. We aren't sure why, but in our experience, the factory 700's just don't really like the heavy stuff. My grandpa and uncles have experienced the same. Kindof weird I know, but just want you to know you're not alone!

If you want a new gun, buy that Bergara and have at it. There's not a better factory rifle on the market. But if you've got the money, have it rebarreled with a Remage barrel nut system and run it. That action is a great blank canvas for sure.

And also, you said it's an older gun, is the barrel shot out or pitted from rust and misuse maybe? I'm sure you've inspected it, just trying to throw out suggestions?
 
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MedServ60Driver

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And also, you said it's an older gun, is the barrel shot out or pitted from rust and misuse maybe? I'm sure you've inspected it, just trying to throw out suggestions?
It is not. I even had a local 'smith borescope it, and he said it looked to be in fine shape.
 

Mr Drysdale

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On a factory 700, this doesn't surprise me. My Father in Law has a Sendero that he runs 130's through with just absolute stupid accuracy, but anything above about 140 doesn't shoot worth a darn. My dad's 700 from the 80's taps at about 150's. Heavier stuff doesn't shoot well. We aren't sure why, but in our experience, the factory 700's just don't really like the heavy stuff. My grandpa and uncles have experienced the same. Kindof weird I know, but just want you to know you're not alone!

If you want a new gun, buy that Bergara and have at it. There's not a better factory rifle on the market. But if you've got the money, have it rebarreled with a Remage barrel nut system and run it. That action is a great blank canvas for sure.

And also, you said it's an older gun, is the barrel shot out or pitted from rust and misuse maybe? I'm sure you've inspected it, just trying to throw out suggestions?
That’s odd that the rifles like the lighter bullets. My Tikka 7RM SL does not like the 140 or 150’s but really shines with the 160’s. Barnes TTS factory loads.
 

barrister

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I don’t have the models of Bergara you listed but the Premier Stalker model I have is a great MOA shooter out to 600 yards with factory ammo. All I had to do was scope it and shoot.
 

jgill_pursuit

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That’s odd that the rifles like the lighter bullets. My Tikka 7RM SL does not like the 140 or 150’s but really shines with the 160’s. Barnes TTS factory loads.
Yup, odd in deed. In our experience, the Remington 7 Mag's just don't like heavy stuff. We've seen it on several different examples. Not sure why, but that's what we've experienced.
 

Achigan1

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Been down that road with a couple of Remington factory barrels - one in 7mag and one in 300RUM. Looked good with a borescope, clean - just wouldn’t group consistently. Changed scopes, checked mounts, no bueno.
The 7mag is now trued and has a 28” Lilja in 7STW - shoots amazing.
Just got the 300RUM back from Alamo - waiting on rail and rings but suspect I’ll be a hammer.
2K is PLENTY for a good shop to turn that thing into a tack driver.
Agree with earlier poster - have the ‘smith chamber it to run on the shoulder not the belt.
 

hereinaz

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Agree that:

Rebarrel to 8.5 twist to shoot 168 and 180 vlds from Berger, or the 175 hunter. Proof carbon fiber is in your budget. Use Norma brass and 68.5 grains of H1000 give or take is the sweet spot.

When you size cases, bump shoulders .002 so it headspaces off the shoulder not the belt. Tell your smith that.

Most of the accuracy is in the barrel, and handloads get you across the finish line so to speak. Rebarrelling and a good trigger is what most rifles need to become awesome. A good stock is third.

Have the smith put in a better extractor and you have a better gun than you can buy for the money.
 

BlackDog77

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Apr 8, 2021
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I recently bought a Browning HC LR (not McMillan) in 7mmRM. Did the tedious break-in: shoot/clean x 20 shots, shoot/clean 2 rds x 5, then shoot/clean 5 rds x 2. Clean, then shoot fouling shot. My 15 y.o. and I shot 5 rds at 200 yds using the crappy Wally World ammo and our group, combined, was way under MOA. I was shocked. My last two rounds were approximately 1/4”. Since we were doing break-in, I did not have my calipers to measure the group. I hope the Hornady Precision 162gr ELD-X shoots this well. If it does, I have found my forever elk gun! Worst case scenario, I know the gun likes the $22/box Winchester junk. Ha!
I'm about at my wits end trying to get an older Remington 700 7mm Rem Mag to shoot. It's bedded into an HS Precision stock, has been looked over by a gunsmith, and nonetheless I can't get it to consistently shoot sub MOA with factory ammo nor hand loads. I have considered the fact that it could be me, but I get more than acceptable performance from many other guns and thus don't think it's just a case of me not being able to shoot.

In light of this, I am idly considering options for factory rifles. If I do pull the trigger on this, I'd like to buy it in February or March to have the summer to practice and develop a hand load.

My goal for this rifle is shooting out to 1000. I DO NOT plan to shoot that far at game, but I do want that accuracy for hobby purposes.

The stated purpose for this rifle is big game (elk size and larger) hunting out to 600 or so yards from a solid prone position, and practice oriented towards same. I chase elk every year in CO, and would also like to eventually expand into caribou and others.

This rifle will be topped with a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 w/ HTMR that I already have.

Criteria I'm looking at:
- 7mm Rem Mag chambering (also open to 6.5 PRC and .300 Win Mag, but I'm already set up for 7 RM)
- 24-26" barrel, threaded for muzzle brake (if it already has one, even better)
- Under 9# preferred (for under 10# with scope and loaded mag)
- Factory adjustable trigger
- Synthetic stock
- Weather resistant finish (Cerakote, SS, etc)
- Remington 700 footprint/accessory compatibility desirable but not required by any means

I'm willing to spend up to about $2000 on this for the right, never buy again gun, but will of course consider something significantly lower cost. I also haven't ruled out rebarreling and restocking the current gun.

Some options I am considering:

Bergara Premier Highlander or Approach:


Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon LR McMillan

I have a few hunting partners who use Browning X-Bolts, and I've been impressed with what I've seen. In light of that, that rifle in particular has my attention.

With that said, I am all ears to others as well.

Thoughts and discussion are greatly appreciated!
Seekins Havak PH2 or Christensen Arms Ridgeline. I just picked up a Christensen Arms ELR that is very nice but a little over the 2k mark. Good luck!
 
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