A few years back at an outdoor media event sponsored by Remington Arms, I was headed to handle some new variations of the Model 700 rifle. As soon as I stepped up to the table, the rep handed me a handy-looking rifle with a green composite stock and the most unusual thing I’d seen that day, a funny looking barrel.
At first glance, I thought it was a standard heavy barrel, but then I noticed it wasn’t typical of other heavy-barreled rifles I’d shot. This one seemed to have a triangular shape to it. Added to that look was the muzzlebrake cut into the top of the barrel. That rifle was chambered in .223 and before I asked any questions or let the rep give me his info on it, I loaded it and lined up the crosshairs of the Swarovski scope on the 100-yard target they had set up for us. I ran off three 3-shot groups in quick order and turned to the rep smiling. Me likey.
A little while later I was talking to the head of media relations for Remington, the lovely Linda Powell, and I asked her if I could have one sent up for a more in-depth go round. The box showed up soon after with a Remington 700 VTR in .308.
What’s the deal?
What’s the deal with the triangular barrel you ask? Sure, I did shortly after I shot the rifle for the first time. It’s simple basically. You get the added benefits of a heavy barrel without all of the added weight. The shape actually allows for much more surface area too so the barrel helps cool itself as you shoot. The odd muzzle brake cut into the end of the barrel reduces some recoil and helps with muzzle jump. It does make the rifle louder though, so be ready for that.
The stock has a thicker foregrip area with vents cut in for even more cooling. There are over-molded inserts in the grip areas in a cool black color to contrast the green. The rubber molded grips add traction in wet conditions and are a carry-over from the awesome XCR rifle. There is a dual swivel mount on the forestock for mounting a bipod.
The trigger was a typical Remington 700 deal. Their newest trigger systems are better, but this one was just okay. If I were to buy the rifle, I would spring for a Timmney. The rifle now comes with Remington’s updated trigger and that is much better. The muzzle brake made the rifle very loud under the steel roof covering my range’s shooting benches, but it did reduce jump. A .308 doesn’t kick a lot anyway, so that didn’t bother me much at al. I had mounted a 2.5 x 10 x 56mm Trijicon scope set in Nightforce rings. This is one of the best optics you can buy for a rifle and served very well for this test. The barrel is 22-inches long and makes for a nice package. The rifle feels well in the hands and is well balanced. The barrel has a 1 in 12” twist in the .308 offering and was just as accurate as you’d expect from Remington. I was getting sub-MOA groups at 100 yards and was still shooting in an inch at 200 with good ammo. While the rifle did well with 150-grain Remington Core-lokt Ultras, it really liked Federal Premium with 165-grain Barnes Triple Shock X bullets. It was recently announced that Remington bought Barnes so we should see some great loads soon.
The Outwrite Truth
I really liked this rifle and it was a sad day when I had to send it back to Remington. It is on the list of rifles I’d like to buy for my very own and someday soon, I will do just that. While the VTR line is geared as a varmint/tactical line, I see this as a really good deer rifle. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t envision myself as a sniper tracking a terrorist buck… okay, maybe not. But it is still a darn good rifle and one that should have some staying power. It is a nice-handling, nice shooting rifle that has some great versatility in a short-action chambering. Oh, how I’d like to see a .338 Federal, or even a WSM chambering… Maybe I’m just dreaming now, but we all can do that, right?