Building A Remington 700 Precision Rifle On A Budget

I see this question all the time and I see silly responses like the one below just as often.

Shooters are constantly asking about which 700 to buy and about which model.
Once they get it the first thing they do is start swapping out parts.
Here is a different approach you can take.
Buy a short or long action ready to go from one of the big supply houses for less than $500.
Buy a take off barrel off of E-Bay in the caliber of your choice for $50 and make sure it comes with the recoil lug.
Pick out the chassis or stock of your choice which will run $50 to $2000
Have the barrel installed by any gunsmith done and done.

Tada. How awesomely wrong can one person be? So you’re going to slap a take-off barrel on a never assembled gun, slap some random stock on it, pay no attention to the integration or parts grade and expect what? I know what to expect, a rebuilt Remmy which is unlikely to print as good as a factory Remmy but which costs at least twice as much. Ugggh. Why not just get a box stock ADL and NOT MODIFY IT. It’ll perform at MOA or better in all probability and if they’re not building a combat rig then it doesn’t have to be dead nuts tough.

How about this gem:

Usually about $3,000 is about right for an R700 unless you are okay with crap and cheap Chinese components. Then, you generally want to start at $1,000 price range in scopes. So, about $4,000 is the minimum budget for a completed scoped bolt action rifle. Then, you will have something you can be happy with and it will last. If you pay much less, you’ll end up paying a lot more in the long run if you are serious.

Yep. Equally up their own ass with their own nonsense. There is no requirement for dropping even 3000 bucks on a Remington 700 before it’s a proper precision rifle. This whole line of thinking is in direct refutation of observable reality and it’s based on the singularly restricted thinking of someone that doesn’t think targets closer than 2Km is worth shooting at. (The above quotes are sourced from and the poster for the 2nd bit actually has “shooting starts at 2000 yards” in his sig line)

The reality of the situation is, just like with every damned thing else, it depends. Let’s assume you’re not building a war rig but you do plan on being pretty rough and tumble with your product so you want some toughness. You start with a used Remington 700. It doesn’t matter which one but an ADL will be the least expensive and can be had for 300-350 bucks no problem and it comes with a trigger and a stock and a barrel and a recoil lug. Add a scope and bipod and you’re there. It’s unlikely that the result will print .2″ 5 shot groups but it’ll probably do an inch or thereabouts. So 350 + 300 (SWFA 10×42 SS) + 100 (Harris S-type bipod) = $750. This is a 800yrd rig against 2-minute of angle targets.

Ok, you want to come down from an inch. Simple, adjust your trigger and replace the barrel and recoil lug and bed the stock. You can do a lot with a pre-chambered drop in barrel. Change caliber, change parent case, do whatever. Add 50 bucks to your buy-in for a recoil lug and 300 bucks for a Black Hole Weaponry Remage barrel chambered in whatever you want. You’re up to 700 bucks now on the base rifle. You know what 700 bucks gets you for a base rifle these days? It’ll get you a factory heavy barrel from Remington or Savage that’ll print .7″ groups in all probability with decent ammo. So, there’s no need to build a rifle. It costs about the same to build one (usually more) than it costs to just buy one. We’re at 700 + 300 + 100 = $1100. This is a 1000yrd rig against 2MOA targets.

Now you want to move from .7″ to .5″ or less. Well now we have a problem. You’re going to need a gunsmith. Your action needs trued, your barrel needs lapped (probably), your trigger needs work, you’re going to probably need help and if you don’t want it you still probably need it. Here’s where building yourself can work but it’s not common unless you already know the answer to the question I’m addressing. Blueprinting and truing an action is going to run 2-3 hundred bucks as a start. Add in a trigger job and a bedding job and precisely setting the headspace to minimum and you can see a $600 gunsmith bill and you still may need a replacement match grade barrel which is going to add 350 bucks for the barrel and probably (unless you do a Remage prefit) 150-200 bucks for the chambering and installation. This is at 350 (action) + 350 (barrel) + $600 (gunsmithing) + 300 (scope) + 100 (bipod). This rig is good for 1000m against 1MOA targets and will probably be easily capable of .5″ groups.

So far these have all be using SWFA 10×42 SS scopes. You can add 500 bucks more for one of their HD 10×42’s which has better glass or add 1200 more bucks and get into a US Optics ST-10 TPAL. All of these are also using a factory stock. There’s no legitimacy to thinking a factory wood stock from Remington can’t be on a precision rifle. You don’t need a chassis stock costing 700 bucks. If you want one fine but don’t think it’s necessary. They’re very nice and ergonomic and that’s it. So you could add 1200-2200 bucks more to any of these levels if you want. It just probably won’t do any good.

Now you want to go to the next level. Well here the cost is pretty well fixed. You’re going to ditch the factory Remington 700 action and probably do an aftermarket clone from Surgeon or similar. The amount of gunsmith time goes up dramatically and the accessories go up dramatically in price. At this point it’s really best to call up GA Precision or Mark Pharr or Beanfield Rifles or any of a thousand others and have them build you a proper rifle on a match action. You’re looking at 3000-7000 bucks and it’ll come with a stock and it’ll likely print .2″ groups all day. Add a scope that’s up to the level of the rifle for another 1000-7000 bucks including rings and mounts. This rifle will be able to be competitive at extended range in matches that count group size or X’s. If you were to build a war rig this is probably where you’d want to be playing. You don’t go to war with toys. You go to war with weapons. When you call it a weapon it’s got to be able to be a weapon no matter what. I’d expect to be able to beat someone to death with it and then turn around and finish my 5-shot group. Going to war means life is on the line. Price is irrelevant when life is the prize so I’ll take the most expensive, custom, ruggedized, perfected kit I can manage to get into. Ask any military sniper if they’d like to take a Savage 10FP or a GA Precision Hospitaller to battle. Ask them if they’d rather take a SWFA 5-20x50HD or a US Optics LR-17.

What $2800 gets you.

What $2800 gets you. This rifle is based on a Savage 10FP-SR

People that think like blankets are not thinking. They’re applying topically accurate information to an off topic matter. One of my match rifles started with a $650 rifle, added a $500 chassis stock, a $300 scope and $200 of rings, mounts, bipod and paint.

This is a 1700 dollar rifle and it’s a 1000m (1100yrds) stone cold killer on 1MOA targets.

What ~$1700 gets you.

What ~$1700 gets you. The base rifle is a Mossberg MVP Varmint .223.

Another of my rifles starts with a $900 base rifle, adds a $350 barrel, $200 chassis stock, $600 in gunsmith work, $1500 scope, and 200 bucks in rings, mounts, bipod and paint. This is a $3500 rifle and it’ll shoot 1MOA targets out to a mile (1760yrds).
What $3500 gets you.

What $3500 gets you. The rifle action is a Winchester post-64.

This is my metallic silhouette race gun. It’s a Savage 110 action ($450) that’s been fully blueprinted ($600), professionally hand glass bedded ($250) into a Nesika Bay stock ($600) using a custom triggerguard ($100) with a Shilen Match stainless barrel ($350), custom ground recoil lug ($100), custom chamber dimensions and headspacing ($350), trigger job ($100), a Weaver T24 scope ($500), and weight set to maximum for Hunter gun class in metallic silhouette competition. The total or a rig like this is about $3500 all in and there’s almost nothing to it. It’s a single shot rifle in a fiberglass stock. Every part of it is not the most expensive option but it’s competitive. I still need to drop another 500 bucks into it for a vastly better trigger and some balancing work. The rifle turns in 1-hole groups at 100m but gets used exclusively from the standing position for any range longer than that. At 200, 300, 385, and 500m it’s accurate enough that I can stand up and take my shots unsupported and have a hope of hitting if my crosshairs are on the target. There are guys that I shoot against that come out with rifles that cost twice as much. They’re not any more accurate, they’re just more exotic with stuff like aluminum actions or Titanium actions with more expensive scopes and more exotic stock paint jobs and more expensive barrels and such. You can double the cost of a rifle really fast and not get anything for it.
$3500 worth of competition rifle.

$3500 worth of competition rifle.

And here’s a GA Precision Hospitaller with a US Optics scope appropriate to the cause. This rig is over $8000 as configured. Probably closer to $9000 when you take everything into account. This is not my rifle. The image is the property of a Photobucket user named reximusallen. I hope he’s ok with me using this pic of his kickass rifle. This rifle will do anything a rifle can do.
What closer to $7000 gets you.

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