Shooting can be a very expensive hobby.
The stainless-steel Remington 700 I just bought was a thousand dollars ($1,000!!), new-in-box (and that doesn’t include tax). No sights. And the triggerguard/floorplate assembly looks and feels like plastic. Actually, it is plastic.
That has to go. But you want to buy a replacement in steel? How about Badger Ordnance’s Tatical triggerguard/floorplate? Three hundred and thirty-five bucks! Jeebus! That’s a third of the price of the damned rifle!
Thanks to the Intartubes, I was able to find and then research Williams Firearms and their Remington 700 Short-Action bottom metal. On order now, one each in-the-white: $154 plus $8 freight. Sorry Brownell’s, but if you offered this product I’d have probably bought it through you.
As I noted previously, this rifle is going to be given a matte black Gunkote finish by Mac’s Shootin’ Irons. I’m going to go with Mac’s Tuff-Gun II process (though no initial parkerizing over anything but the new bottom metal, since the rifle is stainless steel). That’s another $230, unless we negotiate the price down since I’ll be delivering it and picking it up.
Because this is intended to be a long-range precision rifle, and I hate to clean copper fouling out of barrels, I am also going to treat the bore with Ultra Bore Coat – another $51 with shipping.
This gun is going to be mostly shot off a bench or prone, so it needs a bipod. A Harris S-BRM (on sale!) at MidwayUSA: $79.99. ($121.90 at Brownell’s – ouch!)
Bullets and brass and something to put assembled ammo into? Lapua .308 brass, two boxes of 100 at $52.99 each. Sierra 175 grain MatchKing HPBT bullets, box of 500: $117.99. Two 100 round smoke gray plastic ammo boxes: $4.27 each. I already have RCBS full-length size and seat dies, but this is a bolt-gun, and the only gun I have in .308 caliber (I sold my Ruger M77 LONG ago), I wanted a Lee Collet neck sizing die: $16.99. Lee case length gauge and shell holder for their trimmer setup: $3.49. Cutter and lockstud: $4.99. Given the reputation of Lapua brass, I shouldn’t need to trim the cases for a bit, but it’s best to be prepared. I’ve already got eight lbs. of Varget powder – well, a bit less than eight because it’s the powder I use for my 75 grain .223 loads – but I need large rifle primers. I have some Winchester, but I really like CCI’s benchrest primers for this: another $41.99 for a thousand, plus tax.
So far I’ve poured $1,718 into this project, not including the upcoming refinish.
And we haven’t addressed optics yet.
Since this is to be a 700 yard rifle, it will be very helpful if the scope base has some built-in elevation, that way it won’t be necessary to crank the scope to the end of its adjustment travel to be able to reach out, out, out there. I’ve already run across this problem with the Swede. My solution then was Burris Signature Rings that have inserts that allow for extra elevation. I don’t want to go that route this time. I do, however, want a one-piece Picatinny/Weaver style base. But again – cost? Badger Ordnance has a great reputation, but $150?? And they’re not alone. Nightforce wants $120 ($150 at Brownells). Some Internet searching and… Evolution Gun Works 20 MOA Remington 700 short-action Picatinny scope base: $39.99, with a good reputation to boot. I believe that will be my choice.
Now, the glass.
On a precision rifle the glass means as much as the rifle. No matter the potential accuracy of the rifle, if you can’t see the target, or if your scope adjustments are not reliably repeatable, you’re not going to hit what you’re aiming for. Still, like most shooters I think, I cringe at laying out more for the glass than I did for the gun. When the gun costs a grand, the thought of dropping another grand (or more, much more!) on a scope has a tendency to induce nosebleed.
Because my wife wants to punch me in the face.
I have not yet settled on a scope. One helpful commenter has recommended the Nikon 2.5-10X44 Tactical from SWFA’s Sample List. They have several in stock, and I have bought from there before. The Leupold scope on my AR-15 target upper came from there, as did the Simmons scopes on both the Swede and Conan the Borg. The Nikons run $700-800, and that’s an excellent deal, but I’m looking very hard at an IOR Valdada scope. Their 2.5-10X42 with a 30mm tube, new, is $725 and is supposed to be excellent. I like their MP8 reticle, too.
Anyway, until I settle on a scope, I can’t decide what rings to get. One-inch or 30mm? “Tactical” (which means “expen$ive”) or standard? Leupold, Burris, or somebody else?
I love this hobby, but I’m damned glad I picked a profession that pays well.