Well folks, we’re back. I know it’s been awhile since the last post, but Summer 2017 has been busy and full of guns, gear, training, and some other pretty dope stuff. I’ve got a lot of new material in the works, including some YouTube reviews and AARs.
But enough on us, let’s get down to the good stuff: guns.
Lately I’ve seen Big Green getting a lot of flak over their newly announced Model 700 “Ultimate Sheep Rifle”. In fact, just today I was listening to a podcast that was giving the USR the business – despite none of them having any trigger time behind it or any serious mountain hunting experience. They cited it’s use of a stock, and essentially criticized it for not being a chassis gun. They pointed out that the 6.5 CM is an unusual choice for a hunting cartridge, and even wondered if the gun was “custom” because it was made by Remington, and compared what they thought was the Remington Custom Shop to S&W’s Performance Center. And the biggest complaint of them all: the $5,895 MSRP. So let’s break it down.
First of all, yes, Remington does have a custom shop. Based in Sturgis, SD, the Remington Custom Shop does exactly what you would think it does: build custom guns. Although the USR is one of a few models that are available as pre-selected builds, Remington Custom also lets you have it any way you want. Prices can vary widely, as any custom project can from another. The shop itself is relatively new, having been established in Sturgis in 2015, but is run by a crew of experienced gunsmiths that know how to produce quality products. Hand checkering, hand layed custom stocks, jeweled bolts, and action truing mills would be pretty common sights at RCS.
Now let’s itemize the components. (All are MSRP and rounded to nearest dollar)
- Action: Remington 700 Titanium Short Action (approx. $1,450)
- Stock: Manners EH-8 ($632 + Cerakote)
- Barrel: Proof Research Carbon Wrapped w/ Muzzle Brake (approx. $900)
- Bolt: Badger Mini Knob w/ Badger M16 Extractor ($70)
- Trigger: Timney 510 ($146)
Now, there area a few other various parts and accessories that should be accounted for, but are hard to track down solid numbers on. This would include the bipod rail, dual ejectors, and a hand full of aluminum parts to reduce weight. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the bedding job, Cerakoting by Scalpel Arms, and presumed action truing of a titanium action. And that’s not even mentioning that the 6.5 CM barrel from Proof doesn’t appear to be commercially available yet.
So, if we calculate by the components alone being approximately $3,300 before any sort of gun smithing to actually get the gun running, the advertised MSRP of $5,895 doesn’t begin to seem nearly as unreasonable. I would venture to guess that people shelling out anywhere near this kind of money are probably used to the idea of a high-end, expensive custom rifle that commands a price tag similar to or even higher than the near 6K of the Remington.
Is it all worth it? Well… that’s for you to decided. But a custom rifle is a custom rifle, and if it floats your boat and you don’t need a second mortgage for it, then give it hell.
But with all that being said, if you measure the gun from a performance standard, you might run into more of a quandary. Accuracy and lightweight in bolt guns are easy to do, and you can certainly find cheaper rifles that might fit the performance build of the 700 USR. Certainly there are other rifles that are lightweight and accuracy, but they won’t be custom. And if you’re budget commands that, then a cheaper option is probably the way to go. Hell, the Ruger American is lightweight and accurate, but it feels cheap as hell. Because it’s not custom.
So as far as criticisms go, does the USR deserve all this negative attention? Well… probably not if you evaluate it as a custom rifle. But if you simply look at it from a performance based perspective, then yeah… it’s not worth nearly $6,000.00.