Well, here we are, another new year, and another few new tactical models introduced by Remington. Of all the rifle makers out there, Remington seems to be the one taking the most advantage of the tactical rifle popularity by introducing a couple of new tactical rifles just about every year. One of the new ones this year is the Remington 700 VTR, or Varmint-Tactical Rifle. This particular rifle has a few new twists to make it unique and we ordered one in to test these new twists and see just what kind of a tactical rifle the VTR is.

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Yes, here is another Remington 700 with the same action as on all the other Remington 700’s we have reviewed. There is not a whole bunch to talk about in regards to the 700 action that we have not covered in all the other Remington 700 tactical rifles and custom built rifle reviews we have done. But, there are some things that are different that makes this review worth doing. To me, I’m not really sure who the target customer is for this rifle, beyond the tacti-cool crowd. It is a lightweight and compact rifle design, but the last time I checked, Remington was quite successful with the 700LTR rifles as well as their extremely popular, and good performing, SPS Tactical rifle introduced last year. This rifle is about the same weight as those two and fits in-between in price. But the one thing this rifle does have that is different, is the very unique barrel profile and integrated muzzlebrake.

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As you can see in the photo above and below, the profile of the barrel is not a round profile like a typical rifle barrel, but is triangulated. Essentially, what it appears to be is that Remington took the LTR fluting and continued the flute all the way out, making the barrel a triangle. Looking at this objectively, beyond saving weight, I do not see what this particular profile does? Unlike a traditional fluted barrel, you actually reduce the amount of surface area which hurts with heat dissipation and barrel cool down, and as far as I can tell, you are making the barrel less rigid which should lead to degraded accuracy, but I’ll reserve that final judgment until after the shooting sessions. The triangle also gives a nice flat surface area where Remington engraved a nice looking VTR logo.

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The other feature the VTR has that the LTR and SPS-T do not, is the integrated muzzlebrake. A well designed brake can reduce a lot of felt recoil as well keep the muzzle flip down helping with rapid follow up shots. This muzzlebrake has three large slots cut into the top of the triangle, angled slightly back to help “pull” the rifle forward, reducing the felt recoil and keeping the muzzle down. The brake is about 2″ long and is not a part of the barrel, so in reality, the 22″ barrel is really 20″ effective inches, making it the same as the LTR and SPS-T.

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The stock on the VTR is the same stock that is found on the SPS Varmint rifle, but green instead of black, and they did make the inserts on the stock a rubberized material, which actually is a nice upgrade, but the stock is still injection molded and made of a fairly weak plastic and the barrel is not free floated as a result. It is fairly comfortable to shoot and the forearm is fairly wide and provides a stable enough shooting platform. It does have a Monte Carlo style cheekpiece, but it is not raised so it does not aide in bringing your eye in line with the scope like a normal raised Monte Carlo design does. Overall, like on the SPS Varmint, the stock is functional but nothing to write home about.

The VTR has the X-Mark Pro trigger which just about all Remington 700s have now. The trigger is fine, but I still prefer the old Remington trigger with its wider ribbed shoe and more options for adjustability. This one broke fairly clean right at 5 lbs. It is heavier than I like, but not bad for a factory trigger. The X-Mark Pro triggers do have a single adjustment that you can lighten the pull with, but we did not adjust the trigger at all for this evaluation.

The rest of the rifle is pretty much standard Remington 700. The action is as smooth as all Remington 700s, it has the same two position safety, the bolt release is in the same place, and it has the same extractor etc. So all the positives about a Remington 700 and all the negatives about a Remington 700 are there.

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For the Shooting portion of the evaluation we mounted a Swift 6-18x50mm with mildots with a set of Burris XTR bases and Leupold Rings. We fired both standard Federal Gold Medal match and the nice HSM 168gr Match ammo. For zeroing the scope and doing some initial groups, the weather was terrible, which can happen in the spring in Montana. It was about 25 degrees with blowing snow. When we went back out for the performance evaluation, the weather was fairly nice at about 45 degrees in the early morning with calm wind, which made nice shooting conditions.

The first thing we noticed is that the muzzlebrake really was not that effective at reducing felt recoil. The rifle is fairly light, but not overly so, and the recoil on the rifle felt about the same as a LTR or SPS-Tactical. But the muzzle flip was less which did allow for quicker target acquisition after firing. I thought that the recoil reduction should be more than it was, as it did not seem to perform as well as most of the modern muzzlebrakes on the commercial market. Now, I will admit that we have no equipment for measuring the exact figure in terms of reduced recoil; this is just a personal comparison between rifles we have shot before.

The VTR shoots ok, but I would not say good, at least in comparison to the other heavy barrel Remington rifles available. We did manage to get one sub .5″ group at 100 yards, but we had to really work at it. The small group of the day was .448″, but the average group size of the good groups fired (meaning no obviously bad called flyers, etc) was only .858″. This is not quite up to the normal accuracy we typically will see out of a 700P, LTR, SPS-Varmint, etc. I believe this is due to the drastic reduction of metal that is removed making the triangle barrel profile. Though the accuracy is still sub 1 MOA, it is just not what we have come to expect from Remington tactical/varmint rifles.

So, to conclude, how do we rate this rifle? Personally, I’m not sure what the target market is for the rifle, but I would not take it over any of the other Remington tactical type options out there. If I were looking for a short tactical rifle, I would much prefer to buy a LTR or even a SPS-Tactical where I would get a nicer stock and save some money while I’m at it, not to mention get better accuracy. The Muzzlebrake does not do quite enough to make it a real decision maker over the SPS-Tactical. Unfortunately, I just don’t see the advantage of this rifle, but perhaps it’ll fill a niche somewhere.

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31 Comments

Stephan

I purchased one of these rifles when they came out. Was not that impressed. Not a real consistent rifle. Tried many factory loadings and reloading. One time the group would be great the next not so. Finally traded it.

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Bill

Bought the Rem 700 VTR .308 , 3 yeras ago, after testing several ammo n grains, this gun seems to like Fed Prem nozzler partition 150 grains or Winchester supreme ammo. Ive hunted mainly Deer and Hogs that comes around feeder. So far 16 shots, 15 kills at 100 yards. I love this Gun .

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Curt

I was amazed at the accuracy of this rifle. I bought one for my dad, who is 78 years old, as he said his 375 mag kicked too hard but he still loves to shoot. I hung a target on a crowbar (1 1/4″ wide) at 100 yards away.resting but no tripod, hit that crow bar dead centre every time.

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Chance Heimann

Love this gun best 22-250 I’ve shot in a while have the 1-12 twist. 55gr noslers shot two yotes one at 475 yards one at 520 yards one shot kills over the hood of a pickup

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Rupe

My wife bought a VTR in .243win. She likes it, but I shoot it a lot more then she does. I have been shooting 20″ by 20″ steel out to 1106 yards using handloads made up of imr 4350 and Hornady 105 gr. Match bthp’s It does real good at that distance so I really have no complaints. I do wish it had a more normal muzzle break. When I burn this barrel out I put a round barrel with a screw on break.
I think it is a great little rifle!
Rupe

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P210SIG

Purchased a VTR in 308 cal. New.
Been using surplus ammo only & im hitting a 18 inch square gong at 600 yards every time.
Love this rifle.

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Harold

Bought a VTR in .308, and while it was a fine rifle, the muzzle brake made it way too loud. I sawed it off (easily done, requiring no re-crowning, because the actual crown is not touched) and the rifle became quieter and more accurate. Now it’s the perfect rifle.

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Mel Ewing

Yes, that is one of the downsides to any muzzlebrake, they are much more loud when shooting.

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James A. Dodrill

I shoot 180 grain out of mine and at 100 yards I am cutting bullet holes with 3 shot groups.

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gary nappi

I also bought one when they first came out despite the reviewers claiming that accuracy was “not up to par” with other Remington rifles. Huh? .5″ at 100 yards in my rifle is more than satisfactory.

Muzzle rise is negligible, the action was slick out of the box, and it improved vastly over the first 100 rounds. The trigger is crisp, and the stock fits perfectly. I took an NRA law enforcement course with a very heavy Savage BATS, and the vase majority of the men had 700’s I wish I had the VTR instead 🙂

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Mel Ewing

These are mass produced rifles so you get some that are good and some that are bad. We were comparing it to the SPS Varmint we tested before it and the accuracy was not up to par. I’m glad yours is shooting better!

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Vtr?

[…] prefer when Mel from Sniper Central does a review to any of those rags. Here is an article Mel did: Remington 700 VTR – Sniper Central My favorite shooter is the one right above yours. I went with the extreme for one of my 700's. I […]

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Lange

I got one of the new model VTRs that was updated in 2014. VTR SS in .223. Has been a phenomenal rifle. Shot almost .25 Moa with 69 gr smk loads, I think you guys should get one of the new VTRs and update the article with another evaluation. Yes the stock etc and core of the gun is the same, but it could work out differently than the last one you reviewed. The new bolt handle included rail and bipod may be a factor too. Very impressed with my rifle and heard others who also have been.

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Mel Ewing

Thanks for your report and suggestion. We will bring in one of the new versions soon and do an update review.

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Lange

Hello Mel,

Have you folks had a chance to get one of the new models and do a update review? Been anxious to see what you all might see in it again. Thanks kindly Also thank you for considering my previous post and suggestion.

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Bob CaSteel

I love my new VTR SS in 308, I was shooting a 6″ wide steel plate a 200 yards consistently 180 grain SAKO ammo. 1in 10 twist

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Steve Wratchford

I purchased the vtr .308 straight from the box. I put a super sniper mil dot scope on it. I took it to our sniper course and zeroed it in at 100 yards using 148 grain federal ammo. This shot hole for hole back to 600 yards. I even shot through car windows at still targets never missing. At 866 yards off an 80 foot tower, shot 1 inch groups with 24 minutes of angle and there were no crosswinds. Temp was 74 degrees and very little mirage. The only draw back was the trigger pull was factory. I shot moving targets as well. The course was taught by the native core sniper instructor from Quantico. He even stated he has found out is one of the best from the box long range rifles out. The only other draw back I found, after shooting all day for a week straight, the recoil can get annoying to the shoulder. I have also made deer kills to the head at 423 yards and it fell on shot. I love this rifle.

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Lange

Thats amazing you did all that with the VTR. Stock with no mods and all? Thats wonderful. Really shows how good and neat of a rifle the VTR actually is. Congrats my friend

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Pete Tomita

I bought mine about 2 years ago and began a slow project to make a stock rifle, with minimal modification, the most accurate I personally could. I bedded the front lug and rear tang, utilized the x-mark pro trigger to be at around 3.5lbs, a millet trs-1 scope 4×16×50mm mildot scope, added a cheap $8 cheekrest, then reloaded 168g A-Max, Lupua brass, IMR 3031 and cci BR2 primers and established a .5 moa at 200 yards. It’s a Remington 700! Figure out the harmonics on this perticular barrel and she preforms! This is why the US Marine Corps choose the 700 vtr back in the 1960’s to be the M40 sniper rifle. It’s not a bench rest rifle, it’s not meant to be. It’s a tactical, accurate well made, durable, battle tested weapon system, made to reach out and engage your targets with confidence.

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Mel Ewing

well, the VTR did not exist back in the 1960s, but yes, the USMC took an off the shelf Rem 700 varmint rifle, clip slotted the receiver, parkerized the barrel, mounted the redfield optics and that was pretty much it…

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Larry Hostetler

Have a Rem &00 VTR in .308 win. Shoots great. Under an inch at 100 with 168 gr Federal, and just over an inch at 200. Shoots better than I do. Very nice rifle.

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Matt

I bought a .223 ,700 vtr about 2 years ago. This rifle is my favorite rifle. It is One of the best I have ever shot. I can put three shots in a dime at 200 yards. This gun is so accurate I went and got one in a .308 as well. Both of them have vortex 6x18x44mm . The . 308 was not as accurate at first but, I shot about 50 rounds through it ,and it has become just as accurate.(probably me getting a used to it) Money well spent wouldn’t take 3000 Dollars for neither one of them. And that’s double the money with scope.

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Ron

Bought this rifle in .308 3 years ago. Good accuracy, I have swapped out the Plastic Stock for the MDT-21 chassis to get a floating barrel and It helped accuracy a bit. I have found a clamp on Muzzle break designed for the triangular barrel at http://www.Wittmachine.com and will give it a try when I can get my hands on one.

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Kabel

I recently purchased a used 223 VTR, as it was the same price at the local gun store as I can get the 700 action for. I figured win win, because if the barrel was not up to par I had my action I was looking for.

After extensive research and a lot of back an forth on the performance of the gun ( I always wait to see what something can do for myself, because a Chevy owner will say any ford sucks, vice versa, and gun owners are no different) I came to the conclusion that the accuracy loss is due primarily to the stock. Many people seem to have purchased these and think they can just file down the small posts in the fore-end and the barrel would be free floated. This was the first thing I noticed when I got the gun home. The stock is to weak and now the stock flexes up against the barrel primarily at the end, really hurting the harmonics of the barrel. I really think that this is one case where the new firearm design was not given the proper chance to shine, and that remington should of provided a rigid stock and completely free floating barrel.

I like the looks of the stock and pride myself on my ingenuity, so I set to work of correcting the issue. First item was the stock flex. Many people use carbon arrows or other tubing along with bedding epoxy to stiffen up synthetic stocks, but to me any round rod still flexes with a bit of pressure. Also, many people seemed to gut the ice cube tray area of the stock to do this. I noticed a lot of people complained about twisting afterwards.

Instead I was careful to dremel narrow slots just big enough to slide 3/8 flat metal through front to back and multiple sections side to side. The use of flat material placed in the correct orientation eliminates much more, if not all the flex. The frame work (looks like a latter type frame in the stock) was then soldered together so that there was to be no flex or twist.

I then filled in the stock and bedded the action at the same time with JB weld (not the fast setting as I believe the long setting always holds up better, and was the only epoxy I was confident would adhere the best to the frame and plastic stock). The frame work was completely hidden with the bedding.

I also pillar bedded the action with aluminum tubing I had in my shop.

After the stock was nicely stiffened up, I noticed how out of balance the gun was front to back. In order to remedy that I filled the butt stock 3/4 with silicone and capped off the end spray rubber sealer (flex seal) and then replaced the butt pad.

Because the stock has no real comb, I built a nice removable cheek pad to bring up my line of site.

This gun is going to be my coyote gun and will be used a lot at night, so I was in between on scope choices. The gun did come with a centerpoint (Walmart $69 scope) which I believe may of hindered the previous owners experience as well. I, myself, did already have a centerpoint scope that I put on one of the 22’s for fun, and did not have good results with consistency, even on a 22.

So I robbed my 20ish year old Bushnell Banner lite site (B&L produced in Japan) 3x9x40 from my 30-30 for my initial testing. I love that scope as it has not had an issue it’s life, even after dropping the gun it is on when I was 16, which broke the butt stock clean off.

So off to my parents house range to try it out. I brought winchester (cheap end) and hornady (pricier end) but only found 55gr in stock locally so no weight comparisons at the time. Weather was supposed to be 45 ( in Northern PA) but got 25 instead with wind.

Both ammo’s held at least 1 MOA at 100, with the lower velocity winchester getting pushed by the wind more than the hornady. The hornady had 5 groups and held .5 MOA 4 out of 5 times. The winchester was between .75 and 1.25 for the day (but I used that ammo to get use to the gun). I did use a lead sled to take a lot of the human factor out of everything.

I have less than 50 rounds through the gun and feel I can produce .5 MOA with store ammo. I am excited to see how far I can push this gun and at this point feel it is a great gun once the stock issue is resolved. By the way I had $30 dollars into the stock work (and a lot of fun to me anyway) and I can slide 5 1$ bills down the barrel with it resting on the bi-pod.

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Tony

I bought the VTR in .308. I must say I’m very impressed with this rifle. I consistently put one round on top of each other at 100 yds with no effort.

Since purchase I have added a Timney Trigger and put the rifle in a Magpul 700 Hunter Stock using Pmag detachable magazines. Going from the green factory molded stock to a free floating chassis was like shooting a whole new rifle.

I’ve hunted from the cold north to the hot south with this rifle shooting from flat terrain too some pretty steep hills. This rifle has never let me down.

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Earl Keim

I purchased a VTR 223 six months ago. The gun looked so neat and appeared as if it would be a real shooter. Out of the box, on a lead sled I struggled to break MOA but it would occasionally do a .5. My gunsmith who favors Remington’s suggested he do one of his trigger jobs in lieu of purchasing an other trigger. He charged fifty bucks and said I would like the result, he was correct. The factory triggers are crap, a well known fact. The next step would be to replace the stock another factory gem that is impending for a rainy day. I wanted to sell or trade the gun but I like the looks. Put a Millett 6 16 50 on board and the rig looks awesome, still have the kid in me dictating these traits. The point is the gun looks great, averages around .72 and I can’t stop having fun with it at the range. She’s not a bench rest gun but nobody ever said it was. I can state that the gun likes heavier balls. I do not have the optimal load yet but she likes 64 69 g bullets. Don’t know what to think about much past 69 g they are tailored for the Ar I m told. Happy shooting.

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David

Got mine for Christmas from the wife and I have had really good results thus far. After 9 rounds of Hornady steel match 165gr I was able to shoot a 3 round touch group at 100yr. Currently I have only been able to shoot out to 300 yards , due to limited range distance not rifel limmitations ,still holding 1/2 moa . Hoping to work it out a little farther .

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ron

I bought this rifle and was doing around 1″ MOA. I figured out/guessed that the stock was the wink link and replaced it with a Bell and Carlson stock and dropped down to a consistant .5″ MOA.
Nimble and fairly quick, it’s a nice field gun. The barrel heats up pretty quick which loosens up your groups, but then again so does my Weatherby Mark V ultralight in 300 Weatherby. The answer? This isn’t an Ar that you blast away with, give it a couple minutes to cool down and your groups stay tight.

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Reg

Considering buying one of these in .223 stainless synthetic and would be interested to know if you have tested the new ones?
This muzzle break sounds like it’s not very effective and makes the gun louder.
Anyone?

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Mel Ewing

We have not tested a VTR for a few years, though we have heard some positive responses lately from other shooters. Maybe they have changed some things

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