Landtec has been building tactical rifles for many years and has a very good reputation in the industry. They are setup as a DOD contractor as well as providing tactical rifles to LE agencies and the civilian market. We enjoy getting to review the various custom built rifles out there by the various rifle builders and we were looking forward to the opportunity to review one of the Landtec rifles and are grateful to a SC reader who allowed us to test out one of his. One thing to keep in mind when reading this review is that Landtec rifles are built to customer order so each one is different and reflects the desires of the purchaser at that time.
The heart of this landtec rifle is a Remington 700 action which we are all pretty much familiar with by now. Standard push feed design with a two position safety and typical plunger/c clip extractor, etc. But as with all the custom rifle builders that start with a Remington action, Landtec has really worked the action over. The one thing you really notice when you cycle the action on this rifle is just how extremely smooth the action now is. It has been heavily polished on all of the surfaces where you have metal on metal contact. In fact, I would have to say that this was probably the most heavily polished Remington action I have come across. One of the interesting things was that the bolt appeared to have had at least some amount of polishing done after the finish was applied it was shiny bare metal on all the polished surfaces and it was more than you see from normal rifle use. This, combined with light lubrication, provided one of the smoothest actions I have used, though there are a lot of shiny metal parts on that bolt to get used to. The action has been accurized by squaring and blueprinting all of the surfaces to bring them within higher specifications.
The barrel is a Rock Creek stainless steel barrel with a very heavy contour. It has a recessed crown for protection and a very precise 11.27″ rate of twist. I am not sure why it is exactly .27″ but I suspect there is some reason. The chamber is a match chamber for the M852 ammo (LC 168gr Match). All of the metal work on the rifle is covered in Duracoat, in this particular case it is SOCOM Black Mildpec and has a nice even finish and was very well done. The owner has placed some folded tape on the rear of the receiver to prevent the ejected brass from marking the finish on the rifle. You will see this tape in several of the pictures of the rifle.
The action is glass and pillar bedded into the stock with several inches, about two, in front of the action to help support that large and heavy barrel. The barrel is free-floated back to that bedding with a fairly large gap to help insure it stays free floating! All of the fit and finish on the rifle is very nice. The bolt knob is a standard Remington bolt knob which is fine by me as I have no issues with the shape and usability of the factory Remington bolt knob.
The trigger is one of the excellent Jewell HVR SS triggers and was set to break right at 3 lbs. These triggers are very nice with an excellent break and trigger feel. The one odd thing was the actual color of the safety with this trigger. On a rifle that has a camouflage stock and all of the metal work being matte black, that silver safety looks out of place on the rifle. Of course it functioned without a problem but it does kind of stick out.
The stock itself on this rifle is a McMillan HTG in woodland camouflage pattern. The HTG, also known by the old name of A1, is the stock that was used very successfully for many years on the USMC M40A1 rifles. The best thing the HTG stock has going for it is its slender profile and light weight. The profile of tactical stocks has been growing over the years to where now they tend to be quite bulky and large, as well as very comfortable and well designed, but they have become a bit unwieldy at times. So sometimes it is nice to get your hands onto an HTG or similar stock and feel how handy they can be. No, they are not as stable on a sandbag and they don’t get your hand in a perfect vertical position, but they are light and easy to handle. This HTG does have the sniper fill from McMillan which is a more dense material that adds some weight to the stock and on this rifle I think it was necessary because of the thick barrel. Having a little more weight toward the rear of the rifle helps to balance it out, though the rifle is still a bit nose heavy. Overall the weight of this rifle is very reasonable even with the extra heavy barrel. It handles well thanks in large part to the stock. It should make a nice field rifle.
After taking a good hard look at the rifle and checking it out, it was time to take it to the range and see how it does. The rifle came with an excellent US Optics 3.2-17 scope mounted on a MSP 20 MOA rail. This is very good quality gear and there was no need to swap anything out so we headed to the range with some trusty Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr ammo to see what the rifle could do. The weather on the days we went out was calm, cool, and sunny, very nice shooting conditions. Like normal, we fired the test groups from a sandbag and with a rear sand sock at 100 yards to test ultimate accuracy. We also like to use the rifle at longer ranges to just see how it does, but do not typically measure groups at longer ranges as the weather has more of an effect on the groups.
The rifle did shoot very well and throwing out a group with a called flyer, the rifle averaged .451″ with a best group of the day being .384″. This rifle is well under .5 MOA and I think there is some more potential for even better groups but I do not like to run a lot of rounds through someone else’s rifle, especially a custom rifle. For the same reason I did not try other loads as well. We did fire some longer ranged shots with the rifle and it performed as expected. The rifle is a shooter as long as the person behind the rifle does their part.
The heavy weight of the thick barrel kept recoil and muzzle flip under check and with the Kick-ez butt pad the recoil was quite tame. The rifle itself was a pleasure to shoot and with that very smooth action it made for a nice time at the range. The eagle cheekpad was also a nice addition to bring your eye nicely inline with the scope as well as providing a good non-slipping cheek weld.
Our experience with this particular Landtec rifle was a positive one. I’m not sure I like the overly polished bolt and rails but it did yield a very smooth action. I would have personally elected to have a bit smaller contour barrel, but the rifle as a whole is very well made and performed up to task. If you are looking for a custom built rifle, Landtec is certainly worth looking into. I don’t have permission to use his name, but thanks again to the owner of the rifle and letting us use it for this review, Sniper Central readers are the best!
Sniper Central – 2009