About 20 years ago, Remington released their first Remington 700 milspec 5R rifles which used actual surplus M24 barrels. The factory those barrels to a standard stainless steel action and that barreled action into a black HS Precision varmint stock with green webbing. Remington figured it was a good way to sell off those extra barrels unused barrels. What they didn’t count on was the popularity that these rifles would have. The price ran about $1100 and the rifles shot exceptionally well for a factory rifle. Fast forward 20 years and the 5R rifling has now become a major selling feature on rifles and Remington is still making 5R rifles, but they are not the same surplus M24 barreled versions. Now they have a second generation of the 5R rifles and they use their own purpose built barrels and that is what we are reviewing here. Of course, not only is the 5R rifling the hot thing to have, but so is the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and so our review rifle combines the two. It is a Remington 700 5R Gen 2 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. So lets take a look at what this rifle is.
The second generation of the 5R does a few things different than the first, beyond just the non M24 barrel. The rifle arrives in the normal Remington rifle box but when you open it up, the first big difference is the color of the stock and rifle. While the stock is still an HS Precision stock with a full aluminum bedding block like the first generation, it is now tan with a very heavy black webbing on it. As I mentioned, the first generation had a black stock with green webbing. The new tan version is probably a better all around color choice for a tactical rifle. Additionally, all of the metal work is now black, where as the first generation was left in its natural stainless steel silver color.
The buttstock has a thick Remington branded recoil pad and the buttstock itself is a traditional straight comb design without any adjustable components. But that thick black webbing provides a good amount of friction to keep the shooters cheek from slipping during use. Because of the straight comb, if a scope with a large objective lens is mounted some sort of cheekrest may need to be attached to bring the shooters eye higher to align with the scope.
The shape of the stock is the same as the normal HS varmint style stocks and that means the pistol grip is fairly short. Many shooters will end up curling their pinky finger of the firing hand under the pistol grip. Is this a problem? No. In fact, most shooters do not realize they are even doing it. The other thing that always draws comment on these tactical HS Precision stocks is the palm swell. Some people hate it, some people love it, and most people don’t really care one way or the other. For those of you that are not familiar with what a palm swell is, take a look at this picture:
You can see where the pistol grip “swells”, or bulges out. This fills the palm of your hand and has been a trademark of the HS precision 700P stocks, and others, for decades now. While it is noticeable, it really does not make a difference in terms of performance, but it is unique and we like this aspect of the HS stocks. The rear tang of the 700 action and stock are the same as every other Remington 700 as is the two position safety. Forward for fire, back for safe.
About this time in the evaluation, you are likely drawing the conclusion that the Second Gen 5R rifle seems to be geared more toward the tactical community than the original 5R may have been with its black and green stock and silver metal work. You would be correct with that assumption. It appears that the second generation of the rifle is intended to be a compliment and alternative to their dedicated law enforcement rifle, the 700P. It is also available for purchase by the general public where as the 700P is only available through law enforcement channels.
One of those tactical features on the rifle is the large bolt knob. If you like large bolt knobs you no longer need to have a gunsmith cut off and attach a new larger bolt knob for you. Remington did it at the factory. The knob is a little different in that it does not follow the swept back axis line of the bolt handle, instead it bends and points at a direct 90 degree angle from the bore axis. This gives it a little different look than most. The knob has some light knurling on it to help provide a bit more grip and it is a nice addition to the rifle from the factory. In reality, large bolt knobs don’t really provided any real advantage over a normal knob, except maybe when using gloves, but its still nice and provide a little bit of extra length and leverage to the handle.
One thing that is different than the 700P is the trigger. The 5R gen2 uses the normal XMarkPro trigger found on their normal hunting rifles, where as the new 700P rifles use the 40XP trigger, which is a better trigger. The XMark trigger on this rifle is not bad, and in fact is better than the average trigger on other factory hunting rifles. Our trigger scale showed that the trigger broke reasonably clean at 4.06 lbs. That is a little heavy, but the XMarkPro is easily adjustable, though we left it at the factory setting for this evaluation.
The trigger guard is the factory BDL style hinged floorplate that has been around since the inception of the Remington 700 and still continues to function fine. The internal magazine holds four rounds, like normal, and feeds ‘Remington smooth’. One thing we did notice is that the rifle is using the nicer follower than their cheaper rifles, which is good. Beyond that, everything is pretty normal in regards to the Remington 700 action, trigger and floorplate.
The one area on the stock, beyond the color, where the second generation 5R is different than the 700P is in the forearm area. The 700P has a wide and round beavertail shaped forearm where as the 5R Gen2 has a cross section that is not as round and tapers in giving a slimmer profile with some less weight. The forearm is also not as long as on the 700P. This stock shape appears to be the same as on the first generation 5R.
The one thing that sets the 5R apart from lesser model 700s is the barrel, but this is also one of the areas that draws it closer to the 700P. The reason is because the new version of the 700P now incorporates the same 5R rifling as this rifle. 5R has become extremely popular and while the theory behind the use of 5R is good, the quality of barrel manufacturer is more important. Remington barrels for the most part have always been very good, and so the adoption of the 5R barrels on the 700P is a good move, and it makes these two rifles even closer related. The barrel is 24″ long, the same as on the 700P, but one very different thing is that the 5R Gen2 rifle has large LTR style fluting to save weight and help with heat dissipation.
Those flutes are a wide flute and there are a total of only three flutes on the barrel. It is different than traditional fluting and likely does not increase the cooling surface area as much as the more numerous style fluting, but it does save weight. The flutes are so wide that Remington even marks the barrel down inside of the flutes.
The muzzle is also threaded from the factory in the normal 5/8-24″ TPI spec and includes a thread protection cap with some light knurling on it. The selection of the slightly shorter 24″ barrel is a good choice for when a suppressor is attached as the overall length will not be as long. Yet the 24″ barrel helps get some extra velocity versus a shorter 20″ or 22″ barrel which will help the 6.5 Creedmoor be even more effective at longer ranges. We can see the advantage of a 22″ barrel for overall length, but it comes down to what the rifle’s primary role will be and this one should do well at longer ranges.
One thing that surprised us a little was that the crown is not recessed at all. This exposes it to potential damage, additionally a nice recessed 11 degree target crown is also an accuracy enhancing feature as well, but not many rifle builders are using those any longer. Perhaps it is just not cost effective for Remington to do it any longer.
All of the metal work is finished with a satin black Cerakote finish applied by Remington. It is very nicely done and looks very good over all the metalwork. As you can see in the pictures, it is more of a satin finish and not a completely dull flat finish. It is a good compromise between aesthetics and tactical practical.
Overall, the rifle has the traditional Remington model 700 look with all the right tactical features, such as the large bolt knob, tan and black stock, satin/matte finish, threaded barrel and other features. It handles nicely with the slightly shorter 24″ barrel and the flutes also keep weight down a bit. Obviously, with a suppressor attached it becomes long and a bit unwieldy, but not as bad as some. So it checks all the correct boxes for a capable sniper rifle for around $1200, but checking boxes doesn’t get the job done. It has to perform.
If you have not read how we test our rifles, go ahead and read that article now. For our shooting tests, we used a Nightforce Xtreme Duty 20 MOA canted Picatinny rail combined with a set of Nightforce Xtreme Duty Ultralite titanium alloy 30mm rings.
The scope we were using was one of our regulars that we use for rifle testing. A Vortex PST Gen2 5-25x50mm that has served well as a test scope on several other rifles tests. Everything mounted up easy enough with no issues and then we headed out to the range to conduct our shooting evaluation.
In western Montana we typically have pretty good wind conditions for our shooting tests, but the testing day for this 5R Gen2 was actually pretty blustery at about 10-13 MPH with some higher gusts. It was sunny and about 50 degrees which was nice, but the wind wasn’t playing very nice, but for our relatively short range testing, it wouldn’t prove to be much of a problem. The ammo we brought along for our tests consisted of four different 6.5 Creedmoor loads that we thought spanned the spectrum of popular bullet weights for the 6.5 CM.
On the low end, for both bullet weight and price category, we had the American Eagle 120gr Open Tipped Match (OTM). Then the Choice load that uses the excellent Lapua 123gr Scenar bullet that we love in the 260 Remington. The midweight class was represented by the Federal Gold Medal Berger 130gr and then the Hornady 140gr ELD Match load covered the heavier bullet weight class. With the rifle on the bench with a front sandbag and rear sand sock, we got to work.
The results were as follows for the 100 yard accuracy tests.
|Ammunition||Average Group||Best Group|
|American Eagle 120gr OTM||.859″ (.820 MOA)||.472″ (.451 MOA)|
|Choice Ammo 123gr Scenar||1.055″ (1.008 MOA)||.532″ (.508 MOA)|
|Federal Gold Medal Berger 130gr||.845″ (.807 MOA)||.314″ (.300 MOA)|
|Hornady ELD Match 140gr||.654″ (.624 MOA)||.362″ (.346 MOA)|
Whether it is the rifling, the barrel quality, or a combination of both (we think the latter) this rifle showed excellent accuracy for a factory built rifle straight out of the box. Each of the types of ammo had at least one group that was .5 MOA or better and the Hornady was very consistent and averaged right near .5 MOA (.624). With the consistent performance and the gusty wind conditions, we would consider this a .5 MOA rifle considering how often we were shooting groups that size. This is on par with many custom rifles that guarantee .5 MOA. Remington does not offer anything more than a 1 MOA accuracy guarantee and we do not know if all of these 5R rifles will shoot this good, but it falls right in line with how well the previous generation did.
Being a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, recoil was well managed even without any sort of muzzle brake. The rifle also feeds very well from the magazine, but some of the ammo, the Choice and Federal specifically, would not single feed by just placing a round on top of the follower and closing the bolt. But yet the other two makes of ammo had no problems doing that. We see this often with 6.5 CM rifles and it appears to be the shape of the cartridge that causes this. We also noticed with the Federal Gold Medal Berger load, that the bolt was tight to close each time, meaning that bullet it likely really tight up against the throat. It was not an issue, but interesting to note.
With recoil well managed, accuracy well above average, and the rifle feeding smoothly from the magazine, we figured it would do well on our 300 yard head shot test. Due to the consistency of the Hornady load, we opted to use that load for the test and we dialed in .4 MIL of up and the same to the left to counter for the wind (it ended up being a little too much as you can see on the target in the picture below). We fired the test and even without a muzzle device, we fired three rounds in only 17 seconds. The group was a very nice 1.960″, which equates to .624 MOA, a very solid performance for rapid fire in moderate wind conditions at 300 yards at a nondescript target.
Since our web site catastrophe that happened a month ago, we are having to rebuild all of our reviews and pages from archives and we decided to take this time to modify this head shot test slightly. We did not feel it was appropriate to score rifles partially based on speed when one might be a 300 Win Mag and another might be a .223 Rem. These rifles are in two difference classes and have capabilities that are very different. That .300 Win Mag offers a lot more punch to go through barriers and hit with more power at the target, and that needed to be factored in. So we modified the test to include energy at 300 yards. While energy is not the perfect measurement to determine terminal performance on the target, it is one that is easily calculated with ballistic software. So now our test includes accuracy (in MOA), time to fire three rounds (in seconds) and Energy at 300 yards (in Ft-Lbs). The breakdown of the total score consists of 45% for accuracy, 30% for time, and 25% for energy. The baseline score for energy is 1635 ft-lbs, which is the energy of the 308 Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr load at 300 yards in standard atmospheric conditions. So, with that long winded explanation complete, here are the results of the 300 Yard Head Shot test for the 5R Gen2.
|300y Head Target Test|
|Time Score (17 secs)||42.4|
|Accuracy Score (.624 moa)||72.1|
|Energy Score (1668 ft-lbs)||25.5|
Where does that leave us? Well, we are impressed. The rifle is very capable for field work as it is. The rifle does not have a DBM, but that is not a necessity, and it doesn’t always single feed smoothly, again, not a necessity. For a moderate range sniper rifle for a moderate budget, it is a very good choice. The barrel is even threaded and there is a large bolt knob. No, it is not a fancy new wizbang chassis rifle, and it is probably better for it. It could compete in PRS on a lower level if you wanted it to, but we don’t review rifles for PRS, we review them for tactical work and it fits that bill nicely. We have been looking for a 2nd rifle to use for our 6.5 Creedmoor ammo comparisons and we have decided to keep this one for that purpose, and we are sure it’ll be used for more than just that.