Military First
Military First
Available from whsmith and all good newsagents
The official website for Gun Mart Magazine, What Gun? and Shooting Sports Magazine.
Previous Page

Remington 700 LTR

With his fascination for short/light rifles and intermediate calibres, Pete Moore checks out Remington’s neat and compact Light Tactical Rifle in 6.8 mm SPC

This review is really in two parts, the first is very much a known quantity in the form of a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, though this example is unusual being what is termed a Light Tactical Rifle (LTR). The LTR has a heavy barrel and decent synthetic stock, but does not come in the usual large and weighty package common to this sort of equipment. It’s a handy rifle that’s still capable of good short/mid-range performance.

It’s the second part that is perhaps of more interest as this LTR is chambered in the new calibre of 6.8 mm Remington Special Purpose Cartridge (SPC). This round has been developed to operate in an M16 platform and is said to offer more power/performance than the current 5.56 x 45 mm (223 Remington) ammo. The idea would seem to indicate that eventually the 6.8 mm could become the new US Service cartridge and totally replace the 5.56 x 45 mm. This would give the 40-year old M16 family yet another new lease of life.

Factory Item

Though there are other and similar calibres in development and use, such as the excellent 6.5 Grendel, only the 6.8 SPC is a factory item with both Remington and Hornady making ammo. So it would seem likely that if the switch is made from 5.56/223 then the SPC will be in the frame for the job.

However, this is not an essay on military ammunition development but a gun test, and though the 6.8 mm is interesting, I have my doubts as to its ability to out perform the 223 Remington significantly to make it attractive to the British sports shooter. I picked the SPC example, as I wanted to see what it could offer from a bolt-gun, as I had previously tested it through one of Bob Clark’s Speedmaster AR15s last year. Back then there had been no factory ammo available, so I had to rely on reloads that were tailored to suit the foibles of a straight-pull action. Now I have some Remington 115-grain FMJ for the LTR.

The good news is that the LTR is also available in more mainstream calibres to the tune of 223 Remington (1-9” twist) and 308 Winchester (1-12”).  So if you are looking for a compact tactical/precision rifle then this neat little gun could be right up your street, and in both cases is more than capable out to 600 yards. And if you like pain there’s also a 300 Remington Short Action Ultra Mag (SAUM) option too. I say this as a 20”, 7.5 lb rifle is going to be a bit of a handful in a calibre of a similar power bracket to the mighty 300 Win Mag.

Cute ‘n’ Compact

Measuring 40” from butt to muzzle with its 20” tube and un-scoped weight of just 7.5 lbs, the rifle comes across as very handy indeed. Unlike a true compact however, which usually shows a short butt, the length of pull on the LTR is a reasonable 13.75” which includes a decent rubber butt pad. The forend is a little abbreviated and with a bipod fitted onto one of the two QD studs the supporting arm position is a bit cramped, though not uncomfortable.

The stock is a heavy, black synthetic with an integral aluminium bedding block, so you can be assured that the barrelled action is sitting in some decent furniture. The barrel is floated all the way up to the re-enforce and the diameter (at muzzle) is 0.858”. It also shows the three, wide, flat flutes common to Remington tactical guns. This will shave a bit of weight off the tube and might even add to its rigidity too, but the chances are it’s mainly done because it looks good.

Apart from that it’s a standard Remington 700 BDL with a floor plate magazine system that loads through the top of the receiver. Unusually in 6.8 SPC the capacity is five rounds and not the normal four. The 2-position safety catch is located rear right of the action and gives bolt operation in SAFE mode, which is useful for unloading drills. Plus it’s well placed for easy thumb operation without having to break the firing hand grip, which is always an advantage. The trigger was nothing special and came from the box a bit on the heavy side, which showed up in initial accuracy testing. However, the 700 mechanism is easy to adjust and five minutes work had it down to something far more acceptable.

Facts & Figures

With a Leupold 4.5-14 X 50 LRT M1 scope on top and a Harris BRS bipod up front the rifle, though perhaps a tad nose-heavy, felt handy and more importantly solid in the shoulder. Initial groups were well over the inch, but after a bit of trigger adjustment these dropped to ¾” at 100 yards; recoil was very much as a 223, though slightly heavier but still mild and easy to control.

Performance-wise this compared quite well to my 20” Speedmaster shooting a 69-grain Sierra BT/HP bullet over 26.4-grains of Vit N 140, which gave an easy ½”. However, I do have plans to reload for the 6.8 mm and feel that a 110-grain bullet might be a better choice for the LTR, as small changes in weight/speed can often make big differences to performance from the same barrel.

The 115-grain, Remington factory load produced the following figures:

H 2478 fps
L 2446 fps
Av 2459 fps
Energy 1476 ft/lbs

My Speedmaster was averaging 2994 fps/1373.2 ft/lbs from the aforementioned 69-grain Sierra BT/HP reload. A quick bit of maths indicates that the SPC offers 103 ft/lbs more muzzle energy than the 223. Running these figures through my Sierra Infinity V ballistics programme shows the SPC gives marginally improved energy figures out to 400 yards. After that and out to 600 yards the 223 aces it by a few ft/lbs with less drop and windage too.

However, these figures were achieved in 20” barrels, which are short by comparison to the more normal 22 and 24” options. With a 24” tube and a110-grain reload, Hodgdon reloading data tells us that the 6.8 can be pushed at 2649 fps to make 1713 ft/lbs. This shows little improvement in windage and bullet drop over the 223 but gives a whopping average energy increase of 250 ft/lbs across the board. All this is achieved with similar powder charge weights too.

Bigger is Better?

In terms of a military cartridge, I think the 6.8 SPC, given they get the right bullet weight/speed ratio, should offer more power and therefore lethality than the current 5.56 x 45mm. However, the .270” bullet it uses shows a lower ballistic coefficient (BC) than a comparable 223 projectile so I don’t think that it will give better accuracy.

And now we come to the other question: can the 6.8 SPC be made deer-legal? From the 20” barrel of the LTR I doubt it, as it’s shy of that mandatory figure by over 200 ft/lbs. As we have seen, running a 110-grain bullet at around 2650 fps will give the required 1700 ft/lbs, likewise a 90-grainer at 2920 fps. But this data was taken from the Hodgdon website that use match-grade, 24” barrels to achieve these figures and real time results rarely match paper ballistics!

It would, however, make a cracking woodland stalker for roe and muntjac where ranges are short to medium, given you could currently guarantee an energy output of 1700 ft/lbs. Likewise, if England and Wales change the calibre laws on these two deer species with a view to the use of 22 centrefires, the 6.8 SPC would make an excellent alternative to the larger calibres like 308 Winchester even at its current 1500 ft/lb limit.

The conclusion of this feature is very much in two parts, as was the test itself. The Remington LTR is a sweet little rifle with a lot to offer the shooter looking for a practical compact. My personal choice would be one in 223 Remington, as its 1-9” rifling twist would easily handle a wide choice of bullet weights so making it a versatile performer for varminting as well as range use. A 308 Winchester chambering would offer similar criteria though as a deer rather than a fox rifle, but recoil might be a little on the sharp side. In both cases I would get the muzzle threaded for a moderator and/or brake.

The 6.8 mm SPC is an interesting cartridge and it’s easy to see where it would fit in with future military/police needs at both assault and sniper levels. Though capable and accurate for the UK civilian market it’s perhaps a bit too specialised to have a broad appeal. However, I have 6.8 mm dies coming and will be doing some reloading to see how far it can be pushed and in what directions too.

Technical Specifications
Name Remington LTR
Calibre 6.8 mm SPC (on test)
Capacity 5
Barrel heavy fluted 20”
Stock synthetic
Length 40”
Weight 7.5 lbs (un scoped)
Price £1108

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Distributer information
User Comments
  • The 6.8 SPC 'experiment' has now ended with the US military and this calibre will not be adopted. Time will tell whether it remains comercially available or just fades into obscurity.

    On a more optimistic note my 223 LTR is a good performer. Having replaced the 6-7 lb xmark trigger with a timney it is capable of .5 to.75 MOA 5 shot groups with HPS 69 and 77 grain SMKs. A little rough around the edges compared to some quality european rifles (Sako comes to mind), it holds it's own out to 600 yards. In 308 it would make a handy deer/target rifle.

    Comment by: Tony     Posted on: 01 Apr 2009 at 12:44 AM

  • Interesting, if the US have binned the 6.8SPC then it is debatable whether the calibre will continue. However, both Remington and Hornady have hitched their star to that wagon, so they might try and push it harder on the sports shooting market.

    To be honest, though 6.8 worked it was not a patch on the 6.5 Grendel. I'll look into this area a bit more, as I wonder if the US is going to go for the Grendel or simply give up on replacing the 223 Rem/5.56x45mm in military service?

    Yes the LTR is one nice little rifle and the addition of a top end trigger can only improve what is already a gun with some potential.
    Cheers
    PM

    Comment by: Pete Moore     Posted on: 02 Apr 2009 at 11:18 AM

  • I bought a 223 LTR in March 2010. I'm new to target shooting and after doing some research I decided this gun ticked all the boxes for me to shoot at my local 100 yard range. Not only did it far exceed my expectations in terms of build quality, but it will shoot 0.75 MOA all day long. I'm a novice, so I put it down to the rifle!

    Fantastic rifle and worth every penny........

    Oh - it looks good too!!

    Comment by: Roger Boden     Posted on: 13 Aug 2010 at 10:39 AM

  • The 6.8 was developed to get the maximum velocity from a 16" barrel. Wilson Combat is offering a 110 grain load that yields 2700 fps from a 16" barrel. Contrary to what the author states, a longer barrel is not required for higher velocity. A SPCII chamber is required but Remington & Ruger still offer the out-dated SPCI chamber. It is the same problem the .223 had vs the NATO 5.56. Simply add a tiny bit of freebore and you have a chamber as originally specified by SOCOM.

    Comment by: Frank Mutchler     Posted on: 01 Apr 2011 at 06:16 AM

  • Duly noted: But this is the UK and we get what we get and the 6.8SPC will never be as popular as 223 Rem and 308 Win. Plus my direction is for sporting shooting and hunting, so the dicates of the military though very interesting have little real relevance to what we do. Also we are restricted on gun types and cannot own centrefire self-loading rifles.

    We tend to use manually-operated (straight-pull) AR15s; usually in 223 Rem. I have shot custom examples of these in both 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC and in both cases the loads had to be reduced to ensure reliable primary extraction. When this is done ballistics suffer and for what we do; be it hunting or range work calibres like 223 Rem and 308 Win make far more sense! As do sensible barrel lenghts...

    Comment by: peter moore     Posted on: 01 Apr 2011 at 11:54 AM

  • The 6.8 SPC, particularly in the Spec II chamber, is significantly hotter than the .223 or 5.56. The best commercial loads come from Silver State Armory, Wilson Combat, and Hornady. The Wilson Combat load achieves 1780 foot pounds of energy from a 16" barrel, SIlver State Armory gets 1717; both from a 110 grain Barnes TSX. The Remington ammo, by comparison, is a disappointment. The Hornady 120 gr SST round also has a higher ballistic coefficient than the 77 gr .223 Sierra BTHP. Spec Ops and SWAT have been using the 6.8 with excellent results for years.

    Try the 6.8 on bowling pins versus the 5.56 and you will notice a huge difference - I own AR's in both calibers. I have a hard time imagining a tactical situation in which a 5.56 would be superior to a 6.8 - unless a very high volume of fire is needed in a light machine gun or IAR. The 5.56 rounds
    do weigh much less.

    It's a shame that even 'educated' shooters often don't know the full potential of this cartridge, or the excellent 6.5 Grendel (which will limited your uppers to those made only by Alexander Arms or SAOD). Top end manufactures like POF Armory, LWRC, and LMT, as well as a host of others, chamber the 6.8 in SPEC II and short stroke gas piston op systems.

    Experienced operators use this cartridge because they can bypass the politics of the 5.56, and use whatever weapon / cartridge combination which will be most effective for the mission.

    Comment by: Arron Brocksma     Posted on: 12 May 2011 at 08:11 PM

  • Thanks for that and I do agree, though refere you to my last reply, as 6.8 has never caught on in the UK, so lack of interest means few companies will bother to bring in ammunition that gives the best performance. You don't have to convince me about the 6.5 Grendel, as I have a bolt-action chambered for it and it's exceptional.

    Cheers
    PM

    Comment by: peter moore     Posted on: 13 May 2011 at 09:48 AM

  • I read the above article and noticed the only ammunition used was from Remington. Even though Remington helped develop the cartridge they put very little effort into it after they started producing 6.8 ammunition. Some name brand 110 grain V-max cartridge averages 2730 ft/sec out of my sixteen inch rifle for 1820 foot/lbs. In my 6.8 rifle with a twenty inch barrel I have been getting over 2800 feet per second with the same ammunition and easily over 1900 foot/lbs. I have also noticed that even lighter .277 ammunition usually has better ballistic coefficient than all but a few of the heaviest .223 bullets.
    With comparable barrels most quality 6.8 ammunition will get 500 to 600 more foot pounds of energy, about 50% greater than 5.56/.223 ammunition will achieve. My 6.8 reloads are not far off the factory ammunition I often use.

    Comment by: j marston     Posted on: 09 Aug 2011 at 10:54 AM

  • I have a Sako with a 22 inch barrel and 6.8 SPC II chamber. My maximum load at which I start to get pressure signs is 32.5 grains of AR2219 (which is H322) at a seating depth of 2.37" which is .040 inches off the lands gives just over 2900 fps with the Sierra 110 Prohunter in my gun. Eventually, I expect to settle on 32 or 31.5 grains for around 2850 fps as a good safe load with the 110 Sierra Prohunter. Note that these loads will be unsafe if you don't have the SPCII chamber and seat at 2.37", work up loads gradually and watch for pressure signs.

    If you have the SPCII chamber and seat the projectiles out to 2.37", you can get very good velocities with a 22 inch barrel. A very mild load of 30 grains AR2219 gives just over 2700 fps with 110 Sierra in my gun.

    The 6.8 SPC with these specifications works superbly on medium size game. .

    Comment by: D Duffy     Posted on: 01 Nov 2011 at 12:36 PM

  • I would be most interested in trying a 6.8SPC bolt gun with the SPC II chamber, but this would be totally dependant on if any importer brought one into the UK. As I have said on all my replies I have to judge a calibre from the British view point and I bow to the greater knoweldeg of this calibre from all who have posted about it doubtless from the US.

    As I said 6.8 has been a 99% non-starter over here and sadly always will be. The Grendel has a small following, but I have never heard of anyone who has a bolt-action apart from myself. There is a smattering of straight-pull AR15s used manily for practical-type disciplines and that's about it..

    Thanks for the information

    Cheers
    PM

    Comment by: pete moore     Posted on: 01 Nov 2011 at 03:18 PM

  • Just get an old SAKO s491 in say .222 or .223 , buy a 6.8 SPCII reamer from Pacific Tool , put a new 22 inch match grade stainless barrel on it, open up the bolt face and do it that way. You will have a fantastic gun. Sell your reamer after you chamber your rifle. Holds 5 rounds in the magazine. It works well in Australia so it should also work well in UK. Note that the s491 action is very strong and extra-short.

    Comment by: D Duffy     Posted on: 02 Nov 2011 at 05:44 AM

  • Sounds like a plan...

    Cheers
    PM

    Comment by: peter moore     Posted on: 02 Nov 2011 at 09:12 AM

  • I had a Remington 6.8 Spc LTR ; it was very accurate with my hand loads.
    Groups ran from 5/8" to 3/4". I used a Nosler Ballistic tip 130gr.bullet with 27gr of 3031 powder. I shot the largest bodied Whitetaile Deer I ever shot.
    The range was a long 75 yards short of 100 yards. the bullet struck right on the shoulder . It broke his right leg from the shoulder to knee as well as his back with a lot of blood shot meat of about 6" diameter. He droped in his tracks. The recoil was so lite I saw him drop through my scope. Something I never experienced before.
    Now the bad part. The Remington 700 LTR will extract but does not eject spent cartridges on the order of 2 to 3 ejected out of 10 rounds . I sent it back to Remington and they said it had a burr on the bolt face; said they corrected it. But after getting the Rifle back there was no change in the problem. At the time I hadn't heard of having a Saiko extractor put in the bolt so I traded it in on a CZ Varmint Rifle. I wish I had the work done putting a Saiko extractor in the 700 LTR! It was very accurate!

    Comment by: Ray Miskell     Posted on: 02 Mar 2012 at 07:12 AM

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Remington 700 LTR
Brand New - Video Reviews

Latest Video Reviews NEW!