Remington 700 XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle
With a proven recipe like their Model 700, Remington have launched yet another tactical/precision rifle in the form of the rather exotic looking XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle, Pete Moore investigates
Remy 700, well you can’t keep a good thing down as this range of bolt-action centre fires is probably top of the tree. Apart from the hunting guns, the 700 series is perhaps best known in the UK for its varmint (V) series – long/heavy barrels, good triggers and laminate or synthetic stocks, and it’s many a V-rifle that has been used for vermin control, precision or Practical needs with great success.
With more interest in sniper-type use these days by the police, Remington (like any sensible company) has made models specific to the needs of the tactical marksman. One of these that I tested last year was the neat and accurate LTR (Light Tactical Rifle); with it’s bedded synthetic stock this little 20” chambered in 6.8 SPC proved an excellent hunter and mid range shooter. The gun on test – the XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle (TLRR) - is very much of the same stamp, though in this case it shows a full length barrel to get the best ballistics.
The most striking feature of the TLRR is its Bell & Carlson stock, made of green fibreglass with a black ‘over web’ finish. With an integral, aluminium bedding block, the forend is similar to the old Remington Light Varmint, with its tapered beavertail layout. However the butt is all its own. With a full and reasonably upright pistol grip the section behind it has been removed to give a grasping hook for the supporting hand. Though looking a little odd, it really works for prone shooting. Recoil control is provided by an R3 pad and there are two QD studs up front and one at the rear. Length of pull is a comfortable 13 3/8” drop at comb and heel is 1 ¼” and 1 ½” accordingly.
The barrel and action are made from 416 stainless steel with the former showing a 26” varmint contour and dished, target crown with the three, flat, wide fluting slots of the LTR. For protection a black, TriNyte® coating is applied, which Remington calls a ‘Corrosion Control System’… My example came threaded 5/8 UNF” with a protector, I think this has been done in the UK, as the website shows no such modification.
Apart from that it’s a standard 700 receiver drilled and tapped for mounts, top-loading, hinged floor plate magazine, 2-position safety with bolt operation on SAFE and a mid-width, grooved trigger that though adjustable broke at a useful and near creep free 3 lbs. The TLRR is available in three calibres – 223 Rem, 308 Win and 300 Win Mag, I was sent the 223. All models weigh the same at 8 ½ lbs and show an overall length (with 26” tube) of 45 ¾”. The differences come in rifling twist and capacity as follows:
Calibre | Capacity | Twist rate
223 Remington | 5 | 1-9"
308 Win | 4 | 1-12"
300 Win Mag | 3 | 1-10"
I scoped up with the new Falcon Menace 4.5-18 x 56 on a one-piece Leupold base and their Tactical, 30mm rings. Up front, what else, a Harris BRS bipod… I did not have any factory match ammo, so I used my tried and tested 223 Rem load of a 69-grain Sierra Match King over 24.5-grains of Hodgson Varget, ignited with a Remy #71/2 Bench Rest S/R primer. With its 26” tube the TLRR should easily be able reach out to 600 yards in this calibre. I also threw in some lighter weights too, with some Norma 50-grain V-MAX and Winchester 55-grain Ballistic Silver Tip.
Closer inspection of the forend and barrel channel showed that the tube does not sit dead centre and the clearance around it is not that generous. You can run a sheet of paper from front to back, but not much more. Also, despite the apparently heavy build, the synthetic material flexes rather too easily and can bear on the barrel if enough pressure is applied, as happens when on a bipod. It struck me as odd that with all the effort put into the TLRR, not a lot of thought had been given to this important area. Me thinks that Remington should have stuck with H-S Precision for their after-market, synthetic stocks… We shall see…
I decided to shoot for zero and group off a range bag, so the forend could be supported at the rear where it’s most rigid. This would show what the rifle was actually capable of. Then I would switch to the bipod to see if there was any change in performance. At near 10 lbs with the scope, rings and bases the TLRR is more a prone/supported option, be it for range work or varminting. Though all my Remy 700s have Eagle cheek piece bags on them to give me a bit of comb and comfort in heavier calibres, this rifle shows a reasonably high and straight comb that gave good stock weld and eye/scope alignment without needing enhancement.
Off the bag the Remington was punching in easy ½” groups at 100 yards; hardly surprising. Over the chrono the long barrel was getting the best out of the ammo with an average speed of 2873 fps, which is good for what is a heavier bullet in 223 Rem. It also shot the Winchester 55-grain fodder well, though the Norma was a tad light for the rifling twist. Switching to the bipod showed a slight shift in point of impact and a small increase in group size. Annoying really, as this is a generally nice rifle with a deal of potential that is a little spoiled by the lack of thought put into the forend build…
The way I see it, Remington have taken their tried and tested Varmint chassis, which is available in a choice of H-S Precision or laminate stocks, which do what they are supposed to and then dropped it into slightly inferior, though more cosmetically appealing furniture and given it a tough finish. Given what you are buying here, it does essentially what a VSF does, which costs around £1000 (£1078), compared to £1443 for the TLRR. I’d go for a version of the Varmint every time; certainly at the price… Sorry guys, but there it is!
Forend a bit light
Good accuracy potential
A bit pricey
|Name||Remington XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle|
|Calibre||223 Rem (on test)|
|Capacity||5 (fixed magazine)|
|Barrel||26” heavy fluted|
Finish black, TriNyte® over stainless
|Weight||8 ½ lbs|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates