Review: Remington Model 700 PCR
April 15, 2019
Photos by Michael Anschuetz
Remington’s Model 700 Precision Chassis Rifle (PCR) is a complete shooting system that combines the proven Model 700 action with an aluminum chassis, an adjustable buttstock, a detachable magazine, an X-Mark Pro adjustable trigger, and a 24-inch barrel with 5R rifling. Chassis rifles are all the rage these days, so the Model 700 PCR is sure to spark a lot of interest, especially because its MSRP is a very reasonable $1,199.
I don’t have to tell you that bolt-action chassis rifles are so popular these days because you basically start out with a barreled action and then bolt on components similar to those found on an AR-type rifle. I’m talking about an adjustable buttstock, a specialized handguard that is designed to accept all sorts of accessories, and a top-mounted Picatinny rail for installing optics. Such rifles usually are set up to use detachable magazines, and they often feature large bolt knobs. The Remington Model 700 PCR has all of that and more.
Let’s take a look at each of those features.
The PCR is currently chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and .308 Winchester—three of the most popular sporting cartridges that are great for target shooting and hunting. Shooting Times received a sample rifle chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, which as regular readers know is an incredibly popular cartridge these days. If you’re a rifle manufacturer with a new model, dollars to doughnuts, you offer it in 6.5 Creedmoor.
My Model 700 PCR’s barrel is 24 inches long and has a 1:8-inch twist. The muzzle is threaded for an aftermarket muzzle brake or a suppressor, and a thread protector comes with the rifle. The muzzle’s diameter is 0.850 inch. The barrel is free-floated, has a target crown, and, like I said earlier, has 5R rifling.
Because there is an uneven number of lands in 5R rifling, as opposed to the even number of lands in conventional rifling, the 5R lands are positioned opposite the grooves. The design reduces projectile deformation as the bullet passes through the bore because the bullet is not squeezed by lands on opposite sides, and it stays uniform instead of having material squeezed into the grooves. Everyone knows that a more uniform projectile means better accuracy.
Also, the lands in 5R rifling are characteristically sloped rather than the sharp, 90-degree corners of the lands in conventional rifling. By sloping the transitions of the lands to the grooves, the barrel is easier to clean, which is no small matter. Cleaning compounds can attack the material deposits in 5R rifling more easily than with conventional rifling.
The “fore-end” is actually a removable aluminum handguard that accepts SquareDrop and KeyMod accessories. Its length is 13.75 inches, and its circumference is 5.75 inches.
The receiver has an enlarged ejection port for easy loading of single rounds and snag-free ejection of fired cases. The rifle does not have sights, but it does have a 7.38-inch-long optics rail with 16 cross-slots.
The bolt is 0.69 inch in diameter, and the dual locking lugs are 0.99 inch in diameter. The bolt handle is “two pieces” in that the cone-shaped tactical knob screws onto the handle. While the knob is pretty large, shooters can replace it with any of the several available aftermarket “speed knobs” long-range precision shooters prefer.
The two-position safety is located at the right rear of the receiver. The bolt is not locked down when the safety is “On.” The bolt-release button is located just ahead of the trigger, and at a casual glance it looks like part of the trigger. Pushing up on it allows the bolt to slide smoothly out of the action.
The chassis is Teflon-coated, anodized aluminum and is designed to accept a detachable magazine. The one that came with my rifle is made by Magpul and is marked 7.62x51 even though the rifle is chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor. Its internal length measures 2.89 inches, so 6.5 Creedmoor rounds fit nicely. The mag holds five rounds, and it functioned perfectly throughout my shooting session with six different factory loads. (I’ll detail the shooting results later.)
The PCR comes with Remington’s user-adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger. My sample rifle’s trigger broke at a crisp, clean 3 pounds, 6 ounces of pull. That’s the average of 10 measurements with my RCBS trigger pull scale. I elected not to lighten it for my shooting, but I could have done so by turning the adjustment screw located at the top of the trigger’s fingerpiece.
The buttstock is a Magpul PRS Gen 3. It is fully adjustable for length of pull and cheekpiece height, and it has a one-inch-thick recoil pad.
To adjust the cheekrest, from the right-hand side of the rifle, simply rotate the front knob in the buttstock toward the butt to raise the cheekpiece. Rotate it toward the muzzle to lower the cheekpiece. Adjusting length of pull is equally simple. Just rotate the knob down to lengthen the length of pull and rotate it up to shorten it. There are 2 full inches of adjustment.
At 10 pounds, 8 ounces with an empty magazine and without a scope, the Model 700 PCR is hefty, which helps make it very comfortable to shoot. Fired from my Caldwell Lead Sled, the the recoil was hardly noticeable.
As for how the new Model 700 PCR shoots, the bottom line is all six loads I fired through it averaged 1.03 inches, with exactly half of them under an inch.
I fired the factory loads over two days, and one fouling shot was fired before shooting each day’s groups. The barrel was allowed to cool between each group, but the bore was not cleaned until after all shooting was completed.
As you can see from the chart, the load that turned in the smallest group average of 0.95 inch was from Hornady, and it was loaded with the company’s 140-grain A-Max bullet. Close behind were two other 140-grain loads: the Trophy Gold 140-grain Berger VLD Hunting load from HSM, which averaged 0.97 inch, and the 140-grain OTM loading from SIG SAUER, which averaged 0.99 inch. Clearly, I did my best shooting with 140-grain bullets. As expected, the 120-grain loading from Browning produced the highest velocity, and at 1.12 inches (the largest average in my testing), its accuracy was acceptable.
My accuracy results were not as good as what the test target that came from Remington indicated. As you can see from the photo, the target’s three-shot group measured 0.44 inch, center-to-center, and it was generated via Remington’s Computer Aided Targeting System (CATS). The system uses a series of four microphones to isolate the shockwave of each bullet in a three-shot test group and then triangulates the exact position of the projectile, plots the coordinates, and measures the distance between each shot with precision. It’s the system used to confirm the accuracy of Remington Defense sniper rifles currently serving in theatres worldwide.
Overall, Remington’s Model 700 PCR was deadly accurate with just about every load I fed it, and I don’t consider any of the loads to be bad ones. Keep in mind that my shooting results are based on an average of five, five-shot groups, not three-shot groups.
I have to admit that to my eyes the Model 700 PCR doesn’t look like a typical Model 700. I am a pretty traditional shooter and prefer classic blued steel and nicely figured wood. However, the rifle has the time-tested action that helped make the Model 700 a classic, plus it has a bunch of new features that the contemporary long-range shooting world demands, such as the fully adjustable buttstock/chassis, the free-floating handguard, the 24-inch-long barrel with threaded muzzle, the large bolt knob, the detachable magazine, and the adjustable trigger. You get all that at an affordable retail price to boot.