The time has come for me to build a
sniper Long Distance Marksmanship rifle on a budget. I’ve read quite a bit on this subject and I think I know how to do this. so I’m just going to collect the information here so I don’t forget what I want to do. In this post I have listed the components I’ve decided upon thus far. In some areas I’m undecided on a couple of option so I’ve listed both options. Some of the items are definitely optional and most definitely not budget. This is a work in progress.
The first and most important piece of this build is the actual rifle itself. I’m going with a Remington Model 700 SPS. The model 700 was introduced in 1962. Over 5 million have been manufactured since then. It’s reliability has been proven. Chuck Hawks has written a bit of background on the Remington 700. I also found an excellent page for customizing a Remington 700 with a ton of links to various options. I haven’t had time to read the whole thing but it is well worth looking at and exploring.
I’ve decided to go with a caliber of .308 Winchester. The rifle weighs 7.25 pounds and has a 24″ long barrel with a 10″ twist. The overall length of the gun is 43 5/8″. The Remington 700 is a low cost rifle, hence the choice. Looking at the Remington page has so many different options it is almost overwhelming. The model 700 is so good that the both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps use it as a sniper firle in various versions including, the M24 Sniper Weapon System, the M40 rifle, and the XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle. I have had current operators tell me they have used in missions and deployments as a sniper rifle. That’s all I need to hear for an endorsement. I was told unequivocally to use the .308 caliber. With a little training and practice hitting targets a 1,000 yards is not unreasonable. Many high quality .308 (or 7.62×51mm NATO) ammo types are manufactured. It is also much less expensive than the .338 Lapua Magnum. SO .308 it is for me.
The next most important item is the sight. For a
sniper Long Distance Marksmanship rifle, a quality magnifying scope is best. I’ve narrowed it down to two different models that will fit into my budget.
Actual Magnification 4.90 x 14.60 x
Linear Field of View (ft/100 yd) 18.60 ft 7.30 ft
Linear Field of View (m/100 m) 6.20 m 2.40 m
Eye Relief (in) 4.40 in 3.70 in
Eye Relief (mm) 112.00 mm 94.00 mm
Weight (oz) 16.00 oz
Weight (g) 454.00 g
Objective Clear Aperture (in) 1.60 in
Objective Clear Aperture (mm) 40.00 mm
Elevation Adjustment Range 72.00 moa
Windage Adjustment Range 72.00 moa
Magnification 2.5-10 x
Objective Lens Diameter 44 mm
Eye Relief 4 inches
Field of View 47-10.9 feet/100 yards
Tube Size 30 mm
Turret Style Tall Uncapped – CRS Zero Stop
Adjustment Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel per Rotation 12 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 86 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 86 MOA
Parallax Setting 100 yards
Length 12 inches
Weight 18.4 ounces
The Leupold is less expensive but I get a little better magnification with it and Leupold is regarded as high quality glass. The Vortex is a pretty awesome scope based on all the reviews I could find. This being a budget build I think the price of the Vortex is starting to push into more expensive territory. I think ultimately it will come down to me looking through each of them and seeing which one I prefer.
Mounting the scope to the rifle is the next option. If I go with the Vortex scope I’ll get the parts designed to compliment its design that are manufactured by Vortex.
Moving on to stocks. This is the not so inexpensive part of this build. The stock and grip make a significant difference in accuracy. Prices for stocks range from medium to extremely expensive. The first stock I like is from McRees Precision.
This stock has an amazing amount of features for the price. There are no plastic parts on this stock. Also no gunsmith is required to install. I am pretty far from a gunsmith. It also converts the gun into a detachable box magazine system. There are five and ten round magazines available. They are a little pricey. Here is another picture.
I would probably get the rigid hand hold option as well. And another picture. It looks amazing. I’m hoping this stock gets me into the standoff distance.
I also like a stock from Manners.
The MCS-T5A stock is offers an adjustable cheek and KMW hardware. The T5A version is designed as a right hand grip, with a small thumb rest on the left side of the stock. Although the T5A version is a right hand stock, we designed it so that if you have to shoot with your weak hand it stills feels good. A lot of time went into the design of the grip on this stock, it moves your hand down and forward so your trigger finger is in a more natural position and you are not having to reach for the trigger. The area behind the trigger looks odd but it is designed to make your hand return to the same spot each time you grip the stock. It works very well with all sizes of hands, small or large. The stock comes standard with a fixed Pachmayer Decelerator pad. It can also be ordered with the optional butt spacer system and a 1/2″ Decelerator pad.
Both of these stocks have amazing value. I like AICS stocks but they are out of the price range for this project.
Another important accessory is a bi-pod. Since I will be doing most of my shooting in the prone position, a bi-pod is a necessary tool. The most popular brand appears to be Harris. I think the HBR with a the RBA will meet my needs.
The HBR extends from 6″ to 9″ using standard legs.
The Rota-Pod RBA is a Picatinny rail adapter with a quick release mechanism. It also rotates along the horizontal axis for target tracking. It will look something like the picture below.
I’ll also want to upgrade the bolt knob. I’m not exactly how these work when adding them to the stock bolt of a Remington 700.
I like the look and feel of the Surgeon Rifles Sniper Bolt Knob. The sniper model has deep, cross-hatch texturing that gives plenty of purchase for fast cycling under stress, with wet hands, or when wearing gloves. End of the knob is milled out to reduce weight for proper balance.
If my budget isn’t already shot (Ha! get it?) I will replace the stock bolt in the Remington 700. I would like to utilize the David Tubb Tubb Precision High Performance Remington 700 Bolt for right hand short action with a Magnum Bolt Face. This is very pricey item and to employ such a device would definitely not make this a budget build any more. There is a lot to love about this bolt and clearly a lot of thought has been put into it.
- Bolt is blueprinted (straight and trued) and made .010″ oversize for better fit
- One piece bolt handle for worry-free durability
- Tactical Style Bolt Knob. Comes with a tactical teardrop type knob
- SpeedLock Systems Alloy Composite Firing Pin with .062 hardened steel tip (approximately 1/3 faster lock-time and better durability) –
- Chrome Silicon alloy firing pin spring (never needs replacing). CS Springs are heat-treated, stainless steel, and stress-relieved — same material used in Indy racing car valve springs –
- Lightened Cocking Piece — further decreases lock-time –
- Aluminum Bolt Shroud for lighter weight
- Spiral Fluted Bolt Body for lighter weight and enhanced appearance
- .699-inch diameter bolt body eliminates the need for bushing the bolt (front and rear) for a snug mating to the action
- Tubb 2000 or A-Style extractor (made from S-7 Tool Steel) with ground plunger pin and chrome silicon alloy plunger spring
- .110-inch Ejector Plunger diameter (normal is .135). and CS ejector spring. This will help minimize brass flow into the ejector hole, and with a smaller ejector plunger hole there is less chance of brass shavings binding the plunger –
- Smaller .065-inch diameter firing pin hole — gone are the days of pierced primers (a normal Remington 700 bolt’s firing pin hole is normally .078). Additionally, increased striker energy is imparted onto the primer for more reliable ignition. 100-Percent Chrome Silicon springs are used throughout this bolt. These springs never need replacement and will maintain optimum performance over the life of the rifle
Next on the list is a barrel upgrade. The factory barrel is quite good and I think this would be the last thing I would upgrade.
I also really like barrels from Bregra.
A new barrel is probably pretty low on the priority list. The stock barrel is pretty good. It has been around for over 50 years.
The Blackout flash suppressor eliminates muzzle flash, even on CQB-length barrels. The three prong design is probably stronger and more impact resistant than four prong designs. The flash hider is made of a high strength corrosion-resistant aerospace alloy, and coated with something called SCARmor. I’ve had several operators tell me they use this very flash hider on missions.
I’ll leave you with some gun porn. If I were going to buy a pre-built setup I would just buy the Remington XM2010.
Unfortunately this is about the farthest thing from a budget setup. Apparently the cost is around $22,000.