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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm narrowing my search for a good deer rifle down, and I really like the .308 caliber Remington's. I am trying to stay on a budget with the rifle itself, because I'd like to use the money I save for a Leopold scope.

Keeping that in mind, I prefer composite over wood (cheaper too).

In your opinion, which would make the best deer rifle? The 700 SPS, 700 SPS Varmint or 700 SPS Tactical?

I like the tactical's feel and balance, plus shorter barrel = a bit easier manuevering through the woods quitely. Additionally, I have access to a 200 yard rifle range, and I'm thinking I'm going to be doing a lot of target shooting. I'm told by the gun dealer, if I plan to shoot alot, go with the heavy barrel for heat reasons.

The Varmint looks like a pretty sweet tack driver that could keep up a higher velocity at longer ranges, but I'm not sure I'll be shooting over 300 yards anyway.

My father has passed down to me a Winchester Model 670 .30-06', but it is brand new (1974) not even broken in. It is too nice for me for what I'm intending, although I would probably use it for a big game hunt out west.

The biggest deciding factor on the 700 SPS series, is the price. For just under $1,000 I can get the rifle, a nice Leopold scope and a bipod.
 

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i'd go with the std. weight sps.... i am very impressed with your logic on optics! most people will spend big money on a rifle and then put the cheapest scope on it they can find which blows my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
i'd go with the std. weight sps.... i am very impressed with your logic on optics! most people will spend big money on a rifle and then put the cheapest scope on it they can find which blows my mind.
Well the way I see it, most decent rifles will shoot accurately right out of the box when paired with good optics. You could put excellent optics on a decent rifle and do well. Put crappy optics on a $1,000 rifle and not do so well.

Since the scope is where my eye will be the most, I'd like good low light quality, excellent focus, versatile adjustment and a good crosshair (I like the mil-dot personally).

Based on reviews, the Remington SPS series shoots below MOA out of the box, with the Tactical version being the most accurate at 100 yards. Pair that with a Leopold scope, and it should have no problem dropping a whitetail stone dead at 200-300 yards. I'm leaning towards tha tactical, soley based on the "feel" of the gun. I haven't held the Varmint, but my friend told me to consider it. He's NOT a fan of the 20" barrel on the Tactical. I'm trying to be realistic. I highly doubt I'll be pulling 300 yard shots. With my tactics, it will likely be 100-250 tops. The Tactical seems like a tack driver at that range and the shorter barrel should make for some serious fun stalking (the minor weight difference doesn't bother me).

Will the shorter 20" barrel make that much of a difference in power/range/accuracy in a hunting application? I see guys waterfowl hunt with 30" barrels on a 3 1/2" 12ga. and I laugh. My Benelli 3" 26" barrel drops more birds. It swings faster and with a patternmaster choke, it ridiculously deadly with steel shot at 50 yards. I used to shoot a Browning Gold with 28" barrel. The first time I hunted with the Benelli I was sold. My shooting improved dramatically.
 

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I have the varmint its a nice rifle but for me way to heavy for deer hunting, the same goes for the tactical. A 20 inch barrell is just as accurate as a 26 inch barrell and fps loss is not that great. Unless you only hunt out of stands the standard SPS would be my first choice with the tactical second.
 

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Std SPS would be my vote. You can do the deer hunting - comfortably - and bench shooting too. Just have to take a few less shots at the bench compared with the heavy barrels. A 5-shot string, then a cooling period hasn't ever left me wanting. Lugging a heavy rifle around deer hunting is no fun.

I have the std SPS in 243 Win; one of my favorites.
 

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I just bought a Rem 700 VSSF in 308, but not liking the two tone grip panel inserts I had the stock swapped out with the standard SPS varmint stock and it's one color black stock.

I like it better than the stock it should have normally come with, Harris 9-13 bipod, Burris rings with a Leupold 6.5-20X50 LRT on top, great package I reckon.
 

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the difference in the accuracy of the 3 rifles, especially for deer hunting, is going to be marginal at best... i don't think that any of the 3 would be a bad choice but for stalking & wandering about in the timber i'd go with the std weight barrel every time! just because it has a lighter barrel profile does not mean it will be less accurate. besides, the remingtons have a pretty stout barrel profile anyway.
 

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A friend of mine has the SPS varmint in .243. He had the trigger slicked up, the barrel cut down to 16in with recessed target crown. He then mounted a Ziess conquest 4-16 rapid z600 and finished it off with a blackhawk axiom stock. Talk about a sweet shooting, low recoil, very accurate mutli purpose rifle!! It's the only set up that I have ever shot that even came close to .25in groups. I can't seem to hold it still enough for one ragged hole but just enough to be under .5in @ 100yds. Buy the SPS, mount a quality optic and you will be more than satisfied with your purchase. I'd buy one if it wasn't for the fact I've blown my gun budget for the year, plus saving for a quality red dot, and a Larry Vickers class. Let us know what you decide.
 

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I would also look at the SPS with the standard weight barrel, mount a good 2.5x8 Leupold VX3 with the B&C reticle system and find a good load that shoots well. The B&C reticle is a simple Hunters reticle, that is easy to use and manipulate. I think the SPS are good rifles, just sometimes you will see the Remington Quality Control slipping. Nothing big, but the Safety on mine has the F-Fire kinda cockeyed.

If you were open to other budget priced rifles, I would seriously look at a Weatherby Vanguard, in whatever caliber you want. They go for 400 or under pretty much everywhere. The are guaranteed to shoot under 1.5MOA and most go better than that. The one below was picked up at WalMart for 350.00 bucks last Spring. It is a 7mm Rem Mag. They had a 300WBY, and a 270WIN there also. Exactly the same as mine. My buddies got the other two as I grabbed the 7mm Rem Mag first. I should have grabbed the 300 WBY.




Again, you made a good call on the SPS, but I wanted to throw out some others. Plus, you can get the WBY in about any caliber you want also. Scotty
 

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Go with the Tactical it has a 20" only .25 lb heavier than a standard 24" SPS) The SPS Varmint weighs in at 8.5 lbs with a 26" bbl. The Varmint model does come with two forward sling studs, one for a bipod and other for a sling. The Tactical also has the X-Mark Pro Adj Trigger that the other two do not.

For your type of hunting and the fact that you like the handling of the SPS Tactical thats then go for it. My longest shot at a whitetail was at 300m with a 18" FN FAL with a 2.5x scope. The Remington 150gr PSP CorLokt completely pentitrated both shoulders and did not recover the bullet.

CD
 

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yeah, if it's only 1/4lb difference and you get the upgraded trigger then that might just be the right choice... the std trigger is not at all hard to clean up tho.
 

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I bought an SPS with the standard barrel in 308W about 2 years ago with the thought that I would gradually turn it into a dream rifle. I put a Leupold VX3 4.5 - 14 on it, changed the stock to a laminated Boyds, pillar bedded it and changed the barrel to a Lilja. The stock trigger is not bad if you adjust it down a bit. You can find directions on the internet telling you how to do that.

The stock rifle generally shot groups about a 1.5" without much difficulty but I had a lot of trouble getting it to shoot much less than inch consistently.

The stock rifle is very manageable and easy to carry around. The nice thing about buying a Remington is the wide range of aftermarket stuff available for it. If you want to turn it into a tack driver, the only thing stopping you is money and time.

One other thing I should mention: If you handload, you will find that the magazine is to short to allow you to extend the COAL significantly. Midway sells an extended magazine for short action remington rifles which will allow you to fit about any reasonable COAL you can imagine. The throat of a Remington is pretty long so you have to drastically increase the COAL to reach the lands with the bullet's bearing surface.
 

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Wow, this is all too heavy for me. all I can tell you is that I bought a Rem SPS in .308 two years ago. Have hunted with it heavily, with Nikon Buckmaster optics, and love it. I haven't done anything to it except hunt. I found that Rem CoreLokt 150 gr PSP rounds shoot the best out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow...the price of the Tactical has skyrocketed. I heard guys paying $500 and change for it a few years ago. Best price locally here in Jersey is $769. WTF? I found a few online brand new for $550 and $600. I'll probably just buy online and do a transfer through the dealer. Ridiculous how the price has gone up.
 
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