Johnny Walker is the best hunting rifle shot I know. I’m talking about being able to make shots on game animals in the field. Not on paper or steel targets on a range. (Saw him shoot a pigeon out of the air with a .22 rifle one time.) You’ve probably never heard of Johnny Walker – at least the one I’m talking about – but I grew up hunting and shooting with him. He’s never won a national title or been featured on some hunting show hosted by goobers playing hunters so long they believe they are one. Nope, Johnny is just a regular guy that likes to hunt and knows how to shoot.
When Johnny was 17 he purchased his first new hunting rifle; a Remington 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum. I watched him earn the money for that rifle all summer while we both laid asphalt. A few months later I purchased my first new deer rifle; another Remington 700 in .270 Winchester. (Back when I had my Davey Jones haircut.) Over the next several years those two 700s took a lot of game and made a lot of great shots. I won’t detail them; you wouldn’t believe me anyway.
I was shooting a 700 before I ever kissed a girl and it left an impression on me I haven’t been able to rub off. It probably has a lot to do with why I’ve used a model 700 of some sort to hunt all over North America, Africa and New Zealand. Sure, I’ve missed some shots with a 700 but made some good ones too. Like my first and 2nd mule deer, both taken at 329 yards.
The Remington 700 was introduced in 1962. That same year Remington brought out the 7mm Magnum so the Remington 700 was the first rifle to chamber this cartridge. The rest, as they say, is history. The 700 has turned into America’s most iconic bolt action hunting rifle and the Seven-Mag has become a do it all cartridge for hunting all over the world.
To celebrate this 50 year anniversary of both the 700 and the Seven-Mag, Remington is offering a limited edition rifle; the Remington Model 700 BDL™ 50th Anniversary. What makes this rifle special? For starters, it looks like a model 700 BDL from 1962 but with a very attractive “B” grade walnut stock and a laser engraved floor plate. The stock is also adorned with appealing Fleur-Di-Lis checkering and white line spacers at the recoil pad, grip cap and fore-end. All metal surfaces are blued in a rich satin. And, there’s a modern touch with Remington’s new X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger.
A factory rifle that has a good trigger is about as rare as a pop culture magazine that doesn’t lament the latest adventures of Snookie. I’m a trigger snob and I can say without hesitation that this rifle has a great trigger. It broke at a crisp and consistent, creep free 3.5 pounds. Forget all that crap you have heard about Remington 700 triggers being unsafe. As far as I’m concerned its nothing but a myth. A myth perpetuated by lawyers looking to make money for their clients that can’t follow the basic rules of firearm safety. I’ve hunted with a 700 for over 30 years and trust the trigger like I trust my father.
As great as the trigger on this rifle was, the action was smooth too. As smooth as many custom Remington 700s I’ve handled. The bluing was flawless and the finish on the stock and checkering were both executed very well. I couldn’t wait to shoot it.
In keeping with the 1962 time period, I mounted a modern version of a scope that was very popular back then; a Redfield. It looked good on the rifle mounted in the Remington one-piece integral mounts and I had the rig zeroed in three shots. 27 shots later I had put nine, three-shot groups on paper, all with Remington ammo. The largest of the nine groups measured 1.42 inches and the smallest 0.97 inches.
If you are a Remington 700 fan and would like a piece of the 700’s 50th anniversary, I can think of no better way to spend your money. This is indeed a fine rifle but not so fine that it will have to live in your safe and only be handled with gloved hands.
This 700 is a hunting rifle and it begs to be thrown over a backpack and pointed at a big mule deer; one that’s gawking at you from about 287 yards. For that and just about anything else you will ever hunt, a Remington 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum is all the gun you’ll ever need. I know because Johnny Walker told me so.
Just as a side note: You know how folks say, “I’ll give up my guns when they pry them from my cold dead hands.” I bet there will be a lot of folks whose cold dead hands are wrapped around a Remington 700. Maybe mine too.
If you are looking for a great on-line resource on the Remington model 700, check out remington700.tv for some history and some great videos of folks with a lot of experience with the 700.
THUMBS UP: I like the sights. Would probably never use them but I might. Can’t use them if they are not there. It adds some nostalgia to the rifle. I also liked the checkering and the engraving. Both add some class to this special rifle just so you don’t forget how special it really is.
THUMBS DOWN: The price. Yeah, it costs a bit more than a standard model 700 but this rifle is special and should hold its value well, especially if you are one of those guys that talks about your guns more than you shoot them. What a great rifle to show off around the campfire or pass down to your son. And, just think how good it will look in that photo with your trophy kudu or elk! I must admit, I wish Remington would have offered this exact same rifle in some other chamberings…I would have really liked to have had it in .270 Winchester, just like my first model 700.
SHOOTING RESULTS (100 YARDS)
LOAD VELOCITY ACCURACY
Manufacturer/Bullet Weight/Bullet Type AVG/MD/SD (100 Yards)
Remington 140 gr. Core-Lokt 3066/87/49 1.34
Remington 150 gr. Core Lokt 2991/33/12 1.29
Remington 150 gr. Swift Sirocco 3037/45/23 1.10
NOTES: Reported average velocity (AVG) maximum velocity deviation (MD) and standard velocity deviation (SD) were obtained by firing nine shots over a Shooting Chrony positioned 15 feet from the muzzle. Reported accuracy is the average of three, three-shot groups fired from a sandbag rest using a 9X Redfield scope at a range of 100 yards.
Caliber: 7mm Remington Magnum
Barrel length: 24 inches
Rifling twist rate: 1 in 9.25
Trigger: X-Mark-Pro Trigger
Magazine type / capacity: Hinged Floor-Plate / 4
Sights: Drilled and tapped for scope bases, Ramped, hooded front with gold bead, Fully adjustable ramped rear.
Safety: Two position
Stock: “B” grade walnut
Length of pull: 13.75 inches
Overall Length: 44.5 inches
Weight: 7 pounds 5 ounces
Metal: Satin blue
MSRP: $ 1399.00