Big Green has finally stepped into the chassis rifle arena with the Remington Model 700 PCR in 6.5 Creedmoor and this week we got our hands on it for a full review. By the way, PCR stands for Precision Chassis Rifle. It is late to the party, no doubt about that. But the big question on everyone’s mind, did Remington continue the winning streak started by the 870 DM and recent 1911 models? And the answer to that is, kind of.
Before we get into a deep dive on the PCR, lets clear the air a little. Though I have been accused of the opposite, I am actually a Remington fan. Every bolt action sniper rifle I ever carried in two services was a Remington, and I have seen the high end of what they can do. That type of thing tends to leave an impression. The new PCR isn’t everything I was hoping for, but it does have some nice features. And the price is a factor in this one.
The PCR is the first affordable chassis gun from Remington. It is not the first chassis gun period, at least not if you count Remington Defense. Remington had entries in the SOCOM Precision Rifle program, as well as several other recent chassis programs. But they tip the scales at north of $10,000. Does the PCR have every feature I would want? No. Would I have made some different decisions? Yes, no question.
It is worth noting that MSRP is $1199. That is $400 cheaper than the Ruger RPR, and $600 cheaper than the Tikka T3 TAC A1. Not an insignificant amount of money. First, let’s take a look at the positive points.
To start with, the price. Even at a full retail $1199, you aren’t getting a chassis gun any cheaper. The street price is likely to be sub $1000, which is even better. Time will tell how real-world prices stack up against the competition, but a safe bet would keep the PCR $300 below the next closest rifle.
Accuracy was completely acceptable. Every PCR ships with a test target, and Remington guarantees MOA or better on a 3 shot string. The “Remington Computer-Aided Targeting System” target with my gun said .92 inches at 100 yards. Not off the charts accurate, but at under $1000, that is still not bad. My five shot strings back up the sub MOA claim. Using Barnes Precision Match 140 grain ammo, I fired several 5 shots groups just under an inch. The interesting thing though, any one of my 3 shot groups would blow the doors off my PCR’s computer target provided by Remington. That is if I fired 3 and stopped, my groups would be around .75 inches. Well below the Remington claim of .92 inches.
Also, keep in mind that I only tried one brand and bullet weight of ammunition. To do that and have it shoot under MOA five shot groups with the first ammo tried is fantastic. If I’d spent more time to try different match ammo or handloads that the gun liked, accuracy would have no doubt improved. Also, I did no barrel break-in or cleaning and typically rifles shoot better groups once they’ve had a few more rounds fired through them and then have received a good cleaning.
The bolt was smooth with no binding, not a real shock on a 700. The bolt knob is threaded on, so you can remove it and replace it with a custom bolt knob. Nothing wrong with the one it ships with, but it is easy to go to the oversized competition special as soon as you are ready. This is a new direction for Remington, usually, you had to have the bolt handle threaded by a gunsmith after the fact and that could cost up to $150 really easy.
The stock is a Magpul Gen 3 PRS, an excellent choice for rifles like this. The stock is fully adjustable for length of pull and has an adjustable cheekpiece. Plus it’s Magpul! I think Remington made a good move by saving money here, while shipping the PCR with a very functional stock that will serve you well.
The fore end is key mod compatible, and fully removable. All things being equal, I like key mod better than Mlok. Though I have broken both, I call this a positive. At least I would if it was actual key mod. Instead, the PCR opts for tear drop shaped holes known as SquareDrop. I had no idea what SquareDrop was, and I do this for a living. I had to look it up, so I will now share my gained knowledge with you. SquareDrop was invented by AAC, and it offers the advantage of being SquareDrop or key mod compatible. As far as I know, it is a standard used only by AAC. I was able to slap on a Keymod rail section to the handguard, but I had to work for it. I would have liked to see Remington pick either Keymod or Mlok for this, and leave the SquareDrop in the junkyard of broken dreams. But it does work and somebody that wants the advantages of key mod but a different look might love this.
The barrel is a medium contour, which doesn’t add a lot of weight, and it takes a while to heat up. This is the right choice for most people, so no complaints there. It is also threaded for suppressors or muzzle brakes and comes with a thread protector. A nice bonus and an added value.
Finally, in the positives column, is the caliber choice. 308, 260 Remington, and 6.5 Creedmoor. That pretty much covers what a short action needs, and we can expect more calibers if the gun proves successful. Our test model was in 6.5 CM, which is my current favorite in the caliber wars. But kudos for making the 260 available as well, it is also a winner.
The Not So Great
On to the not so great. Nothing catastrophic here, but some things I would personally have done differently were I in charge at Remington.
First, the trigger. It is supposed to be adjustable, and mine didn’t adjust. Clearly, there was something wrong with it. I did back out the adjustment screw anyway, which created a second problem. Because of the placement, there is then a screw jabbing you in the trigger finger. As I adjusted it out it actually got heavier. I’m sure that both of those things will get cleared up. We’ll get the trigger figured out and do an update to this article. Fortunately, aftermarket triggers are plentiful for this gun, and that takes care of the issue judiciously.
Second, what I see as the only complete failure on this gun. If you look at the space between the pistol grip and the stock, you will see that it is quite small. It’s the area that the web of your hand fits into. It actually makes the rifle uncomfortable to hold in my opinion, and I cannot fathom the reason it was built that way. It is almost like a human hand never held the rifle before it was approved. You can correct this by going with a straight up and down pistol grip, using a different stock, or using your old pal Dremel tool to take some meat off. But if this was my gun, I would do one or the other quickly. This isn’t just a problem for overgrown hands, the angle created by the stock and pistol grip is actually tight. It is the strangest geometry I have ever seen applied to a rifle.
I had a few small issues with the Magpul mag. It likely needs to be tuned. Could even be a defective magazine. It happens sometimes. The good news is that the PCR uses the AICS mag footprint and there are lots of aftermarket mag options.
MODEL 700 PRECISION CHASSIS RIFLE FEATURES
• Remington Chassis
• 24” barrel with 5R rifling
• Threaded muzzle with protector
• Tactical bolt knob, for swift, positive cycling
• X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger
• Aluminum handguard with SquareDrop
• Picatinny rail
• 5-round Magpul detachable magazine
• Adjustable Magpul® PRS Gen 3 stock
• Magpul pistol grip
• 3-shot sub-MOA assurance
I’m not going to call this my favorite of all time, but for the price, it isn’t bad. And it does have one other feature many rifles don’t. It says Remington on the side. The model 700 is by far the most prolific bolt action rifle in the United States and has more aftermarket support than you can shake a stick at. Any single thing about this rifle you don’t like, you can swap out over time. So it is entirely conceivable to enter the market with the PCR as the cheapest possible option and build it to the “baddest” thing in the country.
Visit Remington and learn more about the PCR by clicking, Here.