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Old April 17, 2013, 11:25 PM   #1
boosteddc5
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help choosing between the 700 sps or 700 sps varmint

Hey everyone. So you were all a big help when i was choosing an ar15, now i need help with this decision. So basically im wanting a 308 bolt action that will be used for target shooting. I obviously want it to be decently accurate, and i also want it to be able to shoot for extended periods without having the consistency go to crap. I dont mean shooting 50 rounds in rapid succsession, but shooting a couple mags at a time on the bench would be nice. The 700 sps in 308 has a 24" barrel, 1-10" twist and weighs 7.25 pounds. The 700 sps varmint in 308 has a 26" heavy barrel, 1-12" twist and weighs 8.5 pounds. So basically, what i want to know is, will the heavier barrel of the varmint model help keep the accuracy that much better/consistent than the sps's barrel? Also, will i be better off with a 1-10" twist or the varmints 1-12" twist? Ive heard the 1-12" can handle 168gr pills, so would i really be sacrificing anything with the 1-12"? And if theres anything else you can add such as reasons why i would be better off with 1 or the other i would appreciate it. Oh and the sps varmint is only about 30 bucks more than the sps, so price isnt really a factor. Thanks a bunch in advance everyone!
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Old April 18, 2013, 12:54 AM   #2
allaroundhunter
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Re: help choosing between the 700 sps or 700 sps varmint

For a target gun you want the varmint. Mine handles 175 gr bullets just fine, and makes shots with them out to 600 yards (furthest I have pushed it).
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:43 AM   #3
jmr40
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Sounds like the Varmit rifle is what you need. All things being equal the lighter barrel has the potential to be just as accurate. It is generally easier to shoot a heavier rifle more accurately and recoil will be easier to handle with a heavier rifle. It is the human factor that makes a heavier varmit type rifle more accurate.

If you were planning on carrying the gun for great distances, especially in mountains it would be a poor choice.
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Old April 18, 2013, 07:20 AM   #4
Saltydog235
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I have two of the varmints in 7mm08 and like the heavier barrel profile over the lighter sporter version. I often shoot 10 shots or more between cool down periods with zero accuracy degradation. My only dislike of the SPS is everything other than the barreled action is junk. Then again, that might be why there is such a large amount of aftermarket things for the 700.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:54 PM   #5
bacardisteve
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You want the varmint. I use mine for the same thing and have found it to be much more consistent once it starts to heat up compared to a sporter weight. The extra lb is also good at soaking up a bit more recoil for those extended shooting sessions.
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Old April 20, 2013, 02:13 AM   #6
2ndtimer
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Another bonus of the varmint is the 26 inch barrel, which could provide an additional 100 fps out of the muzzle. A little less drop at longer ranges can't hurt. The only real question is your use of the rifle. If you plan to hunt with it, then the standard SPS would be much easier to pack around, but if you plan on shooting it from a rest at the range at targets or long range varmints with a rest, the Varmint is the way to go. I have one of the SPS Varmints in .223 and it is my most accurate rifle.
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Old April 20, 2013, 11:39 PM   #7
boosteddc5
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Thanks for all the great info guys. I dont plan to hunt with the rifle at all so the varmint definitely seems like the way to go. And now, i dont know if any of you have opinions on this, but i live in ny and certain ammo is becoming scarce. 308 is practically non existent. Ive noticed even on ctd and other websites 308 and similar calibers are hard to find. Do you think its a good idea to buy a 308 rifle in this mess? Or would i be better going with a different caliber? I dont really know which ones are becoming scarce and which ones arent, so if any of you have any opinions on that too it would be awesome. Thanks again for all the good info so far.
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Old April 23, 2013, 03:54 AM   #8
Flakbait
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If weight is an issue you can split the difference and get an Rem SPS Tactical which is a varmint contour heavy barrel 20 inch rifle with a 1 in 12 twist. It shaves off several onces of weight and is definately a little more nimble to cart around. Remington also makes another 20 inch heavy contour rifle in .308 with a 1 in 10 twist that is threaded for a suppressor. I am not sure where the twist rate makes a big difference really since both the 1 in 10 and 1 in 12 can adequately stabilize the common 150-180 bullet weights used in this caliber.

For target shoot purposes, the 26 inch barrel only comes into play you plan to shoot at 1000 yards. I think the 20 inch barrel in .308 is very capable up to 800 yards with 168 grain and 175 grain bullets and some handloaders can stretch its useful limit to 1000 yards. The .308 cartridge really hits its limit at 1000 yards since its not practical to keep the bullet supersonic past that distance.

If you get a Remington SPS xxx, you should probably plan to ditch the floppy injection molded stock for an aftermarket stock.

As for the .308 ammo shortage, no one knows when the panic buying/hoarding will end but .308 ammo will continue to be produced by in vast quantities and I dont see any pending legislation which will threaten a .308 bolt gun other than an outright ban on all guns period. During the last ammo panic/scare of 2008 it took over a year for the ammo to return to the shelves and I imagine 2013 will be no different or even worse.

If you want a rifle to shoot right now with plentiful ammo, get a rifle chambered in 17 HMR. There is no 22LR to be found but there are stockpiles of 17 HMR everywhere.

Last edited by Flakbait; April 23, 2013 at 04:01 AM.
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