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Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build

21 Aug 2014
@ 06:56 pm (GMT)

Kerry Adams

So, before I shoot out the lightweight 7mm08 hunting gun, I thought I would get myself a dedicated target shooting rifle.

Being a leftie, I had a few less choices than normal. So, to keep things simple, I have picked up a 700 Varmint in 308. I figure it's a good learning rifle, which is the main point of this project.

I have Nathan's books all here as reference material, and the project will be documented, change something on the rifle, shoot it, record the results, change something else and so on.

While I am sure I will have a million and one questions over the next year or so (it's a slow build) - the first one that comes to mind is -


With the plastic stock that comes with the SPS, is it worth stabilising & bedding it, or, am I better replacing it with something aftermarket and bedding that?

My budget long terms allows for a McMillan - will an A3 or A5 really be that much of a step up from a bedded Boyds? Are any of the chassis systems worth considering - or is that mainly still tacticool?

Thanks guys.


22 Aug 2014
@ 06:25 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Hi Kerry, sorry for the late reply, been laid up with injuries. Thanks for the plug, much appreciated.

In this instance, stock choice is to a large degree a matter of personal choice. The stock you have can be made rigid and accurate- or you can opt for a fiberglass / ali stock. It really is up to you and your budget. I covered all of this in my first book. The first book deals with the fundamentals and component selection. The third book deals the aspects of putting it all together.

One aspect that you need to consider is your own skill levels. For some folk, it can be quite nerve racking bedding a new, aftermarket stock if they have never before bedded a rifle. Stabilizing and bedding the cheaper factory stock will allow you the head space to make mistakes. You can put all of your attention into doing your best work, but without a level of stress that can make the process less than enjoyable. If you make a big mistake, you can set about re-bedding the rifle. You can do this over and over again until you get it right. The more mistakes you make, the better you will become at bedding rifles long term, another string to your bow.

Regarding the Boyds versus the MCM- again, very much a personal choice. Each can be made accurate, each has its own appeal- one person may like the look of laminate, another may prefer the green with black spider web of a glass stock. Another may prefer a full camo pattern. As long as the stock design is conducive to accuracy, both in its fit and construction, you have a range of options. Personally, I prefer a stock that is partially between that of a full target stock and a full sporter. You actually have this style of stock within the varmint SPS design. The stock is not so bulky that you cannot take the rifle for a full day's hunting without it feeling cumbersome. Yet it has enough heft for serious prone work.

Here is a basic aftermarket stock you might like made by HS Precision, essentially an old style Sendero stock which is again neither too bulky, nor too thin:



Regarding the question of bipods you posed on your site. Please do not get too carried away with this just yet. I am reminded of a saying my sister once quoted which states- A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. The same can be said of bipods to an extent. Focus on what needs to be done without getting too invested in the latest kit all at once. Get yourself sorted at the bench, then practice over a backpack on the ground to develop basic field skills- then move to a bipod. The point being that many folk these days get far too tied up in kit and do not focus on the basics. In essence, the training wheels stay on permanently. As for bipods brands, the Atlas you mentioned has great merit. But either will be serviceable.

I noticed on your site that you are approaching this with a long term view. This is an optimum mindset.
24 Aug 2014
@ 03:58 am (GMT)

Kerry Adams

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Thanks for the reply Nathan, always appreciate you time and knowledge.

Good point on using the factory stock as a 'test run'. I think that will be the go while I continue to ponder what (if) stock to replace it with. Means I won't be too worried if I don't get 100% right the first time.

I will realistically still have a hunting rifle in the safe, though, I can see we wanting to eventually want to walk somewhere with it and don't really want to end up with a dedicated bench rifle. It still needs to be a bit practical.

Bipods - agree - and I have a bit to get done on the rifle before I start bolting things onto it. Though, I am tempted to wind you up by suggesting a suppressor? ;)

Realistically, this firearm might not get fired for a couple of months at least, while I slowly tick off the set up in my spare time.

I will keep you updated.
24 Aug 2014
@ 10:14 pm (GMT)

Kerry Adams

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Actually, have a follow up question -

Warne Flat Picatinny Rail and 20MOA setup in the Signature Rings, or 20MOA Rail and set the rings up flat?

24 Aug 2014
@ 10:34 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Can always take some out of the 20moa rail with the inserts if its to much for your scope!
24 Aug 2014
@ 11:04 pm (GMT)

Kerry Adams

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
True. Just wondering if either way is going to be inherently more 'stable'.

I have also realised the bigger issue may be finding a left handed picatinny rail in NZ.
24 Aug 2014
@ 11:41 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Either will do Kerry. There are no differences in stability. The rails are generic and do not have a left right orientation. Its a valid question as old style bridge mounts had cut outs. The modern rails "generally" do not. Same goes for standard Weaver bases.

I believe some manufacturers may have a few aesthetic differences such as a lower edge bevel on the right versus no bevel on the left. But you will find that Warne and Weaver offer a basic ambidextrous rail. In other words- no worries.

Here is a tricked up .308 Varmint with tape and paint, a really nice accurate rig:

25 Aug 2014
@ 03:30 am (GMT)

Kerry Adams

Re: Remington 700 SPS Varmint .308 Left Hand Build
Yeah - it's was those cut outs I was wondering about. All good.

Sweet. Will hunt me down a trigger and a base. That and some rifle prep should keep me busy in the evenings for a while.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.