The Remington Model 7400 Synthetic Carbine
By Carl Swanson
I purchased a Remington 7400 Synthetic Carbine about 3 weeks ago to use deer hunting in the heavy foliage cover in central Minnesota. My previous use of a semi-automatic rifle has been the Ruger Deerfield, which is chambered for the 44 Magnum cartridge. This year the little .44 Magnum slug failed to get through fairly light brush cover.
For this reason I purchased the Remington 7400 autoloading carbine in .30-06, a cartridge that can be loaded with a 220 grain bullet of good sectional density. This should penetrate brush a little better than the low sectional density .44 Magnum slug (I was using a 270 grain bullet).
I settled on the Remington 7400 based on my previous ownership of a Model 7400 rifle in .308. The Rem. 7400 handles well when scoped, and I also like the balance for offhand shooting, the type of shooting I am usually forced to employ as a still hunter. The Carbine version also handles well, at least on the range and in some limited field carry. Price was also a consideration. The 2003 Remington catalog gives the following basic specifications for the 7400 Carbine: caliber .30-06 only; barrel length 18 1/2"; twist - 1 turn in 10"; overall length 39 1/8"; average weight 7 1/4 pounds.
Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised at Remington's attention to protective packaging. There were no flaws in the rifle's fit or finish.
I installed a Weaver single piece No. 93 base and used Weaver Quick Detachable split rings to install a Burris 2 1/2 power Widefield scope. This scope has served me well for almost 20 years on various shotguns and rifles, most recently the Deerfield.
I had some low power 220 grain .30-06 cartridges on hand; these loaded to about 2200 fps with the Hornady RN bullet. I also had some Remington factory loaded 220 grain .30-06 cartridges. These went to the range.
The scope came off for the initial sighting in of the iron sights at 50 yards. The sights are quite usable with the Weaver base left on the rifle receiver. 5 shots had the Remington loads grouping in the 6 inch bullseye.
The scope was re-installed. 6 shots later I had the target out at 100 yards and the rifle sighted in. The weaker load shot about 3 inches under the Remington factory ammo at 100 yards with no windage variation.
The low power load would not cycle the action reliably. There were no functioning problems with the Remington factory ammo. From a bench rest both loads shot into about 1.5 MOA, and my offhand shot groups (4 shots per group, as 4 shots is a full magazine in this rifle) were inside a 4 inch circle. This is good enough for me.
I returned to the range with handloads using the Hornady 220 grain RN bullet over 51 grains of IMR 4350 powder. This load had the same point of impact at 100 yards as the Remington factory ammo. And the firearm cycles reliably with this load.
Offhand I again put my 4 shots into a circle about 4 inches in diameter. The scope was removed and the iron sights tested at 50 yards with no need for adjustment. When the scope was re-installed the point of impact had not changed. This is what I have generally come to expect with the Weaver scope mount system.
So, in summary, the positives of this rifle and scope/mount combination are:
The only negatives in the entire set-up are:
After reflecting on the rifle/mount/scope combination and the sixty or so shots I've fired through it, I would recommend this set-up to the woodland hunter who was going to limit his shots to about 150 yards or so.
Note: A complete review of the Remington 7400 rifle can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2003 by Carl Swanson. All rights reserved.