The Remington Model 7400 Rifle
By Jon Y. Wolfe
My Remington 7400 with Black Composite Stock and matte finish was purchased at Wal-Mart for $399 and I took advantage of the $40 Remington rebate, which brought the total to $359. The rifle is available in three versions. The Deluxe 7400, the 7400 synthetic, and the 7400 Weathermaster. Calibers for 2003 are .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win. and .30-06 Spfd. There is also a Model 7400 Carbine in .30-06 only.
The Deluxe 7400 comes with A Monte Carlo walnut stock with a satin finish. An optional high-gloss stock finish is available in 270 Win. and 30-06 calibers only.
The synthetic comes with butt stock and fore-end made of a fiberglass-reinforced synthetic material that is moisture-proof and immune to the effects of radical temperature swings. Both metal and stock have a black matte non-reflective finish, and the butt stock is furnished with a black rubber recoil pad.
The Weathermaster is the same as the synthetic, but comes with matte nickel plated receiver, barrel and magazine. MSRP is in the $520-$640 range. As mentioned above, Wal-Mart carries the .270 and .30-06 as standard items for a price of $399 in North Carolina.
The most interesting 7400 I have seen was the limited run of 7400 Carbines offered in .280 Remington caliber. The barrel is 18 1/2 inches, with all other specifications being the same as the standard synthetic model. A local gun shop took delivery of some these a while back. I had already bought my .270, but the shortened 7400 in a .280 would make a nice woods rifle.
All versions are gas-operated, with open sights, a 22 inch barrel, and a cross bolt safety. The synthetic stock versions do not come with a raised cheek piece, whereas the Deluxe 7400 comes with a Monte Carlo style walnut stock. To my knowledge, the 7400 is not offered in a left-hand version, although that may not be necessary considering that the brass is ejected 36 inches forward, and slightly right.
Overall I've been very pleased with this rifle, and I have mounted a Bushnell 3200 4-12 X 40 with adjustable objective. The scope rests on a Leupold one-piece base with medium rings. The synthetic composite model does not come with swivel studs, but I purchased a set designed for the 7400, made by Uncle Mike's, for less than $10. Installation took 30 minutes, and was fairly simple.
I purchased this gun to be used primarily as back-up, all around rifle for hunting white-tail deer. I hunt in the Appalachian Mountains, and the bean fields and cutovers of the Piedmont area of North Carolina. In the mountains, conditions vary from open hardwood and evergreen stands to dense mountain laurel, and a good mix of both. Shots range from 10 yards to 85 yards or more. Occasionally someone finds an opening, and takes a longer shot, but those are few and far between. In the bean fields and cutovers, shots range from 25 to 250 yards. My 7400 fits my hunting conditions in North Carolina nicely. I occasionally do some close-in, heavy cover brush hunting, and for that I have a .30-30 Marlin.
The gun is 41 1/4 inches overall length, with 12 1/2 inches length of pull and weighs in, unloaded, at 8.4 lbs with scope, base, and rings. The barrel is 22 inches. I have made modifications to the stock by removing the rubber pad and cutting 3/4 of an inch from the length of pull. The stock is tapered, and cutting it down caused the rubber pad to be larger than the stock. To correct this problem, I centered the pad over the stock and drilled new pilot holes. The rubber pad is still larger than the stock, but it doesn't look unsightly, and it helps with felt recoil.
On the line of functionality the Remington 7400 is very well constructed, and the composite stock looks like it will hold up for many years. Loading the rifle is someone awkward. For one shot rounds, you can leave the magazine inserted and pull the bolt back and allow the magazine to lock the bolt in place while you manually load your first round through the side ejection port. Once the cartridge has been inserted, you then release the bolt using the release lever located on the left side of the magazine. If you wish to load additional rounds, you must remove the magazine. You cannot load the magazine, and then pull the bolt back to load the first round. The first round must be manually loaded in one fashion or another.
In terms of reliability, I have fired 60 rounds through the gun and I have experienced 3 separate malfunctions. These malfunctions were mostly due to my error in loading the magazine. If the cartridges are not aligned properly, i.e. not perfectly aligned in the magazine, without deviation forward or back, the gun will jam. Typically the tips of the bullets become lodged inbetween the top of the magazine and the barrel opening. In my experience polymer tipped bullets are less susceptible to this problem than are lead tips.
I have tried several loads in this particular rifle, and the load which has had the best results is the Remington 130 grain premier AccuTip. It is a boat-tail bullet with a polymer tip. Advertised muzzle velocity is 3060 fps in a 24 inch test barrel.
Using this load I have achieved good results at both 100 and 200 yards. I had an average of .84 inch at 100 yards for five, 3-shot groups. At 200 yards five, 3-shot groups averaged 2.21 inches.
I also tested the Hornady Light Magnum 140 boat-tail spire point and the results were 1.75 average groups at 100 yards. I prefer the extra power provided by the Hornady load, but the accuracy of the Remington is much better in my particular rifle, and I'll probably stick with the Remington load.
The closest comparison to the Remington 7400 is the Browning BAR. The Browning has a superb reputation, but the end user price is certainly quite a bit more. The Synthetic Stalker in .270 Win. has a retail price of $825, and normally sells for an average of $690 at the gun stores in my area. Most features found on the Browning can be found on the Remington. The one exception is the BOSS system offered on Browning rifles.
The 7400 has performed flawlessly since I learned to load it correctly and since I started using plastic tipped bullets. Using the Remington 130 grain Premier Accutip factory loads, this rifle produces consistent and predictable groups at both 100 and 200 yards.
In summary, the 7400 is hard to beat for an all-around rifle with good accuracy and down range power at an economical price. I hope I never need to use the auto loading feature for a quick follow up shot, but it's nice to know that it's there.
Copyright 2004, 2005 by Jon Y. Wolfe. All rights reserved.