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Remington M-700 Classic .375 H&H.

* Back in September of last year, Editor Howard French took a look at the Remington Classic rifle. The article wasn't about the basic Classic that Remington introduced in 1978--straight-combed, non-glare satin finish stock, no white spacers, no iron sights, just a very clean example of their justly famous Model 700 BDL bold-action centerfile rifle. No, his article was about the version of the Classic Remington introduced in 1981 that was a limited production rifle offered each year, chambered for a "classic" cartridge that the Ilion firm didn't offer any more.

At the end of his story Howard stated that if G&A readers had any ideas about what cartridge the "Classic" Classic should be offered in they should write to Dick Dietz, Remington's public relations man, and he'd pass the ideas on to the people who planned such things.

To his, and our, surprise, Dick was deluged with letters with ideas, and many were good follow-ups to the four choices Remington had already made; 7x57 Mauser, .257 Roberts, .300 Holland & Holland and .250-3000 Savage. Of course, 1985's entry, the .350 Remington Magnum, had already been decided upon, so reader interest had no bearing on that decision. However, something surprising came from the replies . . . the solid number-three choice was the .375 Holland & Holland, a wise decision in this reporter's opinion. The big .375 H&H is well known around the world for its ability to take game, no matter what its size. From Alaska to Africa to even some use in the lower 48, the over 70-year-old cartridge is highly respected.

From Remington's standpoint there was a problem, however. Quite simply, they already offered the Model 700 Classic in .375, and had since 1978 when the Classic was first introduced . . . it simply seemed that no one knew about it, including this author. The .375 version is made by Remington's custom shop, as it has always been, and the company has not included it in their normal catalog, other than the first year it was available. Hopefully, after this article, the Model 700 Classic in .375 H&H won't be unknown anymore.

The M-700's action is so well known that delving in too deeply at this point would be redundant. Suffice it to say that the M-700 has proven to be one of the most accurate and reliable rifles ever sold. And our test .375 did nothing to disprove the accuracy claims that are made for the Model 700. With a 1-3/4-5X Redfield scope held in place by Redfield two-piece mounts, using a factory 300-grain Winchester Silvertip ammo, and on a day when the wind was gusting up to 30 mph, we managed to shoot a five-shot 1-1/10-inch group. That is extremely good accuracy from an out-of-the-box rifle, especially with factory ammo. Another group, using handloads I'd put together for my own .375 on another brand of rifle, shot into 1-1/4 inches on the same day. Obviously the Remington didn't like that particular load, but with some serious development work I expect to see the Model 700 go under the proverbial minute of angle.

Before shooting those groups I had measured the trigger pull at 6-1/2 pounds. I find that a bit much, even on a dangerous game rifle. A little work on the trigger brought it down to 4 pounds even. However, if you're not familiar with the Remington trigger assembly--one of the best available on a production rifle--don't attempt this work yourself. Take the rifle to a gunsmith.

The standard Classic Remington rifle does not come with iron sights; however, our test .375 did have them in place. A call to Dick Dietz confirmed that since the .375 H&H Classic comes from Remington's custom shop, the sights can be optionally ordered at no extra charge. For anyone thinking of the Classic as a dangerous game rifle, I'd suggest he use them. A scope is the last thing you'd want when going into high, thick grass after a Cape buffalo, or one of the big bears hiding in stands of alders in alaska where the shooting range is more likely to be measured in feet instead of yards.

All things considered, the remington Classic .375 H&H proved to be a fine firearm. As Remington considers the Classic in the same class as one of their Safari Grade rifles (meaning it's assembled in the custom shop under the guiding hand of Tim McCormack), it isn't inexpensive. The suggested price, either off the shelf or special ordered, is somewhere in the neighborhood of $750. That isn't cheap, but when you consider that there are very few American bolt-action rifles still made for the .375, and that the gun is basically hand-assembled, the tariff doesn't seem so bad. For the money the Classic offers a great deal, and in today's market that's saying quite a mouthful.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:evaluation
Author:Hetzler, Dave
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Mar 1, 1985
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Next Article:The .17 caliber; tiny but terrific.

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