Fifty years ago that Remington came out with what has become the best selling bolt-action rifle of all time: the Model 700. To commemorate this incredible success, Remington has come out with the Model 700 BDL 50th Anniversary Edition—a BDL production gun that will be offered in 2012 only.
Now the 700 didn’t spring forth fully formed in ’62. It was an update of the firm’s 721/722 bolt-action rifles that came out in the 1940s. The 721 (long action) and 722 (short action) represented a big leap forward for the company in its constant quest to find ways to produce quality arms with lower manufacturing costs.
The 721/722 also debuted the now famous shrouded bolt head found on the Model 700. With the 700, which was developed by Merle “Mike” Walker, came the company’s cornerstone “three rings of steel” slogan—which has served not just as a simple description of gun design but also a powerful marketing hook.
The Model 700’s counterbored bolt head fully encloses the cartridge head. That’s ring one. Ring two is the barrel; the bolt head is surrounded by the chamber, ensuring proper bolt/barrel alignment and adding additional security in the event of a case rupture.
The third ring is the receiver itself. Remington’s quest to simplify manufacturing led it to a cylindrical receiver tube. After all, what could be simpler than machining a piece of bar stock and drilling a hole through it?
This design, with its sleek lines, instantly captured the attention of America’s hunters, and it grew from an initial two offerings—ADL or A Deluxe Grade and BDL or B Deluxe Grade—to a family of rifles that includes more than 30 sporting variants (plus dedicated law enforcement and military models) and chambered at one time or another to nearly every modern centerfire cartridge. Current chamberings number nearly 30 and run the gamut from .17 Remington to .375 Ultra Mag.
The Model 700 50th anniversary edition is chambered to—what else? the 7mm Remington Magnum. The 1962 introduction of the Model 700 was also the debut of this now-legendary cartridge, and it was by all accounts a huge reason for the Model 700’s success.
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