The Remington 700 VS is a very accurate factory rifle, affordable to both individuals and agencies on a budget. Virtually identical to the 700 PSS except for a few minor details - which I will cover later - the rifle is equipped with an H.S. Precision stock, fully aluminum-bedded from grip to tip. This bedding block eliminates most of the problems associated with poor bedding. When torqued to the recommended 65 inch-pounds, just about any Remington action can be interchanged into these stocks without a loss in accuracy. No further bedding is necessary.
The 700 VS sports a 26" free-floated barrel, a concave crown and a short action. The bolt is engine-turned and blackened which (from a tactical standpoint) makes for a very non-reflective surface. The metal finish on the barreled action is a pebbled black, similar to parkerizing in appearance. The stock is finished in a nonslip, crinkle-type black, with a dull gray "drizzle" that is the hallmark of H.S. Precision stocks. The fore grip is not quite as wide as the 700 PSS but wide enough to make for a very stable rest. The fore grip only has one sling swivel stud which, from close scrutiny, is the only other visible difference between this rifle and Remington's police offering. For the price difference, one is far better served by the VS. I added a second sling swivel stud for a bipod after talking with the people at H.S. precision. It was a very simple job.
For a factory rifle, in the $500 range, accuracy is very acceptable. The rifle tested was a .22-250 but the firearm is available in .308 and .223 also. While the .22-250 is not considered a sniper round, unless of course you are a varmint buster, the inherent accuracy of the Remington action lends itself to a wonderfully-shootable rifle with no tuning, right from the box. You might not want to compete at benchrest with it but for a police agency sharpshooter, varmint hunter, or bench plinker, the groups this weapon turns out are very exciting. Using factory, non-match grade ammunition for the break-in period, I was able to print an average of .850 MOA. Once the bore was properly broken in, the groups shrunk marginally to around .750 MOA. This is very good for the intended purpose as most Big Dollar Sniper rifles are only guaranteed to group under one inch. Once I started developing handloads, the rifle easily went into the .400 MOA range. My best-of-all-time, 5-shot, 100-yard group has been .218!!! If the .308 can hold even triple that, it will make an ideal weapon for any local police department on a strict budget.
The quality of the firearm is very high. There were no unsightly machining marks, blemishes, or rough spots. The scope mount I installed needed no shimming or adjustments, once again proving Remington's consistency in metal work. The trigger, following the current trend of factory silliness, was crisp but HEAVY - eight pounds, to be exact. This was easily dropped to three pounds but as a special aside, the groups mentioned above were all fired BEFORE I had the trigger adjusted. The trigger itself has a very wide contact patch and almost no take-up or creep. It has vertical serrations or lines so finger slippage is a non-issue. Once adjusted, it is a very fine interface. In my less-than-humble opinion, the stock is just the best there is. You really do get what you pay for when you choose an H.S. stock.
To Remington's discredit, the rifle was shipped with a small ding or punch mark right on the edge of the crown. This was surprising to say the least. Happily it did not seem to effect accuracy but I was upset all the same. After several hundred rounds I had it recrowned just for peace of mind. There was no noticeable increase in accuracy so one could assume the ding was harmless. Still, one also expects better from the Big Green.
The Remington 700 VS is a well-balanced, accurate rifle capable of sustained precision fire on targets of the smallest size. As a police sniper weapon, it can allow a department with modest funds the means to equip its sharpshooters with reliable, well-made precision tools. Combined with Federal's .308 Gold Medal Match, the 700 VS should prove an accurate, confrontation-ending sniper system. For the varmint hunter willing to spend a little more, the VS is equal to any over-the-counter varmint rig. It is incredibly accurate without the need of any added barrel gadgets like the BOSS. When compared to the factory offerings of just 10 years ago, its inherent accuracy potential is what big cheesy smiles are made of.