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Remington 700 ADL vs SPS: Which One is a Better Investment?

Remington 700 ADL vs. SPS

All experts and firearms enthusiasts agree that the Remington 700 is one of the most COMPETENT rifles ever introduced to the world.

Two of which I’ve had the pleasure of using are the ADL (Average Deluxe) and the SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic).

Wonder who would come out on top?

Down below, I’ll cover everything you need to remember in this Remington 700 ADL vs SPS review!

I’ve also included their features and overall performance to help you decide which is better for your personal preference.

Brief Overview of the Rifles

Remington 700 ADL


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At first, Remington produced 2 variants of the Model 700: ADL (Average Deluxe) and BDL (Better Deluxe).

For a time, ADL was the most cost-effective variant in the line of Remington Model 700 but after the year 2005, Remington 700 SPS quickly took over that spot.

While Remington first decided to completely shelve the production of ADL, the variant’s made a comeback in recent years as a LOW-COST option for budget-minded shooters.

Compared to original units, new ADL rifles have received some changes here and there though the design is still the same.   

Similar to other variants of Remington 700, ADL rifles are available in several configurations.

Namely, you can choose from 10 different models with:

  • Barrel length: 20, 24, and 26 inches
  • 3 magazine capacities (3, 4, and 5)
  • 5 twist rates (1:8, 1:9 1/8, 1:10, 1:12 and 1: 14)
  • 10 calibers (.243 WIN, .270 WIN, .308 WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30-06 Springfield, etc.)

I am very satisfied with this wide collection at such an affordable price!

From what I’ve seen, ADL rifles are cheaper than their SPS cousins by a few hundred dollars as well.

Remington 700 SPS


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Made to supplement and then replace ADL, the Remington 700 SPS model is a new design that features a new material, trigger, and magazine.

I’d say the overall performance of most ADL rifles is highly competitive. 

Nowadays, both ADL and SPS rifles are in production, but the average price of SPS models tends to be higher.

That being said, bolt action rifles in the SPS line still remain more or less reasonable compared to high-end Remington 700 rifles.

As a result, I often go for SPS rifles if they want something with quality that’s still affordable.

Regarding available models, Remington 700 SPS provides shooters with nearly 20 choices including:

  • Barrel length: 20, 24, and 26 inches
  • 3 magazine capacities (3, 4, and 5)
  • 5 twist rates (1:8, 1:9 1/8, 1:9 1/4, 1:10 and 1: 12)
  • 15 calibers (.243 WIN, .270 WIN, .308 WIN, .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, .223 Remington, etc.)

With such a huge number of configurations, virtually any shooter can find a Remington 700 SPS that suits their demands.

That kind of advantage makes SPS rifles excellent choices not just for novices, but also for veterans.

Notable Features of the Rifles

Remington 700 ADL

Notable Features - ADL

Blind Magazine

Simply put, ammunition goes in and out in the same manner when using a blind magazine.

So you could only rack a round out of the rifle action one at a time.  

For shooters that prioritize ease of use, this arrangement is less convenient to reload, especially if you’re wearing gloves.

In addition to that, I accidentally loaded a round too far forward, which resulted in an annoying jam.

I advise paying attention and staying concentrated while reloading a Remington 700 ADL rifle.

Polymer/Laminated Stock

Smooth and stable, the laminated/synthetic stock of the Remington 700 ADL performs admirably in the great outdoors.

Although its material isn’t top-tier, the stock would hold itself together for a long time on the field.

Regarding overall display, I think this rifle scores rather well using the factory stock, and that’s why there is no need to worry about accuracy drops.

If you want something tougher though, there are a lot of aftermarket stocks available for purchase nowadays.

All you have to do is pick one that MATCHES your rifle color!

X-Mark Adjustable Trigger

While the X-Mark trigger is primarily designed to be adjusted by a gunsmith, I can also change the pull weight on my own!

I still advise having a gunsmith do it, though, especially if you’re a beginner.

The factory setting of the trigger pull is 5 pounds which I understand can be a bit heavy to some people, so feel free to tweak it as you see fit.

The rifle also features a plastic trigger guard that is somewhat functional but might not be able to survive significant concussions and rough uses.

I started noticing mine getting a bit damaged; thankfully, it wasn’t difficult finding a replacement.

Free-Floated Heavy Barrel

Being a free-floated design, the barrel of ADL rifles possesses a SUPERB shooting consistency compared to most classic models.

While the life of the barrel varies depending on the choice of caliber, it should at least serve you well for a few THOUSAND rounds.

As the twist rate of the barrel largely decides the type of round that the rifle accepts, there are several limitations you have to remember.

For instance, a 26-inch barrel chambered in a .22-250 Remington with a twist rate of 1:14 only accepts loads that are below 60 grains. 

Matte Black Finish

All factory-manufactured ADL rifles have a stylish matte black finish covering the bolt as well as the bolt face.

After a couple of discharges, the finish on my bolt face slowly disappeared, but that’s a negligible issue.

Generally speaking, the finish is rugged, and it should stay intact for YEARS as long as you look after your rifle.

If possible, I recommend storing the rifle in a case to extend the longevity of the finish.

Of course, in case the finish wears out earlier than you expected, just send the rifle back to Remington for refinishing!

Remington 700 SPS

Notable Features - SPS

Hinged Magazine

Similar to a blind magazine, a hinged magazine is also an internal design but with one distinct difference:

Shooters can unload the rifle through the floorplate.

You no longer have to cycle and eject individual rounds at the end of a shooting session or hunting trip.

You simply pop open the floorplate in order to retrieve ammunition! 

This feature is why I prefer hinged magazines to blind magazines when it comes to convenience.

Though it’s not as handy as a detachable magazine, a hinged magazine is a great choice for how most bolt-action rifles work.

Synthetic Stock

Instead of using wood as classic rifles do, the Remington 700 SPS employs a synthetic stock, so the weight is fairly light.

Moreover, the stock of SPS rifles features gray inserts on the rear and front sides of the stock, which result in EXCELLENT handling characteristics.

When I go hunting for prey through dense vegetation, the stock’s ergonomic profile is a major plus!

Aside from factory stocks, shooters are able to purchase and outfit their Remington rifles with aftermarket options from Hogue and Magpul as well.

X-Mark Pro Adjustable Trigger

As with the Remington 700 ADL, the Remington 700 SPS also uses an adjustable trigger.

The difference is that the model is newer, and it’s called the X-Mark Pro.

The trigger guarantees minimal creeps and delivers far more adjustment freedom compared to its predecessor.

After leaving the factory, the default trigger pull is set at 3.5 pounds, and you have 2 pounds worth of adjustment available.

If you don’t have specific needs or requirements, I think a pull weight of around 3 pounds should be more than enough.

With this setting, the risk of unintended discharge is fairly low, and the trigger remains light for quick firing.

Intuitive, Time-Proven Remington Action

In line with other Remington 700 variants, SPS rifles boast the iconic twin locking lugs in a rugged circular receiver ring.

Assisted by a semi-dog legged and flattened bolt knob, the operation of the bolt is STRAIGHTFORWARD and can handle tough conditions.

Additionally, the safety mechanism is still the good old lever that is located behind the bolt handle of the rifle with 2 settings: On and Off.

While other advanced rifles feature complex designs such as bolt/trigger locks, the venerable safety lever of Remington 700 SPS is still very much well-liked. 

Heavy-Duty, Hammer-Forged Barrel

Equipped with a thick barrel, the Remington 700 SPS possesses a HIGHER endurance than a lot of its cousins that only have thin sporting barrels.

Considering the fact that there are 6 holes on the fore-end of their barrels, SPS rifles fare quite well when it comes to repeated firings.

Normally, as the twist rate of the barrel decreases, you can use heavier and heavier bullets which improve hitting power.

In case you want to outfit the muzzle brake or the other parts, some barrels of SPS rifles come in threaded as well. 

Optimal Accuracy of The Rifles

Optimal Accuracy

Remington 700 ADL

Although the precision of a particular firearm relies considerably on the skill of the shooter, the ADL is known for being a highly accurate rifle.

I’ve been able to achieve rather TIGHT groupings with factory ammo, regardless of the caliber.

At 100 yards and closer, I’ve found that the groupings typically stay below 1 inch. As the distance increases, your shooting skills will come into play.

An average shooter can land round after round on targets with relative ease out to 300 yards or so, though. A great shooter will be able to do even better!

Remington 700 SPS

Hunters that regularly shoot in the woods consider the precision of the SPS rifle to be quite sufficient in most cases.

My shot groupings rarely exceed 1 inch if the range is around 75 yards, which is a common distance for visual confirmation.

When your surroundings consist mostly of dense branches and bushes, it’s unnecessary to bring a rifle specifically built for long-range shooting.

However, the rifle is able to use lightweight high-velocity rounds, too, so it can give respectable results at extended distances if needed.

Compatible Scopes for The Rifles

Compatible Scopes

Remington 700 ADL

Nowadays, people either purchase an ADL rifle or pay a bit extra to get a scope to use with the rifles.

In my experience, the scope that accompanies the rifle is kind of mediocre, so it’s best to only get the rifle.

Once you manage to secure the rifle, you can start thinking about the type of scope that will match your taste.

For a Model 700, I’d recommend a ProStaff (Nikon), DiamondBack (Vortex Optics), or Rifleman (Leupold).

It goes without saying that you need to take your shooting purpose into account as well before deciding on a rifle scope, though.

Remington 700 SPS

Thanks to the Picatinny rail, I found mounting and securing a scope to my SPS rifle to be a breeze!

In terms of suitable models, I’ve had success with several brands, such as CrossOver (LUCID), Buckmaster (Nikon), and Dusk and Dawn (Bushnell).

Since this rifle has a fairly forgiving rail, I was able to swap the current scope for another without much difficulty.

But needless to say, whatever rifle scope you choose, take the lens diameter into consideration and always use appropriate mounting rings.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Models in the Remington 700 line, including the ADL and SPS, have received praises from many shooters around the globe.

They’ve even received praise for their bullets too, such as the 30-06 Springfield!

The only way for you to determine the winner in the competition is to discern based on your personal preference and style.

Crosscheck the things you like or hate with the characteristics of these rifles, and you should be able to conclude what rifle to get here. 

Check out my guide on the best .300 win mag rifles for more quality rifle reviews!

Quick Reminder: There are various methods for shooters to secure quality Remington rifles, but if possible, play it safe and order straight from the brand. That allows you to access the post-purchase support from Remington and avoid other issues.

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