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

Shooting Mystery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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. Accurate, rugged and dependable, the Remington rifle has spawned a lot of variants for militant, as well as civilian use.

If you’re new to bolt action rifles, then you should know that there are 2 variants of the Remington 700 that you definitely need to check out: the ADL (A Deluxe) and the SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic).

Wonder who would come out on top in a Remington 700 ADL vs. SPS competition? Then just keep reading this article!  

Down below, we’ll introduce everything you need to remember about the ADL and SPS variants of Remington 700. We’ll be including their features and overall performance.

Brief Overview of The Rifles

Brief Overview

Remington 700 ADL

ADL

At first, Remington produced 2 variants of the Model 700: ADL (A Deluxe) and BDL (B 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 made a come back 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.   

As with other variants of Remington 700, ADL rifles are available in a lot of configurations. Namely, you could choose from 10 different models with:

  • 3 barrel lengths (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.)

Thanks to the wide selection and affordable costs, ADL rifles are well-liked by people on a budget. On average, ADL rifles are cheaper than their SPS cousins by a few hundred dollars as well.

Remington 700 SPS

SPS

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

Overall, the performance of most ADL rifles is highly competitive. Nowadays, both ADL and SPS rifles are in production but the average price of SPS models tend to be higher.

That being said, rifles in the SPS line still remain more or less reasonable compared to high-end Remington 700 rifles. As a result, shooters 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:

  • 3 barrel lengths (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 could find a Remington 700 SPS that suit his/her demands. That kind of advantage makes SPS rifles excellent choices not just for novices, but also for veterans.

Notable Features of The Rifles

Notable Features

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, there is a chance that you might load the round too far forward or backward and that will result in an annoying jam.

We advise that you pay attention and stay concentrated while reloading a Remington 700 ADL rifle.

Polymer/Laminated Stock

Smooth and stable, the synthetic/laminated stock of Remington 700 ADL performs admirably in the great outdoors. Although its material is not top-tier, the stock would hold itself together for a long time on the field.

Regarding overall display, the rifle scores rather well using the factory stock and that is 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 to 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, shooters can also change the pull weight on their own, assuming that they know how to.

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

Besides that, the rifle also features a plastic trigger guard that is somewhat functional but might not be able to survive significant concussions and rough uses. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find and secure replacement trigger guards for Remington rifles.

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 the bolt face should slowly disappear but that is a negligible issue.

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

If possible, always store the rifle in a case to extend the longevity of the finish. Of course, in case the finish wears out earlier than you expected it to, just send the rifle back to Remington for re-finishing.

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.

This means that 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.  

Because of that, a hinged magazine is superior to a blind magazine when it comes to convenience. Though it’s not as handy as a detachable magazine, a hinged magazine is a great choice for most bolt-action rifles.

Synthetic Stock

Instead of using wood like 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.  

For hunters that often have to stalk their preys through dense vegetation, the stock 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.

Providing that you have no specific needs or requirements, a pull weight of around 3 pounds should be more than enough. At that 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-doglegged and flattened bolt knob, the operation of the bolt is straightforward and could 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 on possesses higher than 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 could use heavier and heavier bullets which improve hitting power.

In case you want to outfit the muzzle break 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 Remington 700 ADL is known for being a highly accurate rifle.

Regardless of the caliber, ADL  rifles can achieve rather tight groupings with factory-manufactured ammunition.

At 100 yards and closer, it’s highly likely that the groupings will stay below 1 inch. As the distance increases, your shooting skills should come into play.

An average shooter can land round after round on targets with relative ease out to 300 yards or so though.  

Remington 700 SPS

Hunters that regularly shoot in the woods consider the precision of SPS rifle to be quite sufficient in most cases. The shot grouping rarely exceeds 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 most cases, the scope that accompanies the rifle is kind of mediocre and so it’s best to only get the rifle.

Once you manage to secure the rifle, you could start thinking about the type of scope that will match your taste. ProStaff (Nikon), DiamondBack (Vortex Optics), and Rifleman (Leupold) are all excellent choices for a Model 700.

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, it’s now a breeze to mount a scope on SPS  rifles and then secure it.

In terms of suitable models, there are a variety of options on the market such as brands like CrossOver (LUCID), Buckmaster (Nikon), and Dusk and Dawn (Bushnell).

As the rail of the rifle is forgiving to work with, people could 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 then 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.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day, people have conflicting ideas about the best rifle overall, especially when it comes to the Remington 700 ADL Vs SPS.

So the only way for you to determine the winner in the competition is to discern based on your preferences and style. Be sure to 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.  

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.

MORE REMINGTON REVIEWS: Complete Analysis of 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm-08 Remington, Comparing Remington 783 vs. 700

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.