The Remington Mdl 700 was sort of an upgrade from the Mdl 721 which came on the market in 1949. In effect the first new rifle from Remington after WWII. In 1962 the Remington ADL was cataloged and the fact that it was an remodel of the 720 series was not a bad thing because the older 720 series had a good repretation for accuracy. What the 700 mdl did do was make one rifle do it all. There was a short action pattern and a long action pattern. Now they had a set of actions that could be barreled with anything from .222 to 7 Rem. Mag. or 300 Win. Mag. The ADL was pretty plain but the price was right and when economy inproved the BDL with all the white line spacers and grip caps would be the rifle of choice to the educated rifle man. But they didn't stop there. The Safari grade was the pinnicle of the Remingtion 700. with all the big African calibers and the American Magnums it had to have extra reinforcement lugs in the stock and a heavier barrel. All this ran up the weight to 8.85 lbs. But if you have ever shot one of these guns you are happy with that weight and may wish for more. The complaint that was common on the ADL was the plastic trigger guard and even when they switched to a alloy trigger guard it still got it's detractors. On the BDL they tried to make up for the ADL shortcomings. With better wood, a detachable magazine floor plate, pistol grip caps and the now Remington style black fore end tip with the white spacer and the gloss finish you have a rifle that needs no introduction or customizing.
The Remington 700 just kept getting better with little modifications through out the years. The bolt handle sweep was reduced to keep it from hitting the fingers during firing, and the bolt was jeweled to a pretty perfection. Hand cut checkering came in and was appreciated by all. A bolt guide rib system was designed that make the already smooth action even better and the bolt shroud was redesigned. Then when they had a perfect rifle there were always people that wanted something different. Remington was one of the few companies that listened to it's customers and the 700C and 700P was annouced. The 'C' standing for Custom and the 'P' for Peerless. Select AAA fancy wood, skip line checkering, special deep deep blueing and other customer requested custom features. Isn't it great what money will buy? But for the good old boys they also came up with a Varmint Special and a Mountain Rifle. And for the new young generation of synthetic minded youngsters a 700 stocked in plastic. (Du Pont Rynite) And not to forget the hunter they added camo and stainless models. By now it looked as if the perfect rifle was getting ruined by gimcracks and doo-dads, so Remington wisely came out with the 700 Classic and sold everyone they could produce. Chambering the Classic for classic cartridges was a stroke of genius too. The advertising that Remington had to do to overcome Winchester's lead (Mdl 70) was another stroke of genius. Showing how their rifle had three rings of steel around the cartridge meant something to the early shooter that was familiar with the weaker brass and an occasional primer failure of the ammunition made just after the war. But now it is a moot point unless one gets careless with the loading manual. But it is still nice to know that the potentual safety is there. I do not have a Mdl. 700 in my safe but it is on my short list. If I can just get someone to turn loose with theirs. LOL
I've been a huge fan of the Remington Md. 700 for a number of years. Or maybe I should say the Md. 700LH. Remington was pretty much the only game in town for a factory model left-hand bolt action. Anything else in the mid-late 70s early 80 even was Remington for a left-hand bolt. I remember seeing a left-hand Husqevarna bolt-action, just the action at a gun show and contemplated on buying it all day but ended up saving my money. I remember I think it was $200 dollars at that time in the early 80s. One of those that I let get away and now I wish I hadn't. There are some others out there now but only Remington and Winchester offer a leftie in any calibers that I'm interested it. I built my own 375 H&H for less than what the Safari grade or Md C would have cost me from Reminton at the time. But I do not know if that would still be the case. The model 700 and model 40 are still tops enough to be the action of choice for the older and the new USMC sniper rifle. And if is good enough for them.