Material: 7075/T6 Aluminum
Finish: Type III Hardcoat Anodized
Action: Remington 700 SA
Weight: 2 oz.
A New Loaner Rifle is Born
Have you ever switched cartridges on your match rifle but still had a bunch of reloading components lying around for the old one? A few years back I made the switch from .308 Win to 6.5 Creedmoor on my PRS build. While I can burn through a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel over the course of a season or two, my nitrided .308 Win M118LR chambered Criterion Rem/Age pre-fit still has plenty of life left in it. With over 1,000 cases of once fired Lapua brass left over from a season of shooting Creedmoor Sports factory ammo, and a couple extra cases of 175gr. Sierra MatchKings, I needed to find an appropriate host for this barrel. What better opportunity for a review platform and loaner rifle than this .308 build?
I picked up a Remington 700 barreled action from EuroOptic earlier this year while they were running a sale. With a little elbow grease and a hand from Todd House and James Kessler from Northland Shooters Supply, we pulled off the factory barrel and installed the Rem/Age pre-fit and new barrel nut.
Looking for a Scope Base
A barreled action doesn’t do anyone much good without a scope, and a scope doesn’t do you much good without a set of scope rings and a scope base. I had a set of Warne 34mm Mountain Tech rings lying around from a Tikka T3 build I sold a few years back. They always held zero and offered a nice fit and finish, so I figured I’d order a Warne Mountain Tech scope base to match.
Picking up the phone I gave Justyn Schmidt a call over at Warne Scope Mounts. A year or two ago we had chatted a bit about barrels and scope rings, so I figured I’d pick his brain a bit regarding their scope bases. As it turned out, Justyn was in a meeting, so I had a chat with Randy Parks, Warne’s Director of Marketing & Customer Service instead.
Attention to Detail: What Sets the Mountain Tech Base Above the Rest
Randy and I went over the basic design features of the Mountain Tech base. The first topic we discussed were cant options. Did I want it with a 0 or 20 MOA cant? I elected to select the latter to provide additional elevation travel at longer ranges. Pushing that 175gr. MatchKing out to 1,000+ yards will likely require every bit of additional elevation travel I can muster!
We chatted briefly about scope base thread pitch. Some of the older Remington 700P, Bergera, and HS Precision actions require a 8-40 thread pitch, while most 700’s run a 6-48 thread. If you’re not sure which one your action takes, give the guys at Warne a call and they’ll let you know which one to select. As it turned out, mine fell into the latter category.
The only question that remained was desired material composition. Warne makes scope bases in either steel (their “Tactical Rail” models) or their aluminum Mountain Tech models. While the steel models may offer a bit more in the area of rigidity, 7075 T6 aluminum is the same material used in AR-15 upper receivers, so it still offers an extremely solid lockup with the receiver and scope rings. Mountain Tech bases also offer a bit of weight reduction, increased corrosion resistance, and improved uniformity in dimensions.
All of these Warne scope bases are machined in the USA from billet materials, but what most shooters don’t realize is that it’s quite a bit easier to hold tolerance with aluminum. Steel components are normally hardened and stress relieved, which can cause curling once material is removed from the billet material. The aluminum bases don’t have to contend with these challenges. Ease of production allows for a significant decrease in price for the aluminum models (steel bases go for $139.99 while the aluminum models feature an MSRP of $74.99).
The material of the base itself isn’t the only feature that sets Warne bases apart from other manufacturers. Their T-15 Torx head scope base screws use a black nickel oxide finish designed to hold up to a 40 day salt spray test. The screws themselves are counterbored with a self-centering tapered screw, eliminating any need to pin or apply epoxy to the mount/receiver interface.
Each of the cross slots are designed to STANAG 4694 tolerances, a feature that allows for backward compatibility with both Weaver and 1913 Mil-Spec accessories. The STANAG 4694 interface allows for engagement between the flat top and underside of the base, rather than simply engaging the angled sides of the base as is typically found in the wider US-MIL-STD-1913 dimensional tolerances. The STANAG compliance is primarily focused on the ring attachment method. As it stands with the 1913 specifications, rail tolerances are all over the place depending on the manufacturer. The major benefit of Warne’s STANAG compliant design is that it offers a higher level of consistency with ring attachment not just with their own products, but with other STANAG compliant ring manufacturers as well.
It will be some time before I wind up wrapping up work on this Remington 700 build, but once everything comes together we’ll make sure to put together a follow-on report showcasing the overall performance of this base. I have no doubt it will do its part in helping the rifle maintain its zero!
If you have a Warne scope base we’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to share the details in the below comment section!