My personal arsenal includes quite a few guns, just a few are:
- Remington 870 Express with adjustable stock (12 gauge)
- Remington 700 BDL (30-06)
- Marlin 925m (.22 magnum)
Those 3 are the ones I shoot most often and most heavily, and they are all 3 excellent weapons. Accurate, durable, and well designed, few would contest those things. A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to get another rifle for more casual shooting, and I didn’t want to put much into it. I wanted something that I could kick around a little without worrying too awful much about causing damage. So I looked around and decided upon a Remington 770 chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, even with the not so enthusiastic reviews out there.
Most of the reviews were critical of the action, saying it was somewhat rough, others picked on the accuracy, claiming that 300 yards is pushing the limit with the gun. Pretty much all of the rest were idiotic, going after features that have nothing to do with quality and reliability and are simply personal preference things. Most of the bad reviews were from people who have never owned on and I know enough about guns to be wary of reviewers complaining about a weapon they don’t actually own. Still, the prevalence of negative comments did make me a little cautious.
I bought one anyway, and I’m pretty glad I did. It is true that the bolt is a bit rough, but it’s not really an issue. The accuracy is the bigger issue, and that issue is that it’s at least as good as my model 700, at least out to 300 yards.
I’m not going to tell you the 770 is a perfect “10” like my 700, but I give it a solid “8”.
So what explanation is there for the bad reviews? The same explanation there is for Congress’s very low approval rating. You see, everyone thinks their representative is the bee’s knees, while all the rest are crooks. Those reviewers own something else and of course they feel that what they have is far superior than what everyone else has. How else do you explain Ted Kennedy, a man who killed more people than 99.997% of the guns in the US?
I can do a fair comparison, since I actually own both. I may actually use it rather than the 700, if I ever end up with a moose permit. (damned lottery), .300 Win Mag is an absolute beast, when you pull the trigger, it hits back.
I do have to point one more thing out, marksmanship matters immensely. As someone who qualified as expert every time I had to qualify while I was in the Army, I have to stress the fact that a rifle is only as good as the person who wields it. A good marksman can shoot 1 inch groups with the model 700 at 100 yards all day long, at least I can manage it. On the other hand, I got about the same performance from the 770, and not just out to 100 yards, but all the way out to 300.
The moral of the story is that online reviews are great, but just like in the real word you need to take them with a grain of salt, because people are often full of shit. I only wrote about this because it was a recent experience, but it’s all just as true if applied to electronics, cars, food, whatever.