The rifle won running deer competitions in Oslo, Norway, and went on to become an important rifle in the American hunting field. The fast handling and slim profile of the lever-action rifle cannot be contested, but the pump-action shotgun was also immensely popular.
Today, the rifle is still offered with the high-gloss walnut stock originally provided, and also a basketweave wooden stock. The ADL (Average Deluxe) and BDL (Better Deluxe) models are popular.
Versatility and Ease of Use
The rifle is simple to use. Load the detachable box magazine with four shells. Load the magazine into the receiver. Release the bolt by a simple lever and work the pump action to the rear then run it forward, stripping a cartridge from the magazine and chambering it.
The trigger is pressed to fire or, if desired, to place the safety on. To unload the rifle, remove the magazine and then release the bolt by the bolt release, allowing the bolt to move to the rear and extract a cartridge from the chamber. This action allows for fast repeat shots.
The Remington 7600 may not be quite as accurate as most bolt action rifles, but then again, it is pretty accurate and offers a fast repeat shot. Rifles feature 22-inch barrels. Carbines feature 18.5-inch barrels.
Remington offers the rifle in .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield. Only the .30-06 is offered in carbine form. The rifle was once offered as a patrol carbine with an 18.5-inch barrel in both .223 Remington and .308 Winchester.
Feel and Function
The most popular hunting rifle is the bolt-action, with the lever-action and self-loading having many adherents. We seldom see a pump-action in the deer camp. Those using the Remington 7600 tend to be experienced hunters.
The rifle is as slim and thin as any lever-action, but the strong bolt is capable of chambering more powerful cartridges than the average bolt-action rifle. The 7600 offers a fast follow-up for that moment when a game animal would be lost without a quick follow-up.
The smooth action and dual action bars make for fast handling. The cross-bolt safety is easily manipulated. The 7600 may not be for everyone, but it is certainly a good rifle for those happy with an accurate rifle to be used within 200 yards.
I like the iron sights and have left my rifle with iron sights in order to use it in woods hunting for thin-skinned deer and boar. It works just fine well past 100 yards.
I like the .270 Winchester for its inherent accuracy and flat shooting. While it may seem an odd choice for a pump-action rifle, this isn’t true at all. The 7600 is not the average rifle and its practical accuracy rivals the bolt-action.
After all, the measure of a rifleman may be firing offhand at a pie plate at 100 yards. In that scenario, the 7600 is a lively, accurate, fast-handling rifle. The .270 also hits hard. When testing the rifle’s accuracy, I turned to Hornady ammunition.
Hornady offers a wide range of loads in rifle calibers and these loads are painstakingly developed to give the user every advantage in the rifle. Hornady bullets are widely used by many makes and are in a class by themselves for accuracy and performance.
At last count, Hornady offers ten .270 Winchester loads. I have been able to test several.
.270 Load Choices
Short answer: there are many and all are good.
- The 120-grain SST (Super Shock Tip) offers fast expansion for taking deer-sized game.
- The Custom Lite is loaded just a bit lighter than standard to allow shooters to take less pounding but with good accuracy and punch. This load breaks 2,675 fps from most rifles. I like firing this number and it would be ideal for a lightweight hunting rifle.
- The 130-grain Interlock SP, however, is the load to beat in .270 Winchester. This loading breaks over 3,000 fps. That is a lot of punch and enough velocity to insure an ideal balance of expansion and penetration. I would recommend a youth or anyone wishing to limit recoil to use the Lite loading, while most of us will find the Interlock a great choice. I wanted to test at least one solid copper bullet.
- The 130-grain Outfitter from Hornady uses the GMX “Full Boar” bullet and breaks 3,050 fps. Field results have shown the GMX offers excellent performance. This load was as accurate as any .270 loading I have tested, breaking about 2- 2.5 inches with iron sights in the best conditions at 100 yards. It takes patience to sight in an iron-sighted rifle but the result is a rifle you have confidence in.
- Finally, I tested the 145-grain ELD-X. This is a 2,975 fps load. I wanted to test a heavyweight .270, and while Hornady offers a 150-grain bullet as well, I have enjoyed excellent results with the ELD X in other calibers. I mounted a Bushnell 3 x 9 x 40mm scope for this stage of the testing. With careful attention to the trigger and crosshairs, the rifle turned in several 1.5-inch groups. I consider this excellent with a pump-action rifle.
While the results with an optical sight were good, I have other rifles that I use when a longer-range shot is more likely. The Remington 7600 is used with iron sights, and it isn’t likely the range will be more than 100 yards, probably less.
The rifle offers positive feed and extraction, even with the powerful .270 Winchester cartridge. I am particularly impressed with Hornady’s .270 Winchester offerings.
It is difficult to recommend a single load to another hunter without knowing their hunting conditions, but for thin-skinned game at modest range, I think the SST is a good choice. For the recoil shy including teens, the Hornady Lite is never a bad choice.
For my use, I narrowed the field down to the GMX loading.
Remington 7600 Rifle: Conclusion
Sterling accuracy and predicted good performance are there. The Remington 7600 is an excellent rifle, a unique choice in a field dominated by bolt action rifles. It just may be the rifle you are looking for.
What do you think of the Remington 7600? Let us know in the comments below.