Engineers' perspective on the Remington 700 VTR triangular barrel

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

CR Riddell, PE posted a comment about the Remington 700 VTR triangular barrel and I thought it deserved its own blog post:

I am a professional structural engineer. In 1977, I was granted a patent on a structural system that uses triangular cross-section members with a circular cross-section hole down the middle. Remington’s VTR barrel is identical to that shape. The objective of this shape is to maximize structural force transmission with a minimum of mass.

Remington Model 700 VTR barrel and integral muzzle brake.

During development of the concept, I established that the triangular cross-section provides the maximum surface area for a given enclosed volume. This accounts for the Remington heat dissipation claim/feature. Removing the mass along the central axis leaves the mass in the three corners at a maximum distance from the central axis. This maximizes the axial compression rigidity and the torsional rigidity, also a Remington claim/feature. The torsional rigidity promotes stability under the influence of the rifling twist, a special benefit in a rifle barrel. Flexural stiffness is optimal for downward bending of the muzzle end in the orientation Remington uses in the stock; one corner up and two corners down. That puts the top corner in tension and the bottom corners in compression, where buckling concerns reduce the allowable load-carrying capacity.

From Riddell’s Structural Member and System patent ( #4007574)

All this techno-mumb-jumbo counts for doodly, unless the holes in the target get chummy and cuddle up together. As with all accuracy discussions, the teamwork between barrel, bedding, and ammo gives a unique performance result. This must be where Remington spent its advertised years in development.

Obviously, the manufacturer cannot control the customer’s choice of rounds, so they have to shoot for a statistical middle, so to speak. But the bedding is another story. Remington advertises a multi-point mount, not free-floating or glass bedding. This would be crucial for taming the harmonics in concert with the unique tension-vs-compression qualities of the barrel shape.

Thoretically, this barrel should be better than round, but the industrial wisdom and inertia is all compiled for round. Some tuning is required.

Very interesting. Thanks CR for the information.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Bulldog76 Bulldog76 on Oct 27, 2014


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    Bulldog76 • 3 days ago
    I Bought a Remington .308 Target Tactical, why not my past Remington's are great!
    The rifle was a recall return on the X Mark Pro trigger. The trigger was all over the map, 4lbs to 9lbs. The trigger had to go, 275.00 later I added a Jewell and it works perfect. First problem solved. Second problem after going through 155gr to 180gr match ammo I finally got two rounds of Sako 180gr Hammerhead touching at 200 yards. Thought I struck gold. Went out to 300 yards and I had 6 to 8 inch spread. On a previous trip using Federal 168gr match I had a 12 inch spread. I have a Savage out of the box with a good stock same ammo 1 inch group at 300 yards. That's with the same scope. I took the gun to a local gunsmith to have it glass bedded. Now I'm in for 375.00 Not to include the money I paid for the rifle. And why would I send it back to Remington, this is the way they sent the rifle out. Would I expect Remington to do any better! I hope after getting the rifle bedded I can salvage this purchase. Not a good investment. At this point big mistake. Shame on Remington! The X Mark Pro trigger should go away! And the VTR barrel what a disappointment.

  • Bulldog76 Bulldog76 on Oct 27, 2014

    If someone could tell me how to make this rifle work......that would be great.