Remington Vantage 1200
Review Product & Supplies
Provided by: www.pyramydair.com
Today we are going to look at the new Remington Vantage. At first glance the Vantage looks like any other simple break barrel rifle. In fact it looks very much like the Crsoman Quest but with a much nicer looking stock. Fortunately, the similarities between the Crsoman Quest and the Remington Vantage end there.
The stock of this rifle is a beautifully rich hardwood that is far removed from the “yellow” wood stocks seen on many Chinese imports. It is very simple and fully ambidextrous with a slight raise to the cheek piece that works for righties and southpaws alike. The rifle is not very heavy, but also not too light, it is just right. The majority of the gun is all metal and wood. The few exceptions are the trigger guard and the front and rear sights. The bluing is even and looks very good for a rifle in this price category. The barrel of the Vantage is very ridged and unlike many break barrel rifles, actually worked really well with our Dragon Claw Bi-pod.
The Remington Vantage comes with an industry standard set of open sights. The front and rear sights are basically plastic with fiber optic inserts. The front sight sports a bright green rod, while the rear sight uses two red rods for contrast. If open sights are your thing, then you will love how these sights look. The rear sight is fully adjustable with easy micro-click adjustments.
Mechanically, the Remington stands out over other rifles in this price range, specifically with how they choose to hold the barrel in place. I’ve seen several different ways to “lock” the barrel back in place after cocking and loading. The three basics that I’ve seen are the (1) ball detent, (2) opposing wedges with one spring loaded to apply pressure (please forgive me for not knowing the technical term), and (3) one spring loaded wedge and a metal bar that the barrel rest on. The lesser expensive rifles use the last method. Some good examples are the new Gamo SOCOM Tactical as well as the Crosman Titan GP. The problem with this method is that they create a wear point at a critical part of the rifle. Eventually, something is going to wear out and there goes your accuracy. If the break barrel mechanism does not apply active pressure to hold the barrel in place, you will have movement and your shots will wander.
The Remington Vantage uses two opposing metal wedges with the one in the barrel spring loaded to “hold” the barrel tight against the receiver. Your better made, more expensive rifles, the Beeman R9 for example, use this method. While others like the RWS 34 and RWS 350, use the ball detent method. (Also a good method as there is pressure actively holding the barrel closed.) This is something to remember the next time you’re out shopping for your next break barrel rifle.
No rifle is complete today without some sort of optics, at least that what most airgun companies seem to believe. In the case of the Vantage, Remington included a simple 4×32 CenterPoint scope by Crosman. Unfortunately, the scope fell apart during the break in period. I’d rather they NOT put ANY scope on the gun and lower the price. Seeing as both the scope and the rings had issues, I replaced them with a one piece Crosman scope mount and a working 4×32 CenterPoint scope. I wanted to stay as true as I could to the “out of the box” Remington Vantage 1200. This scope worked pretty well and I was able to shoot some respectable groups at 20 yards.
The scope was not our only sour note. The trigger, oh the trigger… This is Remington’s “improved” trigger. Well, the trigger still needs more improvement. Because of the trigger, you’ll need a lot of practice to reliably shoot tight groups with this gun. The barrel and the power plant can do it, but the trigger pull is so long and rough, that holding a good sight picture through the 2nd stage takes a lot of work. It should not be this hard. The good thing is that you can replace this trigger fairly easily with a GRT III drop in trigger. If you want a better trigger, spend a few bucks and order one. You won’t be disappointed.
Performance wise, the Remington Vantage 1200 did reasonably well. Remington says it should shoot 1000 FPS with lead pellets and 1200 with lead free pellets. Well, our tests put it a little under those numbers, but we were fairly close. The RWS Hobby pellets at 7.0 GRN, averaged 937 FPS generating 13.65 FTLBS. The standard weight Crosman Premier Lights, at 7.9 GRN, came in at 873 FPS generating 13.37 FTLBS. The most accurate pellet in the Remington Vantage was the JSB Diabolo Exact Heavies which weigh 10.2 GRN, travelled an average of 741 FPS, and generated a modest 12.44 FTLBS.
The best groups averaged just under .5” CTC at 20 yards. With only a 4x scope, I was very happy with these results.
All in all, the Remington Vantage, regardless of the scope & trigger issues, may be one of the best values on the market today. At only about $137 from PyramydAir.com, you get an accurate, attractive, classic break barrel rifle. I really enjoyed shooting this with the Dragon Claw Bi-pod attached, which will run you about $22 more, as it really helped while shooting from the bench. The rifle’s mechanics are sound and the parts that bugged me are easily upgradeable. As a starter rifle or a back yard small pest eliminator, definitely consider the Remington Vantage 1200.