If you’ve ever trekked in the back country, been on a western hunt or rucked with a heavy pack, you well understand the term “ounces equal pounds”. When loading your gear, you quickly learn to pack only the essentials. But what about fixed-weight items, such as your rifle? I’ll be the first to admit I’d rather shoot my 13-lb. bolt-action rifle over a 6-lb. lightweight rifle when I’m on a range pushing for maximum accuracy. However, when I need to move long distances with a rifle slung across my back, I’ll always choose my lightest rifle.
The rifle I have the most time behind as well as my best three-shot group at .03” at 100 yards is my Model 2020 Waypoint chambered in .308. I love that rifle. It’s accurate, smooth and incredibly reliable. Thankfully, the success of the Waypoint series has spawned another variant in the popular Model 2020 line, the new Redline.
The Mode 2020 Redline is purpose-built for maximum size and weight savings for when you are on long hunts or trekking through the back country. Designed to deliver a lightweight, custom-grade hunting rifle the Model 2020 Redline is also the perfect host for a suppressor on the threaded muzzle, keeping your overall length very compact.
Speaking of length, the Redline is offered in two barrel lengths — 16” and 20”. In addition, it’s offered in two chamberings — .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor. The rifle utilizes the popular Grayboe Trekker stock, which was designed to be both extremely lightweight as well as rigid.
Like the Model 2020 Waypoint, the Redline features a free-floated BSF barrel jacketed in a roll-wrapped carbon fiber sleeve that is loaded under tension. The result of this design approach is that 95 percent of the carbon fiber sleeve doesn’t contact the barrel, both providing cooling air gaps and promoting cold to warm bore repeatability. The Redline ships with an SA Radial Brake and a thread protector for when shooting unsuppressed.
The heart of the Redline is the Model 2020 action, featuring a fluted bolt with dual locking lugs, a 90-degree bolt handle with removable knob, low-profile bolt stop, and an optimized extraction cam. In addition, the Redline hosts an integral machined recoil lug, EDM raceways, compatibility with many Model 700-pattern parts and accessories, and much more. The result is a buttery smooth action, robust reliability and superb accuracy. In fact, the Redline gets the same .75 MOA three-shot accuracy guarantee as the Waypoint, in the hands of a skilled shooter with match-grade ammunition.
Aiding in the accuracy department is the Redline’s Triggertech trigger, adjustable from 2.5 to 5 lbs. The trigger features a low-profile, non-snag safety design and utilizes Triggertech’s Frictionless Release Technology. Adjusting the trigger is easy and intuitive with the external set screw, which adjusts in 1-oz. increments.
The Grayboe Trekker stock is as comfortable as it is unique. The Trekker was designed with the backcountry hunter in mind. Right away you’ll notice the distinct stock styling, with material removed from the butt area of the stock. This creates a very light stock, while retaining all the integrity and rigidity needed for a precision platform.
The length of pull is adjustable with spacers from 13.25” to 16”. You can expect to find three sling studs — two in the front and one in the back. Additionally, the Trekker is equipped with a bubble level directly behind the action, making it easy to see when mounting the rifle. This is a really cool feature. The Trekker stock weighs in at only 28 oz., making it one of the lightest stocks on the market.
Feeding the Model 2020 Redline is a three-round AICS-pattern magazine designed to ensure absolute reliability due to the orientation of the rounds feeding into the chamber.
Fitting It Out
For my Redline testing, I wanted to embrace the lightweight backcountry nature of this rifle by utilizing parts that complement its design ethos. I chose the .308 16” variant for the shortest overall length when adding a suppressor.
Speaking of suppressors, the Redline has one very important asset I want to mention — when you purchase the rifle, you also get a free $200 “Tax Stamp” from Silencer Central where legally applicable for picking up one of their suppressors. Yes, you read that right. This is an amazing bonus provided with the rifle.
For my Redline, I chose the Silencer Central Banish Backcountry, a great match for the rifle. The Backcountry is a direct mount 5.5” Titanium suppressor that weighs a mere 7.8 ounces. The Banish Backcountry utilizes six baffles that drop the decibel levels down to 135 db for .308, which is below the hearing-safe threshold. Beyond great looks, the suppressor performs admirably with no POI shift and a pleasant sound that didn’t hurt my ears without hearing protection.
For optics, I went with a Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14x40mm scope, featuring side focus and a CDS-ZL Wind-Plex reticle. While the rifle comes with a Picatinny rial mount, the optic was directly mounted to the action via Leupold 30mm rings. The VX3HD weighs in at 15.6 oz., while giving an ample zoom range for timber and western mountain hunting.
The optic features a second focal plane design with the Wind-Plex reticle that expands on the popular Duplex reticle by aiding in compensating for crosswinds. The housing is made from lightweight aluminum, and the glass is Leupold’s Elite Optical System. As far as lightweight hunting optics go, the VX-3HD is top notch in my book.
I utilized the Redline with two different stabilizing methods. The first and most mobile was the Magpul MOE bipod attached to the forward-most sling stud. The second is an ARCA rail attached the stock, which allows me to utilize a shooting tripod. My tripod of choice is the Two Vets “No Name V2” with a 55mm Dual Tension ballhead with Area 419 ARCALock clamp. With these two options, I can squeeze every bit of accuracy out of the Redline as I can muster.
I set up on a bench utilizing a tripod and a shooting bag to test my groupings with the Redline. I knew my biggest enemy was going to be my anticipation from the .308 bouncing this super lightweight rifle, so I figured my best chance at a good group was my first three shots. Relaxing my body, I exhaled and pressed the trigger. Two more shots and I checked the spotting scope.
Yep, that’s the Springfield guarantee, easy. I got a .5 MOA group utilizing Remington Premier Match 308 168-gr. ammo. My subsequent groups were all around 1 MOA or less and, exactly as I called it, I was having a hard time relaxing before the thump. But even at my worst, this rifle is shooting 1 MOA or better, and that’s perfect for hunting.
On the Trail
A great hunting and scouting companion is the Quiet Kat Apex Pro E-Bike. The Apex Pro can get you through nearly any trail with ease, covering far more distance than you could on foot. With the compact nature of the Redline, I was easily able to bar-mount the rifle to the Quiet Kat and get anywhere I needed. This set-up made me realize what I’ve been missing on every hunting trip prior to the e-bike and Redline pairing.
For trekking with the rifle, I utilized a few methods. A more spartan approach was just a rifle sling and a Tracer Tactical Stalker kit that housed my tripod, extra ammo and dope sheet. For a longer hike, I utilized my Eberlestock LoDrag II pack. Each of these methods were extremely effective at quickly and efficiently trekking through the environment, climbing and protecting the gear.
The compact and lightweight nature of the rifle made the hikes effortless. I am a huge fan of gear that works for you, not the other way around. The Redline doesn’t get in your way and it’s ready the moment you need it. The simple nature of the rifle lends itself to bringing you success when it matters most.
I come from more of a precision rifle background, dialing in sub half-MOA groups, so for me I am most used to creating the softest shooting rifle with the most stable platform. The Redline is a departure for me in that respect, but a good one. It excels in another area — maneuverability. When moving distances for hours at a time, having a lightweight rifle can make a world of difference, especially when you may only be taking one or two shots.
I think the Redline fills a very nice spot in the Model 2020 line-up of rifles. Having the option of a super short 16” lightweight .308 for those long western hunts will be a treat this coming winter. And if you want, you can have a 20”, and either length in 6.5 Creedmoor as well. If you have been looking for a perfect hunting companion or something for those long treks, look no further than the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline.
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