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  4. Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline Review: Hands-On Testing
Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline Review: Hands-On Testing preview image
Jan 15 2024
12 min read

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline Review: Hands-On Testing

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SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 2020 REDLINE 308 WINSpringfield Armory Model 2020 Redline

Springfield Armory has seemed to work its way into several firearm niches where I spend much of my time. Surprising almost no one, Springfield jumped into the precision rifle market a while back with its Waypoint rifle, which promised to lead to additional offerings.

Today, we are taking a look at one of those, the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle chambered in .308 Winchester.

springfield armory model 2020 redline review with a scope attached to it laying in the grass

Features like the suppressor-ready carbon fiber barrel, the Grayboe Trekker synthetic stock, and a fantastic trigger from TriggerTech promise to put the Redline at the top of your hunting roster.

After opening the box and playing with the rifle briefly, I was smitten with its handsome looks and impressive handling. As a rifle junkie, I couldn’t wait to get into the field and put some shots through the rifle.

Springfield Armory 2020 Redline Review

Technological advances have greatly improved the options we hunters enjoy in our firearms these days. New materials and the application of older ones have reduced the weight of many rifle models and improved their function simultaneously.

The Redline series of rifles is designed with committed backcountry hunters in mind, those that push the envelope and shave off every ounce they can. But hardcore hunters like this also demand excellence and a lightweight rifle is useless if it isn’t accurate.

If you, like me, find yourself in that group, the lightweight yet robust Redline series of rifles are a good fit for your hunting needs and practices. The higher-than-average hunting rifle price may make the Redline a little less approachable for some hunters, but not all.

A lightweight rifle like this may not justify your price tag if you walk a couple hundred yards from the truck to a deer stand. But suppose you are the kind of guy who carries meticulously packed gear for mile after mile in the high country that goats typically inhabit. In that case, you can appreciate the qualities of this rifle and justify spending the money for it.

A person hiking in mountainous terrain carrying the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle
Hiking into the mountains with the Redline.

The Redline is available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor, which may limit some hunters’ purposes. I hunt typical Rocky Mountain big game animals like mule deer and elk, and I find the Redline to be more than adequate for those animals. I’ve taken many deer and elk with both available calibers, and I’ll do it again if given the chance.

Specifications

Caliber.308 Winchester
Capacity3 + 1
Barrel length16 inches
Barrel twist1:10
Muzzle threads⅝x24
TriggerTriggerTech adjustable, 2.5 – 5 lbs
StockGrayboe Trekker
Accuracy Guarantee.75 MOA
Length of Pull13.25 – 14.25 inches

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Incredibly lightweight (5.96 lbs according to my scale)
  • Very reliable operation
  • Suppressor ready
  • Includes muzzle brake
  • AICS magazine compatible
  • Adjustable trigger 
  • Adjustable length of pull
  • Integrated bubble level
Cons
  • Action was loose upon arrival
  • Barrel heats up quickly
  • Accuracy

Where To Buy A Model 2020 Redline

Prepping the Redline 2020

Before taking the Redline into the mountains for testing, I needed to prep the rifle. I started by mounting up one of my new favorite scopes, the Primary Arms GLx 3-18X44.

I had a perfect set of Nightforce 34mm rings, so I mounted them to the Redline’s scope rail, and into the rings, I mounted the scope.

The dual-sling studs up front on the rifle made mounting the Harris bipod a cinch, and since the Redline is compatible with AICS mags, I grabbed a ten-round mag for fun.

Ammo Used

Ammo was obviously going to be a necessity, so I grabbed a few boxes—two types of Hornady featuring the 168 Match and a 150-grain SST.

I also grabbed a box of Desert Tech Match 308, which features 175-grain Sierra Match Kings, and lastly, I brought some PPU 145 FMJ ammo just to get a rough zero.

Assorted high-quality ammunition displayed, essential for accurate shooting with rifles like the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline
Quality ammo is always critical when shooting for accuracy.

Field Testing the Redline 2020

With targets, a shooting mat, and the rest of my gear, I headed into the hills, where I prefer to shoot beyond the public’s view. Once there, I set my target up at 100 yards and settled in behind the rifle.

I’d boresighted the rifle before leaving the house, so my first shots were on paper. But to my surprise, the group patterns were not very impressive.

A shooter lying prone on a shooting mat aiming the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle at a distant target
Shooting from the mat.

This, of course, caused me to start checking over everything on the rifle to make sure I had caught everything.

As it turns out, the action screws that hold the stock and action together were loose. I was quite happy to find them loose because otherwise, the only alternative would be the rifle is no good.

After adding a half-drop of Loctite, I torqued the screws down and carried on my shooting.

hands on trekking with the springfield armory model 2020 redline

It didn’t take long for me to become captivated by the rifle.

The bolt was smooth and easy to run, the extraction and ejection were fantastic and required little effort, and the three-round magazine fed the rifle flawlessly.

I also shot from my MDT ten-round magazine; it, too, worked great in the rifle. However, I don’t see it being a good match for the rifle, as ten rounds would heat the barrel more than necessary.

Close-up view of the three-round magazine of the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle
Three rounds are better than no rounds.

With the rifle suppressed, and in its original loud configuration, it was very easy to handle. The short sixteen-inch barrel made the rifle extremely quick to maneuver and get on target.

I continued testing the 2020 Redline with several trips into the high Rocky Mountains and the dry Great Basin desert, shooting the rifle at paper and hard targets from 100 to 800 yards.

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle being tested in its ideal environment, rugged outdoor terrain
Testing the Redline where it’s meant to be.

Springfield Armory had sent me the rifle to test, and as far as I could tell, it was like new. But no matter what I tried, I could not get the rifle to shoot better than about 2 MOA. This undesirable accuracy followed me regardless of ammunition choice.

Despite loving almost everything about the rifle, I had to make an unfortunate call. So, it was with great displeasure that I had to contact Springfield Armory with my issue.

I returned the rifle in hopes that there was a simple issue I had overlooked. But after a month, I received a replacement rifle, clearly different from the one I’d had. And the replacement rifle looked like it had seen some use.

Not in a bad way, just that it wasn’t new.

I’m only mentioning this to be transparent; it’s not like Springfield owed me anything. But the arrival of the second rifle suggested two things to me.

First, Springfield could not correct whatever was wrong with the first unit. And second, the replacement rifle being slightly used suggested that maybe this was a rifle Springfield knew would shoot better.  

These are simply my deductions; I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Reliability

The Redline Model 2020 functioned flawlessly during my shooting. The smooth cycling of both cartridges and spent brass was particularly soothing, and the ease with which the bolt extracted cases and loaded the next was very refreshing.

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle shown as reliable and functional after extensive testing
No reliability concerns were found with the rifle.

Accuracy

My first trip out with the Redline was a bit of a bust as far as accuracy goes, though I think it is safe to blame that mess on the loose action screws (and maybe QC).

Later, I found there was possibly more to this issue than I had suspected. However, the second rifle shot much better, averaging groups under 1 MOA.

Overall Feel

The feel of this rifle is near perfect. The balance of the short and light carbon barrel made the balance spectacular.

The vertical grip of the trekker stock was comfortable to shoot with, and the floorplate magazine release was easily operated from the shooting position but also out of the way so as not to be pressed inadvertently.

Features

Grayboe Trekker Stock

The Trekker is a perfect match for this rifle. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t. The front grip area features a nice groove to hold onto while carrying the rifle single-handedly.

The built-in-level, while cool, wasn’t particularly needed in this case because I had one built into my scope rings. However, the level placement in the Trekker is ideal for spotting while preparing to shoot.

The dual front sling studs were also a nice touch and one I would expect from a rifle at this price point.  

springfield armory model 2020 redline hollow buttstock

The hollow undercut buttstock initially turned me off from a purely aesthetic angle, but it grew on me, and the lost weight was an absolute plus.

I didn’t need to adjust the length of pull, but I may do so for my daughter to shoot the rifle during our hunting season next month.

TriggerTech Trigger

The TriggerTech trigger was fantastic, as always. While I had the action out of the stock, I took the opportunity to lighten the pull weight a touch.

I was reminded why these are as lovely a trigger as you can buy.

Close-up of the TriggerTech adjustable trigger on the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle, highlighting its quality
The TriggerTech trigger was a great choice by Springfield for this rifle—photo courtesy of Springfield Armory.

2020 Rifle Action

The action at the heart of this rifle is outstanding. The coatings make the bolt slide smoothly, and the extractor and ejector work together for positive reloading.

I like the low-profile bolt catch; you have to make a deliberate effort to push it to get the bolt out. The fluted bolt looks excellent and reduces friction, and though there is nothing wrong with the bolt knob, it is nice to change it if you desire.

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle showcased as a dependable and efficient hunting tool
A well-functioning rifle can be your best friend.

Carbon Fiber Barrel

I have had both excellent and mediocre experiences with carbon fiber barrels. This one is very well made, and its handsome finish adds to its quality. I am glad Springfield threaded the muzzle; whether you use the muzzle brake or a suppressor, it is nice to have the choice.

Detailed view of the threaded barrel on the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle, offering versatility for attachments
The threaded barrel provides plenty of options.

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  

The 2020 Redline ran flawlessly throughout all my testing, and it felt great doing it.

Ergonomics (8/10)

The ergonomics are excellent. The rifle’s light weight affected my opinion of the ergonomics; it seemed more comfortable because there was less to deal with.

Customization (8.5/10)

For as little as you can customize this rifle, it still deserves a good grade. Perhaps the only thing that could have made it more customizable would have been an adjustable riser. It’s not a big deal; you can simply configure the rifle to fit right without adjusting it. You also get the threaded muzzle, which is a massive plus, in my opinion.

The muzzle of the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle, featuring threading for suppressor attachment
It’s always good to have the threaded muzzle in case you want to add a suppressor.

Appearance (9/10)

The Redline is just handsome; every finish and coating looks fantastic. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the cutout buttstock, but I am perfectly willing to forgive that as it only affects looks, and its function is enhanced by weight loss.

Value (7/10)

The quality of this rifle closely justifies its street price. I have heard reports from others about accuracy not being on par for a rifle of this cost. And if based solely on the first rifle I tested, I would agree.

Accessories

Bipod

MAGPUL BIPODS

You will undoubtedly want a bipod for this rifle for supported shots in the field. I recommend you use a Harris bipod like I did or perhaps a lightweight model from Magpul.

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle equipped with a Harris bipod for stable shooting
This Harris bipod worked well, as usual.

Sling 

butler creek neoprene rifle sling

This rifle will go a long way in the field, and you’ll want a good sling. I like the sticky and stretchy ones from Butler Creek; they keep the rifle on your shoulder and are comfortable, especially with a rifle this lightweight.

Suppressor

Yankee Hill Nitro N2O Sound Suppressor

I am a suppressor enthusiast, and despite the added weight and length, I feel they are well worth it. For testing, I used the Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20

Its lightweight titanium construction made it a great companion to the Redline.

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline rifle paired with the Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20 suppressor
The Redline and Nitro N20 made a great pair!

Alternatives

Proof Research Elevation

Proof Research Elevation MTR Bolt Action Rifle, .308 Win, 20" Carbon Fiber Barrel, TFDE Stock, 5-Round Capacity - 127735
guns.comCHECK PRICE
grabagun.comCHECK PRICE
ALL DEALSSEE MORE DEALS

The Proof Research Elevation rifle is another tremendous lightweight hunting rifle. It is available in many more caliber options than the Redline and is lighter than the Redline.

It uses an awesome Zermatt Arms Origin action and a TriggerTech trigger. However, it also comes in around a thousand dollars more than the Redline.

Howa Carbon Elevate

Howa Carbon Elevate .308 Win Bolt Action Rifle with 24" Carbon Fiber Threaded Barrel and Black Finish
shootingsurplus.comCHECK PRICE
ALL DEALSSEE MORE DEALS

If you’d like something a little lighter on your wallet, the Howa Carbon Elevate is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Redline. However, it uses the Legacy Sports magazine system, which is not as good as the AICS system used in the Redline.

And it doesn’t have a Trigger Tech like the Proof and Redline rifles. But it’s reliable and accurate, which is what matters most.

Conclusion

I’m stuck in a challenging position with the Model 2020 Redline.

I really wanted to love this rifle; everything about it ticked my boxes. The action is smooth and solid and feeds cartridges like a two-thousand-plus dollar rifle should.

All the little details, like the mag release, bolt catch, and trigger, were refreshing and felt great. Its extremely short length and light weight gave me dreams of hiking into the backcountry. It was my dream hunting rifle.

Right up to the point where I tried to shoot for accuracy. I’ve said it many times before…only accurate rifles interest me.

I quickly lose interest if I can’t hit a ten-inch target at seven or eight hundred yards with some predictability. The replacement rifle has no issues doing that, so I know the rifles are capable.

I do not doubt that the rifle that gave me issues was an exception, not the rule. But it’s still a shame, as I would happily pay the asking price (MSRP $2,299). Once again, I will let you decide between spending your money or not based on my experience.

In the comment section below, describe your experiences with Springfield Armory rifles.  

Written by Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood photo Jeff Wood is a self-described "Freelance Sharpshooter", with a passion for precision rifle shooting, particularly as it applies to hunting. When not at work, he is likely to be tinkering with the next gun-related project or likely in the nearby mountains, either shooting or fishing with family. Jeff has shared his extensive knowledge of firearms through several well-known platforms, including Guns.com, Gun University, American Firearms, Desert Tech, and ColdBoreMiracle.
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