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Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Long Action!

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Springfield Armory is at it again.  A more “muscular” Model 2020 Waypoint bolt-action model has arrived. Initial chamberings are 7mm PRC, used for this article, along with 7mm Rem Mag, and .300 Win Mag. The new Waypoint arrives with a long-action bolt to accommodate the higher horsepower cartridges.  

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Long Action

Initial exposure with the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint came at the 2020 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous.  When queried about being one of the few companies offering a truly genuine new product introduction in 2020, Springfield Armory reps disclosed the Model 2020 Waypoint had been under development for years and was ready for introduction no matter what was going on outside the gun community. Covid be damned! This implied a strong sense of confidence that the weapon would still grab interest. Springfield’s intuition was spot on.  

Springfield did not position the Waypoint to be an entry-level offering. As Springfield Armory CEO Reese puts it….” the Waypoint is designed to appeal to the long-range precision shooter who hunts, who is not tied to tradition and who appreciates the nuances offered by high-end production rifles.” Model 2020 Long Action Waypoint pricing ranges between $2,173-$2,670 depending on specific features desired stock and barrel options. This compares favorably with other similarly featured rifles which command $4,000-plus price tags. While the Model 2020 Waypoint does use a proprietary action, it does follow the Remington 700 pattern.  

The Waypoint Way

The Model 2020 action is machined from stainless steel billet. An integral recoil lug is part of the action. A Picatinny scope base comes mounted via 4-6×48 screws and two recoil pins for extra stoutness. The receiver, bottom metal, barrel shank and muzzle brake feature a Cerakote finish. The one-piece bolt utilizes 4140 tool steel. The 2020’s bolt features spiral fluting to minimize binding even when dirty; removable oversized handle provides solid purchase for manipulation. Dual cocking cams are present to “slick” up the bolt even further. The bolt receives nitride coating for extreme durability, as well as its self-lubricating properties. Lug rails within the receiver are wire-EDM cut for further insurance of smooth passage of the bolt. A three-round AccuMag feeds 7mm PRC shells into the action. 

The rifle comes with the excellent TriggerTech Field model installed. It features TriggerTech’s patented free floating roller for outstanding shooter/rifle interface. The Waypoint’s lock time is industry leading and one of those attention to detail items that produce accuracy. The effects of a good trigger cannot be underestimated in the terms of wringing out the most accuracy. A low-profile, non-snag, frictionless two-position safety resides on the right side of the receiver.   

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Long Action left.

Field-Ready Rifle

The 7mm PRC 2020 Waypoint acquired for this T&E features an Evergreen carbon-fiber adjustable stock and carbon-fiber barrel. The carbon-fiber stock and carbon-wrapped barrel dominates the Waypoint’s aesthetics as well as ergonomics. A fluted stainless steel barrel option is also available. Springfield mates its Model 2020 action with an AG Composites hand-laid, pillar-bedded carbon-fiber stock. The point of using carbon is to achieve a high strength-to-weight ratio. The Waypoint 7mm PRC weighs in at 8.1 pounds. The flat forend has a 4-inch metal M-LOK-compatible rail embedded in the carbon-fiber stock, giving user options for sling and/or bipod attachments. Multiple QD sling pockets and embedded M-LOK keeps the Waypoint’s stock clean with no protrusions.   

BSF takes a different approach with its carbon-fiber barrels. Carbon-fiber is not simply wrapped onto/around a barrel. A roll-wrapped carbon-fiber sleeve is slipped over a turned down 416R stainless steel, match, 24-inch fluted barrel, then tensioned between metal shoulders at the receiver and muzzle. Ninety-five percent of the carbon-fiber does not touch the stainless steel barrel, creating air gaps and allowing air to flow around the steel and cool the barrel faster. The carbon-fiber design expands at the same rate as the 416R barrel, keeping it away from contacting the metal barrel as it heats, thus maintaining venting.

The well balanced Model 2020 Waypoint carries well.

Matches Made In Rifleman Heaven

Similar to the Waypoint, my introduction to the Hornady 7mm PRC came at an Athlon Rendezvous event. This one was in 2022. Similar to the Springfield Armory Waypoint updating sporting rifles, the Hornady 7mm PRC is modernizing the classic 7mm Rem Mag introduced in 1962 with a boost in velocity as well as an accuracy conducive case design. The 7mm PRC Waypoint is perfect combination of ballistic performance and recoil level. This is not an accident. Hornady took its experience designing cartridges—does the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, or 300 PRC ring a bell—and applied it to the 7mm PRC.  

Hornady created the 7mm PRC with several important learned lessons such as base of bullet out of powder column, bullet bearing surface kept above the brass case’s neck/shoulder, and 100-percent powder charge fills for consistent ignition. Cartridge specifications are purposely tight in terms of chamber neck as well as bullet jump to rifling length. All of this is specified by Hornady to maximize accuracy potential of the 7mm PRC.  

The carbon-fiber setup on the Model 2020 Waypoint is field ready.

Accuracy Realized

An important part of the accuracy equation is a quality optic to go along with cartridge and rifle. I did not want to put an anchor on the top rail; yet, still wanted features to take advantage of an accurate, powerful rifle such as the Springfield Waypoint 7mm PRC. We are talking about true multipurpose roles…. stalking game while maintaining long-range punch across a clearing or field. So I mounted a Burris Eliminator 6 4-20x52mm on the Springfield Waypoint. 

The Burris Eliminator 6 4-20x52mm was another interesting find at an Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous—this one in 2023. Patience was rewarded when one became available for use in this article. The Waypoint/7mm PRC combination, perfect to put the Burris Eliminator to good use.  

Burris has been diligently working over the last 20 years to bring forth an optic that offers true range finding capability in a rifle mounted scope that shares aesthetics and ring mounting similar to traditional scopes. At the touch of a button, the Burris Eliminator 6 displays the target distance, calculates then shows the exact aiming point and wind data on the reticle stadia within the scope! The user can stay focused on tracking the target and squeezing the trigger properly.

The author topped the test rifle with a Burris Eliminator 6.

Time To Get Loud

The Waypoint 7mm PRC evaluated herein measures 46 inches. It came with a Springfield Armory radial muzzle brake attached to the 24-inch, 1:8 twist barrel. A three-round AccuMag detachable magazine arrives with the Waypoint. The magazine is single-stack design, allowing for centerline feeding reliability as well as maintaining as much stock material as possible to support the action for better potential accuracy.  

Weight management is a valued attribute for any weapon carried, especially as terrain steepens and length of time with it increases. Gravity never rests. Thanks to a savvy mating of components, the Waypoint balances near the front of the receiver. This is important for any weapon considered for hunting or other forms dynamic activity. Carrying in the hand is comfortable when scouting or moving around with the chance of encountering game.   

However, accuracy is also important for success. The Springfield Armory Model 2020 offers both. The 2020 Waypoint for this article weighs in at 8.1 pounds. Springfield places a .75-MOA accuracy guarantee on the Waypoint. Testing with Hornady and Federal ammunition fully validated that claim. Accuracy is sub-MOA even with hunting loads.   

Long-range shooting setup with the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint long action.

Rounds Downrange

Good marksmanship in the field starts with confidence. Proven inherent accuracy as demonstrated from the bench is a good start.  A rifle that shoots well off the bench offers the shooter no excuses or alibis. Multiple groups were fired with Hornady and Federal 7mm PRC ammunition. Bullets were all Hornady, including 160-grain CX, 175-grain ELD-X, and 180-grain ELD-Match. Overall, accuracy was impressive with all three-round groups under the magical 1-inch mark. The Hornady 178-grain ELD-X took the accuracy title with a couple 5/8-inch groups.  Three rounds into 3/4-inch or better at 100 yards was the norm; most of the time, five rounds went into the 3/4-inch. The Waypoint is the type of rifle that leaves no doubt it can perform if the user does his/her job correctly.  

7mm bullets have a reputation for high ballistic coefficient (BC) rating for flight efficiency as well as sectional density (SD) for penetration once arriving on target. It is hard to beat a 160- or 175-grain high BC and SD bullet moving at nearly 3,000 feet per second. A 200-yard zero keeps you 1.5 inches high at 100 yards and only 6 inches low at 300 yards. That is flat! You can tinker with preferred sight-in distances depending on your engagement scenarios.  

Real proficiency begins with realistic practice scenarios. Range evaluation at Echo Valley Training Center (EVTC) consisted of taking advantage of a recently added 3-Gun Rifle Range with plates set up at four different distances stretching out past 400 yards down a ravine following natural contours. Variable size/shape steel plates occupy each station. A Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope, 20-60x85mm, proved handy for spotting purposes.  

Shooting the long action Model 2020 Waypoint.

Final Shots

The Springfield Waypoint/Burris combo was used in the prone, sitting, kneeling, shooting off BOG tripod or standing positions.  Another twist is to have a companion pick the target and shooting position for the shooter to engage as quickly as possible. While not empirically quantifiable, the Waypoint proved to “hang” well from less well supported positions and was very manageable in getting into and out of shooting positions. Clay pigeons were sniped with regularity at 475 yards from the supported prone position. Felt recoil was minimal—a credit to overall Waypoint design concept and well thought combining of components. The radial muzzle brake must be given most of the credit for taming the 7mm PRC.  

We have covered Springfield Armory’s intent and design details for the Model 2020 Waypoint. Without performance in the field, all of this is just marketing hype. Thankfully, the Waypoint proved even greater than the sum of its parts. That is saying something. Credit must be given to its designers and years of work bringing it all together.   

A rifle weighing 8 pounds chambered in a hard-hitting caliber and capable of sub-MOA accuracy cannot be ignored by any hunter that frequently stalks or still hunts no matter the terrain. An approach on your hands, knees and belly really highlights the benefits of a rifle weighing 8 pounds that can still place rounds on target with a high degree of accuracy. What Springfield Armory has created with the Waypoint chambered in 7mm PRC is a rifle/caliber combination capable of handling a multitude hunting situations and quarry. If you need a rifle to reach out and hammer something, the 7mm PRC Springfield Armory 2020 Waypoint is a great place to start.  

Sub-MOA shooting with the Model 2020 Waypoint in 7mm PRC.

For more info, visit springfield-armory.com.

SPECIFICATIONS: Springfield Armory Model Waypoint 2020 Long Action

  • Caliber: 7mm PRC
  • Barrel: 24-inch carbon fiber wrapped 1:8 RH twist 
  • Overall Length: 46-inches
  • Overall Weight: 8.2-pounds
  • Action: Springfield Armory Model 2020
  • Overall Capacity: Detachable 3-round magazine arrives with rifle
  • MSRP: $2,670

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Long Action Performance

Avg. FPS Avg. -3 Shot Group 100 yards (Inches) Best -3 Shot Group100 yards (Inches)
Hornady 160gr CX                                 3012 .875 .66
Hornady 175gr ELD-X 2993 .66 .625
Hornady 180gr ELD-M 2936 .75 .66
Federal 175gr ELD-X 3005 .812 .75

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