Springfield Armory 2020 Waypoint Long Action Review

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Springfield armory brought a ray of sunshine into an otherwise dark and chaotic year with their aptly-named 2020 Waypoint rifle. For the first time, the company that specialized in semi-auto rifles and pistols offered a hunting-focused rifle that smartly incorporated some target rifle features in a sleek, modern package. Last year they followed up with the 2020 Redline, a chiseled-down, lightweight mountain rifle that put the 2020 action in a Grayboe Trekker stock. 

The largest dead space in the 2020 line to date has been a long-action model that can accommodate cartridges like the .30/06, 7mm PRC, and others — but no longer. The new 2020 long action will give shooters more options in Springfield’s platform, and I was quite excited to test a pre-release model of the Springfield Waypoint 2020 Long Action in 7mm PRC.

See It

  • Cartridges: 7mm PRC (tested), .270 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag., .30/06 Springfield, .300 Win. Mag., .300 PRC
  • Barrel: 24 inches, carbon-wrapped, 1:8 twist, threaded 5/8-24
  • Receiver: Stainless, Mil-spec green Cerakote finish
  • Stock: AG Composites with adjustable comb
  • Trigger: TriggerTech, 3 pounds, 10 ounces (measured), adjustable from 2.5 to 5 pounds
  • Weight: 8 pounds, 5 ounces (measured with empty magazine)
  • MSRP: $2,670

Key Features

  • Remington 700 footprint
  • Long-action design
  • Carbon-fiber barrel
  • Green Cerakote finish on barrel and receiver, Nitride finish on bolt
  • Uses AICS-pattern magazines
  • Muzzle threaded ⅝-24 (radial muzzle brake and thread protector included)
  • AG Composites stock has vertical grip and adjustable comb
  • Aluminum-backed M-Lok slots for mounting bipod or ARCA
  • QD sling cups

Review Highlights

  • Full-sized hunting rifle that incorporates target rifle features
  • Good accuracy
  • Nice adjustable trigger
  • Suppressor ready
  • Magazine required tweaking
  • Accuracy: 1.107 inches (average of 19 5-shot groups with 3 types of ammo)

The 2020 Waypoint Long Action: A Welcome Addition

The 2020 Waypoint was a hit for Springfield back in 2020, but its launch timed perfectly (or imperfectly) with the high-speed-come-apart in supply chain and manufacturing that we experienced then — and are still recovering from. Shooting Editor John B. Snow covered the 2020 Waypoint in a full review, and despite being well-received, the 2020 never seemed to hit the shelves en masse. Still, Springfield has been churning away, looking to fill out their line and build out the 2020 action to its potential. I tested, and shot a nice Dall ram with their lightweight 2020 Redline model in 2023, and the addition of long-action calibers to the 2020 Waypoint line is a welcome — if not overdue — addendum.

Springfield Armory 2020 Redline
Until now, the Springfield 2020 has only been available in short-action calibers like the 6.5 Creedmoor pictured. Photo by Frank Schultz

Breakdown of the Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action

The heart of the 2020 Waypoint is its action, which is of the Remington 700-footprint, two-lug, push-feed variety. It’s stainless steel and features tight raceways, pressure vents on both sides, and is coated with an olive green Cerakote finish. This long action model comes standard with a one-piece Picatinny rail optic mount that incorporates a 20-MOA angle to accommodate long-distance shooting. The receiver itself accepts any Remington 700 pattern optics bases though, and the rail could be swapped for a set of Talley lightweight rings. 

The two-lug bolt has a black nitride finish and is nicely fluted. It’s a sleek design and features tool-less takedown and a replaceable thread-on bolt knob. Extraction is accomplished with a sliding plate extractor embedded in the starboard-side locking lug and empties are kicked free of the action by a single spring-plunger ejector that protrudes from the bolt face. As with other 2020 models, the action is butter-smooth when the bolt lugs are dabbed with a bit of gun grease or oil, but after lots of shooting, fouling tends to make the nitride-coated bolt a bit sticky while running along the Cerakoted raceways. A quick wipedown remedies the issue.

Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action
The new Waypoint Long Action has the same two-lug bolt and is fed by an AICS-pattern magazine. Photo by Tyler Freel

The action is fed by a 3-round Accuratemag AICS-pattern steel magazine, and I had to do some feed lip modification to get it to function smoothly — not an uncommon occurrence with these types of magazines. This .300 Win. Mag. magazine’s feed lips were quite tight at the front, not allowing the cartridges to point upwards as they were stripped from the magazine. This would jam them into the feed ramp and cause a stoppage. Fortunately, I was able to quickly remedy the issue by bending the front of the feed lips slightly outward. Now the magazine loads more easily and cartridges chamber smoothly.

Carbon-Fiber Barrel

Second to the action, the BSF carbon-fiber barrel is a key feature of the 2020 Waypoint. As with the short-action Waypoint, I expect that all-steel-barrel models will be offered, but it’s being launched in carbon. The 7mm PRC that I tested sports a 24-inch 1-in-8-twist tube that otherwise is quite like the barrel on the 6.5 Creedmoor Redline I tested last year. It comes with a muzzle threaded in ⅝-24, which will be compatible with any standard suppressor hardware, and out of the box, it’s equipped with an OD green radial muzzle brake. For those like myself who would rather take a beating than shoot another muzzle-brake-equipped rifle, it does include a matching thread protector. 

The most notable characteristic of this carbon-wrapped barrel is that unlike some others on the market, this one isn’t “wrapped” at all. The steel portion of the barrel is turned down and fluted, then the rigid carbon-fiber sleeve is installed over top — held in place by compression applied with a thread-on nut at the muzzle. This creates a pocket of air between the steel and carbon — something that Springfield touts as improving the barrel’s heat-dissipating properties. 

Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action carbon fiber barrel
LIke the short action Waypoint, the long action sports a BSF carbon-fiber-sleeved barrel and is quite accurate.

AG Composites Stock

A third characteristic feature of the 2020 Waypoint Long Action is the AG Composites carbon-fiber stock that’s finished in a sponged-on three-color camo pattern. This is a rigid stock that borrows winning features from competition rifles to make the Waypoint a stable long-distance shooting platform. At the front it’s got a flat-bottomed forend with aluminum-backed M-Lok slots to mount a piece of Picatinny rail or a direct-mount bipod. On each side, it has a QD sling cup and the entire forend is snag-free. 

At the rear, the buttstock features an adjustable comb piece that’s secured by a single Allen-key bolt. The only downside is that the comb needs to be dropped or removed to remove the bolt from the rifle, so once you have it set, mark it with a silver sharpie or paint pen. The buttstock is capped with a nice rubber recoil pad that’s contoured to match the angled lines of the stock. The butt also has QD cups on both sides and the bottom, and the narrow, flat bottom surface of the buttstock is perfect for riding on a rear support bag. 

Along with the slightly-swollen vertical pistol grip, the stock provides a stable foundation for the rest of the rifle. I spent quite a bit of time shooting the rifle from standing, kneeling, and sitting positions off a barricade and tripod, and it balances really well on a single game changer bag support. I capped the rifle with a Silencerco Scythe Ti suppressor and recoil was quite mild. I was able to recover from recoil in time to see impacts on steel at distances as short as 300 yards.

A trade-off for this being a stable rifle, it’s big. If you’re used to toting shorter-barreled ultralight guns around, the 2020 Waypoint Long Action will feel a bit long and cumbersome to carry or strap on a pack.

Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long action ag composites stock
The buttstock of the 2020 Waypoing Long Action has an adjustable comb and sports three different QD sling cups. Photo by Tyler Freel

Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action Accuracy

One thing that Springfield isn’t shy about is touting the accuracy of their 2020 Waypoint by sending it away with a .75-MOA guarantee. While this is an accurate rifle, we don’t place a lot of weight in accuracy guarantees, and we are constantly working to define a rifle’s accuracy in the most informative way possible. The guarantee is basically that the rifle will shoot some sub-.75-MOA 3-shot groups with good ammunition, or is capable of it — and it absolutely will. However, we’ve come to realize that a few 3- or even 5-shot groups basically tell you nothing when it comes to predicting performance that you can expect at any given time. In fact, they can be misleading if that’s all you’re leaning on. 

7mm PRC groups from springfield 2020 waypoint long action
Three-shot group averages with good ammo easily satisfy Springfield’s 3/4-MOA guarantee, but that’s not the most informative way to look at rifle accuracy. Photo by Tyler Freel

Considering that, I recorded several series of 3- and 5-shot groups with both factory and hand-loaded ammunition, but also compiled those series into 20-shot aggregates, which give us a more precise look at the rifle’s real-world accuracy potential. A sample size of 20 shots also allows us to calculate a meaningful Mean Radius — the average distance each shot landed from the center of the overall group. I allowed the barrel to cool to ambient temperature between each group and did not fire a continuous 20-shot string. 

Load Velocity/SD (20 shots) Average 3-Shot Group Size Average 5-Shot Group Size 20-Shot Aggregate Group Size 20-Shot Mean Radius
Hornady Outfitter 160-gr. CX 3,029.2 fps / 14.7 fps  N/A .760 inches 1.85 inches .43 inches
Hornady Outfitter 160-gr. CX 3,028.4 fps/ 14.3 fps  .682 inches N/A 1.70 inches .43 inches
Hornady Match 180-gr. ELD-M 2,884.9 fps / 14.4 fps  N/A 1.701 inches 2.45 inches .57 inches
Hornady Match 180-gr. ELD-M 2,885.7 fps / 14.8 fps  1.037 inches N/A 2.68 inches .74 inches
Hand Load, Hornady 190-gr. A-Tip, 65.0 gr. of Retumbo 2,786.3 fps / 8.9 fps  N/A .935 inches 1.48 inches .45 inches
Hand Load, Hornady 190-gr. A-Tip, 65.0 gr. of Retumbo 2,786.7 fps / 5.7 fps  N/A .921 inches 1.46 inches .41 inches

The 2020 Waypoint Long Action shot Hornady’s Outfitter 160-gr. CX loads quite well, averaging just over ¾-MOA with 5-shot groups. I recorded an average velocity over 40 shots of 3,029.2 fps with an SD of 14.7 fps, which was above the published muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps. As you can see from the table, averaging group sizes isn’t an accurate reflection of a rifle’s cone of dispersion, or the area on target in which any given shot might impact. Though the rifle certainly satisfies the ¾-MOA guarantee, we would call this a 1.8-inch gun (give or take). The most informative and predictive component of that accuracy data is the .43-inch mean radius, which is pretty good for a hunting rifle. 

The only other factory load I had access to, Hornady’s 180-grain ELD-Match load did not fare as well in accuracy, but I observed that in both cases, aggregates of 3- and 5-shot groups had very similar group sizes and mean radii — at least within the variability window for 20-shot samples. This means that although the spread of the average 3-shot group was smaller than that of the average 5-shot group, the overall group size and mean radius were essentially the same, whether the 20-shots were fired in 3- or 5-shot increments and barrel heat wasn’t causing obvious accuracy loss.

I did some test loading with both H4831SC and Retumbo, and Retumbo produced excellent velocity SDs and good accuracy, especially with the 190-grain Hornady A-Tip bullets. I picked charge weights approximately 2 grains below max load and seated bullets to book OAL specifications. My testing and experimenting with charge weight nodes has demonstrated that changing charge weight will only really change velocity, so this gives me a good representation of how the powder/bullet combo will perform in this rifle.

20-shot group aggregate with 190-grain A-Tips from 7mm PRC
Plotting 5-shot groups (with 190-grain A-Tips in this case) into a 20-shot aggregate gives us a detailed look at how the rifle shoots. Each ‘X’ is the center of one shot. Also on the target are plotting reference points and 1-inch calibration marks.

Pros and Cons

Pros: The Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action is a nice blend of target-rifle ergonomics and hunting rifle functionality. It’s not too heavy, and smartly incorporates QD sling cups, modern bipod mounting options, and has an accurate carbon-fiber barrel.

Cons: The 2020 Waypoint Long Action is a little long and heavy to be an ideal pack gun, and the AICS-pattern magazine needed some tuning.

Final Thoughts on the Springfield 2020 Waypoint Long Action

I think that a long-action version of the 2020 Waypoint is quite overdue, but understandably so. In a case of “better late than never,” this model and its associated chamberings will greatly bolster the 2020 lineup — ultimately giving the shooter more options. Like its kin, it’s a smartly-configured, accurate, and slick-operating hunting rifle. Offered in a variety of classic and Modern Cartridge Design cartridges, it will certainly increase the platform’s appeal to a more broad range of shooters.

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