Test the Remington Model 783, Or Not?

This post describes the Model 783, a new, economical rifle from Remington.

IMG_0433This large patch of tickseed sunflowers growing in a swale by the road to my shooting range reminds me that the year is maturing rapidly.  August always does that for me.  Like last year, we haven’t had a drop of rain at ATOTT Headquarters in weeks, and the temperature, above 90 for days, has hit 101 today.  We are told that relief is not far away.  The corn has suffered greatly, but the sunflowers don’t seem to mind.  My interest in guns stays on the front burner, also.

Readers know that I like the concept of the “plain” rifle and its place in American history.  I have studied and done a lot of work and shooting with the plain rifles of the 20th century, my favorite being the Remington Model 788.  I have been working with this rifle in various calibers for at least fifteen years.

It is quite interesting to me that, here in the year 2013, plain rifles are more popular than ever.  I suppose it can be attributed to a poor economy that is limiting the disposable income of the middle class, but it is also due to the good populations of deer that are present in most parts of the country.  So, we have offerings of centerfire rifles in the $400 range coming from most of the major American arms manufacturers.

As a devotee of the plain rifle, I have felt that I really should have a look at one of these newer editions.  As a devotee of Remington, I thought the recently-introduced Model 783 looked like a good bet.  I was really curious about the question of how well one would shoot for me, and since they are available in .308 or .30-06, and I have plenty of trading stock, I could find out how a new plain thirty worked for not much outlay of pelf.  The major concern, actually, is that it would take at least $100 worth of ammo to get the job done.

The Remington Model 783

The Remington Model 783

I understand the “7” relates the rifle to the famous Model 700, the “8” relates it to the respected Model 788 of yore, and the “3” is from 2013, the year of its appearance.  Pretty complicated.

Design of the Remington Model 783

The rifle has a rather handsome appearance and would invite you to guess “Remington” even if you had never seen it before.  Looking for internet info, I found the best description at http://www.realguns.com/articles/476.htm  The article has plenty of good pictures of all parts, including comparisons with the 700, and a nice written description.

Noteworthy features are:  A substantial, cylindrical receiver with minimal cutout for ejection port, a feature that stood the Model 788 in good stead.  There is a staggered type of magazine, so the bottom cutout will be larger than one would like, but, all in all, the receiver should be rigid.  A barrel nut, a la Savage, is used to attach the barrel with proper headspace, and this gives Savage lovers a chance to hoot and holler.  There is pillar bedding, consisting of a metal tube for each action screw, and Remington’s version of a safe, adjustable trigger, called the Cross-Fire trigger.  There is a double-lug bolt that departs from 700 practice by having a sliding, claw extractor, and, finally, there is a black, polymer stock.  No sights.

Real innovation is not in evidence, here.  There is nothing on the features list that is not found on many other rifles of different makes.  What we have in the 783 is Remington’s version of mating standard, economy parts with minimal finishing.  If the parts work well together, the rifle will be a good performer and successful in the market.  That this may be the case is shown by a later shooting report on the 783 on the Real Guns site linked above.  Sub-minute-of-angle groups were obtained with 150- and 180-grain factory ammo, at least for three, 3-shot groups, each.  Hardly a substantial test, but encouraging, nevertheless.

We might say, parenthetically, that among the more than thirty variants of the Remington Model 700 listed on the Remington website, there is the model SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic) which has a black, plastic stock and matte metal finish.  I am not sure what is special about the purpose of this arm, but you could satisfy your craving for black plastic and dull finish and still get the authentic Model 700 action, if you can spend a little more moola than you would lay out for a 783.

Ho Hum……Energy waning…..  Others describing the Model 783 and getting some encouraging shooting results…..  I would probably find about the same……  Guess I am not going to go there.

Instead, I think I will embark on another Model 788 project.  Since the popping public thinks that “Wood is OUT!  Black polymer is IN!”,  I can see that I need to fit a black, polymer stock to one of my Model 788s if I want to be real cool on the range.

Luckily, I have a head start because I bought a Ramline stock for a .308 some time ago and have never, ever got around to using it.  Now, destiny calls and I can see that the time has come.  The Ramlines have been among the least expensive of synthetic stocks for years.  They are made by injection molding, the fastest, least expensive plastic fabrication process.  They seem to be well-shaped, well-molded, and tough as nails.

Ramline Stock for a Remington Model 788

Ramline Stock for a Remington Model 788

The Ramline stock for the Model 788 is a simple, drop-in job, but, of course, that would be too easy.  I have to get some tinkering and craftsmanship into the project.  One thing I notice is that the stock support at the front action screw is FLAT, but the 788 receiver is ROUND.  Going to need some glass bedding to take care of that.  Got to have the action well supported and the barrel floating, I think.  Who knows what else might be needed?

Action Area of Ramline Stock

Action Area of Ramline Stock

Yup…..Energy returning.  I am going to do it and I am going to find out how it shoots when finished.  Will it be as good as a Model 783?  I will report at a later date.

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