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Remington 788 Rifle
 

Remington 788 receiver

The receiver has a fairly small ejection port and so the receiver gains some extra strength from the extra mass.  The bolt as a short throw of only 60 degrees.  The 788 is also known for the bolt handle not be overly strong.  If you have an ill fitting cartridge, don't try to force the bolt into battery my slamming down on the bolt handle.  Once again, this isn't near the problem for the smaller .223 cartridge.  Also....if you are reloading and can't figure out how to properly resize your brass....get some lessons.  Hammering away on the bolt handle, strong or not, is a poor way to compensate for poor reloading procedures.

Remington 788 receiver

The stock is nothing fancy.  No checkering, no caps on the grip or fore end.  I've read reports of it being Birch or some similar light wood.  The bottom metal is nothing fancy either.  It is stamped/cut with a slight lip where the metal is recessed into the stock.  The barrel is not free floated from the factory and I've never floated mine. 

I recently put a new optic on my 788 since the one I had from the '70s wasn't quite doing it for me.  I picked up a Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x42mm online and having shot it a few times, I think it is a nice matchup for this rifle.  It added 18 ounces to the rifle (without the rings) and has a nice bullet drop compensator type reticle. 

So, you may be thinking to yourself why I am bothering to even write about my Remington 788.  Let's recap....the trigger is not the best, the stock is very plain and not fancy wood, the base metal is stamped, the bolt handle is not the strongest, some folks say the rear locking lugs results in shorter brass life for reloading, and no one makes magazines for it.  So why tell you about this no longer manufactured lower cost alternative to the Remington 700?  Because.....if you find one at a gun show for a reasonable price and it hasn't been beat up, buy it!  If you don't, let me know so I can get it. 

Remington 788 target

Well, perhaps because the above 4 shot group measures in at .322 inches.  That's why!!!  You've all heard the story of Cinderella.  If that book had been written about rifles, you would have seen the 788 as the main character in the book.  I usually shoot 5 shot groups while working up a load but I used a handful of the hand loads getting the newly mounted scope sighted in @ 100 yds. 

This target was shot while working up hand loads this past weekend.  I was at the range primarily to work on my FNAR hand loads.  I finished with it and had just 10 rounds (two different load weights of 5 rounds each) in my ammo box.  I stuck a 1" diameter target on a piece of paper and used 6 rounds to put the scope on the target @ 100 yds, leaving me 4 rounds to shoot for keeps.  So I did....and this was the result. 

So there you go....she won't win any beauty contests.....she probably won't even be picked to go to the grand ball.  But if you take her hunting and give her half a chance, she'll fill your tag, guaranteed.  (this assumes you can shoot!)  Keep an eye out for one showing up on the used gun rack at your local gun store.  With any luck, you can go home with it for a good price and enjoy it for a long time to come. 
 

Update:  11/10/2012

I was looking around online and found that Numrich Gun Parts Corp. had .222 Rem magazines listed for the 788.  As I mentioned earlier, you can use .222 Rem magazines in the .223 Rem 788.  They were listed as new magazines and the price was $47.85.  Certainly not cheap but then again, I've paid more for other magazines.  I ordered the magazine from the web site and waited a few days.  It showed up in the mail a few days later.  I received a nicely oiled (so no rusting) magazine with a Made in Taiwan sticker on the plastic bag.  OK....so at least someone is making them....or someone made them and Numrich bought some.  Makes no mind.  I cleaned it up, slipped four .223 Rem rounds in the .222 magazine, and tried it in the 788.  It worked just fine. 

Some may think that paying that price for a magazine is way too much.  OK....each to his own opinion.  When I look back at that group, I can't think of a better reason to spend the money on a spare magazine for a rifle that shoots this well.

 

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