Remington 788 Review Part2

 In part one of this review, we talked about the history of the Remington model 788. In this part I’d like to go over the details of the particular rifle that I recently purchased.

 I saw the gun advertised on a website and decided that it was the right price and would suit my needs well. I was after something that could be used as a general carry about rifle which would mostly see use on Rabbits and Foxes, with the odd Goat thrown in for meat purposes. This particular rifle was chambered in .222 Remington which I thought was well suited to my needs. After going over some additional pictures from the previous owner, I handed over the money and waited for the rifle to arrive at my local dealer.

 A few days later it arrived and I was quickly off to get a closer look. My first impression was a good one. The stock had the original varnish removed and had been sealed with an oil based finish. The blueing was in excellent condition and you could tell it had been well looked after. I gave the barrel a quick clean and ran a bore scope down to check its condition. Considering the age of the rifle, its internal finish was very good.

 Once I had the rifle home, I decided to check the functioning aspects of it. One of the first things I noticed was how woefully heavy the trigger was. I actually had to check that the safety was off! I gave the bedding a pressure check and found just enough movement to decide that it needed some attention. I then noticed some wear on the magazine lips and discovered that it didn’t feed very well. But apart from these minor hiccups, I was still very impressed with my purchase.

 My first point of attention was the trigger. Research indicated that these are rather hard to get to a satisfactory level. So with this in mind I decided to get some advice from a gunsmith before having an attempt at it myself. This trigger was indeed a lot harder to work on than other models. In the end it required new springs and some honing work. I wouldn’t recommend this job being done at home as even with some expert advice I still found it quite difficult. In the end though, it came up very crisp and lets off at just on 1.2kgs.

 The next job was to focus on the bedding issues. I used a Gel Acraglas kit and bedded the action whilst free floating the barrel. I won’t go into the application details as there is already plenty of information and instructions on the internet. Once the job had been completed, the bedding was tested again and showed a marked improvement over the previous results.

 The last job on the list was to fix the feeding issues. A close study of the magazine showed that a replacement should soon fix the problem. As luck would have it, I picked up a new magazine from a gun show. This not only fixed the feeding problem, but also solved that annoying rattle that the old one had.

 Finally, I was close to getting the old girl out for a shot. All that remained was to true up the old scope rings and fit a Burris Fullfield in 3-9×40. For ammunition, I decided to shoot factories until I had a good supply of fired cases to reload with. Choice of brand was easy as there was a special on Federal Premium loads using a 40gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. With everything ready to go, I headed off to the farm to sight the scope in.

 It only took a few shots to get onto target and once it was there, I decided to shoot some groups. Using five shot groups and the Federal Factory ammo, I couldn’t believe the results. Groups were small to say the least, and not one of them went over the .5moa mark! That sort of accuracy from a sporter rifle is something really special, and considering the age of the model 788 just makes it even more so.

 More recent groups with the same Federal loads have shown the previous results to be consistent. It was obvious that my particular rifle had a preference for this ammunition and I was really looking forward to seeing how the some hand loads went. More on that in part three though.

 Since typing this article, I managed to pick up a Boyds Laminate stock for my rifle. The price was too good to resist and it now looks sexier than ever.

5 thoughts on “Remington 788 Review Part2”

  1. Jason,

    Could you please clarify your private purchase in more detail? I know you used a dealer, but just what is the best way to handle this sort of transaction? Was this an interstate buy?

    I ask because I’ve seen many a nice 2nd rifle for sale on websites, but haven’t dared make a purchase because I’m not familiar with the process.

  2. Hey Scott,
    Buy new mate I’ve bought plenty of 2nd hand rifles and it can be rewarding but new quality rifles can be had for not much more than their 2nd hand counterparts.

    In saying that it’s easy to buy one in NsW at least.
    You purchase the rifle and tell the seller the name address and dealer number of the dealer you want to pick it up from the seller sends it to them via his gunshop(you usually pay their transfer and shipping fees).
    All you need to do is get your PTA and tell your dealer what is happening before your dealer gets the gun so they know to expect it.

  3. Hi Keith,

    Other than a ‘family .22′, which took ages to get the paperwork sorted out for, I’ve only bought new from dealers.

    I’ve seen some interesting second hand rifles but have never gone through the process of buying off a stranger.

    For Vic the process is similar in that you need to get a PTA and do the transaction through a dealer. I was wondering how friendly the dealers are with this sort of transaction, how the firearm was transported (legally), and what sort of fees were involved.

    BTW I’m off to ShotShow this weekend, hoping to see something that interests me whilst fitting the budget. Shame I can’t justify the Ruger Scout now, having just bought the Marlin XS7 (which has just dropped in price enormously…grrr)

  4. Thats the Aussie dollar for you mate.

    The dealers shouldn’t have a problem with it if they are worth their salt. If they do have a problem with it find another they don’t deserve your business that said they will charge you a fee so you end up paying on both ends so factor that into the cost of the gun.

    Dealers can post (registered) or courier a firearm.

    Have a great time at the SHOT Expo, we had a good time covering it last year when it was in Sydney.

  5. I’ve had one of these since 1981 and have done similar things to yours, except a trigger job, thats still on the list. With good handloads .8 inch groups are the norm if I do my job.
    Over the years I managed to acquire a few extra mags and a spare bolt and trigger.
    A bit of tuning on the mags ie slight stretching of the spring and a bit of tactical squeezing of the mag sides can improve feeding and stop the rattle.
    A very much underated rifle, and I agree with the urban myth that it was discontinued because it out performed the much more expensive rem 700.
    Keep the updates comming.

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