Remington 783 review-- Don't shoot the donor

BretN

Handloader
Jan 22, 2015
569
0
This winter I watched an older wood stocked Savage 110 languish on the Cabela's used gun rack for $229. Every time I looked at it I thought that would make a good donor rifle for a build. I'm not a Savage fan due to this same rifle of my youth. They just aren't as slick and smooth as the Remingtons or Winchesters in my mind. But I do love the lock nut barrel and the ability to swap in a new barrel fairly easily. So by the time I decide to buy this gun, it is gone.

Enter the Remington 783. Cabela's had the 783 for sale for $259, less a $40 rebate, nets $219. I quick research the thing. Barrel nut, adjustable trigger, pillar bedded, 22"magnum contour barrel, decent recoil pad, and the working parts of the clip are metal. They have one .308 left, so I take it and also buy the Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 BDC scope for $100 more.

The idea I had was to build a .260 or 7mm-08 my kids could shoot. Barrels are about $300 and Boyd's makes a stock now for the 783, for about $125 with the options I'd want on it. That's starting to get into real money for me, and I could just as well order a new Tikka for that. So I thought I'd see how this new gun shoots before we jump into a new stock and barrel.

I've run about 70-80 rounds through it so far and have found a very good Sierra 125 grain load my kids could use. Starting load of 41 grains IMR 4895 shot a .372" 3 shot group at 100 yards and the max load of 45.5 gr shot .472. Prior to this range outing, the best group I had come up with was .70" using H414. Most other groups were in the 1.25-1.5" range, but seemed to be getting slowly better. The barrel is broken in now I think.

I'm very happy with how this "bargain" rifle is turning out. There's nothing fancy about this rifle. But the trigger is really nice once adjusted to your liking. Is it a Timney, no. But none of my other guns have Timneys either. The bolt isn't as smooth as a 700 or my push feed M70, or my Tikka's. But it's better than expected and at least as good if not better than the Savage donor I had been looking at. All I've done to it are adjust the trigger, and follow barrel break in procedure posted by Nosler.

At this point, I will probably just trade out the somewhat flexible plastic stock for a Boyd's. Or maybe wait a bit and hope B&C make a medalist stock for it. It's well worth that modest outlay for a significant stock upgrade. I think that will be the extent of my tinkering, other than developing more loads for it.

For someone looking for a bargain build, (if there is such a thing), a spare rifle, or a kid's rifle, I'd highly encourage looking at the 783 as an option. The down side is that it doesn't have anywhere near the product support of the Savage or M700. But they are certainly worth considering. Thanks to those of you who answered my questions and helped me as I went through the process.

Bret
 

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DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,246
1,831
For sure, I'd say you scored big time with that rifle. The .308 is an excellent cartridge. Charged with 125 grain bullets, your children will have no difficulty using that load for deer. Good move.
 

BK

Handloader
Dec 14, 2008
4,045
1
Dang, thoughts of throwing a $300 barrel at a $219 rifle.... you have it bad, man...

:)
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,898
236
DrMike":1civsqjn said:
For sure, I'd say you scored big time with that rifle. The .308 is an excellent cartridge. Charged with 125 grain bullets, your children will have no difficulty using that load for deer. Good move.

YUP- that'll do everything you ever need 'cept look pretty. And I'm not a big Remington fan. Nice! CL
 

preacher

Handloader
Aug 19, 2012
2,059
14
I'd still shoot it sparingly as it is not designed to last you a lifetime! ha Just a Starter rifle or for that person who is the Once a Year Hunter, same as with the Ruger American. Don't get me wrong, I wish I would have had one of either when I was a young deer hunter. I wasn't allowed to shoot a lot of centerfire ammo by Depression Era Survivor Dad, that was for the .22 he said. ha If you like the barrel nut design, keep an eye on Gunbroker of the discontinued Marlin bolt guns, they were pretty nice. In fact, now that I think about it, a good "Gun Test" would be to shoot the devil out of that 783 and "see" if it will hold up to 800rds or so. That would come out to be about 35 to 40 yrs for the average deer hunter!
 

BretN

Handloader
Jan 22, 2015
569
0
Thanks for the feedback guys. I did have new gun fever pretty bad this past year, but I think I have it under control now. It doesn't help to hang out here with all you enablers though. I'm very happy w/ this gun right now and the only other thing I will probably add to it is a better stock. I'd like to use it to learn to glass bed a stock and then bed the stock on my 280 that has a B&C stock.

As much as I'd like to have a 260 or 7mm-08, I just can't see how the deer would know the difference getting hit with a 125 gr 308 bullet vs. a 120 gr 6.5 or 7mm bullet. Also, I can't see how my daughter would feel the difference in recoil. If she ends up being sensitive to recoil, I can always have her use my 243. Though I just don't see my Ruger #1 w/ 26" barrel to be 12 year old girl friendly in the woods. It's just not a light easy handling gun.

As to the durability of this 783, I think it'll be every bit as durable as most regular bolt guns. The clip is all metal and very similar in construction to the clip for my old 7600. The bottom part of the clip is plastic, but it's just there for looks. Time will tell I guess. I've already got more rounds down the tube than most people who would buy this gun. Those little 125 gr loads are so fun to shoot, I will be shooting it a bunch more too.
 

jezzolo

Handloader
Nov 14, 2005
297
7
I have a 783 in .300 win mag. What is making your bolt handle so big? That is the only thing I don't care for on my rifle is that thin bolt handle.. Help me out will you? Thanks Joe
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,906
1,351
Yup, load the 125 gr BT and don't look back.

JD338
 

BretN

Handloader
Jan 22, 2015
569
0
I stopped in at the Hornady plant on my way through Neb. No factory second bullets that interested me, but I did pick up a binocs harness and that rubber "tactical" bolt knob. It was either $7 or $8. I didn't mind the stock bolt knob, but I like this better. For $8, I figured it was worth the gamble.

Loaded up some 125 gr BT's yesterday. Won't get to try them out for a week though.
 

preacher

Handloader
Aug 19, 2012
2,059
14
Well that's an interesting item! I imagine it works quite well too. I can see where it would protect your other rifles in the gun safe too! I hate to see scratches caused by a bolt knob! What don't understand is the super long bolt handle on some higher end actions, the ones that look like they're 4 inches long, ha. I guess its a marketing idea, maybe even useful, but an eye sore to me.
 

BretN

Handloader
Jan 22, 2015
569
0
Yeah, the cheap rubber knob covers up my one gripe w/ this bargain gun. I know it was a cost saving thing on Remington's part, but we're just used to seeing a round knob on the bolt. It's also kind of a tacky rubber, not exactly sticky soft, but you won't lose your grip on it.

Next week I'm heading to the range with both my 308's, so I'll post a Tikka vs. Remington 125 gr BT update on the reloading page.
 

bobnob

Handloader
Nov 3, 2012
673
1
Bret I like the 130g Hornady SP as well for a light pig-load. 45g of H4895.

Good thread mate.
 
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