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Old September 21, 2013, 07:33 AM   #1
cmdc
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6mm Remington

I was cruising my LGS the other day, and stumbled upon a vintage Remington 788 6mm, left hand bolt, right hand eject. Being left handed, I am considering buying it. It can be had for $350. Any reason why I shouldn't?
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Old September 21, 2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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Whether or not you like the 6mm Rem cartridge, it would be an interesting action for a custom build.
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Old September 21, 2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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$350 seems a bit high to me.
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Old September 21, 2013, 08:31 AM   #4
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I think that is an excellent price for a LH 6mm 788 IF it is in good condition-bore, trigger, wood, mag, and etc.
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Old September 21, 2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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It is in very good condition. Bore is bright, wood is not dinged up, and bluing is very good, no rust or wear marks. There's lots of ammo available for it too, as long as you like Remington Cor-lokt 100gr soft points. That's about all I could find online.
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:08 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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Out of ignorance, I'll raise the general caveat of twist rate. If the rifle is 1:14, it might not stabilize the 100-grain bullets and attain good groups. If it's a later variety with 1:10, all well and good.

But as I said, I lack familiarity with that rifle.
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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@cmdc: I wouldn't let my shirt tail hit my bee-hind before I went down to the local gun shop and bought it. I've never seen a 788 which wasn't an amazing shooter.

I had a .222, 788 which virtually did one hole, three shot groups at 100 yards. My brother-in-law's 788 in .243 win, will easily do three shots within an inch from a cold barrel.

I'd be willing to bet that the 6mm remington, you're looking at, would give jaw dropping performance, also. They won't match a kimber or cooper for looks, but didn't forrest gump say something about "pretty is as pretty does", or something like that?
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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I thought the .244 remington had a 1 in 12 twist, but any remington rifle, roll marked 6 mm, had a 1 in 9 twist. But I could be wrong.
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:29 AM   #9
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Buy it. My favorite rifle. I sold it when I got divorced 23 yrs ago. I cant find another. Awesome whitetail killer.
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:45 AM   #10
cmdc
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I'm heading out the door as soon as I finish this post. Guess where I'm going.

Seriously though, Mr.Eatman's post has got me wondering. The rifle is roll-marked 6mm Remington. I never thought to inquire about twist rate. Hammie, if you're not wrong, all is well. How would I be able to verify twist rate? Research the serial number?
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Old September 21, 2013, 11:11 AM   #11
Tom Matiska
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I believe Hammie is correct on the 244 vs 6mm twist. I wouldn't let twist stop me from buying a nice 244. If 100gr 243's had never been invented the 90's would be killing deer just fine.
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Old September 21, 2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Anecdotally, back in the '80s, my former brother-in-law and I used to do a lot of deer hunting. I used a 270Win, and he a 6mm Rem 788, just like the one I'm looking at. One day we were hunting, and spotted a buck about 100yds out. He took the shot and down went the buck like it was struck by lightning, but when we got up to it, there were two dead deer, there was one standing behind the buck that we didn't see. I tagged that one, and I was done for the season without getting to shoot one.
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Old September 21, 2013, 01:20 PM   #13
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I guess I am the odd ball, but I just do not like rear locking lugs as the primary locking system.
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Old September 21, 2013, 01:24 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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Agree with Hammie. Standard twist for 6mm R is 9" and ample for bullets up to 100 grains or a bit more.
The .244 had a 12" twist. I haven't heard of a FACTORY 14" twist.

A friend has a .243 with aftermarket barrel that might be a 14" twist, certainly no faster than 12". It shoots well with varmint bullets up to 87 grains but no more.
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Old September 21, 2013, 01:57 PM   #15
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The first couple years of .244 Rem production rifles had the slower (1-12) twist. Remington considered the .244 a varmint cartridge, and built their rifles for that.

Competing against the .243 Win,which was being touted as a dual purpose round (varmints & deer) the .244 didn't do so well. Because the slower twist didn't do well with the deer weight bullets.

Remington changed the twist rate after a couple years production, so you can find .244s with the fast twist, but sales were always slow, the .244 had gotten a reputation. That's why Remington renamed it the 6mm.

All the 6mm rifles I know have the faster (1-9 or 1-10) twist, and stabilize both varmint and deer weight bullets.

personally I dislike the 788 series rifles, to me they are ugly, BUT, every one I have ever heard of or used has been a good shooter. The 788s actually embarrassed Remington, because their "budget" rifle generally shot better than their top of the line 700s, out of the box.
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Old September 21, 2013, 02:04 PM   #16
Jim Watson
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As I understand it, early .244s had a 12 twist. They finally went to 10 like the .243 but the caliber's reputation was spoiled. So they renamed it 6mm and went to a 9 twist to be darned sure it would shoot any bullet then made. I think 6mm Long Range rifles run to 8 twist to handle 107 and 115 gr boattails.

It was all a matter of perception. There was not much a 100 grain .243 would do to a deer that a 90 grain .244 would not match. And if you worried about it, there was always the 95 grain Nosler.
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Old September 21, 2013, 02:29 PM   #17
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If its stamped 6mm rem and is the original barrel it is most definitely a 1:9" twist rate and can stabilize up to 105 gr bullets with ease. The .244 remington version of the cartridge with the 1:12 twist rate was only chambered in the model 722 from 1955-1962 IIRC. The 788 came out in 1967, well after the name change of the cartridge and the faster twist. Had Remington originally given the .244 a 1:9 twist in 1955, .243 win might very well have been the cartridge to fade into obsolescence.

A left hand 788 in 6mm is kind of a rare find, and I'd be willing to bet its a great shooter if the bore is in good shape. The 788 had one of the fastest lock times of any factory built rifle of its time, or ever for that matter, and in many cases they could outshoot the more expensive model 700. $350 is a good price if its in good shape. Not a steal, but well worth it.

I passed up a right handed 788 6mm about a year ago that had a $450 price tag on it. The store owner came down to $400 and I said let me think on it, hoping he would give just a little more. I came back the next day to take him up on the $400 deal, rifle was gone. I'm still kicking myself. The rifle was like new. Don't be the idiot I was. Buy it.
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Old September 21, 2013, 03:06 PM   #18
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"I thought the .244 remington had a 1 in 12 twist, but any remington rifle, roll marked 6 mm, had a 1 in 9 twist. But I could be wrong."

You are not wrong.
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Old September 21, 2013, 03:14 PM   #19
cmdc
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Thank you, gentlemen. I am going to get that rifle. I'll post some pics when I pick it up.

I don't know if it's true or where I heard/read it, but did hear somewhere that one of the reasons Remington discontinued the 788 series after they came out with the 700 series was because shooters preferred the 788 and weren't buying the 700.
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Old September 21, 2013, 05:00 PM   #20
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Yessir that is one good reason Remington had to discontinue the 788. They created competition for their own flagship rifle. If a cheaper rifle shoots as good or better, then why spend more money on the other rifle? That wasn't good for Remington's bottom line, and they don't sell rifles for the fun of it, it's all about the almighty dollar. But not to worry, Remington figured out how to properly build a cheap peice of crap rifle several years later that nobody would ever want over the 700, the model 710.

I see the possibly of the same problem Remmy had with the 700/788 eventually being an issue with the Ruger American/M77 Hawkeye. Especially if the RAR ever gets a better stock.
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Old September 21, 2013, 05:30 PM   #21
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Good shooters, great caliber, great price !...go for it...
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Old September 21, 2013, 06:07 PM   #22
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The 788 was, is, and always will be a cheap budget rifle made with lots of shortcuts. They shot better than expected, but the same could be said of lots of current rifles. It was the 710/770 of years past. For all the negative claims about the 710/770 series, they shoot just fine, as does the 788.

The OP is left handed, and options, especially budget priced options for lefty's are few and far between. In this case, and at this price it is a good choice and I think it will work for him. Generally speaking the 788 is overpriced and over rated because of a small cult like following though.

One thing to be aware of. Magazines for these are the weak link. Many of these older rifles no longer have working magazines. Finding working mags for the 788, can be challenging, and quite expensive. It is quite possible to end up with an expensive bolt action single shot.
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Old September 21, 2013, 06:09 PM   #23
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I done did it. Well, I called the LGS, which owner is a friend, and told him to set it back for me. It really is a pretty clean gun. I checked the bore the day I found it, and it is nice and shiny. Wood is good and not much wear on the bluing. No rust at all.
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Old September 21, 2013, 06:10 PM   #24
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I'm going to see about finding more mags for it. Any suggestions?
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Old September 21, 2013, 06:28 PM   #25
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Midwayusa.com shows an aftermarket magazine in stock for 32.00 $. Their product number is 683241.
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