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Old September 23, 2012, 06:13 PM   #1
JTofSD
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Remington 788 22-250

I just am getting back into hunting and target shooting. I just picked up a Remington 788 from 1967, 22-250, with Tasco Scope and 2 magazines. It has the birch stock, and the stock is pretty worn. The mechanisms seem in really good shape, and I am eager to get it to the range for test firing and zeroing.

I paid $250 (US).

Was that a good deal?

What can you tell me about the 788?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:30 PM   #2
taylorce1
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Awesome deal IMO, and one of the most accurate rifles Remington ever made. You'll have to go shoot it to verify the scope is good. I have a feeling it will be one of your favorite rifles ever.
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Old September 23, 2012, 07:47 PM   #3
lefteye
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Based on your description of the rifle the price you paid may be just about right. The 32nd Edition of Blue Book of Gun Values shows $250 as the reasonable price for a 788 in 70% condition. The 788 was introduced in 1967 and discontinued in 1983. The rifle was made only for short action cartridges, .222 Rem through .308 Win. The stock had a Monte Carlo comb, no cheekpiece, and no checkering. As stated in your post, the rifle had detachable box magazines. The trigger of the 788 was both good and bad, but the good out-weighed the bad. The trigger was not particularly smooth or light, but was very fast, and this fact made the rifle very accurate. I vaguely recall stories/rumors etc. that Remington discontinued the 788 because its accuracy and low price were significant advantages when compared to Remington's own 700 rifles (the ADL and BDL) which competed in the same market for retail sales. In short, shooters bought the 788 rather than the more expensive (and profitable) 700. I have a 788 in .223. I glass bedded the action and under the chamber. I free-floated the barrel. I shortened the stock, deepened the flutes above and behind the grip and installed a red Ruger recoil pad (from another rifle) and finally, refinished the stock. And I have a 3 x 9 scope on it. The rifle will put hand loads into a 1/2 to 1 inch group at 100 yards consistently. Enjoy your "new" 788.
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Old September 23, 2012, 07:54 PM   #4
JTofSD
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Thanks for the information!
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Old September 23, 2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Had one for years. With Sierra 55 grainers loaded to about 3400 it would keep 3 shots in an inch at 300 yards; off the bench or off its bipod, didn't matter. Loaded to max at about 3600 it would still shoot 1/2 minute.
Really miss that rifle sometimes but it had to go for medical bills.
The bullet was Sierras #1390 I believe.
I'd definatly give $250 for another one.
Also, Canjar made a limited number of replacement triggers for the 788, if you find one,grab it!!
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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You got a screaming deal, most of the 788s I see around are selling for $350-$450. 788s are fantastically accurate (if they are in good shape), but will not tolerate hot loads very well. Also, the trigger mechanism is rather delicate being as the housing is cast aluminum and it has a lot of plastic parts. I would recommend you get a new trigger right up front and swap it out before the factory trigger breaks, just put the original in a box somewhere where you can find it if you ever try to sell the rifle.
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Old September 24, 2012, 05:35 PM   #7
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I killed quite a few coyotes with a 788 in 22/250 back in the 70's but I just couldn't get past the quirky trigger. I found I could trade for a new 700 in 22/250 for only $50 more than a Timney trigger for my 788 so I moved up and killed a LOT more coyotes with the 700 and it's better trigger. Not more accurate just a smoother trigger pull which does make a difference at longer ranges.
Not to flog on the 788, they were a darned good $100 rifle back then. I'm not sure what the novelty is with them now but they've definately appreciated in value.
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:11 PM   #8
jimwill48
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Wished I had my Rem 788 .22/250 back. In the 70's and early 80's that rifle would group under 1/2" at 100 yards all day long. Killed 1000's of groundhogs with it......
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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You did good. I had a 22 250 back in the 80's, and it shot half inch center to center. I don't remember what I loaded it with though. I presently have a 788 in 223. There is a stamping on the side that says "Michigan Dunes Correctional Facility", abbreviated. It was handled a lot, but hardly ever shot. I had my gunsmith polish the trigger, and it is acceptable.
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:34 PM   #10
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Excellent deal on a great rifle but loose that garbage Tasco. That rifle deserves a much better scope. Unfortunately, a decent scope will probably set you back more than you paid for the rifle.
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:52 PM   #11
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I've got one in 6mm Rem that I rescued from a pawn shop 20+ years ago. It doesn't really matter what load I shoot thru it as it will consistently group under 1MOA, once you get used to the trigger. I don't hunt with it much anymore but will never give it up.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:20 PM   #12
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I would buy another for $250.
I have a 1967 vintage that will still shoot 1 MOA. It has a semi-truck full of Montana prairie dogs to it's credit.
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Old September 25, 2012, 03:15 AM   #13
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I've currently got 2 (.243 and .308). The .243 was and hand-me-down from my grandfather that he shortened the LOP and added a muzzlebrake (for my dad after severe neck surgery). That rifle to this day is still one of my grab and go to guns. I know its not worth 1000's but to me it is worth 1,000,000's. I've killed one of my biggest deer and my biggest hog with it. It's had 5 different scopes. Countless experimental loads. The only thing was it left me wanting more. Then earlier this year I found the .308win. It took me almost 6 years find one and when I did, I didn't hesitate. But it had a bad trigger so in went a Timney(REALLY LIKE IT!!!). I worked up a nice load with .115gr sierra prohunters that my grandfather had left over from I think the 80's. I slapped on a new 3-9x52 Redfield Revenge and started using it last weekend for SE whitetail. These aren't fancy rifles but will remain one of my personal favorites. So know anyone selling one in the odd ball .44mag? lol
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Old September 25, 2012, 08:12 AM   #14
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A 788 in 22-250 was my first centerfire rifle back in the early 70s. Wish I still had it. I shot many coyotes and, if I remember right, 5 mule deer with it. I loaded 38gr of H380 and a 55gr Speer bullet. It was extremely accurate. I had a 3x9 Tasco on it. For several years it was my only rifle and I put a lot of rounds through it. It would easily handle fairly hot handloads, but that load (3-4 grains under max) was really accurate. It's a strong action - check out all of those locking lugs - and I never had any trigger problems.
$250 sounds like a great deal. Have fun with your fine rifle.

George
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Old September 25, 2012, 10:37 AM   #15
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I picked up a box of ammo and headed to the range yesterday. Got all set up to test fire the 788, and I realized I had bought 222 ammo, and not 22-250. Oops! The range is about a 25 minute drive, so my afternoon was wasted. Not sure when I can arrange to get back out to test fire it. I must admit, it was my mistake in picking up the ammo, but I was sure disappointed by not getting to try it out.

I don't even have anything that shoots 222.
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Old September 25, 2012, 05:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
I don't even have anything that shoots 222.
Sounds like you need to look for a new rifle to shoot that ammo, you can't take it back in most cases.
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Old September 25, 2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Sounds like you need to look for a new rifle to shoot that ammo, you can't take it back in most cases.
This is what I was thinking, but I wasn't gonna say it. I am looking for a nice 222 myself.
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Old September 25, 2012, 07:50 PM   #18
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I've got one in 223 and 308. They are fantastic. I put RAMLINE stocks on them to get rid of the nasty beech.
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Old September 25, 2012, 08:00 PM   #19
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I put RAMLINE stocks on them to get rid of the nasty beech.
Nothing nasty about the stock.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:55 PM   #20
JTofSD
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I am considering refinishing the birch stock. I was thinking a blonde gloss finish would look really nice, and be kind of retro for 1967, the year the rifle was made. Blonde wood finish was popular in some parts for furniture.

As to the ammo, I tried to trade with some other men at the range, but none of them shot 222 either. I did make a deal with some associates, so hopefully that will work out later.

Is citrastrip a good choice for getting rid of the old finish?
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:23 PM   #21
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I wouldn't be reluctant about using regular stripper. It's the finishing that is critical. After fine sanding, you need to whisker the wood thoroughly with 0000 steel wool. I like Berchwood and Casy walnut stain, and there True Oil. The stain has a nice tint of red, and not all dark brown like many walnut stains are.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:06 PM   #22
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birch stain

I used dark walnut and tru oil. But I was looking for more of a dark wood that would be suitable for woods hunting. If you take your time, these birch stocks can look awesome.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:06 AM   #23
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Is citrastrip a good choice for getting rid of the old finish?
Excellent choice, that's all I use.
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:58 PM   #24
JTofSD
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Here are some photos of my 788 both before and after I refinished the stock. This was my first ever stock redo.







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Old October 24, 2012, 10:39 PM   #25
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Nice job on the stock work, the rifle looks 100% better. Just a suggestion, and if the rifle fits you leave it the way it is. I would remove the front sight and get some lower rings if it were my rifle. Should be just a couple of screws and put the sight in a plastic baggie and put it somewhere you won't loose it. To me just the way the scope sits on it now, that rifle would be almost impossible for me to shoot accurately without adding some kind of cheek rest to get my eye in alignment and maintain a good cheek weld.
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