View Full Version : remington 788

March 13, 2009, 10:59 PM
I am looking for a reasonable priced .223,as I was just given two five gallon pails of ammo for one.
I have a lead on a remington 788,and after doing some research( very little) I have found both good and bad about this gun.Some find it very acurate for a entry level gun,and some have pointed out some issues with a weak bolt that at times will break of,and then some say that the parts for this gun have just about dried up.
I don't want to spend alot of money,for one of these new plastic type guns of todays market,but would rather have an older well made gun with a wood stock and fore end.
I want this for groundhog hunting.

Can anyone give me some good advice,and point me in the right direction.

March 13, 2009, 11:16 PM
Is this 788 a bull barreled gun?
The 788 has a vulnerable extractor that shouldn't be hard to replace. I broke one in my daughters rifle and it was an easy fix.
The 788 has what is refered to as, very fast lock time. Over all a very nice rifle.
The stock might have been changed, as wood was the standard for them AFAIK.

March 13, 2009, 11:49 PM
A Remington 788 is a good rifle, if it has been taken care of. There were issues with plastic parts cracking and falling off (magazine releases and safeties, in particular), and since they are rear locking 2-piece bolts, they do not like hot handloads. Besides, 788s are drawing a lot of collector interest lately and prices are outrageous. If it were me, I would look for a Remington 78 Sportsman in 223, it is a roughly-finished Rem 700 with a stained birchwood stock, but it will shoot just like any other 700, and cost a lot less.

Jim Watson
March 14, 2009, 07:48 AM
I have a .223 788 that is a good shooter. I know there is an Internet Hatchet Job about all the "weaknesses" of a $90 gun but if you don't overload it so you don't have to beat on the bolt handle, you won't break it.

So what kind of ammo were you given two pails of?

March 14, 2009, 08:01 AM
The 788 was always noted as being a very accurate rifle - and I've never seen one that was issued with a bull-barrel or synthetic stock.

If you can get that .223 for a satisfactory price, I can see no reason not to do so.

Remington even made rimfires clones, in the day, that duplicated the look/style/feel of the centerfires.

March 14, 2009, 09:17 AM
I bought a remington 788 brand new in 7mm/08 many years ago. I've heard about people saying they have weak bolt handles that sometimes break off. I've never had a problem and i'm guessing if your looking at a gun with an intact bolt handle then that gun hasn't had a problem either. Actually, I've never seen a 788 with a broken bolt handle, they probably would'nt sell well :)

It is not the prettiest gun I own but it is a shooter. It shoots 1/2" groups at 100 yds all day long and I love to drag it out when ever a friend buys some new high dollar super shooter rifle and make a few side bets with him. The gun has easily paid for itself with these side bets.

If there is some weakness in the 788 I havn't seen it but I don't abuse my guns or subject them to torture tests. If a 788 can stand up to the 7mm/08 caliber I'm sure the .223 will be no problem at all.

March 14, 2009, 10:39 AM
To answer a few questions,I missed a gun on gunbroker.com last week due to a 1 hour time frame because I forgot about the time change.
I contacted the seller to see if the gun had sold,or if not,would he be relisting it.
It was sold,but he informed me that he had a 788 remington for sale in his shop along with several other .223's.He wanted $450.00 for the gun.
I was attempting to gather some information to see what the gun was worth and found both good and bad about the gun.
I came here for some facts,as you guys know what you are talking about,and I can gain a little knowledge along the way.
I do not know what kind of barrel it has,and I was not aware that it might have a bull barrel.
I did not say it had a synthetic stock,I said I did not want one.
The ammo is Federal Premium 77gr Gold Metal Match,and several other mixed in as well.55,69,and 70 gr in several other brands ,but the bulk of it is the 77 federal.

Jim Watson
March 14, 2009, 11:01 AM
MY 788 .223 has a 12" twist barrel and will handle 60 grain flatbase bullets but I doubt it would stabilize the 77 grain boattails in your pails.
I doubt the one you are looking at is much different, the 788 was out of production by the time the Army and target shooters were fooling with heavy bullets.

March 14, 2009, 11:33 AM
Reasonable .22 cal heavy bullet accuracy = 1:9" twist, IIRC - but I'm not sure, since the only .22 centerfire I shoot is a CZ Hornet.

May 31, 2009, 10:05 AM
I have a 788 bull barrel. It has a very strong breach. My 788 is a 22.250. I worked up some loads from heavy to light to find the best for accuracy. I found the heavy load locked up the breach and wasn't able to eject the shell. I waited a few minutes and the gas escaped, then I was able to eject the shell. You just have to give it time to release the gas. Don't beat on the knob. That would break anything. It's not pretty (wooden stock) but for a varmint gun, you can't beat it for accuracy. I have been thinking since I'm getting old now (74) I'm not doing any hunting so I would sell it. I was surprised to hear that it is selling for over $400. It is near mint with no loss of bluing and no scratches on the stock.

June 3, 2009, 08:43 PM
About 7 or 8 years ago, my son inheirited a very nice scoped Remington Model 788 in 243 Win. caliber from a relative. He had some problems with the bolt action and we discovered somebody had put a 6mm Bolt in it. Luckily he was given a "spare" bolt with the gun which turned out to be the correct 243 bolt. No problems ever again. It's a nice, inexpensive, but not cheaply made bolt gun. it just doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. It's main claim to fame is it's accuracy. I recommend getting one in a.243 Winchester caliber for versatility though; It's a great long range target gun; and by varying your ammo you can hunt white-tails down to varmits. (Use 100 grain bullets for white-tails; lighter bullets for varmits.) My sons 788 dates to the mid 60's (I think). It has a very decent-looking finished wood stock. I'm not sure what wood it is, but it looks like pretty good wood. I've though about buying a 788 myself. In .243 Win though.

November 7, 2009, 03:39 AM
I've been thinking about doing up a 788 target rifle. I have a left hand .308...new ,never fired and also have a semi inletted Fajen varmint stock in black/grey laminate. I bought the rifle for the action and bought the stock from the Fajen custom shop just before the closure of their operation. I was hoping to build a varmint/tactical rifle from this combo but have been stalled by a sudden economic downfall and I am looking to pass along this project. The rifle has never been fired. The stock has a high MonteCarlo rollover and palm swell and the forend was done without the 'Buick slots'. Anyone out there interested?

December 26, 2009, 09:32 PM
As far as I am concerned the Remington 788 is the best and most acruate(sp) gun that remington has ever made. I think they cut every corner to make a cheap gun down to reviting on the extractor and puting the locking lugs on the rear of the bolt. I bought on in 308 win long ago for 83.00 new at a sproting goods store. It looked bad and I reblued and refinished the stock so it look like a new gun. Out of the box it reminded me of a pipe sitting on top of a 2x4. I worked up a fairly warm load for it and found the best 3 shot pattern to measure .2 center to center at 100 yards. I backed off and settled for a load that gave 3 shot groups at 1/2" at 100 yards. It also has the fastest lock time of any gun on the market. When they took it off the market it was selling for 250.00. I think they took it off the market cause it was cutting into their 700 sales. I know some compition(sp) shooters that would take it and fix it up with new stock and shoot compition with it. I wouldn't take for mine. I have one in308 and one in 243. If I could find one cheap enough in 223 I would get it cause I can't fire anything with anymore recoil than a 223 because of cancer and operation they did on me made my head not movable and any jar smarts good. If you can find one It is well worth getting. I had a friend that was with me at a range and he wasn't hitting the paper with it and it sounded funny. Checked and found he was shooting 243 in my 308. Fireformed the brass but did not hurt the gun. Like I said they made a cheap very well made and acurate firearm............

Lan Bostwick

February 8, 2010, 05:39 AM

your son will be able to shoot that rifle for many years to come or until he decides to step up in cal like i did lol. my dad bought one for my mom in the late 70's for her in .243 for deer hunting. she never caught the bug. but when i was 7, my dad was involved in a major wreck that required major neck surgery. he would've missed an entire deer season, and that wasn't happening!!! so he had the lil 788 fitted with a muzzlebreak so he could shoot with a neck collar on. towards the end of the season he had his early 70's model 700 .270 fitted with a muzzle break and i got the 788. 14 years later i still shoot it on occation and still willing to take it hunting even though i prefer my model 700 .270. whatever you do don't get rid of the rifle and let him relive those childhood memories just as i have.

February 9, 2010, 10:26 AM
was the 788 made in two action lengths? the cartridges it was chambered for are ones we typically see in short actions but was the 788 in one length for 308,6mm,and 7mm/08 and shorter length for 223,etc?

February 9, 2010, 01:24 PM
One length, short action.

February 10, 2010, 12:53 AM
I have a 788 in 223 that was my dads, never had a problem with anything on it, its got to be 18-20 years old. Still a tack driver, shooting 50 grain vmax with H4895 near max loads, not any bolt problems at all. I shot my first antilope with it and have taken several deer with it. Not that a 223 is great for hunting large game, but got the job done no problem, 50 gr vmax to the neck= DRT. Ive been looking for one in a 243 in nice condition. Love my 788......:D

twice barrel
February 10, 2010, 08:49 AM
As a youth Remington 788's were common "first deer rifles" for boys, expecially in 243 Winchester. No matter the caliber every one I ever saw shot was very accurate with most ammo. ( I worked at a gun range when I was 15)

But I always thought they were too heavy and ugly. Sorta describes me now.



February 16, 2010, 09:20 PM
Regarding the action lengths available. When I ordered a Fajen varmint stock from their custom shop for my left hand 788 , I was told there were two action lengths, depending on the chambering. The left hand action in all calibre/chambering offerings was a long action. I don't know the dimentions (OAL).

February 16, 2010, 09:59 PM
i replaced my 788's ugly wood stock with a semi ugly ramline stock. i remember when i ordered the ramline stock there was a long and short bolt version. i ordered the short bolt version as mine was a 7mm/08 and they sent me the long bolt version which had to be sent back and replaced with the correct stock.

i still have the gun, it is a great shooter, a handy short barreled size with detatchable magazines which is a great feature. It was also my first introduction to the 7mm/08 caliber which quickly grew into one of my favorite calibers.