Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom
Remington 788 Action:
TO: All the 'smiths out there.
RE: Dressing up a 788 action.
I'v got a Remington 788 action that's still got the original 18 1/2"
inch barrel screwed on it. I approached a well-respected 1,000 yard gun
builder about having a match grade tube tightened on and finding a GOOD
synthetic stock for the thing. The man flatly refused to do the work. His
basic message was the action was not of high enough quality to warrant
the change. Perhaps I didn't clearly communicate the intention for the
dressup; I did not want to use the resulting project as a 1,000 yard match
rifle, but rather as a poor man's precision .308. I think he was afraid
his reputation would suffer if I showed up somewhere at a match and shot
poorly with his work. His final remark was something like, "If you bring
me a decent 700 action.."
So, now I'm looking for a second opinion. Is the action worth the
investment? Despite the age of the action, it is relatively wearfree. (Under
PA USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 19:08:46 (EST)
To Scott T.O.O. :788 Question
I will tell you all I know about the 788. The reciever is stiff
enough for your purposes for sure. The lock time of the action is one of
the fastest ever made. There are nine locking lugs at the rear of the bolt
and all nine are probably not making contact with the locking lug recesses
in the receiver. The trigger is not adjustable and I dont know anyone who
makes an aftermarket trigger for them. The bolt handle is brazed on and
combined with the short leverage travel to extract the case from the chamber
can spell trouble. I would not worry to much about finding a synthetic
stock. Just glass bed the wood stock and paint it. I have seen guys who
modified them for NRA highpower matches by making their own 5 round clips
for reloading and it worked for them. How does it shoot with the barrel
that is on now?
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 22:06:52 (EST)
Scott T.O.O. Sounds like you might need to get a different gunsmith.
The forward lugs on the 788 are not a detrement to accuracy. They do in
fact shoot some cartridges better than about any thing else (22-250-,223)except
the latest designs out of the box. I've seen some very excellent rifles
with these barrels and actions. Remington didn't spend a great deal of
time tuning the trigger and smoothing the actions on these guns but...
What is a good gunsmith for? The removable clip is another desirable feature
that costs nothing on this gun and contrary to some of the newer clip designs
it works! I won't slander anyones else's judgement but I do maintain that
you are the customer and he is the servee! I would be a little dubious
of someone who would not undertake a challenge if that is what he consider's
it. Anyone can make a good shooter out of a new Remington PSS or VS cause
they shoot damn good out of the box! There are excellent after market parts
to make the trigger a silk purse and the barrel weight of the 788 is just
about Ideal for a scout rifle. I can't say what he might have experienced
trying to smooth one of those out but I want my gunsmith to tell me he
will do it not tell me what I want done. Obviously the guy is in the Accuracy
rut and doesn't want to be bothered with a tactical project. NO. I don't
know who to tell you to go to but there are those here who do. I would
be interested to hear different opinions about the 788 perhaps I have just
USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 22:24:24 (EST)
Scott T.O.O. Sorry I just realized I said front locking lugs. I
should have said rear but old guys wander off sometimes! Steve thanks
for reminding me. You must have been posting at exactly the same
USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 22:29:08 (EST)
TO: Steve "nato"
RE: 788 action
Thanks for the comeback. The rifle shot like a house afire with the
original stock on it, honest 1" groups at 100 yards. BUT, after a couple
of trips in the rain, that finish on the birch stock started to crack,
and I thought it was the stock ITSELF starting to crack, so I had a piece
of nice, plain walnut with a nice, shiny finish applied, and ever since,
it doesn't shoot as well as it originally did. I suppose the stock fit
was pretty bad, but never really checked it out. Also, I really only developed
one load for it in the beginning, and when I found a good one (the first
one I tried), that's where I stopped. SO, I guess a careful stock/action
mating would be in order, as you suggest, along with some further load
development. My main concern for the longer barrel was to compensate for
velocity loss beyond, say, 300 yards. What do you think?
PA USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 22:32:22 (EST)
TO: B. Rogers
RE: 788 action
Thanks for the comeback. I was extremely happy with the rifle, and
did my best work with it for almost twenty years. Had a big, old slow 180
grain load that I never shot over 75 yards that did the business right
HereandNow. Then I got the "shoot 'em way out there" bug, and kind of abandoned
my li'l old 788. I guess I read too much Elmer Keith. Nah, can't read too
much of that old scudder's stuff, God Bless His Soul. Elmer, as you probably
know, was highly enamoured of BIG calibers. Scout Rifle, huh? Sounds like
a definite possibility! I wonder if the Jeff Cooper that posts here on
SC is THE Col. Jeff Cooper?
PA USA - Saturday, December 12, 1998 at 22:50:29 (EST)
Re: 788 possibilities
>The man flatly refused to do the work. His basic message was the
>action was not of high enough >quality to warrant the change.
I remember an article by Fred Sinclair about making a BR type rifle
out of a 788. He lapped the lugs for many hours and still didn't get all
lugs to bear. He said it made a good varmint rifle though. Those bolts
were rough as a corn cob.
Ron N. <email@example.com>
USA - Sunday, December 13, 1998 at 00:45:22 (EST)
Anyway there isn't any hard fast rule the all the lugs on the 788
have to bear by the way. Has little to do with the accuracy on this particular
model. Large errors might be a problem but... mostatime it
ain't. One has to forgive cheap wood and cheap metal fit in the
788 and it's admittedly not optimum but it ain't useless. I can probably
sympathize with the 1000 yard Gunsmith that he don't want to waste time
on it but I've seen some real good work done by those old packing crate
USA - Sunday, December 13, 1998 at 10:09:57 (EST)
I think short handy rifles have their place. A short handy rifle
that you have with you beats the hell out of the big bucks custom 14 pounder
that you left at home. I do not think it wise to try to shoot hot loads
to make up the difference in the short barrel though. With the 778 the
bolt handle might break off for you. Even though Jeff Cooper endorses the
Suprise Break method of triger control. I dont think all of his ideas have
equal merit. The scout rifle is one of the dumber ones. If you try to shoot
one of those Scout rifles with the sun at your back, the reflection of
the rear eypiece will make the forward mounted scope useless. With a rear
mounted scope, the chances that the back of your head will block out the
sun is better.
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Sunday, December 13, 1998 at 14:02:55 (EST)
Steve:my reference to "Scout Rifle" is pretty broad and doesn't
include a LER Scope. Even the Colonel doesn't specify that a scout has
to have a LER. It was a option that he liked to keep his eyes free to see
threats outside the scope and be able to point quickly.
USA - Monday, December 14, 1998 at 01:37:07 (EST)
Scout rifles: Wow, such hostility! The scout rifle is a great concept
for a certain role, certainly NOT as a sniper weapon. It certainly has
all kinds of limitations (!), but it does make a nifty rifle for most hunting.
San Jose, CA USA - Thursday, December 17, 1998 at 00:04:07 (EST)
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