Rem 788

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by mzollars, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. mzollars

    mzollars Member

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    I know a lot of you LRH guys may giggle about this, but hear me out. I was given a REM 788 in .243 as a teenager. I still have it today. It has carried me through a lot of shooting years and taken a lot of deer. Long ago, we worked up a load it likes and I have never had to change it. I love the rifle and buy spare parts when I come across them.

    Recently, I picked up another one in .308 that has been worked over by a now deceased self-professed home gunsmith. It has the original barrel and the bore and chamber look good. No crap, gouges, pits. The barrel has been threaded and now has a Herter's muzzle brake. The stock is really rough. I can't tell if it's the original that has been glassed over or if it is an aftermarket. The mag well is so tight that the magazines won't insert unless forced. Removal takes even longer.

    I would like to turn this into a shooter. I know the rifle itself is only capable of so much, but I'd like to wring out whatever accuracy and distance I can. I'm only into the rifle $200, but don't want to poor money into a paper weight. I shoot a lot of .308 at work, and know what I can do with the round.

    The only stock I can find for this rifle is the few Ram-Line's that are still around. Not fond of that idea at all. I'm looking to those that are much more experienced than I for advice, suggestions, parts leads, etc.
     
  2. EddieHarren

    EddieHarren Well-Known Member

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    Gun Parts Corp. lists replacement walnut stocks for the 788 rifles.
     

  3. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    on the far right is my 788, it has a richards microfit stock on it, had I think 167 bucks total in the stock, bedding and trigger job when all was said and done, the stock which is a standard grade walnut semi-finished was 67.00
    [​IMG]
    RR
     
  4. mzollars

    mzollars Member

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    Thanks EddieHarren. I have the Numrich "bible" on my desk at work. Right now all they seem to list on the web is the parts schematic. I seem to have my best luck on parts at gun shows. Most guys have a little of something, but not enough to list anywhere.

    RidgeRunner, thanks for the lead on Richards Rifle Stocks. I have already fallen in love with their Tac-Driver model. I may even re-stock my .243. Glad to see there are still 788 owners out there. I don't know why Remington gave up on them......My has been a great rifle.

    And now that I take a closer look at your photo, you're a lefty. An even more rare 788!

    Anyone else with additional suggestions, lemme have 'em.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  5. R.C.Saul

    R.C.Saul Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 788's one is a 222 and the other a 6mm. No new info here though. you have already been given all the same info I have. Good luck and keep us informed.
     
  6. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    well anyone with a duplicator can make you any style stock you want then use your old stock as a pattern for the inlet, so the possibilities are endless, I'm pretty sure Timney offers a 788 trigger.
    The only parts I know of that are hard to find are the mags for 6mm, 22-250, 30/30, and 44 mag.
    The 243/308/7mm/08 mags are still available about anywhere, as are 222, 223.
    RR
     
  7. mo

    mo Well-Known Member

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    Mcmillan makes a stock for the 788
     
  8. mzollars

    mzollars Member

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    Ridge Runner, Sportsmans Guide has mags for 30-30, 308, 44 Rem Mag, and 6mm. They are about half the price of what I usually see them going for at gun shows. I don't know if they are OEM or aftermarket.

    RC Saul, This is really my first project gun other than building AR's. I know this is a budget rifle to begin with, so I'm just looking to maximize what Remington made. Besides my conscience (pronounced wife) is the CFO here. Oh......the guns I could have owned without kids. Maybe I'll start taking photos so I can give periodic updates on her progress.
     
  9. blackbrush

    blackbrush Well-Known Member

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    Being a strange duck here in America, I believe SO much in the concept of private property that it may sound hypocritical of me to make suggestions as to your property.

    I hope you are not offended...

    My gun experience pales as compared to the artists and smiths on this sight. I ran into my first 788 not long ago as a friend had one that wouldn't shoot anymore. After a cleaning and new crown it shot (factory ammo I might add) back to what he remembered. I won't go there on "...you could cover the group with a dime at 100 yards..."

    Be that as it may, I have NEVER seen a factory rifle shoot factory ammo like this 788.

    An alternative suggestion; find a couple of scratched up, banged up 788 stocks, do some fitting and incrementally whack off a portion of the butts so your children can graduate and learn to shoot the same way Dad did with Dad's same rifle.

    This may allow you to get your children in the field with you sooner enjoying and learning with Dad. There is not a better classroom in the whole world.
     
  10. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    I wish the OP was within driving distance, I would volunteer to help him out. I love working on 788s. I have been rebarreling them with factory varmint taper barrels. Did one in 243 and one in 308. I guess that all the rounds down those old barrels helped them out in some way because when you cut about 1.5 inches off one then thread and chamber and crown it and screw it on a 788 action and do a decent bedding job the darn things flat out shoot.
    The first one I did I used a 243 barrel off an old 40x action. I had to cut nearly 2 inches off the back of the barrel because it was so shot out and the chamber was soooo crooked in relation tot he lands. The darn thing shot several one hole 100 yard groups and would shoot 1/2 MOA groups at 800. There is just something satisfying about taking one of these little "inferior" remingtons and making them into tac drivers using all factory parts.

    I hear the 788 has a faster lock time than a 700. Anybody know for sure?
     
  11. mzollars

    mzollars Member

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    No worries, I asked for suggestions about this rifle. Multiple stocks in different lengths is a good idea. I can never seem to get rid of R&R parts when I accumulate them. You never know when you might need them. So maybe I'll buy my .243 a "new dress" too and keep the old stock for future use. I have 2 little ones at home. The are just cutting their teeth with my old Crosmans. My other kids are teenagers and far away. They have been shooting my other guns as fast as I can reload.

    When I coach at sniper schools, it is very satisfying to take a good shooter and help him refine his skills to be a tack driver. In the sniper business, the shot has to count.......everytime. But it's still nothing compared to seeing joy on your child's face that you helped create.

    As for the .308, I think I'm going to clean it well and be sure everything is tight. Then I'm going to do some diagnostic shooting with it. The glass on it is crap, but was part of the $200 deal. I'll swap it with one of my Leupold's to eliminate that question and put it to the test. If it gets the nod, then it's off to the honey-do list to earn credit. See I told my wife about the Richards stock I want to by and the price. She said, "That's not bad." That brought 2 questions to mind...........

    1. Who are you, and how long is my wife going to be gone?

    2. Did I mention how many stocks I wanted to buy..........?

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  12. mzollars

    mzollars Member

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    Eddybo, I wish we lived closer too. I don't know anyone around here that works on the 788's. Some have said, "I don't work on 788's." Like I said earlier, this is my first project gun. So I'm limiting myself to nearly all R&R on parts. I know several skilled gunsmiths that I can lean on for assistance. I would like to try my hand with bedding the .308 in the new stock. In the end, my plan is that it will be a hunter, just like the .243.

    If the paper test doesn't work out, I may have to re-barrel. But it seems that most of the 788's haven't been shot enough to get shot out. A good cleaning, appropriate torque, and better glass, seem to fix the problem.

    Proved that with a buddy in Wyoming in 2008. He missed a dandy muley and checked zero of his rifle. He said he couldn't shoot worth a hoot. We cleaned/torqued it and he had me put 3 rounds through it. I told him his problem was that his old scope couldn't decide what to look at. New glass, like new rifle. But I digress........

    I better get to ordering parts before my wife realizes what she's done.......
     
  13. blacktail hunter

    blacktail hunter Active Member

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    I really like my 788 in .308
     
  14. knc1105

    knc1105 Well-Known Member

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    I got the last (4) .243 mags the guide had left and that was a long time ago. The were new factory mags. I have (2) -788's both in 243. I bought them for my mom and dad for Christmas decades ago. After they passed I ended back up with them. They are still prestine and I'm saving them for my teenagers. Both have floated barrels and trigger work, and good mounts and rings. My mom's has a 3-10x44 Mil-Dot, my dad's was iron sights but I set it up for a windy day prairie dog rifle with a 6.5-20 x 44 mil-dot. I have never set-up to reload for them because I don't shoot them much, but they both shoot a ragged hole with Federal 100 gr factory ammo. And Wal-mart has it so cheap I never reloaded the 243's. Nine locking lugs and a faster lock time, a some other secrets, and they really shoot. When you see one for sale they usually bring considerably more than a 700.