Is it worth it to put the money into a rem 788?

dave_halsey

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Ive had a remington 788 ( longer action in 308) sitting in the safe for years now and i keep going through the rounds of tuning it up to hunt with. My real question is would to be worth getting a mcmillan and a stainless proof or comparable type barrel to change it to a 7mm-08 for a little light weight rig? Or would it best to just go with a wood boyds and a shillen as a cheaper tune up as just a truck gun to shoot the occasional coyote? Thoughts?
 

Texanjohn

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SE Pa.
The 788 was Remington’s answer to the cheaper rifle,They shoot, and shoot well BUT the action lacks the solidness to take heavy loads, one reason it was not offered in anything heavier then a 308, the locking lugs at the REAR of the bolt means that head space can go south if you push its limits. They do bring respectable prices because the shoot so well, with one of the fastest lock times ever and a good barrel, they a great shooters.
 

FEENIX

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Ive had a remington 788 ( longer action in 308) sitting in the safe for years now and i keep going through the rounds of tuning it up to hunt with. My real question is would to be worth getting a mcmillan and a stainless proof or comparable type barrel to change it to a 7mm-08 for a little light weight rig? Or would it best to just go with a wood boyds and a shillen as a cheaper tune up as just a truck gun to shoot the occasional coyote? Thoughts?
It boils down to a personal choice and only you can answer that.
 

Privi457

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California
The big lie about rear locking lugs continues. Heat treated steel bolts and actions do not compress.
NINE locking lugs, where have you heard that before ?
A 788 is not an SMLE. It can handle any 308 based cartridge. It was made in 22-250, 244 and 7mm08 all are hot cartridges.
Anyone know what action Roy used for the early 378s ? Hint: it has rear locking lugs.
"Read and repeat with zero evidence".
 

J E Custom

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The 788 is a very good action to build on. It has many features that make them very good for a standard short action round. The center feed makes them very good for the Ackley cartridges but the mag has to be altered slightly, So I recommend the standard chambering.

For what you want, the 7/08 would be a great choice. the Shillen select match is as good as barrel
the higher cost barrels. I would recommend a 1 in 9 twist so you can shoot 120's to 140's and the same goes for the Boyds laminated stocks. you can also find a very good stock from Stockey's stocks that is finished for under $300.00.

Get a stainless barrel and a laminate stock and it will be very durable. have the barrel cut to 20" and get most of the potential of the 7/08.

At one time It was the bench rest favorite to build on because of its strength, but due to the minimal caming of the bolt, heavy loads increase the bolt lift. In my opinion that is the only downside to the 788, and a tactical bolt nob will cure that. (It makes the bolt handle longer for more maniacal advantage.

Most of the negative press about the action came from improper use/loads and not the action it's self. Even the inexpensive stocks normally found on them occasionally have beautiful wood if you re finish it, especially the carbine.

I have two 788's for hunting, one is a 260 AI and the other is a 7/08 AI and they will both shoot sub 1/2 MOA. I have the Boyd's AT-one stock on the 260 AI and like the adjustability of it. It comes finished and inletted for the 788. It is also good for younger shooters and adults alike
because of its adjustability.

J E CUSTOM
 

Jonoton

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Feb 1, 2017
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I just traded for a 788 in 308, so this thread is one I'll be following. Already have a compact 308, and I am thinking a 22 cal of some flavor will be the ticket. J E, what 22 cartridge would you suggest for a 788 in the 308 length action and magazine? I have a pile of 22-250, maybe a 22-250 AI with a 1/8 twist barrel?
 

Privi457

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I just traded for a 788 in 308, so this thread is one I'll be following. Already have a compact 308, and I am thinking a 22 cal of some flavor will be the ticket. J E, what 22 cartridge would you suggest for a 788 in the 308 length action and magazine? I have a pile of 22-250, maybe a 22-250 AI with a 1/8 twist barrel?
Would make a great 243 AI. "The cartridge Winchester should have made."
 

J E Custom

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I just traded for a 788 in 308, so this thread is one I'll be following. Already have a compact 308, and I am thinking a 22 cal of some flavor will be the ticket. J E, what 22 cartridge would you suggest for a 788 in the 308 length action and magazine? I have a pile of 22-250, maybe a 22-250 AI with a 1/8 twist barrel?
The 22-250 would be a great choice and the 788 came in 22-250 so you can buy/find magazines for for It.

I would recommend a 1 in 12 twist unless you want to shoot the heaviest .224 bullets because of it's velocity. I found the best bullet for all round use is 50 to 55 grains. The 22-250 AI is a good improvement If you reload, but it doesn't need the speed improvement over the SAMMI 22-250.
A 1 in 14 twist is normally used with the 40 to 55 grain bullets , and a 1 in 10 twist for use in the 22-250 and the 220 swift for the heavies The 1 in 8 is great for the slower .223 rem class of cartridges.

The 6mm Remington or the 243 win is also a good choice. some are even going to the 6mm Creedmoor.

J E CUSTOM
 

dave_halsey

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Ely, NV
The 7-08AI is a very interesting round that im not opposed from. The 6CM or a zippy little 6mm round would be fun. Pretty open to non mag calibers. My real question which I think was answered was is it worth it to go all the way with ordering a really good mcmillan stock ( dont think i will) worth it but more so a laminated boyds stock with a good stainless barrel would be the ticket.
 

L.Sherm

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I'm not a member on Benchrest central but once or twice a year I go see what's going on on that forum and just stumbled on this.
Seems a certain individual who's been banned once on here is over there talking a little $$$$ over there, total B.S.
 

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J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,298
Location
Texas
The big lie about rear locking lugs continues. Heat treated steel bolts and actions do not compress.
NINE locking lugs, where have you heard that before ?
A 788 is not an SMLE. It can handle any 308 based cartridge. It was made in 22-250, 244 and 7mm08 all are hot cartridges.
Anyone know what action Roy used for the early 378s ? Hint: it has rear locking lugs.
"Read and repeat with zero evidence".


👍 👍 👍
Having built many rifles on the 788 action, I feel i know the strong points and the weak points so I will share what I know about the 788 Remington.

First a little history.
The 788 was designed to be an economical rifle to compete with other manufactures cheaper offerings. It was never intended/designed for a long action cartridge. Materials are the same and machine cost are greatly reduced because the requirements of the bolt abutments and the lack of broach cuts to control alignment of the bolt recoil lugs are eliminated, this design not only added action strength, it also added weight. Also they don't have a bolt recess that is really not necessary unless a cartridge is overloaded and spews gas out where it should not come from. (It is a nice safety feature for those occasions where pressure exceeded the cartridge case strength)

The reason they were removed from there action line was simple, they were hurting the 700 sales,
the same reason they removed the 721 and 722 models. And went with a standard short action and a standard long action. the manufacturing could concentrate on one design and one trigger design. this saves cost and improves production.

The recoil lugs location was also a design requirement because an interrupted thread is much more precision to machine it is also much less expensive saving cost of manufacturing. (The original goal), The strength issue is non existent. If this design is good enough for Weatherby Mark 5's , big artillery and navel guns, it is certainly strong enough for any rifle cartridge. they also allow a 60o bolt lift that makes them fast and gives a lot of clearance for scope and mounts

Another design advantage of the 788 was a center feed removable magazine. something we all seem to gravitate to now days. Having a straight bolt bore and bolt, tolerances can be closer.

The heavy bolt lift is a case of higher pressure and a more aggressive came angle that makes it harder to break the round lose (extract). A simple change to correct this is to add a tactical bolt knob to effectively improve the maniacal advantage of the bolt. Only 1/2 '' to 3/4'' longer seams to correct this negative. the only other negative I have encountered was the flat firing pin, and Remington remedied that soon after they came out with the 788.

There will always be lots of opinions about different actions, but most of this is based on hearsay
not actual experience. If they are not any good, why does a used one run anywhere from $500.00 to $900.00 dollars. Just because an action is designed for cheaper manufacturing cost, doesn't make it a weak or cheep action/rifle.

Like everything else, it is a great design if used the way it was designed.

J E CUSTOM
 
Last edited:

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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1,235
Location
Wyoming
The 22-250 would be a great choice and the 788 came in 22-250 so you can buy/find magazines for for It.

I would recommend a 1 in 12 twist unless you want to shoot the heaviest .224 bullets because of it's velocity. I found the best bullet for all round use is 50 to 55 grains. The 22-250 AI is a good improvement If you reload, but it doesn't need the speed improvement over the SAMMI 22-250.
A 1 in 14 twist is normally used with the 40 to 55 grain bullets , and a 1 in 10 twist for use in the 22-250 and the 220 swift for the heavies The 1 in 8 is great for the slower .223 rem class of cartridges.

The 6mm Remington or the 243 win is also a good choice. some are even going to the 6mm Creedmoor.

J E CUSTOM
I used to have a 788 in 22-250. Was my first centerfire rifle. It was very accurate . It's what got me into handloading . The good old Lee handloader. Banging away with a plastic mallot. The good old days. Wish I still had that rifle ... :(
 

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