Gun of the Week: Remington Model 783

Although it has yet to take off in the UK, Mike Powell finds plenty to enjoy about this week’s Gun of the Week, the Remington Model 783.

The Hampshire-based firm of Raytrade, importers of Remington rifles, have put together a rather nice package built around a Remington Model 783.

This model followed on from the Model 770, I vaguely remember being a little disappointed with that Remy and it would appear that I wasn’t the only one as the 783 is undoubtedly a better rifle altogether. In this case, Raytrade have put together a package that would appear to be rather nice!

The thing that strikes you most is clearly the Form stock. The Exeter-based company have certainly made a name for themselves, producing some really beautiful stocks for a variety of rifle brands.

Raytrade, the official distributors for Form stocks, can offer them to fit at least ten standard makes of rifles and others can be made to order. The stock fitted to this particular rifle is the Carro model in walnut laminate, and like all Form stocks not only does looks good, it’s a pleasure to use too.

The adjustable cheek piece, operated by a recessed button in the stock, allows excellent eye to scope alignment – essential for accurate shooting. The butt is finished with a soft rubber pad. The well designed pistol grip gave a well positioned hold as far as I was concerned.

Two studs are fitted for affixing a sling and, in addition, there is a recessed magnetic stud which, when removed, facilitates the fitting of the Spartan Harris bipod which comes as part of the package. Overall, the stock which has an oiled finish, done by hand is really nice and a credit to the manufacturers.

The removable magnetic plug for the Spartan bipod
The Spartan bipod is a lightweight and ingenious set of legs

Turning to the barrel, this is 22-inch, fully floated, and what could be described as of medium varmint weight. The crown has been very well cut and the barrel comes factory threaded metric 14/1.

Like the rest of the metalwork the barrel has a grey matt finish. The barrel itself is attached to the action with a barrel locking nut, which allows for very precise head spacing which all adds to the accuracy of the rifle.

The action is the typical tubular Remington style, the top of which is drilled and tapped for the two Weaver type bases. There is a rather large hole drilled in the receiver to allow gas to escape in the unlikely event that a primer is pierced.

The action is secured to the forend by the usual two bolts and is held securely in place by a substantial recoil lug. The bolt has two lugs and the bolt handle has a flattened handle embossed with the “R” logo. Immediately behind the bolt handle is the straightforward “safe” rear “fire” forward safety catch.

The tapered bolt shroud has a partly concealed cocking indicator. The ejection port is large and in operation the single claw single plunger ejector worked well. In fact the whole feed, extraction and ejection system worked perfectly. The bolt release catch sits immediately behind the receiver body.

The trigger is the Remington “crossfire” system where – like the Savage Accutrigger – a blade protrudes through the trigger itself acting rather like a two stage system.

I really like this set up as it gives very good trigger control. Let off weight of this particular rifle was just over three pounds which worked well however, should you wish to change the weight of pull the trigger is adjustable.

The four shot capacity box magazine has a metal body with a polymer base, a good combination, to release the magazine is straightforward: the front catch is simply moved rearwards.

Large ejector port and gas escape hole

The review rifle came with the Picatinny rail option (as opposed to a scope) and I fitted a Minox ZX5 to it for test purposes. The rifle also came with an Evolve moderator.

I’ve used this make of mod before and found them more than adequate. Evaluating moderators is hardly a precise science, as so much depends on the sort of terrain they are being used over. Suffice it to say, the Evolve moderator worked well in quietening down the .243.

The other item that came with the package was the bipod; this was one from Spartan and was a little unusual in that it fixed to the rifle by way of a magnetised stud! I’m not a bipod person, as my days of shooting from the prone position are a long way behind me, and as the vast majority of my shooting is done at night, lying in wet sheep or cattle inhabited fields lost its appeal years ago! However, the magnetic system seemed a very good idea and allowed for instant removal of the bipod.

I was keen to see how the 783 package performed in the field but I had to wait a few days for a suitable weather window as gales and rain literally dampened my enthusiasm. Eventually the weather improved somewhat and I was off to my “range” on the local farm. As far as functionality was concerned, everything worked well and I was soon set up and ready to go.

I had a variety of ammunition in varying makes and weights to try including some of my own home loads developed for my own .243. I started off with a few of my loads which were 72 grain Barnes Varminators over 49 grains of Superformance.

The Remington ammunition worked well in the 783

My old Sako shoots these very well when after foxes but the Remy wasn’t so sure (which didn’t surprise me) so I moved on to the factory ammo. Raytrade had sent some Remington Accutip 75grn and some 80grn PSP ammo for the review.

Both shot well although the rifle showed a preference for the 80grn, the Remington shot these very well from the start printing good groups from just under an inch to just over, more than fit for the type of shooting this rifle would be used for. As is always the case, I have no doubt at all that given time to work up a load this rifle could comfortably get down to half an inch groups.

The excellent Form Carro stock afforded good grip and was extremely comfortable when shooting and the 14.5 length of pull suited me very well. As I mentioned earlier, I really like the “crossfire” trigger, it seems to give more actual trigger control that a conventional two stage system.

The rifle itself weighs in at just over seven pounds and when fitted with moderator scope and bipod tipped the scales at just less than eleven pounds which by present day standards isn’t too bad at all.

There are a choice of four models of the 783 and a wide range of calibres including the increasingly popular 6.5 Creedmoor. The Form Carro model with either a 3-8×50 scope or the Picatinny rail has a RRP of £1,275, the Varmint version costs £1,325, the Synthetic stocked Varmint is £895 and finally the Synthetic standard package is £845.

The Remington’s trigger unit and safety

For anyone starting out and looking for a rifle that will cover stalking and foxing the Remington 783 in .243Win is certainly well worth investigating, it’s nicely made I am sure it will give years of trouble free service and above all is very accurate.

As far as which model to go for, although the package with the Form Carro stock is the most expensive of the four, personally, that’s the one I would go for as it really does tick all the boxes.

Remington rifles have languished a little in the UK which is a shame as this company have always produced very good guns and rifles, in the 783 they have a rifle that will do everything the shooter needs it to, and do it well!

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