When I was a teenager with an addiction to shooting and guns, I read the accounts of the great gun writers—Warren Page, Jack O’Connor, Charles Askins, and others—about what was new and introduced at the Remington new product event each year at Remington Farms. It seemed those were the luckiest guys in the world to be able to do something so exciting. I never imagined that one day, I’d be one of those guys—but I just got back from this year’s and I’m excited with Big Green’s new hunting rifle.
The Model 700 has been an icon for over 50 years. My first centerfire rifle was a Model 700 in .25-06, and I’ve owned a bunch of 700s since then. I’ve also owned many other memorable guns from Remington. I once owned a Model 600 Carbine in .222 that was one of the most accurate rifles I’ve ever owned in spite of its six-pound weight. My father in law had a 788 in .243 that was really a shooter, and for a brief period of time, I owned a pair of Model 700s that Russ Jones built. They were custom-sleeved Palma and Wimbledon rifles and they were real tack-drivers.
Now, Remington has come out with a new rifle to fill the space between their lowest-cost Model 770 and the Model 700. Availible in .30-06, .270, 7mm Magnum, and .308, the 783 features manufacturing techniques that are currently producing a golden age of reasonably-priced and super-accurate rifles. The 783 uses a blade safety trigger system Remington has dubbed the “CrossFire.” It’s factory-set at 3-1/2 pounds and is adjustable from 2-1/2 to five pounds. It features a carbon-steel, magnum-contour, button-rifled barrel that measures 22 inches long in standard chamberings and 24 inches long on magnums. The synthetic stock is pillar-bedded and the barrel is free-floated. It also sports the Remington SuperCell recoil pad, making the .308 I tested felt like a .243 in the recoil department. The action is cylindrical and accepts two Model 700 front-scope bases. I really liked the smooth-bottom, four-round box magazine.
With 150-grain .308 hunting ammunition, I shot two five-shot groups under an inch. One would have been under 3/8-inch, except for a flyer just outside at three o’clock. The bolt is smooth, the trigger is crisp, and the ergonomics are good. The 783 isn’t a lightweight at 7.2 pounds, but I liked the heft and “real rifle” feel. At 100 yards, I managed to hit 10 consecutive clay targets propped up in the berm while standing. and I have witnesses to prove it, though they are other gun writers—and as a group, we aren’t known for credibility. There was enough weight in the magnum-contour barrel to allow a high-power-style hold and the crisp trigger allowed me to break the shot as the crosshairs were moving to center. Everything I see about this rifle tells me it’s going to be a winner.
Image by Dick Jones