Remington 783 Bolt Action Rifle, .270 Winchester
The tested item is the walnut edition of Remington's economical 783 series rifle. My example is chambered in .270 Winchester: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308, .30-06, and 7mm Remington Magnum chamberings are also listed. All of the walnut models have 22 inch barrels except for the 24 inch barrel of the 7mm RemMag. This rifle currently has a street price of $366 or so and is available in a scoped version with a Vortex pre-mounted scope for something around $500. For those on a strict budget, or just feeling a but unflush, the synthetic stocked 783 models with scope can be had for blisteringly low prices all the way down to about $300.
The American black walnut stock is standard grade, darkly stained, with cleanly cut checkering. Steel sling studs are pre-installed, as are Weaver style scope bases. The recoil pad is a soft-durometer ground pad, not a SuperCell, and is nicely fitted. The user-adjustable Cross-Fire trigger breaks at a very crisp 4 lbs. or so right out of the box. The 783 comes with a lifetime written warranty, like all current Remington product.
The Remington Model 783 has been out since 2013 and has earned a good reputation, the first entry-level Remington bolt-action to do so in many years, so it is fair to say the 783 is both reasonably well-established and is here to stay. Remington took a few steps to get the cost out of the rifle for the highly competitive “deer rifle in a box” market.
The action is the universal receiver approach, using the same action length for all chamberings and the same, fairly heavy profile target-crowned barrel for all chamberings as well. The 783 has the barrel nut to adjust head-spacing, as most associate the Savage Arms centerfires. It is a push-feed action with a 90 degree bolt throw, and it is extremely smooth. The trigger guard is plastic, another nod to trying to get the cost out of the rifle.
The Remington 783 walnut in .270 Winchester is extremely soft shooting. There is no magical reason why, it is just the weight. It weighs 7 lbs. 10 oz. unloaded with the magazine and scope bases installed. That is over a pound more than the previously tested Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle, for example. The 7-1/2 lb. weight class is to be expected on many walnut-stocked, magnum profile bolt-action rifles, as the Weatherby Vanguard Sporter weighs about the same. Those looking for a super-cream-puff shooting rifle might want to consider the 783 in 6.5 Creedmoor.
The Remington 783 shot an inch at 100 yards right out of the box, with Hornady 130 grain Full Boar rounds, so there is nothing lacking in the hunting accuracy department at all with this rifle. I wouldn't expect anything else, as the small ejection port, magnum profile barrel, rigid walnut stick, and minimum head space from the barrel nut array are all components of accuracy. Most thermoplastic stocks on economical rifles have too much flex. As a result, walnut stocked versions are generally more accurate and, if you want to hand bed them, it is an easier task than on greasy plastic stocks that nothing wants to stick to.
The matte finish of the Remington 783 is better than average, noticeably better than on the Savage Axis, for example. The detachable box magazine fits flush, so it isn't the eyesore of the Browning AB3. The trigger is markedly better than the T/C Compass, better than on the Ruger American, and generally lighter and crisper than on most bolt-action rifles of this price bracket.
There are a few things that cannot be done without moving the price of a bolt-action rifle out of the economical range. I'm referring to highly polished blue, highly figured walnut stocks, alloy trigger guards, and so forth. None of these attributes make a rifle any more reliable or more accurate, but they are what I want, and expect, in a premium hunting rifle. When it comes to rifles characterized as value, or entry-level rifles, price is a factor. By the same criteria that tells me the $590 street price Browning AB3 walnut is not a particularly great value, the Remington 783 walnut at $366 most certainly is.
The Remington 783 works, and works well as a complete package. The machining is extremely clean, the bolt is quite smooth, it feeds and ejects well, and the trigger is remarkably crisp. The written lifetime warranty is as good as it gets, for many rifles (Browning, Ruger, Weatherby) have no warranty at all. Where several economy rifles come with pencil-thin barrel profiles and the upgrade to a magnum or predator barrel versions costs you a few bucks, all Remington 783 models have a magnum, heavy profile field barrel. As a result of all of this, the Remington 783 shoots way above its price level, and effortlessly hits its mark.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.