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Affordable Remington Model 783
There has been a move afoot lately, in the world of rifle manufacturing, to build affordable rifles that most any hunter or shooter can purchase without spiraling their bank balance into a tailspin. New for 2013, the Remington Model 783, with an MSRP of less than $500, falls into that category. And while I have been shooting Remington rifles for about a half century and have always found them to be one of the most accurate rifles out of the box, I must admit that I’m always a bit skeptical when a product comes along that is said to be as good as its predecessors but at considerably less cost. The old adage of, “When it seems too good to be true, it is,” tends to stick in my mind. However, I just had to be sure whether it would live up to its billing or not, so I asked Remington to send one my way.
The Model 783
I will begin with a general assessment or first impression of the 783 and then move on to the various components or attributes that Remington has employed in manufacturing this rifle. The first thing that caught my attention was its overall design and manufacturing tolerances. It certainly looked like a rifle that was not built on the cheap. It had a very solid feel to it and I certainly liked the line, fit and feel, although it was a bit heavier than I expected, at 7.2 pounds, which I will touch on a bit later when I discuss the barrel.
So let’s get right to the components that Remington has employed in building this new rifle, for user-friendly dependability and accuracy, at a cost that betters their other centrefire rifles.
The black, synthetic stock is injection molded and contains a high nylon fibre content to add superior strength and rigidity that, when combined with its dual pillar bedding platform and free floated barrel, provides shot-to-shot consistency. Next, its CrossFire trigger system: it is set at the factory at 3.5 pounds and is fully adjustable between 2.5 and five pounds. However, before leaving the trigger, I must briefly discuss the centre-mounted trigger release lever, which appears all but identical to the Savage AccuTrigger – an added safety feature that will not allow the rifle to be fired under any situation until it is depressed. I will discuss both the trigger’s performance and the operation of the trigger release in a bit more detail under the field test section.
The barrel is next along my analysis highway. It is a bit heavier contoured than I would have expected. Remington refers to its contour as a Premium Magnum Contour Barrel, which in reality means that it is a tad heavier than a typical sporter-weight barrel. No doubt it is designed to add some rigidity and subsequent accuracy to its button-rifled barrel. You will also immediately note that it is joined to the receiver with a barrel nut, no doubt one of the cost-saving measures that slightly diminishes the clean lines of the rifle but in no way affects its performance.
The receiver is cylindrical, making it easier to machine, but it has a small ejection port to maintain as much metal and rigidity as feasible.
Two other features of note are its super cell recoil pad, which was not only fitted to the stock with no overlap, but also very comfortable to use – a very nice touch that will certainly help reduce felt recoil. It also boasts a steel, detachable, box-style magazine that will hold four rounds in standard calibres and three in the magnum calibres.
Last is the 783’s two-position safety and potentially the only minor glitch in this rifle’s design, as despite it being in the safe position, the bolt can accidently open. It has happened to me in the past, with a similar safety, while I carried that particular rifle on a sling over my back. Not something I would want to occur during a critical stalk, as you don’t even realize that it has happened. However, on the plus side, it will allow you to remove an unfired round from the chamber while it is engaged. A three-position safety would resolve this situation.
Model 783 specifications:
Calibre: .30-06 Springfield and it is also available in a .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester and a 7mm Remington Magnum
Weight: 7.2 pounds
Overall length: 42-and-five-eighths inches
Barrel length: 22 inches
Rate of twist: One to 10 inches
Scopes and mounts
The 783 uses two Model 700 front scope bases, one for the front and one for the rear. My test rifle was sent to me with Warne rings and a Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40-millimetre scope, with a bullet drop compensator (BDC) reticle, already mounted on the rifle. However, I also wanted to test the new Burris C4 (Cartridge, Calibrated, Custom, Clicker) 3-9×40-millimetre scope, so I used both. I will briefly describe the Nikon and then detail the Burris scope.
The Nikon, for a modest price, offers a multi-coated optical system that provides 98 per cent light transmission and, of course, is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, with zero reset target turrets and a quick focus eyepiece. The BDC reticle provides a series of accuracy circles on the lower vertical crosshair, which offer the hunter or shooter various additional aim points for longer-range shots. The BDC offers hold off aiming points at 100 yard increments, from 100 yards to 500 yards, when using standard centerfire calibers with a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second, or hold off points of 300 to 600 yards with 100 yards increments when sighted in at 200 yards with magnum velocities cartridges of 3,000 feet per second. However, the only way to establish how they will work is by actually shooting at these ranges with your specific rifle and cartridge.
The Burris C4, also a modestly priced scope, offers ultra-premium glass with index matched Hi-Lume multi-coatings and is waterproof, shockproof, fogproof, nitrogen filled and has a forever warranty. However, for me, what set this scope apart is the simplicity of the C4 system, not unlike the custom dial system Leupold offers. All you have to do, once you have purchased your Burris C4 scope, is to e-mail Stoeger Canada your cartridge information and they will provide a custom elevation knob for that specific cartridge. The knob will also show in MOA the 10-miles-per-hour wind for your cartridge that matches that specific distance. Then all you have to do, once you have established the distance, is dial it up and, if there is a cross wind, note the correction on the knob and. with the use of the hold off aim points on the horizontal crosshair, place it on your target and squeeze the trigger. It is just that simple and that quick.
Burris C4 Nikon Prostaff
Weight: 13 ounces 15 ounces
Overall length: 12.2 inches 12.4 inches
Field of view feet at 100 yards: 33-13 33.8-11.3
Eye relief: 3.1 to 3.8 inches 3.6 inches
Tube diameter: One inch One inch
Burris C4: 3-9×40-millimetres
Nikon Prostaff: 3-9×40-millimetres
Both the rifle and scopes, at an overall weigh of eight pounds, two ounces *(Burris), performed well and without any glitches. For the price, both scopes offered bright, clear images, but for me the functional standouts were Burris’ C4 system and the trigger on the 783, which scaled out at three pounds, nine ounces, and broke so crisply and cleanly that I did not make any further adjustment. I must say that for the cost of this rifle, the trigger was as good as, if not better, than the higher cost Remington models. The centre-mount trigger release was simple to get used to, and after a few shots I forgot it was there.
A couple of additional notable features on both scopes warrant mention. I really liked the quick focus eyepiece and the easy-to-use and precise windage and elevation adjustment knobs. I could see and feel every click.
When it came time to ascertain my choices of ammunition, I went strictly with factory ammunition that had shot well in previous .06 tests. In fact, most shot so well that I decided that for this test I would not even include any handloads.
Bullet Advertised velocity Group size
(feet per second) (inches)
1. Hornady Superformance 180-grain SST 2,820 9/16
2. Hornady Superformance 165-grain SST 2,960 1 3/8
3. Hornady Superformance 150-grain SST 3,080 ¾
4. Hornady Superformance 165-grain GMX 2,940 2 ¼
5. Hornady American Whitetail 150-grain 2,910 1
6. Remington AccuTip 150-grain 2,910 13/16
7. Remington AccuTip 180-grain 2,725 1 ½
8. Remington Core-Lokt 150-grain PSP 2,910 1 7/16
9. Remington Core-Lokt 180-grain PSP 2,700 1
10. Remington Swift Scirocco 180-grain 2,700 1 ½
11. Barnes VOR-TX 150-grain Tipped TSX BT 2,970 1 1/8
12 .Barnes VOR-TX 168-grain Tipped TSX BT 2,800 7/8
13. Barnes VOR-TX 180-grain Tipped TSX BT 2,700 1
14. Federal Fusion 150-grain 2,900 3/4
Note: all groups where three shots at 100 yards
For a rifle with a price point that most any hunter can afford, the 783 shot very well with an overall average of 1.1 inches for all the ammunition tested. As noted, a number of groups were at or even bettered three-quarters-of-an-inch. For deer, you could not go wrong with Remington AccuTip 150-grain, Hornady Superformance 150-grain, Hornady American Whitetail 150-grain or Federal Fusion 150-grain. For larger game, I would be hard pressed not to consider Hornady Superformance 180-grain SST, Remington Core-Lokt 180-grain or either the Barnes VOR-TX 168 or 180-grain choices. In either case, the only other factor I would add is that if you are looking for a bullet with deeper penetration that still provides excellent accuracy in all three grain-weights tested, I would look no further than Barnes VOR-TX Tipped TSX.
My range work left little doubt that when you consider the overall quality and accuracy of the 783, when it is combined with either scope, for less than $800 how you can go wrong.
* The rifle and Nikon combo weighed eight pounds, four ounces.
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