Hands-On with Remington’s New 783 Rifle

The Remington 700 has been the gold standard for bolt action rifles since, well, ever. But there are still cheap bastards like me out there that would rather gamble with a lesser piece of kit than pay the extra couple hundred dollars, which is where the 783 comes in. It’s not quite as expensive as the regular 700, but the el-cheapo version has some improvements . . .

The 783 doesn’t feel too bad, actually. The stock suffers from the same issue I have with almost every other bolt action rifle on the market (that the cheek piece is too low), but that’s unfortunately par for the course. What’s different about the gun is the receiver, specifically the shape of the ejection port.

The original Remmy 700 was designed to be a top loading gun, so there’s no metal going over the top of the bolt. But for the 783, it’s designed to be magazine fed and therefore has a smaller ejection port. This adds a ton of rigidity to the frame, and also would appear to cut down on machining time in the manufacturing process.

MSRP is around $450 for the base model, which puts it lower than the normal 700s but still not quite in spitting distance of the 100 ATR and American Rifle models that are fighting it out for the cheapskate dollar.

The only thing I’m not sold on is the bolt handle. It’s plastic, and while I get that it’s cheaper to make, it just feels, well, cheap to me. I would have much preferred having to shell out a couple extra bucks for a metal bolt handle.

In general, the rifle feels great. It’s solid, seems well built and comes from a great heritage of firearms manufacturing. But we’ll have to test it out to see if it lives up to the hype or if, much like Marlin’s nosedive into the gutter, is the beginning of a Freedom Group-inspired tailspin.


About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

40 Responses to Hands-On with Remington’s New 783 Rifle

  1. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    Please, please do a side-by-side with the Ruger American Rifle….

  2. avatarensitu says:

    Nutnfancy has done reviews and prefers it over the American Rifle

  3. avataruncommon_sense says:

    If you have been considering buying one, make sure you buy it before the gun control people declare them to be dangerous “high-powered sniper rifles” and ban them.

  4. avatarRokurota says:

    A *plastic* bolt handle? That’s so revolutionary, it just revolved me away from this rifle.

    • avatarJerry says:

      I was almost hooked until the plastic bolt handle was brought up. That is just stupid of Remington for doing that. I don’t care how tight a group it shoots I just couldn’t stand that.

      • avatarPatrick McCauley says:

        It’s not plastic. It’s metal. It looks plastic from a distance but it’s metal. I own this gun.

  5. avatarLs1z4me says:

    The bolt handle is not plastic. It is steel and it is brazed on to the bolt body, also steel.

    • avatarJSierra says:

      So… is the bolt handle plastic or not…? O_o

      • This. Plastic or not? A plastic bolt handle would keep me from buying one. My Cabelas points are piling up and I could use a new hunting rifle. This is intriguing, but if it has a plastic bolt handle I’ll buy a Savage.

        • avatarhuntinhorns says:

          I held one of these rifles yesterday. The first thing I noticed was what I thought was a plastic bolt handle. I LOOKS like plastic but it isn’t. Apparently, the “brazing” process described above gives the metal an odd appearance that looks plastic.

  6. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Four words:

    Accuracy and reliability test.

    Get to work, please. ;)

  7. avatarJosh says:

    I would like to see a comparison to a Savage. What I’ve seen so far is that the 783 has an accutrigger and a Savage barrel nut system…

    • avatarEric says:

      The 783 trigger is not an AccuTrigger. While they both have a safety “blade” nested next to the trigger, the triggers and safety are mechanically different. The AcuTrigger blocks the sear, the 783 trigger blocks the trigger. Seems like a few other companies are using the saftey blade deal as well. According to Remington, the 783 trigger is similar to the Marlin X7 trigger.

  8. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Remington 700, the “gold standard” for bolt action rifles?

    Um…. I don’t think so.

    The Rem 700 is an atrociously cost-reduced shadow of what Herr Mauser designed over 100 years ago. The 700′s receiver (in the magazine-fed versions) is more flexible than a Model 70 or Mauser 98′s, the 700 has no integral recoil lug on the receiver, the bolt is soldered together from three pieces, the extractors have had issues over the years… the common solution to those extractor problems is to cut into the bolt and install a Sako extractor, which compromises the “three rings of steel” marketing Remington has been blathering about for decades…

    Give me a moment or two and I’ll come up with some other complaints.

    Oh, yes… let’s not forget the wonderful issues with the Walker Fire Control Group trigger … or Remington’s handling of same.

    Remington and Remmy fans have created a cult around the 700… which it hardly deserves. If it were “all that,” there wouldn’t be over a dozen clone action manufactures out there, making Remington-like or Rem700-compatible actions, cleaning up all the problems that the 700 has, and selling just these actions (with bolt and bottom metal) for more than Remington sells an entire rifle.

    If I had to pick one bolt gun as a “gold standard” of what a civilian bolt gun should be, it would be the pre-64 Winchester Model 70, and especially those made before WWII.

  9. avatarsnakedoctor says:

    Nobody likes Browning A bolts?

  10. avatarDave says:

    I own a 783 first the bolt handle is Not plastic! This gun goes toe to toe with the 700 no problem it’s smooth accurate and I’m my opinion better the the sps wich I also own.

  11. avatarArt Schuetze says:

    I held a 783 this week and I’m almost positive the bolt handle is not plastic. It’s a shame that these stories get started without knowing for sure what is or is not. Please don’t assume the bolt handle is plastic, check it out for yourself.

    • avatarJim Warrior says:

      Not sure if it is but I was not happy with this gun at all. Did not feel right the bolt was nothing to write home about. there are better choices out there over the 783. Its kind of hard to beat the American or the Axis they are both great priced rifles! The Marlin XL7 is a great buy to! I wish it came with a box mag like the others.

  12. avatarTroy says:

    It not plastic I just picked one up last night have not even a chance to fire, it is a 270 and it feel great and if it shoots like a Remington this will be a great buy for use who donot have money to burn.

  13. avatarJim Warrior says:

    I just saw this Rifle the other day and boy what a joke. The American is 10x better than this gun. I don’t know what they had in mind with this gun but it feels really cheap and the bolt does not slide well. Honest I would rather buy the 770 Over this rifle. The Axis is a great choice too!!!

    • avatarPatrick says:

      Hey automatic hater. Ive held both the 783 and the American. American stock felt cheaper, bolts both slid well, and the steel box mag slipped in better than the Americans which catches unless you put it in perfectly level. So tell me in detail, how is the American 10X better than the 783?

  14. avatarchris says:

    I’ve been looking at the 783, axis and American and the 783 def had the best feeling stock atleast for a bigger guy not so small in my hands and seems to have a little more to it not weak feeling. the 783 and American def had smoother bolts too.

  15. avatarSLay says:

    I bought one yesterday for $387 and must say that it’s just about everything I thought it would be. At that price I won’t be afraid to scratch or ding it. It’ll be my “workhorse” 30-06 and not some prize that I’m afraid to get dirty. I am a little disappointed that it didn’t come with scope bases and spare magazines aren’t available from Remington yet (I called), but I guess when they say no “frills” one has to expect these things. Once I get a scope mounted I’ll find out if it lives up to its accuracy claims.

  16. avatarbob curtis says:

    Get the 700 scope mounts only the back ones fit very nicely. The weaver brand. Call rem back they have them just tell them you need the two back mounts. yes the 783 is not nice to look at so if you want looks get something else. The rifle surprised me at how accurate it was. I own a lot of different rifles even the American which shoots great also. The 783 did maintain a tighter group then the American did. It was meant to be a low cost accurate rifle. smooth bolt action. good job Remington. I did not like the 770 very much as it would not hold a accurate shot group. of course the 700 is better looking but the 783 gives it a run on accuracy. please lets stop bad mouthing rifles and just give opinions of “if you have shot it not heard or saw it”.

  17. avatarFred says:

    When I got to the part where the author said the 783 had a plastic bolt handle, I knew then he / she never even looked at the 783. Entire write up pure BS, author must work for the “other” guys. Another fine example of ” you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

  18. avatarFred says:

    MOUNTING A SCOPE: to mount a scope on the 783 you need to use two of the FRONT mounts from a Rem. 700 … the hole spacing for both front and rear mounts on the 783 is 7/8″ center to center. The hole spacing of the rear 700 mount is 5/8 of an inch .. the 700 rear will NOT fit the 783 .. trust me.

  19. avatarMatt says:

    +1 on Dyspeptic Gunsmith’s comments. As soon as I read the first sentence, I figured the author is either an idiot, or about 20 yrs old. Gold standard? The Remington is not in the same universe as the original gold standard, THE MAUSER!

    The Remington was/is an el cheapo mass produced by machine for the highest possible profit. The year it was introduced, 1962, you could have purchased ANY other bolt rifle and it would have been superior to the Remington: Winchester (unfortunately would join the Remington the following year), Sako, Weatherby, etc.

    Guess what? The Weatherby and Sako are still wonderful, well-put together rifles 60 years later!

  20. avatarCurt Bibb says:

    Let’s just say it…..buy what you want….what I see is personal perference and for myself….I do not care what another person wants to shoot. I dig my Glocks but know lots of people that think Glock’s are garbage….I happen to love “The Dark Side” of dumping the 1911′s since Glock’s are such a great pistol and cost far less than the 1911′s and far easier to maintain as well….you know the that’s a fact! And many others have too!

    Now….it is apparent that the tried and true barrel nut system and floating bolt head of the Savage 110 design has proven to be a a marvalous engineering master piece of Nicholas Brewer and another gent which I cannot recall this guys name at the moment…and because of this socalled “Inferior” rifle design, the evolution of the barrel nut system today…is proving to be great for barrel makers and DIYers but ticking off the good ol boy gunsmiths. Let’s face it…the barrel nut system and the floating bolt head works and works fantastic.

    Hey…..I have a whole lot of Savage rifles and frankly (And I have a serious issue with Savage Arms over a warped receiver as I type!) I have bolt together rifles I have upgraded with Boyd’s laminate stocks, better triggers, bedding the actions into the stock with Devcon epoxy, installing decent mounts and rings and “not” using scopes such as BSA type of optics but opting for decent optics as well…I kick out rifles that have and do outshoot the Gunwerk types of socalled custom rifles…fact.

    O.K….these Savage rifles are not stock and I suspect that the Remington 783 will need the above mentioned redo’s as well. But what will be the end result? A rifle that will match or outperform any Mauser action rifle? Custom built rifles? When you can lay down around $1,500.00 total for a rifle rig and smoke a $8,000.00 rig….I say that is a bargin!! But surely upsets the “Good Ol’ Boy” gunsmiths!!

    Oh…for the record…yeah I’ve upset people with rifles that = a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$. It had to be impossible (So they thought!) for a cheap rig to outshoot their high dollar rifle…but oh well!

    I look forward to working with and improving the Remington 783, And besides….I know a whole lot of people that can throw down $1,500.00 but not into the many thousands.

    Ah…one more thought. The extractor system of the Remington 783 and floating bolt head mirrors the Savage system and is superior to the 700 extractor and solid bolt. So….doesn’t this mean that the 783 is so simplistic and reliable that this places the extractor claw and controled round feeding of the Mauser the endangered species area? As a well known gunsmith said to me..”You cannot build a race car using Model T technology”! (Referring to the Mauser actions) Say What????!!!!!!!!!!

  21. avatarmichael says:

    Safe bet this writer is making up this review and never even seen this rifle. Lost all cred as I just bought one and the bolt handle is not plastic. It looks plastic in a pic so this writer just goes by pics and not facts. Go home

  22. avatarmichael says:

    Safe bet this writer is making up this review and never even seen this rifle. Lost all cred as I just bought one and the bolt handle is not plastic. It looks plastic in a pic so this writer just goes by pics and not facts. so much for “truth about guns”

  23. avatarKenneth May says:

    Yeah this writer has no more credibility with me, I own a 783 30-06 the bolt is metal. For him to make this type of statement is ridiculous and unprofessional.

  24. avatarKeith says:

    Bought a new Remington 783in 300 Win Mag for $269 + tax at Whittaker’s in Kentucky.
    Haven’t shot it yet. Bolt a little sloppy but big deal. I don’t compare it to the 700 or other “higher grade” rifles. I considered the Ruger All American, but the price won me over.

  25. avatarTravis says:

    I own an axis, a 783 and an American. i like all of them like anything else in life theres positives and negatives to all of them but as for “better” ??? i would say whichever ones laying next to your trophy in a picture on your wall is the better one. i’ve killed deer with all 3. woodchucks, fox, coyote; none of them complained about the stock of my gun or trigger system when i wadded them up at 200+ yards.

  26. avatarBrooklyn Hall says:

    I have a 783 .308 my bolt handle in metal not plastic it is a very good rifle

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