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.