Remington 783 Review

bolt rear

I’ve wanted to do this review since the 783 was revealed at SHOT Show. I feel like Remington’s 710 and 770 rifles were missteps, with too many corners cut and I was excited at the prospect of a new budget bolt action rifle to compete with the Savage Axis. What I noticed, when I read reviews, was how most people spoke about the relation between this rifle and the Remington 700 and how Remington strategically chose to develop this rifle. To be frank, this rifle hasĀ nothing to do with the 700 or a clean sheet design by Remington, and everything to do with the Marlin XL7. Remington’s parent company purchased Marlin back around the time when Marlin released the XL7, and this is Remington’s version of that rifle. From the “Remington CrossFire” system, which is identical or minorly improved from Marlin’s Pro-Fire, to the barrel nut, crown and more, this is very much Remington’s take on a Marlin rifle and not a next generation or lower cost 700. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, the Marlin X7’s are known for good accuracy, great trigger, and low price. At $399 in the US or $349 in Canada it also makes for a better rifle than the 710 or 770, and better fills the budget gap up to the 700 SPS or 700.

My Video Review of the Remington 783

Remington Cross-Fire Trigger

Rem 783 Trigger group

Rem 783 Trigger group

Like the Marlin XL7 or Ruger American, the Remington 783 includes a take on Savage’s Accutrigger. These improved versions are somewhat different, in that the lever blocks the sear, not the trigger. Long story short, they’re better. The trigger on my 783 broke at 3.5 lbs with just a touch of creep, which is pretty good and I believe will improve with a few hundred trigger pulls. Either that, or I’ll adjust the trigger a bit more to try to get rid of the creep. To be fair, my Axis had a lot more creep in the factory trigger, was a lot heavier, and was non-adjustable. These adjustable safety triggers are a breath of fresh air compared to the old style, gritty, heavy triggers that most hunting rifles used to come with.

Remington 783 Magazine

This is new and was not something present in the Marlin X7 rifles, and it’s pretty good for the budget rifle category! Some plastic, for sure, but metal in the right places and a nice, secure seating mechanism in the rifle. The back of the mag has a spot welded angled bit of metal that sturdily holds the rear of the mag in place. If you’re in a hunting shop, compare it to the crappy little plastic nub on the back of the Ruger American magazine and it will be obvious who has the better retention system. Even though the mag is technically supposed to rock into place (rear first, and then front), it’s very fast and natural. To say the least, the mag retention and release on the 783 beats the Ruger American’s and Savage Axis‘ hands down. The mag itself is a fairly conservative staggered, double stack box mag. I wanted to like the Ruger’s cool rotary mag, but it was retained so poorly and rattled so much that I couldn’t.

Usability and Ergonomics

There are a few things to note in the usability and ergonomics department on this rifle. The plastic itself is kind of grippy and the stock is rather beefy. You have to put a decent amount of pressure on the forend to get it even close to touching the free floating barrel. Among the inexpensive bolt action rifles, the 783 is the beefiest feeling one of the bunch. I attribute that to the slightly thicker Magnum contour barrel and meaty stock. The Remington 783 comes with a 2 position, non bolt-locking safety located just rear of the bolt. It’s not as convenient as a tang safety and the detent is quite loud and clicky. I’d say it’s better than the Ruger American’s stiff tang safety, but a far cry from the Axis’ whisper quiet tang safety. The bolt handle is flat, which didn’t really change how I used it at all. One piece I really like on this rifle was the spring loaded, one way bolt release. It’s very easy to use and pretty much perfect. The buttpad on the rifle is nice and squishy and a good add-on in my opinion.

Quality

You can tell that some corners got cut with rifle. From opening the box and seeing pretty much nothing inside except the cheapest packing style possible, you know that this is a budget rifle. I’m not sure if it’s a “Remlin” issue, but check your rifle over before buying. Several that I saw had problems that I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with. One had a bolt that was incredibly stiff to turn and would have been a complete pain in the ass to use while hunting. These are stiff turning bolts, and not nearly as slick as a Savage or the American’s 3 lug bolt head. Another clear cost cutting solution was the molded-in, plastic sling studs. They don’t offer the range of motion that typical sling studs offer. Unlike other rifles of this cost category, the 783 doesn’t come with scope bases (2 front Rem 700 bases or Weaver #35 if you’re interested.) One of the reviews I read noted that they didn’t like the plastic bolt handle on the 783. Note: it’s not plastic, it’s metal. Maybe that changed at some point or the reviewer was thinking of a different rifle. And like other budget rifles, the trigger guard is plastic as well.

Remington 783 Specifications

  • 22″ Magnum Contour Barrel (24″ on magnum)
  • Available in 270, 30-06, 7mm rem mag, 308.
  • User adjustable Cross-Fire trigger
  • Pillar bedded stock
  • Supercell Recoil Pad
  • Uses 2 #35 Weaver scope bases
  • Fits 4 standard rounds in the mag, 3 in magnum.
  • Weight
    • 308: 7 lbs
    • 270/30-06: 7.2 lbs
    • 7mm rem mag: 7.3 lbs
  • OAL: 41 5/8″

Conclusion

The quick question that’s on your mind: is it worth it? That depends on what’s important to you. If you want a heavier barrel, the best mag in a budget rifle, a great trigger, easy to use bolt release, availability in 7mm rem mag. and a good buttpad, the 783 is your choice. If finish, bolt smoothness, price, and an easy to use safety are important, the Savage Axis is a better choice. The availability in 7mm Remington Magnum is pretty cool, because most manufacturers only offer their budget bolt action rifles in standard chamberings. Overall, the rifle is a very competitive offering in the new-ish budget bolt action rifle category. They’re available for just under $400 at Cabela’s.

The quick question that's on your mind: is it worth it? That depends on what's important to you. If you want a heavier barrel, the best mag in a budget rifle, a great trigger, easy to use bolt release, availability in 7mm rem mag. and a good buttpad, the 783 is your choice. If finish, bolt smoothness, price, and an easy to use safety are important, the Savage Axis is a better choice. The availability in 7mm Remington Magnum is pretty cool, because most manufacturers only offer their budget bolt action rifles in standard chamberings. Overall, the rifle is a very competitive offering in the new-ish budget bolt action rifle category.
Remington 783
Date Published: 01/01/2014
3.5 / 5 stars

  • 35whelen

    Is the ejection port and/or the magazine long enough for a 7mm STW rechamber/rebarrel? I understand these rifles shoot very well for what you pay. Great review by the way.

  • Port opening of 3.5″ at widest, max cartridge OAL to fit mag of 3.375″ at absolute maximum. Maybe the 7mm remington magnum magazines are different?

  • mountain walker

    You talked about the marlin xl7 in bolt action . I have one in xs7 .308 it is fast becoming my gun I like to shoot ! I do not see anymore around for sale . The trigger was something new to me ,I really do like it a lot. I did want to buy one in .30-06 before they were not around any more? I also have the stevens 200 in 30-06 I also like it! I really like your reviews keep on making them please you answered some of my questions about some rifles I like.

  • Herb

    Well, I got a 783 on .308 and second time out in the Range it started to miss feed the rounds, the bolt rides on top of the Ammo casing and push the round down so it won’t feed the round. I called Remington several times and could not get anyone on the phone, finally got a hold of them and they are sending another magazine, we will see if this will happen again. They do not have any information on this happening before, but if you do a search you are going to find that is happening quite a bit. I like the rifle and I can shoot all day, I just have to manually feed the rounds one at a time.

  • Ernie

    Now only $300 at Cabela’s in Canada in .270 or 30:06

  • Moe

    The magazine in 783 7mm mag is quite stiff n if ur bullet jump out after u unload the first shot is this happening to anyone else lol or do I just play with the clip till it gets less stiff other then that I got
    It for 425$ at jo brooks Brandon mb in Canada and shooting 5-800yards grouping 3/4 inch without turrets on basic Barska scope

  • Jose

    Well, I also got a 783 in .30-06 last January. First time out in the range, the extractor broke. And second time out in the Range the bolt handle broke. I emailed Remington a couple of times and could not get any response. Finally got a reply after I called the Canadian distributor. Shipped the rifle back to them and until today I have not received any response other than they received the package. So here I am frustratingly waiting.

  • Chip Hopkinson

    My son bought the 783 in a 270, we had problems from the start. The bolt wouldn’t lock without force with a round in the chamber. After 60 some rounds it didn’t seat properly causing the round to swell up locking the bolt in place with the handle falling off and the cover over the firing pin. Very dangerous in my opinion. I had to call Remington, they are sending it to a gun smith in Colorado. I already had two gunsmith look at it one of which got the bolt out neither of them were impressed. They are the ones who told me what caused the malfunction.
    I give the rifle a grade of U O B. Use other brand.

  • Roper

    Just bought one in 270 for $240 after a $40 rebate. The bolt is reasonably smooth, racks and extracts just fine. The scope that came with it is a POS and it will be replaced by a Leupold soon. Bore sighted and took it to the range. First shot was a 10x bull at 25 yards. The next 2 were practically in the same hole a half inch away. Moved it out to 50 with the only difference the group is an inch higher, which is to be expected. I have never had a rifle that I zeroed with one shot, or really a bore sighter. I know, just got lucky, but this thing is a shooter. Shot the rest of the box of Remington 150 gr Core Lokts at a 8 inch gong at 100 yards without a miss. I wanted a rifle that could shoot, didn’t cost a lot, and I didn’t have to baby for fear of marring the wood. This is not family heirloom material but a using man’s rifle. If I continue to not have any issues I will be more than happy with my purchase.

  • mike murphy

    I have a 783 in 270 caliber as well. I’ve had mine for about 2 years. I am very happy with my purchase and think you will be too. I think Andriel really hits on the pros and cons of this rifle well. I would add that I have noticed that the blueing is not great and mine needed retreatment this year. I went on ahead and Cerakoted the rifle. Maybe a little overkill for a starter rifle but my son killed his first deer with this rifle and of the three rifles I have (Rem 700, Rem 783 and Ruger American) this one punches the tightest groups.

  • TheGDog

    Finally got around to sighting in the 783 in .223 Rem with a 2-7x32mm Vortex Crossfire II scope. The included scope was not bad. Initially I swapped the scopes out for weight-savings concerns, but did see a bit of a noticeable improvement in image clarity with the Crossfire II. My eye-sight is starting to have age-related typical issues so I noticed that on the 7x power the smaller 5″ target circles as easily as I would have liked to at 100yds. I may need to go back to a 3-9x or 4-12x powered optic in the future. It was a bit of a windy day, so will need to go back again just to make sure adjustments are completely right. Never shot a .223 before. These little 55gr .22 bullets are a bit more influenced by crosswinds than my .308 Win that’s for sure. My state is lead-free for hunting rounds. She seemed to like the Hornady Superformance 55gr GMX significantly better than the Barnes VOR-TX 55gr TSX (your mileage may vary), which kinda surprised me since I had great accuracy with the VOR-TX in my .308 Win. The trigger is not bad, haven’t adjusted it yet, but just a tiny bit less nice than the Savage AccuTrigger on my .308 Win in terms of feel, and that’s being picky. One or twice had what must have been a feeding issue for a cartridge that was bad? The bolt didn’t want to close… opened the bolt, dumped that cartridge out, the rest of the cartridges in the mag seemed to load in fine. Was a little notchy in closing the bolt. But I hadn’t oiled in their specifically prior. The “bluing” on the metal is curious to me. When I took her home and cleaned her… lotta dark brown coming off into the patches I put gun oil on and rubbed the outside metal surfaces with. Something tells me this rifle I’ll have to be diligent about immediately wiping her down after every return back to home to avoid oxidation from sweat or rain/dew/moisture. I wanted to take a sec to post a user review about this rifle in this caliber somewhere because I found very little posted on one of these in this particular caliber. So nice and easy firing these little .223 rounds! And the stock recoil pad this thing has is really nice!

  • TheGDog

    Went back and did another range day. Wind was much less this time. Results were frustrating. Not what I know should be happening. Going to re-check all the scope mounts and rings I tightened and lock-tighted into place. Also per suggestions of the fellows on hunting forum I frequent, going to double-check its bedding. A more experienced gentleman seemed to believe, from looking at my targets, the the barrel was double-bedding. As in coming to rest at either of two very minute points from side-to-side. Also for my next trip I will be trying the 62gr TSX’s and 64gr Winchester SuperX PowerCore 95/5 ammo.

  • Preston Rupple

    What b

  • A.L. Guthrie

    I just bought one of these, and cannot wait to pop some rounds!! Bought it at Cabelas (used) for $249.99, and it looks like it had about three rounds through it. Nice and clean! Smooth bolt action without any noticeable oil/lub, and a darn nice clean and shiny bore. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9c8747c3fc4219805f85ed43be740eed539e9cb655431881c44bff8f3221fd2.jpg

  • JJ

    I picked up a 783 in .308 – my expectations for the fit and finish were surprisingly exceeded. It is not a 700 but it works, is comfortable to shoot, is a utilitarian tool and won’t break the bank. Out to the range – three different brands of ammo resulted in consistent 1″-2″ 3 shot groups at 100 yards (keeping in mind I haven’t shot a rifle in almost 20 years so I chalk it up to shooter error). Overall I’m happy with it and may even pick up another one in .300 win mag.

  • TheGDog

    Eventually went back and installed a 1-piece DNZ Game Reaper Scope mount and my troubles with accuracy went away. The stock scope rings, I had slightly over-tightened one of them and had caused it to strip. That was responsible for the frustrating accuracy issues. This thing shoots amazingly straight when you do your part. And… it was doing it with cheapie PMG Bronze ammo! I was able to shoot a glass soda bottle dead in the middle at 200yds easy… even with a lil bit of crosswind.

    The only issue of note so far though… sometimes when you go to work the action and load a new round… it’ll somehow let/allow more than one round to come out of the magazine. Seems to happen with some brands of ammo and not at all with others. The spring-loaded plate within the magazine which pushes the rounds up… feels like it is using only one spring, and that this one spring is applying its push upward more in the center of this plate…. rather then equally at the two ends of the plate. If they reworked that issue I betcha there’d be no more problems with some ammo allowing more than one rounds to come out like that.

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