Best Cheap Hunting Rifle: Remington 783 Bolt Action Rifle Review

Best Cheap Hunting Rifle: Remington 783 Bolt Action Rifle Review I stopped by the local Big Box store on Black Friday on a whim since we were driving by. Why […]
Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester - box

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester – box

Best Cheap Hunting Rifle: Remington 783 Bolt Action Rifle Review

I stopped by the local Big Box store on Black Friday on a whim since we were driving by. Why not? Its not like I am prone to make impulse buys when I stumble on a sale… right?
… I walked out with a brand new
Remington Arms Company 783 in .243 Win for $240… and this thing flat-out SHOOTS!

Why the Remington 783?

I had been casually looking for a hunting rifle in .243 Win for the past year since the guy that processes

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester - unbox

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester – unbox

my deer has raved about the .243 Win cartridge for youth hunters and even smaller adults. There is more discussion of the .243 Winchester cartridge in our “Is .243 Win a Good Deer Rifle for Kids” post. To be completely honest, the Big Box store also had the Mossberg Patriot and Savage Axis scoped rifle packages advertised for slightly more. I chose the Remington 783 since it was the least expensive of the 3,  and more importantly, they had only one rifle in .243 Winchester in stock. I had heard the Remington 783 was a budget version of the Remington 700 and had only very modest expectations. “Budget” usually translates as “cheap, but crappy”. I have a Savage 114C in .270 Win that I LOVE, so it was tempting to go with the Savage.

Upgradable

Boyds makes several stocks for the Remington 783, including this AT-One adjustable stock. Look for a full review on the Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks AT-One stock soon.

Value

Any brand new, off the shelf rifle that shoots sub-MOA groups at 50 yards with cheap ammo is worth consideration. This Remington Arms Company 783 in .243 Win did it for a mere $290 cash price. A $50 mail in rebate from Remington brought it down to a $240 final price with a 3×9 scope already installed! And the Big Box store even bore sighted it for me. I feel a bit guilty, like I stole it! 

Why .243 Winchester?

In short, because it has moderate recoil, shoots fairly flat at moderate distances, and retains more energy than other “light recoil” options. If you want more detail, then see our posts on the 243 Winchester cartridge here.

How does the Remington 783 shoot?

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester - sight on EZ2C Target

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester – sighting on EZ2C Target

They can call the Remington 783 a “budget” gun if they want. So far, I’m sold. It shoots far better than the $240 price tag. I would be happy with a rifle that shoots this well for $550-ish. Maybe more.

After 4 rounds to dial in the scope I put the next 4 rounds through 3 touching holes, with another just barely not touching to the right (the furthest right 5 holes on the target picture to the right) at 50 yards shooting the cheapest Perfecta 100gr SoftPoints I could find. I shot the Remington 783 from the Hyskore Ten ring portable shooting bench with just the Y post for support. I suspect the Remington 7838 will do better from a solid bench with a good shooting rest and better ammo.

The Remington 783‘s 22 inch free-floated barrel, matte blued, button rifled barrel has a nice crown and delivers where it counts. At about 7 Lb 6 Oz and 41 5/8″ it is a touch on the light-ish and short side for a bolt action hunting rifle. I like that it is a bit more manageable for younger or less robust framed shooters.

The new Crossfire adjustable trigger looks remarkably like the Savage Accutrigger, with a little blade for the first stage. I have not adjusted the pull weight yet, but find the trigger feels light with a crisp break.

Scope included:

Not much to say here. The 3-9x40mm variable scope with a simple plex crosshair reticle was included with the Remington 783 Scoped package and does a decent job at the shooting range and in the field. I prefer scopes with mil dot or BDC reticles, but haven’t found anything to complain about the included scope. It just works.

Felt Recoil:

The numbers in our “Why .243 Win” article tell one part of the story. How the Remington 783 feels when you shoot it tells the other. From everything I had been told, I was actually expecting lighter recoil. It wasn’t bad at all, just a bit more and a big more abrupt than I had been led to believe. The idea was that the Remington 783 would be used by my mini-gear heads for deer hunting. For now I think we will stick with .223 Remington and .300 AAC Blackout until they get a bit bigger and can more easily handle the modest recoil of the 243 Win cartridge.

Here is what Remington says about the 783 rifle:

“MODEL 783™ SCOPED

OVERVIEW:Custom-grade accuracy is now within reach of virtually every hunter. Using the expertise that’s dominated bolt-action technology for more than 50 years, the engineering team started from scratch and combined their most advanced, accuracy-enhancing features to create an all-new platform. This sleek, hardworking tack-driver is even built differently.

Crafted in our newest manufacturing facility using proprietary methods that create the tightest tolerances from rifle to rifle, by the most efficient means possible. Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice are the striking lines of the new stock design. Inside, it’s a true performance-enhancer, with a dual-pillar bedding platform that free-floats the barrel for the ultimate in shot-to-shot consistency. The black synthetic stock contains a high nylon fiber content which gives the stock superior strength and rigidity. Also helping deliver those inherently tight groups is a precision button-rifled barrel. For shot control, it’s equipped with the crisp new CrossFire™ trigger system that’s user adjustable to suit your preferences. The 783 features a steel detachable magazine with a steel latch. Standard calibers have a four round capacity and magnum calibers hold three rounds. Like with all Remington bolt actions, expect a lifetime of rock-solid reliability. From the next generation in a legendary bloodline.

KEY FEATURES:

  • New CrossFire™ trigger system, factory set at 3 1/2 lbs. and user adjustable from 3 to 5 lbs.
  • Carbon steel magnum contour button rifled barrel
  • 22″ standard chamberings and 24″ on magnums
  • Pillar-bedded stock and free-floated barrel
  • SuperCell™ Recoil Pad
  • Model 783 accepts two Model 700™ front bases

 AVAILABLE IN THESE MODELS

 22-250 308 Win 
 223 Remington  30-06 Sprg
 243 Win  7mm Remington Mag
 270 Win  300 Win Mag
 243 Win Compact  308 Win Compact

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester - in the ground blind

Remington 783 Review 243 Winchester – in the ground blind

Overall

If the overall rating were based solely on the price/value equation, then the Remington 783 would be the first perfect 5.0 Gears review in the history of Gear Report. However, we have to consider more than just value. This is a rather pedestrian, featureless, generic hunting rifle. It looses a point for being incredibly bland. Based on how well it shoots I feel bad taking away a whole point.

Gear Score
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It isn't the prettiest rifle, but the Remington 783 is a superb value for a hunting rifle that will put meat on the table

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.