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Buglemfar 01-06-2009 03:33 PM

Remington 788 in 30-30 - worth picking up?
Hi all,

I'm a newcomer to the forum and would like any thoughts you might offer on a gun purchase.

I've been eyeing Remington 788's for some time and am really interested in acquiring one in 6mm or 7mm-08 eventually. Mainly as a utilitarian "working gun" for deer. I spotted a used 30-30 in a local gun shop with an asking price of $399. Stock is in pretty good shape with some typical dings and wear around both swivel attachments. Blueing is great until you get toward the muzzle end - then some mild discoloration/surface rust.

I understand this model is relatively rare in 30-30. Would you guys grab this if it could be had for $300-$350? Don't know that I have a particular fondness for bolt action 30-30's but is it one of those rare "opportunities" as it were or would you save the money and apply it toward a desired caliber? Are 788's overpriced and overrated?

Thanks for any opinions you are willing to offer. :)

Dillinger 01-06-2009 03:45 PM

First off, welcome to the Forum.

I don't know about rare - but a 788 in .30-30 isn't real common just because of the cartridge. They produced plenty of them in other more common hunting calibers ( .243, .22-250, .308 ).

I think the thing that makes this weapon a bit better than the 700 is the fact that it has a short 60 degree bolt throw because of the 9 locking lugs. That makes it a stronger action and better for inherent accuracy.

If you like the gun, it doesn't sound like a bad price, but if you aren't dying for the caliber, I don't think you are going to find a market where you could buy this and turn around to double your money.

Your Mileage May Vary - Some of the Remington guys should be along shortly to give to the real story. :D


stalkingbear 01-06-2009 05:02 PM

There's good news and bad news. The bad news first-they are already starting to creep up, just a little, in collector's value. That means we'll never be able to get them again for 100-200$ again. They are GREAT shooters as Dillinger said. In fact, when Remington brought them out as economy alternative to the 700, they consistantly outshot the 700. I still have 3 of them, 1 in .22/250, and 2 7mm08 caliber carbines. The 18 1/2" barreled version was produced in 1983-1984. The last year for 788 production was 1984. Personally, unless it was at a VERY good price and meant for beater hunter, I would hold out for an .308 or 7mm08. The only bad thing I've seen about them is once in a great while, 1 will come in for repair because of bolt handle breaking off/coming loose, but this is extremely rare and easy fix when it does happen.

Dillinger 01-06-2009 05:05 PM

I would have to concur. The .30-30 has probably taken a lot of game in it's day, but it's just not an ideal round, in my opinion, unless you are already set up for reloading it & happen to love it.


Buglemfar 01-06-2009 05:25 PM

Thanks for the quick replies! You have reinforced my sentiments on the .30-30 bolt. I'll look for a .308 or 7mm08 since I am more into "working guns" than collecting or selling and these do seem like more versatile calibers.Again, Thank You!

stalkingbear 01-06-2009 06:30 PM

Don't get me wrong, IF you reload, the 30-30 can be VASTLY improved, I rechambered my Contender 14" barrel to 30-30 Ackley Improved, and used 125 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and it was awesome! You CAN load spitzer bullets in the 788s and rechamber them, it's just a LOT easier to get a .308 or 7mm08 and not go to that kind of trouble.

matt g 01-06-2009 07:52 PM

I've got more than a few animals on a .30-30. It's a good round for up close work and it will drop an average sized deer with well placed shot.

I've always been a big fan of heavy and slow bullets. A Mack truck traveling at 30 mph will do much more damage than a Honda Civic traveling at 60 mph.

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