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Varmint rifles

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Mike G, Dec 30, 2007.

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  1. Mike G

    Mike G Member

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    Contemplating a winter project, I would like to build a varmint rifle for this spring and have two options. Do I buy something new like a 204 Ruger caliber or I have an old Remington 788 in 22-250 that is in the gun safe for 30years and is almost new in condition. I have heard that at one time the 788's were deemed pretty accurate - what would I have to do to this rifle to make it a varmint caliber rifle or would I be better to start with a newer gun?
     
  2. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    If it was mine, I'd invest my money in a good quality scope for the 788 and never look back! Those were tack drivers to start with, with quality handloads suited to that rifle, it's even better than that! Hap
     
  3. Mike G

    Mike G Member

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    Captain; I bought it new over 30 years ago and its not like I need the money and besides I'm kind of partial to the old gun. I was just curious if any one had ever "tuned" one and what typically needed to be done to improve one, I'm guessing probably the trigger system is the most likely source. Thanks for your interest though and if I should decide to sell you will have first opportunity.
     
  4. FN in MT

    FN in MT TS Member

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    Install a good scope in quality rings and give the 788 a try. I'll wager it will surprise You.

    The .204 Ruger is a nice cartridge as it's fast, flat shooting and is near zero recoil which allows You to see your hits/misses at nearly any range. I've got one in a Cooper and REALLY like it. Case life and barrel life seems to be good.

    The .22-250 is a great long range round but IMHO overkill unless your shots tend to be 200 yds plus or in windy conditions. Otherwise a .222/.223 will do the job just as well and with a lot less powder and recoil.

    FN in MT
     
  5. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The trigger is the secret to the 788's accuracy. The 788 has better lock time than the 700. Sometimes "cheap is good".

    The 22-250 is a bit of overkill for sage rats, and the thin 788 barrel heats up fast. But for a light weight coyote rifle, it's the shizzle.
     
  6. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Buy a new Savage rifle in 220 Swift with the laminated (wood like) stock and just be done with it. For hot barrel times, get the same gun in 223. The standard scope for this kind of work is a Leupold 6.5-20. The standard bullet is a Hornady V-Max. Buy the reloading guide from Precision Shooting and you are good to go. You may also consider tools to prep the cases, a Stoney Point gauge, and neck size the cases only after they have been fired once. Keep the brass used in your gun seperate. Use match grade primers, and prep the primer pockets. This should be all good for 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards, for five shots, for either good. Plenty good out to 300 yards for the Swift and 200 for the 223.
     
  7. Ohio Bob

    Ohio Bob Member

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    Mods to the trigger are easy and you can make it a 3 screw adjustable with little problem. I have done more than a few and yo can really tune them down.

    The 788 will be a good choice and probably better and more reliable than most of the new stuff.

    BUT, opinions are like A$$H???S everyone has one.

    The triggers are like the 541S, 541T line and can be traded or created

    Just my opinion

    OB
     
  8. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    What range do you intend to shoot? If under 300 yards, most any gun and barrel combo will do. A 223 will be enough for this. If past 300 yards, then things get more demanding and critical. You are indeed looking at the 22/250 or 220 Swift class. The Swift is hard on expensive brass. If you don't redline it, stay with the 22/250.

    If the 788's barrel is good, and you tweak the trigger and bed the action, you will get good results. The thin barrel will heat up quickly.

    The 788 has a reputation for losing bolt handles. If you are going to shoot the gun to death, you might sell the 788 for top dollar and get something else, like a 700 Rem.

    If you want an extended range rifle, look around for a 700 Rem at a pawn shop and build one. If you want to go for 400+ yards, then you need something in the 22/6mm AI (Ackley Improved) class. This one will push the 80 grain SMK at 3600+. It will need around a 1-7" twist barrel, preferably 28" or so. The 22 TTH (Texas Trophy Hunter) is the same cartridge, but stays with the original case contour. These are long range blasters. The 22/6mm AI is shot with a 90 gr SMK very well out to 1000 yards (1/2 MOA!)

    Leupold makes their fixed 30 something power scope for around $600. They also have the Competition 45X for around a grand. Don't cheap out on a scope. The scope MAKES OR BREAKS a long range rifle, especially when shooting small targets.

    How deep do you want to get? Although it does not have the "splat factor", the 223 will work very well up to 350 yards, once you learn to read the wind and range. Your thin barreled 22/250 will splat things at 300 yards without much gun or load development.
     
  9. XP100

    XP100 Well-Known Member

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    Put a Timney trigger in your 788. I have one in my 222 and am going to put one in my LH 788 in 6MM If i don't sell it before spring.
     
  10. Rum River

    Rum River TS Member

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    You've received some good responses. If it were me, I'd put a decent scope on the 788 and give it a try. I have one in 7mm-08 that shoots factory Hornady Light Magnum ammunition into half-minute. The trigger, as already mentioned, could stand improving for long range.

    Instead of the .204, find a Savage varmint model you like in .223, keep the 788 for long range. There is a ton of .223 ammo to be had cheaper than the .204. Also, I believe the .223 will carry better in the wind than the .204. My .223 shoots 50 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips at 3400 fps, and I've had to allow six or more inches of wind drift at only 200 yards.

    When the thinner 788 barrel heats up, switch to the .223 until she cools off. Dan
     
  11. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    223 and 204 in the wind.........Almost the same stuff with different shovel.

    However, the 40 grain 204 has a higher BC than the .224 version. It has just a tiny edge in the wind.

    But the 223 has more and better heavy bullets available. So If you are wanting to defy the wind shoot a 223 with 55 grain pills.

    For splat factor with less speed use Hornady SX, works good at only 3300 FPS.

    HM
     
  12. HOT-HAMMER

    HOT-HAMMER TS Member

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    I have .204 Ruger,.223 Kimber Pro varmit, 22-250 Ruger #1,I had .220 swift, .243, 6 mm,and several others, My personal preference is the .223 at yardage less than 300,which are 90% of my shots. If most of your shots are over 300, I would go with 22-250 or .243.........Rick
     
  13. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    Your 788 is prob'ly one of the most accurate rifles Remington ever built. They had kind of a cheap stick of soft wood for a stock tho' so you might want to check and make sure the for-end isn't bearing against one side of the barrel? If it is--------prob'ly best to just float it.

    John C. Saubak
     
  14. edthearcher

    edthearcher Member

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    wow that 788 was a great gun, had one in .222 sorry I sold it. but I hear magazines and parts are hard to come buy
     
  15. rich A

    rich A TS Member

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    Claydstr, Brownell's now have the new Timney trigger for the Rem. 788's. They run around $80. I have two 788 in 22-250 and they are super for prairie dogs. I agree with FN in MT. If you want a .204 just add one of your choice to your collections and you'll never have the regret of selling a keeper. Dick
     
  16. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    I'd fire up the 788 and forget the .204! Yes, the .204 is faster, but the bullets are lighter. Lots of different options with the .223 shoot well
     
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