Remington 788 Problems that New Buyers Should Know About

One of Remington’s most precise rifles ever produced is the 788. With hand loads, they are incredibly accurate and have rarely presented issues.

The most common problems with the Remington 788 are: trigger/safety problems, bolt issue, failure to extract, cannot tolerate warm loads and firing pin jams.

I will give you the solution to these common Remington 788 issues in this article. Additionally, you will get authentic reviews from users as well. So, stay tuned!

Features & Specifications of Remington 788:

ActionBolt-action repeater
Caliber.308 Win.
Product weight7 lbs.
Product length41/43.6 inches
Capacity3/4 rounds
Barrel length22/24 inches


Remington 788 Problems
Remington 788

Common Remington 788 Problems and Solutions

Trigger/Safety ProblemsChange the trigger by a gunsmith.
Bolt IssueUse proper force to get the bolt to move forward.
Failure to ExtractClean gun, replace the extractor.
Cannot Tolerate Warm LoadsUse lighter loads
Firing Pin JamsChange broken firing pin. Change to a thicker firing pin.

Trigger/Safety Problems

Due to the usage of many plastic parts, there were problems with the safety levers. They tend to stretch and have a rear-locking action.

Remington used to sell some 788s with subpar safety features. The safety lever is also frequently damaged.

The Fix

If someone has the basic skills and patience to handle such things, safely modding the 788 triggers isn’t that tough. Remington used essentially the same trigger assembly on their 580 series 22 rimfire rifles.

But I do not advise DIYing it. Ask for professional help.

If a gunsmith is unable to fix the OEM system, Timney makes a reliable aftermarket trigger/safety. Replace the safety with this one.

Bolt Issue

A round is easily stripped by the bolt and pushed into the chamber. But when the bolt is pushed downward, it will move down approximately 1/4th of an inch before stopping.

No amount of force can move the bolt farther into the down position. Moreover, the bolt is weak and prone to breaking and damage.

The Fix

The Remington 788s are renowned for their tight bolts and 9-lug system. Many 788s have broken bolt handles from trying to push them open after forcing them shut. It’s because the cast-iron bolts won’t hold up too much stress.

The 9-lug action’s limited bolt throw prevents it from having a lot of camming power. Most 788s require a significant amount of forwarding force before turning down the force to lock the action.

Failure to Extract

When attempting to expel the shells, there is an issue. The bolt cannot be opened to release the shell. The bolt could also get jammed.

The Fix

The 788s, like the others, operate through push feed, though. In either scenario, the extractor always pops over the cartridge rim.

The Remington 788s are a decent gun with a terrible extractor. Those extractors are all constructed with a flimsy thumbnail that has been riveted or snapped into a groove.

These bent back into the bolt face if too many rounds are chambered in the gun without loading them in the magazine.

The claw’s bolt face side should be polished and buffed. This might make the gun work. Make sure everything is clean and moving. Replace the extractor if the situation does not improve.

Cannot Tolerate Warm Loads

The rear-locking bolt, the brazed-on bolt handle, and the high-pressure cartridges with standard head sizes are the weaknesses of the Model 788.

The bolt handle is leaned on until it breaks a fired cartridge. It then jams inside the chamber.

The Fix

This happens with loads that caused a 168bthp to exceed 2700–2800 frames per second. High-power bullets must never be used.

This problem is less likely to affect you if you use a 788 with a small head size (.222Rem,.223Rem), or one of the rimmed 788s (.44Mag,.30-30). These weapons are not the best options for testing maximum reloads.

Firing Pin Jams

The firing pin would puncture the primer, depending on the brand of primer in the ammunition being used.

The tiny metal disc would then explode back into the actual bolt. This repeatedly happens. Until the firing pin seizes.

The Fix

metal disk
metal disk

Because of the metal disk that is removed, these pierced primers are also known as blanking or cookie cutters. The solution is to have the firing pin hole reamed and sleeved.

Additionally, correcting the firing pin spring, extruding the firing pin, or occasionally switching to a thicker cup primer may also help.

User Feedback on Remington 788

The gun was designed exclusively for short-action cartridges. These are Remington .222 through .308 Win. Most users are satisfied with this gun.

However, the biggest obstacle you’ll face is caliber. Finding loaded ammo for the .222 could be difficult because it is no longer as widespread as it once was.

The 788’s trigger has both good and bad qualities. The good, however, outweighs the negative. There are many plastic elements in the cast aluminum trigger housing.

Although not exceptionally light or smooth, the trigger is fairly quick. And because of this, the gun is extremely precise. Especially if they are in good condition. But they do not handle hot loads well.

The multi-lugged rear locking bolt is said to be another reason why it is extremely accurate. When compared to Remington’s own 700 rifles, the 788’s accuracy and affordability exceeded.

The 788 was the most affordable rifle during its time. It forced the Mossberg 810 out of business. It is a very capable gun I must say!

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Remington 788

Based on comparing the specs, features, practicality, and performance, I have found the 3 best alternatives to Remington 788.

Remington 700

These have significantly more originality and personality than the 788s. The 700 outperforms the 788 by a wide margin.

You would be surprised at how well-built and manufactured this rifle is for an entry-level weapon. It easily wins this round.

Remington 722

The 722s are essentially 700s, as are the 721s, the long-action variation. It is one of the most accurate rifles in its caliber, almost beating out the 788.

They can shoot less than 1″ for five shots without any effort. Which is a really good grouping for the Remington.

Remington 783

Following Savage design guidelines, the 783 is a response to the entry-level market, as have Mossberg, Ruger, and other manufacturers.

The 783 is a fairly reliable rifle. The lockup of the bolt is excellent, and it feels comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is the Remington 788 resell value?

The 32nd Edition of Blue Book of Gun Values shows $250 as the reasonable price for a 788 in 70% condition.

How long was the Remington 788 in production?

The 788 was introduced in 1967 and discontinued in 1983.

What is the most accurate Remington 788?

A 788/Weaver Sportsman combo rifle in 223.

What problems do the plastic parts cause in Remington 788?

The usage of several plastic components caused problems with the magazines and the safety levers.

What caused the Remington 788s to blow up?

Blow-ups occurred due to people hot-rodding the 788s.

Why was the Remington 788 special?

At the time, the 788 had the fastest lock time of any centerfire rifle on the market.


The 788s is a strong, precise, and all-around excellent rifle. Of all the Remingtons produced at the time, they have the quickest lock time. The claims that 788s are dangerous may be a combination of fact and myth.

They are somewhat heavy. However, this aids in maintaining a steady hold. They are also rather unadorned.

Remington, however, had issues with the trigger parts on the 788, for which they were purportedly sued.

So, it’s up to you if you want to buy it or not.

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