Remington Model 783 (Form Stock rifle combo) - tried & tested

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 October 2020

Ambushing foxes with the 783 off the bipods with the really comfortable Form stock mean shots out beyond 150 yards were not a problem

Ambushing foxes with the 783 off the bipods with the really comfortable Form stock mean shots out beyond 150 yards were not a problem

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Rifle Shooter writer ‘Broadsword’ discovers a rifle package deal that is accurate and ready to go - the Remington Model 783 Form Stock rifle combo

The Rem 783 with Form stock combo package is a decent price for stalker or foxer to just pick up and go, just add bulletsThe Rem 783 with Form stock combo package is a decent price for stalker or foxer to just pick up and go, just add bullets

We are all familiar with the Remington Model 700 rifle and action design. It is one of the iconic bolt actions of the 20th century and and is often copied or customised. However, as with all manufacturers, they still see a need for change or development, whether it is necessary or not.

There has been a surge recently in rifle/combo outfits being offered by manufacturers, giving shooter’s everything they need to go hunting, except the ammunition. It can make sense as you often save on buying a package deal over the cost of each individual item and not all shooters necessarily require the very best quality for their shooting needs.

Remington introduced the Model 783 rifle in 2013, created from a Marlin X7 design, as a new more affordable sibling to the Model 700. Prior to this was the Model 770, which was a good rifle but never really made any inroads in sales. The new Model 783 is similar but has many improvements over the older 770 rifles, while still holding Remington’s ethos of accuracy and consistency without the cosmetic or unnecessary features that don’t actually affect overall performance.

This version is available in several versions, including wood and synthetic, blued or stainless steel. In this case, I had the Form stock package, which included a Hawke scope, bipod, scope mounts and bases. They all have a semi-magnum profile, free-floated barrel, a separate barrel locking nut (aka Savage), a detachable magazine and an adjustable safety trigger.

Hornady 75gr V-Max factory loads worked a treat and shot below an inch at 100 yards, perfect for a head shot foxHornady 75gr V-Max factory loads worked a treat and shot below an inch at 100 yards, perfect for a head shot fox

First that stock

Form are a company based in Devon and have teamed up with RayTrade to offer specific Remington rifles with stocks either as a package deal or as a standalone item.

This Rem 783 combo has a Form Carro stock, which is a hybrid design made from laminate wood; it blends good ergonomic sense and a more modern design with a very good hunting style stock. It is light for its size at 1.36kg, so adding it to the Rem 783 actually enhances the feel and weight distribution, as well as adding a more stable platform. Hopefully, this should culminate in improved and more consistent accuracy.

The Carro’s fore-end has a medium weight sporter/varmint profile that has been optimised for shooting from a range of positions and to accommodate larger diameter barrels, like those of the 783.

The laminate is made from epoxy bounded soft wood layers of alternating differing hues of brown; it’s a very pleasing overall effect that is far superior than plastic in my opinion. There is no chequering for grip but finger grooves and good design alleviate that problem largely. The angled pistol grip with finger grooves achieves a natural hold without stress, delivering a relaxed grip and making shooting from any angle i.e. prone, off sticks in a high seat, effortless.

There is a ramp scalloped into the pistol grip to rest the thumb, which can be beneficial for offhand shooting when necessary. You also have a belly hook in the rear portion of the butt stock – this means that, when prone, the supporting hand can keep the vertical or canting action of the rifle to a minimum, especially when shooting from a bipod.

Integrity of the laminate is enhanced by 6mm stainless steel cross bolts, which makes sure the inlet stays exactly the same in any weather conditions. You also have an elevating cheekpiece operated by a triangular inset push button that gives an instant release and capture of the raised cheekpiece support, so that a very natural and comfortable eye alignment – ideal for high scope mounts or night vison devices. A slim, black, tactile rubber recoil pad finishes of the stock along with q/d sling swivel studs.

With the stock feeling so nice, it totally transforms the look and feel of the 783. No more are you thinking of it as a cheaper Model 700 but rather truly assessing its attributes as a rifle in its own right. That’s exactly why custom or semi-custom rifles can instantly transform one’s opinion of a rifle’s performance.

The elevating cheekpiece whilst prone was a help to get correct eye alignment and the Hawke scope was really all I neededThe elevating cheekpiece whilst prone was a help to get correct eye alignment and the Hawke scope was really all I needed

Metal work

The typical Remington tubular steel profile action remains, showing a hunter-friendly satin/matt blued finish, the same as the barrel. The action top is drilled and tapped for scope mounts (level unlike the Rem 700 stepped action top) and the combo package includes two Weaver type bases.

There is a small push-down lever to the left of the action, which is the bolt release. With the bolt removed, you can see the typical twin locking lug design – the lugs are large and achieved a very even friction fit into the action abutments, illustrated by even wear marks.

The Sako style extractor and sprung type plunger ejector in the recessed bolt face work a treat when it comes to cartridge handling, although that flattened bolt knob with a prominent ‘R’ stamped on it does resemble a liquorice chew stuck on the end of a bolt handle! Nevertheless, it handles well which is what matters and clears a mounted scope with no problems.

A large bolt shroud shows a small protrusion as a visual indication that the rifle is cocked and the safety lever operates forward to fire and rear is safe. The crossfire trigger mechanism, with its familiar safety blade within the trigger blade, works very well, I have to say. That skeletonised inner blade stops accidental discharge as you have to consciously depressed both blades to fire the 783 – not my personal choice, but the US market seems to like it? This one broke at 3.15lb, so not bad and it’s also adjustable from 2.5 to 5lb.

A detachable magazine comprising of steel with a polymer base has a metal integral release catch making it fool proof to use and it reliably feeds the four-round payload of .243 ammunition.

The barrelled action is better on closer inspection than I first thought. You have a larger profiled barrel with an overall diameter at the muzzle of 0.662” with a 22” overall length, classifying this as a semi magnum weight. It does provide a nice balanced feel to the 783 and helps dampen harmonics and increases round count before the heats up excessively.

The M14/1 threaded muzzle is well executed and at the other end is a barrel locking nut union that maintains headspace with the separate recoil lug between it and the action face. Internally, there is a six-rifling land with a 1 in 9.5” twist button rifled bore, capable of stabilising bullets up to 100-105gr.

Being free floating really helps with accuracy and there is enough space in the barrel channel so that a bipod can be fitted with no recoil jump that would upset accuracy.

Very comfortable finger grooves, thumb rest elevating cheekpiece and finger groove for rear support, all helping with great handlingVery comfortable finger grooves, thumb rest elevating cheekpiece and finger groove for rear support, all helping with great handling

Tests

.243 rifles with shorter barrels are not always deer legal with some ammunition, so you have to be careful with some of the slower loads and heavier weighted bullets – especially if you need 100gr, 2450 fps, 1750 ft/lbs minimum to be legal in Scotland for larger species. This Rem 783 has a 22” barrel, so not as big a problem as some 20” rifles I have tested.

The Form Carro stock came with an elevating cheekpiece which instantly locked and adjusted with a single push off that triangular buttonThe Form Carro stock came with an elevating cheekpiece which instantly locked and adjusted with a single push off that triangular button

(FACTORY)Make Bullet Weight Velocity FPS Energy ft/lbs Accuracy at 100 yards (inch)

Sako Game Head Varmint 55gr 3788 1753 0.85

Hornady SST 75gr 3294 1807 0.90

Remington Accubond 75gr 3258 1768 1.0

Federal Barnes Triple Shock 85gr 3050 1756 1.25

Sako Game Head Soft Point 90gr 2984 1780 0.95

Winchester B Tips 95gr 2911 1788 0.95

Norma Soft Point 100gr 2802 1743 1.15

Geco Express 105gr 2792 1817 1.25

Obligatory insert safety trigger blade and flat dished bolt knob, the 783`s action was actually quite smooth and reliableObligatory insert safety trigger blade and flat dished bolt knob, the 783`s action was actually quite smooth and reliable

(RELOADS)Bullet Weight Load details Velocity fps Energy ft/lbs Accuracy at 100 yards (inch)

Nosler Ballistic Tip 55gr 48.0 gr of RL17 powder 3861 1821 0.95

Nosler Ballistic Tip 70gr 47.25gr o Rl17 powder 3477 1879 0.75

Hornady V-Max 75gr 42.0gr of Vit N540 powder 3230 1737 0.85

Hornady Interbond 85gr 46.0gr of RL19 powder 3115 1831 1.0

Nosler E -Tip 90gr 44.0gr of RL19 powder (full) 3015 1817 1.25

Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr 40.0gr of IMR 4007 SSC 2896 1769 0.75

Sierra Game King 100gr 41.0gr of Vit N 150 Powder (max) 2872 1832 1.0

Hornady BTSP 100gr 45.0gr of Rl19 powder (hot) 2948 1930 1.0

In the field

The way this 783 and Form stock marry up together it does transform the what would be a £550-ish gun into a much better handling and let’s be honest much more attractive rifle. The addition of the Hawke scope, mounts and bases as well as the Evolve sound moderator and bipod for £1,275 definitely does give you all you need in a single package.

Accuracy from the factory and the reloads shows that fed the right diet, this Rem 783 was accurate and in most cases deer-legal north of the border. I was asked to sort out some foxes that had taken an interest in the new birds on a local shoot. So, loaded up with the Hornady V-Max 75gr bullets over a charge of 42gr of Vit N540 powder yielding 3230 fps and 1737 ft/lbs, and zeroed in an inch high at 100 yards, I decided to put the Remington to the test and ambush a few Charlies.

Foxing is not all about NV, thermal and lamping, when young, naive or undisturbed foxes tend to use the same route and a mid-morning ambush on well-trodden tracks can pay dividends. Set up on the bipod, the Hawke scope was more than good enough for longer shots across a field where I could stay concealed and catch them as they entered the margins.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the first fox poked his nose from the bushes at 155 yards and when he stepped onto the field that V-Max found its mark. Low noise, low recoil, good accuracy and a very stable platform with that Form Carro stock design. Excellent!

Smaller bolt opening means a strong rounded action design, the bolt was smooth and the side lever safety was quiet to operateSmaller bolt opening means a strong rounded action design, the bolt was smooth and the side lever safety was quiet to operate

TECH SPECS - REMINGTON MODEL 783 IN .243 (9.5” twist)

Type: Bolt action

Overall/barrel Length: 42.25 inches/22 inches

Finish: Blued steel

Weight: 8.75 lbs

Magazine: Detachable 4 shot

Stock: Form Carro style laminate

Trigger: Single stage adjustable

The package includes Weaver bases, mounts and a nice Hawke 3-9x50mm scope too, all worked well in the testsThe package includes Weaver bases, mounts and a nice Hawke 3-9x50mm scope too, all worked well in the tests

Safety: Side lever

Importers: Raytrade Ltd Tel 01635 253344

Price The Form 783 Package ships with the Form Stock with moderator, mounts, scope and bi-pod and has an RRP: of £1275.00. Rifle alone is £549; the Form stock is available and sold separately for RRP: £475.00.

Finger grooved pistol grip and quick pop out detachable magazine are practical additions to any hunting rifleFinger grooved pistol grip and quick pop out detachable magazine are practical additions to any hunting rifle

Factory 75gr SST 243 Win loads shot very well at under an inch at 100 yards and the reloads bettered this and with increased velocityFactory 75gr SST 243 Win loads shot very well at under an inch at 100 yards and the reloads bettered this and with increased velocity

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