Remington 783

Con Kapralos tests the affordable Remington 783 Synthetic Combo

The Remington 783 bolt-action rifle isn’t a new model, having been in production for more than 10 years. Promoted as the ‘workhorse’ of the current line-up, it survived the turmoil of the Remington bankruptcy and now in the new era is still in production, filling a niche as an entry-level centrefire. Pretty it’s not but it was never meant to be anything more than a solid and dependable rifle, be it for the new hunter or farmer needing a tool for pest control.

The 783 designation was devised by Remington Arms with the ‘7’ testament to the Model 700, the ‘8’ acknowledging the Model 788 introduced in 1967 and the ‘3’ reflecting 2013, the year the 783 was first manufactured.

Nioa is Australian distributor for Remington and sent Australian Shooter the 783 Synthetic Combo, which consists of the rifle in .308 Winchester mounted with a Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9×40 riflescope in two-piece Remington 700-style Weaver bases and alloy rings. The 783 Synthetic Combo is offered in eight calibres ranging from .223 Remington up to .300 Winchester Magnum.

At a glance

The rifle is a traditional turn-bolt repeater with push-feed action, detachable box magazine and 560mm sporter-weight barrel. A pillar-bedded synthetic stock completes the rifle and bare it tops the scales at 3.18kg and has an overall length of 1065mm.

Barreled action

The receiver is made from round carbon steel bar-stock, retaining that profile with thick walls adding to its strength and rigidity. A small ejection port which is enclosed on top also serves to keep out any debris but allows ejection of cases from the action, fired or unfired, without issue. Top of the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept bases and with the review rifle combo fitted with two-piece Weaver-style bases it makes scope-mounting simple.

The bottom profile of the receiver is designed to accept the detachable box magazine and magazine latch, as well as being drilled and tapped to accommodate the action fasteners, one screw engaging the receiver ring and the other into the back of the tang. A recoil lug is in the style of a simple steel plate fitted between the face of the receiver ring and barrel proper. Such an arrangement is common nowadays and works well.

The barrel of the review rifle is of a sporter-weight profile made from high-carbon steel and measuring 560mm (22”). It’s button rifled with a 1:10 twist for the .308 Winchester cartridge and should handle most popular .30-calibre projectile weights for that calibre. The muzzle is neatly finished, being recessed with a target-style crown but devoid of muzzle threading.

Barrel attachment to the receiver is achieved via a locking nut, a system used by Savage for many years and now favoured by manufacturers worldwide. It allows the barrel to be accurately and precisely head spaced, which permits quick and efficient setting of the barrel to the receiver. It helps reduce manufacturing costs and works well, testament to the fact many rifles which use such a method shoot accurately to boot. Both barrel and receiver have a nice deep blue-black finish which also extends to the bolt.


This is of a standard push-feed design with recessed face, dual-opposed locking lugs and a plunger ejector through the bolt-face. A Sako-style hook extractor is neatly positioned in the right-hand locking lug and, together with the plunger ejector, makes short work of handling fired or unfired cases from the chamber. The bolt head is a ‘floating’ design in that it’s attached to the bolt body with a steel retaining pin.

To the rear the bolt handle works on a 90-degree lift and is nicely profiled though the flattened, pancake-style bolt-knob just doesn’t offer the amount of grip I’d have liked. A traditional rounded bolt knob would have been more suited. The bolt can be simply removed from the receiver by sliding it to the rear and pressing the lever attached to the left side of the trigger group. Stripping it for maintenance should be easy enough following the instructions in the user manual.

Safety and trigger

The 783 is fitted with the Cross-Fire trigger group, a variation of the Accu-Trigger design introduced by Savage Arms many years ago. The mechanism relies on a centre-lever through the face of the trigger blade itself which must be fully depressed before the rifle will fire. Trigger pull can be adjusted by following the instructions in the manual but in this case was fine for a hunting application.

The safety system consists of a two-position manual lever on the right side behind the bolt-notch. The letter ‘S’ stamped into the tang indicates the ‘Safe’ position with ‘Fire’ indicated by ‘F’ directly behind the bolt-notch.  When the safety’s engaged it blocks the trigger mechanism but still permits the bolt to be cycled.


The detachable box magazine is made from a mixture of polymer and steel, the base being polymer as is the follower with a steel spring attached to it. The magazine box is steel and permits a dual-stack arrangement of four rounds in .308 Winchester. These were easy to load and faultlessly picked up by the bolt when chambering a round. The magazine sits flush with the underside of the stock and clips into place via a spring-loaded catch on the front edge of the magazine body.


You can’t say synthetic stocks are something new as they seem to dominate sporting rifles these days. The one on the 783 is of a black nylon-fibre mix with a pleasant American profile, devoid of a cheek-piece or Monte Carlo combs. Both the pistol grip and fore-end areas encompass stippled panels for added grip along with shallow grooves which assist with grip.

Provision for attaching a sling are anchoring points moulded integrally within the stock but for the sake of a few extra dollars, simple QD-sling swivel studs would have been better. To the rear is Remington’s ‘Super-Cell’ recoil pad, 20mm thick and claimed to reduce felt recoil by up to 50 per cent. It’s quite soft and while the .308 Winchester calibre isn’t a big recoiler, it certainly made shooting a tad more comfortable.

Internally the stock’s finished very neatly with all surfaces around the receiver mortice and magazine well clean and trim. The slot for the recoil plate is just forward of the well and two aluminium bedding pillars adorn the action screw holes. When the barreled action is dropped into place, the screws can be tightened to a correct torque and the barrel is free-floating. The trigger guard is a separate polymer entity and held by a screw behind the magazine well and the rear action screw itself.


The rifle is fitted with a Bushnell Trophy XLT scope in 3-9×40 specification. Bushnell are one of the world’s most respected manufacturers and the Trophy XLT range is an entry-level optic suited to general hunting and plinking applications. Magnification on the review rifle is spot-on for hunting and gave a clear image at the range and in the field. The reticle is of a BDC-style layout with holdover graduations on the lower vertical post. For general range work and field use it was sighted in at 50mm high at 100m.


Range testing involved bore-sighting the rifle at 25m and using that distance to have it shooting just below point of aim. Taking it out to 100m, adjustments were made and testing of several favourite hunting loads commenced and what’s pleasing is the rifle shot all ammunition pretty well. Three-shot groups were standard and none exceeded 1.5 MOA, my pet handload consisting of a Hornady 150gr SST over AR2208 powder giving clover-leaf patterns as expected. Factory-ammo wise, Federal’s standard Power Shok 150gr soft-points were excellent at just under MOA as were Federal 130gr Speer hollow-points.

An early summer sortie for deer was on the cards, though recent aerial culling in my usual hunting area would mean a lot of hard yards with the reality being any deer would either be flighty or absent. Slinging the 783 Synthetic over the shoulder, hard yards were duly done and the rifle carried well as the total weight including scope of 3.66kg is spot-on for such a hunting combo.

Unfortunately, any deer we did shoot fell to my friend’s Remington Model 700. It would’ve been nice to take one with the 783, though spotting deer of any kind these days in South Australia is a fortunate occurrence and bagging a couple for the freezer was a welcome bonus.

In summary

Many so-called experts in the print and electronic media are quick to dismiss the 783, trying to compare it with the venerable Model 700. Putting that comparison aside the 783 is an excellent rifle with a host of features unique to the model, while being affordable and accurate to boot. It’s not meant to win any beauty contests and is simply a working rifle with the famous pedigree of the ‘Big Green’ behind it. The 783 Combo with Bushnell XLT optic retails around the $1000 mark but it pays to shop around. More at

Manufacturer: RemArms, US
Model: 783 Synthetic Combo (supplied with Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9×40 scope, rings and bases)
Action: Bolt-action, push-feed, steel receiver, drilled and tapped for scope mounting.
Barrel: 560mm (22”), high carbon steel, button-rifled, 1:10 twist (.308 Win)
Calibres: .308 Win (tested), 223Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 CM, .270 Win, .30-06 Sprg, 7mm RM, .300 WM
Sights: None. Two-piece Weaver bases fitted
Magazine: Four-shot polymer/steel (standard calibres four-shot, magnum calibres three-shot, .223 Rem five-shot)
Stock: Nylon reinforced polymer synthetic, black, ‘Super-Cell’ recoil pad.
Weight: 3.18kg (bare), 3.66kg (Combo as supplied for testing)
Length: 1065mm
Distributor: Nioa
RRP: About $1000 but shop around

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