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I recently purchased a $279 Remington 783 7mm Rem Mag on sale that came with a free Marlin 22LR from my local sporting goods store. After Remington put out a video claiming the 783 would be the next 50 years of the Remington 700, I started looking around to make sure that if I bought this weapon that I could build the action into a nice chassis and be able to change calibers and barrels easily enough. Bingo, I found Pacific Tool and Gauge is offering bottom metals and bolt heads for the 783, PDC Custom Chassis offers an incredible folding chassis for the 783 and X-Caliber barrels one of my favorite barrel makers offers Remington 783 Remage barrels. The only thing as of the publication of this article that I haven't been able to find is a replacement bolt and trigger. I have a feeling that those are coming. I also found AD Arms a gunsmith in Bangor, MI who will cut off and replace the bolt handle with a threaded lever to accept nearly any type of knob you want to use and he will flute and Cerakote your bolt for you while he has it.

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PDC GEN4 Custom Chassis for the Remington 783

Meanwhile, I have been shooting the 783, after filling the cheap flimsy polymer stock that it came with full of lead and epoxy, and am very pleased with it's performance with the factory barrel and trigger. After adjusting out the trigger, I was able to get to a consistent 2.5 lb beautiful trigger pull without any filing or modifications. It now weighs 25lbs which tames the recoil on the 7mm mag without using any type of brake or muzzle device.

We have put nearly 2000 rounds through it and it still shoots great out to 1000 yds(our maximum range). I don't do a lot of paper punching because gongs are so much more rewarding but I shot a few groups through it during load development and was not surprised to see 1/2 MOA. On a low wind day, we were able to shoot a clover at 250 yds and we have drilled plenty of 5" gongs at 750 yards together. The factory barrel contour means I let it take a rest and cool off a little more frequently than my heavy barreled guns.

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PDC GEN4 Custom Chassis for the Remington 783

What else can I say about it, since I have been practicing a lot at the range, I can out shoot most people there except for the old guys who served who have to get there on crutches and can't see past the end of their barrels. They will stomp your butt and Miguel the tank operator he hardly ever misses either. I admire and seek the advice from better shooters which has brought me into a wealth of knowledge about shooting and reloading. Some of which is specific to the 7mm Rem Mag some of which I will share with you now. 

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PDC GEN4 Custom Chassis for the Remington 783

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PDC GEN4 Custom Chassis for the Remington 783 With Fluted X-Caliber Barrel

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PDC GEN4 Custom Chassis for the Remington 783 Folding Stock

I. About the 7mm Rem Mag.


The 7mm Remington Magnum rifle cartridge was introduced as a commercially available round in 1962, along with the new Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle. It is a member of the belted magnum family that is directly derived from the venerable .375 H&H Magnum. The belt provided a forward stop for those early magnum cases when the firing pin hit the primer.   The belt provided a positive forward stop to compensate for the shallow angle on the H&H shoulder.   The shoulder angle allowed those early cases to be pushed forward causing misfires.   When the belt was added, it solved the misfire problem and that started the “belted magnum” craze.   Since then, no belted caliber has ever needed to have the belt.   The performance of the H&H calibers was so much better than standard rifle calibers, that the belt was thought to be necessary (by marketing) to sell any true “Magnum” rifle.   Any case without the belt just wasn’t considered a “Magnum” caliber.  The 7mm Remington Magnum is very is similar to the Winchester .264 Winchester Magnum because it became popular a few years earlier.

7mm Rem Mag

The 7mm Remington Magnum offers a slightly flatter trajectory than the .30-06 Springfield with bullet weights of 175 grains and less, one of the more popular loads being a 160 grain spitzer loaded to 3,000 ft/s (910 m/s). This is due both to the higher muzzle velocity of the magnum compared to .308 diameter bullets, and some 7mm bullets have better ballistic coefficients than .308 diameter bullets of comparable mass. It is arguable that the 7mm Remington Magnum offers marginally better ballistics with 175 grain bullets, the heaviest bullet commonly used in the caliber. The .30-06 Springfield can, however, be loaded with heavier bullets up to 220 grains if the rifling twist is fast enough (1 -10) to accurately shoot them accurately.

Because of its flat shooting nature and the relatively tolerable recoil, the 7mm Remington Magnum is especially popular for Western plains use in the United States, as well as for use on plains game in Africa. It has also been chambered in sniper rifles as the US Secret Service counter-sniper team. Popular online gun author Chuck Hawks calls the 7mm Remington "one of the great all-around rifle cartridges."

II. What's with the belt thingy

Unlike most cartridges, the belted magnums have an added belt of brass near the base although the belt adds no strength to the case. To a reloader, this is a concern because the cartridge can't be fully resized because the belt is in the way.  (Actually, it is a bit more complicated than that.)  This frustrated many because after a few reloadings, the brass would no longer fit in the chamber due to brass being bulged above the belt. Case bulge often prevents your handloads from chambering.   Hard extraction is a separate issue.  Not what you want in a competition or when hunting dangerous game. Fortunately for reloaders Larry Willis invented the Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die (15 years ago) and that reduces the case bulge allowing the reloader to shoot the brass until it no longer can hold the primer. The resizer works on most belted magnums with the same collet.  This unique collet resizing die is now used by over 6,000 shooters worldwide.

III. Reloading the 7mm Mag

Like all Remington rifles the 783 has a long throat so my handloads will not fit in the magazine if I load them .001"-.004" off of the lands . This is very common with production rifles.  The magazine does not hold or feed the ammo properly anyway so it's a single shot until the new PDC chassis gets here.   Keep in mind that loading your bullets long increases chamber pressure, and keep in mind that it doesn’t always improve accuracy.  I have shot a variety of projectiles through the 783 all with really good results. The most accurate bullet (in our particular test rifle) was the 175gr Sierra Tipped Match Kings but had no problem hitting at 1ooo yards with the Hornady 162gr SPBT inexpensive hunting bullet or the Hornady ELD-M expensive match bullet.

IV. Accuracy Tips for the 7mm Remington Magnum

On advice from Ken Neanes over at Insane Accuracy I am using the Lee collet neck sizer die, the Lee seating die and the Lee factory crimp die and coating my bullets with the David Tubb's Precision Blended Boron Nitride Bullet Coating Kit. During each stage of the 3 dies I just listed the cartridge is rotated 45 degrees and pressed again. Good equipment and proven reloading techniques have improved the concentricity of my handloads and my standard deviations have gone way down. This was achieved without spending a small fortune on equipment or by spending a bunch of time using neck turning tools. The Lee neck sizer forms the brass around a steel rod which does not stretch your brass up or down like most dies that use an expander ball, but you should still trim your brass to the published “Trim to Length”. You will immediately notice a difference in the uniformity if you use a straight line seating die.  Most shooters are surprised to find that even benchrest shooters use Full Length resizing dies.

- Neck crimping is not required if neck tension is correct.
- Full length resizing is far better than neck resizing, but it must be done accurately.


V. Summation

Besides the magazine problems and flimsy stock I would say that the Remington 783 in 7mm Remington Magnum is a decent inexpensive candidate for building a custom rifle however, I wouldn't hunt with it without first resolving the magazine issues. I contacted Remington and they offered to have me send the weapon back for a fixing but I declined because it will be using an Accuracy International magazine pretty soon. Other calibers chambered in the 783 probably don't have any issues with the magazine feeding. The 7mm Rem Mag is an excellent choice for the reloader who doesn't mind spending a little extra money in equipment to take advantage of the cartridges durability. The 7mm Remington Magnum is a solid performer at 1000 yds with enough energy left to still do it's job so I highly recommend it as a consideration in your next custom long range rifle build.

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