Archive - Deer Hunting Rifles

My Father’s Deer Hunting Rifle: The Remington 788

1 October 2010 by , 2 Comments

I visited my parents farm recently and was looking at my dad’s deer hunting rifles. The one both he and I have used the most for hunting is his old Remington 788 bolt action rifle. A less regarded rifle than its more famous brother the Remington 700, the Remington 788 is a great deer hunting rifle for the short ranges in the brush we have in north Arkansas.
It also is quite accurate at long ranges as this video attests to:

It was introduced as a budget rifle compared to the Remington 700 in 1967 and was discontinued in 1983.

There has been some controversy around this rifle. Some of the main problems cited was that the the bolt is not as rugged as the Remington 700. There were reports of handles breaking off after trying to free a stuck shell.

There was also a problem with the safely as this quote from the Remington site states:

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: If you have a Model 788 rifle with a bolt-lock mechanism, the manual safety must be placed in the “F” or “Off or Fire” position to lift the bolt and begin the process of unloading the rifle. Be sure the rifle is pointing in a safe direction anytime you move the manual safety to the “F” or “Off or Fire” position. After you have lifted the bolt, slide the bolt rearward and then immediately put the manual safety back in the “S” or “On safe” position and then continue the unloading process.

After all these problems, the rifle shoots well and its not hard to get 1″ groups at 100 yards, more than enough for short range deer hunting. Over it’s production lifetime, it has been chambered in .223 Rem.,
.22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6mm. Rem.,
7mm-08 Rem., .30-30 Win., .44 Rem. Mag., almost all of which are good enough to take down most deer.
The one you see is quite accurate at short ranges as a large number of coyote who’ve wondered through the property can attest to. It’s also pretty light and compact and fits well in the back of the mule we drive around the farm in.

At the time it was very resonably priced usually $150 less than the Remington 700. Lately it has seen prices go up as it becomes more of a collectors item but in the right places they are still quite reasonable for a budget rifle.

It’s bolt action is still quite reliable and if you don’t need anything fancy and can find it at the right price its size makes it a great scout rifle.

The Remington 788 may be getting old in years, but there’s a still a soft spot in my heart for this one since it was my first deer hunting rifle. Thanks Dad for letting me take it out.

New Ultra Light Arms: A Revolutionary Rifle

24 September 2010 by , No Comments

A West Virginia high school shop teacher and part time gunsmith named Melvin Forbes is the unlikely creator of one of the lightest deer hunting rifles on the market. His New Ultra Light Arms deer hunting rifles are incredible pieces of engineering but they are very expensive. On first glance they resembles a Remington Model 700 but on a smaller scale. Starter guns cost $3000 and an additional $100 for left handed version and can take six months to deliver.

Forbes has created many versions of his custom made rifles to fit a wide variety of actions. The gun models are named based on the weight of their actions. The Model 20 Ultimate Mountain Rifle for example has a 20 oz action weight. It is sized for cartridges like the .308 Winchester, .243 Winchester, 6mm Remington, .257 Roberts, 7mm-08, and .284. Likewise the Model 24 Ultimate Plains Rifle has a 24 oz action weight and is chambered for the .30-06. There’s even a muzzleloading version as well.

The New Ultra Light Armscan handle these calibers in a lighter configuration because it has a stronger action. Since the wall thickness of the barrel is unchanged at a a reduced diameter, the overall strength is increased. Forbes reported that he knew one owner had the gun for 12 years and shot 4.5 million rounds through it before the action wore out.

Another feature that distinguishes the New Ultra Light Arms is its stock. Unlike other synthetic stocks which trace their origins back to the fiberglass boat industry, Forbes designed his from the ground up using Aerospace technology. As Forbes says, it’s high tech but “we do not use anti-gravity paint.” Even at 14 oz., the stocks are very tough and have been run over by trucks, had horses walk on them, and been dropped out of trees with little damage. However, they can melt so watch were you put them. The stock also helps improve its accuracy by stiffening the action and barrel.

Listen to Melvin Forbes talk about his rifles:

If you do a lot of walking in the woods, a New Ultra Light Arms deer hunting rifle is a great high end rifle to bring along with you and make that long hike a little easier.