Small-game hunters take note—this affordable, heavy-barreled version of Remington’s budget-friendly Model 783 lineup might be the most underrated new rifle at the 2019 SHOT Show. The new Model 783 Varmint combines a reliable action, a high-quality, heavy target barrel and a quality laminate varmint stock to create a tack-driver you can afford to own.
At the heart of this rifle is Remington’s push-feed 783 dual-lug bolt, but unlike other 783s the Varmint model comes with an oversized teardrop bolt knob instead of the smaller, thinner bolt knob that’s standard on the sporter version. The action has a minimized ejection port for added rigidity, and the barrel has a lock nut for precise headspacing. These two factors combine to make the Model 783 Varmint a really accurate rifle.
How accurate? I was getting three-shot groups just over .5-inch with both Hornady and Remington varmint loads. Yeah, this rifle is a shooter, and with an MSRP of $625, it won’t break the bank.
The nutmeg laminate stock features a flat comb and a dense SuperCell recoil pad, though you probably won’t have to worry about kick, considering the Model 783 Varmint is chambered for some pretty mild calibers (.223 Rem., .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win.), and the model I tested weighed 7.5 pounds without a scope.
The Model 783 Varmint comes with a 4-round detachable box magazine that works well, and it also is equipped with Remington’s CrossFire bladed adjustable trigger. There’s a two-position rocker-type safety that allows you to cycle the action with the safety engaged, and a Picatinny rail atop the action makes it simple to securely mount optics.
The 26-inch button-rifled, carbon steel barrel has a heavy contour and is free-floated, and there are dual sling studs in the beavertail forearm for mounting a sling and bipod separately. The barrel and receiver have a matte blue finish.
The stock is one of the things that’s most striking about this rifle. Unlike some budget rifles, the Model 783 Varmint comes with an exceptionally nice laminate stock with a high-gloss finish that is reminiscent of the one found on Remington’s superb Model 700 VLS. And, most importantly, this rifle shoots well.
As previously stated, it will produce .5-inch groups with a factory load it favors, and none of the .22-250 Rem. test loads I put through this it grouped larger than 1-inch. Chambered recoil was less than minimal, and even after a full day spent on the fringes of a prairie dog town you won’t feel fatigued.
It’s a bit heavy, to be sure, so it may not be the first choice for roving predator hunters that walk miles making setup after setup. However, it’s a great buy, and I believe it’s the best of the Model 783 offerings. If you’re in the market for a new varmint gun for 2019, the Model 783 Varmint should certainly be on your short list.