One thing that my firearm closet has been missing is a larger caliber rifle that is accurate and longer range than my AR's. While I do have my Mosin 91/30's, I won't scope them and they just aren't all that accurate for what my needs might be. So, after a few hours of research I went and bought a brand-new Remington 783 in .308 from a dealer on Gunbroker, ran me $335 with the $20 transfer from my local FFL, but they have a factory rebate of $40 through the end of September.
I went with the Remington over the Savage Axis and the Ruger American for several reasons. The two year warranty versus the Savage one year and the Ruger "no written warranty" were a consideration, as well as the fact that the Remington has a bedded heavy barrel that is free-floated, came with a 3-9x40 scope, a closed-cell recoil pad and has a trigger that the pull can be adjusted. The magazine for the most part is steel, just the floor plate is polymer.
Of course I read a whole bunch of reviews as well as customer experience on all three and found the usual mix. No matter what you buy, there are people who think it's just the greatest thing while others think it sucks. On paper, the 783 appeared to best fit what I was looking for, a rifle that is lightweight (under 7 pounds loaded), has the ability to be accurate way farther than I will probably ever shoot it (although I am looking into joining a rifle club that has a range out to 600 yards) and ammo is available and won't break my piggy bank to buy.
I took it out and did the Remington recommended break-in, which is basically shoot one and clean with a bore brush and patches, and repeat. I did this for the first 40 rounds, shooting the cheapest brass-cased ammo that I could get, which was 150gr ZQ1 in 7.62x51. Not as hot as standard .308, so I figured it would be perfect for a slow, easy initial break-in.
Accuracy wasn't great at all, even though the ZQ1 says it is guaranteed to shoot MOA at 10 yards, it was evident that the 783 did not care for it at all. After the 40 rounds, I switched over to some Monarch 150 gr brass cased from Academy, actually PPU according to the brass. Better accuracy but still nowhere near what I expected out of this.
OK...80 rounds through this and my shoulder is a bit bruised so no more for the day. I have a box of 168gr PPU Match BTHP and a box of 180gr PPU soft point to try out in my search for accuracy.
Two days later I get the itch to get this thing dialed in, shoulder still hurts. (old military injury, dislocated, long story) Take the 168gr out and now getting some accuracy, time to try and dial in the no-name scope that came on it.
Groups were satisfactory with that ammo but shoulder hurting again, so of course at that point I decide to step up to the 180gr. Makes sense right? Shoulder hurts, so shoot some heavier ammo?
Yeah...at that point I could tell that it wasn't the rifle, nor the ammo that was the problem. So I put it away for awhile. I bought some Federal Hydro-shock, some Remington Core-Lokt and some Winchester Power Point all in 150gr, and I'll take it out again in about a week to try some of each of those in my search for the most accurate factory ammo. It's doubtful that I will reload for it as I won't really shoot it that much, but always a possibility.
Overall, I'm REALLY liking this rifle, especially the trigger. I left it at the factory setting and haven't measured the pull, but it's better than my AR's, very crisp with no discernible creep and breaks the same each time.
Here's the target I shot with the 168gr PPU match ammo. A better scope (new glasses wouldn't hurt me) and handloads would more than likely enable one-hole groups. First shots were the lower left, second group was the middle one after I adjusted the scope way too far. Taking a better look at it I saw that it was a 1/4" per click instead of the 1/8" that I use normally. Last group was the upper left, so still need to do some fine tuning but overall very happy with it.