Top 6 Remington 788 Problems Exposed: Quick Solutions

In the realm of firearms, the Remington 788 stands out as a solid rifle choice. However, recent experiences have shed light on a handful of issues that can arise, even after rigorous testing.

From trigger woes to firing pin failures, addressing these problems is crucial for maintaining a stellar shooting experience.

Encountering problems with the Remington 788 can be frustrating, especially during range sessions. However, with careful attention and maintenance, these issues can be effectively addressed.

Understanding how to mitigate Remington 788 problems can ensure the rifle continues to run like a champ.

So, here we’ll navigate these issues together with patience and ease.

Problems & Solution at a Glance

6 ProblemsWith Their Quick Solution
Problem with the Warm LoadsUse lower-velocity ammo or different Remington 788 versions.
Trigger ProblemModify triggers or seek professional assistance for resolution.
Firing Pin ProblemRegular maintenance, cautious reloading, and thicker primers help.
Bolt IssueHandle bolts with precision, avoiding excessive force.
Failure To FireInspect chamber, firing pin, trigger, and bolt alignment.
Extraction IssuePolish, clean, replace extractor for better extraction performance.
Remington 788 Problems
Remington 788 Problems

Remington 788 Problems With Their Practical Solution:

1. Problem with the Warm Loads:

One significant issue often arises is its inability to handle warm loads effectively. 

This stems from the design of its rear-locking bolt and brazed-on bolt handle, which can be prone to weaknesses under the pressure of high-pressure cartridges. 

Over time, particular shooters may encounter difficulties, particularly when leaning into more powerful ammunition. This weakness can manifest in various ways, from a broken bolt handle to a misfired cartridge.

The real problem arises when these issues cause a jam inside the chamber, disrupting the shooting experience.


To address the issue of the struggle with warm loads requires a proactive approach. Many shooters have stayed away from high-power bullets due to concerns about the rifle’s ability to handle such loads. 

However, there are solutions available to mitigate these concerns. 

  • One option is for lower-velocity ammunition, such as the 168bthp bullet, which does not exceed the rifle’s frames per second limit. 
  • Alternatively, shooters can explore other versions of the Remington 788, such as the .44Mag or .30-30, which are less prone to this particular issue. 

By considering these options and selecting ammunition that the rifle can handle with trust, shooters can enjoy a more reliable and consistent shooting experience.

2. Trigger Problem:

The Remington 788 is renowned for its reliability, but the trigger issue is one hiccup that often catches shooters’ eye. The safety setup on some models, particularly those with plastic parts, can be dodgy and prone to damage. 

This can manifest as a tendency for the safety levers to stretch over time, compromising the rifle’s safety. 

Additionally, the rear-locking action may put out annoying corners that impact the shooting experience. 

While the lever itself may suffer damage, especially after a good amount of use, shooters can take steps to mitigate this problem and ensure their rifles operate at their best.


Shooters have several options for the solution. Some may modify their triggers, drawing inspiration from similar solutions found in Remington’s 580 series of rimfire rifles. 

For those who prefer a stop-gap measure, seeking the expertise of a seasoned pro or gunsmith is advisable. 

Whether seeking professional help, replacing the original trigger system with an aftermarket alternative such as Timney can yield safer and more reliable results

Many shooters have reported success after swapping out the old safety mechanisms, with the new triggers working like a charm to enhance the overall shooting experience.

3. Firing Pin Problem:

One recurring frustration is firing pin jams. These jams can occur unexpectedly, causing significant inconvenience during shooting sessions. 

The issue typically arises when a tiny metal disc from a primer gets punctured and lodges in the firing pin mechanism. 

As a result, the bolt seizes, rendering the rifle temporarily inoperable. Despite attempts to clear the jam, it often persists, disrupting the shooting experience. 

This issue highlights a concern regarding the rifle’s reliability, as shooters must contend with the possibility of firing pin jams occurring repeatedly.


Addressing the pesky issue of firing pin jams demands a comprehensive approach:

  • Proper Maintenance: Ensure that the firing pin hole is regularly reamed and sleeved to prevent obstructions caused by metal discs. 
  • Attention to Reloading: When reloading ammunition, exercise care in blanking primers to prevent the formation of metal discs that can lead to jams.
  • Consider Thicker Primers: Some shooters have succeeded in extruding thicker cup primers, which are less susceptible to puncturing.
  • Inspect Firing Pin Spring: Regularly inspect the firing pin spring and consider replacing or correcting it if necessary. 

Implementing these solutions addresses the immediate issue of firing pin jams and contributes to the rifle’s overall performance and reliability.

4. Bolt Issue:

The bolt issue can be a real kicker for owners. When the bolt strips a round from the chamber, it can create a hassle that demands attention. 

The bolt often shoves the round into the chamber, but if things go south, it may fail to push the round all the way down, hitting a wall and requiring significant effort to move further. 

Despite being the rifle’s most vital component, the bolt is still prone to breaking or damage, particularly in the field.


To navigate around the tight bolts that Remington 788s are famous for, it’s essential to recognize the unique features of the rifle’s 9-lug system. 

While bolts can break easily under stress, being mindful of their material, typically cast iron, can mitigate this risk.

Personal experience has shown that with careful force applied, just enough to navigate forward without turning down too forcefully, the bolt can lock into action securely in its place. 

The trick is to stay moderate with force, as excessive pressure can lead to hang-ups and make the bolt more challenging to manage.

Shooters can effectively manage tight bolts without risking damage by handling them with precision and avoiding excessive force.

5. Failure To Fire:

No, move on to the next issue. It often happens at the most awkward times, just as you pull the trigger, leaving you in an embarrassing moment of uncertainty. 

When this happens, the first instinct is to check the ammo, wondering if there’s a problem with the round itself. Sometimes, simply repositioning or shaking the gun can resolve the issue, but it’s still a disappointing setback.


For the solution of failure to fire, start with the basics: 

  • Check the chamber and examine the firing pin to ensure everything is working. 
  • Take a closer look at the trigger mechanism to confirm that there are no issues. 
  • If these initial checks don’t reveal any culprits, dig deeper. Often, the problem is related to the bolt’s alignment, which may require a slight adjustment to resolve. 
  • Ensure the round is correctly seated in the chamber, and with some troubleshooting, the rifle should fire as it’s supposed to. 

Sometimes, the most straightforward solutions are the most effective, and by addressing these basics, you can avoid the awkward moments of a misfire.

6. Extraction Issue:

Encountering the infamous problem of failure to extract a fired round can quickly throw off your shooting rhythm. 

Just when you’re ready to eject the spent shell and load up for the next shot, something’s off. 

The bolt doesn’t budge, and the empty shell stubbornly insists on staying put, as if it’s decided it’s done and doesn’t want to leave the party. It’s like finding the door jammed shut at a lousy party, frustrating and seemingly going nowhere. 

This issue can occur in the middle of a shooting, leaving you to guess what happened, and I’ve encountered it multiple times


Tinkering with solutions can yield positive results when faced with extraction issues. Sometimes, a little polish and buff to the claw’s bolt face side can go a long way.

 Applying some elbow grease to thoroughly clean the mechanism can also be surprisingly effective. Even removing a tiny bit of grime can make a significant improvement.

However, if you still have issues, consider replacing the extractor. 

Sometimes, it’s the last piece of the puzzle needed to get things right, and once it’s working, it does so like a charm.

Read More: Remington 7400 Problems: Solve Like a Professional.

My Final Conclusion:

In summarizing my experience with the Remington 788, it’s clear that this firearm has much going for it. As a budget-friendly option, it offers reasonably accurate and reliable performance. 

However, like any machinery, it has had its fair share of issues. From warm loads to trigger and firing pin jams and bolt mishaps, attention to detail and potentially professional guidance must be fixed. 

Despite these challenges, my time with it at the range has been a valuable learning experience. Its weaknesses can be addressed through shared solutions and worked remedies. 

For those willing to tweak and fine-tune, the Remington 788 proves to be a worthwhile investment for any gun enthusiast.

My Friends Feedback:

From what I’ve heard and read, there are various reasons why someone might choose to buy a Rem 788. Many praise its accuracy, while others have experienced failures.

Despite the lack of concrete statistics on these failures, anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s a nice rifle in terms of caliber. While first-hand info often contradicts published data, it’s essential to consider user treatment of the gun.

Nonetheless, giving the Rem 788 credit where it’s due is essential. Though data may be unavailable, it’s worth collecting experiences. 

Some have had warranty work performed, indicating that issues are not uncommon. Notable problems include bolt stop breakage, faulty heat treat, and bolt handle coming off due to silver brazing.

Some belief misfiring, and ejection problems are related to the angle and tendency of empties to strike the scope turret. Despite these challenges, many find the rifle an exciting engineering exercise, given its cost and reliability.

However, my friends and I have found that it’s heavier and has limited customization options compared to other rifles. Yet, for some, this is precisely the reason they choose it. Though warranty claims are unlikely, many are willing to share their experiences.

On a more personal note, I’ve encountered issues with the bolt handle, but it was an easy fix at the shop.

Though the Remington 788 may not outshoot flagship models, it serves its purpose as an economy rifle. My daughter even claimed that fixing the bolt handle was simple for a skilled smith.

While issues like chamber brass fitment and scope windage can be frustrating, they are not necessarily deal-breakers. With some adjustments, the Remington 788 can still be a reliable gun.

Remington 788 Problems
Remington 788 Problems

Common Questions Asked About Remington 788 Problems:

Are Remington 788 rifles any good?

Remington’s “Economy” rifle was a finely crafted and precise firearm. Introduced in 1967 and discontinued in 1983, the Model 788 stood out as an affordable yet remarkably reliable bolt-action rifle, earning a reputation as one of the finest in its price range.

How accurate is a Remington 788?

At a distance of 100 yards supported by a sandbag rest, the venerable Model 788 more than justified its worth. The Buffalo Bore and Hornady ammunitions produced three-shot clusters measuring precisely an inch, with Federal rounds trailing slightly at just under 1.5 inches.

How old is my Remington 788?

The Remington 788, produced by Remington Arms from 1967 to 1983, is a bolt-action, centerfire rifle.

What size action is a Remington 788?

The action diameter measures 1.326 inches, and unfortunately, 700 barrels won’t be accommodated.

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