6 Common Remington 788 Problems And How To Fix Them

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I recently had the chance to take the Remington 788 out for a spin at the range, and let me tell you; it’s a solid rifle. But, it’s not without its issues. 

I’ve done some rigorous testing and bumped into a handful of Remington 788 Problems that could make or break your experience.

We’re talking about issues with warm loads, a not-so-stellar trigger, a problematic firing pin, bolt issues, failures to fire, and, yeah, even another separate firing pin issue. 

Don’t worry, though. I’ve been digging into solutions to help you keep your Remington 788 running like a champ.

Overview of Remington 788 Problems & their Solutions

Warm LoadsAvoid high-power bullets exceeding 2700–2800 fps, opt for smaller head sizes like .222Rem or .223Rem.
Trigger ProblemGet professional help or an aftermarket trigger from Timney.
Firing Pin ProblemReam and sleeve the firing pin hole; consider thicker cup primers.
Bolt IssueApply moderate forward force before turning down the bolt.
Failure To FireCheck bolt alignment and seat it properly.
Extraction IssuePolish and buff the claw’s bolt face, and consider replacing the extractor if problems persist.

Top 6 Problems & Solutions of Remington 788

1. Problem with the Warm Loads

So, let’s talk about one issue that jumped out at me during my time with the Remington 788. its inability to handle warm loads well. 

You see, the rear-locking bolt, the brazed-on bolt handle, and the high-pressure cartridges all contribute to this weakness. When I used certain loads, I found that the bolt handle would actually lean until it broke a fired cartridge. 

That’s a real problem because it caused the cartridge to jam inside the chamber.


Now, how did I get around this? Well, first things first, I stayed away from high-power bullets. Specifically, I avoided loads that would make a 168bthp bullet exceed the 2700–2800 frames per second range. 

Trust me, you don’t want to go there. I also considered the rimmed 788 versions, like the .44Mag and .30-30. These options seem to handle loads better and are less prone to this particular issue. Problem solved!

2. Trigger Problem

Ah, the trigger and safety setup on the Remington 788. This is another hiccup that caught my eye. Let’s put it out there: it’s not the best. 

I mean, with the frequent use of plastic parts, the safety levers on this model are kind of dodgy. They have this tendency to stretch, and, man, does that rear-locking action get annoying! You can tell that some corners were cut when it comes to the safety features. 

The safety lever would often get damaged, especially after a good amount of use.


Alright, so what’s the game plan for fixing this? First off, you could technically modify the 788 triggers yourself. They’re similar to Remington’s 580 series 22 rimfire rifles. But let me stop you right there. Unless you’re a seasoned pro, don’t try to DIY this. 

Seriously, just don’t. Instead, get some professional help, like a gunsmith. And if they can’t fix the original system, there’s always the option of going for an aftermarket trigger/safety from Timney. 

I swapped out the old safety with this one, and it worked like a charm. Way safer and way more reliable.

3. Firing Pin Problem 

Another issue that can make you grind your teeth is firing pin jams. Trust me, I’ve dealt with this one too many times. 

Depending on the brand of primer you’re using in your ammunition, the firing pin can actually puncture it. Sounds bad, right? Well, it gets worse. 

That tiny metal disc from the punctured primer then goes right back into the bolt. And guess what happens after that? Yep, the firing pin seizes. It’s one of those problems that doesn’t just go away and keeps repeating.


So, how did I tackle this problem? First off, that pesky metal disc needs to be dealt with. I got the firing pin hole reamed and sleeved, which pretty much took care of the “blanking” primers. 

But the changes didn’t stop there. I also looked into correcting the firing pin spring and even considered extruding the firing pin. Another option is to switch to a thicker cup primer. Each of these solutions can do wonders for this issue. 

Now, the firing pin is behaving, and I can focus on hitting the target rather than battling with the gun itself.

4. Bolt Issue

Now let’s get into a real kicker: the bolt issue. Man, was this a hassle to deal with? The bolt strips a round without a problem and shoves it into the chamber as it should. 

But here’s where things go south. When you try to push the bolt down, it goes down maybe a 1/4th of an inch and then hits a wall. No amount of elbow grease is going to make that bolt budge any further. 

Plus, let’s be real: the bolt isn’t exactly the strongest component of this gun. It’s prone to breaking and getting damaged, which is definitely not something you want when you’re out in the field.


Okay, so how did I navigate around this? First, it’s important to recognize that the Remington 788s are famous for their tight bolts and 9-lug system. 

But the reality is they can break easily under stress because they’re made of cast iron. What worked for me was being careful with the amount of force applied. 

You’ve got to apply just enough forward force before turning down to lock the action in place. The trick is to not go overboard because these bolts aren’t made to handle excessive stress. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it gets easier to manage.

5. Failure To Fire

So, let’s talk about something that’s pretty disappointing: a failure to fire. Yep, that’s right. You’re out there, all set up, and nothing happens when you pull the trigger. It’s not just an awkward moment; it’s genuinely frustrating. 

When this happened to me, I checked the ammo, repositioned myself, and even shook the gun. Still nothing. 


So, how did I go about fixing this? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but I started with the basics in my case. I checked the chamber, examined the firing pin, and even took a look at the trigger mechanism. 

After confirming that these weren’t the culprits, I started to dig a little deeper. It turned out that the issue was related to the bolt’s alignment. 

A small adjustment to the bolt, ensuring it was properly seated, and voila! The gun was firing like it was supposed to. It might sound simple, but the simplest solutions are sometimes the most effective.

6. Extraction Issue

Ah, the infamous failure to extract. You’ve fired your round, and now you’re ready to eject that spent shell and load up another. But wait, something’s off. 

The bolt isn’t budging, and that empty shell is staying put. Yeah, I’ve been there. It’s like wanting to leave a bad party, but the door is jammed. 

The bolt gets stuck, and no matter how much you yank or pull, that shell is going nowhere. It’s frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of shooting. 

And guess what? This happened to me multiple times with the Remington 788.


After some tinkering, I found a few solutions that worked for me. First, polish and buff the claw’s bolt face side. Trust me, a little bit of elbow grease can go a long way. 

Next, make sure everything is clean. You’d be surprised how much a tiny bit of grime can mess things up. I did all this and noticed a significant improvement, but if you’re still having issues, consider replacing the extractor. 

I found that it’s sometimes the last piece of the puzzle to get things right again. And hey, since then, my 788’s been working like a charm.

Final Verdict

Okay, folks, let’s wrap this up. The Remington 788 is a gun with a lot going for it. It’s budget-friendly, it’s fairly accurate, and, for the most part, it’s a reliable piece of machinery. But let’s not kid ourselves; it’s got its fair share of issues, too. 

We’ve talked about warm loads, trigger issues, firing pin jams, and bolt mishaps, among others. However, with some attention to detail and potentially some professional guidance, these issues can be fixed. 

My time at the range was quite a learning experience, and I’ve shared with you the solutions that have worked for me. Despite the weaknesses, if you’re willing to put in the effort to tweak and fine-tune, the Remington 788 can still be a worthwhile investment for any gun enthusiast.


What size action is a Remington 788?

Its action diameter is 1.326″, and no, 700 barrels won’t fit.

Why did Remington stop making the 788?

It was too hard to machine and make, according to company insiders.

Are Remington 788s accurate?

Yes, they are generally well-made and accurate.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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