The 788 was an excellent little bargain rifle. Too bad Remington discontinued it.
Over the years I've owned at least one in every variant they made except for the .44mag and the .308 left-hand. Still wish I would've hung onto them but they all got used for trading material except my two favorites that I lost in a fire.
-Fast lock time
-Most had a decent trigger out of the box.
-Most of em were superbly accurate right out of the box.
-60° bolt lift rear-lug action. Very short bolt throw and travel.
-Cheap (they used to be when they were more common on the racks anyway)
-The bolt handle is welded onto the bolt body. If you fire hot loads through it and have sticky bolt lift I have seen a couple that had the handle broken off while tapping the handle up to unlock the action.
-Some had problems with the locking lugs shearing off. Due to the nine-lug design...three sets of three small lugs, if not all of the lugs are seating in the action you get a lot of stress on a single lug. I've never seen one shear enough lugs to spit the bolt out the back of the action (which was a common fireside tale about "that cheap POS 788") but I have seen a couple that lost one or two lugs.
But...EVERY ONE that I seen with either a broken bolt handle or sheared lugs was caused by the shooter using hot handloads though...so I still think it's no fault of the rifle itself.
-Single-stack magazines that stick out the bottom of the stock and are expensive to find nowadays. .243/7mm-08/.308 mags are around $50-75 most places when you can fine em.
-Expensive. When you find a good looking 788 these days they are just as high priced as a Model 700 or any other non-bargain rifle. You can usually find a better deal than a 788 these days. But if you get a good price on one definitely consider picking it up (or send it my way
Is the .243 you've found an 18" carbine or a 22" rifle version? If 18", then velocity will be somewhat disappointing for the .243...but it's a handy length for a truck/brush gun.
Either version is worth picking up if the price is right.