Remington Model 788 help

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by donnie lee, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. donnie lee

    donnie lee New Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Let me try to explain this, I have a Rem Model 788 that I put a new safety lever on for a friend. The only way I can get the safety on, is with the bolt up. If the gun is cocked, and you push the safety off, it will not go back on until the gun is fired or the bolt is raised to cock the gun. Does anyone know if this is correct? If so, it is a poor design and not very safe. If not, any ideas on what might be wrong? Thanks to everyone for all their help and knowledge!!
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    It is not a poor design, it is poor "gunsmithing". I strongly suggest you either learn how to install that safety or have your friend take the rifle to a competent gunsmith. Favors for friends are OK, but not when they could result in a fatal accident.


  3. donnie lee

    donnie lee New Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Private for you Jim.

    donnie lee
  4. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    The way they came from the factory, is that once you cock the hammer (raise the bolt to chamber a round) the safety lever can be switched onto safety.
  5. donnie lee

    donnie lee New Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Thank you Zane, but should you be able to put the safety back on without having to raise the bolt again if you decided to not fire the gun, this one will not go back on and the safety lever itself IS installed properly. Is there something in the trigger mech. that could be wrong, or is this factory?
  6. msheff

    msheff Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    I don't have any trouble putting mine back on safe. I have no idea what could be wrong yours.
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    The 788 has the same basic safety/trigger design as the 700. Remington cut a few corners for the "bargain rifle" version of the trigger by eliminating the adjustments though.
    But this is how they operate: If the action is not cocked, you shouldn't be able to engage the safety.
    If you can engage the safety lever on an uncocked 788 action, then there is something wrong and the safety is not to be trusted.
    Since there is no exposed cocking piece on the 788 (it's completely enclosed by the bolt shroud), not being able to engage the safety is a very good way to determine if the action is cocked or not.
    Another portion of the safety lever also locks the bolt closed when the safety is engaged. If the safety was engaged and then the action was closed, that top of the safety lever that locks the bolt will get bent out of position and it will jam up the safety lever (and usually the bolt as well).

    Now...if I am understanding you correctly and you can't re-engage the safety with a cocked action after moving the safety to the FIRE position but not firing the rifle, then there is something wrong with the trigger/safety group also.
    Either someone was in fiddling with the sear engagement surfaces or most likely the take-up and overtravel of the trigger or it's just packed full of crud inside the trigger assembly and the parts aren't moving freely like they should.

    788 trigger parts are pretty scarce these days.
    My suggestion is still to search back a few weeks to your previous thread asking for where to locate a safety lever for the 788 and follow the links to find a Timney replacement trigger/safety.
    It's a much better trigger than an out-of-the-box 788 unit and is fully adjustable. Well worth the cash as opposed to the time/money you'll spend getting the factory unit back in safe working condition.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  8. donnie lee

    donnie lee New Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Thanks to all, for your help! I will see about gettting a replacement trigger assembly. I guess the reason the original was broken was by someone trying to force the safety back on. Rest assured all that it will be fixed properly or taken out of service, now that I know how it is supposed to operate.

    donnie lee
  9. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    Binder nailed it.
    On the one I have and have had for years, it was in the hands of another person
    as I was living in the city at the time and also didnt have time to use the 788.
    Once I'd gotten it back, the plastic piece on the thumb safety lever was missing and
    a "bit" jammed. I reckon the guy forced it and broke the plastic off and also bent the lever as well. He didnt understand that it didnt work like a 700, or a 700BDL.

    I took it off and done a bit of work on it and got it back in working order.
    The one I have is in .243 WIN and as accurate as heck! It'll out-shoot my .243, 700BDL
    The best groups, if I recall right, was 1/4"- 3/8" groups @ 100 off the bench. Awsome-Accurate!
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