October 22, 2007
The Remington Model 798 Safari Grade
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Lurking, almost unsung in the Remington 08 lineup, is an absolutely terrific rifle called the Model 798 Safari Grade. It is a true, long-action, all-steel Model 98 Mauser stocked in laminated wood that looks like high-grade walnut. The barrel is 22 inches long, which is the proper length for a dangerous game rifle, and the front sling swivel stud is out on the barrel where it won't gouge your hand. The price is $1,119 for a .375 H&H, and $1,189 for a .458. To put this in perspective, it's quite possible to pay that much for a Mauser action in the white. My colleague Wayne van Zwoll, a person of the highest literary and moral worth, thinks this gun is the biggest bargain in the Remington line, and I concur.
Is is perfect? No. The trigger needs work, and the rear sight is silly and useless because it's adjustable, and because it folds down. When something comes for you, and you go to use this hideous sight, the odds are it will be folded flat against the barrel, and you will be folded flat against the ground as a result.
No, throw the thing away, and have the gunsmith make you a non-adjustable rear sight, filed to hit dead on at 50 yards, that will not fold, sit up, bark, roll over, or bring you the morning paper.
But enough of this. Don't let these minor flaws blind you to an incredibly good rifle at what is truly a bargain price.