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February 10, 2006

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Live from the SHOT Show: New Gun Reviews

Note from the editors: David E. Petzal is spending the weekend shooting, taking apart, evaluating, talking about, dreaming about, and possibly even sleeping with the year's latest guns and shooting gear at the 2006 Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is one of the largest gatherings of gun nuts in the country; while there he'll rub sore shoulders with more than 37,000 industry professionals from around the world, probably irritating many of them. After much grumbling about how technology is destroying the fabric of our moralilty, he's agreed to send us these reports from the show floor.

Winchester Wildcat:
Wildcat_1 Increasingly, American gunmakers are turning to eastern-bloc countries for their low-priced models, and this Russian-built .22 rimfire will sell for about $212. It looks oddly like the old Moisin-Nagant military rifle, but it's a very nice .22 bolt-action that offers a lot regardless of its price. The ones I shot were accurate, well made, had good trigger pulls, and worked without a hitch. Shoot this one and you can practically feel the hot breath of the Cossacks.   

Browning T-Bolt:
Browning_tbolt_lg_1 This is the second incarnation of a very classy little .22 rifle that Browning made in the 1960s and 70s. It's a straight-pull bolt-action whose locking lug cams into the side of the receiver. This version is not quite as slick and smooth as the original, but it probably costs a lot less to make, and it sells for around $400. It's a sleek, graceful gun that should do very well.

Remington Model 105 autoloading shotgun:
Cti_1 This one has been in the works for nearly 5 years, and is truly a new shotgun. It's a bottom-loading, bottom ejecting design with a titanium/graphite receiver and a retail price tag of about $1200. This one blew everyone away: great looks, great handling, light, very soft-kicking and the easiest loading of any auto. Remington really did this one right; they'll be back-ordered for 10 years.   

Click here to read Phil Bourjaily's full review of this new shotgun

Remington Mauser:(too new for a photo)
I didn't get the model name for this one, but who cares? I didn't care much for the rifle. It's a true Mauser made in Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia, or one of those depressing places, and is one of the roughest guns I've ever shot. Not to mention a truly dreadful trigger. I hope it sells at a very low price; it's the only way this gun is going to survive.

Remington Model 750:
Rem_mod750_lg_1 A much-improved version of the Remington autoloader. Far better stock, significantly improved gas system, and now, carbine and small-caliber versions will be available. Same dreadful trigger as always.   

Springfield Armory Socom:(no photo available)
This is not a hunting rifle; it's an M-14 minus the auto-fire option, and with a 16 1/4-inch barrel. Chambered in .308 (7.62mm), it has a built-in muzzle brake, an excellent trigger, and a synthet ic stock. It's a whale of a lot of fun to shoot if you can afford the ammo. At $1,500, it's an excellent investment if you're thinking of going into combat soon.

Savage Model 12 Precision Varminter: 

Savage_12_lgHere is a super gun from Savage. It's essentially a benchrest action with left-hand loading and ejection, a right-hand bolt, a super-heavy 26-inch barrel, and of course the Savage Accu-Trigger. The small-ported action provides extreme rigidity, and the gun looks like it's going to be a sub-half-minute rifle. This is a very, very sophisticated design for $900. It comes in .204, .223, and .22/250.

Savage Classic:

Savage_classic_lg This is as close to a good-looking Savage as you can get in this sorry world. It's a nicely finished rifle, and the clunky-looking Model 110 bolt action has been somewhat streamlined to help with its appearance. It's a big step forward, and if Savage ever comes up with a way to keep their amazing accuracy in a really good looking rifle, they'll put everyone else out of business.

Weatherby Ultramark:

Weatherby_ultramark_lg Back in the 1960s, Weatherby offered an upgraded Mark V rifle with the moniker Weatherby Custom on the floorplate. This is essentially the same thing. The stock wood is not exhibition by any means, but it is nicer than standard, the the laser-cut checkering is truly outstanding. How they do that? If you'd like a better-looking-than-standard Mark V, here is your baby.

NoslerCustom (that's how it's spelled) Model 48: (no photo available)

Nosler's first rifle was a super-pricey wood-stocked rifle that only the wealthy could afford, but this one is within the reach of the dedicated shooter who does not own a cocaine dealership. It's called the Model 48, and will be made in .270 WSM only for the time being. It's very light (5.75 pounds), and absolutely loaded with practical goodies, such as stainless steel springs and an anti-corrosion-coated firing pin system. This is a truly weatherproof rifle, and  a splendid piece of machinery as well. The price is $2,495 from Nosler. Order yours now!


John M Corlew Jr

Dear Mr.Petzal, I was wondering if there is any way to get a different stock for my winchester wildcat target/varmint rifle. If so where would that be? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much.


Bought a 750 .308 a few months ago and had problems with jamming even when lining the gun up. Stripped it, full cleaning - spotless. Still jams. Had around 150 rounds through it now, and can't even get 5 shots off without a jam. Seems to be a magazine problem. The bolt seems to miss the head, and rides up on the shell 1/2 along it.. = instant jam. Very dissappointed because I really like the look & fee of this rifle. If I can't get a fix.. looks like I'll be getting either a pump .308 or switching to a BAR.

Gunner Benavente

Gee, I hope I didn't get a lemon or have all these jamming problems!!! I just traded my old Savage 300 model 99, a clean, tight 1971 model 94 Winchester 30-30, 100 rounds of Federal 30-30 ammo, and $75 for a almost brand new Remington Woodsmaster mod 750 in 270. Another guy had just bought it, but after 11 rounds said he had too much pain and trouble from his arthritus to load the clip and traded it back for some kind of lever action gun. They had it priced as used-$595. I had them take the new Nikon scope of my Savage and put it on the 750 for no charge other than a new set of rings. looking forward to a long range semi auto shooter, not built in problems!!

Gunner Benavente

Well, it several days later, and I finally took my near new Remington Woodsmaster 750 in 270 to the range. Hard to pull the trigger. It jammed after the very first shot. Didn't completely eject the empty, but left it sitting 90 degrees to the chamber, hung up on the back of the shell. Several rounds later it failed to finish chambering, jammed against the next round in the clip. The next clip full plus the single in the chamber all worked ok, and the new scope got adjusted to hitting the edge of the one inch bullseye. So it shoots well, if you can get it to shoot. Very disappointing for my first Semi-auto and a nearly brand new gun. While both jams were easily fixed by simply pulling back on the bolt, had I been in the field and needed that second shot, I would have been S.O.L.

frank retrosi

wow..i'm afraid to take the plunge for a new remington 750 synthetic 30.06....i havent bought it yet but i do like the feel of it and the weight is perfect for my old age but geeze the problems you all described re: jamming, not ejecting, the trigger pull as well as difficulty with loading mags and putting it into weapon has me wondering....is the 750 like a good looking woman on the outside but trouble to handle???


Pick up a new Remington M750 carbine in 308 last Saturday. I could not get through a complete magazine without malfunctions. I have two magazines and the rifle malfunctions with both. I has erratic cycling that sometimes works and other times doesn't (short stroke). Tried factory ammo Remington, Federal and Winchester as well as hand loads with no avail. Check the gas hole for blockage and found none. Took it back the dealer who will hopefully get it to Remington. I really like the design of the rifle for what my intended use(ground stalking deer). However in its present condition it is absolutely useless.

Dr. Ralph

When I buy my R-15 and it performs like their latest semi-autos I will be on every blog in America telling the world to stay away from these poorly designed poorly made pieces of excrement... What in the world is going on here? Every 742 and 7400 I have shot performed flawlessly. Remington, do yourselves a favor and hang the latest crop of design engineers. Starting with the 597 bunch and moving on to the 750 idiots. Unless of course you want to go the way of USRAC...


I wanted to buy a semi-auto for my first deer rifle 5 years ago, and bought a BAR Lightweight 308. It was about 100 bucks more, but everyone I knew or had known of, said that Remington's were certified jammers, and that Ruger's were not as accurate. I ended up getting lucky and found a BAR 308 that nobody wanted brand new for $620 at the local sporting goods store. The sports store was desperate to sell it so they gave it away. If I had had 1200 dollars that day I could have had a twin for it in 243.

I cannot say if it is more accurate then a 750, but I do know for a fact that I could shoot 4 inch groups at 80 yards offhand with iron sights the day I bought it. I can't do that now, but only because my vision is 20/100 nearsighted and I took the sights off to put a Nikon scope on it. now I can make it shoot a 1-2 inch group at 100 yards if I am not looking at a deer. If I am looking at a deer, my group becomes one hit at the center of the crosshairs every 4th round, regardless of the distance.

Del in Kansas

The Rem 750 sounds like a POS. Suggest you gents turn them into boat anchors and procure a good bolt gun. Take careful aim and you won't need a quick second shot.

frank retrosi

i still havent made the plunge to that rem 750 in 3006 synthetic i was talking about in dec....i want to desperately but i am skeptical re the troubles you all described...plus i have been hunting cottontails and snowshoe hare with my 2 beagles and my old 1965 sweet sixteen...would like to get a new benelli 20 ga with 24" barrel any have any info about this ultra lite semi auto..


Received my Remington 750 308 Carbine back from Remington and it is still a jammer. Fails to extract reliably. This purchase was a big disappointment for me.

Jason Johnson

Just bought my 750 in 35 whelen last week. Put 100 rounds throught it without a jam, i love this gun and can't wait to take it out this fall. Maybe even this spring if i can find some time for bear. Muzzle blast is harsh but i knew that would happen with the 18.5 inch barrel. My only real complaint is the trigger, wish i could find a good aftermarket!


For all you people who got 750 Woodsmasters, I got 2 words for you:


I don't care what you have heard good about the 750 or bad about the BAR, whatever they said is CRAP. The only 2 autoloaders that are viable are the Browning BAR and the Benelli R1. I have a Browning BAR. It is the epitome of perfection. The Benelli is ugly (futuristic/ray gun looking) and a little more expensive but is still very good. The Springfield Autoloaders are awesome too but are available in very few calibers and will cost you your first born. The bottom line is DON'T BUY A REMINGTON AUTOLOADING RIFLE! PERIOD! To the people who got a 750 that doesn't jam you got damn lucky. It was a fluke.


Sent my 750 308 Carbine back to Remington again and requested a caliber change since I was not having any luck getting the 308 to function. I asked for a 35 Whelen based on all the good reports I've heard.

It came back this week with a new 35 Whelen 18" barrel (no charge). Took it to the range and everything seems to be fine. Initial results are encouraging. It was surprisingly accurate. I was using expensive factory ammo so firing was limited. I'll have a better feel for reliability when my reloading components come in and I am able to get about 100 more rounds through the rifle.


I bought a 750 Woodmaster 2-3 years ago... first year out. It's chambered for .270. I have yet to have a single problem with it. I can rapids fire with no problems. I would like to know how to completely strip it though so I can clean the bolt thoroughly etc. though.

BTW, this is the most accurate deer rifle I've owned. I shot at 354 yards over Memorial Day. I aimed 4 inches high at a brick and hit it with my second shot. My first shot was a tad low. I could never do that with my 700 BDL in .300 WM which is really surprising to me. I almost need a bigger scope for it!


I bought a 750 Woodmaster 2-3 years ago... first year out. It's chambered for .270. I have yet to have a single problem with it. I can rapids fire with no problems. I would like to know how to completely strip it though so I can clean the bolt thoroughly etc. though.

BTW, this is the most accurate deer rifle I've owned. I shot at 354 yards over Memorial Day. I aimed 4 inches high at a brick and hit it with my second shot. My first shot was a tad low. I could never do that with my 700 BDL in .300 WM which is really surprising to me. I almost need a bigger scope for it!

Brian Lewis

I found this on another site that should be of great interest...I was heading to buy a 750, then heard the stories then read this, I am still heading towards a 750...

2007-02-27, 02:27 PM
Perhaps my Remington auto experience may help 2faroffroad and others having feeding problems. Around 15 years ago I traded a Winchester 670 for a Remington 742, and the guy told me the 742 jammed which it did with bullet nose jamming into feed ramp only on right side of magazine. Using pliers and a handerchief to avoid scratchting magazine, I bent upward on magazine lip enough to allow rounds to pop up at greater angle and feed properly with no more jams in 15 years. Recently I purchased a 750 in 35 Whelen which had the opposite problem, i.e. rounds were popping up at too great an angle resulting in jam into top of chamber only on right side of magazine. Using same procedure of 15 years ago but bending inward on magazine lip until proper feed angle was achieved resulted in flawless feed for the new rifle. Note manual cycle of rounds from magazine is necessary to easily identify the problem which may be undetectable by actual firing. This procedure may not help all, but it should help where this magazine flaw is the culprit. BTW I've had a Remington model 4 in 308 for about 10 years which has never had any problem, and all things considered I like Remington autos. Incidentally I shoot only handloads in all centerfires including the autos in case anybody's interested.

It's somewhat surprising folks have guns returned after supposed repair without fixing the problem, and you'd think Remington should be able to figure it out if I can. However, around a dozen years ago the agency I worked for had S&W 9mm autos with cracked frames problems for which S&W just replaced the frames without fixing the cause of frames cracking which I had identified. I won't go into those details since it's unrelated to this topic, but it just amazes me how inept manufacturers can be in some instances.

edward farr

i just tried out my new remington 750 in 35 whalen i shot it 11 times with no jams! it has an 18 in barrel and really barks!recoil not bad.it could group better 3 to 4in group at 100 yds.trigger pull could be lighter.going moose hunting in maine this october hopes it works ok. bring along my 7600 just in case.

sounds like Rem 750 = POS

Wow i was thinking of buying a Remington 750 in a 308 carbine. After reading the postings im scared. Sounds like the 35 whelen has had the fewest probs! Those of you who own it try a new magazine and only load 3 rounds instead of 4 it will keep the spring strength up it has worked for me with pistol clips wonder if same concept applies you lose a shot but might add reliability

nathan fanfulik

i just bought the remington 750 30-06. went to sight it in for deer hunting and the darn thing jams after every shot. it wont eject the shell all the way and if it did it wouldnt put another one in the chamber. went back to the store and they had to send it in. im pissed. i wont be able to use it for deer hunting

Ron Buhler

To anyone thinking of buying a 750,DON'T. P.O.S.is an understatement.I used a 7400 for the last 20 yrs.and wanted to replace it with the supposedly new and improved model.Jamming,not ejecting empties,not pushing the bolt far enough back to put in the next cartridge are all things you can expect from a 750.I'll be buying a bolt gun as soon as I can get rid of the Remington.

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