Woodsmaster 742? Info?


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phantomak47
December 23, 2006, 04:20 PM
I was able to pick up a 30 06 Woodsmaster 742 for well under $400 plus another gun was thrown in ( Private collector getting rid of his collection) and I was wondering what the general opinion of this firearm is? Experiances hunting with it?

Condition was probally around 90% , used, but not abused. What would be a good scope set up? thanks

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Shawnee
December 23, 2006, 04:59 PM
Hi Phantom...

Several years ago I was on a S. Texas deer lease along with a husband/wife duo who hunted from elevated blinds with a 742 30/06 that had just the factory iron sights. Between them they took six deer per year and in the seven years I was on that lease I can't recall them ever losing one they shot at. I took their rifle to see if I could come up with a good handload for them and with about any 150gr. bullet, factory or handload, it would group into about 4" at 100 yards from a bench all day long - and that kind of accuracy will kill deer nicely from now till Miami freezes over.
If I were scoping one I would use a 4x fixed-power scope or a moderate magnification variable-power. I would NOT use those abominable "see-thru" mounts.
Sounds to me like you got a very good deal on a very capable rifle.

Bottom Gun
December 23, 2006, 05:22 PM
Good buy!!
I bought a used 742 carbine in .30-06 over 25 years ago. Someone had abused it and it was a basket case when I bought it but I refinished it, changed wood and it now looks nice.
It has been a great little rifle. I have shot the daylights out of it.
It has been 100% reliable with everything I have stuffed into it and accuracy has been acceptable. You won't win any matches with it, but you will hit what you shoot at. Mine will shoot 1.5-2 MOA.

Since recoil is so tolerable with this rifle, I set it for my lady to use when she hunts with me. I put a Leupold 1.5-5X20 on it. That scope on this carbine is a nice combination.

This particular rifle shoots 110-150 gr bullets a bit more accurately than the 165 gr or heavier bullets.
If you reload, try some 110 gr Sierra HP or some 125 gr TNT HP in it. It's a fun rifle with lighter bullets.
This one works best with IMR 4064 powder but it does OK with IMR 4831 as well.


I think you will be very pleased with your new rifle.

phantomak47
December 23, 2006, 05:25 PM
thanks for the replies, I did some searches on this gun and I see that it has hit or miss reliability, but I am going to optimistic about my purchase. The owner was a serious hunting and he took pretty good care of his guns, hopefully I wont have any problems with it.


Where can I get extra box mags for it?

'Card
December 23, 2006, 05:37 PM
I own one 742 and a handful of 7400's, which are largely the same rifle with some minor upgrades - all in .30-06. I've spent a lot of time hunting and shooting with them, and I've come to the conclusion that most of the reliability issues you hear about are related to the gun not being as clean as it needs to be.

Now, that sounds like I'm slamming people who've had problems with them (after all, what kind of slob doesn't keep his guns clean?) but I'm not. Read on.

Mine get fired on a pretty regular basis, and they perform best when they get a complete disassembly and thorough cleaning at least once a year, sometimes more if they're seeing heavy use. The problem is that for a non-gunsmith (and that includes me) they can be a major pain in the ass to fully take down. In fact, I think it's probably outside the comfort level of most casual shooters, which means they only get a superficial cleaning most of the time, which I think is what causes most of the reliability issues you read about.

Look around on eBay or something and see if you can find a gunsmith's manual for the 742, and you also need a special tool called a... a barrel lug wrench or something like that. I forget what it's called, but Midway sells them for about $20. Learn to take the thing apart, clean the hell out of it, and put it back together, and that 742 will be a fine gun for you for as long as you care to use it.

Oh - and you asked about the scope set up? *shrug* Depends on where you're going to hunt with it, to be honest. The 742 doesn't require anything special in terms of optics.

Oh, and magazines - you can get those anywhere. 742 mags and 7400 mags are interchangable.

mustanger98
December 23, 2006, 05:39 PM
My Daddy had a 742 Woodsmaster he bought new when I was 6 years old... he sold it when I was 8. From what he's told me about that one, it was a great rifle... a beautiful rifle almost too pretty to take to the woods. He scoped his... I think it was a fixed 4X. That's the one he used when he showed me how a milk jug full of water will explode when it gets hit with a 180gr SP. The reason he sold it was it had a bad tendancy, when fired, for the extractor to rip through the case rim and leave the case chambered. He said he thinks he couldn't keep the chamber clean enough. I asked him whether he thought it was a gas piston system or direct gas impingement... I think it's the latter. That gas system has to be timed with the powder's burn rate... use too fast a powder and it'll cycle too fast for the case's rate of obturation and result in a stuck case like that. Therefore, some powders will facillitate better function than others. The ammo Daddy used was probably geared to bolt actions moreso than semi-autos of any type.

My point is I think you got a great rifle but I also think you'll enjoy it better if you handload with a powder of the right burn rate topped by the best bullet for your barrel's twist rate.

Bottom Gun
December 23, 2006, 05:47 PM
Sounds like the chamber was rusted and pitted if it ripped rims.

There are plenty of those mags on eBay. I'm sure Gunbroker, Auction Arms, etc will have them.

FWIW, magazines for the 760 pump rifle will work too but they don't have the bolt catch feature. They do make for a faster magazine change though because you don't have to close the bolt first.

In addition to mine, I know several other people with these rifles. I have NEVER heard anyone complain about reliability. I wouldn't fret about it.

mustanger98
December 23, 2006, 06:49 PM
Sounds like the chamber was rusted and pitted if it ripped rims.

Since Daddy bought the rifle new, I doubt that assertion.

Spot77
December 23, 2006, 06:58 PM
I bought mine a year ago because it was a good deal, not because I really needed or wanted one. Mine is in .308.

It's a very soft shooter. In fact I just had it out yesterday and really enjoyed it. The iron sights are decent and the gun is more accurate than I could ever be.

and I see that it has hit or miss reliability,

True, sort of. When I first got it, I tried running some milsurp ammo through it and it DID NOT like that at all. after the first 3 or 4 shots the case would get stuck.

I switched to some cheap Wolf and some really cheap ammo called "PMP" and it works great.

Mine came with a base, but no rings or scope. I'm looking forward to getting it scoped so I can really see what it'll do.

mustanger98
December 23, 2006, 07:05 PM
I switched to some cheap Wolf and some really cheap ammo called "PMP" and it works great.

I've never fired Wolf ammo in anything, but I do shoot PMP. It's commercial South African. :D It's quite good stuff in the .303British 174gr SP offering.:cool: I've not fired their .308, .30-06, or .243Win. offerings to form an opinion on those.

ReadyontheRight
December 23, 2006, 07:50 PM
Great rifle. It's just not a rifle designed to shoot tens of thousands of rounds. Apparently the rails inside the reciver will eventually wear out and it will not cycle. Probably also happens if you do not keep it clean and lubed.

I think the biggest problem with these is that they are often cleaned from the muzzle end with an aluminum cleaning rod and the crown gets damaged.

Get a Bore Snake. :) Much easier on you and the muzzle.

Congrats on a great rifle! A Weaver K4 is a fine scope for it and can be found on eBay.

Spot77
December 23, 2006, 09:03 PM
[QUOTE][but I do shoot PMP. It's commercial South African. It's quite good stuff in the .303British 174gr SP offering/QUOTE]

Sweet! I was just getting ready to do some research on PMP. When I called it "cheap" it was because I paid $5.00 for a box of 20 at a gunshow, so I assumed it wouldn't be a very good quality. Glad I was wrong.

I need to find a few hundred rounds of this stuff. My 742 loves it.

phantomak47
December 24, 2006, 11:05 PM
Is there an online manual for my 742 or will I have to get one off Ebay? IS there a difference in the manuals in from say the 1960s or the 1970s?

gezzer
December 25, 2006, 12:14 AM
Is there an online manual for my 742 or will I have to get one off Ebay? IS there a difference in the manuals in from say the 1960s or the 1970s?

Call or email Remington they will send you one for nothing.

Bottom Gun
December 25, 2006, 01:22 AM
Here's one for the 7400. I don't think there is much difference in the 7400 and the 742.

http://www.remington.com/library/downloads/owners_manuals.asp

Grumulkin
December 25, 2006, 12:57 PM
I had a 742 for awhile in .308 Winchester and it was quite accurate. My best group with it was 0.55 inches for 5 shots at 100 yards. After about 3,000 to 4,000 rounds, it malfunctioned (probably a problem with the rails). It may have been my fault since I shot some loads with heavy bullets and Winchester 760 with it; that powder is probably too slow for a semiauto. In any case, Remington repaired it at no charge.

hossdaniels
December 26, 2006, 11:37 AM
I still have my dads and though it isn't terribly accurate, it is a nice quick woods gun. I would put a 4x on it and take it to the woods. Alot of people say the quick second shot is more important than accuracy in the woods, even if I haven't come around yet.

offthepaper
December 26, 2006, 02:09 PM
I have my Dad's 742 since he passed several years ago. My Mom bought it for him on one of their wedding anniversery's many years ago. My Dad never took another rifle deer hunting after he received my Mom's gift. Deer seanson was an annual pilgrimage to Western Maryland for Dad back then, something he REALLY looked forward to. He never came home empty handed with it. The mounts still decorate my Mom's home. He was as proud to own it then, as I am now. Good luck.

44AMP
December 26, 2006, 07:20 PM
Keep the rifle clean, especially the chamber, and keep it well lubed for the conditions. Light/no lube in extreme cold, etc.

They are great hunting rifles, complaints (besides the trigger) come from guys who want to make them into or treat them like military comobat rifles.

They aren't. They are sporting guns, and take a bit of care for them to do their best. Many are "minute of deer" accurate, and some are much better.

Use the right ammo. Not all handloads are a good idea. Some rifles seem to require "small base dies" in order to handle reloads, others don't seem to care as much. Stick with medium burning rate powders, and stay away from max loads, and the rifle should give good service.

ReadyontheRight
December 26, 2006, 07:25 PM
I've said it on here before...a Remington semi-auto 30-06 was THE rifle we all aspired to own in the deer woods. It started with my Dad, and then my Uncles, brothers, cousins and me all got one.

A fine choice!

ClarkEMyers
December 26, 2006, 09:08 PM
Fine rifle -Tom Hayes wrote nice things about them for the gun press.

Certainly true that as a gas gun it works best with medium weight bullets and medium burning rate powders.

Some magazines rattle and need to be tinkered with.

Plastic dustcover is fragile.

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