Remington 742 opinions


December 2, 2008, 05:25 PM
I'm thinking of getting a Remington 742 in 30-06 or .270
but I would like to know what i'm getting into. I know there are a lot of them
out there and i'm sure you guys own alot of them. So what are your opinions of them ? Are there any problems i should be aware of ?


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December 2, 2008, 05:51 PM
I traded mine for a Browning BAR just because I preferred the BAR's looks. Both worked fine.

December 2, 2008, 06:18 PM
I hate to say something as vague as I've heard of a lot of problems but that's the case. I would go for a 760 instead, tons of those in .30-06 and I've seen great deals. Far more reliable, IMO.

December 2, 2008, 06:28 PM
They can have problems with the operating rods binding in the receiver. Check it before you buy. great gun otherwise.

December 2, 2008, 06:39 PM
I had a 740 and a 742 both in 30-06 that I foolishly pawned back in the early eighties when alchohol and girls were more interesting than guns.I shot around a hundred rounds through them that were in 8 round clips(I also now know those were M1 Garand clips and those black tips on the bullets meant they were armor piercing)I had really good results with those and even though I did not know a lot about cleaning never had any problems with with malfunctions.I'd give anything to have them back.

t george
December 2, 2008, 08:05 PM
mine was bought used... functioned just fine... shot tighter groups with my 12 ga. though... traded it for a rem 700 much happier now if i could have got a decent grouping with it i think it would be a winner jmho

December 4, 2008, 04:50 PM
Ok then what about the model 750 ?

December 4, 2008, 06:40 PM
They are definite longterm losers, avoid them like the plague. There was recently a .243 742 for sale for parts only on Gunbroker, and the seller quotes what the factory told him when they returned the gun he had sent them for repair: "Bill, we are returning this. The Reciever is worn like they all get . Both the 740 and 742's destroy themselves. They are obsolete so don't spend much time or money on it. Basically all you have is a parts gun. Sorry I have to tell you this,"

If you have a functioning 742 it is just a matter of time until it fails. The bolt has a way of eating away at the chamber and eventually it will die.

Link to the dead .243

My first one to fail was a .30-06, with the bolt problem. I heard that it was a problem mainly with the larger calibers, so two years ago I found a lightly used one in .243 and it worked for about 50 rounds, and has died the same death. I like Remingtion rifles and hunted with my 760 today (bought to replace the first 742). I have killed four bucks with it this year, and would not trade it for every remaining 742 still out there.

My brother's hunting partner Ken claims to have "a closet full of them", all in 30-06. He and I and some other folks kept trying them because we otherwise like them, but they are not a good longterm investment.

December 5, 2008, 02:07 AM
Here is a link with helpful information about the Remington 740-742-7400 series of rifles. I have one and like it. Mine is 30-06.

December 5, 2008, 08:56 AM
I had several many years ago. The 30-06 has a tendency called 'chamber cancer' by my gunsmith. Chamber gets rusted and pitted and makes the extractor pull the rims off the cases. Turns them into a single shot. Seen a bunch of them. Only fix is a new barrel. I tried lapping the chamber, no joy.
I have seen only one 30-06 that had acceptable accuracy; my dad owned a 30-06 carbine, shot 3" groups. Most that I have seen shot from 8 to 20" groups.
I don't think the smaller calibers have these problems. I have a .243 742 and my wife had a .243 7400. Both used to shoot around 1" Never got chamber cancer.
If you just have to have one stay away from 30-06.

December 5, 2008, 09:34 AM
I will tell the story about my dad's 742 as I understand it. I haven't looked at his gun so this is the way I understand what he told me.

Dad was deer hunting a few years ago, and drew up on a deer. Put the crosshairs on the deer and fired, missed it completely. He was baffled by this, so he took the gun to re-zero it at a target. Shots were landing all over the paper. He couldn't understand it.

So he took it to a gunsmith, who told him that the barrel on a 742 is "pressed" into the receiver. (?) NOT pinned, NOT screwed, but simply PRESSED in. The gunsmith told him that his barrel had come loose, and was jiggling around a little, thus the horrible accuracy that he was encountering. The gunsmith repressed the barrel for Dad, but he has lost all confidence in the gun now and won't shoot it anymore.

I am not a gunsmith, and if this description of the assembly is inaccurate, then someone please correct me. But based on what I understood, the 742 is not a gun I could be comfortable with due to my understanding of the above.

December 5, 2008, 10:04 AM
Been a long time but as I recall the receiver has a stud. Barrel lug is secured to receiver by a bastard size nut. Barrel may be pressed into lug assembly. Never saw that problem where barrel came loose.
I bought a used BAR couple of years ago. I cleaned it when I got it home. I was dismayed that it looked just like a 742 inside. Grouped about 8 to 10". Dumped it.

December 5, 2008, 10:15 AM
Buy all you can if they are cheap enough, then turn them in at some gun buyback and kill two birds with one stone.

December 5, 2008, 01:59 PM
I have one and it works good and shoots fair. If you have the choice, get a BAR. Far better rifle.

December 5, 2008, 03:03 PM
I have owned one since 1973 and it has served me well, but has been retired due to several issues.

First the gun has been out of manufacture since 1980 and you can no longer get parts for it from Remington. You will be required to find parts through antique gun parts vendors. I've been down that road and it's difficult to run down parts.

Second, the gun began to fequently jam, mainly due to me not properly cleaning the gun. I'm very good about keeping guns clean, but failed to keep the chamber properly cleaned and this led jams. One which jammed the bolt so badly that a gunsmith had to disassemble the gun. Remington makes an offset brass brush specifically for cleaning the chamber of this rifle. I'd lost mine when I was in college and actually forgot to clean that part of the rifle thoroughly.

Third, the gun was only accurate to around 1.5 MOA at best and would walk hits all over the target when the barrel heated during a sighting in session.

I have replaced this gun mainly due to my lost confidence in the ability of the gun to not jam at an inopportune moment in the field, the fact that I'm much older and do not want to carry a heavy rifle such as the 742, and the fact that while 35 years old it was in great condition. I'd received this rifle as a Christmas present from dad (deceased) and I emotionally can't get rid of it so it goes into storage.

Mainly, the inability to get parts and potential unreliable operation told me it was time to move on to something more dependable and lighter for my aging and surgically repaired arms and shoulders to tote.

They were good auto rifles in their time, but that time has passed and there are better options (even in auto rifles) out there.

December 5, 2008, 04:17 PM
I inherited my Dad's 742 30.06, mid 1970 version. It still shoots fine and prints about 2 MOA. Minute of Antler?
Dad keep it very very clean during the years that he used it. Second the gun must have a very low round count. 20rds a year for 15 years give or take 300 round +or -?
If the 742 was used as a Deer rifle and kept clean and correctly lubed they did pretty good. If you tried to use it as a M1A ect or did not keep it clean,,,, Well a rifle gets the rep that the 742 has.
Not the greatest rifle ever made (I can Dad spinning in his grave) but not as bad as it's worse critic would make it out.
All that said I would not buy a old 742 for Hunting. I would buy an old 760 pump or a NEW 7400. For the record all of my hunting rifle are Bolt action for a reason.

December 6, 2008, 07:37 PM
I currently have a 742 BDL, and a 7400 both in '06. Both are about 1.5 inch guns. I used to get 1 moa in the 742 with reloads. It also has a trigger job, and maybe some other work. It did jam once but a good gunsmith fixed it. I also had one that the side rails wore out and it wouldn't work at all. There is gunshop(Alhmanns) in Southern Minnesota that will convert them to pumps. The 06 is popular in this area. I don't know that the '06 has any more problems than any other caliber. The chamber problem is due to cold damp weather according to the link above. Good link. Due to weight I've switched to an AR15 with good results. For alot of shooting, I'd prefer the
newer 7400 as it has better side rails and bolt lock. Like all gas operated guns, keep it clean and lubed especially the chamber and side rails.

December 7, 2008, 07:38 AM
ClayinAR Quoted:I had several many years ago. The 30-06 has a tendency called 'chamber cancer' by my gunsmith. Chamber gets rusted and pitted and makes the extractor pull the rims off the cases. Turns them into a single shot. Seen a bunch of them. Only fix is a new barrel. I tried lapping the chamber, no joy

I feel your pain. I lent one to a brother when I went overseas. Came back to the same problem. Thinking back on it the chamber was neglected by the both of us.

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