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Red Front Sight On Remington 788

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PCCUSNRET, Jan 25, 2012.


    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    I just picked up a 788 in 22-250 today from a local gun shop and when I got it home under some brighter lights noticed that the front sight metal has a reddish hue. Any idea what causes this and is there anyway to get it back to the original color? I had a gun smith blue an old 22 and almost all of the metal turned red. I'm pretty sure this gun hasn't been reblued but I'm not positive. The gun has a few minor handling marks but other than that it doesn't appear to have been fired much (the crown is still blue and there are no marks on the face of the bolt).
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Pictures of the sight/rifle would be nice.


    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    We just moved and the camera is buried in one of the boxes. As soon as I can locate it I'll post a photo.
  4. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Is it a "red " or a bit of a purple or plum color. Mine is from 1976 and is a bit plum looking color. They just did not allways hold the color over time and some turned a bit of a redish color. DW large frame revolver also could have plum and blue parts. Different heat treatments , blued at different times or diffent batch's and age change them too.
    In any case, sounds like you picked a nice old 788.
  5. threoh8

    threoh8 Well-Known Member

    My 788 Carbine in .308, circa 1982, has that reddish/plum cast to the front sight finish. The sight is cast. It's not uncommon for such metal to take a color like that in bluing. Some Ruger revolver cast frames from the era had that hue as well.
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Many of Remington's sights are made from sintered powdered metal. The sights are made using a punch and ejecting die, and run through a heat treat to fuse the metal and burn off the stearate powder.
    Those made from powdered metal will not take the blue or oxide like chrome moly steels.

  7. Dr T

    Dr T Well-Known Member

    While I dearly care for my 788 in 6 mm Rem, in my opinion it has some of the most dreadful iron (and plastic) sights ever put on afactory rifle. The bluing on mine is as best mid-grade (but what can you expect from a rifle that built to sell at a bargain price point). I took the irons and all of their plastic trappings off of the rifle about 35 years ago (about the same time I stripped the horrible Remington factory finish off the rifle and refinished it with Tru-Oil). I filled the screw holes with the little short tap screws that had filled the tap holes for the scope mounts.

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple photos of this gun. I tried to get a close-up of the front sight to show the discoloration I was talking about. Thanks for the info.

    Attached Files:


    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    I have two more in .243 that I purchased a couple of years ago and both front and rear sights had been removed. Both were fitted with scopes and they shoot better than any of my other .243's that were made in the past 5 years. I ended up paying more for this gun than either of the 243's but it appears to be in much better condition than either of those rifles. You can tell the 243's had been hunted with and I doubt this one has seen much hunting as there is only one minor scratch on the stock. Now to get a decent scope for it and give it a try.

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Any idea where I could find plugs for the barrel when I remove the sights? Seems like every place I've checked so far is out of stock or they want close to $30 (includes shipping) for three of these plugs.
  11. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

  12. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    Its called patina. It happens to steel while its oxidizing. Do not reblue it. The 788 will be worth thousands, maybe millions of dollars one day. Rebluing will just devalue your collectible 788.
  13. SGW42

    SGW42 Well-Known Member

    Call me crazy but I kind of like plum metal on a gun.

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    I just hope whomever ends up with it doesn't mind I put a few hundred rounds through it first. :D

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

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