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The 10 Best Hunting Rifles: The Remington 750

This rifle takes everything good about the former variants (Remington autoloaders like the 740/7400) and combines it with all the fixes for their shortcomings.  Perhaps if this rifle had been around when the BAR became the standard semi-auto hunting rifle, it could be the one on top of the game.  It’s good enough with the bonus that the cost is just over two thirds of cost of the other competitors if you stick with the polymer stock.

The Rifle: Remington 750

The Caliber: .35 Whelen

The Animal: Caribou

The Rifle – Remington 750

One of the least expensive and least customizable firearms in our top ten hunting rifles list is the Remington 750 Synthetic. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Specifically, the 750 Synthetic is a weapon that has taken a widely used gun and improved upon it.

As a gunsmith of many years and having shot the 750 at length (though not owning one), I feel confident saying that the gun is one of the best hunting rifles available. It is mostly a function of good press on behalf of certain jaded consumers that some bad press is out on this weapon.  The gas system on the predecessor (and its predecessor) of this rifle has been vastly improved, though admittedly not as well tuned or refined as the Browning BAR system. It’s important to understand that with a hunting rifle, your main concern isn’t usually follow-up shots (though it can be in certain situations); it is mostly a concern of accuracy and reliability. As a general disclaimer: my personal experience with the 750 has seen a couple reliability issues (which were easily fixed or could be attributed to ammunition). With a good cleaning mindset, and a bit of understanding about how the gas system works, this gun is about as reliable as you will find (the BAR Browning being the holy grail of hunting semi-autos) and should hold up to the decent record of the other semi-auto rifles in the genre.

Remington touts the fast follow-up shots as its main attribute, though, as you know, in most hunting situations follow up shots are secondary, but then what are semi-autos for anyway? This rifle features a black synthetic polymer stock with a twenty-two-inch barrel and swivel studs/drilled tapped receiver. The blued steel holds within it a rotary lug lockup bolt and a new faster cycling action (as claimed by Remington).

It’s neither pretty nor ugly, but it just doesn’t have the same clean lines of the BAR (arguably its biggest competition in the true semi-auto hunting category) and certainly doesn’t have the presence of the AR-15 platform. On initial inspection the gun seems a bit lumpy but anemic: an odd choice of words for readers, surely, but nothing short of an accurate representation.  Its looks however, hide some of the improvements made to the older guns of the 740/7400 series, such as the steeper comb drop and the better sight line, as well as a more ergonomically designed fore-end.  In all actuality, this gun may be best implemented as a used gun, if you have a cleaning mindset.  The improved angles of the gas port system makes it easier to keep the gun working for longer, but the bad press generally comes as a result of poorly maintained guns. With a clean gun, factory magazines and ammunition, and knowledge of the working of the action, you should be able to pick up a great used semi-auto at an exceptional price and have a good field gun.  In the carbine version (an 18.5-inch barrel), chambered in .35 Whelen, you may have one of the best bush guns for under $1,000 (in most cases between $500 and $650) that you can find, and if you look hard enough you may be able to find one for under $300—a pretty sweet deal for those who realize the potential of such a rifle.

The Caliber – .35 Whelen

It’s a cult cartridge in some circles, but still a capable and useful one regardless of how mainstream you view the cartridge. It’s a necked up .30-06 casing with a .35 caliber projectile inserted; no magnum reinforcement is needed with the added benefit of the upper end of the medium bore class’ ballistics. This means that the bolt face and other parts of the action, as well as the cartridge itself, does not need to be reinforced like it needs to be with the standard magnums.

Many would argue, from a practical standpoint, that a .45-70 would be an ideal alternative to the .35 Whelen, being that the availability and cost can be manipulated much more easily, at least from a factory load perspective.  However, the .35 Whelen may have some distinct advantages over the .45-70 from an implementation perspective.

It really can be determined by personal preference:  Do you want to have a rifle suited very specifically to the task/animal/conditions at hand, or are you worried more about costs of the weapon/ammunition?  Do you need versatility, or do you desire a gun that has a lightweight profile?  Do you need one that can adapt to the heavy foliage of your hunting ground, or one that can shoot flat over huge distances?  In the case of the .35 Whelen (trying not to pigeonhole such a proven cartridge), you may be best suited using it in the heavy woodland areas where a “slower” cartridge is acceptable, and where a heavier bullet might be advantageous (like bear country).  Be advised slower is a relative term. The .35 Whelen is not a slow cartridge so much as it is not as fast as others.

From a 180-grain bullet you will get right at 3,000 feet per second and 3,600 foot pounds of energy with about 2,300 feet per second and 2,000 foot pounds at 200 yards.

Those numbers are the equivalent of the speed of a 150 grain .30-06 at the muzzle, only the energy is about 650 foot pounds more than the .30-06.

Ballistics out to about 150 yards put the .35 Whelen as superior (in many cases) to the .30-06, but out past that range, the consistency and lack of excess bullet drop of the .30-06 make it the better choice in many cases.

This isn’t a comparison between the two calibers (both of which are equally capable of dispatching large game); rather the comparisons made are for a basis of understanding to the reader.

A .30-06 can be loaded in a 250-grain projectile getting 2300 feet per second and 2930 foot pounds at the muzzle and 1920/2050 at 200 yards. The fairly standard load of 250 grains out of a .35 Whelen will be at 2600/3700 at the muzzle and pushing 2200/2700 at 200 yards: ballistics capable of taking just about any of the big dangerous game in Africa.

From the perspective of a hand loader, the .35 Whelen can make some good sense just about anywhere in the world, but to be transparent, regardless of the “cult hero” status of the round, it simply is not loaded in enough variety to have it make sense for someone relying only on factory ammunition.

The Animal – Caribou

While theoretically a .35 Whelen can take many of the dangerous game in Africa (typically considered the litmus test for the lethality of a cartridge), it’s certainly also well suited to North American and Eurasian big game, including dangerous game. For the purposes of this article, caribou was selected, but many size and composition comparisons could be made.  Rudolph the red-nosed caribou could easily exceed 450 pounds, but typically sees a size range of about 180 to 400 pounds in most areas. Northern Europe, northern Canada, and Alaska have some excellent population densities for reindeer (caribou) and can be ideal areas to take out such an animal.

From the perspective of most of the readers of this article, of all the animals that are available on a regular basis, it probably is one of the least likely you’ll hunt, so from a practical standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense to go into the details of reindeer/caribou hunting as with the other animals listed.  Suffice it to say that if you are in an area where you can hunt these animals, you can assume many of the same characteristics and traveling patterns as with moose and many size comparisons with that of elk.

From the perspective of a person looking for a single rifle which is both capable of North American dangerous game and just about all of the African game, this gun makes sense.  From the perspective of someone shooting in heavy bush looking for knockdown power or those hunting game over 225 pounds in bear country, this rifle makes sense. From the perspective of someone looking for cheap and easily accessible ammunition with many factory loads, it is perhaps not the one to use.  Good thing there are so many options within the caliber and without.

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19 comments

  1. As a gunsmith myself, I have worked on a lot of the 740 family, and as a rule the carbines are more accurate than the longer barreled rifles. The one point in hand loading for these rifles is the short gas system can lead to problems in extraction. One has to use faster burning propellants (like IMR 4198) which do not work quite as well in the 35 Whelen as say, IMR 4320.

    I still like the round though, and it works very well on medium bear as well from what my customers told me.

  2. Really?? This is definitely a cult gun. My M1 Garand gun and ammo are less expensive and I have more than 3 boxes of bullets unlike my 30-40 Krag (my cult gun which I love and hunt with but have trouble finding more than 2 boxes of ammo at the store even if they have it) For fun I bought a Mosin-Nagant for $100, the ammo was $115 for 440 rounds. I bet you can’t find your ammo for the 35 Whelen at $215 for 440 rounds. (the cost of the rifle plus the ammo for a Mosin-Nagant) So for a prepper on a budget there are still affordable high power rifles available. Using my Winchester ballistics calculator the 7.64×54 is my second best round after the 30-06. This is my easiest rifle to clean, I believe I can clean this gun at -30 with mittens on. It may seem like a cult gun in USA but it has been very widely made.

    • @ JoeHunt
      The 7.62x54R is a cheaper gun to feed than virtually anything on the market, definitely within it’s power range. Contrary to popular belief it -can- be loaded just as hot as any .30-06 factory ammo, or ammo within suitable pressures for anything other than the Mauser type action type “magnum loads”. However; the cheap ammo for the 54R is always going to be berdan primed, corrosive, steel cased and shoots the armor piercing or regular FMJ type slugs.

      In comparison to the bullets both factory loaded for the .35 Whelen as well as handloads the 7.62x54R cannot hold a candle to the .35 Whelen in any shape or form. Most states do not allow people to use FMJ ammo for hunting, and the few rounds available for the 7.62x54R that aren’t are going to be in the same price range as .30-06 or even .35 Whelen. In terms of reloading the selection of bullets that can be used with anything remotely resembling accuracy is extremely low, generally being made as a happy medium between the 7.5 Japanese, the 54R, and the .303 Enfield. The .35 Whelen isn’t made for long range accuracy or performance so the factory ammo is generally in the 1 1/2 – 2″ at 100 yards, but the vast majority of Mosins (aside from the Finnish types) can’t even do that well.

      Overall, so as not to ramble on an on about the comparisons, short comings, and differences of these rounds…I’ll sum it up. A .35 Whelen is a much better choice for thick brush, for LARGE/Dangerous animals, and when penetration is crucial. 54R is one of my favorite rounds due to it’s longevity and simplicity, but trying to compare it to a .358 caliber middle-bore is apples to oranges. The 54R is a high velocity Russian equivalent of a .30-06 sniper round (the new SV-98 class stuff shoots a 185 grainer at 2700 fps+), made for people primarily and will work ok on something like a Bear but nowhere near as well as a 250+ grain hammer. There are .358 bullets that can go through a deer longways, the steel jacketed Woodleigh (FMJ) could probably make it’s way through a small tree and still be lethal.

      • Mr. Dusty I don`t care where you get your info or what you do with it eather.I have a mosin that I have worked on and I am no gun smith,just wanted something to pass the time. I say that you are WRONG aboult the mosin. I can out shoot the numbers that you gave. If you want to bring your .35 Whelen to WV. we will shoot out to 100 – 200- and on gun for gun. I don`t have anything again the whelen and I dont think the mosin is the best around eather. I just want all the readers to know the facts. Now thay have them.

        • Your “facts” are about as erroneous your spelling. Now I don’t have a .35 Whelen…but considering you’re likely one of those “Internet Mosin MOA Specialists” I’m douting you could outshoot mmy 750 lol.y worst 91/30 much less

          • Outshoot my worst 91/30 much less my 750 lol^

          • Mr.Dusty I never ment to up set you or anyone else, that is not what I had in mind,and if I did so I am sorry! As for my spelling I did not think this to be a school to to graded on.As for how much one gun is worth compaired to the other that does not make much difference to me, I own both.All I said is the mosin will out shoot the 750 remington, and mine will. Well my mosin out shoots my 750 remington. I did not give my openion to be laughed at or talked aboult, thats why they call it an openion mine or yours is neather right or wrong it`s just an openion nothing more. Please forgive me for not being a good speller! As far as shooting I may not be able spelling target but I can hit one. Like I said my 750 does not shoot good at all, and I called remington and ask them about there warranty on this fine gun and thay told me there is none on the autos. You can call them and ask just to see what thay have to say. Now I would ask that we have a friendly shooting match just to see if my mosin will out shoot your 750 remington but you have said that you gun is worth so much more than mine and that would not be in your best intrest right. Here is an idea lets get together and shoot sometime. If you out shoot me I will post it on here that you are the best shot and I am not and the mosin is not worht having. But if I out shoot you then you do the same thimg ok.

  3. From a preppers view point, a .35 Whelen will lead to a very expensive club when you run out of ammo.
    That is not a common round and will make it impossible to find.

    • One of the things I don’t understand is why Preppers/SHTF type people believe they -have- to get a gun that’s extremely common aside from the .22 Long Rifle. If you’ve stockpiled a bunch of .223 ammo, 7.62x39mm, or .308 ammo this makes you a pretty big target to anybody who -knows- you have it. If such ammo is common, then the chances of scavenging ammo from fallen friends or foes is also going to be relatively common.

      Overall I think accuracy, recoil, swift follow ups, and other attributes are just as important if not moreso than the ammunition being common…but I also don’t think a .223 or a .308 will -ever- be as handy in the Zombie Apocalypse than a good ole’ .22.

  4. I hunt with and LOVE my old Winchester model 100 in 308 . but my backup is also an M1 Garand in 30-06 and can’t be beat for an overall firearm . I have dies and 30 caliber molds and can load it up or down to fit my needs and can make Ammo as long as I can find the components for reloading . Although using what the books say is best , in a situation you can use other stuff to be had .

  5. Just bought a Rem 750 carbine in 3006 syn. Fired iron sights using four rounds 180 grain Federal. Wet it down and it worked very well. Waiting on a QD base to mount 2-7x 32 scope (mueller). will update as I break it in and hope to hunt. Accuracy seems very good so far. Semper Fi

  6. I am really curious about remarks regarding the 750′s gas system as an improvement of the 7400′s. I have used a 7400 in 35 Whelen in Gerrmany as my main hunting rifle for years, because it can take any European game, and when I’m stand hunting in a state forest to help the forester in charge meet his yearly cull quota, I never know whether I’ll be seeing roedeer or boar. I also have a 7600, also in (and no longer available in) 35 Whelen, which, with a smaller scope than the one on the 7400, I use for drive hunts, mainly for boar. (As a pump-action, the 7600 is not subject to the 2-round magazine capacity limitation which applies to self-loaders in German hunting law.) I mounted on both rifles Williams FP aperture and front sights and see-through scope mounts.

    I have never had feeding problems with the 7400. After some experimentation, I settled on 35 Whelen loads with 250 gr. bullets, either Nosler Partition or Hornady, and IMR-4320 with charges a bit above mid-level shown in the Nosler and Hornady reloading manuals. A fallow stag and a class I-A red stag (elk) both expired within 40 meters; boar piglets and roedeer dropped where they were hit. Whatever may be true about the 750′s gas system being superior to the 7400′s, I, for one, have no reason to sell my 7400.

    • The gas system was slightly shortened, the gas hole was set at an angle (reduces toiling supposedly) as opposed to straight down and the reciprocating parts were coated with teflon. It is “improved” but nothing so drastic as the difference between the 742 and 7400. In all honesty you’d be silly to sell a proven 7400 just to get a 750.

  7. On Dec.-2-2012 I bought a new Remington 750 automatic in a 308 winchester. I thaught I was getting a good gun after reading all the good reports! Man what a disapointment, this gun sucks. I have tried Wen. Rem. Fed.
    and even reloads from 150 gr to the so called 168gr match bullets and the best group at 100 yards I can get shooting from one of the best rests you can buy is 2 1/2″.I called Remington to see about the warrenty on there gun and Remington told me that there was no warrenty on the simi. autos. just on the bolt action rifle.
    This is a cheap response from one of the so called major gun makers in America. I was told that a 2 1/2″ group
    from this gun was within there specks and that is all thay would say. If it is off that far at 100 yards how for off would the 750 be at 200 or even 300 yards. Any where from 6 to10″ and that may let the buck of a life time get away. I have several Remington guns but from now on I will not ever buy another Remington. If anyone reading this is thinking about getting a 750 auto. call Remington and ask them about there 1″ group on the 750 and thay will tell you the same thing. SAVE YOUR MONEY DON`T GO THERE THE 750 WILL NOT SHOOT.

    • Uhh…no warranty on the 750…really? Yes there is a warranty on the Remington 750 just as with all Remington guns, having sold guns for ~7 years. I have a 750 in 35 Whelen and with Hornady Superformance in 200gr I can shoot clover leaves at 100 yards. Surprised the heck out of me, but it does. I also have a 742 in 30-06 and shoot 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with just Remington ammo.

  8. Anyone complaining about the Remington 750 needs to spend some
    time at the rifle range practicing. This gun will perform as well as the person using it.

    • Doug I do spend time at the range alot of time as a mater of fact and I am a little better than adverage shot. I have won some compt. matches and I pride my self on my shooting. But if you think you can do better come to WV.and shoot this pile of junk if you can do better then I will say I am sorry if not then you post that the 750 is just as I have said JUNK. I have had a few friends shoot the gun and thay all said the same thing JUNK. I called remington and thay said to send the gun back to them and thay would look at it,Because there has been alot of complaints aboult this model. So let me know if you are comming to WV befor I send the JUNK back to our so called gun maker.As for me I have always liked remington but this is the last one I will buy and I plan on posting all over the wed STAY AWAY FROM THE 750 AUTO ITS JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Pretty strange that Remington would say the 750 isn’t covered by their warranty when there’s a card in the box…but I’ve heard of worse things coming from their “customer service” lol. Sadly some of them do end up being lemons; some of the new 700s even have visible barrel droop. These guns can be excellent…often they need breaking in but I’m not going to lie and say Remington doesn’t have serious problems in the customer service/satisfaction fields. I’ve heard some particularly…colorful stories involving the SR25, to put it nicely.

      • A Remington 750 is NOT junk. Send it back to Remington to be looked at. Just like ALL gun manufacturers, not every gun off the line is perferct or within spec. I have sent guns back to many different manufacturers due to issues.

        My brother has a 750 with no problems, my son has a 7400 with no problems, and I also have a 742 and 750…and guess what….no problems. Furthermore, I doubt Remington said that they have had a lot of complaints on the 750, and I have not seen any big stories or statistical data to substantiate your claims.

        You are blowing your single issue out of proportion and should take the prudent step of sending it back to Remington to be looked at.

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