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The last one I actually purchased, and which wasn't related in any way to any "gunwriter graft," was a perfectly dreadful-looking previously-owned Remington Model 788 in .223 Remington… paid $200 for the damned thing, which only retailed for $97.50 when it was brand new!

After I'd shot that puppy a couple of times, I decided that it had in fact been a bargain, and while beauty is always in the orbs of the on-looker, after I'd slapped a black synthetic RamLine stock on it, it was the ultimate cosmetic make-over. What a babe!

It was all part of a project for a DBI Books piece entitled "A Tyros Target Rifle," about my introduction to hand-loading… back at a time when I spent almost as much time at my basement bench as I do now at my computer.

It was a crash-coarse, and an endlessly fascinating one! Wow!, did I learn a lot about the great changes a miniscule amount of adjustment in seating depth and propellant charge could make!

With a cheap, also previously-owned Tasco 12X scope and a propitious recipe of once-fired American Eagle ("FC") brass, Winchester's excellent #748, some WSRs and Sierra 52-grain BTHPs, my Model 788 and I attained ¼ MOA groups within the year.

And as a simple matter of curiosity, I tested the engagement of the nine locking lugs and discovered that only three of them actually made the full contact! Helluva gun, and I've turned down $425 for it and the glass which cost $56.75 the first time around.

That was my last gun I purchased…

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