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A 7.62x39 Bolt Action
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A 7.62x39 Bolt Action

Remington imports Zastava's mini Mauser as the Model 799 Bolt action rifle.

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The Remington 799 is a light rifle - 6lb or maybe a bit more - and has lovely wood.
 
 

It's a nice looking rifle, isn't it? The one I bought is chambered in 7.62x39, but others are available. The action that is the heart of the Model 799 has been called the Mini Mark X and Charles Daly mini Mauser, in earlier incarnations.

These days, the barreled actions are brought into the US from Zastava Arms in Serbia. Upon arrival, they get a really nice, laminated stock. The Remington wood is definitely more eye pleasing than what was on the same mini Mauser actions previously imported by Charles Daly.

I remember visiting Epps Sporting Goods one day, talking about bolt rifles chambered in 7.62x39mm. One of the staff quietly slipped into the back room and returned with a Charles Daly mini Mauser. The workmanship was nice but it had this shiny, uninteresting Monte Carlo wooden stock. It was as attractive as mud stuck to a brick wall. Talk about contrast! If you held it beside the Model 799 - wow, what a difference!

The Model 799 weighs approximately 7 lb, with a 3-10x40 Elite 3200 riflescope installed. It uses a 20 inch .311 diameter barrel with a 1 in 9 inch twist. It's a well balanced rifle that features a brown laminated stock. It is based on the proven and strong Mauser action and has an overall length of 39 inches. Like most modern firearms, it comes drilled and tapped. Presently they build the 22 Hornet, 22-250, 222 and 223 Remington actions using this platform.

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Marked Cal. 7.62x39, Remington 799. Manufactured in Serbia by Zastava.

The rifle maker - Zastava, http://www.zastava-arms.co.yu - was founded in 1853 and has been making firearms continuously since then. The factory is located in Serbia, which used to be part of the former Yugoslavia. Remington imports the barreled actions from there and the stock is added in Kentucky.

There are some aftermarket options for this rifle, including rifle stocks and several scope mounting choices. Remington made a wise decision going with the Zastava line, in light of the 2006 demise of the Winchester Model 70.

As it comes from the box, the trigger needs some work. It has a gritty feel and a long pull. To be fair, it broke at 3 ¾ lb but should smooth out after a couple hundred shots. As with most Mausers, the open bolt is sloppy. It would also benefit from having the lug raceway polished to smooth the bolt travel. It feels rough when you work the bolt.

As I said earlier, the stock is solidly made and exhibits a good grain. It is well designed, has a functional cheek piece so your face will align properly with the scope. It also comes to the shoulder quite naturally. The bluing is evenly applied and the metal parts fit together nicely. I was particularly taken with the steel trigger guard and magazine floor plate. There's a button on the right side forward of the trigger guard that releases the floor plate for easy unloading.

Like any rifle, there are always a few features that could be improved, but don't let its small imperfections shy you away from buying one. This rifle is a lot of value for the money. In Canada, the mini Mauser retails for $700 to $750.
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UPDATE: 5 Apr 2010.  After two years, I've sold the rifle.  The reasons were as follows:
 
The thin barrel made it hard to find a suitable hunting or varmint load.
The trigger didn't smooth out after many hundreds of shots.
I do not like the small bolt handle.
 
Briefly, thin barrels on any rifle can act up.  It's usually more difficult to find reloads that will shoot decently.  In my case, having tried eight or nine different powders in my search for what would work, and having many disappointments, I gave up. This rifle would best se served by rebarreling to something more substantial.  While you're at it, get a tube that is .308 diameter so that you'll have a wider selection of bullets. The reloading dies will easily handle the slightly smallerbullets, resizing the brass and seating the bullets without problems. I loaded 25 cartridges with .308 bullets just to be sure. The case neck grips the bullets tightly and there was no problem with the seating stem.
 
I put up with the trigger, hoping that it would get better. It did not. Had I kept it, the mimi Mauser would have got a new one. 
 
For me at least, the small bolt handle is a royal pain when hunting. Especially if you wear gloves!  It's hard to grasp and manipulate.  If you absolutely wanted this action, install a larger handle!
Ammunition

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Igman 7.62x39

The company itself was established in the early 1950s and produces high quality ammunition at reasonable prices - 5.56 mm through 12.7 mm.

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Prvo Partizan 7.62x39

Founded in 1928, Prvi Partizan company produces over 350 types of rifle, pistol, revolver and small arms ammunition.

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Map of Serbia

Igman Ammunition is made in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prvi Partizan is made made in Serbia.

Check out the book! Six factory loads and 5 different bullets tested.