Remington imports Zastava's mini Mauser as the Model 799 Bolt action rifle.
The Remington 799 is a light rifle - 6lb or maybe a bit more - and has
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 ¼ lb, with a 3-10x40 Elite 3200 riflescope installed. It uses a 20 inch .311 diameter
barrel with a 1 in 9 ½ 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 ½ 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.
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.
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
The trigger didn't smooth out after many
hundreds of shots.
I do not like the small bolt
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!