On the 5th of February, 2012, I took my wife shooting for the first time. I put a borrowed Winchester 9422 in her hands and she proceeded to eat my lunch with it. When I cleaned it up to take it back, she had this sad look on her face and said "We're ... not going to keep it?". So I set about looking for a rifle for her. I knew that I wanted to keep it to a small caliber as she has some shoulder problems that I don't want to aggravate. Chatting with friends, shooters and gunsmiths, I settled on either .223 or .308. Since she is only shooting from the bench, weight isn't a real issue.
Over the course of the following few days, we had the conversation several times working what kind of rifle she'd like to have. Her input was pretty simple. She wanted something with a classic look and that wouldn't have massive recoil as she has some shoulder issues. The following week, I took her to a gun store so that I could see what sorts of rifles caught her eye. From this, I established that she'd want something with a classic sporting rifle look and wood furniture is preferable to composite. Mostly, I think she just doesn't like the unfinished black composite look because a couple of composite stocks with printed wood grain appealed to her.
A few days later, I was in another LGS and happened to find a Remington 788 in .223 complete with an optic. It met all of our requirements and appeared to be in pretty good condition. I bought it, took it home and when I tore it down for cleaning and inspection, I really couldn't find any wear indicators. Nice. Took it to the range to zero it. It wasn't even on the paper at 100 yards. Darn near in the wood at 25. WAY low and right. I put 40 rounds through it just to get it zeroed as I was trying to figure out both gun and optic. I finally got it zeroed and put 10 round down at 100 yards. I wasn't very happy with the group, but I was starting to get frustrated at that point and I was out of ammo and I had to go to work.
When I tore it down again, there were some wear marks on the bolt and receiver that hadn't been there before. Complete DCLA later, I was convinced that rifle was a virgin. I started researching and immediately came up with some contradictory information. The date stamp in the barrel indicates a build date of November, 1968. However, Remington's archive says this chambering was only offered in 1974. Additionally, the serial number on my receiver does not fall into a valid range listed in the Archive. So I called Remington to figure it out. Turns out this gun was made in 1981. Given the fact that there were no wear marks on the bolt or receiver prior to my shooting it and that the scope was WAY out of adjustment, I think someone bought this rifle new, put a scope on it and then put it in a closet.
Anyway, my wife saw the $500 transaction on the bank website later that day. When she asked what I had bought, I handed her the magazine for the rifle. She asked "What's this???". I said "It goes to that" while pointing over my shoulder at her new rifle.
My wife loves me.