Wow, Your friend has a problem. They are out of manufacture and the only avenue is to by a rifle that is a "dog" gun, Damaged or unusable for anpther reason and salvage the bolt and hope the headspace is ok. There are gun parts savers such as Numrich Arms in WEst Hurley NY, and Pennsylvania Gun parts - Good luck. I can remember refusing to buy one years ago because they were starnge looking but seemed to shoot OK. The Bolt was always the weak link in the design.
I am no Gunsmith but have owned a few 788s and the rear locking lugs are I am asuming to be the area that your friends smith said was striped and couldnt be repaired, I have seen these built up by smiths and they would work but like stv stated your friend has a problem finding a 788 bolt but I cant believe he cant find a smith that cant repair the one he has there are smiths that can do wonders it get costly but it can be done. JIM
I have worked on and owned many 788's over the years and find it difficult to believe the locking lugs 'stripped'. Could it be the bolt handle came off and the threads that the firing pin assembly use were damaged..? These are really good rifles and quite strong.. but the bolt handles did have a problem with coming off. As do some of the Remington M700's. Perhaps before getting to much money and time into this it would be a good idea to get a second opinion, much as one would if a doctor gave a very bad diagnosis... Good luck from the gunnut69
It is fairly common for the 788 extractor to strip out of the bolt face and to damage the rim around the bolt face in the process.
My extractor on my 22-250 had broke a couple of times and it was no longer possible to put a rem extractor back in.
Arnie at Capital Sports in Helena, Mt machined the lip of my bolt face and welded in a bushing, then machined a slot for an extractor similar to the one on an M-16. It works flawlessly and only set me back $90.
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