I painted my shotgun before turkey season this year. It really wasn't hard at all. Put down a good base coat, let it dry, assembled the gun and added some depth with some green, let that dry, then went to work with a few different colors using
sponges. I didn't get any pictures of it hunting, but it did its job and blended well into a lot of different backgrounds. I'm not worried about weight, so if it wears or I need to change it to fit a different area I can just sponge a little more. I will probably paint any synthetic guns I get in the future this way.
You are correct on the 783. The action is smooth and shoots extremely well for the price. Picked it up in a 223 for a new varmint killer, plus a great kids gun with a suppressor on it.
As for the paint. I used a Rust-Oleum flat black bonding Primer for the base color. Then sponged on the Krylon satin Italian olive and Krylon satin khaki. Finished off with a handful of coats of the Satin clear
The "Sand" color on first as base.
Goto Halloween store and buy the stretchy camo netting.
Lay the camo netting over it, stretching it a little sometimes to customize the pattern it makes.
Spray your stripes of the darkest color.
Cut up some small-ish sponge pieces. (Like, let's say 1" square surfaces.)
Use finger nails to tear-out pieces of surface of sponge you intend to dab with so that there are no discernable straight edges to the stamp pattern it will then have.
Spray paint onto something disposable you will use as a palette for dipping the sponge into. Like an aluminum baking tray.
Make the sponge amount of paint be tacky, not all wet and gloppy.
On dark areas you *lightly* dither-in lighter colors to breakup the outline of the darker region.
On lighter area you *lightly* dither-in darker colors to breakup the outline of the lighter region.
Then randomly, you may elect to blip-it here-and-there with a few dabs of an even lighter color, like maybe an ash grey.
Big thing is have a good mental image in your mind about the area you're trying to make this paint job look like. Maybe even snap some cellphone pics there next time you're out there.
One thing I did that I highly suggest:
If you go with the sponge method, right after applying a color, take a completely dry sponge and go over the areas again. It flattens any high points and keeps the texture very even. Also, after all the paint is dry, take a rag (tshirt or microfiber) and with moderate pressure, rub the gun down. Basically lightly buff the gun to again knock down any high spots. Then clear it with at least 3 coats of clear. I chose an acrylic matte clear sealer. Worked awesome. The gun looks more like the first 2 pics. Lighting wasn't as good in the last two.