The Remington-Keene Repeating Rifle: A highly collectible, bolt action nightmare

In the 1870s, Remington was hurting and they needed something new to help get them out of the hole. Their main rifle, the single-shot Rolling Block, was suffering in sales against new-fangled repeaters by Winchester and Sharps. It was then that they stumbled upon a guy in New Jersey by the name of Keene who had some interesting ideas about bolt-actions.

Today we are well versed in bolt-action rifles but in the 1870s, the world was split between lever actions like the Winchester 1873 and single-shot falling block designs. There were a few turn-bolt actions out there, like the Berdan and the 1871 Mauser, but these were single-shot guns as well.

What was revolutionary for a repeater was using a turn-bolt that not only loaded and unloaded the rifle, but fed from a magazine. New Jersey based firearms designer John W. Keene had perfected a bolt-action system for a rifle and magazine but lacked the means to produce his gun. This led to a mutually beneficial arrangement and the Remington-Keene repeating rifle was born.
Read the rest in my column at

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few hundred articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as History Times, Firearms,, Suite 101 (where I am the contracted Feature Writer for Military History) and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects, including a section in the upcoming Mississippi Encyclopedia (to be published by Ole Miss this summer), an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released this Spring by Necro Publications and can be found at In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am a certified Firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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