Tag Archives: remington

Everything old is new again: Black Rifle Edition

The ArmaLite-branded AR-10 and AR-15 disappeared from the marketplace by 1962 as the company sold its rights and patents concerning the designs to Colt’s Manufacturing Company and the limited manufacturing license with the Dutch Artillerie Inrichtingen (A.I.). firm expired. After that, Colt was the only all-up maker of completed ARs until the late 1970s when other companies started to come on line.

When I say “other companies” I am talking about now-classic black rifle makers Bushmaster, DPMS, and Olympic Arms, all of which faded out in 2020.

Well, for two out of three of those, the demise was short-lived and they are now back for 2021, under new ownership.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Kids are Alright…

One of the stops I did while on the road filming last month was to drop in on America’s fastest-growing school sport at the Minnesota Trap Shooting Championship in Alexandria – which for the record is the world’s largest shooting sport event – with over 6,500 student-athletes in 300 high school teams taking the field over the course of nine full days of competition.

It was pretty impressive.

Looks like the 870 may be Back in Production, After a Brief Hiatus

Remington had been involved in shotguns for over a century, marketing various single and double-barreled models in the 19th Century before moving into the pump-action game in 1908 with the Remington Repeating Shotgun, a bottom-ejector based on two of John Browning’s “magazine gun” patents. Then came the Model 31, which clocked in for riot gun use with Uncle Sam, among others, in addition to its use by sportsmen from coast to coast.

To replace the Model 31, a team that included L. Ray Crittendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston, and G.E. Pinckney, worked across the late 1940s to craft Remington’s new Model 870AP Wingmaster, which debuted in 1950.

An easy take-down, side-ejecting, bottom-loading pump-action shotgun with dual (rather than single) action arms on the slide, the 870 had a receiver that was machined from a solid block of steel and marketed at first in just a 2.75-inch chamber with choices of 12-, 16- and 20-gauge, retailing for $69.95 on a standard-grade and $79.95 for a more deluxe model.

Remaining in constant production for 70 years, some 11 million Model 870s were produced by Big Green, making it one of the most popular shotguns in firearms history.

Then came the big bankruptcy last year, and Remington’s flagship factory in Ilion New York was shuttered on October 26, 2020, with 585 unionized employees laid off just two months shy of Christmas– with zero benefits or severance.

Oof.

Now, with the factory acquired by a new holding group and under the RemArms banner, a deal with the union has reopened the Ilion works this week, and reportedly over 200 furloughed workers have been called back. Their first order of business: make more 870s.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Bushmaster Resurrected

Founded in 1978 in Windham, Maine, from the remnants of the even older Gwinn Arms company (see the Arm Pistol), Bushmaster was one of the first makers of AR-style firearms outside of Colt. Its line included the lightweight Carbon-15, the massive .50-cal BA50, the seriously weird M17S Bullpup rifle, the XM-10, the XM-15 rifles, and others. Importantly, the firm was one of the first to market flattop optics-ready ARs and AR pistols, beating many of its competitors to the punch.

The BA-50, one of Bushmaster’s more interesting products

Then the Cerebrus Group/Freedom Group came along and upset the whole apple cart. They closed the Maine factory, moved operations to North Carolina and later Alabama under Remington’s umbrella, and just generally traded the company’s rep in for poorly QC’d guns without further innovation. Then, in 2019, Remington snuffed the brand out to try to exit the black rifle verse under legal pressure.

Well, Bushmaster is back, now owned by Franklin Armory, so stay tuned.

And in the biggest gun news of the year…

Poor old Remington. The ghosts of the Freedom Group have come home to roost and you deserved better.

Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, the company (for now) has locations in Alabama (where I did an extensive tour of their mega factory in Huntsville), Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Utah, South Dakota, and North Carolina. Once upon a time I even worked for Remington, doing articles for their 1816 lifestyle blog for a couple of years.

The current company grew several times between 2005 and 2007 when the Freedom Group, an offshoot of Cerberus Capital Management, aimed to buy up a ton of smaller companies under the FG umbrella, cut costs (see= mega factory), then (try to) sell the reinvented 80-foot gorilla for lots of profit.

This saw Remington gobble up AR-15 makers Panther Arms, DPMS, and Bushmaster; suppressor maker AAC, Para-Ordnance pistols, premium rifle maker Dakota Arms, accessory maker TAPCO (the horror), lever-gun icon Marlin (which came with budget shotgun/rifle brands H&R and New England Firearms), shotgun maker Parker, and precision barrel company Stormlake. They even bought innovative designs from other companies such as the Masada rifle for Magpul, which they marketed (poorly) as the Adaptive Combat Rifle, or ACR.

The thing is, somehow they ran it all incredibly poorly and filed bankruptcy three times since 2015. While the first two saw the company emerge after restructuring more or less intact, this latest go-round will not go as smoothly. 

In short, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Vista Outdoors (Federal/CCI), Palmetto State Armory, Franklin Armory, Sierra bullets, and others are all fighting over the scraps, with the courts to decide who ultimately goes home with the choicest parts of the carcass.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Guns of the U.S. Army, 1775-2020

While you may know of today’s standard U.S. Army infantry rifles, and those of the 20th Century, how about those present at Lexington and Concord or the line of Springfield muskets from 1795 through 1865? What came after?

For all this and more, check out the easy 2,000-word primer I did for this last weekend at Guns.com.

For the 19th Century Gentleman who already had everything

Hailing from the day in which a gentleman would be educated in the manly arts of boxing and stand ready to sally forth to tackle the occasional brigand, cane guns were offered from gunmakers in mid-19th Century Western Europe.

To update the market with a more American take on the concept, Remington began producing its own Rifle Cane just before the Civil War.

Just the ticket for curbing an attack from a rabid animal or a rapscallion along the highway, this trusty cane belongs to another era.

More in my column at Guns.com

That sweet, sweet ONG scattergun action

Saw these out Sportsman’s Outdoors Superstore and picked up one before they went almost immediately out of stock.

They are classic 1970s/80s-era Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge Police models complete with a really groovy Ohio National Guard “ONG” stamp and state overlay.

I am hoping they will get more in as they are (what I think) is a great deal. Regardless, the pics are interesting and are here for posterity.

Some even still have brass rack tags

That bayonet lug/sling swivel bracket…

Some even had Remington-stamped, likely factory-installed, overfolding stocks installed.

They were selling for $229 to 239, depending on set-up.

The folder reminds me of this shot of 1985 USMC riot gear

Marine Corps riot control gear arrayed for inspection. Among the equipment displayed are a gas mask, protective vest, M870-1 riot shotgun, .38-caliber M10 S&W M&P revolver, DETEX watchclock, and nightstick. (NARA DM-ST-86-01722)

Which of course is a lead-in for this series of NARA shots from 1989 showing the by-the-book manual of arms with an 870, USMC-style. You gotta love the clunky old 1st-Gen kevlar, M9 Beretta/UM84 Bianchi flap holster, and crisp woodland BDUs.

A Marine demonstrates a ready position with an M-870, Mark 1 12-gauge shotgun.

A Marine demonstrates a low ready position with an M-870, Mark 1 12-gauge shotgun.

A Marine demonstrates sling arms with an M-870, Mark 1 12-gauge shotgun.

A Marine demonstrates a standing firing position with an M-870, Mark 1 12-gauge shotgun.

Why hello there, Mr. Whippit

Last year Remington debuted their new Tac-14 NFA-compliant non-shotgun “firearm” complete with a 14-inch barrel and bird’s head Shockwave pistol grip. I was the first outdoor writer to get to see it and have one of the first couple made. Overall, I found it pretty neat.

Now, fast forward about 18 months and Remmy has a new take on the same concept. Chopping down their V3 semi-auto shotgun line (which replaced the venerable 11-48/1100/1187 autoloader series), they now have the Tac-13, which was quietly released this week.

Standard with a Shockwave grip and a 13-inch light contour cylinder bore barrel while keeping an overall length of just 26.5-inches, Remington bills the new gun as a compact personal protection piece and has a 5+1 capacity.

MSRP is $915, which will probably translate to an over-the-counter-price at your local retailer of about $699.

More on the V3 Tac-13 in my column at Guns.com

For comparison, Black Aces Tactical in Florida has been selling 4+1 capacity vintage 1100s chopped down to use a 12-inch barrel for $499, so there is that.

The story of how Remington helped win the air war

On the skeet range at N.A.S. Saint Louis, Missouri, 29 April 1944. Gunner is Lieutenant Junior Grade Rothschild, instructed by Martin. Shotgun is a Remington Model 11, 12 gauge semiautomatic, on a shotgun mount assembly Mk. 1 Mod. 0 consisting of gun mount adapter Mk. 12 mod.2 and .30 caliber stand Mk.23 Mod.0. Note boxes of Peters “Victor” brand skeet cartridges. Description: Catalog #: 80-G-237387

Rapid sight alignment when leading a flying target was a skill quickly taught to aerial gunners in World War II with the help of more than 70,000 training shotguns.

The Model 11 was the first auto loading shotgun made in the USA. Patterned after the old Browning square back shotguns, this shotgun is reliable and effective. There were approximately 850,000 of these shotguns made from 1905 until 1947, and they are still considered classics.

It’s a simple concept, with a shotgun being easier and cheaper to cut a trainee’s teeth on “wing shooting” than a full-sized machine gun. Accordingly, the Army and Navy bought 59,961 Remington Model 11 semi-auto (the company’s version of the Browning A5) and 8,992 Model 31 pump-action shotguns as well as 204 million clay targets and got to work.

U.S. gunner with a training weapon, a or Remington Model 11 set up to emulate flexible-mount .50 caliber M2 Browning. The most common version was the Remington 11-A Standard Version with a 29-inch Barrel and a built in Cutts compensator.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Another 14,000 of these Remington Sportsman guns were delivered with the smaller 20-inch barrel and different stock from the Remington 11-R version (Riot special-made for the Police market) for issue to military police, penal units and base guard forces, but that’s another story.

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