The Remington Model 81 semi-automatic rifle

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    • #695

      This is the Remington Model 81 semi auto rifle. Here i examine and fire a few rounds.

      This is a Browning designed weapon initially intended for hunters and first sold as the Remington Model 8 and available in a selection of calibers ranging from .25 – .35. By the end of World War I in addition to being well liked as a deer rifle it had also earned a place amongst America’s law enforcement agencies. The version used by the FBI and some other agencies was similar to this, but modified to use a 10 or 20 round removable modified BAR magazine. The FBI continued to keep these in their regional gun safes until the 1960s.

      Later Remington made some very slight manufacturing changes and sold the new version as the Model 81.

      The safety of this design was copied to the Soviet Kalashnikov AK series. The rotating bolt head design was copied by Johnson and used in his emi auto rifles and the 30-06.. Law enforcement liked he weapon because it was lighter than a BAR, but quite capable of punching through auto body metal and other obstacles that could stop the bullet from a Thompson Sub Machine gun. Frank Hammer is reported to have used one of these when terminating the bank robbing careers of Bonnie & Clyde. Within the practical range of the 300 Savage or the 35 Remington cartridges it is both powerful enough and also accurate enough to make a superb hunting weapon suffering only from a longer barrel than what is currently in vogue with today’s hunters.. Most of these left the factory with buckhorn sights, but a few, such as this one, had factory installed rear peep sights. Several grades of this rifle ranging from plain and unadorned up to richly engraved with checkered stocks were available. This rifle was the first Remington product to carry and also earn the name WoodsMaster marked on the side of the receiver. The weapon is a take down design. Removal of a small screw from the fore stock exposes a second screw with handle which when unscrewed allows the barrel assembly to be removed for both cleaning and making a smaller package when transporting the weapon in a case. A checkered steel butt plate was standard with the weapon.

      These are rugged rifles with a machined frame. With reasonable care not much goes wrong with them. Although reprints of the users manual are still available as jpg files, Remington is long out of parts for these. Brownell’s does carry replacement firing pins, and Wolff can make new springs if needed. Occasionally spare parts such as extractors and barrel lock rings do show up at Numrich’s gunparts or on but your need for such things would probably be rare. The one in the video over the last 70 something years has fired (at least) several thousand rounds and taken numerous deer with no known malfunctions.

    • #12552

      Fellow up the street had me totally disassemble a model 8 in 35 Remington, clean and lubricate it, and put it back together for him. Used to be his fathers rifle and he wants to shoot a Wyoming mulie with it.

    • #12965

      Sounds good. My only thought is the flight path of the .35 Remington pretty much requires shots of under 130 yards or so. Will the mulie let him get that close?

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