Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Remington Model 8 - .35 Remington

My Remington Model 8 is chambered for the .35 Remington. I inherited it from my father. Dad inherited it from his father who inherited it from, so far as I know, the first owner/user. That was "Uncle" Dave and Uncle Dave was the gunny guy of that generation but he wasn't really an uncle. He liked the old stuff and guns like I do and like me he was willing to spend money on good guns and hunting. Uncle Dave's gun has a Lyman receiver sight, the factory rear sight has been removed, and is sighted for the Winchester factory 200 gr. Silvertip load (a box of which I still remember from my youth). My dad had to have a slip on recoil pad as the length of pull was entirely too short for his frame. Grandpa had the same slip on pad but his stated reason was that the gun kicked too hard without it. I don't know who put the pad on, but somehow I think it was Uncle Dave as he also put a pad on his Fox Sterlingworth 12 ga. I don't use it and the recoil doesn't bother me.

The Remington Model 8 is a Browning design. The first semi-auto sporting rifle produced by Remington, it was introduced in 1906. Discontinued in 1936 after 80,500 had been produced, the gun was produced in 4 chamberings, .25, .30, .32 and .35 Remington. It was also produced in 6 grades, No.1 Standard, No.3 Special, No.4 Peerless, No.5 Expert, and No.6 Premier. My gun is the Standard. The Model 8 was replaced by the Model 81 (chambered in .300 Savage, .30, .32 and .35 Remington) from 1936-1950. About 55,000 of the Model 81 were manufactured by Remington. The design was also used by FN but I'm unsure of production numbers. One seldom sees one of the FN guns here in the US.

Introduced in 1906 in the Remington Model 8 autoloading rifle, the .35 Remington is one of the few pure woods cartridges that can be considered successful. In addition to the Model 8, this excellent cartridge was once available in Remington Models 81, 14, 141, 720, 600, and 760, as well as the Winchester Model 70, Standard Arms Models G and M, the Mossberg Model 472 and a slide action rifle once made by Savage. Presently available in the Marlin Model 336 lever action, Remington Model Seven KS bolt action and the Remington XP-100 and T/C Contender handguns, the .35 Remington is still a favorite of those who believe it kills deer and black bear quicker than the .30-30 Winchester. Whether or not this is true is the stuff classic campfire debates are made of.

The Model 8 is recoil-operated has a rotating bolt and double, opposed locking lugs. The gun fires from a fixed 5-shot magazine (it is NOT detachable!) and is equipped with a bolt hold-open that engages after the last shot is fired. The autoloading action was made more revolutionary by the incorporation of a barrel that was shrouded in a full-length jacket. When the gun is fired, the barrel moves backward inside the shroud. It is a long recoil operated gun, not gas, like the Browning Auto-5.

Designed in a day when travel by train or bicycle was common, the 8-pound, 41-inch carbine was built on a take-down design for ease of transport and cleaning. Take down is accomplished by removing the forearm to access an integral barrel wrench. Once loosed, the wrench releases the barrel. As the barrel, including chamber and the open sights, remain in one piece, this feature does not negatively affect accuracy.

Even today the .35 Remington is second only to the .30-30 in popularity among those who prefer to head for the woods with a short lever action carbine hanging from their shoulders. Many years ago the .35 Remington was used on bigger game, but it is seen at its best when used on deer, black bear, and wild boar at ranges not exceeding 150 yards or so. At greater distances, the little .35 is handicapped by its moderate velocity and moderate accuracy from most of the rifles in which it has been available. However, when fired in a bolt action rifles such as the Winchester Model 70, Remington Model 600, and Remington Model Seven FS, the .35 Remington is as accurate a cartridge of similar caliber.

- The Great Model 8 & 81


Unknown said...

The Model 8 is a long recoil design, not short as the article states.

Hobie said...

Correct! (and corrected...)