Hello new guy with a Model 81

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Kyle M.
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:19 am

Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Kyle M. » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:40 am

Hello all new guy here from Ohio. I've been looking for a Model 8 or 81 on and off for several years. I passed on a model 8 in .35 Remington a few years ago because I felt $700 was just too high considering it's condition. But lo and behold this past September I stumbled into a fairly nice Model 81 in .300 Savage for $400 and had to have it. The rifle is unfortunately drilled for some kind of scope mount, not sure what the mount was but it put a hole write through the woodsmaster logo. It also had a Mershon white line recoil pad added at some point in the past, and someone added a small compass which is no longer working to the left side of the butt stock. Other than these minor nuances the rifle is in 90-95% condition showing very little signs of use and a perfect bore. Overall I feel like I got a fair deal as I've seen less than a handful of these rifles for sale locally in the 15 or so years that I've known about them.

It also functions flawlessly and shoots fine, I've only put about 20 rounds through it but I bought it more because I've always wanted one than as a shooter. Maybe, just maybe someday Ohio will allow deer hunting with bottle necked rifle cartridges and I'll get to take it out, but I doubt it. I do have a couple of questions about this particular rifle. One is about magazine capacity, I've often read that model 8's and 81's were 5 shot, but I've seen the versions chambered in .35 Remington also listed as 4 shot. I know that the rim diameter of a .300 savage casing is .473" vs .460" for the .35 Remington therefore I'm guessing it's also supposed to be 4 shots. You can kind of squeeze a fifth in there but it doesn't really seem like a good idea. My other question is this rifle carries the serial # 1839X and a barrel date code of XK meaning it was produced in December of 1941. Does anybody know when Remington completely ceased production of civilian firearms to concentrate on the war effort? I imagine it was right around this time. Thanks in advance for any information.

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Hardrada55
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Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Hardrada55 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:23 am

Welcome to the forum! I think Remington pretty much shut down civilian production in 1942. I know the auto makers stopped making cars that same year. The .35 and .300 were 4 round magazines.
...the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America..."
- Hubert H. Humphrey, "Gun" magazine, Feb. '60

Kyle M.
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Kyle M. » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:28 am

Thanks, that confirms my suspicion on the magazine.

Fred
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Fred » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:10 pm

FWIW my 1947 Model 81 in .35 Rem holds 5 down in the mag no problem... just not with the bolt closed. Perhaps the "4+1" designation is more accurate. I gather the intent was to use a 5-round stripper clip to stuff the magazine full then the bolt release would then strip the top round off the mag and you'd be good-to-go after that.

Rifleman
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:07 pm

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Rifleman » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:40 am

Hello New Guy "Kyle M." from Ohio. According to Henwoods book on the 8/81's, your 81 according to the serial number was finalized in 1942. Being your firearm/barrel production code 'XK' shows a production of Dec/41, a late production may have moved it into '42 as Remington's serial number's for the 81 in 1941 ended with #17748, giving your rifle a factory release date 642+ rifles after Jan 1, 1942. This is according to the information Henwood gleaned from Remington's information.

Still would make it a Dec, 41 produced rifle if I'm understanding things right, 5,125 rifles were produced in 1941. Those with more knowledge of the ways and means of Remington's ways and procedures may have to further jump in here. According to Henwoods information Remington still produced 3,827 Model 81's in 1942. In 1943 only 4 were released and 115 in 1944. 1945 saw 2,115 produced, most probably mid to late as WW2 was winding down. After that they were going great 'guns' producing in the 6-7,000 range until 1950 where in the last year only 4,394 were produced. This is my take on reading the info from Henwood.

In regards to magazine capacity, I always load five rounds in both of my 300 Savage 81's, chamber one, leaving four in the magazine. I've never tried, but I doubt the bolt would close on five rounds if a person would load one in the chamber (not a good idea/practice), then try and close the bolt on five in the mag or try to load five, then close the bold on a empty chamber. Five in the mag is pretty tight, not allowing the five to be pushed down far enough to close the bolt. As 'Fred' posted it's "4+1" as far as available rounds.

Kyle M.
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Kyle M. » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:17 am

Rifleman wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:40 am
Hello New Guy "Kyle M." from Ohio. According to Henwoods book on the 8/81's, your 81 according to the serial number was finalized in 1942. Being your firearm/barrel production code 'XK' shows a production of Dec/41, a late production may have moved it into '42 as Remington's serial number's for the 81 in 1941 ended with #17748, giving your rifle a factory release date 642+ rifles after Jan 1, 1942. This is according to the information Henwood gleaned from Remington's information.

Still would make it a Dec, 41 produced rifle if I'm understanding things right, 5,125 rifles were produced in 1941. Those with more knowledge of the ways and means of Remington's ways and procedures may have to further jump in here. According to Henwoods information Remington still produced 3,827 Model 81's in 1942. In 1943 only 4 were released and 115 in 1944. 1945 saw 2,115 produced, most probably mid to late as WW2 was winding down. After that they were going great 'guns' producing in the 6-7,000 range until 1950 where in the last year only 4,394 were produced. This is my take on reading the info from Henwood.

In regards to magazine capacity, I always load five rounds in both of my 300 Savage 81's, chamber one, leaving four in the magazine. I've never tried, but I doubt the bolt would close on five rounds if a person would load one in the chamber (not a good idea/practice), then try and close the bolt on five in the mag or try to load five, then close the bold on a empty chamber. Five in the mag is pretty tight, not allowing the five to be pushed down far enough to close the bolt. As 'Fred' posted it's "4+1" as far as available rounds.
Thank you for taking the time to look that up, it is greatly appreciated. "4+1" makes sense to me. The first time I shot it I did load five. 4 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber, I just noticed that the fifth round fit fairly tight in the magazine so I wasn't sure if that was right and I didn't want to go messing anything up. As you mentioned I definately would not load 4 in the magazine and then drop one into the chamber and attempt to drop the bolt on it. Seems like a good way to possibly mess up the extractor.

Kyle M.
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Kyle M. » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:41 pm

We had a fairly nice day here today so I took the model 81 out and put about 25 rounds through it. I can confirm it is in fact 4+1, that fifth round is just a little tight as would be expected.

Long Recoil
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:06 pm

Re: Hello new guy with a Model 81

Post by Long Recoil » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:57 am

Welcome!

I'm glad you're enjoying that 81. I don't think you will damage the extractor since its not a controlled round feed mechanism. On neither of my M8's is the rim under the extractor prior to bolt lock. At the same time I wouldn't drop one in the chamber and let the bolt slam forward.

My .35 holds 5 but can't be loaded 5+1.

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