researching the history behind Remington gun markings

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Adam Lee
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researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Adam Lee » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:33 am

One particularly distracting means of turning my mental energies away from recovering following a large rotator cuff and biceps tenodesis surgery has been my recent obsession with the arcane and quite possibly meaningless subject of manufacturing markings associated with Remington firearms from 1900-1950.

This idea actually had been germinating in my brain for years, related closely to my tendency towards hyper-focus on minute details of just about anything I like to work with or learn about. As I began to transition my gun hobby focus from modern-era to the antique and obscure, once unnoticed details began to present themselves.

It began most clearly the day I bought an odd old cobbled-together flintlock at a local gun show. This piece of work interested me right away, with its slim stock and Brown Bess-style brass trigger guard and buttplate. The lock was of English type, and its frizzen roller placed its manufacture anywhere from 1790-1820. What would spark my developing hobby of observing gun maker’s markings would begin once I took this old muzzle-loader apart to the last screw.

The barrel was marked with what I learned were the gun maker marks from Suhl, Germany.

All external parts of the lock - the cock, vise jaw, lock plate, frizzen, and frizzen spring - as well as the internal components - the tumbler, bridle, mainspring, sear and sear spring were commonly marked with identical “hash marks” that were clearly struck. They look like crows feet in essence. I learned that this was how early gun makers maintained final fit and proper function of gun locks - these are essentially the first “fitters” or “assembly” marks I had ever paid attention to.

Later, as I began to unknowingly begin my collecting of antique and C&R Remington rifles and shotguns, the Model 8 and 81 folks from our favorite websites guided me to obtain my own copy of John Henwood’s essential book on the collecting and identification of Remington 8/81’s. His chapter on the mysterious and perhaps insignificant markings of these firearms jump-started me on this tangent, and comparing my observations from my 3 parts-matching Model 81’s and my single Model 8 became a great distraction a few days following my shoulder surgery.

I must admit, the most difficult part of my research has been my stamina in typing one-handed and sitting in one position for any length of time before my shoulder, shoulder blades, neck and arm start screaming in pain for me to get up and move.

So where are we now in my current endeavor? The creation of a spreadsheet template to document data, of course! Using Henwood’s descriptors as a base, I realized that as I surfed the interwebs not only could I grab screen shots of the common locations of maker’s markings on Model 8’s and 81’s, but similar vintage Remington Model 10 and 11 shotguns, as well as Model 12, 121, 14, and 141 rifles displayed identical markings once I looked closely. Was I on to something big? Was it just arcane trivia? Yes or no, depending on how much benefit this exercise provided distraction from my shoulder pain!

With your permission, and tacit support, I would like to unleash the spreadsheet of mysterious markings with anyone interested in this subject. I am at present attempting to use my limited brain function to edit this document into google sheets format, so that folks can volunteer their own data if they wish to do so.

Alright, this is the maximum I can stand typing before I have to get back to my powerful Breg ice machine. Some of you fine folks know all about these great recirculating ice machines. My shoulder is happy I bought one! More to come.

This is now one day short of 5 weeks post-op for me. Next week, I might even graduate from my immobilizer sling!
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

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Phyrbird
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Phyrbird » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:18 pm

Did all that one handed :?: :?: Wow you're way faster than me :shock: :lol:
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Adam Lee
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Adam Lee » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:20 am

Thanks for the kudos, Carl! Actually I typed that all up in draft form over about a half hour. Later on, I pasted it into a post here on the forum.

Carl, since you are the first to respond, let me tell you something I find interesting: many of the same assembly and fitting marks you find on the 8's and 81's are found on all the other early 20th century Remingtons I mentioned. The Model 10 and Model 11 shotguns, Model 12 and 121 .22's, Model 14 and 141 pump actions all display some of the same fitter's and assemblers marks.

Will get more detailed into this as time goes by - right now, I'm killing some time before my brother-in-law drives me to my PT session this morning. Take care!

Adam
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

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81police
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by 81police » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:35 am

The realm of study for inspector/fitter marks is one of brain twisting and time consumption. It appears you've enjoyed both of these! Feel free to share your data, we love data here! Don't know if a screenshot of the program is possible.
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Adam Lee
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Adam Lee » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:32 pm

OK Cam - you gave me permission, here is a screen grab of one version I cobbled together. It is by no means what I want it to finally look like, but you can get a feel for what I'm thinking.

Image
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Remington data screen grab.jpeg
data screen grab gun markings
Remington data screen grab.jpeg (177.22 KiB) Viewed 1013 times
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Bandersnatch
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Bandersnatch » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:07 pm

Makes one wonder if they used the same inspectors for all the lines of production.
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Adam Lee
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Adam Lee » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:33 pm

Bandersnatch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:07 pm
Makes one wonder if they used the same inspectors for all the lines of production.
That is exactly what I'm curious about - when Remington was mass-producing the 4, 6, 8, 10,11,12,14, etc rifles and shotguns were these guns all streaming down the same aisle, so to speak?
I've seen the "comma" fitter/assembly mark on 141's, 81's, and 11's.

This is what I'm digging into - it is also very connected to my WW2 history of American military material production.
Thanks for the reply!

Adam
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81police
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by 81police » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:26 am

Word on the street is, each inspector had his own unique stamp and these inspectors/fitters may have been paid per each part they evaluated & stamped.

Another interesting observation is the "tidiness" of how these stamps were applied. If you look at the earliest of guns, like 1906 guns, the stamps were applied symmetrically, stamped deeply and even, and organized in a way very pleasing to the eye. Compare those with later Model 8 guns, and especially Model 81 guns, you'll see they were just slapped on there, some upside down, some not even stamped deep or evenly.
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Adam Lee
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Adam Lee » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:54 am

81police wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:26 am
Another interesting observation is the "tidiness" of how these stamps were applied. If you look at the earliest of guns, like 1906 guns, the stamps were applied symmetrically, stamped deeply and even, and organized in a way very pleasing to the eye. Compare those with later Model 8 guns, and especially Model 81 guns, you'll see they were just slapped on there, some upside down, some not even stamped deep or evenly.
That's so true, Cam. The 3 Model 81's I have are certainly more "random" and uneven in the impressions of markings.
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Bandersnatch
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Re: researching the history behind Remington gun markings

Post by Bandersnatch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:01 pm

Hmmm, my 1917 mod 8 has nice deep stamps and so does my 1926. The model 81's, made in 1948 and 1949 are not stamped so well.
I am the cat who walks by himself. And all places are alike to me.

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