Remington model 8

Caliber .35

The Model 8 was one of the earliest American semiauto rifles. John Browning's patent application was filed June 6, 1900, and U.S. Patent #659,786 was granted on October 16, 1900. Browning promptly sold the patent to Remington, which started producing the rifle in 1906.

Remington introduced the Model 8 during a time when the company was offering few new centerfire models. The gun saw a production run of 30 years in which over 80,000 of the autoloaders where produced. Most had 22-inch barrels with plain open sights. Although no variations of the gun were offered, five different grades were produced ranging from the plainest Standard grade to the most deluxe Premier Grade. Mid grades included the Special, Peerless and Expert grades. Quality of wood and degree of checkering and engraving mainly differentiated these grades.

The gun was produced in four calibers: the Remington .25, .30, .32 and .35. This family of cartridges was designed to compete directly with Winchester, except in rimless form. The .25 Rem. was the alternative to .25-35 WCF; likewise, the .30 Rem, competed for the .30-30 market; and the .32 Remington went head-to-head with the .32 Win Special. The big brother of the family, the well known .35 Remington, was designed as a ballistic equivalent to the 33 Winchester. This cartridge found its own niche in the market and is the only cartridge from the series still produced by the major ammunition companies.

The Model 8's demise was more a function of timing than anything else. The gun entered a market dominated by a host of .30-30 lever guns, including the indomitable Winchester Model 94. The Model 8's design had some distinct advantages, namely speed of fire and that its box magazine allowed for the use of spitzer bullets. However, the then 12-year-old Model 94 juggernaut was at full steam and eventually proved more dominant. I can only speculate what might have been had not the Model 94 been introduced only a few years prior to the Model 8.

Technical Overview

The Model 8 is recoil-operated with a rotating bolt and double-locking lugs. The gun fires from a fixed 5-shot magazine 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. This arrangement is largely believed to be the first effective recoil reduction system.

Designed in a day when travel by train 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.

Sent by Roger (France)