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Thread: Remington Model 81, first time shooting it after decades?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Remington Model 81, first time shooting it after decades?

    Friend has his grandpa's Semi Auto Model 81. He has never even seen it shot. Has about 10 boxes of ammo he bought and wants to start shooting it in hopes of hunting with it some.

    It is kind of a mysterious looking thing and we are wondering if there is any special things we should do when shooting for the first time after a long time in storage. Oiling/cleaning it etc.?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    One of John Browning’s amazing designs. Long recoil( the barrel reciprocates) operation, very dependable, accurate enough. The .300 Savage and .35 Remington model 81s will let you know you’re shooting something. If it looks good, it’ll probably work!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have the Model 8 in .35 Rem. The best description I read of shooting it was on this forum - someone posted that it's like shooting a pogo stick. I load for mine.
    This is a good video about the gun. He also has a video on how to break it down and clean it.
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE

    Frank Hamer, Texas Ranger, used one to take down Bonnie and Clyde.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I have the Model 8 in .35 Rem. The best description I read of shooting it was on this forum - someone posted that it's like shooting a pogo stick. I load for mine.
    Yup! I think it was Buckshot who said when you pull the trigger on a model 8, every part begins to move.
    Love mine!
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  5. #5
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    They are a lot of fun to shoot. enjoy.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  6. #6
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    I am ever so excited to hear/read when someone posts re a Remington 8 / 14 / 81 / 141 firearm! One of my true firearm "loves" -- I have one in .30-30 Remington calibre, which was made in 1908 (it has an 8,5xx serial number!). I do wish to bring to your attention -- had you/your friend not been cognizant thereof -- that the original ammo was/is quite corrosive; hence, the firearm needs a hot-soapy-water (or similar) flush after shooting.
    Also, at least some of the vintage ammo I have has behaved quite quirky -- adding that it is corrosive makes it NOT worth shooting. Compounded is ammo collectors oft' pay a $PREMIUM$ for it. I have seen original boxes of 20 go for over $200.00USD at shows!
    Hence, I'd suggest loading your own as the ammo of choice. You did not mention calibre. I have .30-30 Remington dies, but understand .30WCF (.30-30 Winchester) dies function as well.
    I'd love to hear more about your friend's find: calibre, and maybe even a photo:
    As one final note, a (now deceased ) friend, Ken Blauch has quite the nice book about the Model 14 which is quite similar if you can find a copy. There are several others, too, but they're way out of my pocketbook limits .
    One of my most favourite "note" re these fine rifles is one of the major design features was it's easy take-down into two pieces to expedite being carried/transported on a train -- the common vehicle for many hunters to employ. Now, I believe it is waaay illegal to have any firearm on a train...
    geo
    Last edited by georgerkahn; 10-01-2022 at 08:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A local shop has three - one in .32 and two in .35. Each is selling for $700. They're popular.
    For my .35 Rem I use a 158 gr bullet (same one I use in 38/357) and 22 grs of IMR4227, which is just enough to work the pogo stick action. Recoil with that load is mild.
    With a 206 gr bullet, I use 20 grs IMR4227.

  8. #8
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    About 15 years ago I was into collecting Remington 14/141 and had a hard time finding ammo. I found that Black Hills Shooters supply had 30rem brass in stock at the time. I literally bought a bucket full (2,000) of the brass. I suppose I need to sell off some of it to help those that need it.
    When I bought my 81 I couldn't find 300 Savage and lost interest. It was reasonably priced and couldn't pass on it, something different.

    Bill

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    thanks so much!

    More infö about it. 35 Remington, the ammo he purchased recently, so is not corrosive etc. I will show him the take down and cleaning video.

    Great news about that load data as I have a bunch of 158 grain XTP's and some IMR 4227. Do you also use cast in the same weight and charge?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The bullets I use are cast, some are coated. I tried lighter bullets with no luck (probably needed more powder). You might have to experiment with the charge. I settled on what works the action.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    If you haven't already, check out "The Great Model 8" site on line. Lots of good info there.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know the mod 81 or really many of the others here noted. A friend of mine does have a barrel cocker and he referenced it as "the widow maker" because it can be charged by pushing the barrel to function the action and thereby leave the operator holding the business end when a live round goes home. Again, I am not familiar with the mod 81, so this may very well not apply. Just thought I'd mention it. Be safe!

  13. #13
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    The Winchester Model 1911 semi-auto long-recoil shotgun was called the "widow maker" because you pulled the barrel backwards to charge the gun, but many shooters would place the stock on the ground and push the barrel down to charge it. That method would have the muzzle pointing right at the careless shooter. I almost bought one last year, then I read that the recoil buffers were useless and the kick was crazy.
    Not to be confused with the Remington Model 11 long-recoil semi-auto shotgun, which is a less expensive version of the Auto 5. I have one in 12 ga.
    That's cool if someone thinks the Model 8s are junk. They're a little complicated, especially if you're reloading and usually it's the owner's fault if they don't shoot properly.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Trinidad Bill's Avatar
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    Still have a Model 81 in .300 Savage that a bought a few years ago from... "Texas by God"! Love it. Also have two Model 8s in .35 Remington.
    Vietnam Veteran (68-69), NRA Life Member

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwater View Post
    thanks so much!

    More infö about it. 35 Remington, the ammo he purchased recently, so is not corrosive etc. I will show him the take down and cleaning video.

    Great news about that load data as I have a bunch of 158 grain XTP's and some IMR 4227. Do you also use cast in the same weight and charge?
    I have a few 8 / 81 models -- mostly the Model 8. *MY* experience has been to use cast bullets almost exclusively with the caveat I found that using gas checks is as close to a necessity as one might find to eliminate leading. Granted, with a zillion alloy/powder combo's possible, this might be just what *I* do vis my alloy, powder, and quite mild (two hairs more than minimum to run action) loadings. But, again, for me a rule of thumb is to use gas-checked cast bullets only.
    My only .35 Rem is a model 8 which (s/n 35,xxx) was made in July or 1947, and to be frank I rarely shoot this one. My major shooters are in .30-30 Remington and .32 Remington calibres.
    (Happy the ammo you have is not corrosive!!!)
    geo

  16. #16
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    I have my dad's model 81 in 300 Savage. How do these feed flat nose boolits? I got my first deer with it and later traded a .243 Winchester for it because it was lighter and didn't kick as hard.
    Oh great, another thread that makes me spend money.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a double rare sighting in the Cross Timbers of Texas- a Remington Model 8 and Snow….
    Like George says, on cast loads use the minimum load that will still work the action- and the brass will fall by your feet. The pictured rifle is a .30 Remington and it shot great with cast or jacketed.
    Trinidad Bill- good to hear from you! You still owe me a hamburger next time I’m up that way haha.
    I’m glad that the 81 is treating you right- I had zero doubts!

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Ajohns's Avatar
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    Two 8's here, and three 14's. Mostly 35 cal, one 30, and a 14 1/2 in 44/40.
    They all are fun to shoot. The best one though is an 8 in 35 with a low number 2xx. That one seems to fire accurate with about any load it feeds.
    With it I once lucked out on a deer drive years ago and got two running bucks for 3 shots. Both through and through, both dropped like they had no idea what happened.

    Those early guns are a fine piece of machine work

  19. #19
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    I have always wanted a model 8 in .35 Remington. I have two 14’s - one in 35 Remington and one in .30 Remington. I also have at least two 14 1/2’s and they are both chambered in 38-40. I do like the slide action rifles but probably have more than I really need.
    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check