It’s impossibly difficult to totally understand or absorb what changes have occurred in the United States of America over the last 200 years, since 1816, which in the simplest of terms translates to more than 62,000 days.
We as a nation were only four years removed from the War of 1812. James Madison, a close friend and compatriot of Thomas Jefferson, replaced Jefferson in the White House as our fourth president and served from 1812 to 1817.
In December 1816, a dirt-poor family moved from Kentucky to Indiana with their two children in tow, seeking a new start, a new life. Settling near Little Pigeon Creek in southern Indiana and living in a small log cabin, their son would read books in the darkness of night by the light of the fireplace. He would become the 16th president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln.
During the same month of December, Indiana would become the 19th state admitted into the Union.
The United States firearms industry was in its infancy. Samuel Colt was still 20 years away (1836) from receiving his first patent for a “revolving gun,” and Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson wouldn’t announce Smith & Wesson as a new firearms manufacturer for another 16 years, in 1852. John Moses Browning wasn’t born until 1855. William B. Ruger, and his partner, Alexander Sturm, wouldn’t open up Sturm, Ruger & Co. for business in Southport, Connecticut, for another 133 years (1949).
But it was in 1816 that 23-year-old Eliphalet Remington, with the experience of working in his father’s forge, decided to expand his tool-making business and start making barrel blanks for blackpowder firearms. The rest, as they say, is history … 200 years of Remington history.
People from all walks of life—from U.S. Presidents to heads of state from foreign countries to astronauts to professional athletes to the 8-4 guy who puts in a 40-hour work week to support his family—and his passion for hunting, shooting and the outdoors—have used Remington firearms over the years.
In researching this book, I came across an ad from 1938 with the iconic George Herman “Babe” Ruth promoting shooting and hunting with Remington Kleanbore ammunition. The inset photo shows the Babe with a few ducks and a Remington Model 11 autoloading shotgun tucked under his arm. Considered the best player ever to put on a baseball uniform, it’s those types of endorsements that remind all of us how much Remington firearms has become apart of America—and Americana.
“When I hunt small game or pests, I want a cartridge that shoots straight and hits hard!,” the Babe noted in the ad. “And those Kleanbore Hi-Speed .22s sure have a wallop!”
From Eliphalet making barrels and locks for percussion rifles and shotguns to the E. Remington & Sons era of Philo, Samuel, and Eliphalet Remington III, to the manufacturing of revolvers, cane guns and derringers, to double-barrel shotguns and single-shot rifles, to rolling block rifles and bolt-action rifles to semiauto rifles and shotguns, to semiauto pistols, to a company today led by Chief Executive Officer Jim Marcotuli and offering cutting-edge, camouflaged-synthetic, stainless-steel, fluted-barrel firearms and dozens of other makes and models ranging from sporting to tactical, Remington has just about had it all over the last 200 years.
And today’s Remington, celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2016, understands there’s still work to be done and didn’t waste any time launching commemorative, special edition, and new regular production firearms and ammunition.
Starting with the Bicentennial Limited Edition firearms, Remington will offer quantities of 2,016 each of the following models: R1, Model 700, Model 7600, Model 870 and Model 1100.
Common features for all Bicentennial Limited Edition firearms included high-polish carbon steel barrels and receivers, with receivers scroll engraved with gold inlay, C-grade American black walnut stock with a special laser-engraved Fleur-de-lis checkering pattern, special serial number range (0000-2016), and special commemorative packaging.
Additionally, on the rifles and shotguns only, Remington anniversary medallions will be set into the pistol grips of the stocks.
The 200th Anniversary Commemorative Edition will be unlimited production, and will feature Model 870 shotguns and Model 700 ADL centerfire rifles. The rifles will be chambered in .30-06, .300 Win. Mag., .270 Win. and .243 Win.
A bronze-colored medallion will be placed in the pistol grip and each firearm will come in special commemorative packaging.
The Classic series of Model 700 rifles continued with the CDL SF Limited Edition in .35 Whelen, with satin-finished walnut stock, 24-inch stainless fluted barrel, “Limited” marked on the left side of the receiver, laser-engraved floorplate and X-Mark Pro trigger.
The standard Model 870 lineup will add the 3½-inch 12-gauge Super Mag Turkey with full Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo, 21-inch barrel with HiViz sights and XFull turkey choke.
On the centerfire rifle side, the Model 783 will have two line extensions. First up is the Scoped Camo version in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country synthetic stock and offered with a 3-9x40mm riflescope. Caliber offerings include .223 Remington, .243 Win., .270 Win., .30-06, and .308 Win.
The other new 783 is the walnut-stocked version in .270 Win., .30-06, .308 Win., and 7mm Remington Magnum.
On the handgun ammunition side, Ultimate Defense Full Size Handgun line extensions included six offerings: two 9mm, one .40 S&W, two .45 ACP and one .357 Magnum factory loads. The loads match commercially discontinued Golden Saber ammunition.
In shotgun ammunition, Ultimate Defense Buckshot added two new 2¾-inch loads, a 00 Buck 9-pellet load at 1,325 fps and a 00 Buck reduced recoil load at 1,200 fps.
Hog Hammer added two new loads as well, the 2¾-inch 000 Buck and the 3-inch 7/8-ounce slug.
Remington launched a new line of shotshells positioned between its Gun Club and STS offerings with the new Clay & Field Sport factory loads. Twelve new loads, ranging from 2½-inch .410 loads to 28, 20, and 2¾-inch 12 gauge. It will feature 100 percent high antimony hard round lead shot, Power Piston wad design and STS unibody hull construction.
Remington XLR (Extra Long Range) line extensions included five new 2¾-inch loads, three 12 gauge and two 20 gauge.
In updating a new book to celebrate Remington’s 200th Anniversary, author Jim Bequette’s epilogue perhaps sums up all of our feeling best by saying: “Thank you, Remington, for making Remington Country a real place in real time, no matter if you’re a hunter, shooter, fisherman, or simply someone who enjoys the outdoors
Remington Country, I’ve come to believe, is as right as rain, is as good as it gets … You know what and where I’m talking about, don’t you? You’ve been there before, but it never really gets old.
By working on the 200th anniversary Remington book, I unknowingly took a trip that tapped the memory bank, that triggered memories of all the great times I’ve had in the great outdoors, and I’m the first to admit I’ve had more than my fair share.
But most importantly, this book project helped me finally understand something that had escaped me until this very point in time: As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west each and every day, I now realize Remington Country really is God’s Country.”