Shooting USA – 200 Years of Remington
This time, it is the remarkable history of Remington at 200 years of continuous production for America. The story begins with one young man who wanted a rifle in 1816. Eliphalet Remington II was about to launch a dynasty. Plus, we’re Talking Tech on the guns and cartridges of 1873 that would win the West. And red-dot optics compete in the USPSA’s new national championship, the Carry Optics Division.
There are big company-giants that we might think have always been there, producing their products, like Ford or General Motors or Smith & Wesson, but none can match the continuous history of Remington. It is nearly as old as the United States. Remington has been making firearms for 200 years arming sportsmen, hunters, and armies around the world. It’s a remarkable story that begins with one young man, Eliphalet Remington II who wanted a rifle in the early 1800s.
Eliphalet grew up in the countryside of Herkimer County, New York, learning the blacksmith trade. According to historians, Eliphalet told his father he wanted a gun, so his father told him to build one himself. And, so he did in 1816 with the help of a hired gunsmith to bore and rifle his barrel. Eliphalet then took the finished flintlock to a local shooting match.
“And apparently it was a very successful barrel. His gun shot well,” says Remington Historian Richard Shepler. “So, neighbors, friends said, ‘gee could you make me a barrel?’ Over time there was more and more demand.”
By 1828, Eliphalet moved into a factory in Illion, New York. In 1845, he jumped at the opportunity to buy the first of many government contracts. When the Civil War broke out, Remington stayed busy producing firearms. While later in the 1890s during peacetime, Remington manufactured cash registers, sewing machines, knives and even the first successful typewriter.
The storied history continues, from the Remington Double Derringer to the Remington Model 700, unquestionably the most successful American sporting rifle. Today, Remington celebrates its bicentennial with five limited edition firearms, including the Model 870, the Model 1100 and the Model 700, all with gold-washed engravings and fine quality furniture.
Talking Tech: Cartridges of 1873
In 1873 two powerhouse companies in Connecticut, Colt and Winchester made firearms history that would have a profound effect on the Western Frontier. Elizabeth Colt directed Colt’s Patent Manufacturing in Hartford, and the news was the Single Action Army model of 1873. That same year, in New Haven, Connecticut, Oliver Winchester’s company introduced the model 1873 lever action rifle. Both companies introduced new centerfire cartridges for their new firearms. For Colt it was the .45.Colt, which had a 255-grain lead bullet over 40 grains of black powder with a primer. The Army shortly adopted both the revolver and the cartridge as the primary sidearm for the expansion West.
At Winchester, the new round for the new rifle was the 44-40 Winchester Centerfire, also one of the first to use a primer, and also with 40 grains of black powder, but a slightly smaller and lighter bullet with 212 grains of lead in 44-caliber. There was one other significant difference, the cannelure, the groove pressed into the case that is a bullet stop, because of the tube magazine on the ’73. That recoil with each shot could hammer the stack of rounds and could force the bullets deeper into the case, if not restricted by the cannelure groove.
Later in the 1800s, Colt would chamber its Peacemaker for 44-40 Winchester, to allow a pioneer to use the same ammo in his revolver and rifle. However, Winchester never chambered the lever-action rifle in .45 Colt because Elizabeth Colt wouldn’t allow it and Colt held the patent on the cartridge. So what was the cartridge that won the west? Good case here it was the 44-40 WCF.
USPSA’s First Carry Optics National Championship
At one time, the slide-mounted, electronic optics were only seen on custom modified pistols, but now many major manufacturers offer the extra magnification. The United States Practical Shooting Association is also the first competitive shooting organization to create a division for guns like this, and the first to host a National Championship.
“We're making history here today,” says USPSA President Mike Foley. “It’s essentially pistols that you would shoot in the production division… with a slide mounted optic and that could come in you know, many forms. A guy goes into a store and buys a Smith & Wesson CORE with the side cut out can simply come and join us with something he already owns.”
Getting started in this new division is streamlined by the fact that the same holster, belt and mag pouches used for the Production Division are also used here. For the most part, ammunition is factory-made so there is little gaming to advantage, but the best shooters in the country want to win and that means there will be fast action on the stages. It’s a milestone for the USPSA, debuting a brand new division and making it one that will attract new shooters to the sport.
Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter 3-12x44mm
The latest technology in hunting scopes is the new Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter 3-12x44mm, and it’s a great way to gain long-range magnification at a reasonable price. It’s built on a 30-millimeter tube and is set up in mils. So, that means it has tenth of mil adjustment for windage and elevation. The Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter also has parallax adjustment, and the G2H reticule on the first focal plane, for simple adjustments. The new Rev-Limiter zero stop in the elevation turret is also handy to dial elevation for those longer shots. The Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter is just under $1,200.
Legacy Shooting Sports Table
Legacy Shooting Products has just created a new portable, patent-pending shooting table for those looking for a rock-solid, easy-to-manage shooting bench. It’s made of marine-grade plywood and has an anti-skid finish on top. The four legs fit inside the computer-designed table, which make it easy for travel. Plus, the legs are adjustable to match the terrain. The table weighs 38 pounds, and it cost $399.
Comp-Tac IWB 2:00 Model
Comp-Tac has now solved a problem for those carrying J-Frame models with the Inside the Waistband Two O’Clock Model. It’s molded Kydex so it retains shape with the gun out. The flexible nylon belt clip holds secure with adjustments for how deep in the pants you want the gun, and a sport coat keeps everything covered, but ready should you need it without tearing out your pants pockets. Comp-Tac’s got the answer for right and left-handed shooters, for $54.
Pro Tip: SFC Michael McPhail – Stable Hunting Positions
In both hunting and Olympic-style shooting, hitting your target begins with finding a stable position. Today, Sergeant First Class Michael McPhail of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is going to show us how to find stable positions, that that are similar to his Olympic sport, 50-meter rifle.
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