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Remington 1984; what's new for the coming year.

* Last November, Remington held their 22nd annual seminar for gun writers to introduce them, and thus you, to the new products for 1984. Remington surprised us, but not in the way we have come to expect. While we were shown new products for the coming year we were also saddened to hear that Remington has trimmed down its offerings, discontinuing arms that have not gotten the full support of the fickle buying public.

A good example of this would be the Model 788, in my opinion one of the better rifles available to the American shooter. However, due to a variety of reasons this particular arm was never as popular as Remington might have hoped. For 1984 this rifle is no longer in the Remington catalog. However, the good news is the Model 788 has been replaced by the new Sportsman Model 78, a bolt-action rifle that utilizes Remington's famous 700 action, one that has proven itself strong, reliable and highly accurate over the years. Like the Model 788 the Sportsman 78 is just an honest, working rifle, sans checkering on its walnut-stained hardwood stock. At this time it will be chambered in both .270 and .30-06, with availability in early 1984.

Two other "Sportsman" series rifles will become realities in 1984; the Model 74 self-loader and the Model 76 pump action. Both are chambered in .30-06, and

both will have 22-inch barrels, as will the Model 78. Like the Model 78 the two will be stocked in hardwood with no checkering. Although these three rifles will be less expensive than their more familiar counterparts, the Model 700, Model 6 pump and Model 4 autoloader, respectively, I have yet to pick up a Remington rifle that wasn't accurate and reliable, and these new offerings undoubtedly will follow and set new standards others will be judged by.

Remington's justly famour custom shop will be more involved in the product line than ever before. Four new grades of custom Model 700 rifles, Grades One through Four, are available from Remington dealers on special order. Depending on the grade selected there will be differing levels of woods, various styles of gripcaps and buttplates, engraving and inlaying, hand-selected barrels, hand-assembled trigger units, and other niceties all designed to make each one a personal statement about its owner. And, as in the past, the Tournament, Premier and Peerless Grade shotguns are still available, again on special order from the custom shop. Having had a chance to see this high-quality work in the flesh, I feel safe in saying that anyone who chooses one of these fine examples of the gunmakers' art will be the envy of his fellow hunters and shooters.

For the last three years Remington has offered, on a limited basis, the Model 700 Classic bolt-action rifle chambred in a "classic" caliber. In the past these classics have included the 7 mm Mauser, .257 Roberts and .300 Holland & Holland. This year's Classic combination is chambered in .250 Savage (.250-3000), a cartridge that has a loyal following...with good reason. Like the .257 Roberts, the .250 Savage has accounted for more than its share of game over its long and fruitful history, but with the coming of so many magnum calibers its popularity has somewhat fallen by the wayside. Hopefully Remington's revival of this grand old cartridge, in one of the best rifles available, will help return this cartridge to its rightful place. If however, you desire to own this limited-run rifle you'd better get your order in early. Past history shows the Remington Classic combinations sell out quickly after they have been announced.

In the shotgun line Remington has also made a couple of additions...and one deletion. The gun dropped from the line is the Model 3200 over and under. For some unknown reason the 3200 never became as popular as Remington hoped. For the last couple of years it has been available only as a tournament trap gun, and now that's gone too.

In keeping with the Sportsman grade rifles Remington has also opted to introduce the "Sportsman 12" pump shotgun. It will have a walnut-toned hardwood stock with pressed checkering. Barrels will be either a 28-inch modified, or 30-inch full choke, both with three-inch chambers. Since this new model is built around the Model 870 action--undoubtedly the finest pump shotgun ever, in this writer's opinion--its reliability is already guaranteed. Although a price isn't set at this time it will be substantially less than the 870, and as such it could become the best possible deal in the shotgun market.

Joining the Model 1100 autoloader version introduced last year is the "Special Field" model of the 870. Fitted with a straight stock instead of a pistol grip, this shotgun has 21-inch barrels available in improved cylinder, modified and full choke, all with three-inch chambers. Weighing only 6-3/4 pounds in 12 gauge, and 5-3/4 pounds in 20 gauge, excess metal has been trimmed from both the front and rear of the receiver to maintain the correct balance in the gun. The magazine has also been shortened and it now carries only three shells, but since most hunters place the plug in the magazine tube to limit total capacity to three rounds anyway this shouldn't raise a problem. The gun is stocked in American walnut, has a medium gloss finish and 18-line-to-the-inch checkering. It is a handsome shotgun that should suit the field shooter that walks many miles for his pheasants.

Last year's lightweight rifle, the Model Seven, has been given a new chambering to go with the five original calibers it is offered in. The .223 Remington is the new choice, and it should prove popular. This lightweight beauty will be perfect for small game hunting, and a better light duty varmint rifle would be tough to find.

Perhaps the best news to come from the seminar was that Remington would be the official ammunition supplier to our shooting team at the 1984 Olympics. Three members of the shotgun team, Matt dryke, current World Champion skeet shooter; Dan Carlisle, the only man to ever be World Champion at both skeet and trap; and Al Mullins were at the seminar, giving us a chance to shoot with them. Speaking for myself, their records are safe for a while. These three shooters expressed their thanks for Remington's support, and in fact I think we as Americans should do the same. With Remington's help our shooting team should do well. Both Dryke and Carlisle have a good chance at winning gold medals, with Dan in fact trying to win both the skeet and trap championships.

A couple of other new items will appear on dealers' shelves bearing the Remington name. Two new bullet knives will be available, as will a new gun oil. The oil, called Rem Oil, contains Du Pont Teflon, and is said to displace moisture, lubricate, and also remove light, existing rust.

Remington has also deleted all their rear locking bolt-action .22 rimfire rifles. This leaves them with the Nylon 66 as their premier seller. However, I did come away with the distinct feeling that in the future a new model bolt-action rimfire was in the offing. Perhaps I was reading in something that wasn't there, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one in the next year or two.

Another deletion was the 8 mm Remington Magnum chambering found in the Model 700 bolt-action rifle. Frankly, this didn't come as any surprise to anyone there; the Big 8 never took off, the .338 Winchester Magnum has too big a jump on the Johnny-come-lately 8 mm Magnum.

So there are the changes in Remington's product line for 1984. There have been some additions, and a few deletions, but it is still the most complete long-arm lineup from any American arms manufacturer...Chances are it will remain that way for a long time to come.
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Author:Hetzler, Dave
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Mar 1, 1984
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