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SI takes a look at Remington's 1989 new products line-up.

SI Takes A Look At


Each fall Remington brings together a number of writers from the major firearms publications to show and tell what will be new in their firearms, ammunition and clothing lines for the coming year. So, in November, 1988 we assembled at the marvelous Hawkeye Hunting Club in Center, Texas for two intensive days of product testing, hunting and one-on-one conversation with Remington's best and brightest from all the product lines. As always it was masterfully crafted by Dick Dietz, Remington's press relations officer and our gracious host.


The big news from the seminar this year is that the SP-10 is ready to roll. This is Remington's rework of the short lived Ithaca MAG-10. In its finished form Remington's SP-10 will have virtually nothing in common with the Ithaca gun and the only parts that will be interchangeable are the stock and forend. Everything else has been changed to produce a more reliable and durable shotgun for the waterfowl and turkey hunter. Tom Bauman was the design engineer on the project and he carefully detailed the mechanical changes that covered every functional part of the gun. He called the process "Remingtonizing" for the goal was to convert the Ithaca to a product that had both the look and reliability associated with Remington shotguns.

The SP-10 is designed for use with steel shot and incorporates new "Rem" chokes specifically for use with steel. The stress that steel shot places on a barrel made it difficult to come up with a true full choke tube but through the use of special maraging steel they've done it. Maraging steel is a premium, non-stainless alloy that is tougher and harder than more conventional steels and allows significantly tighter choke restrictions than previously possible. To identify the new choke tubes, they are coated with titanium nitride to give an extremely hard finish and the distinctive gold color the process produces. It really isn't gold, but sure looks like it. 26" and 30" barrels, both equipped with Rem-chokes, will be available. The SP-10 will be furnished with three choke tubes. Two are designed especially for steel shot, although they may also be used with lead, and the third is an extra full tube for lead only.

We had the opportunity to field test the SP-10 on some of Hawkeye's flighted mallards and pheasant and the performance was truly impressive. I fired something like over 50 rounds without a malfunction of any sort. The 11 pound weight and gas operations of the SP-10 tamed the recoil of magnum shells, making it pleasant to shoot. Although ranges weren't often as long as some waterfowl hunting. I was able to make some shots as about 50 yards that left no doubt in my mind that the mighty 10 is able to reach out and touch a duck. The SP-10 will be available on a limited basis in the fall of 1989 with a planned production of 5,000 guns. These will be specifically serial numbered and will carry a suggested retail price tag of $1,250.

Slug Guns

More good news for hunters in states that allow only shotguns for deer, is the introduction of a system of slug guns in the SP-870 and 11-87 lines that have a cleverly designed cantilever scope mount and a special rifled "Rem" choke. Testing has shown that the rifled "Rem" choke gives significant accuracy improvements with conventional rifled slugs. The scope mount provides the best choice of sighting arrangements. The scope can be placed either in the conventional position or, with a long eye relief scope, out over the barrel. Waterfowlers will also be pleased to know that Remington will offer replacement barrels for 12-gauge Model 1100 guns that are designed especially for use with steel shot. These will be "Ram" choked and furnished with appropriate chokes for steel.

One of the most poorly kept secrets in the industry for the last year is that Remington has been working on a big bore rifle. The result is the .416 Remington Magnum. The new cartridge is based on the 8mm Magnum case which has been necked up to accept the larger bullet and will be loaded with custom solid or softpoint 400-gram bullets at 2,400 fps. It's available in the Safari line of Model 700 rifles with three stock choices. There will be two American walnut stocks available either with or without a Monte Carlo cheekpiece and there's also a Kevlar stocked version for shooters who want the advantages offered by synthetics.

The final news in the gun line was that the classic for 1989 would be a Model 700 in .300 Weatherby Magnum. There's little doubt that the 300 Weatherby Magnum is, indeed, a classic and a good choice for the latest in the line that began in 1981. As is always the tradition, Remington will also load ammunition and both 180-gr. and 220-gr. loadings will be available. The Classic series is marketed in a manner that's slightly different from other rifles. Dealers and distributors may place orders through March 28, 1989 and production will begin in June, to make only those rifles ordered in advance. Once that order is completed, no more Classics will be available in .300 Weatherby. Next year (1990) another caliber will be featured.

New Synthetic Stocks

With synthetic stocks continuing to be the rage Remington has, through their marriage with DuPont, announced a new

synthetic material. It's Arylon, a proprietary DuPont thermoplastic material that is suitable for injection molding. It replaces Rynite and brings to molded stocks the strength and light weight of laminates. The average weight of Model 700 AS rifles will be 6.5 pounds. The Model 700 will also be offered with a wood laminate stock (LS) for those hunters who prefer the look of wood with the stability and strength of a synthetic. The Model 700 LS was available only in .30-06 last year, but the caliber list is now expanded to cover .243 Winchester. .270 Winchester and 7mm Remington Magnum.


The engineers at Remington's Lonoke, Arkansas ammunition plant have been busy, too -- and Vin Scarlata detailed the new offerings in rifle, pistol and shotgun ammunition. The shotgun developments include an expansion of the patented Duplex line with additional steel shot offerings in some of the larger shot sizes in both 12 and 10 gauge.

Of course the ammunition offerings include the .300 Weatherby and .416 Remington Magnum but there's also good news for XP-100 fans with the introduction of 6mm BR and .250 Savage chamberings in the pistol and concurrent offerings of factory ammunition. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the 7.62x39, Remington is offering that cartridge with a 125-gr. Pointed Soft Point for hunting. They've also added two different "match" loadings in .30-06 and .223.

There's also quite a bit of new handgun ammo this year, with offerings in 9mm, 10mm, .357 Magnun and .45 ACP. The handgun ammo breaks new ground. For the first time, we'll see +P loadings in the 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. The +P .45 uses Remington's deeply hollow pointed 185-gr. bullet loaded to a velocity of 1.140 fps. When you consider that most loads don't top 1,000 fps., this is truly impressive and brings to the venerable old .45 levels of energy that can equal those of the .357 Magnum.

Another handgun ammo first is the introduction of +P loadings for the 9mm Luger. Using their excellent 115 gr JHP. Remington states that the load delivers 1,250 fps (399 ft/lb) and exceeds by 17 percent the energy of their standard 115-gr. JHP load. Two 10mm Auto loadings have also been added: a 170-gr, JHP with a velocity of 1,340 fps and a 200-gr, MC at 1,160 fps (from a test barrel). There's also a medium velocity .357 Magnum load intended for a law enforcement that uses Remington's excellent 125-gr. semi-jacketed hollow point at 1,220 fps. Also aimed primarily at law enforcement is a 9mm 140-gr. semi-jacketed hollow point that is loaded to reduce velocities for practice. Remington's engineers found that standard 9mm service ammo was extremely destructive to the steel targets that are so popular in law enforcement training and this is the result.

Outdoor Clothing

The marriage, a couple of years back, between Remington's knowledge of sportsmen's needs and DuPont's leadership in synthetic fibers is a boon for both shooters and dealers. This year's catalog contains over 130 clothing and related items that are carefully crafted in the U.S.A. and designed to meet virtually any outdoor need. The really important aspect is that the blend of high-tech fibers and construction is not readily apparent and it isn't until you understand this union that the value of the clothing line is best appreciated. Hugh James, Remington's "ragman" is a former DuPont textile engineer who has combined his love of hunting and knowledge of the outdoors with his textile background, to help guide production of many of the clothing items. After listening for an hours as Hugh extolled the virtue of his products, it almost seemed as if everyone else in the "rag" business ought to fold their tents. But his enthusiasm is real...the clothing is good stuff. A forthcoming SHOOTING INDUSTRY feature will cover this in depth.

Most of the clothing news from this year's seminar dealt with the expansion of the fabulously successful line to include new garments that compliment existing products and broaden the line to cover some new areas. The Sporting Clays Jacket is designed for cool to cold weather use by clay target shooters with large shell pocket and "Termolite" lining. And in recognition of the growing popularity of some of the British imports, there's an English Gunning Coat that takes advantage of the technology of the "Gore-Tex" waterproof construction coupled with "Worsterion" lining for warmth. High-tech "Qualiofil" fibers is used to make a Stuff Jacket or Vest that competes with down for warmth and compressibility and far out performs down when it's wet.

Three sweaters have been added as part of the philosophy of "layering" that prevails throughout the clothing line. All use "high Trek" yarn which is a blend of 25 percent wool .55 percent Orlon and 20 percent "Hollofil" for warmth and washability. The new styles include a Shooter's Sweater with Ultra-suede shoulder patch, a Commando Sweater that is modeled after the popular GI style and a Crew Sweater with a crew collar for draft protection. Underwear is also included in the layering approach and Remington's new offerings round out that line. There's a traditional one-piece Union Suit and a Turtleneck top made of "Thermax" which is a soft, non-irritating, washable polyester that has the desirable property of wicking moisture away from the skin to prevent heat loss.

Many of the additions expand the availability of colors to make the line more attractive for general use. There are hats and gloves, boots and socks, which use the same fiber and construction technology found in the clothing lines. Simple as it may be, one of the neatest products is the ball cap. We wore blaze orange caps for safety during our hunts and when the weather turned unseasonably warm, and the hunting took us into heavy cover, I began to sweat like a hog. The cap's construction features a sweatband made of "Thermax" which carries moisture away from the skin. The "Thermax" prevented sweat from running into my eyes. This is the sort of thoughtful application of technology that characterizes the entire Remington clothing line and makes it such a good value for a shooter and profit builder for the dealer.

Rounding out the new goodies are a couple of gun care products. Remdrilube is their Teflon based aerosol lubricant for places where liquids don't work as well and there's Remclean bore cleaner to complete the package. These products make it possible for a hunter or shooter to be completely equipped from start to finish with a product bearing the Remington name. All that's lacking is a cleaning rod. They'll probably have that next year.

PHOTO : Model 700 "AS" with synthetic stock.

PHOTO : Model 700 Safari Classic.

PHOTO : Model 700 ADL "LS" with laminated stock.

PHOTO : Model Seven Custom "KS" with synthetic stock of KEVLAR Aramid fiber.

PHOTO : Model 11-87 SP Deer Gun.

PHOTO : Top: New offerings in handgun ammunition with +P in 9mm and .45 Auto. Left: New .416 Rem

PHOTO : Mag 400 gr. loads. Above: New 10 mm Auto handgun rounds.

PHOTO : Remington "XP-100" Custom HB Heavy Barrel.

PHOTO : Sporting Clays jacket.

PHOTO : Shooter's sweater made of "High Trek" yarn.

PHOTO : English gunning coat with "Gore-Tex" interlining.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Petty, Charles E.
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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