If old Eliphalet Remington returned to this earthly plane I’m sure he’d be amazed by what has happened to the gunsmithing firm he established in 1816. From a small blacksmith shop that produced rifle barrels, Remington has become the largest United States’ producer of shotguns and rifles, and is not-able as the only American company to domestically produce both firearms and ammunition. Remington has also developed or adopted more cartridges than any other gunmaker or ammunition manufacturer in the world. Today, its products are distributed to more than 60 countries, making its distribution base and availability wider than any of its competitors.
While most shooters are familiar with Remington’s long guns, many are unaware that the company has a long history of producing handguns. Beginning in 1858, it offered percussion and center-fire revolvers and single and multi-barrelled cartridge firing derringers.
During the First World War, Remington made M1911 pistols for America’s war effort. Between 1917 and 1927, it marketed the Model 51 pocket pistol. The unique bolt action XP-100 pistol, introduced in 1963, was famous for being chambered for high-performance, rifle-type cartridges.
In 2010 Remington re-entered the lucrative 1911 business with its 1911 R1 line which has grown considerably since then. More recently, we saw the release of the 9mm R51 and .380 RM380 pocket pistols, which diverge from the present trend in their all-metal construction.
I’m sure most readers will understand that by “present trend” I’m referring to polymer frame pistols. Since the introduction of a certain Austrian pistol in the early 1980s, most handgun makers of note have added polymer frame pistols – and in some cases revolvers – to their product lines. It is obvious to anyone who reads gun magazines, belongs to a gun club or regularly attends shooting matches that today’s civilian, police and military handgun markets are dominated by so-called ‘plastic’ or ‘Tupperware’ pistols.
Read the full article in the July 2017 issue of Magnum.