41 Comments

  1. Ian … Yes indeed-de-do that is great VIDEO. As you know I have a 8 and a 81; one on 32 and one in 35. For some reason few people today really appreciate these weapons and how well they were made and how well they shoot. The 35 definitely let’s you know you are now firing in the big bore category. I only shoot 180 gr out of respect for the weapon. If anyone out there has one of these just gathering dust in there closet I would sure be interested. Not many civilian rifles interest me; but the 8 and 81 sure do.

    • Thomas, based on this information and other bits and pieces I’ve been able to glean from your previous posts, have you thought of establishing a firearms museum? You probably could with the collection you have :).

      • Earl .. thanks (L0L)but I have a lot of weapons that would not really be of interest except to odd balls like me. I still have quite a few I would and am trying to add. My hope is that someday my two sons will open the safes and say WOW .. look at this, and Gee where did Dad get this one? As I believe Earl I have said before .. My interest is in not just the weapon but the man at the time and how the, regardless of nationality, “grunt” made use of it good, bad or even terrible as it may have been. I just had a bread making specialty shop make me from an actual Army recipe a pan of hard tack! Always wanted to know what it was like for the soldier, mounted or on foot, out here in the west in the 1800’s who subsisted on hard tack, beans, salt pork and coffee and moved 15 to 25 miles a day. As for my collection, I am positively certain there are many who provide input to this forum that have vastly better collections. You are certainly welcome to come a see what I have at any time.

        • Hi, Thomas :

          The part about marching long distances over hostile terrain while subsisting on limited ( and often sub-standard ) rations just reminded me of the terrible campaign on the Kokoda Trail — what did you think of “Green Armour”? You had mentioned sometime back that you were in the middle of reading the book.

          • Earl … One of the books that will remain on my shelf, and not filed away in a box. Hard to explain the contempt I felt; once again, for GEN McArthur. I as I read the book many times had to stop and think, as I pictured and drew back in my mind my experiences in the jungle when I KNEW eventually we would be supplied, would if wounded be gotten out, carried morphine in our medical Type 2 set, had dried and condensed rations. It is, the book that is, a chronicle of ungodly suffering, courage, and the will power of the human spirit to survive. And not just the US and Australian forces. A buddy of mine in recon once explained in somewhat harsh terms to a young, impetuous 1st LT from the 1st Cav that “the jungle has no friends .. you cannot beat the jungle; you learn it’s rules and learn to live within it or you die.” The book is also to some extent; if we consider for a moment, that each of the men carried a weapon with which to engage the enemy. There was no “Break-Free”, WD 40, Type 2 Bore Cleaner etc. Cleaning equipment was near non-existent. But the SMLE’s, the Arisaka’s and M1’s and Springfield’s and BREN’s continued for the most part to function. I can only imagine the condition of ammunition. Earl thanks .. a wonderful book.

          • You’re most welcome, Thomas — and thank you for sharing your thoughts and irreplaceable experiences. Your buddy’s sage advice to that young officer reminds me of the title of a book, “The Jungle Is Neutral”, written by British author Lieutenant-Colonel F. Spencer Chapman, DSO, who served with Force 136(M) in Malaya organizing a guerilla campaign against the Japanese Occupation during World War Two. It is a well-written and harrowing account, free of self-indulgence or melodrama, of a hit-and-run campaign in the Malayan jungles that spanned over three-and-a-half years. Field-Marshal Earl Wavell himself wrote the foreword for the book, an indication of his professional esteem for Chapman.

            The book is out of print, but used copies in paperback and hard cover can be had for as low as $9.58, while new editions can run as high as $39.93 ( hard cover ) and $49.99 ( paperback ) on Amazon.com. Chapman basically said the same exact thing that your friend did, hence the title.

    • I’m trying to get info on a model 8 35cal I have . It has a detach mag . It’s not a Kreiger or a police mdl. It looks factory. Mag sticks about 1″ below trigger housing. It has pistol grip ,curved forward grip. Do you know about these? Remington was no help.

  2. David .. (an anyone else) If you are interested in the Remington 8 and 81 rifles and their wonderful history and factual information on their various users; including ones bought by the FBI; also discusses other auto loader that were available at the same time and competed with the Remington’s. The book is titled “The Great Remington 8 and Model 81 Autoloading Rifles” by John Henwood and published by Collector Grade Publications.

  3. Regarding Frank Hamer, Indeed he certainly did not have an extended magazine Model 8 at the ambush. For starters, it was not quite available yet, but also, it was only 15 rounds. There was never a 20 or 25 round version. I believe the legend came from the newsmen confusing the Browning Model 8 with the BAR, which did have 20 round magazines and were at the scene as well. Both Browning rifles were not as widely known at the time as now. It has pretty much been established that Prentis Oakley, using a loaned Model 8, .35 cal., fired the first and fatal shot that killed Clyde Barrow.

  4. I’m very impressed that the old (corrosive) chlorate primers still worked well after over 100 years of storage.

    The composition, and especially the few percent of mercury fulminate which was used to sensitize it, was reckoned to be much more prone to deterioration and loss of sensitivity compared to the Lead styphnate sensitized with around 3% tetrazine used to initiate present day none corrosive primer compositions.

    • I don’t think they used mercury fulminate in any US made centerfire primers than. It was well known by then that the mercury ruined the brass for reloading it and that would have kept many from buying from any company that made them. Plus, potassium chlorate primers don’t need to sensitized with it.

      • Hi Martin, there are other sensitizers, and I’ve just dome some checking of timelines. Winchester were using Lead sulphocyanate as a sensitizer in the presence of potassium chlorate, in time for the formula to be passed on to the military during WWi, where it became known as FA70, and that formula continued until relatively recently in match ammunition.

        Given that there were earlier versions, using elemental sulphur in the presence of chlorate, it may well be that the Remmington primers were free of fulminate as a sensitizer by 1910.

  5. I was impressed by the penetration performance of the .35 Remington round against mild plate steel. Granted, the range appeared to be fairly close, but the fact that the bullet was “only” a soft-point and the MV was not exceptionally high makes this all the more impressive ; the muzzle and down-range energy must have been tremendous.

    • A lot of the reason it is going thru it is because it MV is low. What keep a high speed bullet from penetrating is the shock of hitting something hard and then the bullet breaks up.

      US military manuals address this with the 5.56 and 7.62×51. That is why those youtube “tests” that compare the 5.56 to a 7.62×39 shooting at cinder blocks would only be valid at the 25 yards they are doing at. US military manuals say the ideal for this is 200 yards for a 5.56.

      • Thank you, Thomas , that’s very kind of you. If I get over your way one of these days, I’ll certainly keep that in mind. i guess we’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to firearms and the human and historical aspects surrounding them — after all, without the human factor, where would the firearms be?

      • @ Martin :

        True, but there are a number of other factors at play as well, a couple of which are the composition of the bullet and its jacketing ; and its hardness and resistance to breaking up, spalling, deflecting or deforming relative to that velocity, the target material and the relative attitude of that target. And, as you pointed out, range is a variable dynamic factor that is part of this equation.

        • One comment on jacketing… the old ads shown in the video showed mushroomed bullets and soft-points were used in the test. However, at one point I spent a lot of time studying old ammo catalogs and as I recall from the early smokeless era – well into the 1930s – most rifle calibers, including the .35 Remington, were widely available in a full-jacket configuration. Obviously this was for enhanced penetration for large game such as bear or moose, but I’m sure that would have been the ammo of choice for cops on roadblock duty. Watching the sheet-metal test I was reminded of the 1939 Buick that was my dad’s hobby when I was a kid. The old Century had fenders and body that were twice as thick as any post-war car and armor plated compared to vehicles from the 70s. This made it obvious why the .35 was such a law-enforcement favorite.

          • Hi, Jim :

            That’s great information, and thank you for sharing it. “They just don’t build them like they used too” certainly holds true in this case!

  6. Concealment behind furniture or trees won’t save you from old-school bullets, assuming we are talking about rifle cartridges more powerful than 6.5 mm Arisaka. The number of Darwin awards given to people using brick walls and foliage as cover from full-strength rifles would overload one’s brain!

    • 140 and especially 160 grain 6.5mm bullets have very impressive penetration, even at Arisaka and Carcano velocities

      they’ve very impressive sectional densities compared to the usual 150 gr thirty calibre bullets, their problem is that they’re relatively spindly and tend to bend and deflect when they hit something hard at a shallow angle

      • Keith .. I have several Arisaka’s; 38, 99, 97, 7.92 etc. And you are correct based upon my having shot all of them. And hands down the 6.5 is my favorite. All I will say is .. do not hide behind a car door; actually both car doors, if I am shooting at you with a Type 38, with Ball FMJ Type 2 at 139 gr at 100 yds ..bad idea.
        As someone else pointed out … there are people who actually believe they can use a bush, front door, stuffed chair etc as protection from rifle fire! Too many hours watching episodes of “Combat” or “Miami Vice”.

    • @ Andrew :

      Agreed. I might add that rifle-caliber rounds in the 6mm (.243″) and 6.5mm range, the 6.5mm x 50 Arisaka included, are capable of similar or near-equal penetration under most circumstances.

  7. Thanks for posting this. I’ve always thought that one of the most interesting pairs of early 20th century American weapons was the .35 Model 8 and the .351 Winchester 1907, which was a little handier and less powerful. But both saw use in WW1 as aircraft weapons before airborne machine guns, and had widespread use in law enforcement between the wars. Apparently the 1907 was popular enough (especially with prison guards) to stay into production until 1958, but I don’t remember ever seeing .351 ammo on the shelf when I was a kid. And the hardware store in my home town stocked a lot of oddball obsolete ammo in the late 60s. Several guys I’ve deer hunted with swore by their Marlin lever-actions in .35 Remington, and always got their deer with one shot. I always thought the Remington 8 and 81 just came in the .25/ .30/ .32/ .35 Remington, but recently I was looking at old autoloader prices and was surprised to see how popular the 81 was in .300 Savage, or at least how many are on the market.

    • Thanks for the great link, Denny. I can see what you mean about it’s construction. That particular rifle is in fantastic overall condition, considering its age and probable usage.

  8. Thanks for posting! Another John Browning classic. I agree with Thomas. These are a somewhat forgotten rifle, which is a shame because they are historically important in that they were among the first commercially successful semi-auto rifles chambered for a full rifle cartridge. Hell, they might have been the first.
    They were chambered in a number of rounds. .25,.30,.32,.35,.300 Savage. The Remington 8’s and 81’s were also popular with law enforcement. .35, as you can see in the video, does pack a punch.

  9. wow, that was great. my hunting rifle of choice is in .35 rem. a Marlin 336. I love the cartridge and would love to get ahold of a model 8 or comprable semi auto in this caliber

  10. A FAVOR for ALL .. I recently (last week) found and purchased a model 8 in .25 !! Yes in deed! I have now 100 unprimed ctg cases (reformed Rem 30)I have a “gazoo” of .257 bullets 95 to 117gr bullets (FMJ) but I need a set of dies! I want to shoot alongside the Marlin 99 in 25-35 to see if there is really much difference. I can just imagine how terrific the Model 8 will operate. If ANYONE has dies or knows where I can go to get them (tried all the regulars) and RCBS is too high and takes forever for a custom set. Thanks all .. Maybe Ian would like to do a video on the side by side. Ian ..??????

    • Hi, Thomas :

      I’m assuming you’ve already looked up Midway USA regarding the dies. They seem to have everything you would need from RCBS but several types require a special order and are pretty expensive too, probably because the .25 Remington is relatively rare.

      • Hi Earl.. Yes I checked all the usual’s, even ordered and paid (on Friday)for a 2 piece set, but today was informed they are “awaiting stock resupply”. Yes RCBS said Yes can do as custom, but cost almost half what the rifle cost. Real bugger! I hoping someone will have a set languishing on a shelf somewhere. I’m sure there are some out there ..just have to find a set. Am going to investigate having someone local turn an insert to a seating die, maybe a 30 Rem die, for the .25 Rem measurements. I really want to be able to shoot this rifle. The Remington 8/81 and Winchester 05 and 07’s are about the only civilian rifles I have much interest in. Several friends are somewhat goofy over ANYTHING “Winchester” but have no interest in SMLE’s, Carcano, Springfields etc .. Truly shocking!

        • Hi, Thomas :

          That seems to be about the gist of it as far as I can tell regarding availability of the dies. I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if something pops up.

          As for narrowly-focused interests, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of firearms owners who are obsessed only with the latest and greatest “tacti-cool” stuff, and who have no appreciation whatsoever for historic firearms, or any other kind of firearms for that matter. To each his own, I guess :).

        • Hi, Thomas :

          I came across a listing for what is listed as a “Hornady 2-Die Set, .25 Remington / .257” on http://www.opticsplanet.com for $44.79. The Reference UPN # on their web site is 546260. Availability is listed as “Call ( or e-mail ) for availability”. I’m not sure if you’ve already checked this out, or if it is the exact item you are looking for, but I thought I’d pass it on anyway. For what it’s worth, Optics Planet has a pretty good reputation as a large-scale vendor and I have bought a lot of firearms accessories, optics, etc., from them over the years, and always found them to be reasonably-priced and thoroughly reliable. Sometimes, special order and out-of-stock items take a while, but they have always delivered as promised.

          • Thanks Earl .. I contacted them earlier and the .25 Remington is “available” for ordering not immediate shipping. I ask about when could I expect if I ordered now… 12 to 16 weeks possibly. Same from RCBS and as I learned some of the big name manufactures do not actually manufacture the dies .. they are subbed out. I sure thank you for your effort.

  11. Hey guys, let me start by saying I am not a gun guy. But I have a Remington Model 8 in .30 caliber. I can’t find ammo and when I read posts like this one about reloading it is like reading a foreign language.

    The rifle is in excellent condition, and if I could find ammo I would love to keep it. But if not, can anyone tell me what it is worth?

    Thanks

    • Let me start by saying I AM A GUN GUY! hahahaha And a 8/81 fan that never found a 8 or 81 I didn’t like! They are a great weapon that has a very unique place in weapons history. Yes you can reload for 30 REM and yes you CAN find ammo at gun shows .. BUT at a Big $$$$ dollar price. I love them NOT for their great shooting accuracy or power, cause the don’t have either compared to many other rifles. But they are a one of a kind type rifle (near carbine!). Reloading is great, bullets no problem, Midway as well as Buffalo Arms and some others have good .30 Rem Brass. So what’s in for loading … reloading gear. And unless you plan on hunting with it (which I don’t see an advantage over a 30-30 or 243)it is a good sized investment. As to what it is worth … WELL NOW … that is only based upon two things .. What YOU want for it… and what SOMEONE is willing to pay for it. Go to GunBrokers on google, go then to collectable fire arms, then Currios and relics. Put in Remington Model 8. This may give you an idea. If you like I’ll look in the Gun Buyers Blue book, and a couple others for you. Let me know.//Thomas//

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