Book Review: The Great Remington 8

I bought a Remington Model 8 a couple months back, and I’ve been remiss in not putting together a video on it – it’s a very neat rifle. Instead (for the time being), I figured I should talk about the Remington Model 8 book – because there really is only one. It’s The Great Remington 8, by John Henwood, and it’s pretty much the encyclopedia of the 8 and 81 (the 81 was really just a minor cosmetic overhaul of the Model 8).

As I said in the video, the $60 for the book (you can save a couple bucks on Amazon) will probably pay for itself with your first Model 8, or give you a great insight into to details of the rifle(s) you already have. Mine, for example, has a 5-screw pattern on the side of the receiver that was for a specific type of aftermarket scope mount, and it is one of a fairly small number of Model 8s chambered for .300 Savage – when Remington released the 81 in that caliber, they offered Model 8 owners the option of sending a rifle back to be rebarreled by the factory, since .300 Savage was a fairly popular round. Not things I would have known or recognized without Henwood’s book.

Want to learn about your own Model 8? Grab a copy today from Amazon:

12 Comments

  1. Hello. Thanks for the book info… just ordered it! GREAT since I have a .351 same as bought by the French AF in WW I, a .32 and last week I happened by pure accident to locate and bought a 81-C in .35! All are in GREAT condition and fire smoth as silk. I reload for all three, but brass is a bugger to come by for the .351. I’m looking for the .401 as also bought by French AF in WW I. Have a lead on a .30 Which brass is also hard to come by. They are really great shooting weapons and deserve more attention than they get. The French had ideas of arming battalions with the .351 and a 15 or 20rd mag as assault troops. Remington could not take the contract due to production requirements for our 1903’s. Had the French gotten the thousands they wanted; that would be interesting to read about.//

    • question about your John Henwood book on the Remington 8. I am looking for his companion book ‘Forgotten Winchesters’. Would you provide me the publishers name on your book? Perhaps the same publisher printed the Winchester book. Thanks,Nick

      • I am not sure offhand who published Henwood’s book on the Winchester Self-Loaders, but I do know that only a small number were printed, and that it has been out of print and difficult to find for quite some time. The Remington 8 book was printed by Collector Grade, and I know they did not do the Winchester book.

  2. Hands down one of the most uncomfortable to fire rifles I’ve ever owned. Mine was an 8 in .35 Rem. My wifes SVD with AP ammo has LESS recoil!! I’ve never turned a gun around faster in my life. Brought it home, bought ammo, took it to the range, put ONE mag through it, cleaned it, bagged it up and sold it off in 3 days.

  3. I’ll have to get this book. I’m light collector of the Model 81. In all honesty they are about my least favorite rifle to shoot. Also, I found them to be heavy for the type of hunting I do(a lot of walking).

    FWIW, I like to point out to certain people when the topic is banning semi-auto rifles that my great-grandpa had a semi-auto Model 8 for deer hunting 100 years ago.

  4. I’ve had a 81 for a awhile now in 35Rem. and don’t have any problems shooting it. Recoil is a mental thing. If you were to shoot it while hunting you would hardly notice a thing. Get behind it on the range and start thinking about it and even a 270 can feel stiff.

  5. To me one of the most interesting things is the impact the Model 8 had on the AK. Both the book and the website the commenter cited are good. Also, these guns were very well manufactured and beautifully blued. Of course, a lot of them worked very hard and the finishes are now 70 or 100 years old and worn, but a surprising number lived in closets ever since the first owner passed away, because these (and the much simpler Winchester semiautos) fell out of fashion in mid-20th-Century.

    Not that many of them around here in New England. The Remington cartridges were more powerful than needed for our whitetail deer, especially the .35, so they were more used by rare bear hunters and police. A lot of PDs used them, most of which used standard ones not the extended police specials. The Connecticut State Police used a version with a detachable mag, but in the standard 5 round capacity. A few years ago these were going begging but they have found a collector niche — I wonder if the book was a factor in that.

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