January 29th, 2016

Happy 200th Birthday Remington

Remington 200 years

Remington EliphaletGuess what American gun-maker has been building guns for two centuries? That’s right, Remington Arms Company celebrates its 200th year in business in 2016. The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. Remington is America’s oldest gun maker and is still the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles. CLICK HERE for 200 facts about the 200-year-old company.

American Life in 1816
What was life like in America in 1816, two hundred years ago? This infographic offers some interesting facts. For example, average life expectancy was only 39 years, and a farm laborer earned just $12-$15 per month. Still want to go back to the “good old days”?

Click to Zoom Infographic:
Remington 200 years

Since 2007, Remington Arms has been part of the Remington Outdoors Group, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Remington recently opened a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama which produces Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) and Remington 1911 R1 pistols. Interestingly, Remington also operates America’s oldest factory that still makes its original product (guns). Remington has also developed or adopted more cartridges than any other gun-maker or ammunition manufacturer in the world. Here are some interesting facts about the Remington 700 rifle. Did you know that over 5,000,000 Rem 700s have been produced, in 56 different chamberings? Laid end to end, the five million Rem 700s could span the Atlantic ocean.

Remington 700 Fun Facts
Remington 200 years

200th Anniversary Remington 700 (Engraved, High-Grade $2399.00)
To celebrate its 200th Anniversary, Remington is releasing a special Bicentennial Series of “limited edition” rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Here is the 200th Year Anniversary Limited Edition Model 700, which features a high-grade stock with Fleur de Lis checkering, American-style engraving with gold inlay, and grip medallion. Remington will make no more than 2016 of these rifles, priced at $2399.00.

Remington 200 years

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
March 19th, 2013

Mike Walker, Remington Gun Designer, Passes at Age 101

Legendary firearms engineer Merle “Mike” Walker passed away on March 6, at the age of 101. Walker was one of the most important gun and cartridge designers of the 20th Century, and he also was a leading proponent of benchrest shooting. Mike worked for Remington Arms Company for 37 years, as a lead designer and engineer. While at Remington, Mike created many of Remington’s most popular bolt action rifles. For many years, Mike served as Director of Research and head of the Custom Shop at Remington’s, Ilion, NY facility.

Mike Walker Remington

Mike led the development of many important Remington rifle designs, including the Rem m700, Rem 40X, Rem m721, and Rem m722. Walker held numerous patents, mostly for trigger designs.

“Without a doubt, the Remington Model 700 is the most popular commerical, high-power, bolt-action rifle in the world. The Model 700 is actually a product-improved Model 721 and Model 722 bolt-action rifle, the brain-child of Merle ‘Mike’ Walker and his Remington design team in the 1940s.” — Roy C. Marcot, The History of Remington Firearms

Mike was a major pioneer in modern cartridge design — he was the originator of the .222 Remington and the 6mm Remington Int’l rounds. According to Guns & Ammo: “Long-time Remington employee and benchrest competitor Mike Walker, who headed up the M722 design team, is largely credited with the development of the .222 Rem”. The .222 Rem (aka “Triple Deuce”) dominated short-range Benchrest competition until the advent of the PPC cartridges.

Mike Walker

Walker also worked with Jim Steckl on the .30-cal wildcat that eventually evolved into the 6mm Bench Rest Remington. This cartridge demonstrated the accuracy and efficiency of the “short, fat” case design. When brass was eventually produced for the 6mmBR Rem, Mike convinced Remington to produce a run with a small primer pocket. Thanks to these pioneering efforts by Walker and Steckl, we now have the ultra-accurate 6mmBR Norma (with a small primer pocket), and the 30BR wildcat.

Mike was one of the “founding fathers” of the International Benchest Shooters (IBS), and he was in the early IBS leadership group. He was a talented (and dedicated) benchrest shooter. Remarkably, Mike shot in the 2010 IBS Nationals at age 99. Mike also played an key role in the creation of Precision Shooting Magazine. Still engaged in his passion for gun-building and firearm design, he worked in his shop even at the age of 101. He passed in a hospital on March 6, 2013 after hip replacement surgery.

Mike Walker

IBS President Jeff Stover tells us: “The term ‘living legend’ is used in many sports and endeavors. Rarely, though, is that term used as accurately as when referring to Mr. Merle ‘Mike’ Walker. He developed the Rem 700, he helped invent the button rifling process and many other firearms innovations. Probably the last time he shot in competition was at the 2010 IBS Group Nationals at Weikert, Pennsylvania. He got around quite well — even at 99 years of age! He shot an older rifle in a beat-up stock, but he was there on the line with the rest of us. During one match Mike was having some problems and it was close to cease fire time. Our range officer could see that everyone else had finished. Mike kept shooting, trying to get five on paper. The range was quiet except for the reports from Mike’s rifle. When it was clear that all five were on paper, ‘cease fire’ was finally called. There were no questions as to what happened — all of us on the line realized it was a tribute to probably the only real Living Legend that any of us would meet, let alone shoot with….”

Mike Walker will be missed. As James Mock has written: “We in the shooting community are truly diminished. Mike was an icon of the innovative spirit of America.” Mike Walker was a true pioneer who has left an enormous legacy to all those engaged in the “pursuit of accuracy”.

Rest in Peace, Mike Walker. Thank you for your contributions to our sport.

Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »