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Remington’s Revolving Rifle: Not Expensive, but not Successful

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While Colt put significant effort into developing a revolving rifle design, Remington chose to simply use their existing New Model revolver architecture. Remington introduced it’s Revolving Rifle (it had no other model name) in 1865, and a total of about 800 were made by 1880 when it was gone from their catalog.

The rifle was available in both .36 and .44 caliber (both holding six shots) as a percussion gun. In 1872 Remington introduced a factory rimfire cartridge conversion, in .38 Long rimfire (six shots) and .46 Long rimfire (five shots). Standard production was offered with 24, 26, and 28 inch barrels, brass furnishings, and a variety of trigger guard and sight options. The rifle was very economical for Remington to produce, as it used existing New Model revolver frames and actions, stocks from the Remington Beals single shot rifle, and really no significant changes aside from a lengthened loading lever.

In addition to the typical problems of revolving percussion rifles, the Remington was rather underpowered for a hunting rifle (as it was advertised). It was simply unable to compete with the other options, most notably Winchester’s lever action rifles.

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