by Ken Blauch

The Model 141 carbine is a sleek looking, fast shooting, easy handling woods type firearm. But, evidently the hunters of the late 1920s and early '30s did not appreciate these features, or perhaps it was the calibers that they didn't like. During that time, in the .30 caliber range, the .30-30 Winchester and the .300 Savage were among the top calibers, but it was decided not to introduce them in the new Remington Model 141. Instead, the old calibers from the Model 14 were retained. A decision was made by Remington management to discontinue the carbine model as they entered the Gamemaster era of the advertised 24 inch rifle because demand had almost evaporated for the short barrel rifle. But there was the matter of a few years supply of Model 14 carbine barrels to be disposed of in an economic fashion.
History

The Remington Model 141 entered the sporting arena in 1935. It was a remake of the Model 14 which had been introduced in 1912, designed by John D. Pedersen. In order to reduce manufacturing costs and to improve appeal to new gun owners, the stocks of the new Model 141 were made heavier, the length of the barrel was increased and made heavier, and some manufacturing steps were simplified. The profit margin had run out on the Model 14 and prices could not be increased due to the competition. The reduced manufacturing costs from eliminating several steps on the new model allowed Remington to hold the price at $46.00. The Model 141 took on a new look and feel, however the me- chanical design and operation was the same as the previous model. The name Gamemaster was stamped on the left side of the receiver as well as the serial number from a new range of numbers. Three calibers were produced: .30 Remington, .32 Remington and .35 Remington, the .25 Remington was not offered

 

Between 1935 and 1951, over 75,000 Model 141 rifles and carbines were made. Model 141 carbines were made only as long as the left over Model 14 carbine barrels lasted, then they were dropped from production. Sales of Model 141 carbines with carbine length barrels lasted into the 1940s and are highly prized today. Remington carbine barrels remained in factory inventories as spare parts well into the 1950s. These could be used for special order guns or as replacement barrel guns. Some of these may surface with dates after the 1941/42 cutoff. The left over Model 14 rifle barrels were also used during the eight month transition period prior to March 1, 1936. Starting on that date Gamemaster was stamped on each receiver and it was advertised as a 24 inch barrel, so the few rifles on hand after that date were ordered to have the 22 inch barrels removed and replaced with the new 24 inch barrels.
Transition

The transition started in mid 1935, when according to an announcement to the jobbers, Model 14 guns ( 22 inch and 18½ inch barrels) were shipped with the new Model 141 wood until March 1, 1936. These guns had the Model 141 stamping on the receiver as well as a new set of serial numbers. Date coded guns of that time frame (mid 1935 to March 1936) have those characteristics, and fall in the serial number range of one to approx. 4000. These guns were not stamped Gamemaster. Based on sales from previous years a quantity of less than 20 carbines would have been shipped during this eight month period. They were marked Model 141, but without the Gamemaster stamp and had low serial numbers. Carbines produced after March 1936 were stamped Gamemaster.


Page 20 3rd Quarter 2008

Remington Model 141R Carbine - serial number 28684

There is not much excitement shown by collectors when a transition Model 141 rifle is discussed or examined. It is frequently passed off as a gun made of left over parts until the new model was released, but when a Model 141 carbine is discovered, the excitement and the price go up by leaps and bounds. The truth is they were both transition guns. The difference is that the carbines died in the transition because there were no Model 141 barrels made in carbine length.
Data Collection

Several Remington Society members pooled their data on the Models 14, 14½ and 141 to form a living data base. More information is added as it becomes available. Currently, there is history on over six-hundred Model 14 and one hundred and forty- three Model 141 firearms . Much of the data printed here comes from or is verified by this data base. RSA member Tom Hemphill is the data base manager and he solicits your input keyed by serial number with several other elements desired. His email is Hemphill@gvtel.com and he is also listed in the membership roster. Tom also maintains history on the Remington Model 25 and Remington Model 30 guns. He is an avid Remington Model 14 / 141 collector and has been a constant source of information for me.

  Production

A visit to the Remington Archives in December 2005 turned up a tremendously important document. It contains yearly totals of sales of Model 14 rifles and carbines, shipped by caliber, for the 12 years prior to the introduction of the Model 141. These figures were used to determine which calibers to retain for the new model. The figures can also be used to develop very close estimates of Model 14 production by caliber for its twenty-two year life cycle. Most importantly for this article, they can be used to estimate the number of Model 141 carbines shipped during their life cycle of approximately seven years as verified by Remington brochures of that time and from information from the Model 141 data base. The carbine yearly sales numbers fell steadily from 161 in 1927, to 27 in 1934. It is reason- able to expect that these numbers continued to fall until the left over barrels were exhausted about 1942. Based on a yearly production number of 30 carbines in the last years of the Model 14, it is reasonable to assume that a very small quantity of Model 141 carbines were produced during its seven year life, possibly fewer each year. Brochures and catalogs issued by Remington from 1936 through 1941 list the availability of calibers remaining. The .25 caliber lasted about a year. The .35 caliber lasted about three years. And the .30 and .32 calibers lasted about seven years.

Remington Model 141R Carbine barrel address - s/n 28684

Page 21 3rd Quarter 2008

Predicting Model 141 Carbine
Production By Caliber
Method 1.
Using the average demand for the years 1932-1934 by carbine caliber and applying it to the years of availabil- ity starting in 1935 (start of Model 141 production) for each carbine caliber.
    .25 caliber: demand 1 per year for 1 year equals 1
    .30 caliber: demand 11 per year for 7 years equals 77
    .32 caliber: demand 3 per year for 7 years equals 21
    .35 caliber: demand 12 per year for 3 years equals 36
        ;Total 135


Method 2.
Taking the same percentage of total production for the years 1932-1934, that each carbine caliber used and applying it to the production numbers for the years that the Model 141 carbine caliber was available.
    .25 caliber: % of total .0008 x 2,068 (1 year) = 2
    .30 caliber: % of total .0073 x 36,707 (7 years) = 268
    .32 caliber: % of total .0017 x 36,707 (7 years) = 62
    .35 caliber: % of total .005 x 15,316 (3 years) = 76
        ; Total 408

There are other factors involved, but it appears that the number of Model 141 carbines produced would fall within the numbers in method 1. and 2. above... between 135 and 408. The demand for carbines was steadily decreasing from 1928 thru 1934, so it is likely that it continued to decrease during the years of 1935 thru 1941. If true, then the numbers in either method would be even lower. The carbines did not appear again until 1960, in the new Model 760 carbine. The well likes .35 caliber was in only 456 Model 760 carbines from 1952 and 1980.

  Remington Model 141R Carbine - s/n 28684

Receiver Serial Numbers by Year and
Total Production Between 1935-1942
Year
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
D/C-Year
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L
receiver #
3529
11469
18241
24281
27236
32792
39148
41543
Accum.Prod
2,068
8,073
15,316
20,258
24,132
29,719
36,707
39,498

You will note that the receiver production by serial number stays several thousand numbers ahead of the yearly production of rifles and carbines. This overage is needed to keep the pipeline full, supply special projects and testing, allow for damaged and rejected receivers and any other losses incurred. Underlined accumulative production numbers were used in Method 2 above to predict Model 141 carbine production.
Continue the Carbine or Not?

Much discussion took place by Remington manage- ment concerning the continuance of the carbine. In 1934 sales records were examined for the past twelve years, showing that a total of carbines were shipped in the four Model 14 calibers was 1,258. That averaged about 105 carbines shipped per year (sales for the last four years averaged only 30 carbines per year). Then it was thought that a carbine with a 20 inch barrel made in rimmed .30-30 caliber might sell much better. A cost estimate was prepared on December 30, 1935, which showed that 100 carbines with 20 inch barrels in .30-30 caliber would cost the factory $1,898 versus $1,901 for the current carbine.


Page 22 3rd Quarter 2008

So the cost was not a problem, but the sales were uncertain. Minutes of the Remington Arms Product Committee (APC) in January 1936 for the Model 141 carbine stated:

Use up the 18½ inch barrels. Let later observation indicate whether a carbine is still desired, if so, whether a 20 inch barrel would be best.

No further action was noted and the 20 inch carbine was not produced. Again in March 1944, minutes of Remington's Special Salesmen's Meeting stated:

So the cost was not a problem, but the sales were uncertain. Minutes of the Remington Arms Product Committee (APC) in January 1936 for the Model 141 carbine stated:

Use up the 18½ inch barrels. Let later observation indicate whether a carbine is still desired, if so, whether a 20 inch barrel would be best.

No further action was noted and the 20 inch carbine was not produced. Again in March 1944, minutes of Remington's Special Salesmen's Meeting stated:

So the cost was not a problem, but the sales were uncertain. Minutes of the Remington Arms Product Committee (APC) in January 1936 for the Model 141 carbine stated:

Use up the 18½ inch barrels. Let later observation indicate whether a carbine is still desired, if so, whether a 20 inch barrel would be best.

No further action was noted and the 20 inch carbine was not produced. Again in March 1944, minutes of Remington's Special Salesmen's Meeting stated:

The adaptation of the Model 141 to the .300 Savage is highly desirable and necessary, and should be the first consideration. However, the carbine should be chambered for the .30-30 caliber, and, if the .300 Savage development is successful, should be chambered for both calibers. A straight stock and a 20 inch barrel are considered definite requirements in a carbine of this type.

But, once more, production of a new carbine was defeated.


Page 23 3rd Quarter 2008

Model 141 Carbine Characteristics
Butt-plate:
Shotgun style made of steel and deeply check- ered to avoid slipping. Has the Remington name engraved inside a rectangular box with oval ends.
Stocks: Plain rear stock with half pistol grip. Front stock is semi-beavertail with 25 grooves cut on the sides. Both are made of American walnut.
Receiver: Slide action, takedown, hammerless, solid breech. The Gamemaster logo and the serial number are stamped on the left side. Early receivers did not have the Gamemaster logo. At the end of 1938 a change was made to the Gamemaster logo, the line Trade Mark was changed to Reg. U.S. Pat. Off The ammunition indicator in the form of a brass cartridge head is embedded on the left side. It has an open center with REM-UMC and the caliber stamped on it.
Takedown: The Model 141R can be easily taken apart for travel convenience. The pieces are held by two vertical grooves that interlock as they slide together. A thumb screw bolt runs through both pieces to complete the lock up. Overall takedown length is 24 inches.
Safety: The cross bolt safety is located in the rear of the trigger guard. It locks both trigger and firing pin.
Barrel: Barrel length is 18½ inches. The caliber stamping is located on the left side near the receiver. At the receiver, on the left side are several codes, the left most is the inspectors stamp if present, next is a two or three letter date code, and next is the assemblers code. Every Model 141 will have a date code indicating the month and year that the gun was completed. Each time a gun receives factory repair another date code is applied with a 3, a code to indicate rework. On the right side of the barrel near the receiver you may find a REP to indicate Remington English Proof, a proof test of a heavier than normal charge. A small triangular mark indicates a magna-flux inspection was completed and the other mark if present would be the gallery mark indicating a function and accuracy test was done. Carbine barrels have the two integral projections called bosses or lugs which support the front sight and the magazine hanger, similar to the Model 14. On the Model 141 rifles these bosses were omitted to reduce cost.

Page 24 3rd Quarter 2008

  The roll marking on the left side of the barrel listing the patents on most carbines is:
Remington Arms Co., Inc., Remington Ilion Works, Ilion, N.Y., Made in U.S.A. Pedersen's Patents 1,043,354- 1,044,568- 1,071,173- 1,072,982
Earlier roll markings having patent dates rather than numbers may be seen depending on what year the barrel was made.
Magazine: Tubular type with unique indented spirals to allow the safe use of pointed bullets. Holds five cartridges plus one in the chamber. When cycling the action the entire magazine moves back and forth floating inside a magazine hanger dovetailed into the barrel lug. This type of cycling gives a more positive delivery of the next cartridge to be fed into the receiver. The brush guard is attached to the magazine plug with a screw, a change from the one piece unit on the Model 14. The .35 caliber magazine tube is marked 35, the .30 and .32 calibers use an unmarked tube.
Sights: Remington semi-buckhorn, step adjustable rear-dovetail. White metal bead blade type, old stock Model 14 front sight - dovetailed into barrel lug.
Options: The options listed in January 1940 specifications are:

Grade                 A   R   B   D     F 
Pistol Grip Stock     x   x   x   std   std 
Oil Finishing Stock   x   x   x   x     x 
Leather Sling         x   x   x   x     x 
Checkering Trigger    x   x   x   x     x 
Reversing Safety      no extra charge 
Gold Name Plate       x   x   x   x     std 
Silver Name plate     x   x   x   x     opt 
Calibers: Over the years I have heard lots of different claims about which calibers were made in the carbine. Some were that a .35 caliber was not made, another was that only a .32 caliber was made in a carbine. I believe I have discovered the cause of this confusion and misunderstanding. A small brochure, No. 607, was issued and reissued at least 6 times during the life of the Model 141. They are all similar except for the short paragraph that discusses the Model 141R (carbine) and the pictures of ammunition boxes. Later ones have

Page 25 3rd Quarter 2008

the date attached to the number. Most people would have only one brochure and they would quote from it with authority, but would be wrong unless it was an early one.

The first brochure stated that Model 141R was made in .25 Remington, .30 Remington, .32 Remington and .35 Remington calibers.

The next revision of the brochure (also without a date) says that the carbine was made only in .30 Remington, .32 Remington and .35 Remington.

The next one I have a copy of is No. 607-10-39 and it says the carbine is available only in .30 and .32 calibers. Brochure No. 607-4-40 gives the same calibers.

Brochure No. 607-4-41 says the Model 141 carbines were available only in 32 Remington.

And finally, brochure No. 607-47 does not mention the carbine at all. It is possible a brochure was made each year, however these are the ones that I know about. So when the barrels by caliber became exhausted, those calibers were dropped from the brochure. But, since the brochures all looked the same some people became confused.
Examples of 141 Carbines by
Serial Number and Date Code
Serial Number  Date Code             Cal. 
8346           AF - March 1937       .35 
10898          CF - April 1937       .35 
23510          XG -  December 1938   .30 
27392          KJ  - May 1940        .32 
27679          C - April 1940        .30 
31199          RJ - November 1940    .32 
33032          LK - February 1941    .30 
37550          EK - October 1941     .32 

The receivers were produced in perfect sequence, but the assembled guns may be produced and shipped in a less than perfect order. An example above is lower serial number 27392, date code May 1940, completed after higher s/n 27679, date code April 1940.

Collecting the Remington
Model 141 R Carbine

Attempt to purchase any and all Model 141 carbines because they are very rare. True factory produced Model 141 carbines must have an 18½ inch barrel with the integral front ramp, a date code and serial number withn the years 1935

  and let's say 1942. They may or may not be stamped Gamemaster depending when they were made. I have not seen any carbines with date codes later than 1941. The date code on the barrel is the month/ year the carbine was put together and the serial number on the receiver verifies when it was made.

A collection of three carbines, one in each of the Model 141 calibers is hard to attain. Of course, also having a .25 caliber carbine, if one exists, would be the ultimate carbine collection even though the .25 is not considered a Model 141 caliber. A few .25 caliber transi- tion rifles (22 inch barrel) are known to exist, marked Model 141, but without the Gamemaster logo. A .25 caliber carbine marked Model 141 with or without the Gamemaster logo has not yet surfaced.

Good luck to all of you.

Ken Blauch

Page 26 3rd Quarter 2008

On the cover...

The three rifles pictured on the cover are from the Ken Blauch collection.

From top:
Remington Model 141R Carbine - serial number 28684. .32 Remington centerfire. 18½ inch barrel. Overall length 37¼ inches. Date code: June 1941.
Remington Model 141 Rifle - serial number 2322. .30 Remington centerfire. 22 inch barrel. Overall length 40½ inches. Date code: September 1935.
Remington Model 141 Rifle - serial number 30619. .32 Remington centerfire. 24 inch barrel. Overall length 42¾ inches. Date code: November 1941.

Page 27 3rd Quarter 2008




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