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Old December 29, 2008, 02:17 AM   #1
Winchester_73
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Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Remington model 81 Woodsmaster

So at my local gunshop, the owner is selling on consignment a Remington model 81 woodsmaster in 300 savage. I looked over the gun, except the bore. The bluing was even throughout, the rollmark was sharp. The stock has no cracks, scratches and is very clean. The metal has some wear but no rust. No box or papers, but it comes with a nice soft case. The owner told me the guy he's selling it for is the original owner. Heres my questions:

1) How good were these rifles?

2) I think the SN was 56xxx, when was it made?

3) What are the chances it was restored? There are no obvious symptoms.

4) The owner wants $400 for it. Do I have to buy it for that price? Should I offer him less or hand him $400 and run?
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Old December 29, 2008, 08:14 AM   #2
targshooter
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Remington Model 81

Winchester_73,
I hunted Maine in the 1970s with an elderly gent that used one of these. His was a .35 Remington chambering. I sighted the rifle in for him a couple of times and found it a pleasure to shoot. Odd recoil as the mechanism responds to the cartridge's kinetic energy, but quite a reduction in felt impact at the shoulder when compared to the .35 Rem Marlin 336 I used to shoot. I believe the .300 Savage chambering was rarer than the .35 Rem. Also, the .300 Savage was not one of the original cartridges offered (the .30 Rem was the .308 diameter cartridge of choice initially), thus the rifle you are looking at is probably not an early manufacture. His had a takedown lever in the forestock, perhaps they all did. The Model 81 was heavy, being much heavier than the Browning Lever he bought to replace it. Supposedly the gun rarely broke parts, but it wore out and quit functioning properly as the tolerances became too large (like the Auto-5 shotgun, another Browning design). The tight tolerances and the somewhat lower service life per high volume fire are the reasons the military had no interest. Some of these were sold to law enforcement, and they may be worn out. If your original owner was a hunter like the gents in Maine, the rifle probably is lucky to have seen 500 rounds. Here in MN a decent specimen goes for $450 (NRA good) to $600 (NRA excellent).
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Old December 29, 2008, 09:51 AM   #3
hilblly
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Location: Southwest, MT
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Winchester_73

I actually own one of these rifles in 300 Savage. It has been in my family since it was new. Has a Lyman rear sight on it that I haven't spent much time trying to figure out. There seems to be readily available factory ammo for it. I haven't shot in years, but it used to shoot very well if I did my part.
I contacted Remington a while back to find out when it was manufactured.
I think(can't remember exactly) they said in the 30's.
I now live in Montana and hunt whitetail in pasture lands and have thought of working up some loads for it as it would be safer than a 270 win.
My family routinely practiced with it at 200 yds, and I suppose it would do out to 300 yds.
You can call Remington and find out the manufacture date.
Here is a link to the history of the gun
http://www.remington.com/library/his...e/model_81.asp
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Old December 29, 2008, 11:09 AM   #4
ken22250
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Join Date: November 26, 2008
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i had a 8 but never an 81, the M8 i had was made in the 20's, it was a 35 rem, the accuracy is not very good, a good group would run 5-6" at 100yds, i never did like the gun because of the way the barrel jacket bounced arround, when i would shoot it it clanked and banged and generly made me feel uncomfortable, i sold it to a fello at the shooting range who collected remingtons, i got $300 for it in the early 90's, if you like it buy it, that should be a good price.
ken
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Old December 30, 2008, 11:33 AM   #5
Winchester_73
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Unfortunately I found out today that the woodsmaster was tapped. I think I'm going to avoid this gun since now its no longer collector quality and since I live in PA, I can't hunt with the gun anyways. Its a shame, the rifle was very clean and it appeared to be original. If its too good to be true...well you know the rest.
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