by
John Gyde and Roy Marcot

The sale of Remington firearms declined dramatically during the depression. By 1932, losses for the one hundred and sixteen year old company were approaching $1,000,000 per year. Remington Arms Company, Inc., headed by Chairman of the Board Marcellus Hartley Dodge, had little cash for day-to-day operations and practically nothing for product updates or improvements. Dodge searched for a financial partner, and the call was answered by the munitions and chemical giant, DuPont. This was a natural because of Remington's use of sizeable amounts of DuPont gunpowder. On May 24, 1933, DuPont purchased a controlling interest in Remington, and with a much needed influx of cash, product updates at Remington followed almost immediately.

In January 1935, Crawford C. Loomis began design work to improve the Model 24 autoloading rifle. The result of this work was the new Remington Model 241 rifle and the first production guns were shipped in August 1935, only seven months later. The Model 241 was a big brother to the Model 24 (similar to the Model 121's replacement of the Model 12 slide-action .22 rifle). In fact, Remington's earliest advertising stated this to be "a man-sized gun" which was "bigger - heavier - and better" than the Model 24 it replaced. Since this was a "product improvement" to the Model 24 autoloader, royalties continued to be paid to John M. Browning's company.

The barrel on the new Model 121 was longer than its predecessor, the stock and forend were larger, and some internal parts were strengthened to accommodate the newer high-velocity ammunition. The interrupted thread concept was continued, but the Model 241 system was significantly different. It had three raised thread areas as opposed to two on the Model 24. The take-down button was moved from the bottom of the receiver to the left side. According to Remington ads, the take-down system was similar to that in the Remington Model 37 shotgun. It was also very similar to the Charles Barnes designed system used on the Model 16.

 

In Remington's announcement letter dated June 21, 1935, the following grades and retail prices were listed:

Model 241 SA or Model 241 LA
   Standard Grade $29.95

Model 241 SC or Model 241 LC
   Special Grade $45.30

Model 241 SD or Model 241 LD
   Peerless Grade $80.00

Model 241 SE or Model 241 LE
   Expert Grade $116.80

Model 241 SF or Model 241 LF
   Premier Grade $142.00


The letter immediately following the number indicates the cartridge for which the rifle is chambered. "S" stands for Short and "L" for Long Rifle.

The B Grade was not included in the original list of offerings. It was introduced in early 1940.


Page 28 2nd Quarter 2010


Total Sales of Remington Model 241 Rifles
yearannual salesapprox. ending serial number
19357,1327,132
193613,20320,335
193713,74834,083
19387,30041,383
19396,20446,587
19406,35153,938
19412,18656,124
19423,89560,019
1943260,021
19442560,046
19453,73663,782
19464,99268,774
194711,41980,283
194813,76694,019
194910,154104,773
1950242105,015
19512,330107,345
 

These dates and numbers are from Remington Archives records. However, the dates and serial numbers appear to become increasingly inaccurate after 1946, with serial numbered guns showing production codes several years later than indicated in the factory records. For example, serial number 121000 was manufactured in March 1949 according to the barrel code. Serial numbers over 132000 have been observed. To add to the confusion, duplicate serial numbers were issued on 200 Model 241s (serial number 60669 to 60869 in October 1941). The serial numbering system cycled back to 60669 after 60869 was stamped. Serial numbers were not required at that time and there was concern that polishing and restamping might weaken the receiver, so the receivers were used.


Page 19 2nd Quarter 2010


The Model 241 was advertised with a steel butt plate. However, like the Model 121 slide-action rifle, aluminum replaced the steel in the butt plate in mid-1946.

Guns made early in the production run had only MODEL 241 and the serial number stamped on the left side of the receiver. The Speedmaster and the Remington logo were added in 1936. At least one slip-up when the "Master" designation was first added is obvious by the "Gamemaster - Model 141" stamp found on a Model 241 made in June, 1936.

The flat-sided receiver of the Model 241 had a larger surface than the Model 121, so it was the favorite .22 rifle to Remington factory engravers. Serial number 36109 was elaborately engraved by Carl Ennis and presented to C. J. Hoysradt, Regional Promotion Representative for Remington in Akron, Ohio. Another Model 241 was engraved by three different Remington engravers.

 

This picture appeared on the cover of Life Magazine (October 29, 1940) and pictured the first man (Yuen Chong Chan) who was drafted into the U.S. Army at the start of World War II. Here Mr. Chan practices his aim at a local shooting gallery that features Remington Model 241 Gallery Rifles.


Page 20 2nd Quarter 2010




Page 21 2nd Quarter 2010

Barbera Sporting Goods altered some Model 241s for use at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio in 1939. The fore end was extended almost to the end of the barrel, a high square front blade sight and a Redfield receiver sight were installed, and a sling strap was added. If encountered, these guns should be easily identified, but they are not true "factory produced military trainers".

From mid-1937 through mid-1939, Remington designers experimented with Routeledge bored barrels and Remington Hi-Speed shot cartridges. Despite successful trials, Remington's Manager of Sales decided on July 11th not to pursue a possible production of these guns.

Remington Model 241 autoloading rifles were popular in shooting galleries in the late 1930s and '40s. Remington supplied these rifles in standard finish (blued barrel and receiver) and in "nickel trim finish" (which included chrome plated receiver and trigger plate) or "full nickel finishâ"(which included chrome plated receiver, trigger plate, barrel and all other exposed metal parts). The Model 241 Gallery Gun was also supplied (if the customer wanted) with a "course" (wide Unotch) rear sight and a screw eye for a counter fastener. Shooting gallery proprietors soon requested shell deflectors like those that were available as an option on the Model 24. Some deflectors were built in the Remington Tool Room in 1939 for certain galleries and for "export orders". Several configurations and various metals were tried, but deflectors were never produced in any significant quantity.

Between 1942 and 1945, Remington supplied a total of 7,658 Model 241 autoloading rifles for the U.S. Government. An unknown number were sold to the U.S. Navy for training in 1944 and "45.

In mid-1944, with the war still raging in Europe and in the Pacific, Remington gun designer Charles H. Barnes invented an improved Model 241 rifle with a sheet metal receiver - to replace the more expensive machined solid steel receiver on production guns. Evidently, this improvement was not adopted, and full production of standard rifles continued after World War II ended.

In January 1951, due to a Korean War shortage of brass, authorization was given to make some Model 241 inner magazine tubes of steel, instead of brass. Approximately 500 steel tubes were made in 1951 for Model 121 and Model 241 rifles.

The Remington Model 241 autoloading .22 was replaced by the Remington Model 550, which had been introduced back in August 1939. The end of the Model 241 was confirmed by an authorization to scrap surviving tooling on January 28, 1955.

MODEL 241 "SPEEDMASTER" AUTOLOADING .22 CALIBER RIFLE
aka.

action:




barrel:
barrel marking:




butt plate:


cartridges:

designer/inventor:





finish:
front sight:
Model 241 SA or Model 241 LA
Blowback (recoil-operated) semiautomatic. Hammerless. Bottom ejection. Take-down. Receiver milled from a solid block of steel.
Round, 24 inches in length REMINGTON ARMS CO., Inc., Ilion, N.Y., MADE IN U.S.A., BROWNING'S PATS. 1,372,336 -- 1,381,448 -- 1,740,187 -- 1,889,099 Checkered steel (later aluminum), shotgun-style Available in .22 Short Only or .22 Long Rifle Only, not interchangeable
Basic design by John M. Browning. Design improvements by Crawford C. Loomis U.S. Patents: #1,372,336, #1,381,448, #1,740,187, and #1,889,099
Blued barrel and receiver Blade with white metal bead
introduced: discontinued: total production:



magazine:







options:
August 1935
1951

107,345 rifles
According to Remington factory records, however larger quantities are possible
Tubular, loads from right side of butt stock. Brass tube pulled out from butt plate and rimfire cartridges dropped into well. Spring pushes forward when tube is replaced. Magazine holds 10 Long Rifle or 15 Shorts, but are not interchangeable.
Nickel plated trimmings. Remington considered nickel as a trade term, as the actual plating material was chrome. Nickel trimmings included plating the receiver and trigger plate. "Full Nickel" included plating all external metal parts. Factory "nickeled" Model 241s are only rarely encountered. Oil-finished stocks and forend wood. Leather straps

Page 22 2nd Quarter 2010




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