Remington 8 / 81 parts gun

by Jim Green, Gunsmith on June 19, 2012

I had a gun come into the shop recently. It was a familiar semi auto Remington that I had worked on numerous guns of this type before. Only this one was jammed shut. Hmmm…. it needed a good cleaning.


I pulled the barrel jacket off, and removed all the internal parts. Wow ! It was seriously rusted.

There were several internal parts missing too. After trying to locate replacements and finding none, I decided to make new ones. The firing pin retaining pin, the bolt cam pin (one was missing entirely) and I replaced all the springs too.

You can see the pins that I have made to go back into this gun. They were turned from steel and heat treated.


After reassembly I tried to test fire the rifle. Uh – oh, it wouldn’t work except as a single shot. The bolt would lock to the rear. So I checked it over very carefully. Hmmm…. 300 Savage caliber. OK…. this is a Remington model 81 cartridge.

However, the receiver and the rest of the gun is a model 8, which is an earlier made gun.

I found out the barrel extension wasn’t pressing the barrel lock down far enough to allow the bolt to release and go back into battery. It wouldn’t fire as a semi auto otherwise, but simply lock the bolt to the rear after one shot.

The solution was to build up the surface of the barrel lock with TIG weld and file it to fit.

Finally ! The gun now functions as it should ! The rifle was shipped back to the out of state customer who was happy to know his mix ‘n’ match parts gun was now a shooter. Somewhere along the way this early model 8 had a barrel and bolt replaced with one from a later model 81. Then it was pawned off on an unsuspecting buyer. Folks, be careful of what you think is a great deal on an older gun !

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

David Cavender June 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Without a doubt, one must be careful what they work on. I ask all kinds of questions to find out as much as I can. I’m not a gunsmith but maybe a novice armorer. Jim, keep up the good work. I learn something everytime. BTW, what is that on y0ur hip?

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Jim Green, Gunsmith June 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM

These days I have a ” new ” summer time gun. I used to pack an 8 shot .357 mag. Winter time I pack a full sized 1911 with 2 spare mags. Lately I been toting around an original Colt 1917 double action revolver dated from WW1. I took it in as a trade in the shop. The barrel was bobbed to 4 ” and the backstrap was stippled. It has an adjustable rear sight installed after the fact. Oh well…. it ain’t a collector piece anymore, but it’s chambered in .45 ACP with moon clips. The original “speedloader”.

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jay merry May 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I am looking for a mag remington woodsmaster modle81 (300SAV),CAN YOU HELP

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jay merry May 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I looking for a mag remington woodsmaster modle81 (300 sav)

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Charles Russell August 12, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I used your video to dissemble my fathers old model 81 and the disassembly went ok but you were not clear enough on the reassembly and had to do by trial and errow as wasn’t clear how the parts mainly the locking levers are positioned. Also would be nice to make a video on disassembly and reassembly of the bold assembly. Also be sure to tell people that the pins in the bolt will fall out when the bolt is removed from the receiver. I got lucky and saw it hit the floor.

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Charles Russell August 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Also thank for the tip on the screwdrivers now have a complete set,

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Dennis Sumrak June 21, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Help!
I watched the video and was able to disassemble my Remington 81 far enough for me to remove the magazine. I would really like to replace the mag with a new one if anyone has one for sale.
The next best thing would be a diagram of what it is supposed to look like inside.
Mine has two identical springs and a follower. I don’t know if it is supposed to have two springs or if I broke it.
I’d even pay someone to put this one back together.
Thanks.
Dennis

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