Rifles > Pump-Action

A Look Back: The Remington 141 Gamemaster Rifle

This simple, yet elegant workaday rifle has been the constant companion of country people for much of the 20th century.

3/2/2012

At the turn of the 20th century, lever-action rifles ruled the American gun world. Winchester, Marlin and Savage all had rifles with a loop-like under-lever chambered for everything from pistol calibers like the .32-20 to the massive .45-90 and beyond. The introduction of smokeless powders in 1893 brought with it new chamberings that touted high velocity as well as rapid firepower. American shooters and hunters—with their insatiable appetite for whatever is bigger and faster—clamored after the lever-guns.

Remington wanted in on the action but could not see a vulnerable niche in the lever-action market. The company felt the lever market was saturated and what was needed was another high-velocity, fast-firing design. A first attempt to get a jump on the lever-action rifle came in 1908 when Remington brought out the Model 8 autoloading rifle designed by John Browning. But the Model 8 was heavy, clunky and homely. What was needed was a light, fast-repeating rifle with sleek lines. John Pederson, who would later design the Pederson Device for the Model 1903 Springfield rifle, was given the task of designing a rifle to compete with the lever-action.

In 1913, Remington introduced the Model 14 pump- or slide-action rifle in four chamberings, .25, .30, .32 and .35 Remington. The cartridges were based upon the same case, differing only in neck size and some minor shoulder dimensions. A companion model called the 14 1/2 was chambered in a couple of the more popular pistol cartridges of the day—the .38-40 and .44-40 WCF.

Over the next 23 years, the Models 14 and 14 1/2 enjoyed some fairly good sales—in all 125,020 units made it into the hands of hunters. The rifle was sleek and light; it had to be in order to compete with the lever-guns. Two design features that were particularly novel were the spiral magazine tube that prevented the point of one bullet from resting on the primer of the next cartridge, and how the magazine itself moved with the fore-end. The sliding bolt had a button on its side to release the bolt. In .30 Remington, the rifle was on par with the popular .30-30 Win., but eastern woods hunters who hunted black bears were quite fond of the .35 Remington with its 200-grain, round-nose bullet travelling at 2,100 fps.

Production of the Models 14 and 14 1/2 was curtailed during the Great War but returned in 1919. Sales continue steadily throughout the 1920s until the stock market crashed in 1929, ushering in The Great Depression. The DuPont Company had been supplying Remington with gunpowder for many years for use in its ammunition, but as The Depression continued to take its toll on Remington, DuPont saw an opportunity to gain controlling interest in the company and did so on May 23, 1933. In addition to a much-needed capital investment, DuPont had Remington re-evaluate its entire product line, seeking to cut costs and make the production of each product as efficient as possible.

G.H. Garrison reviewed the Model 14 rifle in 1935 and offered some cosmetic and functional improvements. Barrels were lengthened from 22 to 24 inches on rifles, and 18 to 18 1/2 inches on carbines. The fore-end was given a slight beavertail treatment, and the stock was redesigned for faster handling and a steel shotgun-style buttplate was added. The upgraded rifle was christened the Model 141 Gamemaster, and a rendition of a brass cartridge head for which the rifle was chambered was imbedded in the receiver on the left side. As part of the paring process, the .25 Remington cartridge was dropped from the line after 1936, and this chambering is considered very rare in the 141.

In 1936, a Standard Grade Model 141A sold for $46. A Model 141C Special Grade went for $79.75; the Model 141D Peerless Grade cost $146.85; and the 141F Premier Grade was $300. It was produced until 1950—save for the World War II years—and some 76,881 rifles were sold. Two years after the last Model 141 left the factory it was replaced by the Model 760 Gamemaster rifle.

While they didn’t set the world afire, the slide-action Remingtons were a staple for country people who were more concerned with filling their larders than having a bunch of fancy frills on their rifles. I bought a 141 in .35 Remington from an estate sale several years ago and used it on a few wild hogs and one deer. My impression is that it’s a fine working rifle—dependable, handy and accurate for its cartridge. Collector interest is rather ho-hum, with a 100-percent specimen fetching perhaps $500 today, though carbine versions manufactured up until 1942 command an almost 100-percent premium over rifle versions.

What I like about this rifle is its pre-War workmanship at a blue-collar price. It is all steel and walnut, machined and hand-finished. The Remington Model 141 may not be the belle of the ball with Circassian walnut, rosewood embellishments and cartridges that lay herbivores low at a country mile, but to my eye it is elegant because of its simple, clean lines, and its reliable performance.

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35 Responses to A Look Back: The Remington 141 Gamemaster Rifle

Lynn wrote:
July 30, 2014

Dave You might want to compare the 35 Rem with the other cartridges and review your statement, 'The cartridges were based upon the same case, differing only in neck size and some minor shoulder dimensions.

Roger Johnson wrote:
July 14, 2014

Ammo was discontinued for 32's sometime in 1974- 75. Any ammo now will be head stamped 30 Rem....

Roger Johnson wrote:
July 14, 2014

I bought a 32 141 at a auction some years ago, and I done nothing with it until I found ammo. What a shooter at 100 yards, on a bench, with open sight. 3 rounds in a 1 inch group... I was impressed... Im in love with the old 1941 gun It's almost nice of shape to take in the woods. Its almost perfect shape.

Bill in Montana wrote:
June 26, 2014

I started collecting the Remington pump rifles 12's 14's, 14 1/2's 25's, 121's, and 141's, about 20 years ago. because i am left handed they seem to work out just fine, as they pump faster then a lever gun. I especially am addicted to the 25 cal. rifles that i have. but the cartridge is no longer available, so one has to make them. the workmanship in these rifles are amazing, function, outstanding. the only regret i have is that i did not start collecting these fine rifles many years ago. My advise to any young feller who appreciates fine machine work, crisp clean lines, and history, buy all you can, and watch your investment grow. they don't make these classics any more. love these Remington pumps. also don't overlook the mod. 8's and 81's Frank Hammer wasn't wrong.

Bill in Montana wrote:
June 26, 2014

I started collecting the Remington pump rifles 12's 14's, 14 1/2's 25's, 121's, and 141's, about 20 years ago. because i am left handed they seem to work out just fine, as they pump faster then a lever gun. I especially am addicted to the 25 cal. rifles that i have. but the cartridge is no longer available, so one has to make them. the workmanship in these rifles are amazing, function, outstanding. the only regret i have is that i did not start collecting these fine rifles many years ago. My advise to any young feller who appreciates fine machine work, crisp clean lines, and history, buy all you can, and watch your investment grow. they don't make these classics any more. love these Remington pumps. also don't overlook the mod. 8's and 81's Frank Hammer wasn't wrong.

Rick wrote:
June 11, 2014

This is it, there is no other. I grew up hunting the woods and mountains of PA, and my family has had this rifle since the 30's. My grandfather used it, my dad used it, and I grew up using it. I've used a lot of weapons, but when you're in the thick stuff, this 200 gr round will go through a tree and bring down what you're shooting at. If you can have a love affair with a rifle, this is the one. Up until dad passed, it gave me a lot of fodder to make fun of his .06. Up into my 40's I told him he had a sissy gun...and no take backs!! I'll be buried with it.

dave wrote:
February 05, 2014

I just got one in 32 caliber.How do Itell how old it is,serial number?

Kj Knuth wrote:
October 29, 2013

My grandfather bought his 141 .35 when his second son (my youngest uncle) was born, my mom used it more than he did I'm now next in line for the rifle and I've pulled it apart cleaned it shot it and tromped through the woods with it. Great gun in my eyes rivaling the 700s. I've found parts for it on brownells but only rear sights and weaver scope mounts

Jarrad wrote:
October 21, 2013

I have a model 141 Remington .35 pump action rifle that my father bought for me on my 14th birthday from an old gun dealer he worked with. May I say it is the finest deer rifle in the brush I have ever shot. Every deer I have harvested in the last 20+ years has been with this rifle. Never misfired, never jammed, and never anywhere else than spot on where I put it. I have never had a deer go more than 15 yards from the spot of impact. This rifle is THE brush gun. I have many others, but when I am looking to put meat in the freezer, the .35 Remington has no equal.

Dogdirt wrote:
October 13, 2013

Is it safe to use Remington 150 gr. Core-Lokts in a Remington 141 Gamemaster?

Dogdirt wrote:
October 13, 2013

Could someone fill me in a little more on why 150gr would cause a magazine problem.

Robert wrote:
June 14, 2013

Paul , check out the forums at Remington Society . com ,,, They have lots of info on the 14 and 141. Mine is a 30 Rem ,looked long and hard for 1 I could afford. 2 deer last year. More to come. As far as pointy bullets ,the feed mechanism is very selective on OAL. Original hang tags instructed to use round nose if memory serves.

Paul Oman wrote:
May 26, 2013

I have a model 141 in 35 rem i got from my grampa im wondeting if anyone knows where I can get a schematic of how to break it down cause I don't want to jump into it cause it means alot to me. I wanna break it down and clean it up cause its really sticky and rough looking. Any help would be great.

Medina Mule Skinner wrote:
February 04, 2013

Rem.35 GameMaster Pump Can't beat it for 150yds. Crosshairs on the neck... bingo. No need to track blood for your buck will be right where you hit it. I got my 35 from my grandfather when he went to a 30:06 auto. So my hand-me-down has served me well for over 45 yrs. 37 deer, 39 shots..she's still on the money. Now she's in the hands of my son and he's racked up two more. Me....I too went to a 30:06, but I'm still shuck'n the pump. It's that Remington slide action...just can't give that up.

Clay wrote:
February 03, 2013

Found this site when searching about my 141 that I inherited from my father. How can I find out when it was made? It's a .35 as well, fitted with a Redfield 4x scope. I think I fired it when I was younger (like 30 yrs ago) but can't recall. Looking forward to it! Good to hear its a 7+1 load.

matt mastro wrote:
January 22, 2013

Just bought a 141 chambered in 35 cal. Paid 500 for it.. very fine looking gun belonged to a dear family member

Mike wrote:
January 21, 2013

Chuck's comment on 11/28/2012 reveals that he's not aware of why there is a spiral to the 141's magazine tube: to cant(tilt) the cartridges so they are not nose-to-primer. So these guns were ok with pointed cartridges long before the Hornady Lever Revolution rounds existed. If the polymer-tipped Revolution rounds are safe in a Win. or Marlin lever gun with their straight-tube magazine, they're extra-safe in the Rem. 141. BTW, a nice plus for the 141 is the ability to clean the barrel from the breech end as the gun is a take-down, and a fine take-down it is as the joint is between the firing mechanism and the receiver, where no harm can be done to accuracy. A well thought out design. I'm never selling my .35 in that model.

eric vibert wrote:
January 18, 2013

I have a GameMaster 141 .35 pump . My dad bought a raffle ticket here in Saginaw Mi. Gm where he worked. He payed a whole $2.00 and win the raffle . This was back ine the early 80s , I always liked it . Took almost 30 years but its mine now . Thks Dad .

Rick wrote:
December 19, 2012

How about the Hornady Lever revolution loads, are they safe to use in this 141. Considering the spirel mag tube I am thinking it would be perfectly safe, but would rather be sure.

chuck wrote:
November 28, 2012

Comments...Magazine capacity is 7 rounds. Use only the 200 grain round or you risk a magazine explosion with the 150 grain round.

Dan wrote:
November 14, 2012

I just purchased a model 141 35 Remington and was wondering if anyone could tell me the magazine capacity and approx value. Very clean working order and was produced in 1935

Albert wrote:
June 26, 2012

You should give a phone call to the official Remington Service Center closer to you.

Fred in Lakewood wrote:
June 17, 2012

The 141 seems to have one glaring defect; the action unlocks as soon as the striker falls. In the event of a hang fire, the rifle can discharge with the bolt unlocked.

Brad Sorrell wrote:
April 29, 2012

I have a model 141 in 35 cal. and it's great in the close woods where I live. By the serial #, it's just a couple months older than I am; we were both produced in 1949. And, yes there is a "KICK" ... but I call it muzzle-jump ... ya definitely have to bring it back down for a follow-up shot. A note for Gerardo: have a look at the sights at: http://www.marblearms.com/ They ought to have what you need ... good luck.

Gerardo Martinez wrote:
March 16, 2012

Thanks a lot, Dave. Unfortunately by the time I saw your posting the auctions was ended, but I'll look around based on the information provided. Again, many thanks!

Wade wrote:
March 06, 2012

I purchased my first hunting rifle, a model 141, about 1946. It was so slick and smooth. I've wished so many times I still had it. It was truley a great rifle.

Dale wrote:
March 06, 2012

A good looking rifle with that "old hunting" heritage built in. Would be proud to own one and would use it for white tail and black bear. Almost bought the 18" carbine in .30 Remington at a gunshow but, didn't have enough cash.

snug wrote:
March 05, 2012

The model 141 is the best"woods gun" for whitetail in the Eastern U.S. That and a good 12ga. pump can, with an experienced shooter, place aimed shots as fast as a semi-auto.

Alan Wilson wrote:
March 05, 2012

I have a Model 141 in .35 Rem. I picked up a couple years ago on Gunbroker. I has the Lyman tang sight which is the main reason I bought it. I love that sight. I also have a Model 121 with the Lyman tang sight and I love them.

Dave Campbell wrote:
March 05, 2012

Gerardo, I just found ths on ebay:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lyman-R-14-tang-sight-for-Remington-model-14-or141rifle-/170796561670?pt=Vintage_Hunting&hash=item27c444b506

Ken McMullen wrote:
March 04, 2012

I inherited a .35 Model 141 and it has become my most preferred hunting rifle of choice. Accuracy from utilizing an old Redfield iron peep sight is spot on.

bigwayne wrote:
March 03, 2012

I LOVE MY .35 model 14.. i had 2 a left handed one(saftey reversed)which was returned to a family member and the one I still own they were one serial number apart.. bought at the same hardware store in 1917.. may try to relocate it to pair them back up... she's a mule kicker

joshua wrote:
March 03, 2012

I think I will be getting one .

Foster Findlay wrote:
March 03, 2012

This was the rifle my grandfather used. In .30 cal. I still have this rifle.

Gerardo Martinez wrote:
March 03, 2012

I have one in .35 Rem, and it's a very nice rifle to shoot. I wonder where can I get the original (or a good aftermarket replacement) for the peep sight; I was looking around for one, but couldn't find any. Any suggestions? Much appreciated!