POTD: Remington Keene – Remington’s First Bolt Action Rifle
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! In the late 1800s, the US military instituted a board to ideally select a magazine-fed rifle for military trials. Knowing this Remington realized its only current production high quality and popular rifle at the time was their rolling block and it was not possible to convert that rifle to magazine feed without significant modification. The solution was simple; find an inventor looking for a manufacturer. Along came John W. Keene with his bolt action tubular fed rifle. This rifle quickly became the Remington Keene and was listed in the group used in trial; albeit, for not, since the military favored the Winchester with its rear tube loading rifle. With the Remington Keene not adopted Remington released it to the public in several variations including carbine variants such as the one pictured holding seven rounds in the magazine.
“This Remington-Keene is the 24 1/2 inch Hunter’s/Sporting rifle variant produced only from 1880 through 1883. The total of all Remington-Keene rifles and carbines produced is estimated at just 5,000. The Keene design was the first bolt action manufactured by Remington and was fed via a full length magazine tube running below the barrel that is fed via a loading gate on the bottom of the action. Upon closing the action, the shooter manually cocked the hammer. It is chambered for the government standard .45-70 cartridge widely in use in Springfield Trapdoor rifles and carbines of that era. It has a dovetailed blade front sight on the front barrel band and a folding ladder rear sight graduated to 1,000 yards. It is fitted with a smooth, straight grip walnut stock with a curved buttplate with a compartment (empty). The only visible markings are “45/70″one the left side rear of the action and the three line address and patent information on the tail of the bolt. “916” is marked on the butt under the buttplate and on the buttplate and trapdoor. It has blue finish aside from the bright bolt and casehardened hammer.”
Lot 3065: Scarce Remington-Keene Bolt Action Hunter’s Rifle. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/65/3065/scarce-remingtonkeene-bolt-action-hunters-rifle.