Remington Model 721

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Remington 721, 722, & 725
Remington M722A 244 1955.jpg
Remington Model 722A with rifle scope and sling
Type Rifle
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer Mike Walker & Homer W. Young
Manufacturer Remington Arms
Produced 1948–1962
No. built
  • Model 721 & 722 - ~118,000
  • Model 725 - ~17,000
Variants 722, 725
Specifications
Cartridge
721 Calibers:
722 Calibers:
725 Calibers:
Action Bolt action, rotating bolt with 2 lugs
Feed system Internal box magazine
Sights Iron Sights with scope mount holes

The Model 721 and Model 722 along with the later Model 725 variant are bolt-action sporting rifles manufactured by Remington Arms from 1948 until 1961. The 721/722 replaced the short lived Model 720. The Model 721/722 is considered to be one of the first modern, economically produced sporting rifles whose design largely continued with the subsequent and highly successful Model 700. Manufactured with high precision, it is known for exceptional accuracy. The bolt and receiver design, based on the Mauser action, is considered one of the strongest ever produced. Samples in excellent condition have become collectible.

History

Remington Model 721A and 722A as shown in 1948

Prior to World War II, the Remington Model 30, had been the standard Remington bolt action sporting rifle. However production had halted during World War II.

During the war, Remington gained experience manufacturing large quantities of martial firearms more efficiently. By the end of the war, manufacturing technology had advanced significantly. By these standards, older designs like the Model 30 (and the Model 720 variant) were laborious and expensive to produce and could not take advantage of manufacturing advancements.

The Mauser M 98 action was popularly recognized as being well suited to sporting rifle applications but was complex and would require design changes to better take advantage of modern production techniques.

Rather than continue manufacturing older rifles that had become expensive to produce, Remington chose to develop an altogether new and modern rifle design with Mike Walker and Homer Young playing key roles. These factors converged in the development of the Remington Model 721 / 722.

The new Model 721/722 was introduced in 1948. Deluxe versions became available in 1955. The Model 725 variant was later introduced in 1958. These models all share a common design only differing by features and may be collectively referred to within this article as the Model 721 unless otherwise noted. Model 721 production ended in 1961 with the replacement Model 700 taking over in 1962. The Model 700 was also designed by Mike Walker and largely continues the 721 design with modern aesthetic improvements.

Design details

Remington described the bolt action as the strongest ever developed when introduced with enclosed bolt head encased in barrel

When compared to the Mauser 98 action, the Remington introduced several features meant to decrease production time and cost as well as increase the accuracy potential.[1] The first was a redesign of the receiver from a billet-machined structure to a round profile. The round receiver can be produced on a lathe rather than requiring a mill. The recoil lug was a simple plate of steel sandwiched between the barrel and receiver.[2]

Remington advertised the rifle as having the "strongest bolt action ever developed."[3] with a new encased bolt head. The bolt was redesigned and made from multiple pieces. The large claw extractor was eliminated in favor of a small, but effective part mounted in a newly recessed bolt face. The ejector was now a plunger on the bolt face rather than a blade mounted in the receiver.

A new adjustable trigger mechanism was fitted allowing for a sharper, crisp let off. A new safety design was also introduced. The same trigger and safety were used in the subsequent Model 700 and eventually came under criticism due to safety concerns.

Standard factory features included tapered barrel, American walnut sporting stock, polished bolt and action, drilled and tapped for scope mounts, four cartridge magazine, adjustable rear site, matted ramp front site, metal butt plate. Additional options included select figured walnut stocks, hand checkering and sling swivels.

Production

Remington Manufactured the Model 721 in Ilion, New York. Production estimates are:

  • Model 721 and Model 722: ~118,000[1]
  • Model 725: ~17,000

Model variants

Remington Model 722A from 1955 Chambered in .244
  • Model 721A Standard grade
  • Model 721BDL Deluxe grade
  • Model 722A Standard grade
  • Model 722BDL Deluxe grade
  • Model 725ADL Deluxe grade

Most rifle magazines had a capacity for 4 cartridges. The .222 Remington version could hold 5 cartridges and the larger .300 H&H Magnum and other similarly large cartridges were limited to 3 cartridges in the magazine. Barrels were tapered with lengths, depending on year and caliber, ranging from 22 to 26 inches.

Model 721

The Model 721 was the long-action version designed for longer cartridges.

The 721A Standard grade was available during all years of production. Standard grade features included American walnut sporting stock, polished bolt and action, drilled and tapped for scope mounts, four cartridge magazine, adjustable rear site, matted ramp front site, metal butt plate.

The 721BDL Deluxe grade was available from 1955 until 1957 and ultimately replaced by the 725. In addition to the standard features, the BDL version featured select figured American walnut stock, hand checkering and sling swivels.

The .300 H&H Magnum version included a rubber butt pad. The box magazine could only contain three rounds instead of the usual four.

Model 722

The Model 722 was the short-action version designed for shorter cartridges.

The 722A Standard grade was available during all years of production. Standard grade features included American walnut sporting stock, polished bolt and action, drilled and tapped for scope mounts, four cartridge magazine, adjustable rear site, matted ramp front site, metal butt plate.

The 722BDL Deluxe grade was available from 1955 until 1957 and ultimately replaced by the 725. In addition to the standard features, the BDL version featured select figured American walnut stock, hand checkering and sling swivels.

The .222 Remington version was often singled out from other 722s and marketed as a varmint rifle often featuring a 26 inch barrel.

Model 725

Remington 725ADL as shown in 1960

The Model 725ADL was introduced in 1958 replacing the 721BDL and 722BDL as the deluxe offering in the 721 line. The 725ADL was produced from 1958 until 1961. Unlike the 721/722, the 725 was only produced in a long action despite being chambered for a variety of both short and long cartridges. The 725ADL included a walnut Monte Carlo stock rather than the sporting stock of the 721/722. A hinged floor plate was included to facilitate unloading. Most of these features continued in the later Model 700, underscoring the 725ADL as a transitional model. The 725ADL did however uniquely use an older safety design rather than the safety used by the 721/722 as well as the later 700. A rare 725 Kodiak model was made in 1961 with limited availability. This variant was uniquely chambered for .375 H&H Magnum and .458 Winchester Magnum.

Models by year

Year Standard Deluxe
1948 721A, 722A
1949 721A, 722A
1950 721A, 722A
1951 721A, 722A
1952 721A, 722A
1953 721A, 722A
1954 721A, 722A
1955 721A, 722A 721BDL, 722BDL
1956 721A, 722A 721BDL, 722BDL
1957 721A, 722A 721BDL, 722BDL
1958 721A, 722A 725ADL
1959 721A, 722A 725ADL
1960 721A, 722A 725ADL
1961 721A, 722A 725ADL

Calibers Chambered

Depending on year and model variant, Remington chambered the rifles for a variety of cartridges.

Year Model 721
1948 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1949 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1950 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1951 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1952 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1953 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1954 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1955 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1956 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1957 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1958 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1959 270 Win 300 Mag 30-06
1960 270 Win 280 Rem 300 Mag 30-06
1961

264 win mag

270 Win 280 Rem 300 Mag 30-06
Year Model 722
1948 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1949 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1950 222 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1951 222 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1952 222 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1953 222 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1954 222 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav
1955 222 Rem 244 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav 308 Win
1956 222 Rem 244 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav 308 Win
1957 222 Rem 244 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav 308 Win
1958 222 Rem 222 Mag 244 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav 308 Win
1959 222 Rem 222 Mag 244 Rem 257 Roberts 300 Sav 308 Win
1960 222 Rem 222 Mag 243 Win 244 Rem 257 Roberts 308 Win
1961 222 Rem 222 Mag 243 Win 244 Rem 257 Roberts 308 Win
Year Model 725
1958 270 Win 280 Rem 30-06
1959 222 Rem 244 Rem 270 Win 280 Rem 30-06
1960 222 Rem 243 Win 244 Rem 270 Win 280 Rem 30-06
1961 222 Rem 243 Win 244 Rem 270 Win 280 Rem 30-06 .375 H&H .458 Win Mag

Legacy

Originally offered at less than $90, the rifles were affordable and well received by the public at the time of introduction. The rifles developed a reputation for accuracy unmatched by other mass produced sporting rifles of the era. While prices were affordable, the standard grade version have been criticized for plain aesthetics and stamped steel trigger guard.[4]

Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidWayUSA identified the Model 721 as earning “a spot in the firearms hall of fame”. He described it as a strong, accurate, economically produced and well received rifle at the time of its introduction.[1]

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Model 721 is the Remington Model 700, the best selling bolt action rifle in history and considered to be one of the greatest centerfire hunting rifles ever produced.[5] The Model 700 replaced the 721 in 1962 but largely continued the 721 design while incorporating modern aesthetic improvements (many of which were previewed in the 725). Today many appreciate and collect samples from the 721 family particularly those in excellent condition or with rare features or uncommon calibers.

See also

Remington Model 700 Development

Mauser M 98

References

  1. ^ a b c Midway USA Model 721 History
  2. ^ Wayne., Van Zwoll, (2012). Gun Digest shooter's guide to rifles. Iola, Wis.: Krause. ISBN 9781440230721. OCLC 809123795. 
  3. ^ 1956 Remington Catalog
  4. ^ Rees, Clair (2001). "After 38 years, this classic bolt action is still America's favorite rifle". Guns Magazine. Annual 2001: 52 – via https://gunsmagazine.com/2001-articles/. 
  5. ^ "Greatest Centerfire Hunting Rifles Ever Made". www.chuckhawks.com. Retrieved 2018-05-02. 
  • "Model 721 Bolt Action Centerfire Rifle" at Remington Arms web site
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