Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a rifle that is well known for being rejected as a standard infantry rifle but had a lot of promise. This is a military trial Remington Keene rifle. Way back in the late 1800s, the US military wanted to spice things up and find a new rifle that used one of those fancy newfangled magazine feeds. So, Remington found a solution and brought in a man named John W. Keene who had devised a slick new bolt-action rifle that was fed from a tubular magazine. Remington quickly put this design into production as the Remington-Keene rifle and submitted it for military trials. Unfortunately, the Remington-Keene wasn’t selected by the military, who favored the Winchester. But Remington brought the rifle to market anyway in several variations, including the carbine model pictured here with its 7-round tubular magazine. While it wasn’t adopted, the Remington-Keene was an important early attempt at a military magazine-fed rifle. The example shown has an interesting history as one of the carbine models sold commercially after the trials. It’s a neat piece of firearms development in the late 19th century!
“Remington only manufactured an estimate 5,000 Keene magazine rifles (in all configurations) between 1880 and 1883. “406 C8″ stamped on the buttstock (left side) suggests that this rifle was delivered to the U.S. military for trials. The 29 1/4 inch barrel also suggests that the rifle is one of the 250 units delivered to the U.S. Navy which were believed to have been issued to the Marine Corps for testing in 1880.”
Lot 374: Remington Arms Inc Keene-Rifle Rifle 45-70 – Scarce Remington-Kene Military Test Magazine Bolt Action Navy Pattern Rifle. (n.d.-r). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved August 6, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/2018/374/remington-arms-inc-keeerifle-rifle-4570.