Remington, America’s oldest gun company, and also several of its newest, since the Freedom Group consolidation, had a massive presence at the 2016 SHOT Show. Its booth was seemingly an avatar incarnated of the true nature of the company itself: A conglomerate of multiple booths collected into one sprawling location, with distinct and sometimes disharmonious personalities.
In fact, I liked the Remington booth this year quite a lot more than their previous, as smack dab in the center was a mini-museum of Remington’s history, with significant firearms the company has produced throughout history represented by physical examples right there at the show. Given the company’s ongoing struggle to find a buyer in the face of threatened orphanry, a museum of all the company’s accomplishments could be seen, I guess, as a desperate plea for relevance, but although that thought did occur to me, I felt the central exhibit was well-executed and poignant, especially because 2016 marks Remington’s 200th year in business.
Now here’s a rifle near and dear to my heart: The Remington-made M1903A3 Springfield. These served mostly as home guard rifles during WWII, and also as the platform for the famous M1903A4 sniper rifle. I own a rifle that looks almost exactly like this one.
In the center of the mini-museum were more exhibits:
Hey, cool, it’s an M1885 “Navy” Remington-Lee! One of my favorite guns of all time! Weird, its placard seems to be knocked over, wonder what it says…
Oh, that’s why.
There were some… Interesting absences at the Remington booth, for example:
Huh. There are no R51s there. Maybe on the other side?
Nope! Not a single R51 was present at the Remington booth in 2016. I asked a representative why, and his answer was disappointing, but – I thought – very sober: “We don’t want to show it again until it’s ready. It’ll be done when it’s done.” Funnily, there was an original Model 51 represented in the mini-museum (but alas I did not get photos of it).
But that wasn’t the only gun leaving a conspicuous absence: While the Bushmaster section of the Remington booth had several ACRs…
…The Remington Defense section, which usually shows off the hottest new prototypes, was totally bereft of that rifle.
Also missing entirely from the Remington booth was the R5, Remington’s piston-operated AR-15 variant. I asked a Remington Defense representative why these two guns were missing, and he said that neither had received any real interest, because both of them were too expensive to be competitive. In his words, regarding the R5 in particular “The HK416 is a fine rifle, but it’s pretty expensive. The R5 was twice the cost of an HK416, and nobody was willing to pay that much for a rifle.” According to the representative, development of both those weapons has ceased, and Remington is focusing on other projects.