By: Jim Kushner.
Last year I stopped into a local gun shop because, well because it’s a gun shop. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, the shop has only been open for a little over a year and I had not been inside in a while.
As I was chatting with the owner I looked over his shoulder at the rifle rack behind him and noticed what looked like a Remington 14 or 141 pump action rifle. This is one of those deer rifles that were popular with the Michigan cedar swamp hunters when I a kid. The guns I remember from deer camp like this one were probably getting old when I saw them in my early teens. For some reason these have always appealed to me. The Remington 760, 7600, etc. were all preceded by the model 14 and then the 141.
At that point the conversation changed as I asked him if that Remington pump happened to be chambered in .35 Remington. It was and he was quick to hand it across the counter to me. It had been used but for it’s age it wasn’t in bad shape. It still had the original open sights and was not tapped for scope mounts. I did notice that it had an aftermarket recoil pad but the rest appeared to be original. There were plenty of use marks on the stock and the magazine tube between the receiver and fore stock was missing most of the original blue.
The last time I had my hands on one of these it had been for sale but the closest we came on price was a difference of $50.00. I walked away telling the owner I would think about it. I never went back. Now I had another one in front of me and the store owner said he was “motivated” to sell it, deer rifles were not selling now that the season had ended. I asked him “how motivated ?” I got it for $60.00 over his cost & he showed me his cost. It was the same price as the last one I had walked away from. I took it home.
It wasn’t until I had it a few days that I removed the recoil pad and discovered that the stock had been shortened. I had intended to replace the recoil pad with an original checkered steel butt plate. With the stock cut down the original would no longer fit. That was a disappointing discovery, I should have noticed that sooner but the thick recoil pad made it look the correct length.
I got a replacement stock from Dick Williams gun shop in Bridgeport. What they sent turned out to be a Bishop aftermarket stock and butt plate. My original butt plate wouldn’t fit this stock either. The Bishop stock fit the gun perfectly but it is a little wider than the original. However the wood has a very nice figure and the finish matches the fore stock pretty closely. I decided to leave it alone. If I ever decide that I need to have that original butt plate I can always shave down the stock to make it fit. For now I can live with it.
Not to long after finding the gun I found an original Marbles tang mounted peep sight for the 141. The receiver was factory drilled for this sight. It fit right on, drift out the rear sight and put in a filler plug. Simple as that and I have a longer sight radius that is easier to see especially since my over 50 eyes don’t focus as well on open sights like they used to.
Prior to all this I took the gun apart and gave it a good cleaning. Having never disassembled this gun before I did some research and learned a few little tricks to it. If you do the same and have any trouble all the info can be found with a quick internet search so I won’t repeat it here.
I would like to mention that the gun has a single large thumb screw on the left side. Unscrew this and the back end of the receiver and butt stock slides out from the rest of the gun making it a “take down” gun.
The first time at the range the gun functioned fine with the classic Remington 200 grain round nose bullet, that’s good because a classic Remington deer rifle should be shooting the same classic Remington round when it drops it’s next Michigan buck.