Remington Model 37

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In October 1932, Remington officials decided to produce a target grade, bolt action .22 caliber target rifle to compete with the Winchester model 52. They assigned this task to the in house design team of Crawford C Loomis, Aubrey L Lowe and Kenneth Lowe. These men set about creating such a gun, but this was not an easy venture owing to the complexity of designing a precision target rifle with the monetary problems of operating in the Depression era. Adding to the pressures associated with designing the new gun was Remington’s goal for the quality of the new rifle.

Despite the initial difficulties, the first prototype rifles were ready for trial in mid 1936, and a number of guns were sent out to small bore marksmen for competitive tests at Camp Perry. After heeding the marksmen’s advice and making last minute design changes, Remington finally announced the Model 37 Rangemaster Bolt action target rifle to the public on October1, 1936 with initial deliveries promised for January 1937.

this is the rifle that thousands of small bore target shooters have asked Remington to build. It embodies their own ideas of a perfect target rifle, and they have long awaited this announcement, The Rangemaster has already demonstrated its superiority in the acis test of actual match competition. The rifle scored a sensational 200×200 with 14Xs at 200 yards!”

The announcement of the new Model 37 proved to be premature as Remington suffered delay upon delay in tooling up for the new gun. Even though 44 were made in 1936, production did not begin in earnest until mid 1937. The Remington price list for January 2 1937 announced the new Rangemaster to dealers would handle sales of the new rifle. The prices listed were $69.95 retail, $59.45 wholesale.

Finally Remington could compete head to head with Winchester’s model 52 target rifle in national level and international level competition.

1 COMMENT

  1. I still need to write up something on match triggers as I mentioned the last time you brought up the Model 37 – which was a bit over a year ago, if memory serves.

    For those who want a serious target .22LR, the Model 37 works quite well – until we get into the trigger group. Remington’s trigger on the 37 had lots of fiddly adjustments, and when you adjusted it too light, things started getting a tad unreliable. The rifle as a whole shot like dream, but the competition between Winchester’s 52 and the 37 (later 40X) for who had the best trigger over-taxed both companies. Neither trigger was what we think of today as a reliable, but light, match trigger. Anschutz would later truly solve this problem, enabling them to take over the .22 match rifle market.

    But in their day, the 37’s and 52’s could be vastly improved with aftermarket triggers. Names of aftermarket triggers for these rifles: Canjar, Kenyon, Thomas… there are likely others that I have not seen.

    The best of the lot? Kenyon triggers, IMO. Karl Kenyon’s triggers were absolutely top-shelf stuff. I met Karl briefly before he quit gunsmithing in 2009 and then passed away in 2011. He was a prince of a gentleman, and a man who knew a terrific amount of useful information on these US-made target rifles. Sadly, he didn’t pass on much of his knowledge before he passed away – and I lay the fault for this with people who didn’t want to put the work into learning how to make things with their hands. Karl’s triggers were made by hand – with hacksaws, files and polishing paper. Karl made the screws, the pins, the springs, the works. For those who think that guns cannot be made well by hand, I would put Karl’s work up for examination and evaluation vs. mass produced guns and ask “which trigger would you prefer?” I already know the answer.

    Anyway, enough about Karl’s triggers, which are getting rare. The factory 37 trigger can be problematic, and I would advise people who own 37’s to be very careful in adjusting them, as you can get results you don’t fully expect when you move certain adjustments too far. The rest of the rifle, however, is quite good.

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