REMINGTON Model 30 Express
Rifle|July - August 2021
A Classic Rifle Bar None
Layne Simpson

In 1913, Great Britain’s Enfield Arsenal completed the design of a new battle rifle with the intent of replacing the Lee-Enfield in .303 British. About 1,000 Pattern 13 rifles chambered for the .276 Enfield were built for military trials. Like the Lee-Enfield, its firing pin cocked as the bolt was pushed forward and closed. World War I began during the summer of 1914, and when ill-equipped Great Britain declared war on Germany in August, the new cartridge was shelved, the rifle was chambered for .303 British and its designation changed to Pattern 1914.

Meanwhile, the Lee-Enfield remained in production and because manufacturing capabilities could not handle the addition of the P14 rifle, huge contracts were awarded to Remington and Winchester. In addition to producing rifles at its Ilion, New York, plant, Remington leased more than 30 acres of factory floor space from Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, whereas many as 6,000 P14 rifles were produced each day.

Due to sufficient inventory of Lee-Enfield and P14 rifles on hand, the British canceled the Remington and Winchester contracts in 1916. When American doughboys headed “over there” in 1917, there was no way production of the 1903 Springfield at Rock Island Arsenal and Springfield Armory could keep up with the projected demand. With three huge plants already geared up to produce the P14 Enfield, some bright soul (rumored to be a Remington official) convinced U.S. Army brass that the rifle could easily be modified to handle the .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Contracts were awarded in 1917 and a British-designed rifle became known as U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1917. The war officially ended in November 1918, and while some sources disagree on how many rifles were actually produced, in Bolt Action Rifles (1984) author Frank de Hass indicated approximately 545,511 at Winchester, 545,541 at Remington-Ilion and 1,181,908 at the Eddystone plant.

The leaf spring running almost the full length of the bolt release body is quite strong, making it difficult to operate with a finger. Engaging a V-groove at the front end with the rim of a cartridge and pulling outward is easier.

The Model 30 inherited its dog-leg bolt handle and two-position safety from the 1917 Enfield. Protrusion of the cocking piece from the rear of the bolt shroud indicates the firing pin is cocked.

Sudden cancellation of the contract found Remington with enough parts on hand to continue building thousands of rifles. Rather than contacting a dealer in scrap metal, decision-makers decided to use the parts, along with machinery used for turning out P14 and P17 rifles, to build a sporting rifle. An announcement made during late 1920 proclaimed the coming of the “Remington Model 30 High Power Rifle” chambered for the exciting “.30-caliber Springfield Model 1906 Cartridge.” Two Remington factory loads were also introduced, a 150-grain Bronze Point at 3,000 fps and a 110-grain High-Speed Mushroom Bullet at 3,500 fps. Remington’s family of rimless cartridges in .25, .30, .32, and .35 calibers were soon added and of those, the .25 Remington became the most popular due to its suitability for varmint shooting as well as for taking deer and other game similar in size.

When transforming the P17 receiver into one more suitable for sporting use, huge steel wings protecting the rear aperture sight were machined away and a weight-reduction cavity in the bridge of some receivers was filled in. Those modifications resulted in an attractive contour of the same height as the receiver ring. Adding a serrated strip along the top of the receiver was a nice touch.

Lyman 48R and Redfield 102R receiver sights were extra-cost options offered by Remington. Layne’s rifle has the Redfield.

The wrist of the stock was described as a half-pistol grip. In those days, checkering was cut by hand. Execution of the 20-line-per-inch checkering is quite good, and it offers a secure grip for the hand.

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