One At A Time (1969) – Remington Arms Company

Since I know most of you are looking to waste time on the clock at work:

Remington had some pretty high tech equiptment back in 1969!  I figured a lot more would have been done by hand in the initial stages.

I wonder how much hands-on treatment each rifle gets today at Remington?  My guess is everything that can be automated is.  It’s not as romantic, but they only would have done it to increase throughput in in effort to meet demand and keep stacking that cash.




Gunnutmegger August 22, 2012 at 06:05 am

Once Remington became part of the “borg”, quality went to hell. Same goes for Marlin.

Take the 870, for example. It used to be made in one location, and that’s when it built the reputation it used to have. But now the parts are made in 3 different states, and assembly is done somewhere else. And the guns are not as reliable as they used to be, because the parts are made to fit “within spec” and there’s no manual intervention to ensure proper fit. If it doesn’t fit just right, tough shit.

They are just cranking out units as fast as they can, for as low a cost as they can.


TomThumb August 22, 2012 at 07:44 am

if the gun was built as you want it to be built you better never need to change a barrel or other parts… nothing would ever fit, you or someone else (a specialist) would have to hand fit new stocks, trigger components, barrels, mag tubes, forearms…….

I for one like the fact that I can twist my gun around from ducks to home defense to clays to whatever I want…

the 870 is a working gun, if you want hand fit shotgun go buy a Holland and Holland… besides it will push you just that much higher up on your horse, you sound like you need that…

if that’s how you feel about guns you must not own a ar-15…


Gunnutmegger August 22, 2012 at 08:53 pm

LOL. It’s clear that you don’t know much about manufacturing, Tom. I was not talking about fancy finishes and cosmetic perfection, all of which take time and cost money. Now was I talking about the versatility of the 870 system. I was referring to the parts of a run-of-the-mill gun fitting properly, thus permitting it to perform as designed.

While the 870 used to be a well-made versatile gun (which is why bought one before Remington was absorbed by the Freedom Group), now it is just versatile. The quality and sizing of the parts used to make the 870 has dropped considerably, leading to reliability issues.

And as I said, Marlin has experienced the same drop-off in quality once Freedom Group took over and outsourced manufacturing to the rest of their conglomerate. Screws with their heads half stripped, extra space around the wood/metal interfaces, rough actions, and a stock on a lever action that split at the grip the first time the lever was worked. You can read a review and see pictures of this mess if you want to. (But you’ll have to go to the site of the guy who got blacklisted to do so)

This isn’t a design issue (like Glock experienced with their Gen4 redesign). Remington didn’t change their design. This is a manufacturing quality issue.

And the Freedom Group is flushing the reputations of Remington and Marlin down the toilet.

The only winners in this situation are the people at Mossberg, who are getting the business that Remington is losing.


TomThumb August 30, 2012 at 06:27 am

I don’t recall saying anything about finishes or cosmetics… maybe you should go look at how they hand fit Holland and Holland parts…


geekmp3 August 22, 2012 at 08:10 am

haha! I think I saw my hunting rifle in there.
I use a Remington 660 made back in 1968-69.

whoo .308!


Joseph August 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

That is funny no ear protection.


dave w August 22, 2012 at 08:30 pm

i would like to see the 2012 version of this video, i bet there’s no tape reading computer or fancy 100,000 dollar machines. I also would be willing to bet there’s no craftsmen putting them together like in this one.


M August 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm

We would probably be surprised at how many of those machines are still in use. Heavy industrial equipment like that hardly ever gets replaced, they’re built to be repaired. You’re right though, the tape machines are probably long gone…


kford August 22, 2012 at 08:52 pm

I wasn’t even close to being born in 1969 but this is one of the coolest videos I’ve seen on the blog. I just love it. This is 10x better than any modern “How It’s Made” video or similar stuff you see on Discovery.

The narration…The music… It’s fantastic.

And sure enough, after watching, I just checked my new (2011) 870 12 ga pump and there was a stamp by the gunsmith. It’s just so cool that all of these firearms look just like they do now – they got it right then, and sure they’ve improved their efficiencies and processes since then, but just look at, and shoot, a new 700 rifle or 870 pump – they’re almost identical and all of mine work great.

I’m not a Remington fanboy, but this was just a neat video. Thanks for posting.


dave w August 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm

it was a good video, nice change from the derp.
And neat you found the marks still on a new one.


Steve P. August 23, 2012 at 08:28 pm

A buddy of mine recently interned at Remington while doing his mechanical engineering undergrad. He was amazed that nothing was CNCed. A lot of blocks put into machines and shimmed into place to be machined. I later had an operations and supply chain management where we had an in depth look at lean manufacturing. He was amazed how different the methods were between the old school ways and the new thinking from a plant tour we had of a lean operation. The shipping and assembly of parts that Gunnutmegger talks of fits the bill of lean operations. Although usually quality is a huge component of it and quality is supposed to get better. My buddy was working with some rifle (don’t remember) and no the 870. Now, with all that said… the 11-87 12 gauge supermag I got a few years back has been a finicky bitch and starts to rust anytime its exposed to moisture. Stupid black matte finish. I would say the quality has gone to shit at Remington.


M August 24, 2012 at 09:25 pm

That’s an awesome range setup @ 23:30. Never thought of using tires for a baffle, great idea.


Anonymous Coward August 29, 2012 at 01:10 am

Amazing. Amazing work, amazing firearms. Especially amazing tools. Just gotta love drafting tables, projected outlines, displays with analog units, and paper tape.
Some nostalgia about it, perhaps.



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