Pre-War Precision: Remington’s Model 341-A .22 Rifle
By David Tong
The years before the Second World War were a watershed in American gun making. One can cogently argue that the years between the Great War and >Pearl Harbor were the watershed years of traditional arms production, in that the hand labor necessary to craft fine production guns was still affordable, long guns were crafted of forged and machined blued steel and walnut was the only stock option.
While my usual interest is the semi-automatic service pistol, there are few ways of relaxing better than taking a grand old .22 LR rifle out to do a bit of plinking or small game hunting and my local dealer came up with a little gem of a shooter, which is the subject of this article.
I may think the world of detachable box magazine fed centerfire pistols and rifles, but I digress from my preference in the world of .22s, much preferring the simple and elegant tubular magazine feed. A typical tube-fed .22 usually holds 15 rounds of Long Rifle ammunition, which is more than just about all current .22 self-loaders and this Remington is a bolt-action to boot.
This sort of rifle is relaxing in that one does not have to keep track of small, expensive, and easily damaged or lost detachable magazines. Even in this age of ridiculous ammunition costs, a brick of 500 .22s can be had for a mere pittance in comparison to centerfire calibers.
Remington built approximately 131,000 Model 341's between 1936 and 1940, in several grades. My 341-A is the Standard Model and there were five other grades, including the highly finished “Peerless” grade, as well as a “341SB,” which was a smooth bore for use with diminutive .22 LR shot shells.
The Model 341 has an overall length of 43.25" with its 24" barrel, the length of pull is 13.375" and it weighs five pounds. It is unique in that it features dual opposed locking lugs, located to the middle rear of the one-piece bolt body, which is left in the white. One of the locking lugs is the root of the bolt handle.
Even more technically interesting is the fact that it also has a cartridge lifter system that pretty much precludes bullet damage on feeding, as it essentially guides the round without touching the rear of the chamber with the bullet nose, theoretically improving accuracy.
The rifle is unremarkable in appearance. Its straight-grained American black-walnut stock, sans checkering and any kind of cheekpiece, means that it will forever use its iron, semi-buckhorn sighting system. Again, not the best for aging eyes or fast target acquisition, but we are talking about leisure shooting, right?
The rifle's trigger pull runs about 4.25 pounds, but it is quite crisp and one can do some decent shooting from a rest. On a recent range trip, I managed to put all 15 rounds from the tube into just 1.5” at 50 yards, which is good enough to be amusing and is certainly viable for small game hunting at that distance. Weighing in at just 5 pounds and commensurately slender and easy to carry, one could not hope for nicer way to spend a spring morning. Ah, but for the good old days . . ..
Copyright 2009, 2012 by David Tong. All rights reserved.