by Charles .G Semmer Excerpt
|Except for the Remington Special, the Grade E is the
"highest" graded Remington double anyone will encounter The E Grade, Model 1894,
is one of the finest engraved and appointed shotguns ever made in America. They are just
short of the ultimate gun that Remington Arms Company had to offer the sportsman. The
scroll engraving and game scenes are unique to each Grade E manufactured.
Though we do not know for sure, it must be assumed that when a person ordered this grade, he had the opportunity to confer directly with the engraver as to what was to appear on his gun. No doubt there was a large variety of game scenes available as $230.00 was a lot of money at the turn of the century.
|Most of the time we will find scenes on the frame sides and triggerplate.
These scenes are of different upland game birds; snipe, grouse, duck, geese, setters,
pointers and occasional game animals. And they are executed quite artistically, with the
unusual fine detail that truly portrays the particular subject as recognizable. We know
the names of a few engravers Remington employed, but these engravers were not allowed to
sign or initial their work; at least, no signatures have been found on any of the F Grades
studied. I think Joseph Loy engraved a number of these high-grade guns.
On these Grade E Remington doubles there are no gold or silver inlays in the games scenes. Some do have gold initials on the trigger-guard bow and they do have a gold oval name-plate in the toe area of the stock.
The buttplates on the. E Grades are made of horn, as used on D Grades, or they are engraved heel and toe plates.
|Forearm patterns are similar to a D Grade, but have more intricate carving designs and "ribbons" separating the checkered areas. Stock side panels are finely checkered and will generally but not always, contain the spearhead carving. In my opinion, it appears that the earlier-produced Grade E did not have this spearhead. At least the two early guns known do not. The grip-checkering pattern is usually much larger in area and will have some finer checkered panels within it. Measurements of the checkering will run 24 to 28 lines per inch in the main panels, and 32 line in the fine panels.||
|This grade also contains the same sculpted horn grip-cap as on a D Grade.
It is interesting that a number of these high-grade guns have an added recoil pad. As far
as is known, Remington did not supply their doubles with any recoil pad. If they did, I am
sure their name would be on that pad. Of the many guns observed with pads, there are a
variety of kinds and makes. Unfortunately a lot of stocks have been cut off to accommodate
these pads and, occasionally, an add-on of ebony or a black hard rubber base plate. When I
first became interested in Remington doubles, recoil pads bothered me quite a bit, I
wanted to find these guns in their complete original condition. After passing up a fine C
Grade that had a pad, and then failing to relocate it, I have learned to accept pads.
After all, we do see this alteration on many extremely high-grade English shotguns. The
person who bought these expensive guns did so in order to use them; if he or she wanted a
pad, so be it.
Since there are few records available, it will never be known exactly how many of these high-grade Remington doubles were manufactured. At the writing of this book, from tabulated serial numbers, and many years of observation by numerous individuals, only seventeen Grade Es have been recorded from the 41,194 Model 1894 guns produced. A noted dealer and collector has seen less than twenty of these Grade E Remington shotguns altogether in over thirty years of attending a minimum of four "quality" gun shows per year.
I have written many articles in the Double Gun Journal about Remington shotguns and have requested that my readers get in touch with me if they owned an F Grade. Only four of these distinguished guns have surfaced from that most astute readership.
I feel extremely proud and privileged to show you ten of these beautiful Remington E Grade guns. Study. And enjoy the stunning engraving on these high-grade Remington doubles! With the art of America1s gun makers, the work of Remington's engravers is some of the most tasteful and finest you will see on any double of American manufacture. Too bad America's oldest firearm manufacturer discontinued their double shotgun so early!
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